A Christmas carol about mass murder?

Yes. It traditionally commemorates today’s feast and has a tragic resonance right now: The “Coventry Carol” is a Christmas carol dating from the 16th century. The carol was performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play calledThe Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew. The carol refers to the Massacre of the [Read More...]

6 things that struck me about “Les Miserables”

At long last, I saw the movie version of “Les Miserables” tonight, tears dribbling off my cheeks and into my popcorn.  I have long been smitten by the score, the story, the unabashed emotion of the piece, and the movie does justice to all of that.  In fact, one of the things that struck me [Read More...]

Maryland company closes wedding business rather than serve same-sex couples

Details, from the Baltimore Sun:  An Annapolis company whose old-fashioned trolleys are iconic in the city’s wedding scene has abandoned the nuptial industry rather than serve same-sex couples. The owner of Discover Annapolis Tours said he decided to walk away from $50,000 in annual revenue instead of compromising his Christian convictions when same-sex marriages become legal in [Read More...]

Beyond stigma: a deacon who ministers to the mentally ill

A reminder of how we are called to serve all who hunger – and that hunger can take many forms:  When Deacon Tom Lambert’s wife was hospitalized for open heart surgery, friends brought unsolicited meals to the family’s door. “For three or four weeks, every day at 6 o’clock, the bell would ring and a different [Read More...]

Abbey restoration: “an epic moment of history”

History buffs, take note:  Restoration work on a monastery dating back to 1196 is expected to be completed six months ahead of schedule. The £4.7m Torre Abbey project in Torquay, Devon, started in January with an original completion date of 2014. But Torbay Council said it was predicted the restoration would now be completed in [Read More...]

The Christmas message from Newtown’s pastor

Msgr. Robert Weiss published the following in his parish bulletin this week: Dear Parishioners, Had I written my Christmas message a couple of weeks ago as I had planned, it would have had a far different tone than this message. We have not only witnessed one of the greatest tragedies in the world, but we [Read More...]

Victory: Priests for Life wins exemption from HHS mandate

Details:  A pro-life Catholic group has won a legal battle in court to get an exemption from having to comply with a federal Health and Human Services contraception mandate. The mandate compels some religious employers to pay for and refer employees for birth control, abortion-causing drugs and contraception in violation of employers’ religious beliefs. Last [Read More...]

After Newtown: answering the question of “Why, God?”

Maureen Dowd asked a priest friend to reflect on the tragedy in Newtown, and the result is a beautiful meditation on the mystery of faith:  I remember visiting a dear friend hours before her death and reminding her that death is not the end, that we believe in the Resurrection. I asked her, “Are you [Read More...]

Remembering St. Stephen and the gift of the diaconate

Deacon Keith Fournier takes special note of the first feast we celebrate after Christmas – St. Stephen, on December 26th — and quotes a sermon by St. Fulgentius of Ruspe: Yesterday we celebrated the birth in time of our eternal King. Today we celebrate the triumphant suffering of his soldier.Yesterday our king, clothed in his robe [Read More...]

Experiencing the Christmas liturgy in Rome: “The most moving part of the Mass for me…”

Over at the Evangelical Channel of Patheos, sociologist Margarita Mooney recounts her experience of attending Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s:  The most moving part of the Mass for me was after everyone had received communion and returned to their seats, a peaceful quiet came over the basilica. Suddenly, trumpets blared announcing the birth of the [Read More...]