Homily for December 30, 2012: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

[Click here for readings] I’m struck every year by the timing of this feast, celebrating the Holy Family. It comes on the first Sunday following Christmas, when a lot of us have started to overdose on family.  In fact, after the parties and cooking and visiting and obligations and expectations and disappointments, some of us [Read More...]

A tale of four priests

Their names are Mahony, Brown, Niederauer and Levada, and they were all in seminary together.  Whatever happened to them? Read on, from the Salt Lake Tribune: Whether by accident, serendipity or divine design, four future heavyweights of American Catholicism found themselves in the Class of 1962 at St. John’s Seminary on a lush hillside 60 [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: Let is snow!

God bless ‘em: Read all about it. Or maybe…red all about is? [Read more...]

Victor Hugo: miserable Catholic?

As I mentioned, the movie of “Les Miserables” is teeming with Catholic references.  It lead me to wonder about the background of the novel’s author, Victor Hugo. From Wikipedia:  Hugo’s religious views changed radically over the course of his life. In his youth, he identified himself as a Catholic and professed respect for Church hierarchy [Read More...]

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...]


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