When does a dinner invitation become a scandal? — UPDATED

When it involves the fabled Al Smith Dinner in New York, all you have to do is invite President Obama: By tradition, the storied Al Smith Dinner has provided a few hours of comic relief from the angry volleys of the campaign trail — a white-tie charity banquet held in the weeks before Election Day, [Read More...]

Meeting His Beatitude

Another visitor from the East popped into our office today: Major Archbishop Baselios Mar Cleemis of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in India. Lovely man. Awesome beard, too. [Read more...]

U.S. bishops: “We mourn with our Sikh brothers and sisters”

Details, from Vatican Radio:  The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs expressed the bishops’ prayerful solidarity with the Sikh community in the United States following the August 5 shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. “In this time of grief, we Catholics mourn with our Sikh brothers and sisters,” said [Read More...]

At the Olympics, Mass appeal

They aren’t just playing.  They’re praying:  The Catholic Church of England and Wales is taking advantage of the Olympic Games to evangelize London locals, the thousands of tourists in the city for the events, and the athletes as well. Speaking to Vatican Radio, James Parker, Catholic executive coordinator for the Olympic Games, reported that not [Read More...]

In Los Angeles, “the largest celebration of the Virgin Mary in a generation”

Yesterday, I posted on the deacon who was going to emcee this historic gathering.  Now, the Los Angeles Times has a wrapup of the event: Touted as the “largest celebration of the Virgin Mary in a generation,” tens of thousands of believers filled the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday afternoon to honor Our Lady [Read More...]

Meet a deacon using his voice to spread The Word

Details, from the Ventura County Star in California: Each time Pat Coulter steps before an audience to speak, he takes three deep breaths and says a prayer taught to him by the late actor and speaker Pat Buttram. “Lord, give me the wisdom to say the right stuff, then nudge me when I’ve said enough,” Coulter, [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: “Sikhism originated in Italy” and other stupid things TV says about religion

This eye-roll-inducing item comes from my blog neighbor Joanne McPortland, who is much more charitable and forgiving than I am: “Sikhism is a religion that originated about 500 years ago in Italy [sic].” ~ CBS This Morning reporter on the shootings at a Wisconsin Sikh temple I’ve been bemoaning the media’s inability to get Catholicism right for a [Read More...]

An order disperses: “This is the most painful, emotional thing our sisters have ever been through”

The New York Times tells the story of how one community coped with its aging population:  At the foot of a long drive leading to the Franciscan Retreat Center in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., the “Welcome and Parking” sign is misleading. The convent closed in 2011, when its original population of 100 nuns had dwindled to 35, [Read More...]

What St. Therese can teach deacons about the chalice

Last year, I posted an item by Taylor Marshall on the unique relationship between deacons and the chalice, in which he noted: Deacons in all rites and traditions, East and West, are associated with the chalice in the liturgy. Deacons literally “hold the Mystery of Faith” at the minor elevation of the Holy Mass. Whether [Read More...]

For the Assumption, France to revive ancient custom of national prayer

Details from Reuters: The French Catholic Church will revive a centuries-old custom next week with an updated national “prayer for France” opposing the same-sex marriage and euthanasia reforms planned by the new Socialist government. The prayer, to be read in all churches on Aug 15, echoes the defense of traditional marriage by Pope Benedict and [Read More...]


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