Pope Francis: “Religious Freedom is More Often Declared Than Achieved”

From CNS: Religious freedom is talked about more than it is protected, Pope Francis said. “The serious violations inflicted on this basic right are causes of serious concern,” and the world’s nations must act together to uphold “the intangible dignity of the human person against every attack,” he said. The pope made his comments during [Read More…]

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Mark Burnett Plans Follow-up to “The Bible”

What’s unclear is if this will be a sequel (though Acts and the journeys of Paul would make a great one). From the Hollywood Reporter: Mark Burnett says there will be a follow-up project to his hugely successful 10-part miniseries, The Bible. The producer also revealed he has just finished editing the feature version of the series that will [Read More…]

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Evangelicals Gain Clout in Catholic Brazil

Details from Reuters:  When televangelist Silas Malafaia gathered 40,000 followers outside Brazil’s Congress this week, it wasn’t just to raise their arms to the sky and praise the Lord. The rally was a show of support for lawmakers who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage and a message to other politicians that they should not ignore Brazil’s fast-growing evangelical churches if [Read More…]

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Ordination Update: 8 New Deacons in Baton Rouge

A priest in Louisiana writes: Knowing how you like to publicize permanent deacons’ ordinations around the country, know that eight were ordained in the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge at their St. Joseph Cathedral this past Saturday, June 8. Good men, all of them. And I’m not saying that just because two of ’em are [Read More…]

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A New Priest Looks Back: “This Year Has Been the Best of My Life…”

My friend and blog neighbor Fr. Michael Duffy marks a milestone:  One year ago today I was ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ by Bishop William Murphy for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  I celebrated the 11am Mass this morning here in my parish with the parishioners and many friends and family present. I’ve [Read More…]

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Youngest Victim of Boston Marathon Attack Remembered at Mass

Details:  An overflow crowd packed St. Ann Church in Neponset this morning for a celebration of the life of Martin Richard, a Dorchester boy who would have turned 9 this weekend if he had not been killed on April 15 by one of two bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon. Seated in the front [Read More…]

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A Visit to “The Great Gatsby’s” Valley of Ashes Today

Anyone who’s seen the newest incarnation of “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, or read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book, remembers that ominous “valley of ashes,” a desolate corner of Queens that Gatsby and his entourage pass through on the way to Manhattan—and the setting for a critical twist in the plot. A few years [Read More…]

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St. Ephrem, deacon and writer

Today marks his feast, and deacons (among others) should take note:  Born around 306, Saint Ephrem lived through some of the most tumultuous times in the early Church. Heresies, especially Arianism, were rampant; the Church faced persecution; and without Christ’s promise that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it, the Church might not have [Read More…]

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Why Do We Need Deacons? Here’s One Answer…

In some rural areas, they comprise a significant part of the clergy population. From the Intermountain Catholic newspaper in Salt Lake City: Deacon Rick Klein’s move from Moab to Fort Collins, Colo. “creates a tremendous ministry hole,” said Father William Wheaton, pastor of the parishes Saint Pius X in Moab and Saint Joseph in Monticello [Read More…]

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Homily for June 9, 2013: 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] A few years ago I got an unexpected e-mail from a guy in Virginia who was studying to become a deacon in the Diocese of Richmond. His name was Joe Marotta.  Joe had discovered my blog and wanted to ask me some advice about his formation.  One e-mail led to another, [Read More…]

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