“Hate speech”: controversy over play about Pius XII and the Holocaust

The play in question is often blamed for popularizing the notion that Pius XII was sympathetic to the Nazis.   Now it’s receiving a rare staging at a college in Minnesota: A controversial play scheduled at UMD next week critical of Pope Pius XII for not doing enough to stop the Holocaust has raised the [Read More...]

Catholic University students build a hermitage in downtown Washington

If any place could use a little peace and quiet, it’s the nation’s capital. Details: Architecture students at The Catholic University of America are seeing their design efforts come to life through a project to build a modern-day hermitage in the middle of Washington, D.C. William Jelen, director of the collaborative project, called the experience [Read More...]

“Whatever slender thread is holding our planet together just might stem from these monastic women…”

An alert reader sent this my way: a reflection by broadcast journalist Judith Valente about lessons she’s learned from visiting a Benedictine monastery. From USA TODAY: To arrive at Mount St. Scholastica Monastery in Atchison, Kan., you must cross Contrary Creek and bypass Last Chance Road. Eventually, you will see a red brick structure on [Read More...]

“A reporter’s job is such a joy!”

That’s Mike Wallace, getting the last word (as he should) in this superbly produced piece from yesterday’s “Face the Nation.”  Kudos to editor Warren Lustig and Morley Safer for capturing the man so perfectly. [Read more...]

Everybody needs a hobby: check out the world’s largest Rube Goldberg machine

Behold, the world record has been broken for the most complicated Rube Goldberg contraption. It uses 300 steps to inflate and pop a balloon. “What a piece of work is man,” wrote Shakespeare (though I think he had something else in mind.) Just watch.  And wonder. [Read more...]

Happy birthday, Joe

Catholic neighbors send warm wishes to a beloved Jewish institution in the Bronx: This Bronx parking-lot valet started driving when Model Ts were kings of the road. Joe Binder turned 102 yesterday, celebrating 25 years as the booth attendant at Mario’s Restaurant on Arthur Avenue — a job he landed when gas cost 89 cents [Read More...]

True, so true

In remembrance of Mike Wallace, this inspired 1981 New Yorker cartoon by Charles Barsotti says it all. [Read more...]

A priest writes: “Why I refuse to bless children at communion” — UPDATED

This doesn’t happen a lot at my parish, but it’s prompted a couple of priests (including Fr. Z) to weigh in against the practice. Here’s Father Cory Sticha on the topic: I’ve been thinking more and more about my concerns around giving special blessings to children at Mass. There are a number of people here [Read More...]

Welcome back: the return of the “reverts”

It’s happening more and more, and not just among Catholics.  From USA TODAY: Bruce Boling will celebrate Easter Sunday this weekend among Southern Baptists, just as he did when he prayed at a tiny Kentucky church where his family filled half the pews. After decades away from faith, “I slowly began to see what I [Read More...]

“This is the night…”

My parish, Saturday night.  Easter Vigil.  Photos by Niranjan Fernando. [Read more...]


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