Protecting Jesus: the story of the Catholic chaplain on that sinking cruise ship

His story is now being told: A Catholic chaplain aboard the sinking Costa Concordia rushed to consume the Eucharist in an attempt to protect it as the cruise liner began to sink on Friday night. Fr Rafaeli Mallena, 70, described his ordeal to Fr Giacomo Martino, director of the Apostolate of the Sea for the [Read More...]

The “affirmative orthodoxy” of Archbishop Dolan

Now that he’s about to get the red hat, Archbishop Timothy Dolan is getting a closer look — and it sounds like a new book about him may be a good introduction: Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York is becoming the most visible Catholic churchman in the Western Hemisphere. He is also a down-to-earth [Read More...]

What are you praying for next year?

This year is only a few days old, but Pope Benedict has already posted his prayer intentions for 2013. Two that strike me as especially interesting: September General: That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters. October General: [Read More...]

Low-gluten hosts: the bread of life for those who can’t eat bread

An issue that is often overlooked in many parishes is now getting renewed attention — thanks, in part, to a deacon candidate from Chicago: After Stuart Heyes was diagnosed with celiac disease last year, he learned that a gluten-free diet would prevent the pain he experienced after meals, which he described as “like the food is having [Read More...]

Retired bookkeeper leaves $7.5 million to Catholic schools

Hot on the heels of this story, about a couple who left millions to the church, comes this item, which may be even more surprising: A former bookkeeper has left $7.5 million to Aquinas Catholic Schools in La Crosse — the largest donation in the schools’ history. James Kiffe was a 1942 graduate of Aquinas [Read More...]

Did you hear the one about the priest who’s a standup comic?

Seriously: The Rev. Britto Berchmans’ upcoming one-man show, “Centennial Chuckles,” is no joke, but the pastor of Park Ridge’s St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church hopes his comedy act produces plenty of laughs. “For too long people have thought church is kind of heavy and boring,” Berchmans said. “No, church is wonderful, and my [Read More...]

Mark Wahlberg as Thomas Merton?

Several years ago, while I was on retreat at Thomas Merton’s old monastery in Kentucky, his former secretary Br. Patrick Hart mentioned to me that some movie people were going to be dropping by for a visit.  He was bemused and thought they might be wanting to discuss a movie version of “The Seven Storey [Read More...]

Martin Luther King Jr.: “Love your enemies…love has redemptive power”

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and [Read More...]

Jolt: Texas bishop sues outspoken priest

Some may recall the story of Fr. Michael Rodriguez, from the Diocese of El Paso, who was promptly reassigned last fall after making some strong public statements — and taking out newspaper ads — condemning homosexual activity. Now there’s more, and it’s getting ugly: In a rare move, Catholic Bishop Armando X. Ochoa and Monsignor [Read More...]

Slim Tim: Doctor reveals that heavyweight church leader is on a diet

And he’s hoping the cardinal-designate will soon be a lesser man.  Details: Weight-loss guru Dr. Howard Shapiro tells us that Dolan, 61, has dropped approximately 25 pounds since he became a patient at his upper East Side practice in February 2011, and, he adds, he’d like to see the holy man double that figure in [Read More...]


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