How Charles Dickens saved Christmas

The story behind the most famous Christmas story since the Nativity, from the Capitol Hill Times: When Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in 1842, the holiday was nearly dead in modern England. Christmas was celebrated by the rural and poor, but frowned upon by employers. It took an American, Washington Irving, to praise Christmas [Read More…]

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Catholics take over America

Trivia buffs, take note: If Senator John Kerry is nominated and confirmed to be Secretary of State, the four offices in line of succession to the presidency will all be held by Catholics: Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, Senator Leahy, and Secretary Kerry. Dave Gibson has more context, too, at dotCommonweal. [Read more…]

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Shock: Arkansas seminarian killed in car accident

This is heartbreaking news, just before Christmas, from the Arkansas Catholic: First-year seminarian Daniel Phillips was killed in a car wreck Dec. 18 near Danville. Son of John and Catherine Phillips, he graduated from high school in May and entered Holy Trinity Seminary near Dallas in August. He was 19. He attended Our Lady of [Read More…]

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How many deacons can say they’re married to a Supreme Court judge?

Next year, God willing, there will be at least one who can. An Indiana deacon dropped me the following e-mail: I thought you might be interested to know that on Friday the 28th, the wife of a deacon in formation in the Lafayette-in-Indiana diocese will be formally elevated to the Indiana Supreme Court. (She actually took the oath of office in November [Read More…]

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“When you’re worried, and you can’t sleep…”

…count your blessings, instead of sheep…” Herewith, one of my favorite songs for the holidays—which really isn’t a Christmas carol, or a hymn, and it doesn’t even mention the season.  But it never fails to strike a chord and say to me, “Christmas.” It comes, of course, from the 1954 film “White Christmas,” which they’ve [Read More…]

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Guess who else is facing a vocation shortage?

Buddhists: BAAN PA CHI, Thailand — The monks of this northern Thai village no longer perform one of the defining rituals of Buddhism, the early-morning walk through the community to collect food. Instead, the temple’s abbot dials a local restaurant and has takeout delivered. “Most of the time, I stay inside,” said the abbot, Phra [Read More…]

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Report: Obamacare could drive religious order out of the U.S.

Details, from the Daily Caller:  A religious order of nuns is concerned about its future presence in the United States because of Obamacare’s impact on its charitable operations. The Little Sisters of the Poor told The Daily Caller that it may not qualify for a long-term exemption from Obamacare’s healthcare mandate. The law requires the [Read More…]

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A novel idea for Christmas

How kids at one Catholic high school in Bloomington, Illinois are learning—and giving: Connor Sheehan, a high school student writing a children’s book, could picture himself as the next Dr. Seuss. Sheehan, 16, is becoming an author and illustrator as part of his Central Catholic High School sophomore English class. His assignment: to write a [Read More…]

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Ireland moves to legalize abortion

From Catholic News Agency: The Irish government has announced that it will introduce legislation on abortion that will legalize the procedure in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, drawing criticism pro-life advocates. Independent Irish Senator Ronan Mullen said in the Irish Senate that the move showed “no concern for unborn children” and was [Read More…]

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“This is a Christmas festival”: Catholic school drops Hanukkah song from concert

Details:  A Hanukkah song was dropped from a Roman Catholic school concert just a day before the show after an official said the season’s focus should be on the birth of Jesus. As a result, two music instructors who had been working with students declined to participate in the concert Tuesday night at Interlochen Arts [Read More…]

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