Why every deacon needs to read the pope’s latest letter

It is all about diakonia. As Rocco described it: Released by surprise at Roman Noon this Saturday, the following is the Vatican’s official English translation of a motu proprio letter of Benedict XVI on the Catholic identity and ecclesial oversight of the church’s charitable efforts. Initially published in Latin by the Holy See, the text is [Read More…]

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West Point chapel hosts first same-sex wedding —UPDATED

Another sign of the times, from Associated Press: Cadet Chapel, the landmark Gothic church that is a center for spiritual life at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, hosted its first same-sex wedding Saturday. Penelope Gnesin and Brenda Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate, exchanged vows in the regal church in an afternoon ceremony, [Read More…]

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Send in the clowns: pope greets circus performers

From AFP: Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday held a private audience for several thousand circus artists, urging them to continue offering “healthy entertainment” despite difficulties posed by the craft. “Thanks to the variety of your professions and the originality of your shows, you know how to surprise, elicit wonder and offer opportunities… for healthy entertainment,” [Read More…]

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Homily for December 2, 2012: 1st Sunday of Advent

[Click here for readings.] If you wanted to sum up the meaning of Advent, this beautiful and haunting season of waiting, you could do it with just one question: What are you waiting for? Most people, I suspect, would say, very simply, we’re waiting for Christmas, the birth of Jesus. But the gospel this Sunday [Read More…]

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How about a series on deacon wives?

This should be interesting:  Think The Real Housewives of Atlanta – the men, the fashion, the drama. Now, just add church.  Premiering on Jan. 1, TLC‘s The Sisterhood takes viewers behind the pews and into the lives of some of Atlanta’s “first ladies,” as preacher’s wives are often known in the evangelical community. The view from inside their world, their [Read More…]

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The hills are alive—again: “Sound of Music” redo planned for NBC

And this is a good idea…why??  Huh? From the Hollywood Reporter:  NBC is redoing the classic musical The Sound of Music in a live broadcast, casting Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp. To shepherd the live three-hour event, which will air during next year’s holiday season, NBC is re-teaming with Smash producersCraig Zadan and Neil Meron(Chicago, Hairspray), who have also been tapped to [Read More…]

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Former rector of nation’s largest Episcopal church becomes Catholic

From Religion News Service:  The Rev. Larry Gipson was dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham from 1982-94 and rector at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where his parishioners included former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, from 1994-2008. Last month, Gipson was accepted as a Catholic into the [Read More…]

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Police apologize for arresting deacon by mistake

Details (and thanks to the great deacon’s wifve, Kathy Schiffer!) from the Des Moines Register: As the Des Moines police officer handcuffed him Monday night, Quan Tong was so nervous that he forgot his adopted language. The officer told him he was being arrested for a revoked license. “Revoked?” Tong recalls saying. “What does ‘revoked’ [Read More…]

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A basilica grows in Brooklyn

More on a news item I posted last week, on Brooklyn’s third basilica, with reaction from the pastor and parish: Parishioners in Brooklyn are anticipating the elevation of their Regina Pacis Church as a basilica, with the dedication set to take place on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. “They’ve been admiring the beauty of [Read More…]

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Organ donors needed: why many Catholic churches don’t have organists

Is organ music in church doomed to disappear?  Details, from Catholic News Service: If music conservatories are producing a bumper crop of organ performance graduates, why can’t the parish down the street get a substitute organist for the 10 a.m. Mass? There’s no single answer, but liturgical musicians who spoke with Catholic News Service attribute [Read More…]

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