A Catholic wedding performed without a net

Remember the good old days before Vatican II, when people took sacraments seriously and priests treated the liturgy with reverence? Behold, a Catholic wedding in France from 60 years ago.   [Read more…]

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U.S. bishop heads to Afghanistan for Christmas

And he’ll be confirming several U.S. soldiers while he’s there, too. Details: Catholic Bishop F. Richard Spencer, who serves as Episcopal Vicar for Europe and Asia of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) of the U.S. military, arrived on December 5 in northern Afghanistan, where he will spend Advent and the Christmas holidays ministering to United States and multinational [Read More…]

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Blessed Marianne Cope recommended for sainthood

Details: A nun who dedicated her life to caring for exiled leprosy patients is a step closer to sainthood after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints recommended her canonization on Tuesday. The recommendation to the pope confirmed previous rulings that a second miracle was due to Blessed Marianne Cope’s intercession. In 1888, Cope [Read More…]

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O, Tannen-bomb: the Christmas tree controversy in Rhode Island

Trouble is taking root, and spreading: Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee unwrapped a Christmas conundrum when he erected a “holiday” tree in the Statehouse, incensing the Roman Catholic Church, many residents and even the tree farmer who donated the 17-foot-tall spruce. The holiday hubbub comes to a head Tuesday evening when Chafee presides over a [Read More…]

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FDA weighs selling abortion pill off the shelf — UPDATED

The mind boggles: The federal government is grappling with the explosive question of whether to let anyone of any age buy the controversial morning-after pill Plan B directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves without a prescription. The Food and Drug Administration has until Wednesday to respond to a request from the drug’s manufacturer to make [Read More…]

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A prayer to St. Nicholas — UPDATED

Good St Nicholas, Help us prepare for the miracle of the coming of Jesus. Help us not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready. Help us be sincere in the greetings we send and receive, with love and prayer. Kind St. Nicholas, protect us from shoppers’ fatigue, stress, overspending, yet help us to [Read More…]

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What happens when Santa gives $100 to needy strangers?

For some, it’s a gift of hope and an answered prayer.  From the Reading Eagle in Pennsylvania: Sitting in Reading’s Inter-City Bus Terminal on Tuesday night, Thomas Coates Jr. was out of work and out of hope. Then, out of the blue, a stranger sat next to him and restored his faith in human kindness. [Read More…]

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Red Bull to stage extreme ice event on cathedral steps

This may be a first: A Red Bull Crashed Ice extreme sports event is going to be staged on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul come January. The event, which is referred to as a “downhill ice cross,” pits international competitors skating down a specially designed ice ramp. To see a video of [Read More…]

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Health care, chaplains — and the story of one deacon’s wife

She’s the widow of a classmate of mine, Jim Hynes, and her story begins this report in the Wall Street Journal about how spiritual care is increasingly a part of health care: Doctors and nurses were preparing Kathleen Hynes for a stem-cell transplant at Long Island’s North Shore University Hospital last June when she asked [Read More…]

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Saving lives, one homeboy at a time

For those who may have missed it, the great Fr. Greg Boyle (shown above) is about to become the first religious figure inducted in the California Hall of Fame — alongside such luminaries as The Beach Boys, Buzz Aldrin and Magic Johnson. On top of that, Fr. Greg is also a finalist for the Opus [Read More…]

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