Any suggestions for a teenager thinking of the priesthood?

A woman in my parish dropped me a line today: I’d like your advice. The other day a young man, still a boy, told me he was thinking about becoming a priest.  I was very touched by the fact that he shared this with me. I’ll pray that God guides him until he reaches a [Read More...]

December 10, 1941: “I was enclosed in the four walls of my new freedom…”

It was 70 years ago today — December 10, 1941 — that Thomas Merton arrived at the gatehouse of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky (pictured above much the way it looked then).  He wrote about that moment in “The Seven Storey Mountain”: “The Bardstown bus was half full, and I found [Read More...]

Did you burn your old books?

What can you do with an old sacramentary? Here’s one suggestion: Details: After the switch to a new Mass translation, old liturgical books should be respectfully buried, either intact or after being burned, according to the U.S. bishops. “Whether or not the Sacramentary has been blessed by an official rite, it is appropriate to treat [Read More...]

Great Scott: a visit to Fitzgerald’s grave

With some time to kill this weekend, my wife and I decided to pay a nostalgic visit to St. Mary’s in Rockville, Maryland, the chapel where we were married 25 years ago. Afterward, we dropped by the graveyard next door to pay our respects to its most famous residents, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. This is [Read More...]

Merton, his “Mountain,” and me

It started with a pocket watch. In 1994, after my mother’s funeral, my sister, an aunt and I spent a few days in my mother’s apartment sorting through her things and dividing up what would go where.  We came across a jewelry box, buried in a dresser drawer. I popped it open and inside was [Read More...]

What can you do with an old Sacramentary?

A few people have wondered about what to do with the old liturgical books on November 26.  (At my parish, the sacristan cracked the other day that we should just keep them and wait another 40 years or so until another generation of liturgical experts decides to bring them back…)  But the USCCB, meantime, offers [Read More...]

Women deacons: "an open theological question"

Deacon Bill Ditewig has just posted on his blog a report from Chicago, where he launched (with Phyllis Zagano and Gary Macy) the new book “Women Deacons: Past, Present and Future.”  (I wrote about that earlier right here.) A snip: Here are some things to know before blood pressures are raised: 1) No one, not [Read More...]

"This is a book that will get people thinking — and talking"

If you find yourself in Chicago Thursday, you might want to wander over to the Simpson Living Learning Center (1032 West Sheridan Road) at 4 p.m. for what promises to be a lively presentation and discussion on the topic of women deacons. It’s to mark the official publication of the long-aborning book “Women Deacons: Past, [Read More...]

Lino Rulli, move over: another Catholic "Sinner" heading into bookstores

The celebrated host of “The Catholic Guy” radio show has just published a book called “Sinner.” But now former centerfold star Jenny McCarthy has stolen the title (is that a sin, too?) for a book of her own.  And it has a distinctly Catholic angle that will raise eyebrows (and, I think, blood pressures), according [Read More...]

For the feast of St. Francis: a "forest of Junipers"

From Fr. James Martin’s new book, “Between Heaven and Mirth,” comes this delightful anecdote about one of Francis’s most enthusiastic followers: Perhaps the most enjoyable of all the tales in the Franciscan annals concern the lovable Brother Juniper, whose lavish generosity constantly exasperated his Franciscan brothers.  Juniper, one of the early companions of Francis, thought [Read More...]


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