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...]

Whatcha readin'?

Well, put it down and pick up something over at the Patheos Book Club! Elizabeth Scalia offers an introduction to what’s new this month: From today until October 15, the Patheos Book Club will be taking in-depth looks at three books, Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism: a Journey to the Heart of the Faith, Brandon Vogt’s [Read More...]

It is finished: remarkable hand-drawn Bible goes on display

It’s quite an achievement and, as those who have seen it can attest, it is a feast for the eye.  (I gave a copy of the Psalms to my pastor as a gift for the 40th anniversary of his ordination.  It’s ravishing.) Details: It was a task of biblical proportions — drawing every letter and [Read More...]

"Forgiving is an act of love"

A longtime FOB (Friend of the Bench) and FOD (Friend of Deacons) has just published a very good book on one of the most challenging aspects of the Christian life: forgiveness. Fr. R. Scott Hurd, from the Archdiocese of Washington, serves as the executive director of the archdiocese’s Office of the Permanent Diaconate.  (The Father [Read More...]

Just what the world has been waiting for: the 9/11 coloring book

For those who thought the 9/11 memorial wine wasn’t quite tacky enough…now this. Details: To the American people and all others who may read this child’s coloring book, We Shall Never Forget is designed to be a tool that parents can use to help teach children about the facts surrounding 9/11. This book also describes [Read More...]


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