Protecting Jesus: the story of the Catholic chaplain on that sinking cruise ship

His story is now being told: A Catholic chaplain aboard the sinking Costa Concordia rushed to consume the Eucharist in an attempt to protect it as the cruise liner began to sink on Friday night. Fr Rafaeli Mallena, 70, described his ordeal to Fr Giacomo Martino, director of the Apostolate of the Sea for the [Read More...]

Deacons who serve on the fly

Some are doing it at airports, and St. Louis Today recently looked at a thriving ministry at the local international airport: The young soldier was sitting by herself in the airport terminal sobbing. George Miller, a deacon at the chapel at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, said he walked over, introduced himself and stayed with her [Read More...]

Help wanted: Catholic military chaplains needed

Now, more than ever, their numbers are dwindling, and the need continues to be great. From Stars and Stripes: Spc. Joe Murphy’s job in Afghanistan was to hunt down the things his fellow soldiers hoped they’d never have to encounter. As part of a route-clearance team that combed the roads connecting Bagram Airfield to outposts [Read More...]

The continent with only one priest

There may be others, but I haven’t heard of them — and if there’s a permanent parish or even a diocese, I imagine the weekly collection is small and the most loyal members of the flock are penguins.  I’m speaking, of course, of Antarctica. While most of us are turning our attention this weekend to [Read More...]

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...]

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...]