Splitsville: bowling alleys and churches part company

For the life of me, I can’t remember ever attending a church that had a bowling alley, but evidently it was a big deal for a while in some parts of the country. But that’s changing.  This, from USA TODAY: When Max Carson watched his bride Nancy walk down the aisle at St. Ann Catholic [Read More...]

Saved: Vatican reverses Cleveland decision on closing of 13 parishes

It’s a rare reversal — and one that should give other parishes around the country cause for hope. Details: In an extraordinary move, the Vatican has reversed Bishop Richard Lennon’s closings of 13 churches in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, saying the parishes must be restored and the sanctuaries reopened for worship, according to activists [Read More...]

When yoga is more reverent than Mass — UPDATED

An astute observation from Elizabeth Scalia: Out of curiosity, I recently visited a yoga class with a friend. It was held in a simple, unadorned room. Outside of it, there was a great deal of socializing and chatting, but once people entered the room, all talking ceased. People moved carefully, so as not to disturb [Read More...]

After the tornado: “We were spared with a purpose by God…”

A great story of charity and hope, from storm-ravaged Indiana: From the moment a tornado tore through its community, the damaged but still-standing St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church became a crisis hub where emergency workers could dispense food, water and information. But for a brief hour Sunday morning, the church resumed its mission as a [Read More...]

“It gives a whole new meaning to destruction”

I posted a few pictures of the devastation of St. Joseph’s Church in Illinois a couple days ago. Now, there’s more: Elizabeth Schmitt, who planned to get married in May at St. Joseph Church in Ridgway, never imagined she would be picking up debris from the gothic church that was completely destroyed in the Feb. [Read More...]

Illinois miracle: altar spared after church hit by tornado

A deacon from Belleville, Illinois sent me the pictures below — before and after shots of St. Joseph Church, in Ridgeway, struck by a twister on February 29th. You can read details here. The deacon wrote: You will notice the Italian marble altar that was miraculously spared.  Work is underway to salvage the altar by [Read More...]

The “alternate universe” of Wisconsin’s Holy Wisdom Monastery

This group of disaffected Catholics got a big spread in the Wisconsin State Journal last Sunday: Alice Jenson’s faith took an irreversible turn six years ago. It was Nov. 5, 2006, and she was contributing to Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Madison as a lay person, reading Bible passages from the lectern. The [Read More...]

“Seize the night”: hate crime attack on California Catholic church

Details: A Catholic church in Union City was defaced on Ash Wednesday with spray-painted pentagrams and messages about Satan, vandalism that is being investigated as a hate crime, police said. Vandals knocked down a wooden cross outside St. Anne’s Church at Cabello and Dyer streets and used black spray paint to deface a statue and [Read More...]

How will they convert the Crystal Cathedral?

It’s a question a lot of people are pondering these days, and Terry Mattingly chatted recently with a leading church architect who’s given it some serious attention: ”It would be hard to imagine a more symbolic project than this one,” said Matthew Alderman, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s classical design program and [Read More...]

“The Love of Christ urges us on”

During our trip last week, we visited the Basilica Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe, just outside Disney World, and I noticed this unusual crest hanging in the narthex: The Latin translates as “The Love of Christ urges us on.” And the predominant image just above that is Joseph, Mary and Jesus journeying to [Read More...]


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