Altar-ed states: liturgical decoration for Lent

A priest friend posted the following image on Facebook this morning, describing it as “artsy church decor for Lent.” “This is a bit much,” I commented. “Lent is about stripping away, not adding on. It’s distracting, too. You don’t know where to look.” I was curious about what guidelines, if any, the General Instruction of [Read More...]

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“God has not forgotten about this community”: One of California’s poorest parishes finally gets a new church

I love this story. Way back in 2008, I preached a homily about Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Mecca, California: It ‘s the poorest parish in southern California – in fact, one of the poorest in the entire state. Two years ago, the average income in Mecca was just $6,000. 60% of the people live [Read More...]

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Thank you, St. Petersburg!

I just got back from a wonderful visit to Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I gave a parish mission for Lent. The pastor, Fr. Wayne Genereux, and his friendly staff treated me like royalty, and the two deacons, Bill Lovelace and Lionel Roberts, could not have been more welcoming. From the [Read More...]

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NPR: The trend of “house churches”

Details:  At most churches, it’s embarrassing to show up late. But if you arrive early at Greg Stultz’s church, you might interrupt the hosts’ last-minute preparations as they put away homework or toss shoes up the stairs. Stultz and his family are part of a house church. They typically meet on the Eastern Shore of [Read More...]

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Pope to commemorate 50th anniversary of Paul VI saying first Mass in the vernacular

From Pray Tell:  It was announced in the most recent edition of L’Osservatore Romano that Pope Francis will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first celebration of the liturgy in the vernacular by Paul VI. On March 7 at 6:00 PM, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at the church of All Saints on the via [Read More...]

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This is…different: one Seattle parish on Super Bowl Sunday—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

Source. Parish: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Marysville, WA.   Out of bounds? Yeah. I’d say so. A little liturgical background, from Zenit and EWTN: Some general norms of the Church regarding decorating the sanctuary are contained in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, in Nos. 304 and following, which address some aspects directly regarding [Read More...]

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In Phoenix for the Super Bowl: full stadium, empty church

From The Boston Globe:  Forgive the Franciscan friars at St. Mary’s Basilica if they wonder what exactly is being worshipped at the giant, gleaming temple across the street. An extra point away from the elegant old church’s doors, the NFL Experience is open for business. All week, fans in football jerseys have filed by the [Read More...]

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UPDATE on SF parish banning altar girls: “A lot of the people who are upset are not parishioners”

A follow-up on this story from last week, from SF Gate:  The Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor at Star of the Sea Church since August, said he believes there is an “intrinsic connection” between the priesthood and serving at the altar — and because women can’t be priests, it makes sense to have only altar boys. “Maybe the most [Read More...]

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Altar girls, again: what happened when a SF parish banned girl altar servers—UPDATED

It must have been a slow news day in San Francisco, since it appears this led the local news last night: A Bay Area church is now under fire over a controversial new policy saying only boys can be altar servers. The new practice is making waves at the century old church Star of the Sea. Since [Read More...]

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After the fire: “We are blessed with good, good people”

Father Edward Smith celebrates Mass in Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Academy auditorium in a makeshift worship space Jan. 11. (Photo: Marie Elena Giossi / The Tablet) Several days ago, I posted on this devastating fire that hit a church in my diocese. Now a followup, giving witness to the resilience and faith of this remarkable parish. [Read More...]

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