This week’s ear worm: “Lead Me, Lord…”

This one is so deeply ingrained into my brain, I was even singing it this morning in the shower. This contemporary hymn by John Becker was the recessional at the three Masses I served and preached at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania this weekend. (You can hear a good rendition here). I [Read More…]

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Hello, Altoona!

I’ll soon be on the road again:  This weekend, once again CNEWA will be hitting the road. As we did recently in Illinois, we’ll be visiting a parish in Altoona, Pennsylvania: St. John the Evangelist. I’ll be preaching at all the Masses and members of our development team will be on hand to meet parishioners, pass out information [Read More…]

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Vatican partners with CNEWA to launch global initiative to help refugees in Syria

This is big news. At a press conference this afternoon in Philadelphia, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council For The Family announced a major “global initiative”—partnering with Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), an agency of the Holy See where I work—to provide much-needed heating for 6,000 Syrian refugee families. With winter fast approaching, for [Read More…]

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A found treasure: Davenport’s Sacred Heart Cathedral

I spent this weekend in western Illinois, preaching at a parish about CNEWA (more on that later), but my colleague Chris Kennedy and I had some time to kill Saturday, so we headed to nearby Iowa to see the sites. We didn’t to look far to find them. Bernie Sanders supporters were everywhere. Following every steeple [Read More…]

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Hello, Peoria!

I’ll be visiting scenic Geneseo, Illinois this weekend, in the Diocese of Peoria, to give pulpit talks on behalf of CNEWA. If you’re in the neighborhood stop on by! I’ll be speaking at all the Masses at St. Malachy Parish on East Ogden Ave. Learn what CNEWA is doing to support persecuted Christians in the Middle [Read More…]

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How can you help refugees from the Middle East?

Stories like that of young Aylan Kurdi have riveted the attention of the world on the plight of refugee families fleeing Syria, Turkey and the Middle East. But his story is the tragic tip of a large and overwhelming iceberg. Recently, The Guardian put this crisis in perspective: What does this emergency look like? Half of [Read More…]

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A priest’s wife tells her story

Over at CNEWA, we’ve just posted online the Summer edition of our award-winning magazine, ONE. The issue features a fascinating glimpse into the life of a married Orthodox priest in suburban Chicago —who, to support his growing family, works nights at a nearby factory: As the city of Chicago prepares for bed, the Rev. Sharbel [Read More…]

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Franciscan abducted in Syria

Details:  This morning, two Catholic priests from Homs told me of the abduction of the Rev. Dhiya Aziz, who belongs to the Franciscan missionaries serving in the Holy Land. The kidnapping took place on Saturday 4 July, while he was in his parish of Yacubiyeh, a village in Syria’s Idlib province, more than 56 miles [Read More…]

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New Brooklyn bishop-elect to offer Latin Mass for persecuted Christians

You may remember that Pope Francis last month named a devotee of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, Rev. James Massa, as an auxiliary bishop to Brooklyn.  Fr. Massa has a special interest in issues affecting the people of the Middle East. He worked for the USCCB for several years as Executive Director of the United States [Read More…]

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St. Ephrem, deacon

We salute him today, his feast day, over at the CNEWA blog, One-to-One:   An aspect of Ephrem’s unusual personality is evident in the fact that, although ordained a deacon, he never became a priest — avoiding consecration by feigning madness. Although no certain explanation can be found for this behavior, some biographers believe it was [Read More…]

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