Behind every great married clergyman…

…is a woman like Mary Alma Parker. She helped make history. She is remembered this day by Fr. Dwight: On Tuesday Mrs Longenecker and I traveled to Charleston for the funeral of Mary Alma Parker. Mary Alma was the wife of Fr James Parker–the first Episcopal priest to be ordained under the Pastoral Provision in the [Read More...]

Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner becomes Catholic, with Cardinal Dolan attending

Details:  Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) converted to Catholicism in a quiet ceremony at Milwaukee’s St. Francis de Sales Seminary on Monday — a private affair reportedly attended by at least two Wisconsin bishops and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Sensenbrenner’s office confirmed the conversion in an e-mail. But it turned down an interview [Read More...]

All about Eve: Eve Tushnet talks about being “Gay and Catholic”

Recently, my blog neighbor Eve Tushnet got the Salai Treatment (being interviewed by Sean Salai, S.J.) in America magazine. She has a new book about to launch, “Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith” (Ave Maria Press). It will be published Oct. 20. Snip:  You describe this book as a work of “vocational discernment for [Read More...]

Megachurch pastor writes about why he became Catholic

You probably remember when this story caused a stir a few months back. Now, the story behind the story:  Our conviction that we needed to become Catholics grew slowly, over a number of years, but the actual decision to take this step came rather late. Our question was: how should we communicate it? It could really [Read More...]

Father’s will decrees that children will not receive any inheritance unless they become Catholic

Details, from Australia: From beyond the grave, father-of-four Patrick Carroll continued a five-decade crusade to steer his children away from being active Jehovah’s Witnesses and into Catholicism. Mr Carroll wrote into his will that his adult children were not to receive any inheritance unless they met two conditions: attend his funeral and become Catholics within [Read More...]

Boom: Catholic converts on the rise in Tennessee

Details from The Chattanooga Times Free Press:  There was the man inspired by the written words of Pope Francis. There was the agnostic professor. And there was the widow of a Baptist preacher. All of them Tennesseans, and all of them recent converts to one of the world’s oldest Christian faiths. In the South, Catholicism [Read More...]

The myth of Catholic “decline”—UPDATED

It can be tempting, when ingesting a daily diet of internet chatter, to think the Catholic Church these days is a disaster.  Things have never been worse. Vatican II destroyed the faith. Batten down the hatches. The barque of Peter is taking on water, and sinking fast. So goes the popular thinking among some on [Read More...]

Alleluia: Washington area welcomes record number of converts at Easter Vigil

From, of all places, The Washington Post:  For Austin Russell, Easter used to mean dyeing eggs and finding candy. “It was the Easter Bunny — it was fun,” said Russell, 19, who grew up in a home that wasn’t very religious. But this year, Easter carries a weightier meaning for the University of Maryland sophomore. When he started dating [Read More...]

The best Catholic? A former Protestant

Mark M. Gray from CARA has some fascinating insight into which Catholics are most involved in church life—and it turns out, it’s the converts: Do you want to know the best way to ensure your child grows up to be a faithful, knowledgeable, and active Catholic? It’s simple: 1) Raise them as a Protestant AND 2) Only [Read More...]

Davenport to get its first married priest

He will be ordained a deacon on Tuesday, and become a priest in June. From The Quad-City Times in Iowa: The 29-year marriage of Chris and Jody Young will continue, even after he is ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport this summer. “I get to keep my wife, and I [Read More...]