Historic: Pope Francis calls an Extraordinary Synod on the family

Such synods are rare.  This one will be only the third of its kind ever.  Details from the National Catholic Register:  Pope Francis has called an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”, the Vatican has announced. The synod, which [Read More...]

New Orleans archbishop orders school calendars changed to keep Sundays free

Details:  After months of nudging Catholics to reclaim Sunday as a day to attend Mass and spend time with family, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond is mandating that Catholic schools clear their calendars that day each week. Aymond began asking schools last year to tweak practice schedules and reschedule social events so harried families could [Read More...]

New app helps track best times to conceive

NFP on your smartphone? Sounds like it:  Glow, the fertility tracking iOS app co-founded by Max Levchin, is making its debut in the app store today. The app was first introduced earlier this summer by Levchin to a surprised audience at the D11 conference, where the crowd was likely not expecting to hear the co-founder of PayPal and [Read More...]

Quote of the day

From Catholic comedian Jim Gaffigan:  “I watch the faces of single people in their twenties after I bring up that I ‘have children.’ I imagine them taking a small step backward as if to avoid contagion, with a look of ‘Sorry to hear that’ on their face. Like I naively volunteered to contract leprosy, forever [Read More...]

Panel to Explore ““Children’s Privacy Rights Against Their Parents”

This flitted by on my Twitter feed, and really gave me pause, from the Association of American Law Schools:  The AALS Section on Defamation and Privacy invites papers for its program on “Children’s Privacy Rights Against their Parents” for the Annual Meeting, to be held on January 2-5, 2014. Topic Description: Electronic surveillance technology and [Read More...]

Study Finds Record Number of “Breadwinner Moms”

Details:  A record 40% of households with children include “breadwinner moms,” according to a report out today. These moms are the sole or primary source of income for households with children younger than 18, a Pew Research Center analysis finds. Theanalysis looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau. “The share of households with children where there is [Read More...]

One Woman Writes About Her “Uneasy Catholic Motherhood”

Here’s a snapshot of one kind of American Catholic mother, writer Mary Elizabeth Williams. From Salon:  It’s probably a lot easier if you’re certain. If you’re a firm atheist or a devout evangelical. But when you’re living a faith you love in an institution that regularly outrages you, it’s a little tougher. Especially when you’ve got [Read More...]

“Dear Parents With Young Children in Church…”

This popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought it too good to pass up — especially, since it touches on issues that have ignited passions here at The Bench. A snip: You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came [Read More...]

Most States Report Big Drop in Teen Birth Rates

From AP: The nation’s record-low teen birth rate stems from robust declines in nearly every state, but most dramatically in several Mountain States and among Hispanics, according to a new government report. All states but West Virginia and North Dakota showed significant drops over five years. But the Mountain States of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada [Read More...]

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a three-year-old saying Mass—UPDATED

A friend in Florida sent this my way, with an explanation: Samuel Jaramillo from Medellin, Colombia; 3 yrs. old, orphan of both parents. Being raised by his grandmother, who attends daily Mass with him since he was a baby. On his wish list last Christmas – a Mass kit. And look what happened next.  And [Read More...]


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