St. Monica: two different views

Today marks the feast of the mother of St. Augustine. Below, two dramatically different depictions of this woman who died sometime late in the 4th century. The first comes from John Nava, and is one of the studies he did for the gorgeous tapestries at the cathedral in Los Angeles. The artist for the second [Read More...]

Is James Foley a martyr?

  My blog neighbor Pia de Solenni takes up that question and offers some very compelling answers:  With the beheading of James Foley and the increasing reports of his Catholic faith, the word “martyr” is becoming more popular. Some would caution that we shouldn’t use the word too lightly. I agree. At the same time, [Read More...]

Meet the man St. Maximilian Kolbe replaced in Auschwitz

Today is the great saint’s feast day. The story of his martyrdom is well-known, but I’m not sure how many know the details about the man whose life he saved. It’s chronicled in Wikipedia:  Franciszek Gajowniczek, a Roman Catholic, was born in Strachomin near Mińsk Mazowiecki. He lived in Warsaw since 1921, and had a wife and two sons. He was a professional [Read More...]

Saints who suffered from depression

With this topic very much in the news today, it seems a good time to remember that even the holiest of people have suffered from periods of despair. One who suffered was St. John Vianney: St. John Vianney, the famous Cure of the tiny French village of Ars, is most popularly known as the holy [Read More...]

The diakonia of Mary Magdalene

My friend and brother deacon John Gerke, from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, preached the Mass at NDICE this morning, the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. The congregation was full of deacons and their wives.  I had a plane to catch and missed the Mass — but John sent me his text. It’s too good not [Read More...]

A hymn for Mary Magdalene?

Someone posted this lovely hymn on Facebook this morning, noting that it was written in the early 20th century from the point of view of Mary Magdalene (whose feast we mark today). I haven’t found any other citation for that, but I suppose it’s a plausible interpretation. Wikipedia just has this: “In the Garden” (sometimes [Read More...]

John Paul II, Gianna Beretta Molla to be patrons for World Meeting of Families

Details:  Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia announced Sunday that St. John Paul II and St. Gianna Beretta Molla will be patron saints of the 2015 World Meeting of Families, being held in his cathedral city. “Saint John Paul II and Saint Gianna have been chosen as the two worthy Patron Saints to guide all in [Read More...]

Santa Fe pursuing sainthood for “Fastest Nun in the West”

From the AP:  The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced Wednesday it is exploring sainthood for an Italian-born nun who challenged Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools. Archbishop Michael Sheehan said he has received permission from the Vatican to open the “Sainthood Cause” for Sister Blandina Segale, [Read More...]

John the Baptist, the “Saint of Second Chances”

Back in 2008, I preached a homily about St. John the Baptist during Advent.  Today, his feast, seems a good time to remember who The Baptizer was—and what he has to say to all of us: We tend to think of John the Baptist as The Voice – the forerunner, the prophet, the one crying [Read More...]

St. Roberto Clemente?

From RNS:  Richard Rossi is on a crusade of sorts, traveling to cities across the country to collect stories about the fabled healing powers of baseball great Roberto Clemente. His goal? Nothing short of making Clemente an officially recognized Catholic saint. “He had a calling to be a great baseball player,” Rossi said, “but he had [Read More...]