NY Times: “Prominent Native Americans see Father Serra as far from saintly”

Who didn’t see this controversy coming? Details: For generations, fourth graders in California’s schools, often with a parent’s touch, built models of church missions out of poster board or sugar cubes to celebrate the Rev. Junipero Serra and the religious communities he established along the West Coast in the late 1700s. Last week, Pope Francis [Read More...]

Lamb chimes in during papal blessing

St. Agnes via Wikipedia From the good people at Rome Reports, a short video showing the traditional blessing for the Feast of St. Agnes—and one attendee who had something to get off its chest. Pity he wasn’t blessing rabbits. [Read more...]

In praise of Pio

We just completed the annual novena at my parish in honor of St. Pio—more popularly known as Padre Pio. Our church includes a life-sized statue of the saint, which is an object of great devotion and affection. So as we prayed for Pio’s intervention over the last few days, I was reminded of this piece [Read More...]

Pope to canonize Junipero Serra

Image from Serra Club of Bethlehem, PA From Catholic News Agency:  In a surprise addition to his fall 2015 trip to the U.S., Pope Francis is planning to canonize the founder of California’s first missions, Bl. Junipero Serra.“In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States,” declared Pope Francis aboard Sri [Read More...]

Vatican theologians unanimously declare Oscar Romero a martyr, clearing way for beatification

Image from The Archbishop Romero Trust Details:  The Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was murdered “in hatred of the faith.” The news comes in the preview edition of “Avvenire” for Friday, January 9, 2015. The members of the commission of theologians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints gave their unanimously positive vote about the martyrdom [Read More...]

Hello, Neumann!

Today marks the feast of St. John Neumann, and a deacon friend reminded me of a visit I made last winter to Ohio and one of the churches where Neumann served. It’s St. Alphonsus in Peru, OH. I was there on a bitterly cold March evening to give a talk to deacons from Toledo. We [Read More...]

Where St. Stephen was stoned

Today marks the feast of the church’s first martyr and the patron saint of deacons, St. Stephen. St. Stephen, pray for us! From Wikipedia: Stephen or Stephan (Greek: Στέφανος, Stephanos), traditionally regarded as the Protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity, was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, a deacon in the early church at [Read More...]

Actor Joe Mantegna to produce film on the life of Padre Pio

I got an email about this morning. Here’s the news on the Saint Pio Foundation website:  A biographical film on the life of Saint Padre Pio is in the works. The film will be produced by the American Actor Joe Mantegna and his long time producing Partner Danny Ramm through their company Acquaviva Productions, for theatrical release. Shot in English, filmed on [Read More...]

“Dear deacons, be active apostles of the new evangelization…”

With canonization fever under way, I thought it would be a good time to remember what one of the future saints had to say about deacons. In 2000, during the Jubilee, Pope John Paul offered these remarks to deacons: Dear deacons, be active apostles of the new evangelization. Lead everyone to Christ! Through your efforts, may [Read More...]

The Nazareths of John Paul

From the vault, here’s part of a homily I delivered in 2011, on the occasion of the beatification of Pope John Paul II:  Less than a third of John Paul’s 85 years were spent as pope.  Most of his life, in fact, was spent living and working and praying among ordinary men and women in [Read More...]