The Canonization Chronicles: A deacon’s view in Rome this week

Deacon Bill Ditewig, in Rome for the canonizations, found the most important spot in the Eternal City: Bill will be blogging in the days ahead. His first impressions: I’m sitting at the base of one of Bernini’s great columns waiting for a deacon-friend to arrive from the Netherlands. Sitting near me, the next column over, [Read More...]

“As a Jew, my life…has been improved by the actions of these two individuals”

A different perspective on the impending canonizations, from a Jewish news service, JTA:  Popes John XXIII and John Paul II are being declared saints of the Roman Catholic church on April 27, the day that is also the eve of Yom Hashoah. It’s a coincidence but a notable one. These two post-Holocaust pontiffs revolutionized relations [Read More...]

Maryland parish offers regular “White Mass” named for St. Lawrence, to support “people with different abilities”

Details:  There’s a quiet room at St. Aloysius Church in Leonardtown named after St. Lawrence. The story of St. Lawrence’s martyrdom helps underscore the reason for the room and the impetus for a growing community-based program in Southern Maryland that is touching the lives of people with “developmental differences.” The story of St. Lawrence will [Read More...]

Words to live by

So I arrived at work to find this banner in the lobby of the Cardinal Cooke Catholic Center in New York: I especially love the quotes at the bottom, which carry a diaconal spirit: “Christ, make me become and remain the servant of your unique power, the servant of your sweet power, the servant of [Read More...]

John Paul, patron saint of World Youth Day

From Pope Francis’ Angelus yesterday: At the end of this celebration I offer s special greeting to the 250 delegates – bishops, priests, religious and laypeople – who participated in the meeting about World Youth Days that was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. In this begins the journey of preparation for the [Read More...]

Queens street renamed for Pope John Paul II

From the In My Backyard Desk, via the New York Daily News: Years before he donned his papal robes, John Paul II spent time at a Maspeth church with ties to the Polish community. That visit to Holy Cross Church will be honored when 59th Road in Maspeth is co-named “Pope John Paul II Way..” [Read More...]

Pope declares three new “saints for the Americas,” without canonizations

From CNS:  Without a canonization ceremony, Pope Francis declared three new saints for the Americas, pioneers of the Catholic Church in Brazil and in Canada. Pope Francis signed decrees April 3 recognizing: St. Jose de Anchieta, a Spanish-born Jesuit who traveled to Brazil in 1553 and became known as the Apostle of Brazil; St. Marie [Read More...]

“Mother Church rejoices”

Those are the words inscribed on this logo for the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II—the same words John XXIII used to open Vatican II (and words that may be familiar to deacons practicing for The Exsultet these days…) The logo comes from the Diocese of Bergamo, which was the pontiff’s home diocese. [Read more...]

St. Patrick, son of a deacon

Leave it to Bill Ditewig to remind us of that intriguing fact—and a few other things, too: So, we all know the things that are NOT true about St. Patrick: He wasn’t Irish by birth, he didn’t really cast out snakes from Ireland, he wasn’t the first person to bring Christianity to Ireland, and he [Read More...]

Report: Satanists suspected in theft of Blessed John Paul’s blood

Details:  A Satanic sect is among the suspects after a reliquary containing blood of the late Pope John Paul II was stolen from a remote church in Italy’s Apennine Mountains. A region-wide manhunt involving fifty policemen and sniffer dogs was launched after the gold reliquary and a cross were declared missing at the San Pietro [Read More...]