An elephant in Galilee?

Details:  There are many amazing characters and creatures described in the Hebrew Bible, but elephants are not among them. Imagine the surprise of a team of archaeologists who were in the midst of their fourth summer of excavations at an ancient synagogue in Israel’s Lower Galilee when they discovered elephants in a mosaic panel where [Read More...]

“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc”

Incredibly, this Friday marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Which means this marks the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s remarkable speech commemorating that event. Written by Peggy Noonan—using the skills she honed writing at CBS News Radio—it still stands the test of time. Radio writers like to talk about how their medium occupies [Read More...]

First priest ordained in the United States

Who knew? From my blog neighbor Pat McNamara: The first Catholic priest ordained within the limits of the original thirteen States of the Union, pioneer missionary of Kentucky, b. at Orléans, France, 17 July, 1768; d. at Cincinnati, Ohio, 21 April, 1853. Educated at Montaigu College, Paris, he entered the Sulpician Seminary of his native [Read More...]

Is this the Holy Grail?

Just in time for Easter, from The New York Daily News: Two historians claim the search for the Holy Grail is over. The famous cup used by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper was identified in a book written by Margarita Torres Jose Manuel Ortega del Rio, titled “Kings of the Grail” and published last [Read More...]

For President’s Day: surprising facts about presidents and religion

A few fascinating tidbits from Huffington Post:   Did you know that Ulysses S. Grant was never baptized and reportedly got into trouble for not attending religious services while he was a student at West Point? Or that the first national public celebration of Christmas, with the lighting of a national Christmas tree, didn’t happen [Read More...]

Why are Americans more religious than Europeans?

Good question. One answer, from writer E. Brooks Holifield:  Many Western Europeans think of Americans as hopelessly, bafflingly, and dangerously, religious. Many Americans think of Western Europeans as distressingly, inexplicably, and unrelentingly, secular. In 2009, the German sociologist Hans Joas observed that “it is widely accepted that the United States is far more religious than [Read More...]

JFK’s rosary goes up for auction

Who knew? Dave Gibson writes:  The black onyx beads, and a sterling silver crucifix with Kennedy’s name engraved on it, were given by the president to his friend and special assistant, David Powers. From the letter of provenance from Powers’ son: “Many consider my father to have been President Kennedy’s best friend and confidant. They [Read More...]

Archeologists reportedly discover town Jesus visited after feeding the multitudes

Details: Dalmanutha, a Biblical town described in the Gospel of Mark as the place where Jesus sailed after miraculously multiplying a few loaves and fish to feed 4,000 people, may have just been discovered by archaeologists, reports LiveScience. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven [Read More...]

Incredible: Original Schindler’s List Up for Auction on eBay

Details:  An original copy of Schindler’s list — not the movie, but the actual list of Jewish refugees that German businessman Oskar Schindler is credited with saving from the Nazis – will be available on eBay Friday evening, the New York Post reports. The document, which is 14 pages long and contains the names of the [Read More...]

Religion in America in 1776

An interesting look back:  When the Declaration of Independence was drafted on July 4, 1776, religious practice in the 13 colonies of the United States was colorful and varied. The quest for independence — as well as loyalist resistance to the cause — permeated church life and teachings across denominational lines. Patriots argued that their [Read More...]