“It Feels Good!”: For First Time as Pope, Francis Celebrates Mass in His Native Spanish

From today’s homily:  May the Lord grant us the grace to watch our tongues and be careful of what we say of others, because through our weakness and sin, we often find it easier to insult and denigrate than say or do good. This was the lesson at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily Thursday [Read More...]

Mass Appeal: Celebrating the Liturgy—But Not in Church

Last month, I posted the unusual story about Mass being celebrated in a Manila shopping mall. Turns out, that’s not the only non-sacred place people can attend Mass in the Philippines: Every Sunday at the upscale Power Plant Mall in metro Manila, the establishment tucked between a Japanese chocolate confectioner and a modern Italian furniture [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...]

Faith at the Food Court: Mass in a Shopping Mall

They’re trying it in the Philippines. Could this catch on? Details:  Early on a Sunday morning, people are already streaming into a massive shopping mall in Manila. The seven-story Robinsons Place is a temple of consumerism. It houses about 350 stores, including gun shops, dental offices, massage parlors and a Kenny Rogers Roaster. The music [Read More...]

A Priest Writes: “A New Translation Cannot Be Expected to Accomplish Everything” —UPDATED

After reading this latest post on how priests reportedly dislike the new Missal, a priest friend dropped me an email to share his impressions: One of the things going on here is very important, but I suspect most priests have never thought about it. I concelebrated at a Funeral Mass with an older priest (about [Read More...]

Survey: 60% of Priests Dislike New Missal

It’s unclear what the methodology was for this survey, so take it for what it’s worth. Details: More than a year after the changes took effect in U.S. parishes, a survey of American priests shows that they are more disturbed by the innovations than their flocks. In fact, the poll, conducted by researchers at St. [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...]

Spring fever: First Communions, weddings and “people who act as though they are at a ball game”

My blog neighbor Fr. Mike Duffy notes that it’s that time of year again: the season for weddings and First Communions.  Unfortunately, as Fr. Duffy notes, these events are often the very definition of a “mixed blessing”: I would never want to be cold or discourage anyone from coming to Church.  But I do hope [Read More...]

Two small but significant changes regarding Communion reception—UPDATED

A website calls attention to this item in a USCCB newsletter on the new Roman Missal, from January: What does the Missal say about the posture of the faithful when receiving Holy Communion? What about Communion in the hand? Both of these questions are covered in no. 160 of the GIRM. It states clearly there that the [Read More...]

Moving on from screaming babies: how about wandering children?

This happened today at the 11:30 Mass. Our celebrant, the vocations director for my diocese, had preached a homily about vocations—how we are all called to something—and was about to launch into the Eucharistic Prayer when, lo and behold, he got some company: a child who felt called to the sanctuary and all that neat [Read More...]


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