Black vestments for All Souls?—UPDATED

This image popped up on my Facebook feed this morning: Brooklyn’s Fr. Carlos Velasquez celebrating his first All Souls Mass as a priest this weekend at St. Sebastian’s in Woodside. This seems to be a growing trend in the U.S, though I have to admit I’ve never seen it personally; we don’t have any black [Read More...]

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned: I texted during Mass

A 21st century problem gets a closer look this morning from CNS:  Entire families navigate their smartphones while sharing meals at restaurants. Students text in class. Parents take phone calls at their children’s sporting events and plays.It’s no surprise that cellphones affect even church.It has become common for parishes to place blurbs in their bulletins [Read More...]

If you’ve read “Rebuilt,” you’ll want to read this

The book “Rebuilt” has become something of a phenomenon of modern American Catholicism: the story of how a parish in Maryland almost literally “rebuilt” itself, rethinking everything from liturgy to lay participation and beyond.  I’ve lost track of the number of priests, deacons and even bishops who have asked me “Have you read ‘Rebuilt’?” (One [Read More...]

Fort Worth becomes first U.S. diocese to set out new Mass guidelines because of Ebola—UPDATED

From RNS: The Blood of Christ will not be offered during Mass. The Host will be placed in the hands, not on the tongue. And the faithful should not hold hands while reciting the “Our Father.” These are but a few of the guidelines the Diocese of Fort Worth — not far from the Dallas hospital where [Read More...]

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a Confirmation celebrated in the Extraordinary Form

A priest friend alerted me to this. It happened Sunday and was done by my bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, at the chapel of St. John’s Cemetery in Queens. Yes, there was slapping. [Read more...]

A dal-what? The story behind the deacon’s vestment

  Wearing the dalmatic for Midnight Mass a few years ago, with my late pastor, Msgr. Joseph Funaro. Periodically, people ask me about that “robe” I wear during Mass. How come it has sleeves? What’s up with that?? My blog neighbor Kathy Schiffer, thankfully, has found some interesting answers, courtesy Zenit and Fr. Edward McNamara. [Read More...]

“Prepackaged” communion??

So, this seems to be a thing now. The image below is ricocheting around Facebook with the simple headline: “My church gave prepackaged communion,” but no other explanation. Okay. This is clearly not Catholic; anything like this in a Catholic setting would be invalid and illicit. (And have no fear: if Catholics found these things [Read More...]

Down syndrome teen hopes to serve Mass in every state

From Catholic News Service:  Kara Jackson, a 16-year-old altar server from Holy Family Parish in Middletown, Ohio is on a quest to serve at Mass in all 50 states.So far she has served at liturgies in 18 states after recently serving at a morning Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford.Kara’s endeavor is [Read More...]

Does it matter where you sit for Mass?

A couple weeks ago, Fr. Roger Landry wrote a column for his diocesan newspaper in which he argued that, yes, it does: When people come to a Church that is anything but standing room only, where they opt to worship indicates something about their attitude toward involvement at Mass. Sitting up front is normally a [Read More...]

“The Latin Mass appears to be alive and well”

That’s the assessment from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  When Pope Francis was first elected, he appeared to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square without the short, red velvet cape known as a mozzetta. Some Roman Catholics immediately cried foul, worried that the pope’s decision to forgo the more formal wear signaled a threat to traditional [Read More...]


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