Despite decline in Catholicism, millions turn out for Brazilian celebration of Mary

RNS reports:  More than 2 million worshippers, pilgrims and onlookers poured around an 11-inch wooden figure of the Virgin Mary as it made its way through the streets. A crush of the faithful heaved and hauled away at a rope that stretched over a thousand feet from the cart that bore the beloved statue, dragging [Read More...]

Church militant?

Here’s something different, via CNS:  The head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Oct. 13 ordered all military chaplains to dedicate their daily rosary for the safe visit of Pope Francis to their country in January.Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. gave the directive during an Oct. 13 Mass at the military headquarters cathedral to commemorate [Read More...]

Barbie-as-Virgin-Mary art exhibit cancelled

You may remember this item from a couple weeks back. Now, the exhibit has been nixed. From the AP:  A provocative art exhibit featuring Barbie fashion dolls as religious figures such as the Virgin Mary and her boyfriend Ken as a crucified Jesus Christ has been canceled amid complaints and threats by angry believers, the artists [Read More...]

Barbie as the Virgin Mary?

This image has been popping up around social media, with the news that Argentina is producing a Virgin Mary Barbie Doll: But before you run out to Toys-R-Us to pick one up, check out the rest of the story: Pool Paolini y Marianela Perelli are the artists behind the controversial “Barbie, The Plastic Religion” exhibit which will be [Read More...]

Pierced: Our Lady of Sorrows

Today marks this feast—which is also the feast day for my parish.  Below, a statue depicting Mary, pierced with seven swords for her seven sorrows, at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Charlotte, North Carolina. [Read more...]

“The birth of Jesus from the womb of Mary is the prelude to the rebirth of every Christian in the womb of the church”

During his audience today, Pope Francis had some consoling words for persecuted Christians in Iraq, and also spoke beautifully about the Church’s role as a mother to us all: “We are not orphans! We have a mom, a mother” in the church and in Mary, he said. “The birth of Jesus from the womb of [Read More...]

On the alleged apparitions in Bayside: “These supposed visions completely lack credibility”

Word about these “apparitions” pops up from time to time on my Facebook feed.  People continue to disseminate the “messages” from something that was soundly condemned by the Church decades ago. That may be one reason why the Bishop of Brooklyn, Nicholas DiMarzio, last week issued the following statement:  Today, I write in order to [Read More...]

Pope encourages Muslim-Christian group meeting “Together Around Mary, Our Lady”

From ZENIT:  The 8th Islamic-Christian Prayer Meeting was held Tuesday, feast of the Annunciation, in Beirut, Lebanon, and focused on the theme “Together around Mary, Our Lady.” The Solemnity of the Annunciation is marked by both Christians and Muslims and was declared a national holiday by the Lebanese government in 2010 The meeting was organized [Read More...]

“How can this be?”: a homily for The Annunciation

From the vault, here’s part of a homily from Advent in 2008, with some thoughts on the feast we celebrate on March 25: +++ How many of us have been blindsided by events we never expected – a twist on  life’s path that we never saw coming, for better or for worse — and asked  [Read More...]

What’s the scoop on Medjugorje?

One of the most balanced writers on this subject, across several years, has been Diane Korzeniewski, whose blog Te Deum laudamus  has followed the saga of Medjugorje with clarity and charity. She responds today to reports in Italian media that appear to quote people with inside information who have concluded that what is happening in [Read More...]