“We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church…”

From Pope Francis’s “The Joy of the Gospel”:  102. “Lay people are, put simply, the vast majority of the People of God. The minority – ordained ministers – are at their service. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church. We can count on many lay [Read More...]

Did the pope reference Medjugorge in today’s homily?

Sounds that way:  The spirit of curiosity generates confusion and distances a person from the Spirit of wisdom, which brings peace, said Pope Francis in his homily during Thursday morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. The Pope began his homily by commenting on the first reading from the Book of Wisdom, which describes “the state [Read More...]

CDF issues letter on Medjugorje; warns against taking authenticity of apparitions for granted—UPDATED

From Rorate Caeli:  At the very least it signals that the Medjugorje Commission is still actively investigating the alleged “apparitions”, and refutes the assumption, held in some “Marian” circles, that the apparitions are presumed to be genuine pending the final judgment of Rome. The letter reads, in part: The Congregation has affirmed that, with regard to the [Read More...]

Breezy Point’s Mary statue to be part of Sandy remembrance

From the Wall Street Journal:  On Tuesday night, St. Thomas More church will once again be the cornerstone of Breezy Point, the close-knit, mostly Irish community where hundreds of homes burned and flooded during superstorm Sandy. To remember the one-year anniversary, the church will host a Mass with readings and a sermon. And at the center of [Read More...]

“Am I a Christian full-time?”

“Mary said her ‘yes’ to God: a ‘yes’ which threw her simple life in Nazareth into turmoil, and not only once. Any number of times she had to utter a heartfelt “yes” at moments of joy and sorrow, culminating in the ‘yes’ she spoke at the foot of the Cross. Here today there are many [Read More...]

Two popes, one mother and the rosary

In 2005, the monthly magazine 30 Days invited 20 cardinals from around the world to share their remembrances of the just-deceased Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio—now, of course, Pope Francis—wrote the following: If I remember well it was 1985. One evening I went to recite the Holy Rosary that was being led by [Read More...]

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us

Longtime FOB Deacon Charles Rohrbacher in Alaska—a very gifted iconographer—sent me the image above with a note: It is the icon of Our Lady, Queen of Peace. I completed late last night. We’ll be praying with it tomorrow at the Cathedral as part of the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria. Our [Read More...]

First look: “Mary of Nazareth” trailer

This fall’s must-see Catholic movie?  Fr. Donald Calloway got an early look and raved: The most stunning portrayal of the Virgin Mary on film. It will make you want to love her more than ever. An absolute masterpiece! Yes, my friends, I can assure you that we finally have a movie that gets Mary totally [Read More...]

Homily for the Vigil of the Assumption

[From the vault: here's my 2010 homily for the vigil of tomorrow's feast.] Years ago, a friend gave me a holy card with an unusual depiction of the Blessed Mother. She is visibly pregnant, and reading from a book – praying from scripture. As my friend explained to me: it’s a great image for a [Read More...]

The Assumption and the “Wedding of the Sea”

Thursday marks the Solemnity of the Assumption—n.b., a holy day of obligation—and an occasion for some memorable traditions, most notably the blessing of sea water. This is a custom we started at my parish several years ago (even though we are a long subway ride from the Atlantic Ocean). One of the priests collects some [Read More...]


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