Happy Candlemas

In my church tonight, we’re introducing a special liturgy to mark Candlemas, featuring Vespers, the blessing of candles and concluding with Benediction. So: what exactly is Candlemas?  Glad you asked: Today is a day of purification, renewal, and hope. On this day, exactly 40 days after Christmas, we commemorate Mary’s obedience to the Mosaic law [Read More...]

Cubans end year by honoring their patroness, Mary

In advance of tomorrow’s solemnity, and the start of a brand new year, Cuba paused to hail Mary: Thousands of Cuban Catholics flocked to Havana Bay for an open-air mass marking the end of a 16-month island tour of the statue of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, Cuba’s patron saint. The service was led [Read More...]

Homily for January 1, 2012: Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God

[Click here for readings] A lot of us had our travel interrupted over the holidays – flight delays, cancellations, weather problems.  But none, I think, can compare with the story of Msgr. Steve Rossetti. Msgr. Rossetti is a priest from the Diocese of Syracuse.  He teaches at Catholic University but every couple years, he goes [Read More...]

Controversial billboard vandalized amid protests

The billboard above, which I mentioned in this post, is literally coming under attack: A couple of hundred protesters are outside an Auckland Anglican church calling for a controversial Christmas billboard to be taken down. The group, which began gathering at 11am, were praying the Rosary and said the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Read More...]

Mary’s pregnancy test

The intentionally provocative image above — without any words — has been posted on a billboard by a church in New Zealand: Vicar Glynn Cardy said: ‘It’s real. Christmas is real. It’s about a real pregnancy, a real mother and a real child. It’s about real anxiety, courage and hope. This billboard portrays Mary, Jesus’ [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: “testify to the light”

Yesterday’s gospel began with a description of John the Baptist “testifying to the light,” preparing the way for the Christ.  Between Masses, I stopped by a side altar in our church and took the picture above with my cell phone: an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast is today, surrounded by roses.  When [Read More...]

Feel the joy!

I saw this last night on a friend’s Facebook page and spent part of the morning trying, without success, to find the artist.  It may be the most striking, moving, uplifting and utterly human depiction of The Visitation I’ve ever seen.  As we prepare for Christ’s coming, shouldn’t we all be feeling this way?  This [Read More...]

Dancing for Mary

It’s almost time for one of the biggest Marian feasts on the calendar, and in parts of Texas that will bring people into the streets for a colorful celebration: Wearing an emblem of the Virgin Mary on the front of their elaborate costumes and a guardian angel on the back, young dancers kick, march, stomp [Read More...]

After 800,000 visitors, Mary’s belt heads back to Greece

The reaction to this relic’s display in Moscow was phenomenal.  Now it’s headed home.  Details: The Belt of Our Blessed Virgin Mary has left Russia after 3 million people went to see it on its 15-city tour. In Moscow, more than 800,000 people came to see the holy relic that was taken back to Mount [Read More...]

Thousands of Russians line up to see “Holy Belt of the Virgin” — UPDATED

From our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Church, some news out of Moscow: The Holy Belt of Virgin, one of the most venerated relics of the Orthodox Christian world, has arrived in the Russian capital after a tour of the country which began Oct. 24 from St. Petersburg. Over 50 thousand faithful went to [Read More...]


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