A letter from the Vatican…

Well, here’s something you don’t get every day. It arrived by email last week from Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization: I guess that phone call I got last summer wasn’t a mistake after all, and this makes it official. Excuse me while I pick myself [Read More…]

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This week’s ear worm: “Lead Me, Lord…”

This one is so deeply ingrained into my brain, I was even singing it this morning in the shower. This contemporary hymn by John Becker was the recessional at the three Masses I served and preached at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania this weekend. (You can hear a good rendition here). I [Read More…]

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Hello, Altoona!

I’ll soon be on the road again:  This weekend, once again CNEWA will be hitting the road. As we did recently in Illinois, we’ll be visiting a parish in Altoona, Pennsylvania: St. John the Evangelist. I’ll be preaching at all the Masses and members of our development team will be on hand to meet parishioners, pass out information [Read More…]

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On the road: big sky, big mountains, big hearts

I finally got home late (very late) Sunday from a long weekend in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana, where I led a retreat for the deacons and their wives. The diocese is big. No, it’s huge. No, it’s GINORMOUS. The website says it “comprises the eastern two-thirds of the State of Montana and includes [Read More…]

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Conversion story: transforming a seminary into another kind of school

From the In My Backyard Desk, Elizabeth Scalia at Aleteia writes about one of my favorite places to visit on retreat: the beautiful Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York: When the seminarians of Long Island’s Seminary of the Immaculate Conception were transferred to St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers as a part of a unique [Read More…]

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Westward, ho!

I’m heading to Montana early Thursday morning to lead a retreat for deacons and their wives in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. Checking reviews for the resort where we’ll be staying, I was a little surprised to learn there may be bears. I’m hoping it’s more like this: I’ll let you know. Blogging may be light, and [Read More…]

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What kind of New York will Pope Francis find?

My colleague Tom McDonald writes about that in the National Catholic Register:  When Pope Francis lands at Kennedy International Airport, it will be the first papal visit to New York since Benedict spent three days there in April 2008. What kind of New York will he find? Deacon Greg Kandra of the Diocese of Brooklyn [Read More…]

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A found treasure: Davenport’s Sacred Heart Cathedral

I spent this weekend in western Illinois, preaching at a parish about CNEWA (more on that later), but my colleague Chris Kennedy and I had some time to kill Saturday, so we headed to nearby Iowa to see the sites. We didn’t to look far to find them. Bernie Sanders supporters were everywhere. Following every steeple [Read More…]

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Hello, Peoria!

I’ll be visiting scenic Geneseo, Illinois this weekend, in the Diocese of Peoria, to give pulpit talks on behalf of CNEWA. If you’re in the neighborhood stop on by! I’ll be speaking at all the Masses at St. Malachy Parish on East Ogden Ave. Learn what CNEWA is doing to support persecuted Christians in the Middle [Read More…]

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Adventures in diakonia: no, I’m Catholic…really…

So I was in the checkout line at the store a few days back, and the woman at the cash register noticed the deacon cross embroidered on my shirt. She brightened. “Oh, are you Methodist?,” she asked. I laughed. No, I said, and explained. I can’t blame her. Understandable mistake. [Read more…]

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