Adios, Santa Cruz!

Thanks to all the Monterey deacons and their wives, who made this boy from Brooklyn feel like a West Coaster! The hospitality and spiritual welcome were both generous and warm. But a special thank you goes to Triple D: Deacon Doctor Ditewig, for inviting me to spend time with this great group.  The diaconate is [Read More...]

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Visiting Santa Cruz

Soon after I landed in San Francisco on Friday—in the city named for the saint of peace—I felt I was in the right place. Who should I see waiting for someone at the gate, but these gals? Deacon Bill Ditewig and his lovely wife Diann met me outside my baggage claim area, and we were [Read More...]

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Remembering Msgr. Joe Funaro

I can’t believe it’s been two years. In 2013, on the Vigil of the Assumption, the pastor who had mentored me through my formation entered eternal life. Those who knew him will tell you: there was no one quite like Joe Funaro—a big man with a big personality, a big appetite (for food and for [Read More...]

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California, here I come

This morning, I’m flying out to scenic Monterey, California, not too far from San Francisco, to lead a retreat for deacons and wives out there. The director of the diaconate program is some fellow named Ditewig.  I’m told the retreat house has WiFi. But I’m also told an ocean of some sort may be nearby. [Read More...]

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A new bishop drops by

We had the great privilege today of welcoming back to my parish Brooklyn’s newly ordained Bishop James Massa. Bishop Massa began his priesthood at our parish 29 years ago; it was his first parochial assignment after ordination, and he was chiefly responsible for introducing something new and different to the parish—RCIA—and was remembered by many longtime parishioners [Read More...]

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“Flat Francis” does Epcot

The paper pontiff hit a few of the sites in Orlando yesterday, starting out at the Basilica Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe. Somehow, he found his way to Epcot. He didn’t meet the height restrictions on the rides—which require that you be taller than 11″—but I did sneak him onto Test Track on [Read More...]

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Place of Jesus’ baptism in Jordan declared a UNESCO heritage site

From CNS: UNESCO declared Bethany Beyond the Jordan, on the eastern side of the Jordan River, as a World Heritage site and the location of Jesus’ baptism.“The decision is logical. The Eastern side is where all the Byzantine antiquities and churches are located,” said Franciscan Father Eugenio Alliata, professor of Christian archaeology at Jerusalem’s Studium [Read More...]

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Sign of hope

Flying out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport yesterday, this sign caught my eye: It’s a reminder of the invaluable airport chaplaincy that serves so many faithful travelers shuttling around the world. (That sign dissolved into another message: “God Bless Our Troops,” which made me wonder how much longer such a shockingly religious message will be [Read More...]

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“If anyone is discerning a calling, my advice is simple: Give the keys to God and see where he wants to take you.”

Some months back, my old friend Sister Camille D’Arienzo got in touch and asked me if I’d take part in her interview series for The National Catholic Reporter. I said sure. This week, they published the results. I’d more or less forgotten about it until a friend tonight sent me the link. Snip:  What have you learned [Read More...]

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Journey to Genesee: “Those who think they have arrived have lost their way”

I spent Saturday afternoon visiting with my sister, who lives part of the year in Geneseo, New York, about an hour’s drive southeast of Buffalo. She arranged for us to get a private tour of a place I’ve always wanted to visit: The Abbey of the Genesee, a well-known Trappist monastery just a short drive [Read More...]

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