A prayer for Joe Funaro

Msgr. Funaro, seated, with the parish clergy, just before Midnight Mass 2012.  My pastor emeritus, Msgr. Joseph Funaro, is gravely ill.  Please whisper a prayer for him and all who love him. He mentored me through diaconate formation, and helped make me the deacon I am today. Across the years, he has been a gracious [Read More...]

“Nothing short of a miracle”: mystery priest appears at crash site

You never see stories like this in the mainstream media, but here’s one from Missouri this week: Rescue workers want to thank a higher power for coming to the rescue early Sunday morning. Emergency crews spent an hour and a half trying to extricate a 19-year-old Quincy woman trapped in her in crushed car on [Read More...]

Open wide: Hundreds show up for Catholic Charities free dental clinic

From my Shamelessly Proud of Where I Came From file…a great story involving my alma mater in Maryland, St. Vincent Pallotti High School:  The first two people in line arrived within 10 minutes of each other Friday evening, ready to sleep on the sidewalk overnight for free dental care at a high school in Laurel on [Read More...]

Check it out: FAQ about deacons

Look at my tab bar.  Are you looking?  Right under the black-and-white church image with the words “The Deacon’s Bench”?  I’ve added a new tab: “FAQ ABOUT DEACONS.”  It’s pulled from the USCCB website, and offers some basic information about who deacons are and what they do.  I thought it might be helpful for anyone [Read More...]

Behold, the Orthodox deacons of Ethiopia

Do you have vestments like these? Over at our CNEWA blog, ONE-TO-ONE, there’s an interesting look at the clergy in that part of the world: Traditionally, a priest’s primary duty is the celebration of the Qeddase — in Ethiopia, typically five priests concelebrate — and other liturgical rites, particularly burials. Liturgical festivals feature rhythmic dancing, [Read More...]

Homily for November 18, 2012: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[This Sunday, my parish is celebrating the closing of its centennial. Bishop DiMarzio will be on hand, along with several priests who have close associations with the parish, for a massive concelebrated Mass at 12:30.  Also in the mix: a horde of altar servers, plus drums, timpani and a full choir.  According to the program, [Read More...]

My Pentecost: tongues of flame, and the heat of a minor crucible

So, how was your Pentecost?  Here’s a window into the world of a deacon — or at least, this particular deacon. Last Sunday, my pastor and I agreed that he would preach the “high” Mass on Pentecost, since at that Mass he was going to be doing the confirmations for about a dozen adults.  (My [Read More...]

My Catholic school: at the center of it all was Jesus

My parish is celebrating its centenary this year.  As part of the festivities, this weekend we had a special Mass at 1 p.m. honoring the school and its alumni.  Two of those alumni, Msgr. John McGuirl and Msgr. Ned Ryan, concelebrated.  Below is the homily I delivered for that event.  It’s a little rough; I [Read More...]

"Godspell" gets born again

With “Godspell,” as with so many things, you never forget your first time. Mine was in the spring of 1973, on an 8th grade class trip that took us down to Ford’s Theater in Washington to see that “hippie musical about Jesus,” as one of the nuns in the school disdainfully called it (though to [Read More...]

Ordination update: 27 new deacons in Brooklyn

Think I could overlook Brooklyn?  Fuggedaboutit. From the In My Backyard Desk: the ordinations happened this morning, and will surely mark a Memorial Day weekend these men and their families will never forget. The sacrament was celebrated at Our Lady of Angels Church in Brooklyn — one of the largest in the diocese, and a [Read More...]


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