Pope Francis reveals a saint he prays to every day

From The Catholic Herald:  Pope Francis has revealed that he prays to the English martyr St Thomas More every day. In his annual end of year address to Vatican officials the Pope said that there is a prayer to the saint for good humour which he prays daily saying that a healthy dose of humour [Read More...]

The pope offers a prayer tool: your hand

From Vatican Insider:  “When I pray God breathes in me.” This is the opening phrase of the 40-page prayer book signed by Francis and handed out to faithful present in St. Peter’s Square for today’s Angelus and the traditional “Bambinelli Blessing”. The front cover of the booklet published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican publishing house [Read More...]

Clergy on the scene in Ferguson

From Huffington Post:  Following the grand jury’s decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, thousands took to the streets in Ferguson, Missouri, and around the country to protest. As alternating scenes of peaceful demonstrations and those of violence, fire and looting were broadcast, Ferguson faith leaders repeatedly urged that the [Read More...]

Caught on video: an exorcism in the Czech Republic

This happened last winter, but this week the priest involved finally confirmed it is authentic.  Details:  A chilling video of an exorcism taken at a Czech Republic Catholic church shows the chilling task of removing Satan. The ritual was captured on camera by a man who heard the shrieks of the woman inside the sanctuary and filmed [Read More...]

Want some advice on prayer? Here.

One of my favorite Protestant preachers, Tim Keller, offers his perspective to RNS:  RNS: Many people don’t know what to say when they pray? Any advice here? TK: First, just pray what’s on your heart and don’t worry. God is wise and will hear your desire and answer the request in the best way. Second, use [Read More...]

What’s the #1 reason teens keep their faith as adults?

It’s the family, stupid. Details:  The holy grail for helping youth remain religiously active as young adults has been at home all along: parents. Mothers and fathers who practice what they preach and preach what they practice are far and away the major influence related to adolescents keeping the faith into their 20s, according to [Read More...]

Blessing the hands of hospice workers

A beautiful idea, from The Houston Chronicle:  At first glance, there was nothing extraordinary about the hands at the Houston Hospice blessing service. They were hands, calloused perhaps, with five fingers each. But these, those gathered at the center’s Cockrell Chapel insisted, were very special. They were hands in service to God, helping the terminally [Read More...]

Rest in peace, Msgr. Joseph Funaro

Yesterday, I asked for prayers for my pastor emeritus, Msgr. Joseph Funaro. Early this morning, his earthly journey came to an end.  He was 76. O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant, Joseph, to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal [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...]

Prayers for the Thom Peters—UPDATED

If you’ve been following the Thomas Peters updates on the web or on Facebook, you probably know he was scheduled for surgery this morning. Latest reports indicate it has been postponed because of an infection. Here’s yesterday’s update:  Thomas had another great day yesterday. In the morning he had 1.5 hours of Physical Therapy. His [Read More...]