A prayer for our times: “Way of the Cross in Solidarity with the Persecuted Church”

These were composed by Archbishop Samir Nassar, the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, and published in the UK’s Catholic Herald.  From the 4th Station, Jesus Meets His Mother: Wounded and suffering, carrying the cross of humanity, Jesus meets his mother and the face of all humanity. In this mutual suffering between son and mother a new humanity [Read More...]

As the blizzard approaches: “A Prayer Against Storms”

By all accounts, we’re in for a whopper in New York City. As we await its arrival, I offer this popular prayer against storms. Lord, hear our prayer: Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. + God became man, + and the Word was made flesh. + Christ was born of a  [Read More...]

Meet the man who launched the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Paul Wattson via OSV/CNS He’s Rev. Paul Wattson a former Episcopal priest—the son of an Episcopal priest, in fact—who converted to Catholicism and who also co-founded Catholic Near East Welfare Agency (CNEWA), the papal agency where I work. Father Paul is now being considered for sainthood. Some background, from OSV:  Born in 1863 in Millington, Maryland, [Read More...]

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...]

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...]

Devotion to St. Pio

My parish has undertaken a novena to St. Pio—popularly known as “Padre Pio.” We’ve moved a large statue of the saint from its place in a side chapel, to a prominent position in the sanctuary. A number of people were drawn to him after Mass today. Oh blessed Saint Padre Pio, you were a priest [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...]