The benediction for the inauguration

Elizabeth Tenety at the Washington Post notes:  The Rev. Luis Leon gave the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration Monday, praying that “with your blessing, we can see each other created in your image, a unit of God’s grace, unprecedented, irrepeatable (sic) and irreplaceable.” Leon also included a reference to ‘gay or straight’ Americans as created in God’s image, [Read More...]

After abortion: “I was standing alone in a sterile room wearing a hospital gown…”

I doubt you’ll read anything more harrowing or heartbreaking  than this remembrance by Katrina Fernandez of her abortion, which begins: With the upcoming March For Life, the topic of abortion seems to be every where at the moment. Because of this it’s been on my mind daily. Perhaps these daily reminders is what triggered the [Read More...]

Obama picks Episcopal priest for inauguration prayer

He replaces Louie Giglio, the evangelical pastor who found himself in hot water for his remarks on homosexuality two decades ago. From CNN:  The president has picked a neighbor to deliver the closing prayer at the inauguration. The Rev. Luis León told CNN on Tuesday the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee invited him [Read More...]

A first: Obama chooses laywoman to give invocation at inaugural

From the Washington Post:  President Obama has picked Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers, to deliver the invocation at his public swearing-in later this month. It is believed to be the first time a woman, and a layperson rather than a clergy member, has been chosen to deliver what may be [Read More...]

Open thread: blessing for a cadaver??

Here’s a new one on me.  I got this e-mail today, from a campus minister at a large university: We have a big Nursing program here and I was recently asked by one of the professors to do a blessing over the cadaver they will be using this semester.  I was wondering: is there any [Read More...]

The Christmas message from Newtown’s pastor

Msgr. Robert Weiss published the following in his parish bulletin this week: Dear Parishioners, Had I written my Christmas message a couple of weeks ago as I had planned, it would have had a far different tone than this message. We have not only witnessed one of the greatest tragedies in the world, but we [Read More...]

Pray for this priest…

You’ve seen his picture, the young man in the middle shown here, next to Newtown’s Msgr. Weiss.  Now, hear his story: (H/T Mark Shea and Tom Crowe) The following comes from the priest’s sister: My friends, All of you, I am sure, have heard so much about the tragedy in Newtown, CT. Many of you [Read More...]

Encore: bishops plan second Fortnight for Freedom for 2013

Don’t throw away those foam fingers yet.  From the USCCB website:  The U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a pastoral strategy addressing critical life, marriage and religious liberty concerns. The five-part strategy or call to prayer was approved by the bishops in November and is set to begin after Christmas. The overall focus is to invite [Read More...]

Apocalypse? Now!

Elizabeth Scalia at First Things offers some beautiful, hope-filled words of wisdom in the wake of the election: We begin, I think, by giving simple thanks to God for the election—without conditions or sly assumptions that we know anything or are somehow colluding with Providence. That sounds counterintuitive, I know, but whenever I think a [Read More...]

From Catholic to Buddhist and back again

Some insight on prayer from author and professor Susan Stabile, and I can’t help but think some of her ideas here would not be unfamiliar to Thomas Merton: Becoming a Tibetan Buddhist nun is not a typical life choice for a child of an Italian Catholic police officer from Brooklyn, New York. Nevertheless, in February [Read More...]