Brit boom: ordinations to priesthood higher than in the 1950′s

Some surprising and encouraging news out of England and Wales: New figures for 2012 show numbers of men and women entering religious orders have risen for the third year running, while ordinations to the priesthood have reached a ten-year high. There were 29 people entering religious life in 2010, rising to 36 in 2011 and 53 [Read More...]

A priest writes: “This is why I wear a collar…”

A couple years ago, when he was a mere seminarian, my blog neighbor Fr. Michael Duffy wrote passionately about how the collar is “yoke and witness” to his life and his vocation. Now another priest,  Father Chris Pietraszko, has sounded a similar chord, and I think it’s something people need to be reminded of: This is [Read More...]

The movie producer in a collar

Who knew? Details:  No sooner had Eric Andrews arrived on the set of “The Lost Valentine,” a 2011 Hallmark Channel movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Betty White, when his neckwear attracted attention. “People are looking at me, and trying to figure out who I was,” he said. “One of the actors came up and [Read More...]

Priests and deacons and blessings (oh my!)

With ordination season rapidly approaching, some helpful information from canon lawyer Dr. Ed Peters:  1. The practice of receiving a priest’s “first blessing” after his ordination Mass is a praiseworthy custom, but there is no specific indulgence attached to receiving such a blessing or, for that matter, to attending a cleric’s ordination Mass. 2. There [Read More...]

Meet Matt Malone, editor of America

I can report from personal experience that Fr. Matt Malone is a very nice man, and exceedingly tall.  I first met him a few years ago, when he was a guest on my TV show, “Currents.”  Now we’re both working as magazine editors. He’s being profiled in the New York Times. I’m not. Go figure. [Read More...]

Students start blog to support embattled chaplain

This is really quite remarkable. At a secular university, Catholic students have banded together to create a website expressing support for the faith-professing chaplain that gay students are trying to get fired. Dawn Eden has the scoop. You can find some of the wonderful testimonials here.   (I have to note: yesterday, after posting on this [Read More...]

Leap of faith: Russia’s parachuting priests!

Now for something completely different, from CNEWA’s blog One-to-One:  The Russian military unveiled an unlikely new weapon in its arsenal this month — an army of parachuting priests. The unit of chaplains, who have joined the Russian Airborne Force to train in parachute jumping and vehicle assembly, will operate out of flatpack churches that can [Read More...]

Oldest priest in Scranton dies on Good Friday at 99

Details:  The Diocese of Scranton’s oldest and longest-ordained priest, Monsignor James T. Clarke, died on Good Friday at age 99. Monsignor Clarke was ministering to others even on his deathbed, said the Rev. Thomas Muldowney, the vicar general/director of clergy personnel of the diocese. With his health failing, Monsignor Clarke was admitted Wednesday to Wilkes-Barre [Read More...]

How Pope Francis is reforming the priesthood

I wondered earlier this week if the new pontiff might have a profound impact on vocations.  Fr. Roger Landry in the National Catholic Register is sensing an impact, already, on the priesthood:  In his first couple of weeks as Pope, as well as his 14 years in Buenos Aires, Francis has been charting out the [Read More...]

Pope Francis to priests at Chrism Mass: “We need to ‘go out’ and give the Gospel to others”

From the Vatican, the text of Pope Francis’ homily at today’s Chrism Mass: Dear Brothers and Sisters, This morning I have the joy of celebrating my first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with affection, especially you, dear priests, who, like myself, today recall the day of your ordination. [Read More...]