I Thought That Name Sounded Familiar…

The other day, I posted the remarkable story of Rev. Thomas Vander Woude, and his passionate plea on Facebook to save an unborn child with Down syndrome. It turns out that one of Fr. Vander Woude’s brothers was born with Down syndrome.   That brother nearly died in a horrible accident a few years back. [Read More...]

Reading the tea leaves: married priests and women deacons?? —UPDATED

Fr. Michael P. Orsi—a research fellow and scholar at Ave Maria University in Florida— makes some observations about what Francis can change, and what he can’t:  Church discipline is the rules the church enforces for the good of her members.  These often have a long history and must not be tampered with lightly.  However, they can [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...]

In Philadelphia, deacons will witness marriages and wear the collar—UPDATED

A deacon in the City of Brotherly Love sent me an e-mail about a little brotherly love from the archbishop. Below is the text of a letter sent to the priests and deacons of Philadelphia: February 13, 2013  Dear Brother Priests and Deacons, An important part of the life and work of the Church [Read More...]

On pilgrimage: deacons and priests among the Mayans

The following e-mail arrived last night, from Deacon Dennis Kelly of Seattle: Greetings from Central America. Three deacons from the Seattle Archdiocese helped celebrate Mass with the Tzutuhill Mayan people in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, this past Sunday. All are part of the Maryknoll Martyrs Pilgrimage for clergy (14 priests and four deacons) to El Salvador [Read More...]

Historic: dual ordination of priests and deacons

Details from the Catholic Transcript:  Tears of joy flowed among family members and others as the Archdiocese of Hartford welcomed three men to the priesthood and five men to the transitional diaconate during a two-and-a-half-hour ceremony Dec. 1 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. It was the first dual ordination of priests and deacons performed [Read More...]

Bishops, priests and deacons together: Brooklyn’s clergy convocation

Just got back from the second-ever joint clergy convocation for my diocese—a remarkable gathering of bishops, priests and deacons.  (Shown above: the cover for the prayer booklet, featuring an image of the three levels of Holy Orders.) There was a healthy turnout—easily, a couple hundred clergy gathered under one roof—and a good deal of camaraderie [Read More...]

Remembering 9/11: the final moments of Fr. Mychal Judge

From the documentary “9/11.” I’d forgotten that this was online.  The documentary shows the last minutes in the life of Fr. Judge — moments, clearly, spent in prayer.   H/T to The Anchoress for reminding us about this. [Read more...]

"Love your Church, love God's people…

Those are the beautiful sentiments that conclude this 1990 ordination homily from Cardinal John O’Connor, which was published recently in the Catholic Review: As your bishop, I give you but one mandate: love our Church, love God’s people. Love them for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. Love them [Read More...]


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