Any suggestions for a teenager thinking of the priesthood?

A woman in my parish dropped me a line today: I’d like your advice. The other day a young man, still a boy, told me he was thinking about becoming a priest.  I was very touched by the fact that he shared this with me. I’ll pray that God guides him until he reaches a [Read More...]

Something we never see, but should

It happened recently at our parish mission, and it was something I’ll never forget. The mission had an extraordinary turnout: what started with a couple hundred stalwart souls on Monday grew night after night, until the closing liturgy had a packed church of, I’d guess, close to a thousand people. But the most memorable of [Read More...]

The end of an era

As is the custom in the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, they ordained transitional deacons today, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at the 80-year-old facility shared by the two dioceses, the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York.  The occasion was beautiful but bittersweet:  this will likely be the last ordination [Read More...]

Saving lives, one homeboy at a time

For those who may have missed it, the great Fr. Greg Boyle (shown above) is about to become the first religious figure inducted in the California Hall of Fame — alongside such luminaries as The Beach Boys, Buzz Aldrin and Magic Johnson. On top of that, Fr. Greg is also a finalist for the Opus [Read More...]

Fr. Ken

A deacon friend sent this my way. It belongs to a priest, who explains: A long time ago, this friend, Mary Ryan (RIP) made me a Ken doll with a full set of liturgical colored vestments – here he is in purple for Advent, and stands in my office as a reminder that Advent is [Read More...]

Giving of himself: the remarkable gift of Fr. Val

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more moving story of generosity and gratitude than this amazing story, sent from a deacon reader: By the time parishioners, parents, students and staff at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception got Father Val’s e-mail that Tuesday morning, Nov. 8, he was already in surgery. “Peace in the Lord!” read [Read More...]

Los Angeles legend, “Father Dollar Bill,” dies

One of the angels of the City of Angels is gone. Details: Funeral services were pending Monday for the Rev. Maurice Chase, a Catholic priest known as “Father Dollar Bill” for his holiday giveaways of $1 bills to the homeless on Skid Row. Chase, 92, died Sunday night at his home in Los Angeles after [Read More...]

Torn: Catholic priest learns he’s a Jewish Holocaust survivor

That’s the compelling premise behind a new documentary shown recently in a New York film festival. Details: Imagine you are a Catholic priest in your 30s. Suddenly, at your mother’s deathbed, your world is turned completely upside-down. This was Polish Father Romuald Waszkinel experience when he learned that his real name is Yaacov (Jacob) Weksler [Read More...]

Is the New York seminary merger the way of the future?

Maybe.  That’s the interesting question at the heart of this piece in OSV: Father Shawn McKnight, executive director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently wrote that economic factors and the lack of enough priest-instructors are causing seminaries to merge or close, such as the [Read More...]

Three become one: historic merger of seminaries in New York

This ambitious move has been in the works for many months, but yesterday it became a reality.  From the In My Backyard Desk (with a cheerful diaconal bow in the direction of The Anchoress): Archbishop Dolan and his brother bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre Nov. 10 jointly signed [Read More...]


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