Denver announces plan to restore order of sacraments

Following in the footsteps of Honolulu, the Archdiocese of Denver is moving to put the reception of First Communion after Confirmation:  Archbishop Samuel Aquila will host a live phone call at the end of the month to discuss his initiative to restore the sacraments of initiation—baptism, confirmation and Eucharist—to their original order, which places confirmation [Read More...]

Best. Catholic. Wedding. Video. Ever.

A couple months ago, FOTB (Friend of the Bench) Paul Morisi—Coordinator of Adolescent and Young Adult Faith Formation for the Diocese of Brooklyn—got hitched. He’s just posted a video of that happy event. And it’s glorious. This is a must-see. Full of romance, sentiment, joy and—really—faith. If this doesn’t brighten your Monday, nothing will. Congratulations, [Read More...]

It’s that time again: First Communion

Some shots from the big event at my parish this morning. The atmosphere seemed less chaotic than usual—and the parents were well-behaved. (I credit our administrator—who read them the riot act, nicely, before the Mass began.) Tomorrow, they get a chance to wear their communion outfits one more time, for their first Sunday Mass. I hope [Read More...]

Ahead of the Synod, proposing a change for the Sacrament of Penance

From Chiesa in Italy, come details of one theological proposal that would not permit communion for the divorced and remarried, but would extend sacramental grace: The author is the Dominican theologian Thomas Michelet, of the theological faculty of Fribourg, Switzerland.Fr. Michelet’s proposal is to institute an “ordo paenitentium” for those who find themselves in a persistent [Read More...]

Bishop plans to return sacraments of initiation to “their proper order”

Below is part of a letter issued last week by Bishop Larry Silva, from Honolulu: Dear parents, priests, deacons, youth ministers, faith formation staff and Catholic school administrators, I am writing this letter to invite you to take an active role by reading the articles regarding the plan to return the sacraments of initiation to [Read More...]

When non-Catholics receive communion—UPDATED

  View image | < At Cardinal Francis George’s funeral Thursday, the governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, evidently received communion. There’s just one problem: Rauner is not Catholic. That is notable. But so is this fact: non-Catholics are permitted to receive the sacrament under certain limited circumstances. And some prominent non-Catholics have done just that in [Read More...]

Just another typical Catholic wedding—complete with gunshots

My traveling companion and blog neighbor Marge Fenelon captured on video a particularly lively part of the Greek Catholic Melkite wedding in Jordan I wrote about last week: the entrance of the bride and groom. You have to see this. And listen for the gunshots. That moment almost gave me a coronary. A Melkite deacon reader, after [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: witnessing a Melkite wedding

After leaving Petra this morning, bound for The Dead Sea, we stopped at a Greek Melkite Catholic Church, St. George, and caught part of a traditional wedding ceremony. This was something to see. And it was, literally, a shotgun wedding: someone in the wedding party fired a pistol into the air as the bride and [Read More...]

Pittsburgh eliminates fees for marriage annulments

Welcome news. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a trend. Details:   The Diocese of Pittsburgh has eliminated fees for annulments in keeping with comments by Pope Francis that the church should make it easier for some divorced Roman Catholics to remarry and receive other sacraments. “My staff and I have long dreamed of [Read More...]

Reconciliation, from the priest’s point of view

Yesterday, I posted about my visit to a church in midtown Manhattan to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Today, my blog neighbor Fr. Michael Duffy tells the story from the other side of the screen:  I walked into the church at ten to three and already fifty people were waiting.  I went into the priest’s sacristy, [Read More...]