Pope baptizes 20 babies in Sistine Chapel

Details:  The frescoed walls of the Sistine Chapel are ringing with the wails and coos of newborns as Pope Benedict XVI presides over his annual Mass to baptize 20 babies. Other babies slept through the Mass during which Benedict told the godparents their job is to teach the faith by example, even if it’s unfashionable, [Read More...]

Flu outbreak: Boston suspends using the cup

New York’s governor has just declared that the flu this season has reached epidemic proportions:  This flu season is nothing to sneeze at. Gov. Cuomo declared a statewide public health emergency Saturday to combat what’s already been a severe flu season. The declaration will make it easier for vaccinations to get to more children. “We are [Read More...]

Homily for January 13, 2013: Baptism of the Lord

[Click here for readings.] At home, I have a little green book that someone gave me as an ordination gift: it’s the Rite of Baptism for Children, with all the prayers and readings for the sacrament. In the back, there’s a notation I scribbled on the inside cover: “Margaret Flanagan.  July 1, 2007.  First baby [Read More...]

Seattle lays out “policy refresher” regarding same sex marriage

From the Archdiocese of Seattle website, some guidelines that I suspect will soon be appearing in other parts of the country, too: With voters’ approval of Referendum 74, same-sex marriage is legal in Washington state beginning Dec. 6. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain responded to the passage of R-74 in an archdiocesan “policy refresher” sent to [Read More...]

One of the most commonly asked questions about communion…

I hear this a lot. “I’ve already received communion.  Can I receive again?” No less than two people asked me this question on Saturday, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.  They’d been to Mass for the feast day, and were then attending Mass in the evening for their Sunday obligation. The short answer is: yes. [Read More...]

West Point chapel hosts first same-sex wedding —UPDATED

Another sign of the times, from Associated Press: Cadet Chapel, the landmark Gothic church that is a center for spiritual life at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, hosted its first same-sex wedding Saturday. Penelope Gnesin and Brenda Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate, exchanged vows in the regal church in an afternoon ceremony, [Read More...]

Confirmation controversy: another teen also “chose not to enter into full communion” over same sex marriage

The story that broke last week keeps widening.  The latest: The teenager who was not confirmed at the Catholic church here after he publicly supported same-sex marriage was not the only student who was denied the religious sacrament for backing gay marriage, the church’s priest said in a letter made public Friday. In the letter, [Read More...]

That teenager who was denied Confirmation? There’s more to the story

The media firestorm has so far not included anything more than cursory comments from the parish priest.  Until now. From LifeSite News: The parents of a 17-year-old boy in Minnesota are claiming that their parish priest denied their son the sacrament of Confirmation because he posted a photo in support of gay ‘marriage’ on his [Read More...]

Congratulations, George and Treasa!

FOB (Friend of the Bench) and assistant managing editor of the Catholic Review in Baltimore, George Matysek, tied the knot this weekend at Charm City’s historic basilica — just in time for the annual fall gathering of the USCCB just down the road. George’s new sister-in-law writes about the wedding here.  The happy couple has been [Read More...]

A sacrament on the digital continent

A remarkable and utterly 21st century experience from Concord Pastor Fr. Austin Fleming: Yesterday afternoon I was called by a hospice chaplain at a local nursing home to come and administer the Anointing of the Sick to a dying resident.  I found “Maria” in the company of her three daughters and a son-in-law.  Maria is [Read More...]


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