Why do Catholics have to get married in church?

That’s the gist of this piece by writer Cara McDonough, who raises a question that’s increasingly common these days.  I get several calls a year from people who ask if I can do a wedding for them in a catering hall or on a beach.  (Usually, it’s after a priest has turned them down; deacons, [Read More...]

Family charges “cruel discrimination” over communion

Details, from the London Daily Mail: The parents of a seven-year-old boy with Down’s Syndrome have accused the Catholic Church of ‘cruel discrimination’ for refusing to allow him to take Holy Communion. Denum Ellarby attends a mainstream Roman Catholic primary school and his parents wanted him to join his classmates in the First Communion ceremony. [Read More...]

Low-gluten hosts: the bread of life for those who can’t eat bread

An issue that is often overlooked in many parishes is now getting renewed attention — thanks, in part, to a deacon candidate from Chicago: After Stuart Heyes was diagnosed with celiac disease last year, he learned that a gluten-free diet would prevent the pain he experienced after meals, which he described as “like the food is having [Read More...]

A liturgical practice to give you paws

I’m not sure why I’m suddenly seeing all these stories about priests and pooches, but here’s another.  From USA TODAY (and Creative Minority Report): Father Roy Snipes has more assistance than most priests in Masses, counseling sessions and confessions: his dogs. The big mixed-breeds — sometimes as many as five of them — provide the [Read More...]

Mass on a mountain

From the Diocese of Des Moines Facebook page: Thanks to Mercy Medical Center for providing this image from Africa, taken of Msgr. Frank Bognanno celebrating Mass on the eve of the Epiphany. The service, attended by Catholics, Christians, Jews and Muslims, was for a group of cancer survivors and caregivers, including Msgr. Bognanno, who are [Read More...]

“Christ is bathed in light…”

“Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him. John is baptizing when Jesus draws near. Perhaps he comes to sanctify his baptizer; certainly he comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters. He comes to sanctify the [Read More...]

More divorces spell out religious practice in custody agreements

And it can create quite a few complications. From the Washington Post: A cultural shift in thinking about parenting and gender roles has led to a surge in divorced couples agreeing to more detailed shared custody arrangements that increasingly spell out how they will practice and talk about their religious faith. Agreements of the past [Read More...]

Taking Jesus to the people

It turns out this dramatic display last week wasn’t an isolated incident.  The pastor at St. Raymond’s in Downey, California has done this at least once before. (H/T to Diane at Te Deum). Below is an event from last summer. By way of comparison, it’s worth taking a look at another kind of “Eucharistic flash [Read More...]

Shock: number of married couples hits record low

Details, from the Washington Post: The proportion of adults who are married has plunged to record lows as more people decide to live together now and wed later, reflecting decades of evolving attitudes about the role of marriage in society. Just 51 percent of all adults who are 18 and older are married, placing them on [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...]


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