"Operation I Do" to marry up to 20 couples in one ceremony

How’s this for a wedding-a-palooza, from Catholic San Francisco: St. Thomas More Parish in San Francisco is hosting a wedding for as many as 20 couples — one parish’s response to a decline of almost 50 percent in weddings among Catholics in the past two decades. “We’ll be doing a real shebang. Areal wedding,” said [Read More...]

First look: snazzy confessionals for World Youth Day

No question: you’ll definitely be able to spot them in a crowd. Take a look: Details, from Women of Grace (h/t New Advent) Young people who want to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation at World Youth Day will be able to do so in ultra-modern portable confessionals that resemble a sailing ship and will sport [Read More...]

Divorced grandfather ordained a priest in California

He’s shown above with his children and grandchildren (and, according to the caption, his ex-wife on the far right).  His surprising vocation is described in The Tidings: Grandfather-of-three, Patrick Sheridan, was ordained a Benedictine priest during a July 16 concelebrated Mass at St. Mary in Palmdale with Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar, presider, and Abbot Damien [Read More...]

The Sunday they received communion in space

Somehow I missed this when it made news a few years back. But blogger Kathy Schiffer, in looking back on the spirituality of space travel, mentions a remarkable communion service that took place in the heavens. This comes from a 2004 article in St. Anthony Messenger by astronaut Thomas Jones, describing one memorable moment on [Read More...]

What's the secret of a successful parish?

New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan has the answer. From his blog: “What makes this place tick?”  I quizzed the exuberant pastor as he showed me around the parish, renowned for its high rate of Sunday Mass attendance; first-rate school; excellent religious education for kids, teenagers, young adults, and adults; remarkably effective stewardship; and successful initiatives [Read More...]

Report: fewer priests, fewer parishes, more masses

Does this sound familiar? Details: More U.S. Catholics are attending Masses at fewer parishes staffed by a rapidly declining corps of priests, according to a new report on “The Changing Face of U.S. Catholic Parishes.” Produced by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate for the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership project of five [Read More...]

Convalidation: making a marriage complete

As I noted yesterday, I spent the weekend down south, for a family wedding in Virginia. It was my wife’s sister, and it was her second marriage.  I went there with a lot of complicated and conflicted feelings; I’d attended her first wedding, nearly 30 years ago, celebrated at a Catholic church in Maryland and [Read More...]

Eucharistic miracle in Minnesota?

Officials are investigating, according to this report: The mystery centers on a consecrated host that the Rev. John Echert of St. Augustine Church said fell to the floor last month during Holy Communion and turned “blood red” after being placed in a cup filled with water. It has yet to fully dissolve, he said. “It was notable enough that, [Read More...]

Shock: proposed law in Ireland would order breaking confession seal

If passed, Ireland would reportedly become the first and only country in the Western world with such a law on the books. Details, from Pat Archbold: The Irish government, including the person no less than the Prime Minister, the Minister for Justice, and the Minister for Children are all backing legislation that would require priests [Read More...]

10 great benefits of confession

We hear a lot about this during Lent.  But here’s a helpful reminder that this sacrament is welcome, and necessary, all year ’round. From Sr. Mary Ann Walsh at the USCCB: Penance, aka confession, is the sacrament of the forgiveness of sin. You can’t beat it for convenience. It’s available practically whenever. Tell a priest [Read More...]


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