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...]

Should we be like Monaco?

Below, a brief report on the Catholic wedding of Prince Albert (not, it seems, in a can) and Charlene Wittstock.  This came a day after their civil ceremony. Given what has just happened in New York State with gay marriage, should the church in the United States get out of the marriage racket altogether and [Read More...]

"Man and woman naturally complement each other…"

A  good dissection of marriage can be found  right here by Dick Houck, of the Catholic Defense League (not to be confused, evidently, with the Catholic League): Man and woman naturally complement each other physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. They were made to give themselves completely and fully to each other, for the two to [Read More...]

Corpus Christi in Queens

Scenes from my parish on Sunday.  Click to enlarge. Photos by Joanna Sokolowska [Read more...]


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