My Holy Thursday

Jesus, moved tonight to a temporary altar erected in the middle of our church.  (Click to enlarge the pictures). This was accomplished with a beautiful candlelight processional around the darkened church, complete with Pange Lingua Gloriosi… Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s Glory, Of His flesh the myst’ry sing: Of the Blood, all price exceeding, Shed [Read More...]

"Do you mind if I kneel for communion?" — UPDATED

A young woman approached me before mass on Palm Sunday to ask that question. I replied, “Of course not.  That’s fine.”  She smiled sheepishly and said, “I know some priests don’t like it.”   I reassured it that it was okay, and she later came to my communion station, knelt, and received on the tongue. [Read More...]

Got a backpack of sins? Unpack 'em in confession!

Here’s a very cool entry in the iConfess video contest. It’s Reconciliation Monday here in New York.  Want to get something off your chest (or off your back)?  Now’s the perfect time to do it. Here’s one reason why… [Read more...]

From 1897: How to hear a woman's confession

Since this is Reconciliation Monday in the greater New York City area — three dioceses are “leaving the light on” until 9 pm tonight, so people can go to confession — here’s a fascinating glimpse at the sacrament from the 19th century, courtesy Pat McNamara, who found this advice in a manual for seminarians: A [Read More...]

On cohabitation: laying down the law in Santa Fe

The Archbishop there, Michael Sheehan, has issued a pastoral letter that was read at all masses this past weekend. A snip: We have three groups of people who are living contrary to the Gospel teaching on marriage: those who cohabit; those who have a merely civil union with no previous marriage; and those who have [Read More...]

Splash of recognition: on celebrating baptism

Last weekend, I wrote about my experience baptizing 15 babies (gulp).  Today, I talk a bit more about deacons and the sacrament in my column “All Things New”: We find ourselves intersecting with people at critical pinpoints in their lives—baptisms, weddings, wakes. Moments of arrival and departure, beginnings and endings. But there’s something about baptisms [Read More...]

Sunday's baptisms: 15 babies, 30 parents, 200 people

That was the tally, roughly, for this Sunday’s baptism, which looked a little like this: I’d mentioned this large group in a post on Saturday, and some people were shocked. I was a little apprehensive about it myself — my wife, “Minister of the Towel and Oils” had misgivings, too. The last time I’d baptized [Read More...]

A Lenten reminder: have you been to confession lately?

If not, this might help. [Read more...]

Taking a plunge: Catholic weddings drop dramatically

Is the Church doing something wrong? Why are more people opting for weddings that have nothing to do with a church? Details, from the Providence-Journal in Rhode Island: Michaela Connors-Mare never set out to marry outside the Catholic Church. It just turned out that way. It was 2005. Michaela, then 29, had met Nelson Mare [Read More...]

The reluctant penitent: my journey back to confession

Been to confession lately?  Lent is a good time to do that — and I talk about my own experience as a reluctant penitent in this week’s column, “All Things New”: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” I spoke the words clearly, firmly, just as I had been taught by Sister St. Margaret. This [Read More...]


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