Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil rehearsal

My Holy Saturday always begins with coffee and bagels with the RCIA folks in the rectory basement, followed by a two-hour rehearsal in the church of the Vigil, led by Deacon Bill McNamara (my ordination classmate and my parish’s DRE) and Father Frank Passenant, our administrator.  Also on hand is David James the head of [Read More...]

“I have to admit, seeing the pope go to confession was a pretty powerful thing”

That singular and historic moment—no pope had ever been seen going to confession before—may be having an impact this Lent. We offer the sacrament every day at my parish, and people report longer lines. Tonight, we’re bringing in extra priests to help handle the expected crowds after our 7:30 liturgy. A New Jersey newspaper takes [Read More...]

Heading to confession this week? Bring this with you.

I first posted this during Advent, but it seems even more timely now. Check it out:  Pope Francis called on the faithful to use the Internet as a source of hope.  Every click of the mouse, every arrow hovering over a link, can lead us either closer to or further from the Gospel.  As the Holy [Read More...]

Making Reconciliation matter: dioceses promote confession during Lent

I made mention of this in my homily today: a special day for the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Diocese of Brooklyn (see the ad above). Other places around my area are also promoting the sacrament. From NorthJersey.com:  One of loneliest places in church these days is the confession line. The act of confessing one’s [Read More...]

Lesbians’ baby baptized in Argentina’s cathedral

From CNN:  Umma Azul, whose godmother is the country’s President, on Saturday became the first child of a lesbian couple to be baptized by the Catholic Church in Argentina. Carina Villarroel and Soledad Ortiz asked Archbishop Carlos Jose Nanez for the blessing, according to national news agency Telam. The bishop reportedly said their marital status [Read More...]

Remarkable image: Pope Francis goes to confession — UPDATED

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photograph quite like this before: the pope going to confession. CNS tweets: Before pope goes to hear confessions, he kneels before a priest to confess himself UPDATE: Below is the video. I don’t mind admitting: it moved me to tears. I did a Google search and couldn’t find [Read More...]

Pope to confessors: “The heart of a priest is a heart that knows how to be moved”

From the Vatican, Pope Francis’ remarks to participants in a “Course on the Internal Forum,” dealing with reconciliation and the ministry of confessors: You are called to always be “men of the Holy Spirit,” witnesses and heralds, joyful and strong, of the resurrection of the Lord. This testimony is read on the face, is heard [Read More...]

Pope reflects on Holy Orders

Image: The Ordination of St. Lawrence by Fra Angelico From Vatican Radio: Greeting thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square for the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis spoke about the sacrament of Holy Orders, praying that the Lord may provide holy, generous and merciful pastors for his Church. Please find below the text [Read More...]

If this doesn’t make you want to get to Confession, nothing will

This has been making the rounds for a while. But I think it’s worth revisiting now, just several days before the start of Lent. It’s a video compilation of people who almost met their Maker—but survived to live another day. It reminds us how close any of us might be to the end of our [Read More...]

Happily ever after: when a Catholic wedding takes place behind bars

From Carol Glatz at CNS comes this great heart-tugger of a story:  Even a jailed inmate can have a fairytale, Catholic wedding. The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, ran a lovely story of one couple’s journey of preparation for the sacrament of marriage. It’s not your typical scenario: the couple had been together for 27 years, had [Read More...]


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