Want to become a better confessor?

I got an email yesterday about this, and it looks very enticing: The Thomistic Institute will be holding its fourth annual Conference for Priests, Becoming a Better Confessor: Using the Virtues and Vices in the Confessional, this summer at Baltimore’s historic Basilica of the Assumption, from July 7-9, 2015. We have put together a great [Read More…]

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For Lent, Chicago offers “Festival of Forgiveness”

I’ll be curious to hear how this event went. Vatican Insider reports: From 12 noon yesterday (Friday 27th) until midday today (Saturday 28th) local time, the doors of many Catholic churches in Chicago will be open to all those seeking forgiveness, mercy and consolation through prayer. The “Festival of Forgiveness”, promoted by the Archbishop of Chicago [Read More…]

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After desecrations, bishop orders all tabernacles in his diocese to be emptied

Details:  In response to the desecration of ten parishes since October, including five on February 6-7, the bishop of Bellay-Ars has ordered the Blessed Sacrament removed from the tabernacles of all parish churches and chapels. The Blessed Sacrament, Bishop Pascal Roland decreed, must be kept in a more secure location, and tabernacle doors must be [Read More…]

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Pope Francis reminds Roman Rota that sacraments are free—and annulments should be, too

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis received the judges and advocates of the Roman Rota on Friday, to inaugurate the tribunal’s 2015 judicial term. The Roman Rota is the highest ordinary appellate court in the Church’s judicial system. The bulk of the work of the Rota involves deciding cases of marital nullity – marriage annulments, in [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: “God forgives everything”

“There is no sin which He won’t pardon. He forgives everything.  ‘But father, I don’t go to confession because I have committed so many really bad sins, so many that I can’t be forgiven….’  No, this is not true.  He forgives everything.  If you go (to confession) repentant, He will forgive everything.  When… so many [Read More…]

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Cardinal Marx: “We must look for ways for people to receive the Eucharist. It is not about finding ways to keep them out!”

From America magazine, part of an interview conducted recently: Two issues at the present synod are divorced and remarried Catholics and gay Catholics, especially those in relationships. Do you have opportunities to listen directly to these Catholics in your present ministry? I have been a priest for 35 years. This problem is not new. I [Read More…]

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The “3 c’s” of Baptism: A Homily for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

From the vault, part of my homily for this weekend, marking the Baptism of the Lord, in 2013: At home, I have a little green book that someone gave me as an ordination gift: it’s the Rite of Baptism for Children, with all the prayers and readings for the sacrament. In the back, there’s a notation I [Read More…]

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When non-Catholics go up for communion

  Image: “Communion of the Apostles” by Fra Angelico (1440) via Wikipedia. This is a time of year when we see a lot of people in the communion line at Mass who, Sunday after Sunday, normally aren’t there. Some folks call them “Chreaster” Catholics—for one reason or another, they just show up for Christmas and [Read More…]

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“God is more important than sex”: Couple abstained from sex for 19 months while waiting for annulments

In our pelvic-centric age, some would find this unthinkable. Read on, from The Catholic Sentinel in Portland: Steve and Shaina Purves don’t consider themselves heroic. They say they simply lived out what the church teaches — and it was fantastic. For 19 months after Shaina entered the Catholic Church, the civilly-wed couple refrained from sexual contact while [Read More…]

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“I am not worthy to be here”: death row inmate confirmed by bishop

From The Catholic Sentinel in Portland, Oregon: One of Oregon’s most infamous prisoners Tuesday received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Archbishop Alexander Sample in a heavily-guarded private ceremony in the maximum security prison here. Gary Haugen was convicted in November, 2011 of murdering a fellow inmate while serving a life sentence for the murder of [Read More…]

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