All are welcome—except those who aren’t: addressing non-Catholics and Communion at Mass—UPDATED

A deacon from the midwest dropped me an e-mail this morning about a practice he’s witnessed frequently: priests at some Masses (notably weddings or funerals) who give strict instructions to the congregation about who may or may not come forward to receive Communion. I told him that, while I know this is done, in my [Read More...]

Archbishop of Canterbury encourages Anglicans to embrace the Sacrament of Reconciliation

From the Telegraph:  The Most Rev Justin Welby advised churchgoers that it could be an “enormously powerful” experience to unburden themselves to a confessor, even if it was not always a “bunch of laughs”. His comments came as he addressed the heads of other churches – including the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in [Read More...]

Man steals monstrance containing Eucharist from New Mexico church

Details: It was a brazen, and blasphemous crime. A Catholic community in northern New Mexico is beside itself after a man burst into the adoration chapel at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, and stole something very precious to them. The priest at Sacred Heart told News 13 this is the highest form of desecration [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: taking communion to the sick

A friend posted this on her FB page, and it’s striking: a 1942 image from LIFE magazine of a priest in Quebec taking communion to someone who is sick.  He’s being led by an altar boy carrying a candle. [Read more...]

Canon law experts discuss Church teaching on divorce, remarriage and communion

From Catholic News Service:    Recent remarks by Pope Francis about the need for a stronger pastoral approach to marriage and divorced couples, do not signal the church is overturning its laws or practice of denying communion to Catholics who divorce and remarry, said two canon law experts. When Pope Francis made parenthetical reference to [Read More...]

“I was becoming a bridge, connecting the people to God”

After yesterday’s ordination of transitional deacons, I decided to rework my homily for this Sunday, with particular attention to a member of the newly ordained who has a strong connection to our parish. Here’s the result.           + Yesterday, in the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Brooklyn, Bishop DiMarzio ordained 10 [Read More...]

Bread of life: pope celebrates daily Mass with hosts made by women prisoners

Who knew? Details from CNS:  During summer vacation season, when there is no congregation of Vatican workers and no homily, Pope Francis continues to celebrate daily Mass in his residence and, since mid-July, has been using hosts made by women incarcerated in an Argentine prison. The hosts were delivered to the pope July 16 by [Read More...]

Report: Pope Benedict ordered changes to baptism rite before he resigned

A small but significant change appears to be forthcoming, according to Sandro Magister:  The Sunday after the Epiphany is the Sunday of the baptism of Jesus. And on each of these Sundays, year after year, Benedict XVI administered the first sacrament of Christian initiation to a certain number of children, in the Sistine Chapel. Each [Read More...]

Meet the man who sang at Rio’s Eucharistic Adoration: “The arms of St. Peter’s are really big”

It was a mesmerizing and deeply moving moment during the pope’s visit last week.  But who was the guy on his knees strumming the guitar? From Religion News Service:  Growing up Roman Catholic in Newfoundland, Matt Maher never imagined that his childhood interest in music would lead to a career as a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping Christian rocker — [Read More...]

In the E-mail: Should a Deacon Attend a Gay Wedding?—UPDATED

This arrived in my mailbox yesterday. A woman writes: I would love your opinion on a Catholic deacon attending a gay wedding. I feel this would be seriously wrong, especially since he is a deacon and is called to live by the Catholic teachings. I replied: Speaking for myself: I wouldn’t do it, even if [Read More...]