After the tornado: “We were spared with a purpose by God…”

A great story of charity and hope, from storm-ravaged Indiana: From the moment a tornado tore through its community, the damaged but still-standing St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church became a crisis hub where emergency workers could dispense food, water and information. But for a brief hour Sunday morning, the church resumed its mission as a [Read More...]

The “alternate universe” of Wisconsin’s Holy Wisdom Monastery

This group of disaffected Catholics got a big spread in the Wisconsin State Journal last Sunday: Alice Jenson’s faith took an irreversible turn six years ago. It was Nov. 5, 2006, and she was contributing to Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Madison as a lay person, reading Bible passages from the lectern. The [Read More...]

“Pizzas de Cuaresma”: Texas chain offers special pizzas for Lent

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post about Wendy’s suddenly ubiquitous fish sandwich comes this story about a Dallas pizza chain offering vegetarian pizzas as a way to battle what has become an annual Lenten slump in sales: The folks at Pizzeria Patron have nothing against Catholicism, really, but every year, starting after Ash Wednesday [Read More...]

For crying out loud: a pastor’s message to parents

I wrote about this issue last summer.  And I noticed today that a Queens pastor I know has taken the bull by the horns (or the baby by the diaper) and posted this on his parish’s Facebook page: One of the things we try hard here is to create a welcoming and child friendly atmosphere [Read More...]

Memories of Sister Mercedes in Manhattan

From the Nostalgia File: writer and storyteller Thomas R. Pryor in today’s New York Times shares his memories of his beloved Catholic grade school in Manhattan: I had a wide variety of strategies for getting detention: talking in church after a warning, sliding into an imaginary second base on the smooth marble floor at the [Read More...]

This is what you get for spending a lot of time around Saints

New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle Benson have received from Pope Benedict XVI the highest papal award granted to a layperson. Details, from the New Orleans Clarion Herald: This special papal recognition was granted by the pope at the request of Oblate Bishop Michael Pfeifer, O.M.I., of the Diocese of San Angelo, Texas, [Read More...]

Retired bookkeeper leaves $7.5 million to Catholic schools

Hot on the heels of this story, about a couple who left millions to the church, comes this item, which may be even more surprising: A former bookkeeper has left $7.5 million to Aquinas Catholic Schools in La Crosse — the largest donation in the schools’ history. James Kiffe was a 1942 graduate of Aquinas [Read More...]

“Flabbergasted”: Plumber and his wife leave millions to church

And a lot of people are stunned. Details: Gus and Marie Salenske, a plumber and a nurse, lived a quiet, modest life on the North Side of Syracuse. They enjoyed 46 years of marriage in Gus childhood home on Turtle Street, just a few blocks from where Marie grew up on Lilac Street. They liked [Read More...]

See you in court: more Catholics seek justice through canon law

It’s an interesting development that may be having a profound impact on how lay people think of the Church. From the AP: In recent years, clergy and lay people in the United States have increasingly turned to the church’s internal legal system to challenge a bishop’s or pastor’s decision about even the most workaday issues [Read More...]

The Latinos who aren’t Catholic, but used to be

It’s a trend that bears watching: While the Catholic church is still the principal religion for Latinos, a growing number are bucking tradition and moving toward evangelism — particularly among the younger generation. “My mother is so Catholic,” said Jose Rosales, 55. “She tripped out when she found out. She and my aunt said, ‘Oh, [Read More...]


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