Vatican reports steady growth in worldwide church

The barque has sometimes hit turbulent tides, but there’s no sign that it’s sinking. And note the number of permanent deacons worldwide:  42,104, a number the continues to climb. From CNS: The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests, permanent deacons and religious men all increased in 2012, while the number [Read More...]

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“What is a parish?”: a homily for September 15, 2013

Today, traditionally the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, is also my parish’s feast day. Late yesterday, the parish administrator said, “You wanna throw together a few words for the 11:30 Mass?”  Okay, I said.  Here they are.  Yesterday, as I do every month, I met with families to schedule baptisms. And I’m always surprised [Read More...]

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A man of God with a gun?

The Anchoress had a scare the other night—and it turns out, there are many out there who believe the best weapon against Satan may not be prayer, but a pistol. Check this out, from Huffington Post:  Every email Carl Chinn sends features the same signature: his name, followed by Chapter 4, Verse 9 from the [Read More...]

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Dress up for Mass?! Absurd.

Well, looking around the pews on any given Sunday, I get the impression that’s what some people seem to think. I wrote about that a couple years ago. Now a blog dubbed The Catholic Gentleman has taken up the cause. The author offers some advice:  While I think every man should dress up for mass, [Read More...]

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Screaming babies II: “The comments really saddened me…”—UPDATED

The reader who started it all, and wrote to ask why people don’t take crying babies out of church, dropped me a line yesterday: Thank you for posting my questions; I really do appreciate it, as do a few of my priest-friends who are also wondering what more they have to do to get parents [Read More...]

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In Texas, “the Body of Christ is suffering greatly”

A deacon from Austin writes: Please keep the people of West, Texas in your prayers. One of the newly ordained deacons, Deacon Ron Sykora, is from the parish there, St. Mary of the Assumption. The Church and buildings are OK, but the Body of Christ is suffering greatly. Vatican Radio adds: Rescuers in central Texas [Read More...]

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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...]

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"I have decided not to accept the call to Holy Orders…" — UPDATED

A reader sent me the link to this bulletin, which carries the note below from a deacon candidate responding to the disturbing news in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.  He was scheduled to be ordained a deacon last weekend, but withdrew at the last minute. His statement: Dear Holy Family Parish: After a great deal [Read More...]

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What Catholics don't know

That’s the notion I’m chewing on this week over in my column, “All Things New.” A snip: A couple years ago, during Easter season, a man stopped me after church one Sunday. He was perturbed. “What’s all this Latin doing in the mass?” he asked. “What do you mean?” “All this Latin!” he said, exasperated. [Read More...]

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A lost generation? Maybe not

Some highlights of the big conference at Fordham earlier this week, on 20-somethings and the Church, courtesy CNS: Catholic young adults aren’t as attached to the church as their counterparts from the 1940s and 1950s, but they are hardly a lost generation and have not abandoned the faith, according to speakers at a two-day forum [Read More...]

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