What happened when an NFL coach showed up for a press conference with ashes on his forehead

The Baltimore Sun notes: Baltimore Ravens head Coach John Harbaugh spoke at the NFL Combine on Wednesday and he drew a lot of attention — not so much for what he said, but for the ash cross on his forehead. Harbaugh apparently came from an Ash Wednesday service straight to the Combine. The reaction to [Read More...]

Elevator evangelization

So this happened tonight, after I came home from the last Mass at the parish… I get into the elevator. Young Asian man joins me. Doors close. He glances at me. “May I ask something?,” he says. He points to his forehead. “Why the cross? I’ve been seeing that all day.” “It’s Ash Wednesday,” I [Read More...]

Manila’s Cardinal Tagle grants dispensation for fasting, abstinence on Ash Wednesday

Details:  As the eve of the Lunar New Year coincides with Ash Wednesday, the Archdiocese of Manila allowed certain members of its faithful to be exempted from the holy obligation of fasting and abstinence at the start of the Lenten season. “We grant dispensation from the obligation of fasting and abstinence to our Chinese-Filipino and [Read More...]

PETA discovers Lent: 7 reasons to go vegan this season

The organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a few thoughts about what you should give up for the penitential season. I’m sure it will surprise no one that most of what they are encouraging us to give up involves animals. To wit: Go vegan for Lent! Lent is a time for [Read More...]

Signs of the times: best street signs ever?

The City of Hayward, California is trying something different. This, from The New York Daily News: Speeding is no laughing matter, but slowing down can be. A California city introduced humorous street signs to catch the attention of speeding motorists and compel them to slow down on a major residential street. Hayward, Calif. installed seven [Read More...]

Further proof that it’s a big Church

Details:  For some their perception of the world is based on what surrounds them, such as the foods they eat, the clothes they wear and for Catholics, how they celebrate their religion. A first of its kind initiative by the College of the Holy Cross called Catholics & Cultures is hoping to make the understanding [Read More...]

Alice Cooper: “I teach Bible study”

From Christianity Today:  Veteran rock musician Alice Cooper shared recently that he volunteers as a substitute Sunday school teacher at his local church. The 66-year-old “Poison” singer made his mark in music during the rock ‘n’ roll era as “The Godfather of Shock Rock” mainly due to his gory stage shows which featured ghastly props [Read More...]

A “theology of housework”: it’s not just women’s work

Image: Good Housekeeping Magazine cover, 1908 / via Wikipedia  Over at Pray Tell, they’ve posted a reflection by Msgr. M. Francis Mannion, from Catholic News Agency, wherein he rhapsodizes about the domestic church and the joys of housework, as reflected in Kathryn Allen Rabuzzi’s “The Sacred and the Feminine: Toward a Theology of Housework”: I [Read More...]

Doesn’t God have more important things to do?

View image | gettyimages.com Not if you believe this headline: 1 in 4 Americans Believe God Will Decide Who Wins the Super Bowl.   Among the highlights: Sixty-five percent of Catholics and 68 percent of Protestants believe God rewards faithful athletes, while just 27 percent of the religiously unaffiliated say the same. Protestants, at 45 [Read More...]

Frozen: how the Russian Orthodox mark Epiphany

The YouTube description from last year here notes: Muscovites braved minus 19 degree Celsius weather on Sunday (January 18) and plunged themselves into icy water to celebrate the Orthodox Epiphany. About a hundred people gathered on the frozen Moskva river in the west of Moscow for a prayer and a ritual dive. After a priest [Read More...]