When was the last time you saw a priest do THIS?

From The Brainerd Dispatch in Minnesota Zoe the pot-bellied pig, Bilbo the gecko and Lilly the toad were just a few of the animals the Rev. Blake Rozier, associate pastor of Brainerd Lakes Catholic Churches in Brainerd, agreed to kiss Friday at St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School. Students filled the school’s gymnasium, chanting [Read More...]

Religion on the menu: how some restaurants make adjustments for Lent

An interesting insight from the pages of The Economist:  Drop into the McDonald’s branch in Syntagma, the central square of Athens, at this time of year and you will find that “fast food” has a double meaning. Along with the familiar burgers and fries, customers have the option of meals that conform with the dietary rules observed by Orthodox Christians during Lent: essentially vegan, [Read More...]

Ladies and gentlemen, “clergy on the catwalk”

View image | gettyimages.com From a fashion show a couple years back. Seriously?  Yes. Read about it here. The very latest Parish fashions were modelled today by men and women of God who paraded down a clergy catwalk. Five vicars showed off the new designs in ecclesiastical wear, which are made in the different colours [Read More...]

“What is your real value?”: what happened when inmates were assigned to write their own obits

View image | gettyimages.com A remarkable undertaking, as reported in The Los Angeles Times:  In the wrong writer’s hands, an obituary can be a dull collection of biographical facts, the type of article that journalism professor William Drummond calls the “lowest common denominator” of newspaper writing. But on this day, he hoped for something more [Read More...]

Just in time for Lent: Bacon Soda

Actually, this has been around for a few years but it’s suddenly become The Rage, and I’m sure it must have something to do with the penitential season because—are you sitting down?—this flavored soda does not contain meat.  You’re welcome. I was skeptical but someone who dissected the product wrote:  At first taste I thought [Read More...]

Habitat for Humanity to build a Pope Francis House

From The St. Louis Review:  Habitat for Humanity St. Louis will begin building The Pope Francis House next month in the Tiffany Neighborhood in south St. Louis for a family currently living in substandard housing. An anonymous donor sponsored The Pope Francis House with $60,000 gift, seeking to inspire the St. Louis community to raise [Read More...]

Coming soon: Museum of the Bible in D.C.

Some intriguing details from NPR: In Washington, D.C., construction is underway on the Museum of the Bible, an eight-story, $400 million enterprise funded by Hobby Lobby president Steve Green. Green is a Pentecostal known for donating to conservative evangelical universities and developing a public school curriculum based on the Bible. After the craft store’s controversial [Read More...]

Restaurant chain invites the pope to try its Lent menu

How’s this for an unusual marketing gimmick: Red Robin is hoping to lure Catholics who are abstaining from meat during Lent by presenting its latest seafood menu — even inviting Pope Francis to lunch. And other fast food restaurants are jumping on the Lent wagon as well. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, extended an invitation [Read More...]

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...]