Mother gives 13-year-old son an iPhone—and some rules—UPDATED

Blogger and mother Janell Burley Hoffman gave her teenage son an iPhone for Christmas —and an 18-point contract. To wit: Merry Christmas!  You are now the proud owner of an iPhone.  Hot Damn!  You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift.  But with the acceptance of this present [Read More…]

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The astonishing grace of Dustin Rhodes

Photo: by Paul Kuehnel, York Daily Record/Sunday News Read his story by Teresa McMinn for the Daily Record/Sunday News, and whisper a prayer: A few weeks ago, Dustin Rhodes was a healthy, happily married husband and father of a 9-month-old son. Rhodes, a Dallastown native and salutatorian of his York Catholic High School 2002 graduating class, [Read More…]

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Best Christmas letter. Ever.

This arrived in my e-mail last week, from a former colleague, now retired. It moved me because, among other things, instead of yammering on about what he did, he wrote about what someone else did for him. He begins by noting that “an anonymous person made a huge investment in our family stock this year. [Read More…]

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Wholly family: celebrating wonder on this feast day

Two of my Patheos neighbors have reminded me today about the meaning of family, and it couldn’t be more timely. Elizabeth Scalia on Facebook directed folks to a post she put up a couple years ago about her two grown boys:  I love my kids, but they could not be more different. They’re both “certified [Read More…]

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Abbey restoration: “an epic moment of history”

History buffs, take note:  Restoration work on a monastery dating back to 1196 is expected to be completed six months ahead of schedule. The £4.7m Torre Abbey project in Torquay, Devon, started in January with an original completion date of 2014. But Torbay Council said it was predicted the restoration would now be completed in [Read More…]

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RIP, Jack Klugman

The unstoppable actor died today at the ripe age of 90: Emmy-winning actorJack Klugman, a versatile, raspy-voiced mainstay of U.S. television during the 1970s and early ’80s through his starring roles in “The Odd Couple” and “Quincy, M.E.,” died on Monday at the age of 90. Klugman, whose pairing with Tony Randall on “The Odd Couple” created one [Read More…]

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“I regret to inform you that my wedding to Captain Von Trapp has been cancelled…”

Another side of the story, for those who caught the movie, again, last night, or those who can sing it all in their sleep: Dear friends, family, and Austrian nobility, Captain Von Trapp and I are very sorry to inform you that we no longer plan to wed. We offer our deepest apologies to those [Read More…]

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The best advice I ever got about serving Mass at Christmas…

…It was actually something I overheard. As I’ve noted before, we have a remarkable cadre of altar servers in my parish—100 of ’em, boys and girls, from ages 8 to 18, every one of them a gem.  They are selfless, generous, enthusiastic and (for the most part, except for a few yawners, scratchers and gigglers) [Read More…]

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America’s crumbling Christian consensus

Historian Molly Worthen takes a look at religion’s role throughout American history in today’s New York Times: Religion has been a feature of human society since Neanderthal times, but so has religious indifference. Our illusions of the past as a golden age of faith tend to cloud our assessment of today’s religious landscape. We think [Read More…]

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Is Sunday shopping a sin? —UPDATED

Some in Italy are saying so, and there is a move afoot in parts of Europe to keep Sundays sacred: The Roman Catholic Church, trade unions and small business associations have joined forces in a bid to save Sundays. In a bid to spur economic growth, outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti backed a new [Read More…]

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