The myth of Catholic “decline”—UPDATED

It can be tempting, when ingesting a daily diet of internet chatter, to think the Catholic Church these days is a disaster.  Things have never been worse. Vatican II destroyed the faith. Batten down the hatches. The barque of Peter is taking on water, and sinking fast. So goes the popular thinking among some on [Read More...]

Men in shorts, women in sleeves…what’s going on?

After reporting on this fashion phenomenon for summer—men wearing suits with shorts—I stumbled across this item, on bikinis with sleeves. See below: Details: Will 2014 be the summer of unexpected sleeves? First Kim Kardashian goes all demure on her wedding dress, now sleeves are popping up on the least likely of places: bikinis. Unusually, this [Read More...]

What we have come to: bulletproof blankets for kids to wear during school shootings

This is not a joke:  We’ve now had so many mass shootings that entrepreneurs see space in the market for a bulletproof blanket, made specifically to shield small children from gunfire. The Bodyguard Blanket, made by a company called ProTecht, is a bulletproof 5/16-inch pad, made from the same materials used by our military, except [Read More...]

Picture perfect: more people hire professional photographers to capture ordinary moments

You can already do it at Disney World; why not in your own backyard for a birthday?  Reality TV has evidently accustomed us to spending our lives being followed by someone with a camera—and now you can pay for a professional to do just that. From the New York Daily News:  When Anzalee and Kristain [Read More...]

CATO: Catholics Addicted to Outrage

Know anybody like this? Diane at Te Deum laudamus! clearly does: Each of us puts a face on our Catholic faith, for good or for bad, whether it is in person, or online (anonymous or not). We need to convey the hope we have within; not a sense of anger, bitterness, hopelessness and despair.  We [Read More...]

Getting a leg up on summer: here comes the short suit

The horror, the horror:  Retailers are starting to push a new trend in menswear: the short suit. The ensemble looks like a regular suit from the waist up, with a sport coat over a button-down shirt and sometimes a tie or bowtie. Instead of trousers, however, the suit’s bottoms are cropped at the knee. J. [Read More...]

I think Pope Francis would like this guy

Anyone who caught the Tony Awards last night saw the wonderful acceptance speech of James Monroe Igelhart, who won for his eye-popping, grin-inducing, hyper-caffeinated performance as the Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin.” Taking the stage after winning, he made a point of thanking God, first and foremost (he was emphatic about it, too) and then concluded [Read More...]

Welcome to New York

From a friend’s Facebook page. Spotted in midtown Manhattan this weekend. [Read more...]

How to be a “Pentecost Church”

Some good advice here, from Rev. Emily Heath of the United Church of Christ: This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday in the church. It’s the Sunday when churches everywhere are filled with the color red, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, and we celebrate a story from the church’s earliest days. On Pentecost we remember how the Holy [Read More...]

A special gift for the priest who has everything

Clerical jammies! This popped up on someone’s Facebook feed Tuesday night. On sale for $36.99. The pants come in different colors. But the shirt with that distinctive white square is, of course, basic black.  Order these here.  Might make a perfect gift for Father’s Day! [Read more...]