Brooklyn’s Msgr. Edward Scharfenberger named bishop of Albany

And there’s news this morning for Rockville Centre, too… This just in: Ed Scharfenberger is a good man and a great priest. He’s currently serving as vicar for Queens—and just last Sunday he visited our parish. I had the privilege of serving Mass and preaching for him. Little did we know we had a future [Read More...]

Baring their souls—and more: Congregation worships in the nude

This is one reason, among many, why I thank God for albs. Details:  Even in February, when temperatures can average in the 20s, members show up in various forms: some fully clothed, others topless, many still completely nude. Pastor Allen Parker says it’s not about the clothes, or lack thereof. He says it’s about baring [Read More...]

A kiss from the East: offering the “sign of peace” in the Divine Liturgy

If you want a deeper appreciation of what it means to exchange the “sign of peace,” take a look at this document, describing how this ancient custom will be reintroduced next month in one Eastern Rite diocese.  (In the Eastern tradition, in many places clergy have been the only ones exchanging the “kiss of peace.”  This [Read More...]

Homily for February 2, 2014: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

I found myself in Times Square Friday afternoon, and got quite a shock. It seems there’s a big football game this weekend. And a lot of people decided to come here to see it. The neighborhood Friday was absolutely mobbed. Tourists, media, vendors—it was incredible. The city has definitely caught Super Bowl fever. There have [Read More...]

Pope praises Notre Dame, calls on university to preserve its Catholic identity

Details: In a powerful statement encouraging fidelity and strong Catholic identity in Catholic higher education, Pope Francis today urged the University of Notre Dame to be an “uncompromising witness… to the Church’s moral teaching” and to resist “efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness,” according to a translation by Vatican Radio. The Holy Father’s [Read More...]

“The pope seems to chide those who use the Internet to make statements but refuse to accept comments…”

Yesterday, Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the USCCB took a closer look at the pope’s message for World Communications Day: Toughen up, people! That seems to be one theme from Pope Francis in his annual Message for World Communications Day, which will be observed June 1, 2014. Pope Francis repeats his call that Christians must be [Read More...]

Happy Feast of St. Vincent, deacon and martyr

A reflection from Deacon Keith Fournier:  On January 23 on the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar we have an optional memorial for St. Vincent, the Deacon and Martyr. It is an ancient Feast which is celebrated in the Orthodox Church as well, though on a different day. Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, [Read More...]

Quote of the day: “There’s a consistency in our life ethic”

photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images “The normal Catholic in the parish might hear a sermon on abortion once a year. They’ll never hear a sermon on homosexuality or gay marriage. They’ll never hear a sermon about contraception. But if you look at the New York Times, in the course of a week, there will be 20 [Read More...]

Where the pastor is a sister

Photo: Charles Lewis/Buffalo News Technically, she’s a “pastoral administrator.” But her leadership role is essentially the same. From The Buffalo News:    Members of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Lackawanna know exactly who’s in charge of their small parish. And the person’s name is not preceded by the title “Father.” A priest has [Read More...]

Seattle Catholic school offers gay drama coach new contract

Here’s an interesting followup to the story that was sparking protests—but it appears this employee’s status and terms of employment are very different. Details: The Eastside Catholic drama coach who feared for her job after coming out as gay on The Ron and Don Show now says she is being embraced by the school’s administration [Read More...]