Is it too early for a Christmas flash mob?

I don’t think so. Here’s one I haven’t seen, from last year, and it’s perfect for what is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year (and one that will be marked by some awful weather for much of the country).  We’re heading to Maryland this afternoon: over the river and through the downpour to [Read More...]

Pardon me: what happens to those turkeys?

Who knew? From CNN: Along a pastoral lane at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate sits a sizable wooden pen built specifically to house the two turkeys that will be “pardoned” at the White House on Wednesday. The well-appointed pen includes a small coop to protect them from weather and foxes, and an area for them [Read More...]

It’s here: “The Joy of the Gospel”—with homily hints from the pope

From Vatican Radio:  “The Joy of the Gospel” is the title Pope Francis has chosen for this first major document of his pontificate, putting down in print the joyous spirit of encounter with Christ that characterizes every public appearance he has made so far. The man who has constantly kept the media’s attention with his [Read More...]

What you might not know about the pope’s “huge following” on Twitter

Details:  A good number of Pope Francis’ followers on Twitter are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) concentrated in Islam-dominated Middle East, a Vatican official said on Thursday. “When the Pope went on Twitter. We can see where in the world the Pope has followers,”  Msgr. Paul Tighe, among the Pope’s advisers managing his Twitter account @Pontifex, [Read More...]

School cancels Christmas toy drive after “humanists” threaten to sue

Details: A South Carolina charter school has canceled its annual Christmas toy drive after a group of self-described humanists complained that the project violated the U.S. Constitution and accused them of bribing children to convert to Christianity. Renee Mathews, the principal of East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., said the annual Operation Christmas Child [Read More...]

Sarah Palin “taken aback” by “kind of liberal” comments of Pope Francis

From CNN:  Sarah Palin said she is trying to follow Pope Francis, but is wary of what she called the media’s interpretation of his message. “He’s had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me,” said Palin. But “unless I really dig deep into what his [Read More...]

On Medjugorje: “Numerous absurd messages, insincerities, falsehoods, and disobedience…”

Aleteia has a roundup of reaction from prominent Catholic theologians and priests to the news that the CDF has cracked down on participation in Medjugorje-related events. Details (with a h/t to Diane over a Te Deum) Author and pastor of the Church of St. Michael in Manhattan, Fr. George Rutler views the Medjugorje phenomenon overall very negatively [Read More...]

Rutgers offering class on Springsteen’s religious lyrics

Hey, why not? Details: Rutgers University freshmen are getting a dose of Bruce Springsteen-style religion this semester. The state university is offering a semester-long class exploring the theological roots of the rock icon’s songs, according to a report on Rutgers Today, the school’s online news site. Azzan Yadin-Israel, an associate professor of Jewish studies and classics, is [Read More...]

I see people dressed like this for baptisms all the time, don’t you?

From today’s big event in London, via Reuters. [Read more...]

Catholic high school begins random alcohol tests on students

From the Arlington Daily Herald outside Chicago: Random alcohol testing for students began this week at St. Viator High School, officials confirmed. The program, which was announced by the Arlington Heights Catholic school in August, randomly tests the hairs of 10 to 20 students each week for alcohol consumption. St. Viator has been doing random [Read More...]