Any suggestions for a teenager thinking of the priesthood?

A woman in my parish dropped me a line today: I’d like your advice. The other day a young man, still a boy, told me he was thinking about becoming a priest.  I was very touched by the fact that he shared this with me. I’ll pray that God guides him until he reaches a [Read More...]

The end of an era

As is the custom in the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, they ordained transitional deacons today, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at the 80-year-old facility shared by the two dioceses, the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York.  The occasion was beautiful but bittersweet:  this will likely be the last ordination [Read More...]

Answering the call: meet a seminarian…and his wife

Here’s something we don’t encounter very often: a story about seminarians preparing to get married.  They are Greek Catholic, in Ukraine, and the story comes from the pages of the current issue of ONE magazine: In the Greek Catholic tradition, seminarians are permitted to marry prior to ordination. But some still choose a life of [Read More...]

Boom: seminary enrollment up around the country

And Catholic News Service has the numbers, and details: In his first months as rector of Theological College in Washington, Father Phillip J. Brown has been confronting a problem that the national diocesan seminary for the U.S. Catholic Church “has not had for a long time” — it is bursting at the seams. Enrollment is [Read More...]

A moveable feast: a friar puts his soup kitchen on wheels

This is a small stroke of genius: Brother Al Mascia has much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and so does his flock. After losing the brick-and-mortar headquarters for his Detroit-based charitable operations earlier this month, the brown-robed Franciscan friar has kept serving the homeless, the elderly and others in Detroit. Mascia anticipated the closing [Read More...]

The changing face of America’s sisters

A paper in St. Louis looks at how sisters have changed over the last couple decades — and what that may mean.  Details: Sister Sarah Heger [shown above] cut through a tray of raw chicken with a knife and let her fifth-grade class of girls squirm for only a second. A science exam loomed, and [Read More...]

Deacon poor and deacon rich: a look at the vocation in different dioceses

A reader sent this my way: a long and comprehensive look at where deacons are thriving, where they aren’t, and why: In 1967, Pope Paul VI issued general norms for the restoration of the permanent diaconate where requested by episcopal conferences. More than four decades later, 46 percent of the Church’s 37,203 permanent deacons serve [Read More...]

Is the New York seminary merger the way of the future?

Maybe.  That’s the interesting question at the heart of this piece in OSV: Father Shawn McKnight, executive director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently wrote that economic factors and the lack of enough priest-instructors are causing seminaries to merge or close, such as the [Read More...]

Another way to Occupy Wall Street: meet the Sisters of St. Francis

They’re finally getting their due, in the pages of the New York Times: Not long ago, an unusual visitor arrived at the sleek headquarters of Goldman Sachs in Lower Manhattan. It wasn’t some C.E.O., or a pol from Athens or Washington, or even a sign-waving occupier from Zuccotti Park. It was Sister Nora Nash of [Read More...]

Three become one: historic merger of seminaries in New York

This ambitious move has been in the works for many months, but yesterday it became a reality.  From the In My Backyard Desk (with a cheerful diaconal bow in the direction of The Anchoress): Archbishop Dolan and his brother bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre Nov. 10 jointly signed [Read More...]


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