History: one Mass, three generations of clergy at the altar—and a fourth serving his first Mass

I posted on this extraordinary event in San Francisco over the weekend: three generations of clergy in one family.  Below is the picture to prove it. That’s Fr Joseph Previtali; his father (just-ordained) Deacon David Previtali; and the deacon’s father-in-law Fr Frank Filice. Check your archives, folks, because as far as anyone knows, it’s the first time [Read More...]

Quote of the day, from a woman seeking ordination

“I don’t work for the Church anymore. My real job now is to give witness and stand up for what I believe in. I’m not leaving Catholicism. There’s much I love, especially the inner core, the mystics, the great tradition of wonderful staff. It’s the patriarchy that’s the downer.” — Lillian Lewis, who could probably [Read More...]

What’s it like being married to a Catholic priest?

With this item from Pope Francis making news, the usual debates about priestly celibacy are again taking place. Here’s a point of view you don’t often hear, though, from the wife of a Byzantine Catholic priest. While her experience may not be universal, it offers a lot of food for thought. She lists a number [Read More...]

Report: Italian women write to pope, asking for review of priestly celibacy

This is, in a word, unusual. From Vatican Insider:   The Pope has received a letter signed by 26 Italian women who admit to have feelings for a priest or a monk and are asking for a review of the celibacy law. “Dear Pope Francis, we are a group of women from all over Italy (and [Read More...]

New order of nuns takes root in Wisconsin

Photo: William Glasheen/Post-Crescent Media Details from The Green Bay Press Gazette:  If a young soul wanders, Mother Mary Catherine has dedicated her to life to shepherding it back on the path to heaven. She is trying to save souls as the founder and mother superior of a new community of Roman Catholic religious women within [Read More...]

Pope to seminarians: Do not become “businessmen priests” or “princes” and avoid “boring homilies”

Sharp and funny words of wisdom from Pope Francis today:   Pope Francis told seminarians not to become “orphan priests,” who are motherless without Mary; “businessman priests,” who are after money; or “prince priests,” who are aloof from the people. He also warned them not to give “boring homilies,” saying their reflections should be brief, powerful [Read More...]

Vatican reports steady growth in worldwide church

The barque has sometimes hit turbulent tides, but there’s no sign that it’s sinking. And note the number of permanent deacons worldwide:  42,104, a number the continues to climb. From CNS: The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests, permanent deacons and religious men all increased in 2012, while the number [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

Vocation ad from the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa. I’m pleased to report they just ordained 10 new permanent deacons on Saturday. Does anybody have any information or pictures??  Would love to post more! UPDATE: A priest from Sioux City kindly sent pictures and information about the ordination. Check ‘em out here. [Read more...]

Liturgical dance? Check out these tap-dancing seminarians in Rome—UPDATED

From the North American College (via Joan Lewis of EWTN) comes this demonstration of terpsichorean talent by some happy hoofers at the rector’s dinner last month. UPDATE:  Got an email Sunday morning from a reader the Pontifical North American College in Rome: Since your blog is, after all, the “Deacon’s Bench,”  thought you might like [Read More...]

20-year-old seminarian dies on feast of Divine Mercy

Sad news from Charlotte this weekend: Michael Gerard Kitson, 20, of Waxhaw, passed away on Sunday, April 27, 2014. He was a seminarian for the Diocese of Charlotte, studying for the priesthood at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Visitation will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, at St. [Read More...]