Pope reflects on Holy Orders

Image: The Ordination of St. Lawrence by Fra Angelico From Vatican Radio: Greeting thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square for the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis spoke about the sacrament of Holy Orders, praying that the Lord may provide holy, generous and merciful pastors for his Church. Please find below the text [Read More...]

Battling the problem of pornography among future priests

Here’s an issue you don’t hear about very much, from the National Catholic Register:  Fifteen-year-old Alex (not his real name) has been thinking of a possible vocation to the priesthood for several years already. Aware that he’s still a youth, he’s comfortable with the ongoing discernment process: He’s busy trying to deepen his prayer life, [Read More...]

What more could women do in the Church? Here are some ideas.

Some intriguing possibilities here from Msgr. M. Francis Mannion, via PrayTell:   The Church continues to be at a loss as to how to advance the roles of women in its administrative structures. While the Church does not see its way to the priestly and episcopal ordination of women, some responsible scholars have argued that [Read More...]

“You don’t have to like your priest”

An interesting observation via Word on Fire, from Dominican Br. Patrick Mary Briscoe: It may well be the case that your parish priest preaches homilies that are—how do we say it gently?—uninspiring. Maybe you’ve come to him to ask a serious question about the faith concerning a teaching or mystery you’ve really struggled with, and [Read More...]

“Formation on steroids”: the life of a seminarian about to be ordained a priest

A young deacon I know who will be ordained a priest in June sent me an email the other day, describing his life these days as “formation on steroids.” I reprint part of it below with his permission. If you want to know what the life of a seminarian is like, take a look:  This [Read More...]

Seminarians on celibacy: “We’re saying ‘yes’ to Christ”

CNS’s Robert Duncan produced this fine video, featuring seminarians from the North American College in Rome discussing their thoughts on celibacy. Take a look. [Read more...]

“Clericalism is bad for priests and laity”

Vatican Insider spoke recently with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Beniamino Stella, who will receive the red hat of Cardinal later this month.   He had some choice words about the vocation of the priesthood—which could also apply, I think, to deacons: There has often been talk of an identity crisis among [Read More...]

Deacon psychologist launches study of deacons’ lives, spirituality

From National Catholic Reporter:  Hoping to fill a gap in scholarly research about permanent deacons, Joseph Ferrari, a permanent deacon in the Joliet, Ill., diocese and a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, has designed a survey to collect data that when complete will provide a better understanding of the personal and spiritual [Read More...]

Pope Francis to religious: “Wake up the world!”

The Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta’ Cattolica offers an account of Pope Francis’s recent meeting with 120 superiors general of men’s religious orders in late November. CNS has highlights:  While you can access the full 17-page article in English, Spanish or Italian at the journal’s website, here is a sampling of some of our favorite excerpts (CNS translations of [Read More...]

“Never too old to dream a new dream”: Oldest seminarian in Little Rock ordained a deacon

Photo: Karen Schwarz/Arkansas Catholic Wow, from Arknasas Catholic:  When Jack Sidler Sr. was discerning his call to the priesthood, he ran across a plaque inscribed with a quote from C.S. Lewis: “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” On Dec. 14, three years after entering Sacred Heart School [Read More...]