John Lawrence, Iowa seminarian, dies in his sleep

This heartbreaking item appeared on the Diocese of Des Moines Office of Vocations Facebook page Tuesday night: Please keep in your prayers seminarian John Lawrence, who died in his sleep last night. Keep in prayer his family and the seminarian community. Information regarding funeral arrangements will be forthcoming as soon as they are known. Bishop Pates said: "John was a committed, positive seminarian genuinely dedicated to his formation for priesthood. His death is a great loss to his family … [Read More...]

Pope Francis Meets President Of  Cuba Raul Castro

Must-see video: first clip from pope’s satellite conference on ABC

In a word: wonderful. Just watch.ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos … [Read More...]

From bar brawler “badass” to deacon

A great vocation story, about the chaplain for the New Orleans office of the FBI, via The New Orleans Advocate:   Dan Haggerty takes great delight in recalling the biblical story of Saul, the one-time scourge of Christians, and how Saul became St. Paul on the road to Damascus.The white-maned, w … [Read More...]

The Anchoress hoists anchor: Elizabeth Scalia departs Patheos to take the helm at Aleteia

I'll let her tell you herself:Effective the close of business yesterday, I have resigned my position as Managing Editor of the Catholic Channel. I have loved working with all of Catholic channel writers, who have become real friends and partners-in-prayer, and this gig has been inspiring and … [Read More...]

For Year of Mercy, pope allows all priests to grant absolution for abortion, permits confession with SSPX priests

From a long letter on the jubilee issued today: The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other … [Read More...]

Must-see TV: Pope Francis answers questions from Americans on ABC Friday

Kate O'Hare has the scoop: In a special edition of ABC News’ “20/20,” airing Friday, Sept. 4, anchor David Muir — who was raised Catholic, but no word on whether he still practices the Faith — sits down at the Vatican with Pope Francis to answer satellite questions from Americans, in advance of the … [Read More...]

Adventures in diakonia: no, I’m Catholic…really…

So I was in the checkout line at the store a few days back, and the woman at the cash register noticed the deacon cross embroidered on my shirt.She brightened. "Oh, are you Methodist?," she asked. I laughed. No, I said, and explained.I can't blame her. Understandable mistake. … [Read More...]

“We do not ‘target non-Catholics,’ nor do we seek to exclude anyone…”

You may remember the story from several days back, regarding a new policy for schools in Springfield, Illinois. Over the weekend, the diocese posted a response to the article in question, published in the Springfield newspaper: First, it is important to state that the Catholic Church invites all … [Read More...]

What we have come to: students asked to use “gender-neutral” pronouns

I thought this was a joke. But no.From The Associated Press:  University of Tennessee students have been asked to use gender-neutral pronouns such as "ze."The University of Tennessee Office for Diversity and Inclusion is asking students and faculty to use the pronouns in order to create a … [Read More...]

Meet “the Steven Spielbergs of Christian cinema,” the masterminds behind “War Room”

From Variety: Outside of evangelical circles, the names Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick are likely to be met with blank stares. But thanks to low-budget hits like “Fireproof” and “Courageous,” the brothers have transformed themselves into Steven Spielbergs of Christian cinema. Their names abo … [Read More...]

The man who became a bishop at 32

That would be Cardinal Francis Arinze, who on Saturday marked his 50th anniversary as a bishop—a milestone almost unheard of. He was ordained to the episcopacy in 1965, at the age of 32, becoming the youngest Roman Catholic bishop in the world. He spoke with Vatican Radio recently:Although now re … [Read More...]

Scranton installs nun as first parish life coordinator

From The Scranton Times-Tribune:When Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph C. Bambera envisions the future of diocesan churches, he sees St. Patrick’s Church in White Haven as a model. The church has a priest, the Rev. Michael J. Kloton, who also oversees Immaculate Conception, a separate, i … [Read More...]

Deacons, add this book to your library

The book is "The Heart of the Diaconate," by esteemed deacon and teacher James Keating.  This slim volume is a quick read, but I recommend that you keep a pen nearby. My copy has scribblings, asterisks, underlinings and ink marks on nearly every page.  You don't want to miss a word.The book has a … [Read More...]

Philadelphia’s “pope soap”?

The manufacturer, Duross & Langel, notes: Please forgive this bit of cheek but each bar is hand made with holy water. The money we raise through the sale of these soaps goes to Catholic Social Services Children's Bureau. An item in Philadelphia magazine adds: All proceeds from the sale of t … [Read More...]

Defending Chaput: “Some in the media seem hell-bent on depicting him as disloyal to the pontiff and disdainful of his flock”

Canon lawyer J.D. Flynn, who knows the archbishop from his days in Denver, writes about him in National Review:  Chaput is among the most supportive bishops to laity in the Church’s modern history. He’s helped laity found movements dedicated to Latino leadership, to campus and youth ministry, and to … [Read More...]

What happened when a layman wore a cassock

Fascinating: Esquire Magazine – not a publication ChurchPOP would normally recommend reading – published a fascinating article on August 24th titled “What Happened When I Dressed Like a Priest: An investigation into the power of the uniform.” The author decided to do an experiment to test the … [Read More...]

“I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath…”

"And now, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life — achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the d … [Read More...]

Francis: beware those who claim to be “very Catholic”

From his Angelus remarks Sunday: Pope Francis has strongly criticized Catholics who brag that they are perfect followers of the church's teachings but then criticize or speak ill of others in their faith communities, saying they cause scandal and even offer a "counter-witness" to Jesus."We all … [Read More...]