Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Shea sums it all up

The best thing I've read all day: We need to become more fully Catholic, but in the sense of personal conversion, not in the sense of purging the church of lukewarm believers. By that I mean helping people to become more fully Catholic, as Pope Francis has been trying to do. This challenge, to me, is what the Catholic blogosphere has most needed for a long time. I’m sure Francis is challenging some people on the left end of the blogosphere as well, but I don't hang out there all that mu … [Read More...]


Bishop on divorced and remarried Catholics: “We’ve got to do something!”

It's rare to hear a bishop be so blunt, but Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin is that and more in his column for his diocesan newspaper: I understand completely the arguments against taking a more “pastoral approach” to this topic, primarily that to do so would betray the sacred teaching of Christ we are obliged to uphold. I know that even within the current discipline, divorced and remarried Catholics, though barred from Holy Communion, are still valued members of the Church and that there are man … [Read More...]

Dominican tapped to replace Cardinal Pell as Archbishop of Sydney

 Details: The Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, has been appointed the ninth Archbishop of Sydney, replacing the controversial Cardinal George Pell. The Vatican announcement comes several months after Cardinal Pell was appointed to a newly created Secretariat for the Economy in … [Read More...]

“Catholic witchdoctors” in Bolivia?

photo by: Raphaël Verona  CNN has this glimpse at a curious strain of religion in Latin America, blending elements of Catholicism and magic.The notion of "Catholic gods" is bizarre and false, and some of this is just not Catholic at all, dwelling in a limbo between the sacred and the sup … [Read More...]

Joe Biden in Iowa: “You’re looking at a kid who had 12 years of Catholic education”

From The New York Times: At a Vatican meeting a few years ago, Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly asked Vice PresidentJoseph R. Biden Jr. for some advice. “You are being entirely too hard on the American nuns,” Mr. Biden offered. “Lighten up.” Last year, Mr. Biden seized on an audience with Pope F … [Read More...]

Cardinal Dolan explains why he is serving as Grand Marshall in the St. Patrick’s Day parade

From his column in New York Catholic: I haven’t been in this much hot water since I made the comment, right after I arrived as your archbishop five-and-a-half years ago, that Stan Musial—my boyhood hero of my hometown St. Louis Cardinals—was a much better ballplayer than Joe DiMaggio!Now I’m get … [Read More...]

Here’s a great way to help support vocations—and it’s an offer too good to refuse

The folks over at Vocation Boom, the non-profit working to boost vocations to the priesthood, contacted me this morning about a great opportunity for all of you to get involved in their project—and get something extra in return.They're hoping to expand their offerings over the next several m … [Read More...]

Irish bishop bows to pressure, says he will postpone introduction of permanent deacons

Details: Protests over the proposed introduction of a male-only lay ministry in the Catholic diocese of Killaloe have forced the local bishop to back down and postpone the move. In a letter read out in parishes on Sunday, Bishop Kieran O'Reilly acknowledged the concerns raised by lay women a … [Read More...]

Fast Company magazine takes a look at “blogging nuns and tweeting monks”

Suddenly, the mainstream media has discovered religious folk on the web.  Who knew?Details: In 2006, Julie Vieira was getting ready to take her vows to become a nun. As she browsed the web, it became clear to her that nuns had an image problem on the Internet. “The pictures of nuns that popp … [Read More...]

Here comes the judge: meet the deacon on the bench

Details:When the Honorable Marc R. Kellams speaks at the dinner following the Red Mass in Fort Wayne on Wednesday, Sept. 24, he will bring the perspective of a Catholic deacon and a circuit judge in southern Indiana’s Monroe County. The Red Mass — an ancient custom dating back to the 13t … [Read More...]

Report: Cardinal Burke “demoted”?

As yet, no official confirmation from the Vatican. But this broke tonight, from Sandro Magister:  In his first months as bishop of Rome, Pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido … [Read More...]

Stunning: gun instructor’s children send a message to the little girl who shot him

This is extraordinary. As someone noted elsewhere: "There are some good homilies right there."Oh yeah.Just watch. … [Read More...]

Must-see video: life through the eyes of a homeless man with a GoPro

Adam Reichart is a homeless man who is helping chronicle life on the street as part of a remarkable project called, from CNET:The project outfits homeless volunteers with GoPro cameras, which they use to film the world from their perspective. Reichart, who has … [Read More...]

Gimme five!

When so much of the world seems to be bad, here's a little slap of good.The New York Daily News notes:If you stick your hand in the air long enough, someone may just give you a high five. Filmmaker Meir Kalmanson ran around Park Ave. in July giving unsuspecting people trying to hail a cab … [Read More...]

They’re divorced, remarried, barred from communion—and they’re fine with that

The good people at Crux have a look at a movement in Argentina that has garnered support from it's most famous priest—the Pope: Marcos Fernández of Colombia ... represents the kind of divorced and remarried Catholic who’s content with the status quo.Fernández married his second wife, Laura, 19 y … [Read More...]

Pittsburgh reminds Catholics: it’s a big Church

CNS photo/Chuck Austin, Pittsburgh Catholic From CNS:  An all-night vigil Sept. 13-14 at a Byzantine Catholic church in Pittsburgh provided an opportunity for people of faith to participate in the prayers of the various Catholic churches that are "essential facets" of the culturally, ethnically … [Read More...]

Together at last: Jimmy Fallon, Thomas Merton and me

I'm pleased to report that my blog neighbor (and fellow Queens resident) Pat McNamara has just published a new book, "New York Catholics," with Orbis Books. It's available today on Amazon.  Check it out. From the publisher: The historical and spiritual legacy of New York City's largest d … [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “If preachers have failed to sow hope, that sermon is useless…”

Wise words for all of us, from today's homily:  The Gospel of the day speaks of Jesus approaching a funeral procession: a widow of Nain lost her only son. The Pope said that not only does the Lord perform the miracle of bringing her son back to life, he does something more, he is close to her. … [Read More...]