Vatican archbishop overseeing World Meeting of Families under investigation for embezzlement

From  The Vatican archbishop in charge of overseeing the World Meeting of Families is reportedly under investigation for possible embezzlement, according to several European news organizations.Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, reportedly bought a 14th-century castle in Umbria at an artficially low price with the intention of reselling it for a profit a full market value."The alleged scam would have netted a profit" of about … [Read More...]


From “nones” to nothing: study charts what may be America’s least religious generation

View image | gettyimages.comA press release, from San Diego State University, offers some sobering statistics: In what may be the largest study ever conducted on changes in Americans' religious involvement, researchers led by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge found that millennials are the least religious generation of the last six decades, and possibly in the nation's history.The researchers -- including Ramya Sastry from SDSU, Julie J. Exline and Joshua B. … [Read More...]

Taking the plunge: number of weddings held at religious institutions drops to just 28%

View image | gettyimages.comA few days ago, I posted on the rising expenses of the wedding industry—and an alert reader pointed me to this release from a couple months back, which helps put it in context:The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Survey can be broken down on a region-by-region basis across … [Read More...]

Juneau to ordain 2 deacons

From the diocesan website: With praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God The Diocese of Juneau joyfully announces and invites you to the ordination of Steven B. Olmstead and Michael Galbraith to the Holy Order of Deacons by Most Reverend Edward J. Burns, Bishop of Juneau on Friday, May … [Read More...]

Ordination update: 6 new deacons for Sioux Falls

From the Diocese of Sioux Falls website: The Ordination to the Order of Deacon took place on May 28, 2015 at The Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Sioux Falls. Bishop Paul J. Swain ordained James Bregel, William Kappler, Roger Puthoff, William Radio and Joseph Tegethoff as permanent deacons and Barry … [Read More...]

VIDEO: Deacons answering the call in Brooklyn

Behold: a nicely done video report on the ordination of deacons in Brooklyn last week, from the Diocese of Brooklyn TV channel, NET.Bishop Nichols DiMarzio writes in the current edition of The Tablet:In the last several weeks, I had the opportunity to personally interview the candidates … [Read More...]

This just fills me with joy

Behold, the incomparable living legend, Dick Van Dyke, still kicking up his heels at the ridiculous age of 89.God love him.The YouTube description from the group The Dustbowl Revival notes: We had the luck and the privilege to share the first single "Never Had To Go" from our 2015 release … [Read More...]

From the vault: “Letter to a new deacon”

It's ordination season, so this seems a good time to re-post this gem, which came from Redemptorist Fr. John McKenna two years ago.It strikes me as being just as timely and apt now as it was then.Take a look. Share it with a new deacon you know. Or even an old one.  … [Read More...]

Philadelphia to install new mural honoring Pope Francis

It's timed to coincide with the World Meeting of Families, 'natch.Details from Officials unveiled a rendering for the mural, which will be displayed at the future location at St. Malachy School at 1012 W. Thompson St., on Thursday. The announcement of the mural comes just less than … [Read More...]

Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims preparing together for papal visit to Bosnia

View image | gettyimages.comFrom Reuters: Preparing for the visit, Bosnians of all faiths are showing a rare unity in a country plagued by political and ethnic tensions nearly 20 years after the end of its 1992-95 war that claimed over 100,000 lives. While the pontiff's June 6 visit is the … [Read More...]

Catholic university moves statue of missionary after some complain it is racist—UPDATED

Details: Saint Louis University has removed a statue on its campus depicting a famous Jesuit missionary priest praying over American Indians after a cohort of students and faculty continued to complain the sculpture symbolized white supremacy, racism and colonialism. Formerly placed outside the … [Read More...]

Visiting the Little Sisters in Queens

Wednesday evening, I was invited out to Queens Village to lead a Holy Hour and Benediction for the Little Sisters of the Poor.  I took the opportunity afterward to stroll the grounds, which have some unusual areas for prayer and contemplation, even at night.This statue of the H … [Read More...]

Another giant falls: University of Maryland daily newspaper goes weekly

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, almost 40 years ago, The Diamondback was one of the best student newspapers in America: a daily paper with a circulation of about 40,000 that consistently turned out award-winning journalism from some of the best and brightest young writers around. To write for … [Read More...]

Seton Hall priest who was removed over Facebook post admits he’s gay, requests sabbatical

A reader sent this my way today.This story got a lot of attention a couple weeks back, and now the other shoe has dropped: Just before graduation last year, campus priest Warren Hall was walking across Seton Hall's grounds sipping some coffee when a student ran up to him. The student thanked … [Read More...]

And now, some advice for engaged couples from the pope

From Vatican Radio: Pope Francis on Wednesday spoke to couples who are engaged to be married and told them not to be superficial as they prepare to enter into a life-long covenant of love.In yet another catechesis dedicated to the family, the Pope chose to speak of the importance of engagement … [Read More...]

Is being single a vocation?

View image | Msgr. Charles Pope address that provocative question—and provides some equally provocative answers—over at his blog:Simply being single does not seem to qualify for what we have traditionally termed vocations. Consider first some basic differences. 1. Those who … [Read More...]

Muslims call on world to protect endangered treasures of Palmyra from ISIS

From my colleague Fr. Elias Mallon, over at the CNEWA blog One-to-One:Now that ISIS has gained control of Palmyra — and, some fear, could destroy many of the priceless artifacts in the ancient Syrian city — an important Muslim voice has been raised, calling on the world to protect and defend the … [Read More...]

Conversion story: abandoned church turned into a brewery

View image | gettyimages.comFrom RTV6 in Indianapolis: If you worship at the altar of beer, we've found just the spot for you. “Hands go up (in the church) as if they are praying,” Part-owner Karl Vann says. “But they actually have an iPhone and are taking a picture.” It used to be St. Jos … [Read More...]