“Take up your cross…”

Here’s a very good video on a main theme in this Sunday’s gospel. H/T Connie at The Ark. [Read more...]

Homily for August 31, 2014: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the gospels, it’s been a rough summer for St. Peter. A couple weeks ago, we encountered him climbing out of a boat during a storm, trying to walk on water. He lost faith and began to sink, and Jesus had to rescue him. Then, last week, Jesus gave him the keys to the kingdom [Read More...]

Farm fined for refusing to host gay wedding

Details, from Religion News Service:  Christian farm owners in upstate New York who declined a lesbian couple’s request to hold a wedding ceremony on their property have been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay the women $1,500 each.   Cynthia and Robert Gifford, who own Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany, rent their facilities for birthday parties and about a [Read More...]

New trends in church design

St. Paul the Apostle in Spartanburg, SC, consecrated in 2013. Photo: Spartanburg Herald Journal. See more pictures here.  From Crisis magazine comes this fascinating glimpse at contemporary church architecture—which, in a phrase, could be called Back to the Future: It is true that a certain indiscriminate preference for the contemporary remains firmly ensconced in the [Read More...]

Pope Francis to preside over wedding ceremony next month

Did you get an invitation? From CNS:  Pope Francis will preside over his first wedding ceremony as pontiff during a nuptial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Sept. 14. The Vatican confirmed Aug. 29 that 20 couples from the Diocese of Rome will be married by the pope, the bishop of Rome. The papal Mass celebrating [Read More...]

Behind every great married clergyman…

…is a woman like Mary Alma Parker. She helped make history. She is remembered this day by Fr. Dwight: On Tuesday Mrs Longenecker and I traveled to Charleston for the funeral of Mary Alma Parker. Mary Alma was the wife of Fr James Parker–the first Episcopal priest to be ordained under the Pastoral Provision in the [Read More...]

Must-see video: Cardinal Wuerl’s powerful plea on Iraq

My blog neighbor Kathryn Lopez posted this last night, and it deserves a wider distribution. As she wrote: This is no ordinary opening of an academic year, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., said toward the end of Mass for my alma mater’s academic year. “Atrocities happen because there are people who commit them and [Read More...]

Canadian archdiocese launches diaconate program

From The Catholic Register: The Archdiocese of Regina has launched its inaugural diaconate course, with 10 men taking their first steps towards becoming permanent deacons. The course was set to begin Aug. 29 and archdiocesan theologian Dr. Brett Salkeld couldn’t be more pleased. “We’re really excited. We’ve got 10 great guys who really want to [Read More...]

Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner becomes Catholic, with Cardinal Dolan attending

Details:  Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) converted to Catholicism in a quiet ceremony at Milwaukee’s St. Francis de Sales Seminary on Monday — a private affair reportedly attended by at least two Wisconsin bishops and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Sensenbrenner’s office confirmed the conversion in an e-mail. But it turned down an interview [Read More...]

Brad and Angelina: non-believers married in a chapel

So, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally got married:  Jolie and Pitt wed in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends at Chateau Miraval. In advance of the nondenominational civil ceremony, Pitt and Jolie obtained a marriage license from a local California judge. The judge also conducted the ceremony in [Read More...]

Further proof that God loves us

Let the revels begin:  September is prime pumpkin season at Dunkin’ Donuts, as America’s all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods today revealed its harvest of new and returning pumpkin favorites for fall. Leading the autumn array are new Pumpkin Crème Brulee Coffee and Lattes, which are available hot or iced, featuring the delicious flavors of [Read More...]

Statistics show “signs of life” among sisters

Some interesting insight from the 1964 blog at CARA:  In spring 2014, CARA began analyzing membership data reported by the religious institutes of women in the United States as listed in The Official Catholic Directory (OCD). Forthcoming is a CARA Special Report based on this research entitled, Population Trends among Religious Institutes of Women. This post presents a [Read More...]

Muslim scholar: “I’m a Nazarene, too”

From Catholic News Agency:  Referring to the label “Nazarene” marked on houses of Christians in Iraq by the militant Islamic State, a Muslim scholar also called himself Nazarene in solidarity – maintaining that many people in the Muslim community are identifying with Christians as well.“Millions of Muslims have used the Arab letter ‘nun,’ or ‘n,’ [Read More...]

Leading Italian bishop: Church must make “unconventional couples” feel at home

From Zenit:  Addressing a national conference on the liturgy on Wednesday, Bishop Nunzio Galantino said the Church must make everyone feel at home, including “unconventional couples”. “Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice,” he said, according to Italian news agency ANSA. “The burden of exclusion from [Read More...]

From Marquette, a prayer for James Foley

Photo by Xidan Zhang via the Marquette Tribune. From the university’s website: The Marquette University community gathered to remember alumnus and slain journalist James Foley at a vigil yesterday at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee. Foley, a 1996 graduate, was working as a war correspondent when he was kidnapped in Syria in November [Read More...]

A deacon recounts the final moments of a man on death row

A haunting testimony about the death of Joe Woods, from Deacon Ed Scheffer in the Diocese of Tuscon, via The Catholic Sun:  I prayed the rosary seven times as I sat in a small cinderblock room watching Joe gasp for air. He finally died one hour and 58 minutes later. In that time of prayer [Read More...]

“Would you like a rosary?”

Catholic San Francisco this week has this glimpse at an unusual lay ministry—one that is, literally, taking it to the streets: Office workers on their lunch hour, shivering tourists, local street folk and others crisscrossing the sidewalks near San Francisco’s Metreon complex Aug. 18 walked past – and a few around – the burly man [Read More...]

Great moments in fashion design: concentration camp chic?

From The New York Times:  The Zara T-shirt is called the “Sheriff,” but it looks more like the top of a Nazi concentration camp uniform. And that’s a problem for many people, judging from the outcry on social media. On Wednesday, after an uproar on Twitter, where many posts accused the clothes firm of anti-Semitism [Read More...]


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