At the World Meeting of Families: How do you give communion to a million people?

View image | gettyimages.com Here’s an interesting glimpse behind the scenes, from Philly.com—including a detail that has lately been making the rounds on social media: that the pope is expected to say Mass in Latin. Read on:  When more than 1,500 priests and deacons descend from Pope Francis’ altar on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway next month [Read More...]

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Papal kitsch didn’t begin with Pope Francis

A few observers have marveled that the visit of Pope Francis has sparked a rush on kitschy souvenirs:  The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which will host the meeting, feels that the more lighthearted items are very appropriate to the fun-loving cleric and the joyfulness of the occasion, according to Joan Doyle, a retail consultant to cultural organizations who [Read More...]

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Vatican says autopsy reveals disgraced former nuncio died of natural causes

From Vatican Radio, confirmation of what was reported yesterday— that former Nuncio, Jozef Wesolowski, while facing trail in sex abuse charges, died of natural causes:  Following the sudden death, which occurred late on the past Thursday, August 27, of the former Apostolic Nuncio Jozef Wesołowski, the Office of the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice [the Vatican prosecutor], as [Read More...]

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What we have come to: the rich who are too busy now hire others to have their babies for them

Really? Yes:  Dylan Lauren has revealed that she chose to use a surrogate to ‘start her family’ with husband Paul Arrouet because she was busy expanding her candy store to new locations across the globe The 41-year-old daughter of fashion icons Ralph and Ricky Lauren welcomed fraternal twins Cooper Blue and daughter Kingsley Rainbow four [Read More...]

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New rector named to replace Robert Barron at Mundelein

From The Archdiocese of Chicago website: Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, today announced the appointment of Rev. John Francis Kartje as the rector / president of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, effective August 28, 2015. Archbishop Cupich made the announcement this evening at the conclusion of the Mass of [Read More...]

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Vatican expresses pope’s gratitude to author of banned children’s book

From The Guardian:  The hippos, kangaroos and penguins adorning the cover of Piccolo Uovo (Little Egg) give little hint of the political and religious storm the children’s book has caused. While following the adventures of an egg may seem harmless enough, its discovery of different family types – including same sex – has prompted a [Read More...]

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The Anti-Trump

It occurred to me the other day that these men represent two sides of the same coin: populist, unscripted, wildly unpredictable. Each, in his way, has turned part of the world upside down; each brings to his job a head-turning—sometimes, jaw-dropping—authenticity. Each has a penchant for breaking the rules. These guys define what it means to be [Read More...]

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Former Vatican ambassador charged with sex abuse dies

From CNN:  Jozef Wesolowski, a papal ambassador and the highest-ranking Catholic official to be put on trial for child abuse charges, died in his room early Friday. “Vatican authorities quickly carried out the first investigation and have established that the death was caused by natural causes,” a Vatican statement said. An autopsy has been ordered [Read More...]

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“Fastest nun in the West” moves toward sainthood

Details:  An Italian-born nun who confronted Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools faced her first test for the long road to sainthood on Tuesday. Supporters and researchers presented their case before the Archdiocese of Santa Fe at a ceremonial “first inquiry” in Albuquerque on why Sister Blandina [Read More...]

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Turnabout: After backlash, Oregon school reverses policy on hiring gays

The latest on a story I posted yesterday, from The Oregonian: The St. Mary’s Academy board voted Wednesday night to change the school’s policy on hiring gay employees after facing backlash over the administration’s decision to rescind a job offer to a gay counselor. Students and high-profile donor Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, had earlier condemned [Read More...]

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Medjugorje awaits word from the Vatican—and the pilgrimage business takes a hit

From The New York Times:   Soon the Vatican is expected to make public the findings of its own investigation into the reported apparitions, which was concluded 18 months ago. Though the inquiry was started by Francis’ predecessor, Benedict, if the conclusions are doubtful, as some speculate, they could pit a populist pope against a popular shrine. [Read More...]

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St. Monica, pray for us

Today is the feast day of the mother of St. Augustine. I’ve always loved this image of her, from the great John Nava, who created the stunning tapestries of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. The picture here comes from the website for the Church of St. Monica in the Diocese of Trenton, New [Read More...]

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A priest faces death with faith: “I became a Jesuit to save souls, including my own”

From The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Since being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in late January, the Rev. John Schlegel has given away most of his books, artwork and clothes. He has visited friends in Dallas; Denver; Chicago; Omaha, Neb.; New York; London; Oxford, England; and Dubuque, Iowa; and met with Pope Francis in Rome. And he [Read More...]

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Oregon Catholic school may face lawsuit after withdrawing job offer to lesbian

From The Catholic Sentinel:  St. Mary’s Academy in Portland may face a lawsuit filed by a woman whose job offer was withdrawn after she told school officials she planned to marry another woman. “Like other Catholic schools, St. Mary’s Academy is grounded in the teachings of the Catholic Church and asks faculty and staff to [Read More...]

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Uproar at Duke: “Cultural pluralism will lose its value if students aren’t allowed to follow their beliefs”

This story garnered some attention a few days ago: Some new Duke University students are very unhappy with a summer reading option that has gay themes. Incoming freshmen began posting on the Class of 2019 Facebook page, saying they had decided against reading Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by New York Times best-selling author Alison Bechdel, according to [Read More...]

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ABC planning ensemble drama about nuns

I’m sure it will be sympathetic to the Church. Right?  After all, this is the network bringing you “The Real O’Neals.”  From Variety:  The untitled project from writer-exec producer Alison Schapker revolves around a group of Catholic nuns fighting the closure of their Bronx-based convent who must suddenly deal with three young novices whose arrival unearths long-buried secrets. The ensemble [Read More...]

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Dorothy Day would be appalled

Back in the 1950s, the venerable woman who founded The Catholic Worker wrote a famous essay on “holy obedience”: Most cradle Catholics have gone through, or need to go through, a second conversion which binds them with a more profound, a more mature love and obedience to the Church. I do know that my nature [Read More...]

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Meet the Philadelphia inmates making the pope’s chair

This is pretty great, via Philly.com: Evan Davis sanded the back of a large walnut throne, scrubbing in the direction of the grain, to smooth the seat Pope Francis will sit on when he visits next month. In a carpentry shop at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC), Davis and about a dozen other inmates [Read More...]

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