Prayers for Benedict Groeschel

The Cardinal Newman Society posted this on their Facebook page:  We received word from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal that Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., fell and reinjured the same arm that was hurt in his accident ten years ago. One of his brother friars, Fr. Glenn Sudano, related that Fr. Groeschel is in much [Read More...]

Ordination update: a record 21 new deacons for Rockford

The press release from last week says it all: The largest class of permanent deacons in the history of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford will be ordained this weekend before family and friends from across the 11-county Diocese. Bishop David J. Malloy will ordain 21 men to assist in the ministry of the Catholic Church through [Read More...]

Bye bye, books: Catholic school drops textbooks for tablets

A fascinating glimpse into modern education, from Ocala, Florida: Biology teacher Cheryl Tomlinson looked at her Trinity Catholic High School class and challenged her students to find interesting facts about adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Last year, many students would have had to thumb through their textbooks — or maybe used a laptop, if they had one [Read More...]

“The pope’s most important step on sex abuse may come in Kansas City”

From John Allen in Crux:  News yesterday that the Vatican is investigating Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, first reported by Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter, is potentially a prelude to the most significant step Pope Francis may ever take with regard to the church’s child sexual abuse scandals. Francis has already [Read More...]

“The more conservative Catholicism of the United States has been dealt another blow…”

Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister weighs in on the man who will be the new archbishop of Chicago: While still reeling from the news of the imminent removal of Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the more conservative and traditional Catholicism of the United States – and historically the more “papist” – has been dealt another blow with the [Read More...]

St. Jerome and me

From the vault:  Today marks the feast of St. Jerome– a prolific writer, scholar, and friend of lions (he reputedly helped one by removing a thorn from its paw). He’s also someone close to my own heart. In his youth, my father was a Christian Brother, and was given the name of “Brother Jerome” — a [Read More...]

Muslims rally in Paris to protest ISIS; Muslim leaders issue condemnation of violence

Details:  Hundreds of Muslims have gathered near the Grand Mosque in Paris to condemn the execution of the French tourist, Herve Gourdel, by Islamic State-linked jihadists and the rise of Islamophobia caused by it. The demonstrators were holding up placards, reading “”Tribute to Herve Gourdel” and “God is merciful” as well as signs with NotInMyName hastag. The [Read More...]

Vatican investigating KC Bishop Robert Finn—UPDATED

From NCR:  A Canadian archbishop visited the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese last week on behalf of the Vatican to investigate the leadership of Bishop Robert Finn, the first Catholic prelate to be found criminally guilty of shielding a priest in the ongoing clergy sexual abuse crisis. Ottawa, Ontario, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast visited the Midwestern [Read More...]

Atheist offers “invocation” at town council meeting in Alabama

Details:  Here’s what happens when an atheist offered Alabama’s first non-theist invocation to open a public meeting: 90 seconds of thoughtful statements that began with “Dearly Beloved” and ended with “Let it be so,” and no reaction from a packed City Council chamber. As the invocation ended, everyone swung automatically to face the flag to [Read More...]

When was the last time you heard a homily that mentioned mental illness?

A new survey looks at how this subject is treated in Protestant churches. But I can’t say it gets much attention in the Catholic Church, either. Details: Protestant clergy rarely preach about mental illness to their congregations and only one-quarter of congregations have a plan in place to assist members who have a mental health crisis, a [Read More...]

Off the hookah: owner explains why he named his bar “ISIS”

As you can imagine, it’s causing him all sorts of problems. Now this Queens Coptic Christian is going to the media to clear things up. From the In My Backyard Desk, via the New York Daily News:   Despite its menacing name, there are no beheadings on the menu at this Queens smoke spot. The [Read More...]

Man charges bishop had affair with his wife, threatens lawsuit—UPDATED

Now the other shoe is dropping in the eyebrow-raising story of the bishop who suddenly resigned over the weekend. Details:  A husband is threatening to sue the Catholic Church after one of Britain’s leading bishops allegedly became “the third person” in his marriage. The Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry, stood down at the [Read More...]

Francis hails Benedict as “the grandfather of all grandfathers”

From Catholic News Agency:  Retired pontiff Benedict XVI joined some 50,000 pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, Sept. 28 for a meeting between Pope Francis and elderly people from around the world.Welcoming his predecessor, the Holy Father described Pope Benedict as the “grandfather of all grandfathers.”“I have said many times that it gives me [Read More...]

The deacon who acts—and who is, in fact, an actor

Details:  When Deacon Glenn Netemeyer was preaching for just the third time at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Albers, the piece of paper he had written everything on blew off the lectern. “It just flew away in the fan breeze,” he recalled with a chuckle. “I looked at the crowd and they looked at me.” [Read More...]

Epic: hundreds join massive “Riverdance” celebration

I’m not sure what the Gaelic word for “Wow” is (O’Wow?) but this definitely deserves it. Just watch. [Read more...]

Bishop resigns, saying “I’ve been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest”

This doesn’t happen very often. Details:  An English bishop has announced his resignation after disclosing that he has been unfaithful to his vows. Bishop Kieran Conry made the announcement in a letter to be read out at Masses in his Diocese of Arundel and Brighton this weekend. He apologised for being “unfaithful to my promises [Read More...]

Homily for September 28, 2014: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Of all the remarkable moments that marked Derek Jeter’s last home game Thursday night, there is one that really struck me. You might call it a home run. Before leaving the field for the last time, as the crowd roared, Jeter walked to his spot where he played shortstop, crouched down, bowed his head, and [Read More...]

Ordination update: 13 new deacons for Boston

From The Pilot:  As he ordained 13 new permanent deacons at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Sept. 20, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley recounted the history of the diaconate and his appreciation for their ministry. “In every diocese where I have worked, the presence of the dedicated permanent deacons has been such a great blessing. [Read More...]