Sainthood cause begins for Chiara Lubich

Chiara Lubich via Wikipedia  Details:  Bishop Raffaello Martinelli will officially open the process of beatification of Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement (or Work of Mary), on 27 January, in the cathedral of the Frascati. Chiara spent most of her life in this diocese and it is here that she is buried. Maria Voce, [Read More...]

Meet Fr. Joshua Johnson, Baton Rouge’s youngest priest—and a rapper. UPDATED

Joshua Johnson speaks to a group of young people at an archdiocesan revival meeting in 2014. From The Archdiocese of New Orleans Clarion Herald Following in the footsteps of Fr. Stan Fortuna? Details from The Baton Rouge Advocate: A young Catholic priest who enjoys rap music had a few confessions about his faith and his [Read More...]

Remembering Ann O’Connor and her “elegant soup kitchen” in Syracuse

Ann O’Connor and Peter King by Michael Greenlar / Syracuse.com  The CNS blog notes: The Catholic Worker community in Syracuse, New York, lost one of its stalwarts with the death of Ann O’Connor, 81, Jan. 17. In 1971 she became involved with Unity Kitchen Community in Syracuse, where she met her husband, Peter King. They [Read More...]

Homily for January 25, 2015: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

El Capitan by Mike Murphy / Wikipedia  People must have thought they were crazy. Seven years ago, when rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson began planning to scale Yosemite’s El Capitan, people said it couldn’t be done. Caldwell and Jorgenson proposed climbing the sheer wall, or Dawn Wall, using nothing but their own skill [Read More...]

Vermont’s “Cyber-Bishop” Coyne: “We are now a missionary church. We have to give people a reason to stay.”

Bishop Christopher Coyne via Diocese of Burlington A Burlington TV station aired this brief profile of its new bishop, Christopher Coyne, last night: Coyne described himself as primarily a pastor, adding he embraces direct and charitable conversations with parishioners and community members. Coyne also maintains a large presence on social media, with thousands of followers [Read More...]

Altar girls, again: what happened when a SF parish banned girl altar servers—UPDATED

It must have been a slow news day in San Francisco, since it appears this led the local news last night: A Bay Area church is now under fire over a controversial new policy saying only boys can be altar servers. The new practice is making waves at the century old church Star of the Sea. Since [Read More...]

The pope’s liturgical “abuse”

Over at the blog Pray Tell, Anthony Ruff notes a recent letter regarding the Sign of Peace during Mass: One of the last acts of Cardinal Llovera as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship was to sign, along with secretary Arthur Roche, the circular letter on the Sign of Peace of June 8, 2014. [Read More...]

American priest who died from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) moves closer to sainthood

From CNA/EWTN:  Servant of God Aloysius Schwartz is one of the 11 causes for canonization that Pope Francis advanced yesterday, and will be granted the title “Venerable” with the pontiff’s recognition of his heroic virtue. Pope Francis approved the advancement of the causes for canonization during a private Jan. 22 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato [Read More...]

Pope Francis reminds Roman Rota that sacraments are free—and annulments should be, too

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis received the judges and advocates of the Roman Rota on Friday, to inaugurate the tribunal’s 2015 judicial term. The Roman Rota is the highest ordinary appellate court in the Church’s judicial system. The bulk of the work of the Rota involves deciding cases of marital nullity – marriage annulments, in [Read More...]

St. Augustine appoints deacon as chancellor

I received this email this morning: As of a week ago the new Chancellor & Diocesan Ecumenical Officer for the Diocese of St. Augustine is Deacon David Williams. And his assistant is also a deacon. His first appearance on the ecumenical scene was on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 as seen in this photo. [Deacon Williams is [Read More...]

Stunning pro-life witness: “In choosing life, we chose sorrow. But we also chose joy.”

Treasa and George Matysek rest their hands on their unborn baby, Georgie, when he was still in his mother’s womb. (Courtesy Matysek family / Catholic Review) This comes from my friend George Matysek in the Catholic Review of Baltimore. If you read only one pro-life story this day, this should be it. Pass it on. [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “God forgives everything”

“There is no sin which He won’t pardon. He forgives everything.  ‘But father, I don’t go to confession because I have committed so many really bad sins, so many that I can’t be forgiven….’  No, this is not true.  He forgives everything.  If you go (to confession) repentant, He will forgive everything.  When… so many [Read More...]

Pope releases message for World Day of Social Communications on “Communicating the Family”

Photo from Vatican Radio From Vatican Radio:  The Vatican has issued Pope Francis’ Message for the 49TH World Day of Social Communications, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council (Inter mirifica, 1963).  The theme of this year’s message: “Communicating the Family – a Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love.” [Read More...]

Pro-life feminism: “Taking feminism back from those who corrupted it”

View image | gettyimages.com From Huffington Post:  While Republican lawmakers squabbled over a single bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the anti-abortion movement’s leadership found common ground Wednesday discussing long-term strategy at a summit in the nation’s capital. Much media attention focused on the annual March for Life, when tens of thousands of anti-abortion protesters converged Thursday on [Read More...]

Ordination update: 11 new deacons for Arlington

Photo by Ashleigh Buyers | Catholic Herald Following up on the beautiful photo from last weekend, here’s a fuller report from The Arlington Catholic Herald:  Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde ordained 11 men to the permanent diaconate Jan. 17 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More. The 11 new deacons are: Robert E. Benyo, Robert R. Gillispie, [Read More...]

On Roe v. Wade: “We shall overcome”

“We shall overcome the indifference only by love. A love that will allow us to see in every unborn child a precious gift, a fellow human being. We must direct our love and attention to wherever life is most threatened and show by our attitudes, words and actions that life is precious, and we must [Read More...]

Doesn’t God have more important things to do?

View image | gettyimages.com Not if you believe this headline: 1 in 4 Americans Believe God Will Decide Who Wins the Super Bowl.   Among the highlights: Sixty-five percent of Catholics and 68 percent of Protestants believe God rewards faithful athletes, while just 27 percent of the religiously unaffiliated say the same. Protestants, at 45 [Read More...]

Cardinal Marx: “We must look for ways for people to receive the Eucharist. It is not about finding ways to keep them out!”

From America magazine, part of an interview conducted recently: Two issues at the present synod are divorced and remarried Catholics and gay Catholics, especially those in relationships. Do you have opportunities to listen directly to these Catholics in your present ministry? I have been a priest for 35 years. This problem is not new. I [Read More...]


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