In the papers: a look at the deacons of Erie

  Photo: Andy Colwell/Erie Times News Details:  Deacon Ron Fronzaglia began his homily Sunday with a pop quiz. The retired teacher and principal asked members of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in McKean to list priorities in their lives. “Is prayer one of your priorities?” Fronzaglia asked. “Is going to church one of your priorities?” [Read More…]

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At the cross, her station keeping: reflections on the Queen of Martyrs

My parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, marks its feast tomorrow. Below is a homily I delivered for the occasion in 2008, with some reflections on the cross and Mary:  This Sunday, marks the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. And like we do at every Sunday mass, we began this celebration with a [Read More…]

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“There is a growing tendency to ‘tabloidism’ in the Catholic press…and the worrying phenomenon of blogs”

Some of the remarks from Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, on the New Evangelization: We do not need a conformist Church.  We need a Church of mature and authentic common commitment and concern for the spreading of the Gospel.  That Gospel is perennially new and must always be presented in ways that are new, but [Read More…]

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Conversion story: making the Crystal Cathedral Catholic

Photo: Mark Boster/LA Times A fascinating piece on what’s involved in the transformation, from the Los Angeles Times: The name has already been changed to the Christ Cathedral. But the work of liturgical consultants, priests and architects to transform a temple so closely identified as a symbol of Schuller’s sunny, uniquely Southern Californian theology into one that [Read More…]

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“Giving is the best communication”

Watch this stunning, beautifully executed ad from Thailand and see if you don’t agree. It’s a commercial for a Thai telecom company, but I think they’re selling something much more important.  Watch. [Read more…]

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“What an extraordinary act of courage to become a priest!”

A terrific appreciation of priests—and a tremendous affirmation of hope—by Jeffrey Tucker in Crisis:  What an extraordinary act of courage to become a priest! It means embracing to the fullest extent the very thing that the world today completely rejects: the possibility for holiness to exist in any form. I don’t mean just the possibility [Read More…]

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What would a married priesthood look like?—UPDATED

With all the raised eyebrows and dropped jaws over recent statements on priestly celibacy, some people may think it’s time to redecorate the rectory to make it ready for the pastor’s new bride when they return from their honeymoon. Deep breaths, people. There’s less to this than meets the eye. And there are many unanswered [Read More…]

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“If you speak ill of your brother, you kill your brother…”

From today’s homily, Pope Francis offers a message I really need to take to heart: He who speaks ill of his neighbor is a hypocrite who lacks the courage to look to his own shortcomings. Speaking during his homily at morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis focused on the fact that gossip [Read More…]

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“Car talk” about the pope’s Renault

Earlier this week, the pope got a new set of wheels.    And now CNS has collected some priceless reaction: Leave it to the slapstick brothers, Tom and Ray, at Car Talk to have a field day with the news of Pope Francis’ recent present: a lovingly used 30 hp 1984 Renault 4. As soon as the [Read More…]

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Report: pope stops naming monsignors

 Details:  Pope Francis has stopped granting priests the honorary title of “monsignor” in advance of an October meeting with several cardinals on possible reforms in the Catholic Church, the London-based Catholic weekly The Tablet is reporting Thursday. According to the Tablet‘s Rome correspondent Robert Mickens, Francis first made the decision in April shortly after his election as pope. The decision [Read More…]

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Big news in Little Rock: record number of vocations

A couple weeks back, I posted on the surge in vocations in Little Rock. Now the local secular media is also reporting on the seminarian boom. See the video below. [Read more…]

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“Wardrobe malfunction” foils robbery attempt at Florida shrine

You can’t make this stuff up:  Orange County deputies said a man accused of trying to rob the gift shop at the Catholic Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe didn’t get far, thanks to a wardrobe malfunction. Deputies said Anthony Garcia, 31, walked into the gift shop at the shrine, [Read More…]

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“Bergoglio’s List”: new book details future pope’s secret effort to protect suspected dissidents

From Catholic News Service:  While a military-backed dictatorship in Argentina was conducting a clandestine war on suspected dissidents, then-Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future pope, masterminded a secret strategy to save those being targeted, according to a new book. Titled “Bergoglio’s List: Those Saved by Pope Francis; Stories Never Told,” also includes the transcript of [Read More…]

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Worth a thousand words

As the Vatican’s Greg Burke noted in a tweet for this picture: Girl looks a little excited #PapaFrancisco Great photo from Paul Haring @CatholicNewsSvc pic.twitter.com/jjTCho5IA3 [Read more…]

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Cardinal urges more sensitivity in preaching on homosexuality

He’s one of the eight cardinals—the “Super 8” or “Gang of 8”— advising Pope Francis, and evidently made his comments in response to a complaint about a sermon. From Hindustan Times:    The Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, assured the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT) community that he would advise priests to [Read More…]

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Pope Francis writes personal letter to atheist

From John Allen at NCR: Although the big Vatican story in the English-speaking media today is based on comments by Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the new Secretary of State, on celibacy and democracy, attention in Italy is focused instead on the latest sensation from Pope Francis himself: a personal letter to a renowned journalist and nonbeliever, splashed across the front [Read More…]

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Let there be light: the story behind Benedict’s candle at Ground Zero

At CNS’s blog, Carol Glatz has this intriguing story about meeting Martin Marklin, the man who designed the candle for Pope Benedict’s visit to Ground Zero in 2008, and the light that nearly wasn’t: When the candle safely arrived, Martin was then concerned about how it would be lit. It was Pope Benedict’s desire to light [Read More…]

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Vatican’s new secretary of state: celibacy is open to discussion—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

From NBC News:  The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church. “Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss [Read More…]

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