“To be a Christian is to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven it in us…”

From two years ago:  It is difficult to capture what this anniversary means to us as Americans, as New Yorkers, as Catholic Christians.  The things we feel are almost beyond words.  We are still, in many ways, groping in the dark, struggling to find a way to deal with what happened, and how much our [Read More…]

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For 9/11: Mychal’s Prayer

Lord, take me where You want me to go; Let me meet who You want me to meet; Tell me what You want me to say; And keep me out of Your way. — Fr. Mychal F. Judge, O.F.M. FDNY Chaplain 5/11/33  —  9/11/01 Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: “Empty convents are of no use to the Church. Let the refugees in.”

From Vatican Insider: “Empty convents are not for the Church to transform into hotels and make money from them. Empty convents are not ours, they are for the flesh of Christ: refugees,” the Pope said lifting his eyes from his script during his visit to Centro Astalli, a refugee centre in the heart of Rome, [Read More…]

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Must-see video: making the homeless smile in NYC

This is pretty great:  A group of young Muslim YouTubers took a break from making prank videos to spread a message about giving to those in need, and it’s quickly becoming one of their most viral videos to date. The True Story ASA team — named for it’s three members: Adam Saleh, Sheikh Akbar and Abdullah Ghuman [Read More…]

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Womenpriests say excommunication doesn’t bother them because “most of us just ignore it”

They ignore all the other demands of the Church, so why not that one, too? Details:   The Roman Catholic Womenpriests gained their 121st American member on Saturday, when candidate Ann Poelking Klonowski was ordained as a priest in Brecksville, Ohio — not that the Catholic Church recognizes the ceremony. Canon law 1024 states explicitly that “a baptized male alone receives [Read More…]

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Worst. Ad. Ever. — UPDATED

  Details:  Images of the ad started appearing on Facebook pages and Twitter. And many people visited the Facebook page of the golf course, leaving angry and threatening messages. At first, the company tried to apologize and even offered to donate money to the 9/11 Memorial. However, the outrage did not stop. There were reports of physical [Read More…]

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The power of prayer? Syria announces support of plan to surrender chemical weapons

It’s not a done deal yet, but this sounds promising.  From CNN:  The Syrian government supports a proposal to put its chemical weapons under international control as a way to avert a Western military strike, Syria’s prime minister said Tuesday. The Russian plan “aims to stop the Syrian bloodshed and prevent a war,” Wael Nader [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: “Jesus is the Winner…”

That could be the phrase on a new bumper sticker. But it’s Pope Francis in this morning’s homily:  “Jesus is the Winner who has won over sin and death.” Those were the words of Pope Francis on Tuesday morning during his Homily at morning Mass. He was referring to the Letter of St. Paul to [Read More…]

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Restoration: bringing back a pipe organ in Brooklyn

Left, the Rev. Michael A. Perry, pastor of Our Lady of Refuge, sat at the organ with Joseph A. Vitacco III, the mastermind of the restoration. Photo by Bryan Thomas for the New York Times Here’s a great story from the In My Backyard Desk, courtesy the New York Times:  Joseph A. Vitacco III remembers [Read More…]

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“If you are interested in becoming a Deacon Couple…”

A reader sent this my way: a blog post from a parish in South Pasadena, written by a deacon aspirant and his wife, describing the journey toward ordination. From the way this is written, it sounds like she’s being ordained, too: The summer was very active for us; homework assignments, meeting our Deacon journeying couple, [Read More…]

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Man accused of shooting during Mass found competent to stand trial

You probably remember this story from June.  Now, an update:  A man accused of shooting and nearly killing his father-in-law during a crowded Father’s Day church service in northern Utah has been ruled competent to stand trial. The Standard-Examiner of Ogden reports a pair of mental health professionals determined 35-year-old Charles “Ricky” Jennings Jr. is [Read More…]

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What a great idea!

Iowa is granting gun permits to people who are legally blind. Seriously. From  CBS News: Iowa law enforcement officials are debating the wisdom of granting gun permits to blind people. The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa law doesn’t allow sheriffs to deny a permit to carry a gun in public based on physical ability. [Read More…]

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Boffo: Argentina producing a major motion picture about the pope

From Variety:  Habemus a pope pic. And from Pope Francis’ native Argentina. One of its most international directors, Alejandro Agresti (“The Lake House”) will direct “Historia de un cura” (A Priest’s Tale), a biopic of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from his childhood through to election in March as the head of the Catholic Church. Bergoglio became the first Jesuit pope, [Read More…]

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Did you miss the pope’s prayer vigil Saturday? No problem. Here it is.

I was otherwise engaged this weekend—attending a family baptism in Virginia. If you missed it, too, pull up a chair, break out the rosary, and just click the PLAY arrow below. And, for added measure, here’s the text of the pope’s homily—which, at the very least, should be required reading: “And God saw that it [Read More…]

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Diocese bans school trips to leading research facility because of work on embryonic stem cells

Details:  Children who attend Catholic schools within the Madison diocese won’t be taking any more field trips to a renowned research center because it conducts research using embryonic stem cells. The Madison Catholic Diocese, which announced its decision in a letter Thursday, said the research at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery runs counter to Catholic [Read More…]

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Kentucky priest captures tales of dying, devotes himself to making sure “no one dies alone”

A remarkable ministry, with a remarkable story behind it, as reported by USA TODAY:  It wasn’t just one thing that led the Rev. Paul Scaglione to devote so much of his ministry to the terminally and the chronically ill over his 40 years as a Roman Catholic priest. There was his own near-fatal diabetic coma four decades [Read More…]

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Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us

Longtime FOB Deacon Charles Rohrbacher in Alaska—a very gifted iconographer—sent me the image above with a note: It is the icon of Our Lady, Queen of Peace. I completed late last night. We’ll be praying with it tomorrow at the Cathedral as part of the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria. Our [Read More…]

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On the wedding page of the New York Times, Miami Heat star Udonis Haslem and wife talk about bride’s abortion

This may be a first in the wedding announcements—and a tragic sign of our times. Details: A wedding announcement in The New York Times is a triumph for any couple, a place to tell the world about the tight bonds of their love and its manifestation in the romantic splurge of their wedding day. The [Read More…]

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