Fort Worth’s Bishop Vann tapped for Diocese of Orange

And besides taking over a diocese, he will be taking over a high-profile project: transforming the Crystal Cathedral into the Christ Cathedral. Details over at Whispers in the Loggia.  You can also find a brief write-up at the AP.   [Read more...]

“Top 50 Catholic High Schools” includes one from Queens — UPDATED

In fact, this building is where I studied for the diaconate —for five years, it was my home away from home. Congratulations, to Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Elmhurst, Queens. (Not insignificantly, it also is the last prep seminary of its kind in America.) From the Cardinal Newman Society:  Today, September 20, 2012, the winners of [Read More...]

“Les Miz”: an extended first look

Those who have been waiting for more glimpses of this epic musical — following the sensational trailer released this summer—your wait is over. The producers have just released a mini-documentary/promotional video that focuses on the groundbreaking technique they used for recording the music: actually performing the songs live, with piano accompaniment, rather than lip-syncing. Prepare [Read More...]

Leave the gun, take the cannoli

At last, something to go with my Candy Corn Oreos. There’s a four letter word for this. Bliss.   [Read more...]

Big questions, interesting answers

A few years ago, I gave a Thanksgiving Day homily in which I quoted the Unitarian minister Peter Fleck.  He suggested that perhaps the pilgrims weren’t thankful because they survived; maybe they survived because they were thankful.  As I noted: Gratitude doesn’t always come easily. We all know that generosity – the giving of a [Read More...]

Pope to new bishops: Vatican II was a new Pentecost, launching the New Evangelization

One of the new bishops meeting the Holy Father today happens to be my new pastor (I hope he brings me  back a tee shirt…) Details: “Every believer is called to the challenge of the new evangelization” Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday morning, and bishops must “boldly invite the people from every walk of life [Read More...]

Accused monsignor sues Archdiocese of New York for libel

Details from the AP: A defrocked Roman Catholic monsignor who once led fundraising for the Archdiocese of New York has sued the church for libel. Charles Kavanagh’s lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. Kavanagh accuses the archdiocese of libeling him by saying he had sexually abused a teenage student in the 1980s [Read More...]

Look very closely …

…and notice how one piece of art can give two different impressions, depending on your point of view.  All it takes is a mirror and some imagination.  Read more here.    And you begin to understand that, in every sense: seeing is believing! [Read more...]

A love story in 22 pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what we have here is epic.  It’s the story of Taylor Morris, a Navy EOD from Cedar Falls, Iowa and his girlfriend Danielle. Check out this link for the photographs.  (Note: be sure to have a Kleenex nearby.)  And then, for the full story, visit Tim Dodd [Read More...]

“We Shall Not Be Moved”

That’s the name of a new documentary coming to a TV station near you this fall, detailing the efforts of religious order sisters to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Details, from NCR:  Although Hurricane Katrina destroyed convents, schools and social service centers in New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, it did not wipe out [Read More...]

A shore thing: Philadelphia sells vacation home for priests

Details:  A vacation house at the South Jersey shore used by generations of elderly priests was sold at auction by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for $4.5 million Sept. 15. Steve and Ilene Berger of Newtown Square won the bidding at $4.125 million for Villa St. Joseph by the Sea, a 19-room, 9,800-square-foot mansion in Ventnor, [Read More...]

Pope on Lebanon trip: “I continue to accompany those beloved people in prayer”

“Dear friends, the days spent in Lebanon were a wonderful manifestation of faith and religious feeling and a prophetic sign of peace. The multitude of believers from the entire Middle East, had the opportunity to reflect, to talk and especially to pray together, renewing their commitment to root their lives in Christ. I am sure [Read More...]

CARA: Catholic vote too close to call

Details: The vote of Catholics remains quite evenly split 47% for President Obama and 45% for Gov. Romney (most of the differences between the candidates have been within margins of sampling error for the sub-group). Once in March and again in July, President Obama had a lead of 9 percentage points. Gov. Romney’s biggest lead [Read More...]

Before Stephen Colbert met the Cardinal …

…he met the Deacon. Longtime readers will remember this snapshot, from CBS in 2007. Colbert had broken his wrist.  While recovering, he got several TV anchors (including Katie Couric) to sign his cast, and later sold it for charity. [Read more...]

“Catholic” but not “Roman Catholic”: a priest from the “United American Catholic Church” responds

You may remember that I wrote about Rev. William Freeman last month, in a post about Catholic weddings.   Though I quoted extensively from his own website, and used his own words, he took issue with my conclusions, and asked for an opportunity to respond. I agreed. You can read his essay here.  I think [Read More...]

Reversal: Accused Joliet priest who was returned to ministry is removed … again

You may remember this item from last week.  Well…the priest is now, once again, out: The Rev. F. Lee Ryan has been removed from public ministry again. Ryan, 79, who has been accused of inappropriate relations with a minor four decades ago, was put back into limited ministry last week after a ruling from the [Read More...]

Catholic Church opens its doors to Jewish neighbors in need for Rosh Hashanah

What a great story. Details: A ruptured pipe threatened to dampen Rosh Hashanah services on Long Island, but instead it brought neighbors of two faiths closer together. Synagogue leaders arrived at the Jewish Center of Island Park on Sunday to find the ground floor completely flooded. “The nipple of the pipe had burst, completely flooding about two-thirds [Read More...]

Hooray for Hollywood: how two stars reacted to paparazzi

A great idea, nicely executed by Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. Details: In one slick, subversive move, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone took a paparazzi moment and turned it into an act of kindness. The celebrity couple used the set of photographers waiting outside their New York City lunch spot on Saturday to help raise [Read More...]


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