Reports: Pope Francis to name Archbishop Pietro Parolin Secretary of State

It could happen as early as tomorrow, according to John Allen at NCR: Multiple reports suggest Pope Francis intends to name 58-year-old Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin to the key position of Secretary of State, traditionally the most important figure in the Vatican after the pope himself. Although the pope is the head of state, the [Read More…]

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Pope Francis praises Cardinal Martini as a “father in the Church”

Details:  Pope Francis on Friday met with Father Carlo Casalone , provincial of the Society of Jesus for Italy, who was accompanying members of the “Fondazione Carlo Maria Martini” on the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of the famous Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, who died on August 31, 2012. The foundation was [Read More…]

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Beautiful: watch this extraordinary teacher set his class on fire

This video is making the rounds once more. Since it’s back-to-school time, this seems like a great opportunity to meet, once more, a great teacher. I first posted this video last December.   As I wrote back then:  Here is love, pure love.  Parental advisory: keep a Kleenex nearby and be prepared to hug your [Read More…]

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Great moments in journalism: Does the NY Times hate Cardinal Dolan?

My blog neighbors over at Get Religion get the scoop on an important story that needed a followup—and never got one. Details:  What should we make of The Times coverage of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee abuse lawsuit? On 1 July 2013 The Timesprinted a story entitled “Dolan Sought to Protect Church Assets, Files Show”. [Read More…]

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Why a liberal Catholic won’t leave the Church

Award-winning journalist (and Friend of the Bench) Paul Moses offers the reasons why he stays in today’s Wall Street Journal:  The new tone that Pope Francis has set in Rome seems to have quieted, at least for the moment, the movement aimed at persuading liberal Catholics to leave their church.Last year, the Freedom From Religion [Read More…]

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Boom: Little Rock diocesan seminary enrollment at highest level in nearly 50 years

Details:  The Diocese of Little Rock’s seminarian count is getting back to levels it enjoyed in the 1960s. For the first time since 1965, the diocese boasts 41 seminarians, up 27 percent from 2012 and up 56 percent in the past 10 years. “We have a very different future than we did eight years ago,” [Read More…]

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Church sign celebrates how Jesus had “two dads”

Honk if you’re offended. Source.  [Read more…]

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Worshipping at the altar of Apple

Some years ago, Umberto Eco posited the notion that computers are like religion: The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and [Read More…]

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Ann Rodgers, star religion reporter, becomes Communications Director for Diocese of Pittsburgh

She made the announcement on her Facebook page: I will be leaving the Post-Gazette on Sept. 5 to become communications director for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. I haven’t swum the Tiber, but they told me that 33 years of wading in it have saturated me enough to do this job. I am deeply grateful [Read More…]

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Little boy struck by minivan tells driver: “Forgive me, it was my fault”

Details:  An 11-year-old is recovering in the hospital after he was hit by a car on the way to school this morning, police said. South Bend Police Capt. Phil Trent said the boy, a student at St. Joseph School, darted onto Colfax Avenue, just east of St. Louis Boulevard, around 8 a.m. A woman driving [Read More…]

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Pope on Syria: “Dialogue and negotiation is the only option”

From CNS:  Dialogue and negotiations are “the only option for putting an end to the conflict and violence” in Syria, said Pope Francis and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. As Western leaders expressed strong convictions that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack against its own citizens and vowed to take action, Pope Francis [Read More…]

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Study: clergy at higher risk for depression, anxiety

Details:  Clergy are often relied upon to guide others through difficult times, but a new study has found that the very nature of their work could put them at greater risk of developing depression and anxiety themselves. Researchers from the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School interviewed over 1,700 United Methodist pastors by phone and [Read More…]

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Rape victim consoled by phone call from Pope Francis: “Now I know that I am not alone…”

He really is the world’s pastor. Read on:  A 44-year-old woman from Argentina said that after writing a letter to Pope Francis telling him that she had been raped by a local police officer, the Pope called her personally to tell her, “You are not alone.” “The Pope told me he receives thousands of letters [Read More…]

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First look: “Mary of Nazareth” trailer

This fall’s must-see Catholic movie?  Fr. Donald Calloway got an early look and raved: The most stunning portrayal of the Virgin Mary on film. It will make you want to love her more than ever. An absolute masterpiece! Yes, my friends, I can assure you that we finally have a movie that gets Mary totally [Read More…]

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Deacon at work…at work

Here’s a glimpse of my other life, where sometimes church is a corporate office and the altar is a meeting table. This morning, CNEWA president Msgr. John E. Kozar celebrated Mass for the intentions of our donors in the board room of our headquarters in Manhattan. [Read more…]

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Look who’s talking…

Some New Evangelizers chat about new evangelizing. You may see one or two familiar names. Kudos to the talented Chaz Muth at CNS for pulling this together so deftly. [Read more…]

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“The diaconate is not about you, but about those you serve…”

Those are the words of Bishop W. Francis Malooly, in his homily at the ordination of deacons last week in the Diocese of Wilmington. From his homily: From the call of Jeremiah, we hear, “I knew you, I dedicated you, I appointed you but we must listen, the Lord surprises us at times.” We must [Read More…]

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Attention: brides. This one’s for you.

Planning a wedding? Something to consider… [Read more…]

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