What president had the codename “The Deacon”?

James Earl Carter, whom Forrest Wickman argues in Slate was America’s most religious president: It’s impossible to know the contents of a man’s heart, but historians who study the religious lives of the presidents point again and again to the words and deeds of James Earl Carter Jr. The Georgia Baptist set a new standard [Read More...]

Tired of people using cell phones during dinner? Try this.

It’s called the “Phone Stacking Game.”  Let’s see if it catches on: [Read more...]

Canon law expert endorses possibility of women deacons

Hot on the heels of this piece from a retired auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, another priest from that diocese has also announced his support for women deacons.  He is Msgr. John Alesandro, who among other things has served that diocese as Vicar General, Chancellor and, for a time, Diocesan Administrator. From Newsday: It is [Read More...]

“One can find something that may be Catholic outside of the Catholic Church…”

From today’s Angelus: “Just as one can find that which is not Catholic in the Catholic Church – that is, in the Church -, one can also find something that may be Catholic outside of the Catholic Church “: this quote from St. Augustine (On Baptism, Against the Donatists: PL 43 , VII, 39, 77) [Read More...]

Jerome again, naturally

Years ago, after my mother’s death, we were going through her things and came across a small black box.  Inside was a velvet pouch containing a man’s silver pocket watch. Inscribed on the back were the initials “Br. J.” I showed it to my aunt who said, “Oh, that was your father’s, from when he [Read More...]

New York City’s bishops on care for the poor: “It is not enough”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan posted the following on his blog two days ago, declaring it a joint statement with my own bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio: You can find great contrasts within a few miles of each others.  In some communities families are finding decent jobs and earning sufficient income to provide for themselves and their families.  Thanks [Read More...]

World’s coolest subway car

Imagine my surprise to step on the S train shuttle from Times Square to Grand Central Station this afternoon and encounter the car shown here. It’s an advertising schtick from Ask.com, but every car on the line is decorated with wallpaper to make it look like a Victorian library. Beer bottles, vomit and candy bar [Read More...]

Traditional worship on the rise among young Catholics in Canada

From the Catholic Register: The pre-Vatican days of Latin-language Masses are on the rise among Catholic youth. In Ottawa, St. Clement’s parish moved its daily traditional Latin Mass to St. Anne’s Church in Lowertown to accommodate its growing congregation, including many young families. Michael and Rebecca Trolley, a couple in their 20s, are very active [Read More...]

Homily for September 30, 2012: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] In the gospel we just heard, we encounter a word and a subject that many people these days don’t want to hear, and don’t want to talk about.  It’s a word that rarely leaves our lips, because it makes people uncomfortable. The word is “Sin.” As much as we don’t like [Read More...]

In unusual move, diocese tweets announcement of new bishop

This may be a first: The Catholic Diocese of Tyler has announced Reverend Monsignor Joseph Strickland as its fourth bishop via Twitter, ahead of a planned press conference Saturday. The following tweet was posted around 6 a.m. Saturday: “The Holy Father has named our very own Msgr. Joseph Strickland as the fourth Bishop of Tyler! [Read More...]

Deacon ordination, the Russian way

A friend posted this on his Facebook page, and I found it both fascinating and beautiful: a brief excerpt from the ordination of a deacon in the Russian Orthodox Church. [Read more...]

Great moments in journalism: best correction ever?

This appeared in the current issue of Vogue: [Read more...]

“A new voice in the pulpit”: deacons and Vatican II

The good people at AMERICA magazine asked me to write a few hundred words on how I thought the Second Vatican Council was continuing to impact the Church, and I decided to write about deacons:   A date most Catholics do not know may be one of the most important anniversaries on the church calendar: [Read More...]

“The Internet and mainstream press and propaganda machine of the Middle Ages”

That would be sermons. A group of scholars gathered at Harvard recently for a conference on “Preaching the Saints,” which offered a fascinating glimpse into the art of preaching from the Middle Ages. From the Harvard Gazette:  Theological and moral messages delivered centuries ago also help today’s scholars investigate the social content of the Middle [Read More...]

Poll shows Obama support growing among Catholics

Details from Religion News Service: President Obama’s support among Catholic voters has surged since June, according to a new poll, despite a summer that included the Catholic bishops’ religious freedom campaign and the naming of Rep. Paul Ryan, a Catholic, as the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate. On June 17, Obama held a slight edge over Mitt [Read More...]

Ordination update: 10 new deacons in Boston

From the Boston Pilot:  Standing before their wives, children, friends and parishioners, 10 men were ordained permanent deacons by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley on Sept. 22 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. “The Church is blessed to have these 10 fine men answer the call of God,” Cardinal O’Malley said in his homily. Those [Read More...]

Safe at home: Grant Desme, the star baseball player who is becoming a priest

You may remember the story of Grant Desme from a couple years back. Now a reporter has caught up with him, to tell the story of his life since leaving baseball. From Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports: On the afternoon Grant Desme retired from baseball, he was at peace. The world in which he had [Read More...]

UPDATE: Vatican lifts suspension of priest who changed words of Mass

Remember Fr. William Rowe?  The latest, from Religion News Service: An Illinois priest who was forced out of his parish by his bishop for improvising prayers during Mass has had his suspension reversed by the Vatican. The Vatican decided in favor of the Rev. William Rowe on one of three counts, saying Bishop Edward Braxton [Read More...]


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