What’s an “almoner”? Read about a Vatican job with close ties to deacons

An interesting profile of a job many may not know about, from Vatican Insider: Francis, the Pope of the Poor, last week continued his outreach to the poor and needy by appointing a humble Polish priest, Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, as his almoner, that is the one who will give alms or charity to the poor [Read More…]

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Nevermind: the transgender journalist who discovered “he’s just another boring straight guy”

This is, in every sense of the word, incredible. From the New York Post: He thought he was a woman trapped in a man’s body — but it turns out he’s “just another boring straight guy.” ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn [Read More…]

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“Look to media as an apostolic opportunity…”

Some solid advice and a little bit of wisdom, via Catholic News Agency:  Catholics should see the secular media as an opportunity to evangelize and more effectively reach “people who need heroes and need the Gospel,” said the head of a Catholic communications organization. “Look to media as an apostolic opportunity. Call reporters, be their friends. [Read More…]

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No Catholic burial for Richard III

From First Things: In February, archaeologists confirmed that they had discovered the remains of King Richard III beneath a parking lot in Leicester. Richard died in battle at Bosworth Field in August 1485; the Tudor victors gave him a rather unceremonious burial in what was then a local abbey. Richard will now be re-interred in Leicester’s Anglican [Read More…]

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The Cat in the Hat Eucharist

N.B.: This is not a Catholic Mass. It comes from our Anglican siblings in Canada. This is a couple years old, but for some reason it fluttered across my Facebook feed yesterday. The rector says: “We take the Eucharist seriously, but we do so with humor, with love, with invitation.” Alrighty then. That helps explain [Read More…]

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Friends believe Jesuit priest kidnapped in Syria

From the Vatican Insider:  Friday went by and still no news from the Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio who went off the grid on Monday. This means it is likely the priest was kidnapped. Over the past few days, activists have been claiming that Dall’Oglio had gone silent because he was involved in a mediation attempt. [Read More…]

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Wow. In the world of journalism, this is huge.

Talk about the end of an era: The Washington Post is being sold:  The Washington Post Co. has agreed to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations. Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of [Read More…]

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It’s a big Church

A friend posted this intriguing link on her Facebook page the other day, and it offers us a little glimpse at the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church in Tanzania. Note the coat of arms, which includes Kilimanjaro and the Eucharist. And the mission statement?  It doesn’t get any more basic than this: “Diocese of [Read More…]

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On the Extraordinary Form: “Pope Francis has not contradicted Pope Benedict”

This moved last week.  It’s a followup to the story about the Vatican’s action regarding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. From one of the Franciscans: Pope Francis has also severely restricted our use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and this has been [Read More…]

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You say you wanna revolution? It’s here.

Photo: Reuters And John Allen is taking notes. From NCR: One could argue that in most of the ways that matter, the change has already arrived. In just four months, Francis has revived the international prestige of the papacy and its moral capital. The Italian edition of Vanity Fair recently declared him its “Man of the Year,” [Read More…]

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Want to listen to the Bible? There’s an app for that.

CNS throws a spotlight on an intriguing (and free) audio app: The gentle lilt of Julia Ormond emotes the Magnificat, the deep voice of Blair Underwood narrates as Gospel writer Mark, Kristin Bell plays Mary Magdalene and Brian Cox is the voice of God. You’ve never heard the Gospel quite like this. Hoping to create [Read More…]

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Put up yer dukes: welcome to the Church Belligerent

Some astute analysis of where we are today, from Rev. Paul Scalia (son of Antonin): The Church, like a nation, must defend herself and her faith. She must fight for the truth and for the salvation of souls. This demands doing battle, for which reason we call ourselves the Church Militant. Like a nation, however, [Read More…]

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Want to promote vocations? Try this.

Fr. Paul, center, with clergy from the parish before Mass. For several years now, my parish has undertaken a novena to St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, as a way to support seminarians and pray for vocations. The novena opens with a Mass celebrated by a jubilarian priest; it closes on a Sunday, as [Read More…]

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How an Italian boy from Brooklyn became bishop of Bridgeport

Photo: Gregory Shemitz A great profile of a great priest, from Greenwich Time:  For a man just appointed by Pope Francis to be bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, which covers all of Fairfield County, [Bishop Frank] Caggiano has rather humble roots. He was born on Easter Sunday 1959, into an Italian family so new [Read More…]

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Dustin’s legacy: “He changed so many lives”

You may remember this story about a young man named Dustin Rhodes battling brain cancer. The reporter who wrote that piece, Teresa McMinn, now has this update:  Dustin Rhodes and his high school sweetheart Rebecca used to train together for York Catholic’s cross country teams. Frequently, practice for meets included a run up the incline near [Read More…]

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Open wide: Hundreds show up for Catholic Charities free dental clinic

From my Shamelessly Proud of Where I Came From file…a great story involving my alma mater in Maryland, St. Vincent Pallotti High School:  The first two people in line arrived within 10 minutes of each other Friday evening, ready to sleep on the sidewalk overnight for free dental care at a high school in Laurel on [Read More…]

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Experts say WYD crowd in Rio was not even half as big as reported

Details:  If measured in spirit, there is hardly a soul who would question the success of Pope Francis’ Mass on giant Copacabana beach last weekend. The count when it comes to the flesh-and-blood numbers of faithful who actually attended is an entirely different matter. The Vatican said an historic 3.7 million people were at the [Read More…]

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Meet the man who sang at Rio’s Eucharistic Adoration: “The arms of St. Peter’s are really big”

It was a mesmerizing and deeply moving moment during the pope’s visit last week.  But who was the guy on his knees strumming the guitar? From Religion News Service:  Growing up Roman Catholic in Newfoundland, Matt Maher never imagined that his childhood interest in music would lead to a career as a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping Christian rocker — [Read More…]

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