For 9/11: “We pray, very simply, in remembrance…”

“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 lives and our world [Read More...]

The deacon who’s helping to run Tara

Last month, I posted on the historic bequest of Margaret Mitchell’s estate to the Catholic Church.  Now, here’s a look at one of the key figures involved, Deacon Steve Swope. From CNS: Steve Swope, the deacon who is overseeing the late Joseph Mitchell’s multimillion-dollar “Gone With the Wind” bequest to the Archdiocese of Atlanta, discovered [Read More...]

Gay couple sues church for refusing to sell them house

It happened in Massachusetts.  Details:  A gay couple from Massachusetts has sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester for allegedly refusing to sell them a mansion because church officials were concerned they would host gay weddings at the site. James Fairbanks and Alain Beret filed their discrimination suit Monday in Worcester Superior Court. They allege [Read More...]

Ordination update: 11 new deacons in Milwaukee

I suspect there will be a complete write up soon in the archdiocesan paper, but last week the Catholic Herald offered a preview: Eleven men will be ordained deacons of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Saturday, Sept. 8. The deacons will serve [Read More...]

Thousands turn out for 400th anniversary of Cuba’s Our Lady of Charity

Details:  The festival of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, patroness of Cuba, drew thousands of people to Masses and processions that were marked by messages of love and unity for Cubans on and off the island, where this year the 400th anniversary of the finding of the saint’s image is being held. Just [Read More...]

Report: Anglicans discuss sharing cathedral with Catholics in New Zealand

Details are sketchy, but if it happens it would truly be historic: Anglicans in Christchurch are talking about sharing a cathedral with the Catholics, a move that would have worldwide ramifications. OLIVIA CARVILLE reports. Rebuilding Christchurch’s two wounded cathedrals into one ‘unprecedented’ Anglican-Catholic super-cathedral is under discussion at top levels in the Anglican Church. The [Read More...]

Parishioners tackle purse snatcher during Mass

Details: The suspect accused in a string of purse thefts in Pittsburgh’s Troy Hill section is now in police custody after being arrested Sunday morning during a church service. “The individual came in about 10 minutes after the service started, and he sat right here, about five pews from the back of the church,” said [Read More...]

Writing as sacrament: meet Deacon Ron Hansen

When my worlds collide: a former colleague of mine from CBS News, Bob Faw, profiles Catholic writer and deacon, Ron Hansen for the fine PBS program “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.” It’s superb.  Just watch. Watch Catholic Writer Ron Hansen on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. [Read more...]

“Ephphatha!”

“At the heart of today’s Gospel (Mk 7, 31-37) there is a small but, very important word. A word that – in its deepest meaning- sums up the whole message and the whole work of Christ. The Evangelist Mark writes it in the same language that Jesus pronounced it in, so that it is even [Read More...]

“Attention, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants: your days of running things are over”

That’s how Dean Obeidallah  begins this opinion piece, and he has a point: Attention white Anglo-Saxon Protestants: Your days of running things are over. You have jumped the shark. But there’s no need to feel bad for WASPs. They’ve had an amazing run. Every single president in our nation’s history, except for John F. Kennedy [Read More...]

Penn State dedicates Catholic center with a familiar name: Paterno

Details: Sue Paterno’s dream came to fruition Saturday morning while she was surrounded by close friends and family. The Suzanne Pohland Paterno Catholic Student Faith Center was dedicated and opened at 10 a.m. during a Eucharistic celebration and blessing ceremony. The Paternos helped to raise the money for the $6.5 million structure. Paterno’s children and [Read More...]

Taylor Swift’s “Ronan”

Last night was evidently the first time she’s performed this song in public: “Ronan” is dedicated to a 4-year-old boy who died last year of neuroblastoma. Swift, 22, wrote the song after reading the blog of Ronan’s mother, Maya Thompson, who is credited as a co-writer. According to a person familiar with the show, but [Read More...]

What do Catholic women think about contraception? You might be surprised

A new report casts the question of artificial birth control into a new light—and suggests a leading problem isn’t dogma, but disinformation. Once again, bad catechesis rears its ugly head. Details: While the data indicates that most Catholic women do not fully support the Church’s teachings on contraception, the results also do not show the sweeping [Read More...]

Homily for September 9, 2012: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] Reading this miracle story in Mark’s gospel this week, the first person I thought of was Sarah Churman.  Sarah Churman was born 30 years ago completely deaf.  All she could hear was something that sounded like a chain saw. Hearing aids didn’t help, but she was sensitive to vibrations. If someone [Read More...]

Christian pastor jailed in Iran for three years freed

You may remember I mentioned him recently in a homily.  Now, at last, he’s out. The photo above shows him being reunited with his family outside the prison. Details: Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was originally sentenced to death in his native country for his Christian faith, was acquitted of apostasy charges and released from [Read More...]

In rare move, Obama proclaims 3 national days of prayer to remember 9/11

As the anniversary approaches next week, the president has issued a proclamation and a call to prayer: President Barack Obama signed a proclamation released by the White House on Friday that the next three days (Friday through Sunday) will be National Days of Prayer and Remembrance in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11 [Read More...]

Cardinal Wuerl to seminarians: “You will need to be a voice of invitation”

The Cardinal Archbishop of Washington has published a letter to men preparing for the priesthood that touches on a wide range of topics but stresses, first and foremost, fidelity. From the Archdiocesan vocation website, DC Priests: Your need to be well grounded in authentic Catholic teaching is important, first for your own participation in the [Read More...]

My next job

I do a lot of this already… [Read more...]


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