Bridgeport welcomes a bishop with close ties to deacons and deacon formation

The Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut has posted an extended biography of its new bishop, Frank Caggiano.  Worth noting:  Bishop Caggiano was assigned as parochial vicar in the Shrine Church of Saint Jude in Canarsie in June, 1996. He was also appointed the Dean of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate Program and the Censor Librorum of [Read More…]

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“Like it or not, religion is not going away…”

A compelling take on the world today—and tomorrow—from Michael Coren in the Toronto Sun: Chattering classes may swoon over the late Christopher Hitchens and pretend to have read Richard Dawkins, but nobody is going to die, or live in the real sense, for secular humanism and atheistic materialism. The dynamic, the driving force of, in [Read More…]

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It’s official: Brooklyn’s Caggiano to Bridgeport—UPDATED

What had been rumored for months is now fact: [01138-01.01] APPOINTMENT OF THE BISHOP OF BRIDGEPORT (USA) The Holy Father appointed Bishop of Bridgeport (USA) Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano, until now titular Bishop of Inis Cathaig and Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn (USA).  Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano was born [Read More…]

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“Parishioners Were on the Sidewalk Crying”: Vandal Strikes Brooklyn Churches, Synagogue

Details:  Police at the 68th Precinct were questioning a suspect in connection with a rash of attacks on religious institutions in Bay Ridge discovered early Tuesday morning. Four churches and a prep school were splattered with red paint, according to Police Officer Sophia Tassy-Mason, a spokeswoman for the New York Police Department. Tassy-Mason said the [Read More…]

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Worth a Thousand Words

After returning to Rome from Rio, Pope Francis decided to stop at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major to offer a brief prayer to the Blessed Virgin for World Youth Day. A group of young people offered him a WYD T-shirt and a ball. Pope Francis later offered the gifts to our Blessed Mother. [Read more…]

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Calling All Preachers!

The following email arrived this afternoon: I’m writing with an item that might be of interest for The Deacon’s Bench. The Loyola Institute for Ministry (Loyola New Orleans) is offering an entirely online preaching course, Sharing the Word, this fall from September 9 through November 18, and available for CEU or graduate credit . The class is open [Read More…]

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More Pope Reaction: “He is Leading with Mercy”

From the Washington Post comes this roundup of reaction to Pope Francis’s comments yesterday—including some astute thoughts from our own Eve Tushnet:  “Pope Francis’s brief comment on gays reveals great mercy,” said the Reverend James Martin, an influential Catholic commentator. ”That mercy, of course, comes from Jesus Christ. And we can never have enough of [Read More…]

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Must-Read: Pope Francis on Problems Facing the Missionary Church

After yesterday’s bombshell, this may seem tame in comparison. But Rocco has helpfully posted the entire text of remarks Pope Francis made Sunday to CELAM, a group of bishops in Latin America. The section, I think, below deserves wider circulation. The decision for missionary discipleship will encounter temptation. It is important to know where the [Read More…]

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Sanity and Clarity

After some of the heated emotions stirred up by yesterday’s news regarding the Extraordinary Form, two responses bring a level of sanity, clarity—and, I think, charity. First, from the Franciscans:  The fact is that Pope Francis has not forbidden the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite to the Franciscans Friars of the Immaculate. Simply put, after personally [Read More…]

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Stop the Presses: Andrew Sullivan Praises the Pope!

You may want to sit down for this:  I’ve just watched the actual video of Pope Francis’ airplane press conference, and it’s even more remarkable than the quotes we gleaned earlier from reporters like John Allen. What’s so striking to me is not what he said, but how he said it: the gentleness, the humor, the transparency. I find [Read More…]

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The Pope and the Catechism

A little context may be helpful. Pope Francis, yesterday:  “I think that when we encounter a gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good.  They are bad. If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has [Read More…]

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A Widowed Michigan Priest—and a REALLY Late Vocation

From the Detroit Free Press, here’s an interesting profile of a pastor who was just ordained six years ago—when he was in his mid-70s—after raising a family. Snip:  [Rev. William] Spencer, 81, is pastor of Holy Name of Mary Parish, which is composed of two churches that recently merged — Our Lady of Lake Huron [Read More…]

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“Dominant Narrative in the Catholic Church Now is ‘Wildly Charismatic Pope Takes World by Storm'”

That’s one way that John Allen characterizes how Pope Francis has changed the conversation about the Catholic Church. Watch some of his interview from PBS last night below. [Read more…]

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Must-See Video: The Pope on the Plane

From Rome Reports, highlights from the pope’s remarkable press conference en route to Rome last night. [Read more…]

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Pope Francis on Gays: “Who Am I to Judge Them If They’re Seeking the Lord in Good Faith?”—UPDATED

The interview that will be making headlines around the Catholic media this morning, from John Allen in NCR: On the way to Rio de Janeiro on July 22, Pope Francis told reporters that “I don’t give interviews.” But at the end of his seven-day tour de force in Brazil, not only did the pope give an [Read More…]

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Francis Breaks with Benedict?

It involves the celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. And what Francis has decided to do, according to one veteran Vatican watcher, marks an important change—a move to restrict celebration of that form of the Mass within a particular religious order. From Sandro Magister:  The decree bears the date of July 11, 2013, [Read More…]

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“Amazing”: Serving as Lector Before Three Million at WYD

A teenager from the U.S. at World Youth Day tells all:  The young woman who proclaimed a Scripture reading at the Papal Mass at World Youth Day said that it was an unforgettable experience that enabled her to encounter the Church in a unique way. “It was amazing to look out and see more than [Read More…]

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Where Can an Older Man Study for the Priesthood?

Here:  Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, located in Weston, Mass., is a unique institution helping to meet this need. Named after the soon-to-be canonized Holy Father who died 50 years ago, it was founded in 1964 by Cardinal Richard Cushing with the encouragement and explicit blessing of Pope Paul VI. It is the only seminary [Read More…]

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