Egypt’s Copts elect a new pope

From Reuters: Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church chose a new pope, Bishop Tawadros, in a sumptuous service on Sunday that Christians hope will lead them through an Islamist-dominated landscape and protect what is the Middle East’s biggest Christian community. Many Christians in Egypt, who make up about a tenth of the population of 83 million, are [Read More...]

After Sandy: ways to help

A few readers have written from different corners of the country, wondering where and how they can give to help those devastated by last week’s storm. The best resource to help those in Brooklyn and Queens is Catholic Charities.  Visit their website — ccbq.org – and you’ll find a wealth of information and links: While [Read More...]

Bishops address deacons in pastoral letter for Year of Faith

A friend pointed this out on his Facebook page, and it seems worth noting here: the bishops of Phoenix, Thomas J. Olmsted and his auxiliary Eduardo Navares, issued a pastoral letter several weeks back, to mark the beginning of the Year of Faith, and they devoted one section specifically to deacons: In the Acts of [Read More...]

Homily for November 4, 2012: 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] By remarkable coincidence —or maybe divine planning —this gospel reading is as relevant and as urgent as this morning’s headlines. In this passage from Mark’s gospel, a scribe asks Jesus to name the most important commandment.  Jesus not only tells him that, but also tells him the second most important one, [Read More...]

Illinois diocese to name new parish for St. Kateri

I expect we’ll be seeing more of these.  Details: On the same day last month that Pope Benedict XVI canonized St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton announced that a new parish, to be named for the new saint, will be built in Gallatin County. The new parish will stand on the same land, in [Read More...]

“Pop-star” priest opens megachurch

Details: One of Brazil’s most famous priests has inaugurated a massive new Roman Catholic church that will hold about 20,000 worshippers when complete. A mass was celebrated Friday in Sao Paulo to inaugurate the Mother of God sanctuary. It’s been in construction for more than six years, and it will take several more to finish. [Read More...]

Archbishop Chaput on politics and secularism

A man who has been especially outspoken about politics and religion in the public square has a few timely things to say about those subjects in this video from Catholic News Service. [Read more...]

Married clergy and abstaining from sex: “The Church has not changed her expectation”

Canon lawyer Ed Peters has weighed in on the topic again.  He makes clear that — despite indications to the contrary – canon law on the subject is unchaged: My position is, of course, that Western law and tradition expect, beyond any question, the observance of perfect and perpetual continence among all clerics, and that [Read More...]

God bless New York

  The young man above is from the Trinity Baptist Church in New York City. I met him on my walk to work today. He set up a folding table and coffee urn beside a busy bus stop on Second Ave. this morning and was passing out free cups of coffee to people who were [Read More...]

Win: Judge backs Catholic firm over birth control mandate

Details: A Catholic-owned family business in Michigan does not have to comply with the provision of the new U.S. healthcare law that requires private employers to provide employees with health insurance that covers birth control, a federal judge in Detroit has ruled. U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, in a ruling late Wednesday, temporarily blocked the government from forcing the [Read More...]

Catholic bishops trying to get out the vote

And many aren’t being shy about which candidate they think you should support.  From Religion News Service: A number of Roman Catholic bishops are making forceful last-minute appeals to their flock to vote on Election Day, and their exhortations are increasingly sounding like calls to support Republican challenger Mitt Romney over President Obama. The most [Read More...]

“We’re still here…”

My blog neighbor Father Michael Duffy was finally able to break his long silence and give an update yesterday on his situation on Long Island. Just ordained in June, he writes that, like so many things in his young priesthood, “this is something they didn’t prepare you for in the seminary”:  We’re still here. my parish [Read More...]

After Sandy: we rise, and we kneel

I have one word for my experience today: jaw-dropping. My parish in Queens seats about a thousand people.  At the 12:05 daily Mass today, we had all that and more.  They were standing in the back, and some in the aisles.  We went through four full ciboriums of hosts, which is almost unprecedented. The Mass [Read More...]

George Lucas to donate billions from Disney sale to charity

He called the first Star Wars epic “A New Hope.”  From the Hollywood Reporter, here’s something spectacular to give all of us hope: By the end of the year, the $4.05 billion sale of Lucasfilm to Disney should be finalized. And since George Lucas owns 100 percent of his company – which has little to [Read More...]

For All Saints Day: “I want to be in that number…”

The inimitable Louis Armstrong does it as only he can.  From 1959, at a concert in Germany. Trivia buffs take note: Armstrong lived not far from where I live today, and is buried in Flushing.  His funeral in 1971 drew an astonishing who’s-who of the music world, and the honorary pall bearers included Bing Crosby, [Read More...]

Coming next: a Lutheran Ordinariate?

A cardinal raised that possibility recently: The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said in an interview that the Vatican would entertain a hypothetical proposal by Lutherans to establish ecclesial structures modeled on the ordinariates developed for Anglican communities that wish to enter into full communion with the Holy See. “Anglicanorum coetibus [Read More...]

Bishop to flock: “I call upon every Catholic in this Diocese to vote”

Dennis Coday in the National Catholic Reporter reports that he received the following e-mail: MOST REV. DANIEL R. JENKY, C.S.C. OFFICE OF THE BISHOP DIOCESE OF PEORIA Election AD 2012 By virtue of your vow of obedience to me as your Bishop, I require that this letter be personally read by each celebrating priest at [Read More...]

Homily for November 1, 2012: All Saints Day

[Click here for readings.] Yesterday morning, I went to the store to pick up a few things.  While I was in line, a little girl came in, six or seven years old, wearing a pink costume and carrying a small plastic pumpkin.  She tried to get the attention of the guy behind the counter “Trick [Read More...]


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