“Faith opens our eyes to human life in all its grandeur and beauty”

That’s the theme for this year’s Respect Life month, October. Details: During October, designated each year as Respect Life Month by the U.S. Catholic Church, Catholics should “renew their personal commitment to defend all human life, especially the most vulnerable members of the human family,” said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life [Read More...]

NFL’s Man of the Year, Matt Birk of the Ravens, speaks out against gay marriage

The story, from the Baltimore Sun: Ravens center Matt Birk is expected to film a video this week opposing Maryland’s new same-sex marriage law, making him the second player on the team to take a public stand on the referendum. Birk, a Roman Catholic and father of six, is pressing a view opposite that of [Read More...]

“Preach the truth, always with love”

Another great video from Catholic News Service, featuring three men who will be involved in the Synod on the New Evangelization that begins next week:  Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Cardinal Timothy Dolan. [Read more...]

10 ways Vatican II shapes the Church today

From the USCCB comes this list, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, which will be marked next week. This piece was put together by Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, who chairs the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship.  (I’m pleased to see that he mentions deacons, of course…) The [Read More...]

Ryan in Iowa on HHS mandate: “This isn’t just a Catholic thing”

From the Des Moines Register:  Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s visit Monday night to a Catholic college in this historically Catholic city underscores the competition in this presidential race over a religious group whose political views cross party lines in key areas. Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman who is Catholic and doesn’t hesitate to mention [Read More...]

Ordination preview: 19 scheduled to be ordained deacons in Richmond

It will be happening on Saturday October 13th.  The Catholic Virginian is wasting no time trumpeting this happy event.  Read biographies and see  pictures here.   (Nice collars!) And, by the way: prayerful good wishes to FOB (Friends of the Bench) Joe Marotta and James Conklin! [Read more...]

Strike a pose: women playing dress up as priests

Joanne McPortland, bless her, nails it:  A curious slideshow featured in yesterday’s New York Times Review section (H/T to Katrina Fernandez) makes me saddened and bemused enough to break off from the pilgrimage posts for a minute. Entitled Women as Priests, the slideshow by photographer Judith Levitt profiles 10 women—all white, all of a certain [Read More...]

Pennsylvania nuns lacking voter ID call law “unfair and ridiculous”

From the Scranton Times-Tribune: For decades, Sister Jeanne Gallagher, I.H.M., taught young children about government and the importance of voting. As the November election nears, the 86-year-old nun and retired teacher fears the state’s controversial Voter ID law will keep her and other senior citizens from having their say in who leads the country. Sister [Read More...]

“We cannot separate who we are from how we live”

“We pray for all of those gathered here that they might welcome the strength of the Holy Spirit and the interior dynamism with which He fills our hearts. We do so just before the beginning of the Year of Faith given to us by the Holy Father, because there is a “need to rediscover the [Read More...]

Theme for next World Communications Day: social networks

From the Vatican:  One of the most important challenges facing the task of evangelization today is that which is emerging from the digital environment. Pope Benedict XVI calls attention to this particular topic, in the context of the Year of Faith, in his choice of the theme for the 47th World Communications Day, “Social Networks: [Read More...]

Sister fact(s) from The Anchoress

She’s got a mega-roundup of nun newsiness over at her joint, pegged to the feast of St. Therese. It’s quite a collection: Let’s start with the Sisters of Life for no other reason than they’re in my header! They’ve clothed 7 New Novices, and celebrated six first professions and one final. The Sisters of St. [Read More...]

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...]


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