Homily for September 23, 2012: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] Long before he became the cardinal archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan was the rector of the North American College in Rome. He used to give regular talks to the seminarians, which were collected in a very good book called “Priests for the Third Millennium.” In one of the talks, Cardinal [Read More...]

German bishops will refuse sacraments to those who don’t pay “church tax”

At a time when more Germans are leaving the Church and fewer are being baptized, the bishops have embarked on a bold crackdown. Details, from Huffington Post and Reuters: Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops have decreed that people who opt out of a “church tax” should not be given sacraments and religious burials, getting tougher on [Read More...]

Hanging out with the patriarch

His Beatitude,  Archbishop Foaud Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, stopped by CNEWA today and sat down for a brief interview.  Here he is with Your Humble Blogger and Michael LaCivita, CNEWA’s vice president for communications. I actually had the good fortune of meeting the patriarch last spring (great snapshot here, showing my best side.) You can read [Read More...]

A bishop makes the case for women deacons

From the next issue of AMERICA, retired auxiliary bishop Emil Wcela of Rockville Centre weighs in: Women already minister extensively in the church. Consecrated religious serve in various fields. Thousands of other women serve in diocesan offices; in parishes as administrators, pastoral associates, directors of religious education, in the whole spectrum of parish life; in [Read More...]

Whatever happened to Latin?

That’s a question a lot of Catholics have asked and, while it’s making a comeback, the ancient language of the Church can still be hard to find in some places. Catholic News Service (whose excellent videos are becoming the standard by which all others are measured) offers this very good overview of Latin’s role in [Read More...]

Ordination preview: new deacons for Boston

From the Boston Pilot:  Cardinal Seán O’Malley will celebrate the Rite of Ordination to the Order of Deacon for 10 candidates at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Sept. 22. Louis J. Piazza, a deacon candidate of the class of 2012, explained the significance of the rite and gave a bit of insight into the [Read More...]

Fort Worth’s Bishop Vann tapped for Diocese of Orange

And besides taking over a diocese, he will be taking over a high-profile project: transforming the Crystal Cathedral into the Christ Cathedral. Details over at Whispers in the Loggia.  You can also find a brief write-up at the AP.   [Read more...]

“Top 50 Catholic High Schools” includes one from Queens — UPDATED

In fact, this building is where I studied for the diaconate —for five years, it was my home away from home. Congratulations, to Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Elmhurst, Queens. (Not insignificantly, it also is the last prep seminary of its kind in America.) From the Cardinal Newman Society:  Today, September 20, 2012, the winners of [Read More...]

“Les Miz”: an extended first look

Those who have been waiting for more glimpses of this epic musical — following the sensational trailer released this summer—your wait is over. The producers have just released a mini-documentary/promotional video that focuses on the groundbreaking technique they used for recording the music: actually performing the songs live, with piano accompaniment, rather than lip-syncing. Prepare [Read More...]

Leave the gun, take the cannoli

At last, something to go with my Candy Corn Oreos. There’s a four letter word for this. Bliss.   [Read more...]

Big questions, interesting answers

A few years ago, I gave a Thanksgiving Day homily in which I quoted the Unitarian minister Peter Fleck.  He suggested that perhaps the pilgrims weren’t thankful because they survived; maybe they survived because they were thankful.  As I noted: Gratitude doesn’t always come easily. We all know that generosity – the giving of a [Read More...]

Pope to new bishops: Vatican II was a new Pentecost, launching the New Evangelization

One of the new bishops meeting the Holy Father today happens to be my new pastor (I hope he brings me  back a tee shirt…) Details: “Every believer is called to the challenge of the new evangelization” Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday morning, and bishops must “boldly invite the people from every walk of life [Read More...]

Accused monsignor sues Archdiocese of New York for libel

Details from the AP: A defrocked Roman Catholic monsignor who once led fundraising for the Archdiocese of New York has sued the church for libel. Charles Kavanagh’s lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. Kavanagh accuses the archdiocese of libeling him by saying he had sexually abused a teenage student in the 1980s [Read More...]

Look very closely …

…and notice how one piece of art can give two different impressions, depending on your point of view.  All it takes is a mirror and some imagination.  Read more here.    And you begin to understand that, in every sense: seeing is believing! [Read more...]

A love story in 22 pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what we have here is epic.  It’s the story of Taylor Morris, a Navy EOD from Cedar Falls, Iowa and his girlfriend Danielle. Check out this link for the photographs.  (Note: be sure to have a Kleenex nearby.)  And then, for the full story, visit Tim Dodd [Read More...]

“We Shall Not Be Moved”

That’s the name of a new documentary coming to a TV station near you this fall, detailing the efforts of religious order sisters to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Details, from NCR:  Although Hurricane Katrina destroyed convents, schools and social service centers in New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, it did not wipe out [Read More...]

A shore thing: Philadelphia sells vacation home for priests

Details:  A vacation house at the South Jersey shore used by generations of elderly priests was sold at auction by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for $4.5 million Sept. 15. Steve and Ilene Berger of Newtown Square won the bidding at $4.125 million for Villa St. Joseph by the Sea, a 19-room, 9,800-square-foot mansion in Ventnor, [Read More...]

Pope on Lebanon trip: “I continue to accompany those beloved people in prayer”

“Dear friends, the days spent in Lebanon were a wonderful manifestation of faith and religious feeling and a prophetic sign of peace. The multitude of believers from the entire Middle East, had the opportunity to reflect, to talk and especially to pray together, renewing their commitment to root their lives in Christ. I am sure [Read More...]


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