Finding the words to preach on 9/11

In the days ahead, a lot of us will be struggling to put into words something that is really beyond words.  Religions News Service looks at the challenge of preaching on 9/11: Standing in the pulpit on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, what do you say? For clergy called upon to preach that day, which [Read More...]

"Would you dress like that to meet the Queen of England?"

“We have reached the point that just about anything goes. We keep making appeals to our people, but it doesn’t seem that anyone is paying much attention. … Some of the ladies, well, you just have to wonder if they looked in a mirror before coming to church.  I often ask people this question: ‘Would [Read More...]

Life amid death: the blessing of cadavers at a Catholic medical school

A remarkable glimpse into a world few of us see, courtesy the Chicago Tribune: Every year, first-year medical students grapple with gross anatomy, approaching their first human dissection with a mixture of anticipation, anxiety or sheer dread. On Monday, 150 students at Loyola University Chicago‘s Stritch School of Medicine approached their task with reverence, reciting [Read More...]

Chaput says "Adieu"

The Archbishop of Denver said his final mass last night — and the celebration included a processional that featured  the thundering rhythm of Native American drummers. Details: Archbishop Charles Chaput said his goodbyes Sunday night to a flock that filled the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. He summoned people in from the foyer to fill [Read More...]

After Irene

New York City, 29 August 2011, 1 pm.  Went for a walk during lunch, and snapped this with my cell phone about two blocks from my office. [Read more...]

"The Big Bang Theory": the complete theme song

I never knew that the theme song of my favorite sitcom is actually longer than 30 seconds. Until now. Thanks to the God Googler, Mike Hayes, here’s the whole thing — and a peppy little video, to boot! [Read more...]

Worth a thousand words

A man inspects bloodstained copies of the Koran a day after a blast occurred inside Umm al-Qura mosque in Baghdad’s Ghazaliya district August 29, 2011. Details: A suicide bomber posing as a beggar detonated his explosives inside a major Baghdad Sunni mosque on Sunday, killing at least 24 people, including an Iraqi lawmaker, just as [Read More...]

Exodus: vouchers prompt thousands to move to Catholic schools in Indiana

The news being reported this morning is pretty remarkable: Weeks after Indiana began the nation’s broadest school voucher program, thousands of students have transferred from public to private schools, causing a spike in enrollment at some Catholic institutions that were recently on the brink of closing. It is a scenario public school advocates have long [Read More...]

Beware of sharp notes from the choir

What does a priest do if he wants to build a church, but no one will let him?  In Russia, one priest found a unique answer: an inflatable chapel. Details: It is the idea of the Catholic parish priest of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk, Father Krzysztof Kowal, who having failed to obtain permits and funding to build a [Read More...]

Another voice: on deacons doing weddings

A blogger took issue with this post, and offered her thoughts: Deacons have their place but they are not an alter Christus. They are not intended to be a substitute for the priesthood. Yes, yes, yes, I know that the Church allows permanent deacons to preside at weddings, baptisms and funeral home services but most people look [Read More...]

"Galileo was wrong; the Church was right" — UPDATED

That seems to be the argument put forth by some members of the Church, who are evidently affiliated with SSPX, and it gained some attention this weekend in the Chicago Tribune: Some people believe the world revolves around them — and their belief is born not of selfishness but of faith. A few conservative Roman [Read More...]

Ordination update: the Maine event, as eight are ordained in Portland

It’s late in the season for ordinations, but it’s never too late to welcome new men to Holy Orders. From the Bangor Daily News: Their mission is threefold — service to the Gospel, liturgy and charity. It sounds like a tall order for men who are working full-time jobs and have wives and families. Yet [Read More...]

The mystery and magic of words

Perspective is everything, and words can rock the world, as this lovely short film illustrates.  H/T Frank. [Read more...]

Sign of the times

Which turns out to be no sign at all. Bracing for Irene, and expected high winds, a movie theater near our apartment removed the letters from its marquee. Not only that: for the first time in memory, the multiplex was completely shut down Saturday night. It was still closed Sunday afternoon. Things here are more [Read More...]

Irene's devastation: no Starbucks!

Let the rioting in the streets begin. Irene was less than we expected, or feared, and that’s very good news. To those who have sent e-mails and tweets, wondering how I’m doing here, I’m pleased to report: just fine. Thank you all for your many prayers! We still have power, flooding in my neighborhood appears [Read More...]

A Prayer for Hurricane Season

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The sea, like a provoked [Read More...]

Looking for a joke for this Sunday's homily?

A reader from the U.K. left this comment on another post: Anglican priest to his wife who’d just spent a fortune on a dress – ”Why did you spend so much, I’ve told you that whenever you feel tempted you should say “Get behind me Satan” “I did” said his wife. “What happened then?” said [Read More...]

Will it play in Peoria? Parish begins webcasts of its Masses

This is something altogether different and, I think, rare: a parish (not a cathedral or a diocesan entity) offering web streaming of its Masses. Details: St. Joseph Catholic Church member Dave Fisher explains how the church’s new webcasting feature is helping a friend who has trouble hearing. “I have a friend who is hard of [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X