Incredible: man’s transformation after face transplant

This seems like something you’d find in the Weekly World News at the supermarket checkout. But this is just remarkable—and inspiring. I might even call it miraculous. From Huffington Post:  Seven months after receiving the most comprehensive face transplant in history, 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris is now able to come out of the shadows. “For the past [Read More...]

Want to attend the Al Smith Dinner?

You can, from your living room. A sharp-eyed reader noted that the dinner is listed on the C-SPAN (1) schedule, for 9 pm ET tonight. Remember: it’s white tie. Dress accordingly. [Read more...]

“Any discussion of reviving the female diaconate must not include Holy Orders…”

Writer David Alexander takes a long and pretty exhaustive look at the question of women deacons, and offers these conclusions: Pending sufficient review of the historical and theological evidence at the official level, where its implications may be fully considered, it seems premature to anticipate any canonical framework whereby an office of deaconess would be [Read More...]

Boom: rise in vocations spurs Cisterican nuns to build new monastery in Wisconsin—UPDATED

Details: Following a vocations boom at Valley of Our Lady Monastery near Madison, Wis., an architecture firm is designing a new monastery complex for the community of Cistercian nuns, the only one in the English-speaking world. “It’s very exciting to see this happening, very providential, the fact that this comes out of so many young [Read More...]

It’s official: Tobin to Indy

From the Archdiocescan website: Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the Archbishop Secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The Holy See made the announcement today in Rome. Archbishop Tobin, 60, succeeds Archbishop Daniel M. [Read More...]

Obscene: 2012 Neiman Marcus catalog and its $100,000 chicken coop

Details: Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus rolled out its annual holiday catalog Tuesday, and the priciest gift this year is a pair of “his and hers” timepieces for just over $1 million from Van Cleef & Arpels. The watches depict a tale of lost love on the faces and come with a trip to romantic Paris [Read More...]

Bishops, priests and deacons together: Brooklyn’s clergy convocation

Just got back from the second-ever joint clergy convocation for my diocese—a remarkable gathering of bishops, priests and deacons.  (Shown above: the cover for the prayer booklet, featuring an image of the three levels of Holy Orders.) There was a healthy turnout—easily, a couple hundred clergy gathered under one roof—and a good deal of camaraderie [Read More...]

Pope sending bishops to Syria on peace mission

From Catholic News Service:  A papal delegation of bishops, including Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, will travel to the capital of war-torn Syria in late October to show solidarity with victims and encourage peace negotiations. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, made the announcement Oct. 16 at the evening session of the [Read More...]

He’s back: the return of Father Frank Pavone

David Gibson at Religion News Service has the scoop:  A year ago, the Rev. Frank Pavone was facing an existential crisis in the unlikeliest of places. The longtime head of the anti-abortion group Priests for Life, Pavone had been confined to the Diocese of Amarillo by his bishop, Patrick J. Zurek, who sent a letter [Read More...]

The challenges facing Catholicism in Poland

The country is changing, and the faith is losing its influence. From Reuters: At the sound of a bell from the altar, relayed over loud-speakers, about 50,000 people at an open-air mass last month in the Polish capital dropped down to kneel in the street. It was a powerful symbol of Poland’s deeply felt Roman [Read More...]

Missing from the synod: deacons

An interesting observation from John Allen at NCR: Here’s a rather striking omission at the synod: So far, nobody’s said anything about deacons. In the abstract, suppose somebody told you that there’s a corps of 40,000 Catholics out there ready to go to work for the New Evangelization, who have received something like five or [Read More...]

“I forgot to call out the deacons”

My new blog neighbor, Lisa Hendey, posted the following today: This past weekend, I learned an important lesson while giving my keynote address at the Archdiocese of San Antonio’s Catholic Formation and Leadership Conference. I’ll admit I was nervous going into the talk. I’ve spoken to crowds this size in the past, but there’s something about [Read More...]

Anchorage church names parish hall in honor of deacons

How cool. This may be a first:  The deacons of the Anchorage Archdiocese took center stage last month when St. Patrick Church named its parish hall “Deacons’ Hall” in honor of past, present and future deacons of the archdiocese. The Sept. 7 ceremonies, which included Mass with Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz, honored the many deacons who [Read More...]

Kansas Senate candidate: Catholics should not be Democrats

Details: Steve Fitzgerald, a Republican candidate for the Kansas state Senate, is defending his comments last week that Democrats should not be Catholics, saying was trying to tell a Catholic group in Kansas City about the need for the Democratic Party to change. Fitzgerald, who is challenging state Sen. Kelly Kultala (D-Kansas City), said he [Read More...]

No soup for you: Ohio Catholic charity upset about Ryan photo op

Details: The food had been served, the patrons were long gone, and the cutlery cleaned when Rep. Paul Ryan, his wife, three kids and photographers pulled up Saturday at a St. Vincent de Paul food kitchen in Youngstown Ohio. Ryan and his wife put on aprons and washed several pans that already appeared to be [Read More...]

“Let us build a house where love can dwell…”

Those words from “All Are Welcome” herald the start of the diaconate ordination in Richmond last weekend, and you can see that and more in the video below. I like how the wives are involved, processing in with their husbands and joining them at communion. [Read more...]

The Irish Catholic who is Romney’s “unseen weapon”

From the Independent newspaper: Not many people in America have heard of Peter G Flaherty II. And to this quiet and unassuming Irishman, that’s exactly how it should be. If Mitt Romney wins the presidential election next month, observers say it may all be down to the deft political handling of the soft-spoken lawyer from Boston, one [Read More...]

Sweet video: Cardinal Dolan visits his parish church in Rome—UPDATED

And he won over the crowd as only he can.  Take a look at the CNS video, below.  And read more about the church here.   UPDATE: CNS has a piece about the Cardinal’s visit: On Oct. 14, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who became a cardinal in February, took formal possession of [Read More...]


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