Pope Used 20-Year-Old Fiat for Lampedusa Visit

Is this a sign of things to come? From the Los Angeles Times:  Pope Francis is on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, where instead of tooling around in the popemobile, he’s making his rounds in a borrowed 20-year-old Fiat Campagnola. He also has let it be known how he feels about priests and nuns who [Read More…]

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Buenos Aires Erects Statue of Pope; Francis Orders It Removed

Attractive, isn’t it? Details:  A life-size sculpture of Pope Francis was installed yesterday on a patio outside Buenos Aires’ cathedral, where Jorge Bergoglio presided over daily Masses before he became pope in March. The sculpture, made of fiberglass and resin, is in a courtyard closed to the public, but can be glimpsed from the street, [Read More…]

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Deacon: “While I’m Dying, I’m Also Proclaiming His Resurrection”

From The Tidings in Los Angeles: Deacon Valentin Saucedo is thoughtfully silent when asked if he recalls the first time he thought of becoming a priest. His three sisters in the room listen quietly. Then Saucedo breaks the ice. “I’ve been crazy since I was little,” he jokes. In fact, the veteran associate director of [Read More…]

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Ordination Update: 9 New Deacons for Pensacola-Tallahassee

Details: The Most Rev. Gregory L. Parkes ordained nine men from across Northwest Florida as permanent deacons on June 1 during a sacred Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pensacola. Permanent deacons function in support of the bishop, and serve at parishes to assist at worship and to serve those in need. [Read More…]

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Why the Pope Went to Lampedusa

An interesting nugget or two here, from Cindy Wooden at CNS:  “I hope people understand the meaning of this gesture,” Pope Francis told his aides after arriving in Lampedusa yesterday. In what the Vatican newspaper described as the first pastoral trip of his pontificate, Pope Francis knew his arrival would create the climate of a celebration, [Read More…]

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“Would It Be Too Much to Throw One a Little Brocade Once in a While?”

I saw the striking image above, from the pope’s Mass yesterday, with those unusual vestments and plain altar, and think that’s something of what The Crescat is talking about in her latest post: Every time I read about how humble Francis is I take it personally, as a slight meant to imply that his predecessor [Read More…]

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Vatican Hosts Hundreds of Homeless for Dinner

Details:  On July 1 Pope Francis invited a group of 200 homeless individuals to dinner at the Vatican, where they were served in his name by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello. Cardinal Bertello, president of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State, spent the entire evening with the special guests, with whom he chatted at length and shared personal [Read More…]

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Manager Bans Religious Symbols on Pitchers Mound

Details:  The St. Louis Cardinals have done away with religion at Busch Stadium after a fan raised hell over Christian symbols on the pitching mound. Michael Vines, who was watching on TV, noticed what appeared to be a cross and an ichthus — better known as a Jesus fish — etched on the mound next [Read More…]

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Woof: Catholic Wedding Includes Dog in Bridal Party

Seriously:  Erika said heads turned and cameras clicked when Otter, in her white tutu and matching flower, pranced down the aisle with the ring bearer and flower girl. “Then she went to the first pew by my mom and stepdad,” Erika said. “He held the leash and she just lay there, watching the ceremony.” When [Read More…]

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Another Religious Holiday Commercialized: Ramadan

An interesting development, courtesy Huffington Post: Growing up in a mostly Christian neighborhood in southern Virginia in the 1970s and 1980s, Raana Smith remembers feeling “lacking” around the holidays. While friends frolicked at Easter Egg hunts and got giddy over the presents under their Christmas trees each December, her Muslim family’s traditions didn’t translate well [Read More…]

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Erie Bishop Says Hospital Can No Longer Be Called “Catholic”

Details:  With the change in sponsorship from the Sisters of Saint Joseph to Highmark, Bishop Lawrence Persico announces the health system will no longer be considered a Catholic institution. Bishop Persico has officially made an announcement that says it’s his responsibility as a pastor, teacher and priest to inform the faithful of his decision. In [Read More…]

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The Blood of Christ, the Blood of Immigrants

For the pope’s visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where scores of immigrants have died trying to reach safety, CNS notes: In his homily at an outdoor Mass, Pope Francis said he decided to visit Lampedusa, a small island with a population of 6,000 and just 70 miles from Tunisia, after seeing newspaper headlines [Read More…]

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At Refuge for Migrants, Pope Condemns the “Globalization of Indifference”

From the Vatican news site:  In his homily at Mass celebrated with the residents of Lampedusa and the immigrants who have sought refuge there, Pope Francis spoke out against the “globalization of indifference” that leads to tragedies like the deaths of so many migrants seeking a better life. Below, please find Vatican Radio’s full text [Read More…]

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Esquire magazine: “Pope Francis is Kind of Awesome”

The author, an atheist, is discovering what many of us already know:  There is serious upheaval in the Vatican, with outsiders brought into major positions of power, and Francis speaking openly of “a current of corruption” in the Curia, but, as an atheist, I don’t really care about any of that. I’m sure it takes [Read More…]

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Ordination Update: 11 New Deacons for Biloxi—UPDATED

Doing a routine search, I uncovered the happy news that 11 men were ordained deacons for the Diocese of Biloxi in Mississippi late last month.  The diocesan website has the pictures shown here, but no details. Anybody have any names or info to share? Meantime, congratulations and welcome, brothers!  Ad multos annos!  UPDATE: Just got [Read More…]

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Here’s a Different Protagonist for a Thriller: a Deacon

Details:  He has worked all over the world, from foreign relations assignments to speech pathology to motivational speaking, but another career path has embroiled Redlands resident Roger Burgraff in murder, blackmail, and the darker side of the human soul. That career is in fiction, fortunately: In May, Burgraff published a thriller, “Deacon’s Winter,” about a [Read More…]

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South Carolina Church Robbed of Part of Its History

Details from Charleston, SC: Two bright red buildings stand out among miles of soggy swamp that lines Ritter Road in Colleton County. They’re a sure sign you’ve made it to Catholic Hill, a small settlement about 40 miles southwest of Charleston. The buildings — a steepled church and an old school house – belong to [Read More…]

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Virginia Priest Donates Kidney to Save Life of Parishioner

  Wow:  Bruce McComb says he owes his life to his pastor, Father Jonathan Goertz of St. Timothy Parish in Tappahannock. His statement, voiced in strong admiration, is not far from the truth. Mr. McComb, 60, was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. He had been on dialysis for three and a half years [Read More…]

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