A Deacon Writes of His Own Conversion: “What a Difference a Habit Can Make”

Fr. Dwight Longenecker has invited Deacon Richard Ballard as a guest blogger this week over at Standing on my Head.  He writes of a chance encounter with a habited nun at a hospital when he was seven-years-old — a meeting that may well have changed his life: With a variety of comic books in hand, [Read More…]

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Everybody Dance Now: Disco Flash Mob at Church Wedding

You have to see this to believe it. I think it’s safe to say that wedding flash mobs have now officially jumped the shark. And it seems it was the minister’s idea.  From HuffPo:  One English couple didn’t wait until their wedding reception to start dancing — they got their groove on in the middle [Read More…]

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“We’re Settling into a Fascinating Pontificate…”

So says veteran Vaticanista John Thavis. I was lucky enough to hear him offer that assessment in person, last week in Denver. Fortunately, he’s also published it on his blog:  I don’t want to recap Pope Francis’ 100-day “greatest hits” here. Instead, I’d like to identify a few core characteristics and directions that seem to [Read More…]

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Putting Out into the Deep: Priest Celebrates “Boat Mass” in Knoxville

An unusual custom continues: Father Joe Campbell’s streak of consecutive boat Masses without a rain-out is intact. Father Campbell held Mass June 15 for about 85 people enjoying Norris Lake on Father’s Day weekend. It was his 22nd Mass on the water. And just as before, word spreads among Catholic boaters on Norris Lake that [Read More…]

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In Soviet Georgia, Fears About “666” on ID Cards

Now for something completely different. Details:  When Tea Tsulukiani became Georgia’s justice minister her task seemed tough, but straightforward: Take former corrupt officials to task and build an apolitical, widely trusted institution. She worked hard, and, finally, made a chilling discovery: Many of Georgia’s government-issued personal IDs contain the number 666, which is, of course, the [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: “Due to Our Common Roots, a Christian Cannot Be Anti-Semitic!”

Details:  Pope Francis says due to “our common roots” with the Jewish people, “a Christian cannot be anti-Semitic!” The Pope was speaking to a 30 strong delegation from the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) who gathered in the Apostolic Palace’s Hall of the Popes for a private audience Monday. The IJCIC is committed [Read More…]

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Last Call for New York’s “Saloon Priest”

A great profile of a remarkable New York figure, from the New York Times:  The Rev. Peter Colapietro was playing down the fuss — the goodbyes from the neighborhood people, the Mass scheduled for Sunday to celebrate his years at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, in the shadow of Times Square. “I’m just moving to [Read More…]

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Must-See Video: A Day in the Life of a Priest

A happy h/t to my blog neighbor Rebecca Hamilton, who posted this a few days ago.  It’s a great glimpse inside a life many Catholics never see.  Check it out. And share it with a priest you know — or, maybe, someone who is discerning a vocation. As ‘Becca notes: This entertaining video shows one [Read More…]

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As Catholic Schools Close, Minorities See a Lifeline Slipping Away

From the New York Times:  Sonia Sotomayor lives in Washington, but she has never forgotten her roots in the Bronx. On a drizzly March afternoon, she returned to Blessed Sacrament School, where she began her celebrated, if improbable, journey from her South Bronx childhood to the Supreme Court. But instead of a joyous reunion, it [Read More…]

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On Dolan’s Visit to a Mosque: “The Church Regards with Esteem the Muslims…”

Various corners of the internets have been aswarm with critical reaction to Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s recent visit to a Staten Island mosque. Some critics have said he was wrong to state that Muslims and Christians worship the same God; commenters have criticized him for comparing Muslims to Catholics and a few have expressed shock that [Read More…]

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Jimmy Carter Links Catholic All-Male Priesthood to “Human Rights Abuse”

From an interview with TIME magazine: I think there’s a slow, very slow, move around the world to give women equal rights in the eyes of God. What has been the case for many centuries is that the great religions, the major religions, have discriminated against women in a very abusive fashion and set an [Read More…]

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Los Angeles Breaks Ground for Plaza Honoring Oscar Romero

From the Los Angeles Times:  Members of the Salvadoran community in Los Angeles realized a long-awaited dream Saturday when groundbreaking began on a plaza to honor Msgr. Oscar A. Romero, a Catholic archbishop who was slain in 1980 during El Salvador’s civil war. Romero, an outspoken advocate for the poor and a revered figure for [Read More…]

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Homily for June 23, 2013: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I spent most of last week in Denver for a conference, and flew home late yesterday afternoon. Approaching New York, our plane took a path up the Hudson, to circle around toward LaGuardia. As we began our descent, we swept over parts of New Jersey, and then turned toward Manhattan. Looking out my window, I [Read More…]

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Ordination Update: 25 New Deacons for Washington

Here’s the first snapshot of the new deacons of the Archdiocese of Washington, ordained just today. The press release:  Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, ordained twenty-five men as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Washington at a Mass of Ordination on Saturday, June 22 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate [Read More…]

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Just Hanging Out in Denver

It’s not often that I find myself sandwiched between two archbishops, but I did Friday night, when I had the privilege of serving as deacon for a Mass concelebrated by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila. The occasion was the closing liturgy for the 2013 Catholic Media Conference in Denver. Archbishop [Read More…]

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Catholic League: “Reaction by Conservatives to Obama’s Speech in Ireland is Simply Insane”

The statement, which may surprise some people, from Bill Donohue: There are plenty of reasons to be critical of President Obama’s policies as they relate to the Catholic Church, and I have not been shy in stating them. But the reaction on the part of conservatives, many of whom are Catholic, over his speech in [Read More…]

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How Important is the Homily?

Here’s one writer who thinks its importance is being overestimated—and we have Vatican II to thank (or blame). Details:  So, how important is the homily at Holy Mass? It depends on who you ask. If you pose the very same question to a Catholic who is fortunate enough to regularly assist at the Traditional Latin Mass, [Read More…]

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Cardinal Dolan Makes First Visit to New York City Mosque: “You Love God, We Love God…”

Details:  Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, made his first visit to a mosque in New York City and it was the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in Tompkinsville where he met with Muslim and other faith leaders. The cardinal spent more than two hours touring the mosque and the Miraj Islamic School and [Read More…]

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