In Plea for Peace, Patriarch Consecrates Middle East to Mary

Details:  The Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites Boutros Bechara Rai consecrated Lebanon and the entire Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying that all the peoples of the region are freed “from the sins that lead to divisions, aggression and violence “. The solemn Act of Consecration took place yesterday, Sunday, June [Read More…]

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Thousands Pack into New Catholic Church in United Arab Emirates

Details:  There was a huge outpouring an faith and devotion as more than 8,500 worshippers from across the United Arab Emirates celebrated the first Mass at the emirate’s new Catholic church on Friday the 14th June 2013. It was one of the biggest ever turnouts, with residents travelling from across the country despite the summer [Read More…]

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Priest Develops App to Let His Flock Know When He’s Hearing Confessions

Details:  God may be omnipresent — but His priests aren’t. So a holy man in Madison, Wisc., has turned to app development, along with divine guidance, to find a better way to tend to the needs of his 800-family flock. Father Richard Heilman is launching a My Confessor App that will let his parishioners know [Read More…]

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Forgiven: Woman Sentenced to Death Will Leave Prison, Go Shopping with Victim’s Grandson

Paula Cooper’s case garnered international attention—earning sympathy from Pope John Paul II and from an Italian friar, Fr. Vito Bracone (shown above) who organized a petition drive to spare her life. Now, after nearly three decades, she is about to go free. Details:  Paula Cooper was just 16 years old when she became the youngest [Read More…]

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Inspired by Pope, Boy Donates First Communion Money to Charity

Details from Allentown, PA: A young boy from Lehigh County is practicing what he preaches. Alex Trinidad, 8, recently celebrated his First Holy Communion. Family and friends gave him money for the occasion. Alex turned around and gave it to people in need. The elementary student donated $465 to the Ecumenical Kitchen in Allentown. “I [Read More…]

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Father’s Day Horror: Man Allegedly Shoots Father-in-Law During Mass

It happened in Ogden, Utah:  Everything was calm and peaceful at St. James Catholic Church on Sunday afternoon before a man walked in and shot his father-in-law in the back of the head. Witnesses said they had just started to say a prayer when a man and woman walked into the church holding hands. The [Read More…]

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First “Righteous Gentile” Killed for Saving Jews Beatified

From the Times of Israel:  An Italian Catholic activist and journalist who was declared a Righteous Gentile for saving Jewish lives during World War II has formally been put on the road to sainthood by the Roman Catholic church. Odoardo Focherini was beatified – the step before sainthood – at a ceremony Saturday in his [Read More…]

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HOG Heaven: Pope Blesses Bikers

Details:  Biker culture has come to the Vatican. Pope Francis on Sunday blessed thousands of Harley Davidsons and their riders as the American motorcycle manufacturer celebrated its 110th anniversary with a loud parade and plenty of leather. Thundering Harley engines nearly drowned out the recitation of the “Our Father” prayer in Latin that accompanied Francis [Read More…]

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Are Expensive Weddings Hurting Marriage?

Some are making the argument that, when it comes to the big day itself, less is more:  Noting the sharply increasing costs of weddings, marriage advocates have begun to urge couples to be less extravagant in their nuptial celebrations for the good of their relationships. “We ran a survey early this year with a law [Read More…]

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“Man of Steel” Flying to a Pulpit Near You?

That’s what the producers are hoping, anyway, thanks to a savvy marketing campaign:  As the new Superman movie takes flight this weekend, filmmakers are hoping the Man of Steel lands not only in theaters, but also in pulpits. Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing “Man of Steel” to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, [Read More…]

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For Father’s Day: What It Means to Be a Dad

From the great Grassroots Films comes this short video that sums it all up beautifully. Happy Father’s Day, dads. (And a special prayerful wish for my own dad, shown here with a future deacon and my sister over 50 years ago…) [Read more…]

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Homily for June 16, 2013: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] In the 1950s, one of the most popular shows on television every Sunday asked the question: “What’s My Line?”  A panel of celebrities would have to guess what someone did for a living by asking a series of simple yes-or-no questions. The show was a sensation.  It ran from 1950 to [Read More…]

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For Father’s Day: Father-Son Clergy in Kansas!

Details:  The ordination of 10 men as permanent deacons in the Diocese of Salina includes a man whose son is studying for the priesthood. That will be a first in the diocese and an event that both Ron Lehman and his son Brent of Manhattan are eagerly awaiting. “I’m excited to see it happen. It’s [Read More…]

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Great Moments in Journalism: TV Reporters and Animals

In a word: hilarious. N.B.: Some of the language is foul — or fowl. [Read more…]

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Obama Nominates Former CRS Head as Vatican Ambassador

Details from David Gibson:  President Obama on Friday nominated Ken Hackett, former head of Catholic Relief Services, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. It’s a savvy move, picking a Catholic whose career in the church has been dedicated to alleviating suffering as America’s representative to a pope whose has made helping the [Read More…]

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View from the Pew: What Makes a Good Sermon

This advice comes from Kathleen T. Choi who writes “In Little Ways” for The Hawaii Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Honolulu: Dear Father X, Every Sunday, as we walk out the door, we shake your hand and say, “Good sermon, Father.” We’re not lying. We’re usually fairly satisfied with what you have to say, [Read More…]

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Ordination Update: 8 New Deacons for New York

From Catholic New York:  In an often-harsh world, one of the greatest charisms deacons can bring through their ministry is tenderness, said Cardinal Dolan at the Mass of Ordination for eight deacons who will serve in the archdiocese. “Perhaps, in a dramatic way, the deacon is called to the charism of tenderness in the life [Read More…]

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“Enough, Enough, Enough…”: Powerful Video on the Plight of Christians in Syria

This is something to see, from Aid to the Church in Need.  As described on YouTube: The promising future that the so-called Arab Spring foretold has become rather a nightmare in Syria: an escalating conflict that has forced thousands of Syrians to leave their country. Christian families in particular face a hardship reality in the [Read More…]

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