49-year-old Baltimore schoolteacher takes final vows as nun

Details, from the Catholic Review:  About 12 years ago, Hanna Mignogno was listening to a speaker at a conference when she felt compelled to get up and walk outside. She sat on a wall facing a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, listening to the call from God to enter religious life grow louder and [Read More...]

Vermont Catholic innkeepers settle discrimination suit brought by lesbian couple

You may remember this story from last year.  Now an update: A couple has settled a discrimination lawsuit it filed against a Vermont inn that refused to host a wedding reception for the two women. The couple claimed the inn operators discriminated based on sexual orientation. The settlement calls for the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville [Read More...]

The deck of cards: must-see video

A friend who is a veteran sent this to me, describing it as “an oldie but a goodie.” It was new to me. I have to say: it got to me.  Enjoy. [Read more...]

Billboards promote something radical: loving your neighbor

Specifically, Muslims and Sikhs.  Details:  In early August, a mosque in Joplin, Mo., burned to the ground. It was the second fire that damaged the facility this summer — the first, determined to be arson. In light of this attack and others like it across the country — including the heinous shooting at a Sikh gurudwara [Read More...]

Traditional nuns say past is key to future

From David Gibson at Religion News Service:  The light, clear tones of young women’s voices filled the chapel, their chanted prayers drifting across the wooden altar screen that shielded the sisters from the full view of those sitting in the pews. It was five o’clock on a hot August afternoon, and vespers, the traditional evening [Read More...]

Wyoming’s booming diaconate

This year, the Diocese of Cheyenne ordained a record number of deacons — and, in a rare exception, one of the youngest in the country. From the Billings Gazette:  As the faithful in St. Mary’s Cathedral knelt in their pews, Michael Martinson was facedown before the altar. Martinson lay, and the faithful prayed, all through [Read More...]

Priest faces excommunication for starting own parish

An interesting—and rare— case, from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:  A Milwaukee-area Catholic priest sanctioned this year for indirectly violating the seal of the confessional now faces excommunication after launching a new parish with a breakaway diocese a few miles away. Father David Verhasselt, once a popular priest at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Oconomowoc, was [Read More...]

Cardinal Dolan to give benediction at GOP convention

Details: Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan will give the benediction at the Republican National Convention on the night Mitt Romney accepts the presidential nomination. The cardinal’s spokesman said the appearance was not an endorsement. Dolan is the New York archbishop and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Romney announced Dolan’s appearance in an [Read More...]

Report: lower birth rate since 2008 hurting economy

It’s a vicious cycle, evidently.  People stop having children because they can’t afford them in a recession, and that just makes things worse. Details:  Debra Mollen, 41, a psychology professor in Denton, Texas, said she and her husband don’t plan to have children as they strive to pay down their mortgage and save for retirement. [Read More...]

Hollywood planning film about Pontius Pilate

A trend in biblical epics continues:  Deadline reports that Warner Brothers has purchased a script called Pontias Pilate  from Woman on Top writer Vera Blasi, a new take on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as told through the eyes of the man who ordered it to happen. The film will follow Pilate’s journey as a soldier who gains power under [Read More...]

New coalition of priests seeks to help workers

Just in time for Labor Day comes this portrait of “labor priests,” from Catholic San Francisco:  In the 1891 encyclical “Rerum Novarum,” or “On the New Things,” Pope Leo XIII supported the rights of labor to form unions, and called for ameliorating “the misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working [Read More...]

The New York Times discovers an odd species: chaste Christians

And their superstar, evidently, is Tim Tebow. Clearly, to the Times, this is an aberration that defies logic and deserves closer scrutiny. Details: Trinity Laurel moved to Manhattan at 21 to pursue a modeling career. Raised in a Christian home, Laurel was a virgin when she reached the city, and says she has “remained pure” [Read More...]

Good question: “Did I deserve the death penalty?”

A giant h/t to Frank Weathers for bringing the image below to my attention, courtesy Feminists for Life. Given this news item, I think it’s a question more people need to confront. [Read more...]

First look: stunning glimpse at the new iPhone 5

Wow.  I’m drooling. [Read more...]

“I have a job to do as president, and that does not involve convincing folks that my faith in Jesus is real.”

President Obama gave a rare interview about his religious views to the magazine of the National Cathedral.  Politico has highlights:  In an interview with the Washington National Cathedral magazine, President Obama discussed how his faith influenced his politics — saying that at the end of the day ‘God is in control.’ “First and foremost, my Christian faith [Read More...]

In the e-mail: on vesting a deacon for his funeral

The following e-mail arrived Tuesday afternoon: On July 31, 2012 one of our deacons, Deacon Thomas Bates died of cancer after a brief illness. Deacon Bates was 63 years old and was ordained on May 24, 2007. I had recently purchased “Ordained to Serve”, Prayers and Blessings for Permanent Deacons, edited by Denis Robinson, OSB. [Read More...]

Film critic Steven Greydanus begins studies for diaconate

Some big news from him today that you might even call a blockbuster:  Next week I will be going back to graduate school—back to seminary, in fact—to pursue diaconal studies in preparation for ordination to the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Newark.  (I currently hold an MA in religious studies from St. Charles Borromeo [Read More...]

“A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape”

That’s the statement released by the campaign Sunday night: Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s strong views on abortion took a back seat to his new boss’s view in a Romney-Ryan campaign response to a Missouri Senate candidate’s controversial remarks about rape and abortion. The statement on behalf of Ryan and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney said the [Read More...]


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