A shore thing: Philadelphia sells vacation home for priests

Details:  A vacation house at the South Jersey shore used by generations of elderly priests was sold at auction by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for $4.5 million Sept. 15. Steve and Ilene Berger of Newtown Square won the bidding at $4.125 million for Villa St. Joseph by the Sea, a 19-room, 9,800-square-foot mansion in Ventnor, [Read More...]

Pope on Lebanon trip: “I continue to accompany those beloved people in prayer”

“Dear friends, the days spent in Lebanon were a wonderful manifestation of faith and religious feeling and a prophetic sign of peace. The multitude of believers from the entire Middle East, had the opportunity to reflect, to talk and especially to pray together, renewing their commitment to root their lives in Christ. I am sure [Read More...]

CARA: Catholic vote too close to call

Details: The vote of Catholics remains quite evenly split 47% for President Obama and 45% for Gov. Romney (most of the differences between the candidates have been within margins of sampling error for the sub-group). Once in March and again in July, President Obama had a lead of 9 percentage points. Gov. Romney’s biggest lead [Read More...]

Before Stephen Colbert met the Cardinal …

…he met the Deacon. Longtime readers will remember this snapshot, from CBS in 2007. Colbert had broken his wrist.  While recovering, he got several TV anchors (including Katie Couric) to sign his cast, and later sold it for charity. [Read more...]

“Catholic” but not “Roman Catholic”: a priest from the “United American Catholic Church” responds

You may remember that I wrote about Rev. William Freeman last month, in a post about Catholic weddings.   Though I quoted extensively from his own website, and used his own words, he took issue with my conclusions, and asked for an opportunity to respond. I agreed. You can read his essay here.  I think [Read More...]

Reversal: Accused Joliet priest who was returned to ministry is removed … again

You may remember this item from last week.  Well…the priest is now, once again, out: The Rev. F. Lee Ryan has been removed from public ministry again. Ryan, 79, who has been accused of inappropriate relations with a minor four decades ago, was put back into limited ministry last week after a ruling from the [Read More...]

Catholic Church opens its doors to Jewish neighbors in need for Rosh Hashanah

What a great story. Details: A ruptured pipe threatened to dampen Rosh Hashanah services on Long Island, but instead it brought neighbors of two faiths closer together. Synagogue leaders arrived at the Jewish Center of Island Park on Sunday to find the ground floor completely flooded. “The nipple of the pipe had burst, completely flooding about two-thirds [Read More...]

Hooray for Hollywood: how two stars reacted to paparazzi

A great idea, nicely executed by Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. Details: In one slick, subversive move, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone took a paparazzi moment and turned it into an act of kindness. The celebrity couple used the set of photographers waiting outside their New York City lunch spot on Saturday to help raise [Read More...]

Catholics then, Muslims now

In this morning’s New York Times, author and journalist Doug Saunders looks at the parallels between bigotry directed toward Catholics a century ago, and what is being directed toward Muslims today: For the first time in decades, it has become acceptable in some circles to declare that a specific religious minority can’t be trusted. During [Read More...]

Clarence Thomas: “I was going to be a priest…”

The notoriously silent Supreme Court justice had a few things to say recently about the law and his faith during an interview at the National Archives to mark the 225th anniversary of the Constitution. From the New York Times:  For the most part, Justice Thomas spoke somberly about the weight of history and the burdens [Read More...]

“In the end it will be the servants who save us all”

I’m reading Mark Shriver’s excellent tribute to his father “A Good Man,” and just came across this sterling passage, from a 1986 speech Sargent Shriver delivered to Peace Corps Volunteers. It could be a rallying cry for diakonia: “Stay as you are…be servants of peace…work at home as you have worked abroad, humbly, persistently, intelligently.  [Read More...]

In the e-mail: “His Excellency was smart not to bring permanent deacons into the diocese…”

A reader takes objection to this post about the lack of deacons in Lincoln, Nebraska.  He writes: I disagree with your post on the diaconate in the Diocese of Lincoln. His Excellency was smart not to bring permanent deacons into the diocese. There is very little theology behind the permanent diaconate which is agreed upon [Read More...]

Catholic high school opens Muslim prayer room

Not long ago, something like that would have been unthinkable. But it’s becoming a reality in London, Ontario in Canada. Details: Mother Teresa Catholic secondary school is turning a second-floor office into an Islamic prayer room — the first high school in the city, private or public, to do so. Carpet will soon cover the [Read More...]

“What’s wrong in the Vatican press office?”

That’s the question being posed by editor Robert Royal over at  The Catholic Thing — and it’s a good question: The Vatican hired Greg Burke in June, an experienced journalist at Catholic and secular outlets, as a special consultant to help with press communications. Given the multiple stumbles and misfires in recent years, it seemed [Read More...]

Rage: cathedral in Niger attacked, ransacked by protesters

From AFP: Several Christian leaders are being held in protective custody in Niger after demonstrators angry at an anti-Islam film ransacked a major Catholic church, a local journalist said Sunday. Hundreds of protesters stormed the cathedral in Niger’s second city of Zinder after Friday prayers, and set fire to US and British flags, a local [Read More...]

Canada mourns a priest who wore wigs, taught in gibberish, and wore bunny ears for Easter

Details: Monsignor Fee Otterson was a playful soul who once showed up to a family barbecue in a horrendous wig, once officiated an Easter service in bunny ears. He would lead drama classes in gibberish to challenge the communication skills of students. He walked school hallways wearing the red-and-white striped hat of Cat in the [Read More...]

“Call Me Maybe” as you’ve never heard it before. Really.

The ubiquitous song by Carly Rae Jepsen that defined the summer is here redefined in a delightful arrangement for choir and orchestra. It’s performed by the 3Penny Chorus and Orchestra, a volunteer pickup ensemble conducted by Arianne Abela in New Haven, Connecticut. You ain’t heard nothin’ yet. As improbable as it seems, this rendition rocks. [Read More...]

Would you take a pregnancy test in a bar?

Well, you can do that in Minnesota. From the New York Times: If you make a  beeline to the stalls, you might miss the pregnancy test dispenser fastened to a wall in the women’s restroom of Pub 500 in Mankato, Minn. There, with the swipe of a credit card, for a $3 fee, you can [Read More...]


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