“This is the real war on women”

That’s how one Republican described the vote this afternoon that will not ban abortions based on sex selection: The House on Thursday fell short in an effort to ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus as Republicans and Democrats made an election-year appeal for women’s votes. The legislation would have made it a [Read More...]

Mary’s journey: a homily for The Visitation

For the Feast of the Visitation, here’s a portion of my homily from 2007 from the Solemnity of the Assumption, which used the same gospel reading. +++ The gospel today begins with a journey. “Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste…” This time of year, I think, a lot of us [Read More...]

“It’s a hit piece in the service of another agenda”

Mark Shea, as usual, cuts right to the heart of the matter concerning this report about Cardinal Timothy Dolan in the New York Times: There is much dudgeon the article. There is no dudgeon–none whatsoever–about the fact that exactly the same tactic is used to get rid of pervy public school teachers. This, and the lionization of [Read More...]

How the Vatican marks the end of Mary’s month

If you can’t be in Rome, check out this video preview, courtesy CNS: [Read more...]

Why Anna Quindlen quit the church — UPDATED

I’ve always appreciated Anna Quindlen’s wry, elegantly shaped prose, going back to her “Life in the 30s” column she wrote for the Times back in the ’80s.  I read her sporadically after she went to Newsweek, and dipped into a couple of her novels when she tried her hand at fiction. So when I came [Read More...]

“The Clan of the Red Beanie”

That’s the oh-so-pwecious term of endearment that writer Charles Pierce uses for Catholic bishops here. Perhaps he’d like to come up with a similar soubriquet for rabbis? [Read more...]

A promise kept: Cardinal Dolan returns to St. Louis to preach at priest’s first Mass

Details: Surrounded by family, friends and supporters, Father Brian Fallon and four other newly ordained priests celebrated their first Masses last weekend, just one day after their May 26 ordination at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. It was a culminating moment, a realization of all the hard work they had achieved through their years [Read More...]

“If she could not have joy, she was determined to have light…”

Years ago, when the great Harold Ross was editing the New Yorker, he’d pore over writer’s manuscripts and if there was a name he didn’t understand or a person he felt wasn’t properly identified, he’d scribble in the margins two words: “Who he?” When Elizabeth Scalia told me she was writing a new introduction to [Read More...]

Having trouble juggling family, job and ministry?

Then, read this. Sound and sensible advice here—for deacons and anyone who feels like he’s got too many balls in the air… [Read more...]

First look: official trailer for “Les Miserables”

Do you hear the people sing?  Well, you hear Anne Hathaway.  This looks superb. [Read more...]

“I’m continually evangelized by the poor”

What a great insight, expressed in this beautifully produced slideshow/video. The photographer, Paul Jeffrey, also happens to be a Methodist minister, and the remarkable photographs  remain a vibrant and haunting reminder of his ministry to some of the poorest of the poor. Just watch.  Huge H/T to CNS for finding this. More people need to [Read More...]

Deacons and the “Fortnight for Freedom”

As the USCCB ramps up preparations for this event next month, Chicago’s deacons are launching their own response: a conference on religious liberty. From an e-mail I received yesterday: The intent is: To prepare deacons and priests to preach during the Fortnight of Freedom To provide clergy and church ministers with a venue for their [Read More...]

The secret to a long marriage: matching outfits

This is either a) adorable, b) bizarre or c) inspired. Take your pick. I’m surprised they don’t bring this up in Pre-Cana. [Read more...]

Clergy and politics

I see it more and more on Facebook: priests and deacons trumpeting their political allegiances and voicing their support for particular candidates.  It’s an election year; that’s understandable. But is it appropriate?  I’ve often wondered. Deacon Bill Ditewig (of happy blogging memory) took a close look at that in this month’s Deacon Digest (full disclosure: [Read More...]

And with your iPad: one priest’s experience using the tablet for Mass

This comes from New Zealand, where one priest writes that the biggest problem with the new missal isn’t the language, but the physical ordering of the missal itself. Then, inspiration struck: What the people who translated the new Missal didn’t do was decide how the new English translation should look. They didn’t decide the layout [Read More...]

Is the Internet an enemy of the faith?

Consider these thoughts, from a Baptist minister: The Internet offers endless chatter and distraction. It sometimes seems that the entire population is suffering from a shared case of attention deficit syndrome. On the Web, irresponsible voices are just as accessible as trustworthy voices. Often, it seems that the voices of reason and truth are drowned [Read More...]

Hello, Dalai!

Well, how often will I ever get a chance to use a headline like that, anyway? The Dalai Lama attended Mass on Pentecost as a “pilgrim” in Vienna, where Cardinal Christoph Schonborn noted: “”A person who is deeply rooted in their own faith can show deep respect for the faith of others.” [Read more...]

Here comes the judge: 66-year-old ordained a priest

Details: Among his tight circle of friends, they’ve been calling Tim Corcoran “Father Timmy” for quite some time. It was a little tongue-in-cheek, but it always made Corcoran smile. “They got a kick out of it,” he says with his impish grin. So did he. But now, it’s finally true. For the record, he prefers [Read More...]


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