Reports of Rise in Confession: The Francis Effect?

He’s evidently having an impact, according to CNS:  The head of the Vatican office promoting new evangelization said that while he does not like the terms “Francis effect” or “Francis bump,” it is true that “Pope Francis has touched the hearts and minds of many people.” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for [Read More…]

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Pope Francis on Apostolic Zeal: “If We Annoy People, Blessed Be the Lord…”

A report on today’s homily:  Saint Paul was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at Mass Thursday morning, and in particular his talent at ‘being a nuisance’, at unsettling people who had grown too comfortable in their faith and imbuing within them that Apostolic zeal that is necessary for the Church to move forward. Pope [Read More…]

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Ordination Update: 16 New Deacons for Baltimore

I posted a first look at the new clergy of Bal’mer over the weekend. Now, here’s the write-up from the Catholic Review:  A weekend retreat Mark Loepker attended a decade ago was a turning point in his faith journey. “That took the hidden veiled call away and I came face to face with the call [Read More…]

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“I’m Leaving the Church; I Surrender”

That was the subject line on an e-mail I received tonight. The author: the woman who initiated the lively discussion we had a few weeks back about children crying in church. (You can read about it here and here.) Her e-mail: Hi Deacon Greg, I thought I should let you & your readers know that [Read More…]

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Stem Cell Breakthrough, as Scientists Clone Skin Cells

Details:  Scientists have successfully changed skin cells into embryonic stem cells, marking the first time human stem cells were cloned by transferring the nucleus of another cell. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) were able to create embryonic stem cells, which are valuable for research because [Read More…]

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“Instead of Closing Parishes and Schools, We’re Doing the Opposite. We’re in Total Growth Mode…”

It’s a trend worth spotting:  In the waves of turbulence that rippled throughout the Catholic Church in the 1970s, the nuns of St. Dominic’s Monastery found themselves forced to leave their longtime home in Wisconsin in search of a new one. The nuns moved to a temporary residence in Washington, D.C., while looking for a permanent setting [Read More…]

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“See You on the Radio”

That signature phrase from my old colleague Charles Osgood has suddenly come in handy. I’m scheduled to be interviewed on “The Drew Mariani Show” on Relevant Radio at about 5:30 p.m., ET. I’ll be talking about this little news item, among other things. (I’ll do my best not to disgrace the channel by being IR-relevant.) So, [Read More…]

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Cardinal O’Brien Leaving Scotland for “Spiritual Renewal, Prayer and Penance”

Details:  Disgraced former Cardinal Keith O’Brien is to leave Scotland for several months after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct during his church career, the Vatican has said. Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric resigned earlier this year amid allegations that he made homosexual approaches to young trainee priests. The Vatican confirmed today that O’Brien will leave Scotland [Read More…]

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Angelina Jolie and the Illness No One Wants to Mention

Writer Jamie Calloway-Hanauer raises an issue many would prefer to overlook:  In the hours following the publication of Angelina Jolie’s story, others came forward with their own stories, and the media coverage since has been non-stop. However, when a similarly famous actress, Catherine Zeta Jones, came forward with her diagnosis of bipolar II disorder, it [Read More…]

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Come, Holy Spirit: Pope Releases Doves Presented to Him by Pilgrims

Details: Two doves celebrated their freedom with a soaring flight over St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, all thanks to Pope Francis. As Francis toured the square in his open-topped popemobile at his weekly public audience, someone in the crowd thrust a white bird cage with two doves inside at him. Looking puzzled, his security detail [Read More…]

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Florida Priest Presides Over Burials for Those No One Else Will Claim—UPDATED

Here’s a story about a poignant and prayerful work of mercy most people never hear about. Details:  No one Mary Helen Wells knew was at her funeral. The physical sum of her 85 years filled a donated urn Monday afternoon, among 36 other donated urns full of unwanted remains. A kindly priest said prayers and [Read More…]

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Perfectly Frank: A fascinating video glimpse inside the studio as Sinatra records “It Was a Very Good Year”

The singing legend died 15 years ago today. Herewith, a great piece of television, from a special Walter Cronkite hosted to mark Frank Sinatra’s 50th birthday in 1965. They don’t make singers like this anymore. And they don’t do television like this anymore, either. [Read more…]

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Cardinal Dolan slams Governor Cuomo over abortion bill

From the New York Daily News:  New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan made it clear this morning that if Gov. Cuomo proceeds with his plans to strengthen state abortion laws, he will face the wrath of the Catholic Bishops. “I am going to hope that the better natures prevail here, but boy if you come out [Read More…]

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More parents naming their baby boys “Messiah”

From Reuters:  Sophia tops the list of names for American baby girls for the second year in a row, while King and Messiah are becoming increasingly popular names for boys, the U.S. Social Security Administration said on Thursday. Jacob has become a standby for boys’ names, topping that category for the 14th straight year. Liam [Read More…]

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Ordination update: 13 new deacons for Trenton

Details:  The 13 men who were ordained as permanent deacons for the diocese May 11 were reminded by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., that their vocation is primarily one of service to the Church through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. “This morning we come together, the community of faith that is the Diocese of Trenton, [Read More…]

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Graphic images at abortion protests: is this free speech?

The Supreme Court may soon decide.  Details:  Kenneth T. Scott opposes abortion, and he says so in public. Sometimes he holds up large pictures of aborted fetuses. Sometimes he makes his points near churches that he believes are not doing enough to combat abortion. A couple of years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that hateful antigay protests [Read More…]

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Catholic hospital mergers could impact abortions

Unsurprisingly, some in the pro-choice camp find that prospect alarming. From the New York Times: Politicians seeking to restrict access to abortion, a marked trend this year from North Dakota to Arkansas, tend not to get much traction in this part of the country. Washington is heavily Democratic, leaning left especially on social issues. A [Read More…]

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Jersey boys, Camden edition

Here they are: the Magnificent Seven who were ordained two Saturdays ago in Camden.  Thanks to Carl Peters of the Catholic Star Herald for the picture! Congratulations, brothers!  Ad multos annos!  [Read more…]

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