The next pope? — UPDATED

The new Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, automatically leaps to the top of the list. NCR’s John Allen has a very good overview of the man he calls the “new Crown Prince of Catholicism”: Among insiders, he was already considered an ecclesial heavyweight and top-tier future prospect. Yet Milan is, well, sui generis. It’s [Read More...]

Nun holds world record: 84 years in the cloister

In fact, she entered the same day that Joseph Ratzinger was born. Details, from ZENIT: She entered the Cistercian Buenafuente del Sistal Convent the day that Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) was born, and today Sister Teresa is 103 years old and the world’s record holder for having lived the longest as a cloistered nun. [Read More...]

"Man and woman naturally complement each other…"

A  good dissection of marriage can be found  right here by Dick Houck, of the Catholic Defense League (not to be confused, evidently, with the Catholic League): Man and woman naturally complement each other physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. They were made to give themselves completely and fully to each other, for the two to [Read More...]

Ordination update: 8 new deacons in Denver

How’s this for a Rocky Mountain High? Details: The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was filled with family, friends and clergy on June 25 to witness the ordination of eight men to the diaconate. Seven of the men—Matthew Archer, Charles Hahn, Steven Hinkle, Timothy Kelly, Jerome Kraft, Christopher Pomrening and Johnie Riviera—were ordained to [Read More...]

Pontifex maximus

Behold: below, the world’s largest over-water bridge, in China.  Just over 26 miles long, it was inaugurated today, after four years of construction, at a cost of $2.3 billion.  Fun fact: it’s six miles longer than the English Channel at its narrowest point.  Details here. [Read more...]

How to make TV a source of happiness

For some unapologetic couch potatoes, that’s a little like saying “How to make beer a source of happiness.”  But — like beer — TV can also cause a few problems. Here are some helpful suggestions (courtesy, The Happiness Project) for avoiding those problems (other than just turning it off or giving it away): At lunch [Read More...]

Veterans say "Jesus" and "God" banned from cemetery prayers

Just in time for the Independence Day holiday weekend, some disturbing allegations out of Texas. Details: Veterans in Houston say the Department of Veterans Affairs is consistently censoring their prayers by banning them from saying the words “God” and “Jesus” during funeral services at Houston National Cemetery. Three organizations — the Veterans of Foreign Wars, [Read More...]

How to evangelize

Christian leaders including the Vatican, have agreed on guidelines. Details: The Vatican and other Christian representatives have issued a series of recommendations for evangelization in multifaith societies, rejecting aggressive or coercive methods but defending the right to profess, propagate or change one’s religion. The principles were outlined June 28 in a document titled, “Christian Witness [Read More...]

Now at St. Pat's: virtual vigil candles

Want to light a candle for someone you love? America’s most famous cathedral now lets you do that from the convenient comfort of your laptop: Each day, visitors from all over the world come to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to light a candle as an act of prayer. We invite you to participate in our community [Read More...]

"If anything is marriage, nothing is marriage…"

“We ought to care that traditional marriage is in crisis. It is clear that children thrive best under the care of a mother and a father, and that removing this fixture from our culture is devastating to children and to our culture.  If we do not fix marriage and family, we are doomed. Legislators defining [Read More...]

Computer gives hints about who wrote the Bible

The software was developed by an Israeli team and it’s giving new insight into the multiple hands that wrote the scriptures. Details: The new software analyzes style and word choices to distinguish parts of a single text written by different authors, and when applied to the Bible its algorithm teased out distinct writerly voices in [Read More...]

From bulletproof vest to vestments

From Alaska comes this unusual story of a divorced father recently ordained a priest (shown below with his daughter): It started out as just another routine day on patrol for Officer Steve Gallagher cruising the streets of Olympia, Wash. At an imposing 6’ 4” and 240 pounds, armed with a .45 caliber Heckler and Koch [Read More...]

How to pitch a baseball

Amazing: first pitch tossed out Monday night by a performer with Cirque du Soleil.   Read more. [Read more...]

The long distance deacon

A reader alerted me to this story from my home state, about a hospital CEO who was just ordained a deacon. From the  Cumberland Times-News: The four-year journey to become a Catholic deacon tested not only Donald Battista’s character and commitment, but his automobile as well. After 37,576 miles, two sets of tires and zero [Read More...]

Quote of the day

“We were more than forty candidates, who, at the solemn call on that radiant summer day, which I remember as the high point of my life, responded “Adsum”, Here I am. We should not be superstitious; but, at that moment when the elderly archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird—perhaps a lark—flew up [Read More...]

New poll: Catholics like Cuomo — UPDATED

Considering the governor’s record on abortion and same sex marriage — not to mention his “concubinage” — that can’t be the kind of news New York’s bishops like to hear. Details: Voters approved of Cuomo’s first six months in office 64 percent to 19 percent, matching his previous best in April, according to a survey [Read More...]

Report: Vatican investigating Cleveland church closings

The news comes from the Italian newspaper La Stampa. Details: The Vatican is investigating Bishop Richard Lennon’s closings of churches in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, according to a report in an Italian newspaper. A spokesman for the diocese said Tuesday he would look into the account, but had no immediate comment. The report Friday in [Read More...]

Off to the races!

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. [Read more...]