Al Queda believed Catholics were “fertile ground” for conversion

Details from CNS: A U.S. al-Qaida official concluded that Catholics were “fertile ground” for conversion, “particularly after the rage expanding against the mother church (Vatican) as a result of its scandals and policies refused by many of its public.” American al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn wrote Osama bin Laden in January 2011 and laid out reasons [Read More...]

Incredible: this commercial was shot in just one take

And no special effects. Read all about it here.  At the link, there’s also a video explaining how it was done. But first: watch below. [Read more...]

Will Catholics decide this year’s election?

Maybe: Ask ten people to name the most critical swing voting bloc in the 2012 presidential election and you’re likely to get at least five — and maybe ten — different answers. But, new polling from Gallup suggests that it’s Catholics who could well be the best bellwether of whether President Obama or former Massachusetts governor Mitt [Read More...]

Australian priest admits being secretly married for a year

Details: A Catholic priest in Australia has publicly admitted that he has been married for a year and claimed “there are more like me.” “So I’ve fallen in love and I’ve got married and it’s outside of most people’s awareness, but I’m sure people within the church could have had a suspicion,” Father Kevin Lee told [Read More...]

“I don’t have to think. I’m Catholic.” — UPDATED

That’s the side-splitting punchline Kathleen Turner delivers in the new movie “The Perfect Family.” Are you laughing yet? [Crickets chirping.] Judging from the trailer, the movie traffics in stereotypical insults and anti-Catholic bigotry that would be offensive if they weren’t so predictable, cliched and obvious. But don’t take my word for it.  See the clip [Read More...]

Kilimanjaro-climbing Iowa priest nominated to medical board

You may remember the story about Msgr. Frank Bognanno, who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro recently.  He’s also a cancer survivor. Now he’s in the news again: Three weeks after the Iowa Senate rejected a Dubuque anti-abortion activist for a seat on Iowa Board of Medicine, Gov. Terry Branstad has nominated a prominent Catholic priest for the [Read More...]

Is student debt contributing to the vocation crisis? — UPDATED

A recent study from CARA says, “Yes”: With accumulated educational debt increasing by five percent yearly in the United States, the research was designed with two main goals: 1) to learn more about the impact of student loans on the men and women who are coming to religious life today. 2) to learn about the policy [Read More...]

“Loose canon”: Vatican may tighten rules on annulments

From John Allen: A Rome conference in late April hinted that the Vatican may be moving towards a more restrictive posture on annulments, the procedure in church law for declaring a marriage null and void, which some critics refer to as “Catholic divorce.” If so, the fallout could have special significance for the United States, [Read More...]

From the in-my-backyard desk: two new auxiliary bishops for Brooklyn

And one of them, Bishop-elect Paul Sanchez, is not only the territorial vicar for my parish; he’s also the son of a deacon. The press release: Pope Benedict XVI has appointed two priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn – Msgr. Raymond Chappetto, 66, and Msgr. Paul Sanchez, 65 – as auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn. Archbishop [Read More...]

Life is short. Be fearless. Like this 104-year-old paraglider.

God bless you, Peggy McAlpine. Read her story here.  And watch her break a world record below. [Read more...]

Make a joyful noise!

I got an email the other day alerting me to a music institute happening on Long Island next month and, while I’m not in the habit of plugging this sort of thing here, this time I’ll make an exception because I know it’s just got to be good. Because: one of the teachers is the [Read More...]

For all you college students out there…

Good luck.  You’re in my prayers. [Read more...]

“A gay man I consider a saint…” — UPDATED

This morning Mark Shea tackled a tough subject with a kind of grace and compassion that couldn’t help but leave me impressed.  There’s a benevolent wisdom here, and mercy, too: One of the people I admire most in the world, who I regard as an inspiration and, very likely, as a saint was a gay [Read More...]

Best. Wedding toast. Ever.

Congratulations from Kenny and Selma. – Watch More Funny Videos [Read more...]

Shepherd of note: the musical stylings of Bishop Paprocki

Springfield’s Bishop Thomas Paprocki is getting a lot of attention these days as one of the bishops reviewing the LCWR. He also likes to sing.  A lot.  In homilies.  The clip below is from his installation as bishop two years ago. [Read more...]

Making God a hit on Broadway

It’s an unusual trend in the theater right now, and the New York Times looks at one effort to get people who go to church to also to the theater: Jesus is cracking jokes, sharing parables and dying for our sins in three Broadway musicals this spring, while another six shows feature religious themes that [Read More...]

A Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop [Read More...]

Sheer genius: using an iPad in ways you never imagined

This is pretty amazing and very clever: from a presentation designed to sell people on Stockholm. I don’t know if I’m sold on Stockholm, but I’m definitely sold on the way they use iPads here. [Read more...]


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