Embattled chaplain sparks small vocations boom at George Washington University

You probably remember the controversy surrounding this chaplain at George Washington University.  Here’s something else you should know about him, from the National Catholic Register:  Father Greg Shaffer, the Catholic chaplain at George Washington University, learned early that a good pastor can defy the odds and lead the young to embrace a priestly vocation. Growing [Read More…]

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Peres to pope: “I am expecting you in Jerusalem and not just me, but all the people of Israel.”

Details:  Israeli President Shimon Peres officially invited Pope Francis to Israel and left their meeting at the Vatican telling the pope, “I am expecting you in Jerusalem and not just me, but all the people of Israel.” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters, “The pope would be happy to go to the Holy [Read More…]

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New dating site set up to promote abstinence

From HuffPo, which picks up the story from Essence Magazine: If you haven’t noticed by now, waiting is in again. More and more couples are choosing to put sex on hold in favor of finding love and a worthy life partner first. (And, we couldn’t be more proud.) Many of our readers have spoken out [Read More…]

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Priest collapses, dies while celebrating Mass

From New Zealand:  Hundreds of parishioners watched in shock as a Catholic priest died at the altar during mass, moments after baptising a baby. Napier’s longest-serving priest, Monsignor Timothy Francis Hannigan, 81, collapsed at the altar during communion at St Patrick’s Catholic Church on Sunday. A doctor and nurses in the packed church rushed to [Read More…]

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Former deacon sentenced to jail for stealing from collection plate

Details:   Joseph Thomas Finnigan, the 73-year-old Catholic deacon who admitted stealing $120,000 from Grand Haven collection plates over some five years, will spend the next year of his life in jail and the rest of his life trying to pay back the money.  Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing’s words and sentence Monday, April 29, [Read More…]

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Woman student in art parade dresses like pope—but naked from the waist down—UPDATED

But wait, there’s more:  At an annual art school parade [at Carnegie Mellon University], a female student dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down while she passed out condoms. Even more, witnesses say the woman had shaved her pubic hair in the shape of a cross. The Diocese of Pittsburgh has asked [Read More…]

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The lesson: capuchins are very touchy

Good to know for all those who have dealings with Cardinal O’Malley or Archbishop Chaput. Below a video that shows an experiment involving a pair of capuchin monkeys.  One is rewarded for a task with a cucumber; the other gets a grape. Watch what happens when the Cucumber Capuchin realizes what’s going on. [Read more…]

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Head of German bishops’ conference says the idea of women deacons “no longer taboo”

From a German news website: Germany’s top Roman Catholic has called for women to be allowed to become deacons, which would enable them to perform baptisms and marriages outside of mass – a novelty for Catholic women. Archbishop of Freiburg Robert Zollitsch, who chairs the German Bishops’ Conference, called for the change at the end [Read More…]

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USCCB hires Sarah Palin advisor as Cardinal Dolan’s spokesperson—UPDATED

The e-mail went out this morning: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomes Kim Daniels on board as spokesperson for the president of the USCCB, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Daniels brings to the USCCB her experience as director of Catholic Voices USA, an organization of lay Catholics that works to bring the positive message of the [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Student shoots himself at Catholic high school in Cincinnati—UPDATED

Details:  A student shot himself with a gun in front of classmates at his Cincinnati high school Monday morning, officials said. Authorities arrived at La Salle High School after several students called 911 around 9 a.m. The victim, believed to have been trying to commit suicide in a classroom, was rushed to the University of [Read More…]

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Report: priest who admitted to groping teenager continues to work with children

You may remember the story of Newark’s Fr. Michael Fugee from February.  Now, an update from the Newark Star-Ledger:  Six years ago, to avoid retrial on charges that he groped a teenage boy, the Rev. Michael Fugee entered a rehabilitation program, underwent counseling for sex offenders and signed a binding agreement that would dictate the [Read More…]

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Chicago priest’s confession: he crossed the border illegally

His story, and why he did it, from the Chicago Tribune:  Just days after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by climbing a wall, a Chicago priest said Sunday that what he did was wrong and urged parishioners in his Southwest Side church to apologize if they had done the same. “And by recognizing you did something [Read More…]

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Four stabbed at New Mexico Catholic church during Mass

Details:  At least four people were hurt at an Albuquerque church Sunday when a visitor jumped out of the pews and stabbed a choir member during a song, police and witnesses said. The victims did not appear to have life-threatening injuries, police said. Two parishioners told the Los Angeles Times that after communion at the [Read More…]

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Spring fever: First Communions, weddings and “people who act as though they are at a ball game”

My blog neighbor Fr. Mike Duffy notes that it’s that time of year again: the season for weddings and First Communions.  Unfortunately, as Fr. Duffy notes, these events are often the very definition of a “mixed blessing”: I would never want to be cold or discourage anyone from coming to Church.  But I do hope [Read More…]

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Francis slept here: inside Cardinal Bergoglio’s apartment in Argentina

Take a look:  “A man drunk with God”, the title (from the French) of the classic biography of Saint Sharbel by Fr Paul Daher, spontaneously comes to mind when listening to those who were close to Pope Francis when he was still the archbishop of Buenos Aires. We are in the Archbishop’s Palace in the [Read More…]

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Indiana copes with priest shortage

From the Post-Tribune newspaper, which toward the end makes mention of deacons: Early in his career, the Rev. Rick Orlinski was one of three priests at Our Lady of Grace in Highland and spent two to three days each week ministering to the sick in their homes. Now, there is one priest who serves the [Read More…]

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Two small but significant changes regarding Communion reception—UPDATED

A website calls attention to this item in a USCCB newsletter on the new Roman Missal, from January: What does the Missal say about the posture of the faithful when receiving Holy Communion? What about Communion in the hand? Both of these questions are covered in no. 160 of the GIRM. It states clearly there that the [Read More…]

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Nuns launch radio show in Texas

They aren’t exactly flying nuns, but they’re definitely on the air. Details:  Yesterday we spent some time at the Guadalupe Radio Network studios prepping for our new weekly live show, A Good Habit. It debuts this coming Wednesday, May 1st, at 1pm. We hope you’ll not only tune in, but call in, as we’ll be devoting part of [Read More…]

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