Homily for April 28, 2013: 5th Sunday of Easter

[Click here for readings.] “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” Those words may be among the most familiar, most comforting, in all of scripture. It can be tempting to sentimentalize this passage.  We shouldn’t.  The fact is:  it should make all of us lose sleep at night. Because, in [Read More…]

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Heart full of hope: the story behind the beautiful cover of Boston Magazine

From the Atlantic Wire:  For their May cover, following the Boston Marathon bombing, Boston Magazine has created an indelible image made from shoes worn by the marathon’s runners. The cover, while evoking the horror of the bombing, is primarily a forward looking message. Text inside the heart created by the shoes reads: “We Will Finish the Race.” Boston [Read More…]

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Praying “under the covers” in an atheist country

What’s it like to live and pray in an officially atheist state?  CNS has a fascinating interview with Maria Dhimitri, who lived that way in Albania: “They said God didn’t exist. I couldn’t come to church or pray or speak of God at all,” she said of the communist regime that came to power in [Read More…]

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Pope compares preparation for heaven to cataract surgery

His homily from today: Our journey of faith is not one of alienation, but prepares our hearts to see the beautiful face of God: this was Pope Francis’ message during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. On Friday Mass was attended by Staff from the Vatican Typography, the Vatican Labor Office and Vatican State Police. [Read More…]

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Bishop returns petition to gay man, with one comment

You may remember this story from earlier in April.  Now, an update:  The story of a Long Island Catholic ousted from his parish jobs for marrying his male partner generated headlines, outrage and an 18,000-signature petition to Bishop William Murphy to have Nicholas Coppola reinstated. But now the tale has an odd coda: Murphy, who [Read More…]

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The distressing disguise of the poor: “I’m not a bum. I’m a human being”

  Meet Ronald Davis, a homeless man from Chicago whose story has suddenly become a social media sensation: As one of Chicago’s more than 105,000 estimated homeless citizens, Ronald Davis’ story of struggling to survive on the streets may not be unique — but the reaction to his plea for work and dignity certainly is. A [Read More…]

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A teachable moment from Cardinal Dolan: “All are welcome!”

The cardinal, on his blog, explains:  It was a lesson I began to learn when I was seven or eight . . . My buddy Freddie from across the street and I were playing outside.  Mom called me for supper. “Can Freddie stay and eat supper with us?”  I asked. “He’d sure be welcome, if [Read More…]

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School says lesbian teacher was fired over “spousal relationship,” not because she’s gay

Details:  A former teacher who said she was fired for being gay said she was told Tuesday night that she was fired for a spousal relationship, rather than her sexual orientation. Former Bishop Watterson physical education teacher Carla Hale met with principal Marian Hutson Tuesday night after Hale was fired for what was referred to [Read More…]

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Pope Francis will reportedly complete encyclical on faith

From John Thavis:  It looks like Pope Francis will be finishing ex-Pope Benedict’s encyclical on faith. The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said he would not exclude the possibility that Francis’ first encyclical would be issued later this year. The spokesman noted that before his resignation, Pope Benedict had already done initial work on an [Read More…]

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“The cooler, more welcoming side of the Catholic Church” —UPDATED

That’s how the Diocese of Brooklyn describes its new ads for “hipster Jesus.” From CNN: Ads around Brooklyn bring a new meaning to Joan Osborne’s lyrics, “What if God was one of us?” In a new ad campaign launched by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn this month, people in the borough and neighboring Queens [Read More…]

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Gay Episcopal bishop slams Detroit archbishop over communion remarks

From the Detroit Free Press:  Retired Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who was the first openly gay man to become a U.S. bishop in the Episcopal Church, has written a Washington Post opinion piece denouncing Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron for saying Catholics who support gay unions or marriage should not receive communion. Robinson, who recently [Read More…]

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TV’s “The Bible” headed to movie screens this fall

The visionary producer Mark Burnett has had another vision: dollar signs. Details:  Jesus is heading back to the big screen. TV producer Mark Burnett revealed Monday that he is preparing a three-hour movie version of his hit History Channel mini-series, “The Bible.” The film will contain “recut scenes and extra stuff” from the record breaking [Read More…]

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Reading the tea leaves: married priests and women deacons?? —UPDATED

Fr. Michael P. Orsi—a research fellow and scholar at Ave Maria University in Florida— makes some observations about what Francis can change, and what he can’t:  Church discipline is the rules the church enforces for the good of her members.  These often have a long history and must not be tampered with lightly.  However, they can [Read More…]

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Church says it has no information on kidnapped bishops, after group claims they have been freed

  Details:  Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox archdiocese said Wednesday it had no news on two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria, a day after a Christian association said the two men had been released. “We have no new information,” Ghassan Ward, a priest at the archdiocese, told AFP. “We can say that (as far as we know) they [Read More…]

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Future of Catholic weddings in Britain may be in doubt

Details:  Prof Christopher McCrudden said that there are serious questions over whether the 120-year-old legal basis on which 8,500 Catholic weddings a year are performed can even “survive” the passage of the bill currently before Parliament. He told MPs and peers that, unless urgent changes are made, Catholic bishops may have to reconsider whether priests [Read More…]

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Jesus Christ, hipster

I haven’t seen these yet, but AdWeek takes note of a new campaign launched by my diocese (illustrated here): The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn recently launched ads that speak directly to that borough’s natives in a language they understand—by referring to Jesus as “the original hipster.” The ad doesn’t explain this statement other than to [Read More…]

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Ordination update: 18 new deacons for Jefferson City

Photo: Jay Nies/ The Catholic Missourian One of the newly ordained dropped me a line today: Saturday, April 20, Bishop John R. Gaydos ordained 18 men as permanent deacons for the Jefferson City [Missouri] Diocese. It’s the largest class in our history. Congratulations, and welcome!  Ad multos annos!   And how about a shout-out for [Read More…]

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“Reporter” listed as worst job of 2013

From the Wall Street Journal: This year, several professions geared toward serving the financial and health needs of an aging population made the top ten, says Lee, including audiologist, financial planner, and physical therapist. As for the worst job of 2013? Newspaper reporter bumped last year’s loser, lumberjack, for the ignominious distinction. “It’s been low [Read More…]

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