What a city loses when Catholic schools close

A good reflection on this from today’s New York Times: Amid the grandeur and permanence of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, they marched down the aisle in pairs, the graduating seniors of Rice High School in Harlem. They were the 70th commencement class in the school’s history, the latest to bear the venerable epithet of being “Rice [Read More...]

Homily for June 5, 2011: 7th Sunday of Easter

In April of 2005, an Army captain by the name of Scott Smiley found himself where most people would not want to be: in Mosul, Iraq, confronting a man in a car who fit the description of suspected car bomber.  Captain Smiley knew what to do.  He told the man to get out. The man [Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…makes history — UPDATED

The diocese is taking a gamble that will undoubtedly pay off, big time: Friday, it ordained its very first class of permanent deacons. A few people dropped me a line last night to let me know about it.  Any more information?  Pictures?  I checked the Diocese of Las Vegas website, but information was scarce. A [Read More...]

Twin brothers who were friars die within hours of each other at 92

A remarkable and touching story from Buffalo: From the moment of their birth in Buffalo 92 years ago, twin brothers Julian and Adrian Riester rarely left each other’s side. They played together, went to school together, as young men traveled cross-country together — and, in their 20s, joined the Franciscan order together. And on Wednesday, [Read More...]

From Baghdad to Phoenix: Iraqi Christians settling in the southwest

Bridging the divide between East and West is a big part of the mission of CNEWA, where I work.  So when a colleague posted this on his Facebook page, I found it both newsworthy and noteworthy. When it comes to the plight of Eastern Christians, attention must be paid. From the Catholic Sun in Phoenix: [Read More...]

What the world has come to: teen sells kidney for an iPad

Well, at least he waited until the second version came out.  But what happens when iPad3 is released?? Details: Apple lovers are known for their somewhat radical devotion to any new products the company introduces, but selling body parts to afford them is definitely something new — and scary. According to Global Times, a youngster in [Read More...]

On deacons: "You will perform minor miracles"

Those are the words of my own Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio at the ordination of 27 new deacons last weekend for the Diocese of Brooklyn. I wrote about the event here. Now a video report is up, courtesy of “Currents.” Check it out. And the diocesan newspaper, The Tablet, has a write up and slideshow. [Read more...]

Catholic valedictorian joins fight to pray at her graduation

A judge has ruled that even words like “Amen” and “benediction” cannot be a part of a public high school graduation ceremony, and now the class valedictorian is filing a motion to change that. Details: The valedictorian of Medina Valley High School wants to pray during her speech at Saturday’s graduation and has joined the [Read More...]

What's wrong with "Praise and Worship" music?

One priest offers his perspective on the music many teenagers hear at youth liturgies: Will the kids today who are raised on a diet of Praise and Worship continue to practice the Faith when they are no longer of that age middle-aged people in the Church want to cater to? I don’t know. But my [Read More...]

What most people regret on their death bed

Now it can be told. A palliative care nurse sums it up: The top regrets center largely around living a more authentic life: 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realise [Read More...]

Off the hook: should we give up more than just meat on Fridays?

While some bishops are calling for a return to the discipline of giving up meat on Fridays, at least one writer says we should skip fish, too. Snip: Catholic bishops in the U.K. want to reinstate year-round meatless Fridays, which sounds great to me, except for one thing: They still seem to think that fish are [Read More...]

Nice hats! — UPDATED

The TODAY Show is continuing its extensive coverage of Vatican stuff — and Matt Lauer had a chat this morning with Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Check out more of the coverage and a number of intriguing videos right here. UPDATE: Turns out the inspiration for this week’s trip was none other than the late, great Tim [Read More...]

USCCB names deacon to head Secretariat for Child, Youth Protection

From the conference website: Deacon Bernard V. Nojadera, of the Diocese of San Jose, California, and director of the diocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, has been named head of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection. He begins his position August 15 and succeeds Teresa Kettelkamp, who has [Read More...]

"Catholics increasingly are reaching out to the LGBT community…" — UPDATED

A retired Brooklyn auxiliary bishop, Joseph Sullivan, is offering his perspective on how Catholics view gays and lesbians — and suggests it may be evolving. From the Buffalo News: One need only flip through some of today’s cable news channels to witness how some of our society’s most sensitive public policy matters are overly simplified [Read More...]

Who was Thomas Merton?

Good question.  And one that James Martin and the good people at Loyola Productions answer in this newly released (online, anyway) segment from the video “Who Cares About the Saints?”  Longtime readers know I’m a big Merton fan.  Take a look.  (And, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think Merton bears an [Read More...]

"Why are you standing there looking at the sky?"

“In Matthew’s gospel, before Jesus ascends, he tells them, very simply, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.’ He urges them to baptize, to teach, to carry on the work that he has begun. But his first direction is so clear: ‘Go.’ The world is waiting. Act on what I have taught you. And [Read More...]

Set your TiVo for "Today"…tomorrow

Evidently, Matt Lauer and company will be offering an extended look at life at the Vatican — including a day in the life of the pope, and more. Over a “Whispers,” Rocco has posted a tease video, featuring a sweet moment when Lauer got to meet Benedicit (under the bear paw of the always-affable Archbishop [Read More...]

Christians, Muslims, Jews to share pulpits later this month

Details, from Catholic News Service: It will happen for just one Sunday in June, but on that day, dozens of houses of worship across the United States will open their pulpits to clergy from the other two Abrahamic faiths to read from their scriptures. The project, called Faith Shared, is set for June 26. A [Read More...]