Benedict and his bishops

A friend recently noted that, for all his greatness, Blessed John Paul was not necessarily the best judge of character or ability when it came to appointing bishops.  This piece from Vatican Insider/La Stampa may help to explain why; it also points out what his successor is doing differently: Not many are aware of the [Read More...]

Teenager walks 70 miles from frat house to shrine for a dying friend

This is the sort of thing that gives you hope for the next generation: Andrew Domini’s feet were blistered and bloodied. He could barely walk by the time he finally made it to a pink marble church and crawled the last 90 feet to a quiet shrine tucked into the corner. As he paused a [Read More...]

A million expected to see the “Holy Robe” of Jesus in Germany

It’s just gone on display, for the first time in decades: Over the next four weeks, around a million German Christians will be travelling to Trier to admire the “Heiliger Rock”, or the Holy Robe: one of the most important relics in German Christendom, that Jesus supposedly wore before being crucified. Stephan Ackermann, the Bishop [Read More...]

Something to sink my teeth into

I thought the new header for the blog, shown above, looked familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Then it came to me: it’s an awful lot like the title card from a favorite afternoon TV show from my youth: I hadn’t thought about that in years. Curious, I did a little Googling [Read More...]

The downside of cohabitation before marriage

A clinical psychologist writes in the New York Times: At 32, one of my clients (I’ll call her Jennifer) had a lavish wine-country wedding. By then, Jennifer and her boyfriend had lived together for more than four years. The event was attended by the couple’s friends, families and two dogs. When Jennifer started therapy with [Read More...]

How do you like the redesign so far?

We’re tweaking, but let’s drop in on one of our bloggers, who is working with the design team to update her page… [Read more...]

Worth a thousand words

Fenway Park, Boston.  Friday 13 April 2012.  Source. [Read more...]

Artist modifies clothing iron to show Our Lady of Guadalupe

Well this is…different.  From artist Robert Weschler: The steam holes of a working iron were re machined to mirror the iconic aura of the Virgin of Guadalupe. When cloth is scorched by the iron an image of the Virgin appears in the burn. The text on the T-shirts (everything is coming up roses) accompanies the [Read More...]

Ordination update: New Ulm ordains its first class of deacons

Eleven men were set to be ordained on Saturday April 14th, and a local paper in Minnesota took notice: The men will become the first group to be ordained as permanent deacons for the Diocese of New Ulm that serves 15 southwestern Minnesota communities, including North Mankato. “The church needs servants,” said Mark Kober of [Read More...]

Reboot: A revised homily for April 15, 2012, 2nd Sunday of Easter

You never know how the Holy Spirit will work.  After posting this weekend’s homily, I got a number of comments from people who said that the man I’d used as a springboard for a reflection on conversion and mercy had, in fact, renounced his conversion.  (I couldn’t find any evidence of this from Googling, but [Read More...]

The priest who went down with the Titanic while hearing confessions

Details: Amidst all the tales of chivalry from the Titanic disaster there is one that’s not often told. It is that of Fr. Thomas Byles, the Catholic priest who gave up two spots on a lifeboat in favour of offering spiritual aid to the other victims as they all went down with the “unsinkable” vessel. [Read More...]

Pardon our dust

This weekend, you might hear the sound of hammering and sawing, with earth being moved and walls going up.  There’s some construction work going on here at Patheos.  The site is being redesigned, some new features are being installed, and you may stumble upon some sawdust.  My boss Elizabeth says it shouldn’t disrupt things too [Read More...]

Homily for April 15, 2012: 2nd Sunday of Easter/Divine Mercy

[Click here for readings.] Every year on the Sunday after Easter, the greatest celebration of faith, we encounter the gospel’s most famous story of doubt:  the story of Thomas, who demands proof before he will believe. We live in an age when we are surrounded by Thomases – not only doubters, but disbelievers. Atheists, agnostics, [Read More...]

Just saying no: Some Seattle parishes decline to circulate petitions against gay marriage referendum

And one of them is the cathedral parish.  Details: A growing number of Seattle’s Catholic parishes are saying “no” to Archbishop J. Peter Sartain’s offer that churches become signature gathering points for Referendum 74, the ballot measure to roll back Washington’s recently passed same-sex marriage law. St. Mary’s Parish in the Central Area, and the [Read More...]

A Jewish woman’s journey into the Church

You never know how God will work.  The story, from Fargo and the Patch: Susan Finneman can’t remember a time she wasn’t captivated by the Christian faith. Though such a fascination shouldn’t be cause for scandal, in her case, throughout most of her life at least, there was a slight problem: she was Jewish. By [Read More...]

Anti-Catholicism and the Titanic

An interesting observation on the centennial of the great ship’s sinking, from a paper in Ireland: Divine intervention has long been a blamed by some for playing a role in the sinking of the Titanic during its maiden voyage in 1912. Harland and Wolff, the East Belfast shipyard  where the ship was manufactured, was notorious [Read More...]

WSJ: “Traditional Catholicism is winning…renewal is coming”

The authors of a book called “Beyond the Catholic Culture Wars” offer their assessment of the Church today: In his Holy Thursday homily at St. Peter’s Basilica on April 5, Pope Benedict XVI denounced calls from some Catholics for optional celibacy among priests and for women’s ordination. The pope said that “true renewal” comes only [Read More...]

Another priest’s thoughts on blessing kids in the communion line

“Every now and then, some hand-wringing liberal sob sister will try to argue that Jesus loved kids. I always tell ‘em the same thing: ‘Screw you, buddy, and the hybrid car you rode in on. Did Jesus pick any kids to be His Apostles? I don’t think so. When He raised that kid from the [Read More...]


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