Pope Francis: “Without grace, we can do nothing!”

Pope Francis joined pilgrims this morning to pray the Regina Coeli in St. Peter’s Square.  The Vatican’s translation is below. +++ Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter to you all! Thank you for coming today, in such large numbers, to share the joy of Easter, the central mystery of our faith. Let us pray that [Read More…]

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A family that prays together

Another great story of a return to the church—this time, with an entire Arkansas family coming along for the journey: For 11-year-old Carter Baldwin and his 9-year-old sister Mimi, one of the most exciting things about becoming Catholic isn’t what one might expect from children — going to confession. “I like how Catholicism makes you [Read More…]

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An Easter story: one man’s return to the Catholic Church

From the Forum in Fargo, North Dakota: Timothy Murphy experienced a dramatic turnaround at the last minute. A friend from Yale who hadn’t been in touch since graduation looked him up after envisioning a suicide attempt; the phone in Murphy’s Fargo home rang just as the local retired farmer, hunting enthusiast and poet loaded his [Read More…]

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Easter 2013

And how did you spend your weekend? Happy Easter!  He is risen!  Alleluia! Photos by Rosalind Chan-Ganzhi [Read more…]

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Dolan: “Sometimes, the Church has got to be out of touch…”

Details:  During an interview for “This Week,” Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that the Catholic Church’s very nature means it will be — from time to time – out of touch with the concerns of its followers. “Sometimes by nature, the Church has got to be out of touch with [Read More…]

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Pope’s message to the world: “Peace to this our Earth!”

Below, the text of Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi message for Easter:  Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Easter! What a joy it is for me to announce this message: Christ is risen! I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering [Read More…]

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The Triduum champs

From my parish tonight: the altar servers pictured below took part in every single liturgy of the Triduum, from the Mass of the Lord’s Supper Thursday night to the Easter Vigil Saturday. Five liturgies in three days.  Kudos to one and all, especially the ringleader, David James (the proud fellow on the left, beaming). I’m [Read More…]

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Man studying for diaconate killed by bomb blast in Syria

Details:  The bishop of Damascus reports that the Christian sector of the city is in danger, as a man studying for the permanent diaconate was killed this week by a bomb blast. Benjamin Camil, 35, was on his way home Tuesday morning after distributing food to destitute people when he was killed instantly by the [Read More…]

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Lovely video: Holy Saturday at the seminary

Here we have a brief but beautiful glimpse at a service this morning at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York —the facility that forms priests for three dioceses: the Archdiocese of New York, Brooklyn, and Rockville Centre. While the rest of us were practicing with altar servers, rehearsing RCIA rites, sweeping the floor of [Read More…]

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How Pope Francis is reforming the priesthood

I wondered earlier this week if the new pontiff might have a profound impact on vocations.  Fr. Roger Landry in the National Catholic Register is sensing an impact, already, on the priesthood:  In his first couple of weeks as Pope, as well as his 14 years in Buenos Aires, Francis has been charting out the [Read More…]

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New York Catholic high school says gay teenagers can attend dance together

It will be interesting to see if this actually goes forward as planned—and what the reaction this gets from parents. Details:  The administrator of a Catholic high school in New York wrote to his students’ parents this week to explain why a gay couple at the all-boys school is being allowed to attend the junior [Read More…]

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Vatican defends foot-washing by Pope Francis—UPDATED

Details from AP: The Vatican on Friday (March 29) dismissed criticism of Pope Francis’ decision to wash the feet of two women during a Maundy Thursday Mass at a Rome youth prison. The move has come under fire from Catholic traditionalists who say that the rite is a re-enactment of Jesus washing the feet of [Read More…]

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Letters to Pope Francis from prison: “Thank you for washing the feet of youth like us…”

From Vatican Radio:  Los Angeles County has one of the highest youth incarceration rates in the country. Up to 90% of the county’s juvenile justice youth are Latino or African American, and up to 70% of incarcerated youth nationally are said to have some kind of disability. After witnessing the tragic lives of so many [Read More…]

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Homily for March 29, 2013: Good Friday

This is probably one of the most difficult, most challenging, most brutal passages in all of scripture. Here we have details that make the passion tangible and immediate and raw.  Here, in St. John’s gospel, we have weapons and torches.  We have the thorns.  There is the purple cloak. The bitter wine. The poignant moment [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: the medium and the messenger

Two views of Pope Francis, from different perspectives, come to a strikingly similar conclusion. From Deacon Bill Ditewig:  I do not write this from some naive expectation that “he will change church teaching,” as some like to say.  Rather, it is in the way he is approaching his ministry as Bishop of Rome (his preferred [Read More…]

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VIDEO: Pope Francis, deacon—UPDATED

From Rome Reports, the Holy Father is shown in this video washing the feet of 12 jailed teenagers —including two Muslims and two girls—and wearing the stole of a deacon. UPDATE: A couple readers have noted that it appears Pope Francis is actually wearing his priest’s stole, turned to one side. They suggest he did [Read More…]

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Pope Francis at the Mass of Our Lord’s Supper: “Washing your feet means I am at your service”

From Vatican Radio:  The Washing of the Feet, or Mandatum, is an integral part of the Holy Thursday liturgy, the Missa in Coena Domini, or Mass of Our Lord’s Supper, which opens the Easter Triduum The Washing of the Feet is a sign of service. Or as Pope Francis told about 40 young detainees gathered [Read More…]

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Why am I Catholic?

Patheos posed the question and asked for a 200-word answer. Okay. I’ll keep it simple. At bottom, it’s all about the stuff.   Free stuff.  Stuff like grace, inspiration, consolation, joy.  Oh: and best of all, Jesus Christ himself, in the Eucharist. Old stuff.  History. Tradition.  Scripture. Latin.  Mysterious stuff. Things I will spend a lifetime [Read More…]

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