Pope Francis to priests at Chrism Mass: “We need to ‘go out’ and give the Gospel to others”

From the Vatican, the text of Pope Francis’ homily at today’s Chrism Mass: Dear Brothers and Sisters, This morning I have the joy of celebrating my first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with affection, especially you, dear priests, who, like myself, today recall the day of your ordination. [Read More…]

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The new pope is getting to me

A few people have commented on it, and I’ve noticed it, too: the new pope is getting to me.  And in a good way. Something is happening.  A man in my parish took communion to a homebound woman a few days ago, and all she could talk about was the new pope.  “She told me [Read More…]

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Homily for Holy Thursday: Mass of the Lord’s Supper

From the vault: my homily from Holy Thursday 2010:  +++ Not long ago, The History Channel showed a documentary in which scientists attempted to create what may be the most realistic 3-D image of the face of Christ. They spent many months on the project, using sophisticated computer technology to craft the image from the [Read More…]

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Simply Francis

CNS’s gifted producer Robert Duncan has put together this exceptional glimpse at the Franciscan spirituality that animates and inspires our new pope. Take a look.  Among other things, it reminds me why I count among my favorite places in the world the tiny town of Assisi. [Read more…]

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Was this the key to Bergoglio’s election as pope?

A Cuban cardinal has shared Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s intervention during the pre-conclave General Congregation meetings: Cuba’s Catholic primate, Jaime Ortega, made public in Havana a manuscript with remarks made by Jorge Bergoglio about the mission of the church in a session before the conclave that elected him pope. The manuscript was presented “exclusively” to Cardinal [Read More…]

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What we have come to: “Mourners for hire”

A snapshot of our fractured world in 2013, from the Telegraph: British mourners are renting “professional sobbers” to blub at funerals to make people believe the deceased was really popular. For £45 an hour, the fake mourners can be rented to cry for the duration of a funeral service in order to swell the numbers [Read More…]

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Pope Francis’ first general audience: “Holy Week challenges us to step outside ourselves”

A preliminary text from today’s appearance, from the Vatican: Dear Brothers and Sisters, On Palm Sunday we began Holy Week, the heart of the liturgical year, when we commemorate the great events that express most powerfully God’s loving plan for all men and women. Jesus enters Jerusalem in order to give himself completely. He gives us [Read More…]

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Pope Francis as a model of “what it means to be fully human”

An intriguing take on the new pope, from Catholic San Francisco:  Pope Francis is offering the contemporary world the example of Christ as a model of “what it means to be fully human,” in a way that is consistent with the previous two popes but breaks new ground in putting the Gospel into action, Jesuit [Read More…]

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Praying the Stations of the “L”: one man’s unique journey through Chicago

The Chicago Tribune follows one young man’s unusual pilgrimage: There’s nothing extraordinary about Aidan Gillespie’s daily commute on the No. 50 bus down Damen Avenue. Perhaps that’s why the Roman Catholic schoolteacher chose the train Tuesday for a more spiritual journey. Setting out before dawn, Gillespie, 25, rode every line of Chicago’s “L” from end [Read More…]

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Deacons, cubed

Found this shot online, courtesy Vatican Radio: the three deacons who proclaimed the gospel at Pope Francis’ Palm Sunday Mass. [Read more…]

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Pope’s Holy Thursday Mass: simple, diverse, closed to the media

From the Vatican:  The Mass of the Lord’s Supper that Pope Francis will celebrate on Holy Thursday in the chapel of the Casal del Marmo Penitential Institute for Minors (IPM) will be, by his express desire, very simple, as reported by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. Concelebrating with [Read More…]

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Pope Francis to live in Vatican guest house, not papal apartment

From CNS:  Pope Francis has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. “He is experimenting with this type of living [Read More…]

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Young inmates looking forward to Holy Thursday visit from Pope Francis

And, it turns out, most of them are Muslim. From Zenit:  On Holy Thursday, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in the Casal de Marmo, a juvenile detention center on the outskirts of Rome. ZENIT interviewed a chaplain at the prison, Father Gaetano Geco, who described interesting aspects of his work with minors. Father Gaetano belongs [Read More…]

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Vatican releases text for Pope Francis’ Way of the Cross

The text, to be prayed at the Col0sseum on Good Friday, was supervised by a newly created cardinal, Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, and written by Lebanese young people with a special emphasis on the struggles of people in the Middle East. CNS notes:  A group of Lebanese young people wrote the meditations at the [Read More…]

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Biden attends Cardinal Dolan’s Palm Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s

And before anyone asks: yes, he evidently did receive communion. Details: Vice President Joe Biden attended mass and received communion on Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York where the mass was celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. At a time when the administration is being sued by Dolan and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference over the Obama [Read More…]

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How Diana’s funeral marked a return to “Catholic” England

Details: The outpouring of public grief over the death of Diana Princess of Wales marked the moment England returned to its Roman Catholic roots almost 500 years after the reformation, according to the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Acts such as showering the Princess’s hearse with flowers show that the public [Read More…]

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A prominent Muslim convert leaves the Catholic Church

This picture of his baptism a few years ago made news around the world.  Now, he’s changed his mind. John Thavis has details:  A prominent Muslim-born journalist baptized by Pope Benedict XVI, Magdi Allam, has announced he’s leaving the church because it is too “weak with Islam.” Allam, writing on his Web site, said the [Read More…]

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Have you been to confession lately?

This is Reconciliation Monday for the greater New York area — every church in New York City, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island will be open to hear confessions today from 3 pm to 9 pm. You can read more here.   I wrote about the sacrament and its effects from a personal perspective a few [Read More…]

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