Find the joy: a dying priest’s message to the world

An extraordinary story of life, death, and hope for this Easter, from the Des Moines Register: Everett Hemann is a Catholic priest. He has prayed over death beds, consoled grieving families, given hundreds of funeral eulogies. He has preached about everlasting life. After the doctor told him tumors filled his abdomen, Hemann took the pathology [Read More...]

What can you do to get wax off your vestments?

Most deacons know all too well that  the Easter candle is “fed by melting wax, drawn out by mother bees…” The “melting wax” part can be a problem. Over on Facebook, someone asked what you can do after Easter, when your alb is slathered in wax. Here’s a handy tip I learned when I was [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: deacon at work

Top picture, from the Easter Vigil: blessing the water with the Paschal Candle. Bottom picture, from Easter morning:  putting that water to use, assisting the priest with the sprinkling after renewal of baptismal promises.   Photos: by Rosalind Chan [Read more...]

RIP, Mike Wallace — UPDATED

“All of us at CBS News and particularly at ’60 Minutes’ owe so much to Mike. Without him and his iconic style, there probably wouldn’t be a ’60 Minutes.’ There simply hasn’t been another broadcast journalist with that much talent. It almost didn’t matter what stories he was covering, you just wanted to hear what [Read More...]

The newest addition to my wardrobe

I should set up shop and sell these online.  (I’m thinking some people in the pews would also want one…) [Read more...]

Homily for April 7, 2012: Easter Vigil

[Click here for readings.] Last year, I had the good fortune to interview a spirited nun from Armenia named Sister Arousiag.  She is a Sister of the Immaculate Conception, and the mother superior of a convent in one of Armenia’s largest cities.  There is almost nothing she doesn’t do.  She’s a fierce, determined little woman [Read More...]

What happened to Satan’s empty promises?

Rehearsing for the Easter Vigil tonight, a few of us couldn’t help but notice that the new missal translation has altered some of the baptismal rite. No longer do we reject “Satan…and all his empty promises.” It’s now “Satan…and his empty show.” And: the line “This is our faith” has also been removed. I was [Read More...]

“Seven Last Words”

Last night, as is our custom, our parish choir performed the epic “Seven Last Words” by Dubois.  It was a stunning performance.  Below is a rendition of the finale I found on YouTube. Skip ahead to about the 2:51 mark and you’ll hear the glorious concluding prayer, “We adore you O Christ and we praise [Read More...]

Famed artist Thomas Kinkade dies on Good Friday — UPDATED

He was both beloved and derided, but his work was everywhere. I imagine there are very few Americans who have not seen a Kinkade painting, print, calendar, notebook, computer wallpaper, greeting card, potholder, Christmas ornament or coffee mug.  He was also a devoted Christian. Details: Artist Thomas Kinkade once said that he had something in [Read More...]

Cardinal calls on Christians to wear crosses

Details: Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric has called on Christians to wear a cross every day as “a symbol of their beliefs” and to combat the marginalisation of religion in modern society. The plea by Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the Catholic church in Scotland, to be made in his Easter sermon, comes as the [Read More...]

UPDATE: NBC fires producer over editing of 911 tape

From the New York Times: NBC News has fired a producer who was involved in the production of a misleading segment about the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. The person was fired on Thursday, according to two people with direct knowledge of the disciplinary action who declined to be identified discussing internal company matters. They [Read More...]

“This can’t be a day like any other”: Homily for Good Friday

I’ve only preached on one Good Friday.  Here’s my homily from that occasion, delivered in 2008. Sixty years ago, the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote a best-selling book about his experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz. “Man’s Search for Meaning,” is considered to be a classic about the worst nightmare of the last century. Frankl describes [Read More...]

Ted Neeley’s “Gethsemane”

Ted Neeley, who played the title role in the film “Jesus Christ Superstar,” reprised it for a stage tour three decades later at the age of 63.   Here he is in 2006.  It’s something to see. [Read more...]

UPDATE: Atheist helped by Christians becomes a believer

You may remember his story from last week.  Now, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story: A few months ago Patrick Greene was an atheist who was threatening to sue Henderson County, Texas, if the county didn’t remove a Nativity scene from its courthouse lawn. Today he is a believer in Christ [Read More...]

Pange Lingua

The beautiful, haunting chant of Holy Thursday.  Translation follows the video below. Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory, of His flesh the mystery sing; of the Blood, all price exceeding, shed by our immortal King, destined, for the world’s redemption, from a noble womb to spring. Of a pure and spotless Virgin born for us [Read More...]

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

[Click here for readings.] Below is something from the vault:  my homily from 2008. When I was growing up, like a lot of families, mine had one of those small, cheap Kodak Instamatic cameras. You used those flash bulbs that looked like ice cubes…and got these little square pictures back from the drug store when [Read More...]

Catholic couple takes “interfaith pilgrimage” on “Faithbook”

A great story about spiritual discovery, and how a couple is learning more about the world’s faiths, including their own: Frederic and Anne-Laure Pascal are devout Roman Catholics who built their lives around their religion. When she lost her job last year, the young couple decided on an unlikely expression of their religious commitment: a [Read More...]

Wanted: Spanish-speaking deacons

This is an issue in my own diocese, as well.  Details: The harvest is plentiful in the Diocese of Salt Lake City, which is seeking laborers in the form of deacons to minister to the Spanish-speaking flock. “It was a request of the pastors, that they need deacons who speak Spanish because that is where [Read More...]


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