Pontiff of note: Benedict to attend first public concert

Our piano-playing, music-loving pontiff will soon be hitting the road – specifically, heading to Milan: Pope Benedict XVI will attend a concert at the La Scala opera house of Beethoven’s Ninth symphony conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The June 1 concert is part of the pope’s Milan visit for the World Encounter of Families, which deals [Read More...]

Homily for May 6, 2012: 5th Sunday of Easter

[Click here for readings.] To hear audio of this homily, click the green arrow below. This past week, I had a chance to preside at a wedding here at the parish.  As many couples do, the bride and groom selected for one of their readings the famous letter from St. Paul to the Corinthians on [Read More...]

Seriously? I thought this must be a headline from The Onion.

But no.  This headline is real: Georgetown Chooses Sebelius for Commencement Details, from the university: This afternoon, Georgetown announced the speakers for each school’s commencement address. Here is the list: David Simon, creator of the critically acclaimed television dramas “The Wire” and “Treme” will be speaking to the College. Dr. Mark Green, senior director of the [Read More...]

What happens at a deacon ordination?

Glad you asked. Deacon Bill Ditewig has a terrific podcast that answers that very question, and more. Click here to listen. They’re ordaining 13 new deacons on the Diocese of Monterey on Saturday.  Keep them in your prayers!  I hope to have more after the big event. [Read more...]

From Philadelphia: five priests removed from ministry

Details: Five Catholic priests accused of child sex abuse will not be able to return to their jobs. They are among 26 priests under investigation for abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. Archbishop Charles Chaput announced today that decisions on eight priests had been made, one priest has died since the investigation began, three priest were [Read More...]

Jersey jolt: most Catholics in survey say Jesus sinned

The bishop of Camden is troubled by these findings — and with good reason: South Jersey Catholics know less about their faith and are less committed to its practice than their neighbors in other Christian denominations, according to a new survey that Bishop Joseph Galante calls “troubling.” It found that the Diocese of Camden’s 500,000 [Read More...]

Al Queda believed Catholics were “fertile ground” for conversion

Details from CNS: A U.S. al-Qaida official concluded that Catholics were “fertile ground” for conversion, “particularly after the rage expanding against the mother church (Vatican) as a result of its scandals and policies refused by many of its public.” American al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn wrote Osama bin Laden in January 2011 and laid out reasons [Read More...]

Incredible: this commercial was shot in just one take

And no special effects. Read all about it here.  At the link, there’s also a video explaining how it was done. But first: watch below. [Read more...]

Will Catholics decide this year’s election?

Maybe: Ask ten people to name the most critical swing voting bloc in the 2012 presidential election and you’re likely to get at least five — and maybe ten — different answers. But, new polling from Gallup suggests that it’s Catholics who could well be the best bellwether of whether President Obama or former Massachusetts governor Mitt [Read More...]

Australian priest admits being secretly married for a year

Details: A Catholic priest in Australia has publicly admitted that he has been married for a year and claimed “there are more like me.” “So I’ve fallen in love and I’ve got married and it’s outside of most people’s awareness, but I’m sure people within the church could have had a suspicion,” Father Kevin Lee told [Read More...]

“I don’t have to think. I’m Catholic.” — UPDATED

That’s the side-splitting punchline Kathleen Turner delivers in the new movie “The Perfect Family.” Are you laughing yet? [Crickets chirping.] Judging from the trailer, the movie traffics in stereotypical insults and anti-Catholic bigotry that would be offensive if they weren’t so predictable, cliched and obvious. But don’t take my word for it.  See the clip [Read More...]

Kilimanjaro-climbing Iowa priest nominated to medical board

You may remember the story about Msgr. Frank Bognanno, who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro recently.  He’s also a cancer survivor. Now he’s in the news again: Three weeks after the Iowa Senate rejected a Dubuque anti-abortion activist for a seat on Iowa Board of Medicine, Gov. Terry Branstad has nominated a prominent Catholic priest for the [Read More...]

Is student debt contributing to the vocation crisis? — UPDATED

A recent study from CARA says, “Yes”: With accumulated educational debt increasing by five percent yearly in the United States, the research was designed with two main goals: 1) to learn more about the impact of student loans on the men and women who are coming to religious life today. 2) to learn about the policy [Read More...]

“Loose canon”: Vatican may tighten rules on annulments

From John Allen: A Rome conference in late April hinted that the Vatican may be moving towards a more restrictive posture on annulments, the procedure in church law for declaring a marriage null and void, which some critics refer to as “Catholic divorce.” If so, the fallout could have special significance for the United States, [Read More...]

From the in-my-backyard desk: two new auxiliary bishops for Brooklyn

And one of them, Bishop-elect Paul Sanchez, is not only the territorial vicar for my parish; he’s also the son of a deacon. The press release: Pope Benedict XVI has appointed two priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn – Msgr. Raymond Chappetto, 66, and Msgr. Paul Sanchez, 65 – as auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn. Archbishop [Read More...]

Life is short. Be fearless. Like this 104-year-old paraglider.

God bless you, Peggy McAlpine. Read her story here.  And watch her break a world record below. [Read more...]

Make a joyful noise!

I got an email the other day alerting me to a music institute happening on Long Island next month and, while I’m not in the habit of plugging this sort of thing here, this time I’ll make an exception because I know it’s just got to be good. Because: one of the teachers is the [Read More...]

For all you college students out there…

Good luck.  You’re in my prayers. [Read more...]


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