Will this pope inspire more scientists to become priests?

That’s an intriguing thought.  In Forbes magazine, John Farrell mulls: A pope who’s also a scientist is rare. But these days even parish priests who are scientists are not exactly common. To be sure, everyone knows the name of Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics. And there’s my hero, the Belgian priest and physicist Georges Lemaître, who [Read More…]

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Kids in kilts: this is spectacular

Check out this grin-inducing drum line performance from a talent show two years ago at Lake Howell High School in Orlando. These guys call themselves the Hot Scots. Enjoy. [Read more…]

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It’s never too late

Above, a 95-year-old brand new Christian. The story: last week, I got this e-mail from my goddaughter Branda, who joined the church through RCIA a few years ago. She now lives in Arizona: Ok, clearly hell must have frozen over…my Father wants to be baptized!! Hey, at 95, no sense in jumping into anything crazy [Read More…]

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“Come to Golgotha on Good Friday”

That was the subject of an e-mail I received late last week, asking me to advise people in my neighborhood of an extraordinary initiative that will take place at the end of this week: On  Good Friday, March 29, Msgr Phillip Reilly and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants will conduct a special Prayer Vigil @ [Read More…]

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Two popes, two Palm Sundays—UPDATED

An interesting study in contrasts. UPDATE: A reader asks: “Where are Francis’ deacons?” I found this shot below. The reader wondered about why deacons shown above with Benedict were wearing mitres. I suspect they are cardinals (or bishops) serving as deacons for the liturgy.  However, the deacon proclaiming the gospel below is most likely a [Read More…]

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Pope Francis’ homily for Palm Sunday: “Children, burial shrouds don’t have pockets”

That’s one of the improvised anecdotes that the Holy Father dropped into his remarks today: Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square, encouraging people to be humble and young at heart, as tens of thousands joyfully waved olive branches and palm fronds. The square overflowed with some 250,000 pilgrims, tourists [Read More…]

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“Palm Sunday”: a terrific short film

Take and see. Below is an award-winning short film that I suspect will resonate with a lot of people. [Read more…]

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Did you ever think you’d see a picture like this?

Two men in white. The story: In a historic meeting, Pope Francis has paid a visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, with the new Pope telling his predecessor “we are brothers”. The Pope set off from the Vatican by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, a 15 minute flight away, where Benedict was waiting to greet him, [Read More…]

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California bishop delays requiring teachers to sign “morals” agreement

You may remember this controversial decision from a few weeks back.  Now, the bishop is changing course. Details:  After meeting with local pastors and Catholic school administrators this week, Santa Rosa Diocese Bishop Robert Vasa reversed his prior edict that all teachers at schools under his jurisdiction sign a controversial morals addendum by March 15 [Read More…]

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Obama visits Bethlehem

From CNS:  U.S. President Barack Obama, visiting the West Bank city of Bethlehem, stopped twice to light candles for his family and himself: first at the Church of Nativity grotto, where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born, then at the adjacent Catholic Church of St. Catherine. On the last leg of his four-day visit [Read More…]

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“Francis cannot be captured by political categories. He transcends them.”

Robert Moynihan has his take on Pope Francis’ important remarks to the diplomatic corps today: What Francis said today was critical, and should be read carefully by all who want to understand “where he is coming from.” So far, the “pundits” — and really, all of us — have been “circling” Pope Francis, like the [Read More…]

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Pope Francis, typical Catholic

You know the type: always has to take his favorite seat, preferably near the back… Caption: -SS. Francesco-Santa Messa presso la Cappella della Domus Sanctae Marthae 22-03-2013 – (Copyright L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO – Servizio Fotografico – photo@ossrom.va) L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO.   The story behind the picture is here.  And you can see more pictures at Frank Weathers’ joint.  [Read more…]

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Where will Pope Francis live? “Let’s wait and see”

John Thavis has some possibilities:  Rumors are swirling inside and outside the Vatican about where Pope Francis intends to take up residence. The initial expectation was that he would move into the formal papal apartment on the top floor of the Apostolic Palace, the building where popes have lived for centuries. But Pope Francis appears [Read More…]

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Creepy: “Exceptional egg donor needed”

From Melinda Henneberger in the Washington Post:  “Exceptional egg donor needed,” said a recent ad in the Harvard Crimson. The couple looking for that donor, it said, is working with a “prestigious Los Angeles IVF clinic,” in search of a “100% Korean woman” with an excellent education, “outstanding” test scores, “extremely healthy family history,” plus [Read More…]

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“There is no peace without truth!”

Pope Francis this morning addressed diplomats from nearly 200 countries—and John Allen notes a theme that is strikingly similar to his predecessor’s: For those tempted to draw an overly sharp distinction between Pope Francis and his predecessor, the new pope offered a clear reminder today that he may have a different style than Benedict XVI, [Read More…]

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Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Iraq

Details:  As Saint Francis travelled to the East where he met Sultan Malik al-Kamil, so we hope Pope Francis “may come to Iraq to confirm us our faith and give our small community in the land of Abraham courage and hope,” said His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako during an audience with the pontiff [Read More…]

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God’s army: overflow crowd attends discernment retreat for military chaplains

Very impressive turnout: Twenty-six (26) men from every service branch of the U.S. armed forces and civilian life are gathered [in Menlo Park, California] today for a March 21-24 discernment retreat aimed at helping them determine if they are called by the Holy Spirit to be Catholic priests and military chaplains. The Vocations Office of [Read More…]

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Is the pope still a Jesuit?

A deacon reader wrote to ask me that question.  He said: A priest I know said that once a priest becomes a bishop (let alone pope), he ceases being a member of his religious order (thus for example, O’Malley and Chaput are no longer Capuchin Franciscans), especially since he no longer has a vow of [Read More…]

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