Catholic school to name center after Bill and Camille Cosby

Details: A historic Baltimore Catholic school will name its community center in honor of Bill and Camille Cosby, the biggest donors in the school’s 184-year history and fierce champions of education, the school announced Friday. St. Frances Academy, which serves 162 primarily low-income high school students, will host the comedian, his wife and their relatives [Read More...]

Homily for April 1, 2012: Palm Sunday

[Click here for readings.] When I was a kid, this was always a busy week. There was planning for the big meal next Sunday. Would it be ham or lamb? Some years, I’d have a new suit – usually a couple sizes too big, so I could grow into it. My mother would be cleaning [Read More...]

“You’ve Got Holy Week”: Cardinal Dolan’s message on AOL

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Catholic college withdraws speaking invitation to Kennedy’s widow

Details: A small Catholic college that invited Victoria Reggie Kennedy to speak at its spring commencement has rescinded the offer under pressure from the Worcester bishop, who described her apparent political views as out of line with Catholic teachings. Anna Maria College in Paxton, west of Worcester, released a statement today placing the decision at [Read More...]

Census shows Ireland is still overwhelmingly Catholic

Despite being rocked by the sex abuse scandal, a huge percentage in the country still self-identify as Catholic.  Details, from the Irish Times: Ireland remains the overwhelmingly Catholic country of the English-speaking world, according to results of the April 2011 census, published yesterday. Over 84 per cent of people in the Republic, or 3.86 million, described [Read More...]

Wow: behold an amazing 86-year-old gymnast

This is truly something special.  Here’s Johanna Quaas, 86-years-young, performing in Germany this week. (Me, I just finished a bag of potato chips while watching “The Office.”  You’ll never see that on YouTube. Thank God.) [Read more...]

Catholic group leaving university over “discriminatory non-discrimination” policy

Sad but true.  Details: One of the largest student religious groups at Vanderbilt [University] will be leaving campus at the end of the year in a dispute over the university’s nondiscrimination policy. That policy bars student groups from requiring their leaders to hold specific religious beliefs. Leaders of Vanderbilt Catholic said that rule makes no sense. [Read More...]

The bee’s knees

As we near the Easter Vigil, and deacons around the globe are clearing their throats and practicing the new Exsultet, here’s an interesting tidbit from New Liturgical Movement: Recently one of our priests sent in some photos with a brief note about a Paschal candle that he, himself, undertook to design for his parish. He [Read More...]

“To acknowledge the dignity of every human life”: Louisiana diocese plans mass funeral for unclaimed bodies

An extraordinary undertaking: For the last two years, Lafayette Catholic Service Centers have been working towards burying the unclaimed at the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s office. This unexpected journey began when Kimberly Boudreaux, Executive Director at Lafayette Catholic Service Centers, contacted the coroner’s office to claim a formerly homeless man, whom I had befriended at St. Joseph [Read More...]

A potent new video: “Stand Up for Religious Freedom”

From Blackstone Films comes this must-see message: the official Stand Up for Religious Freedom promotional video. Watch it and pass it on. [Read more...]

A man in formation writes: “I’m quickly becoming frustrated…I’m bored to death”

The following comment appeared today in a post on married priests.  I’d like to hear what deacon readers think: I am currently in formation for the permanent diaconate.  I have often thought in the back of my mind that, at some point in the not-so-distant future, the door will open wider for a married priesthood [Read More...]

“The church is called to be an equal opportunity critic”

Fr. Frank Pavone looks at the Church’s role in politics in this morning’s Washington Post: The church is called to be an equal opportunity critic. She must have the freedom to challenge all, across political lines, with the Gospel call to repentance. The institutional church in the United States has at times been called “the Democrats [Read More...]

First look: “Les Mis” on the big screen

Fans of the blockbuster musical — you know who you are — will appreciate these shots from the Daily Mail, with the first glimpses of Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his nemesis Javert.  Others in the cast include Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as [Read More...]

Study: suicide rate higher among Protestants than Catholics

Details: Religion can influence suicide rates, a new study shows. While data have long shown that Protestants are more likely to commit suicide than Catholics, the relationship remains little understood. The study by Professors Sascha Becker (University of Warwick, U.K.) and Ludger Woessmann (University of Munich, Germany) demonstrates a causal link between Protestantism and suicide. [Read More...]

Why they leave: former Catholics explain — UPDATED

This story first broke in the New Jersey press last week, but is now getting more attention.  The report below is in this morning’s USA TODAY: As part of a survey to understand why they have stopped attending Mass, a few hundred Catholics were asked what issues they would raise if they could speak to [Read More...]

Move aside, Susan Boyle

Must-see video alert! The latest sensation from “Britain’s Got Talent.”  It’s 17-year-old Jonathan Antoine and 16-year-old and Charlotte Jocanelli, performing “The Prayer.” Un.  Real. Or, as Simon Cowell put it:  “Wow.  Wow.  Wow.”  (You’ll need to click thru and watch it on YouTube.  Do.  It’s worth it.) [Read more...]

219 Catholic couples married in mass wedding

It happened in Uganda: Pomp and excitement engulfed Christians of Nebbi Cathedral, in Nebbi Town on Saturday as 219 couples exchanged marriage vows to remain together till death does them apart in a mass wedding. The wedding was organized by Nebbi Catholic diocese and sponsored by friends and well-wishers through St Peters Clever, Mulagu community [Read More...]

Love one another: Christians raise money for atheist to have eye surgery

Wow.   An amazing story from Texas.  H/T to Nancy over at What She Said. Check this out: Patrick Greene says he has always been “treated like dirt” by Christians because of his atheistic beliefs. That recently changed, leaving Greene “completely flabbergasted.”It happened when some Henderson County Christians offered Greene financial assistance with a medical [Read More...]


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