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...]

Building a monastery the medieval way

It’s an ambitious undertaking that will be launched in Germany next year — and will take decades to complete. Details: What did a medieval stonemason do when heavy rainfall interrupted his work? Umbrellas are impractical at construction sites. Gore-Tex jackets weren’t yet invented, nor were plastic rain jackets. “He donned a jacket made of felted [Read More...]

“How much I criticize you, my Church, yet how much I love you…”

This is getting wide circulation, thanks to Fr. James Martin, who posted it on his Facebook page. Cardinal Timothy Dolan quoted this in his homily for the Archdiocese of New York’s Chrism Mass earlier in the week. It’s known as the “Letter to the Church,” by Italian spiritual master Carlo Carretto (1910-1988). The Concord Pastor [Read More...]

Report: rites in Holy Land will observe one date for Easter — UPDATED

Big news from Christ’s homeland: For pastoral reasons, the Catholic Church in the Holy Land plans in future to celebrate Easter according to the Orthodox calendar. The reason is consideration of the many inter-church families, said the Franciscan Custos Pierbattista Pizzaballa. In ecumenical dialogue, the date of Easter is one of the major hurdles. The [Read More...]

UPDATE: NBC issues apology over edited 911 tape

Details: NBC has completed its investigation into the mishandling of the police dispatcher’s conversation with George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. And the process ends with a finding of error, plus an apology. Here is the statement just issued by the network: During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made [Read More...]

State University of New York plans to hold classes on religious holidays

And it’s causing a predictable outcry: Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre and other religious and political leaders are criticizing an announcement by a state university that from now on it will hold classes on major Jewish and Christian holidays. In a March 26 statement, Bishop Murphy responded to the decision by Stony Brook [Read More...]

It’s a good week to go to confession…

…and update your status with God. [Read more...]

“How do we render God credible in this world?”

In a homily given on April 1, 2005, just before he was elected Pope, Pope Benedict said this: Above all, that which we need at this moment in history are men who, through an enlightened and lived faith, render God credible in this world. The negative testimony of Christians who speak about God but live [Read More...]

Raised in Communism, embracing Catholicism this Easter: “It’s a wonderful feeling to openly say who we are”

From the USCCB blog — with a cheerful h/t to Kate Monaghan — comes this inspiring story of a family’s journey into the Church: As youths baptized in Albania while the country was under Communist rule, Lule Prebibaj and her husband Ndoke’s baptisms were literally life-threatening. The Communist regime that took control of the country [Read More...]

Push for right to die growing in Netherlands

Details: It was 1989, and Dr. Petra de Jong, a Dutch pulmonologist, was asked for help by a terminally ill patient, a man in great pain with a large cancerous tumor in his trachea. He wanted to end his life. She gave the man pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate — but not enough. It took him nine [Read More...]

“Behold the man”

From Elizabeth Scalia at First Things: My intention with this column was to share some musings on the words of Pontius Pilate as he presented the tortured Jesus—the icon of “extreme humility”—to the crowd: “Ecce homo”; behold the man. They have become my Holy Week lectio divina, those two words, prompting me again and again to [Read More...]

“So here is a question for Holy Week…”

“And so here is a question for Holy Week. Are you and I willing to suffer with Christ, and if necessary die with him, outside the gate? The world is becoming increasingly hostile to Biblical faith. Many of the ancient truths contained right in our Catechism are called bigotry, hatred, intolerance, foolishness and superstition by [Read More...]

Baby’s first April Fools Day

Years from now, he’ll have lots of material to discuss with his therapist. [Read more...]

Where have we heard this before?

I friend at work passed along to me this morning the most recent issue of imagineONE, the twice-yearly magazine published by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSJ). It’s a polished, artfully produced periodical, published in Cleveland and featuring stories about leadership, spiritual direction, women’s dignity and updates about the order and its [Read More...]

Cardinal permits man in homosexual partnership to serve on parish council

Details: Overruling one of his parish priests, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has permitted a homosexual in a registered domestic partnership to serve on a parish council. Father Gerhard Swierzek, the parish priest of a small parish in the archdiocese, had refused to allow Florian Stangl, 26, to serve on the council. Stangl, who is [Read More...]

Epic fail: NBC and the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin story

The mind boggles: NBC told this blog today that it would investigate its handling of a piece on the “Today” show that ham-handedly abridged the conversation between George Zimmerman and a dispatcher in the moments before the death of Trayvon Martin. A statement from NBC: “We have launched an internal investigation into the editorial process [Read More...]


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