Amazing: five sisters who were Sisters—and two of them died just a day apart

From the Albany Times Union:  They were Sister sisters who possessed contrasting personalities and were protective of their personal space, but in the end they proved inseparable. Sisterhood defined Sister Jean Marie Wheeler and Sister Elaine Wheeler — biological sisters, Daughters of Charity nuns and career educators — who were in their 90s and lived together for the [Read More…]

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Catholic adoption agency charged with discriminating against gays

It’s happening in Scotland.  Could it happen here? Details: St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society in Glasgow was found to discriminate against homosexuals by giving higher priority to couples who have been married for at least two years. The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) reviewed the practices of the adoption agency following [Read More…]

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The warning signs of “Monsignor Meth”

The Connecticut Post has details: Looking back there were the usual warning signs, those nagging red flags. In Monsignor Kevin Wallin‘s case, there was the weight loss, the change in his usually meticulous appearance and his erratic behavior that concerned his parishioners and others, including church officials. “He just didn’t look right; he didn’t seem the [Read More…]

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Holy Father? There’s an app for that

Our tweeting pontiff is delving deeper into the world of social media and modern technology, and now can be as close as your iPhone. From CNS:  The Vatican launched a new “Pope App” on the eve of the release of the pope’sWorld Communications Day message, which will be dedicated to social networks as important spaces [Read More…]

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On pilgrimage: deacons and priests among the Mayans

The following e-mail arrived last night, from Deacon Dennis Kelly of Seattle: Greetings from Central America. Three deacons from the Seattle Archdiocese helped celebrate Mass with the Tzutuhill Mayan people in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, this past Sunday. All are part of the Maryknoll Martyrs Pilgrimage for clergy (14 priests and four deacons) to El Salvador [Read More…]

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Shocker: romantic “Happy Anniversary, baby” video salutes Roe v. Wade

Is this the most offensive ad ever?  Maybe.  It’s certainly the most outrageous concept for promoting abortion that I’ve ever seen. Which, maybe, is the point: to get attention and raise eyebrows and spark as much controversy as possible. Mission accomplished.    From the casually alluring Let’s-Get-It-On vibe to the watery repetition of the word [Read More…]

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“Grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd!”

During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I stumbled on Pope Benedict’s homily from his inauguration as pontiff.  It seems a good moment to reflect on a subject that was very much on his mind eight years ago: Both the image of the shepherd and that of the fisherman issue an explicit call to [Read More…]

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Buffalo to get a married priest—UPDATED

And, like most, he’s a former Episcopalian:  A married father of three will be ordained a priest in the Catholic Church by Buffalo’s Bishop on Saturday, January 26. Deacon John Cornelius, 64, grew up in Bolivar and attended Allegany College and SUNY Fredonia before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He received a masters of Divinity [Read More…]

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“Woman, you are a gift!”

That’s how Pat Gohn begins her sensationally good reflection, published online at today’s Washington Post: There’s no mistaking biology. Womanly bodies are wonderfully made, and purposefully created with an empty space of a womb carried under her heart. A woman’s womb, her uterus, signals that she is made for something and someone more than herself. [Read More…]

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Lutherans becoming Catholic? “Unthinkable”

Looks like the idea of a Lutheran Ordinariate isn’t going very far. From Reuters:  Two leading Lutheran clerics have rejected suggestions from the Vatican that it could create a subdivision for converted Lutherans similar to its structures for Anglicans who join the Roman Catholic Church. The dispute, concerning tiny numbers of believers but major issues [Read More…]

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In the E-mail: “The priest had his finger up his nose…”

A reader writes: Holy hands are not always CLEAN hands. As I have observed men in rest rooms, 3 or 4 out of 10 wash their hands and women about the same, says my wife. Why don’t all who handle the Eucharist wash hands just before handling the host? Is it that they— including the priest— have no [Read More…]

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Bombshell: Los Angeles church records reveal efforts to conceal abuse

People knew this was coming, and here it is, from the Los Angeles Times:  Fifteen years before the clergy sex abuse scandal came to light, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and a top advisor discussed ways to conceal the molestation of children from law enforcement, according to internal Catholic church records released Monday. The archdiocese’s failure to purge [Read More…]

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The benediction for the inauguration

Elizabeth Tenety at the Washington Post notes:  The Rev. Luis Leon gave the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration Monday, praying that “with your blessing, we can see each other created in your image, a unit of God’s grace, unprecedented, irrepeatable (sic) and irreplaceable.” Leon also included a reference to ‘gay or straight’ Americans as created in God’s image, [Read More…]

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Blanco’s poem: a whiff of Whitman at the inauguration

I detected a little of Walt Whitman in Richard Blanco’s poem this afternoon.   He hears America singing:  Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling, or whispers across cafe tables, Hear: the doors we open for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom, buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días in the language my mother taught me [Read More…]

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So, Max, how was your first Latin Mass?

My blog neighbor Max Lindenman decided to see what all the fuss was about, and took in his first Mass in the Extraordinary Form. He writes:  A Mass in the Extraordinary Form does not have to be cold, bombastic, or decked in glitz like Liberace’s bathroom. It’s always seemed to me that trads like to plug [Read More…]

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At Biden swearing in: “Walk humbly with your God…”

For those who may have missed it: the prayer delivered by Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J. at yesterday’s swearing-in of Vice President Joseph Biden.  See below. [Read more…]

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Condoleeza Rice joins CBS News

Quite a coup for the network: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined CBS News as a contributor — just in time for inauguration coverage. Rice, who served as secretary of state during President George W. Bush’s second term, made her debut on the network’s “Face the Nation” program Sunday and will be included in inauguration [Read More…]

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I’ll drink to that: new pubs pledge profits to charity

A very cool trend worth noting, from the New York Times:  Ask a bartender exactly how much profit was collected from that pint of beer you just drank, and the answer is likely to be as murky as a barrel-aged bourbon stout. The economics of alcohol, like the calorie count, are usually about the last [Read More…]

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