How’s this for a Lenten fast: nothing but beer and water

Yep. J. Wilson did exactly that last year, and reflects on what the experience taught him: About this time last year, I set off down a path that hadn’t been traveled for centuries. I fasted on beer and water for the duration of Lent. While that sounds like a frat boy stunt, my “Diary of [Read More...]

Sainthood cause to begin for Boys Town founder Father Flanagan

The Archdiocese of Omaha will start the ball rolling next month to have Father Edward J. Flanagan declared a saint. Details: Flanagan dedicated much of his life to ministering to orphans and troubled youth, and is best remembered for establishing in 1917 the Omaha orphanage Father Flanagan’s Boys Home. The archdiocese will formally open the [Read More...]

Don’t give up your iPhone: here are some apps for Lent

Need a little help this Lent?  Look no further than your smartphone: We’re a few days into the Lent 2012 season and what a better way to have an excuse tonot give up your iPhone and iPad than collecting a few apps that help, encourage, motivate, and inspire you to give up something else during [Read More...]

Who’s that nun at the Academy Awards?

Anyone asking that question clearly doesn’t know about Dolores Hart — Hollywood starlet who left the movies to become a cloistered Benedictine nun in the early 1960s.  Now her story has been made into an acclaimed documentary called “God Is Bigger Than Elvis,” which is up for an Oscar.  And Dolores Hart — now known [Read More...]

Seeing red

In tribute to New York’s new Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the city’s other new landmark — the soon-to-be-finished One World Trade Center — is wearing red.  (Take that, Empire State Building…)  A tip of the red biretta to Rocco for the snapshot.  Read more about it here. [Read more...]

Homily for February 26, 2012: 1st Sunday of Lent

[Click here for readings.] Last week, my wife and I went to see one of the movies that’s up for an Oscar this weekend: “The Artist.”  It’s a terrific movie, and something altogether different: a silent black-and-white film about the end of the silent movie era.  It focuses on a fabulously successful movie star of [Read More...]

Cardinal reportedly ordered list of abusive priests destroyed

The latest bombshell from Philadelphia: A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed. Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn [Read More...]

When was the last time you heard a homily like this? — UPDATED

It’s passionate.  It’s political.  And it’s angry. I’m curious to hear what people think. Give a listen. UPDATE: For another perspective, it’s instructive to read Blessed John Paul’s 1993 statement “Priests Do Not Have A Political Mission,” which notes: The presbyter’s right to express his own personal choices is limited by the requirements of his [Read More...]

Now playing: holy medals at the movies

From the In My Backyard Desk — and this really is in my backyard, just four blocks from my apartment and three blocks from my church — comes this story about a local movie theater mixing holiness with Hollywood: Among the Pikachu and Spider-Man charms that roll out of vending machines at the Midway Theater [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

This one is making the Twitter rounds: Berlin’s new Cardinal Rainier Maria Woelki takes a moment during last week’s festivities in Rome to check soccer scores on his iPhone. [Read more...]

Following Mary to Calvary

Every year, my wife and I have the privilege of leading our parish’s Stations of the Cross during Lent, using a version that drives home the humanity of the experience in a profoundly moving way. It’s called “Mary’s Way of the Cross,” by Richard Furey (you can read it all here) and it’s become an [Read More...]

“Seize the night”: hate crime attack on California Catholic church

Details: A Catholic church in Union City was defaced on Ash Wednesday with spray-painted pentagrams and messages about Satan, vandalism that is being investigated as a hate crime, police said. Vandals knocked down a wooden cross outside St. Anne’s Church at Cabello and Dyer streets and used black spray paint to deface a statue and [Read More...]

When pigs fly: the New York Times publishes an essay by the CEO of EWTN

This appeared on Ash Wednesday on the Op Ed page of the New York Times, written by Michael P. Warsaw, President and CEO of EWTN: EWTN cannot comply with the recent mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services requiring the insurance plans of all employers, with the exception of some houses of worship, [Read More...]

RIP Deacon Elliott Casalegno

A friend noted on her FB page this morning that for the first time a permanent deacon — Deacon Elliott Casalegno — has died in the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia.  The diaconate there is still very new, and very small.  The archdiocese ordained its first deacon in 1997, and added just four more in 2000. [Read More...]

Confirmed: priest fired over new translation

Remember Fr. William Rowe?  Now, there’s a followup: An Illinois bishop has confirmed that a Roman Catholic priest was fired because he “simply would not and could not pray the prayers of the Mass” under a new translation that went into effect last year. In a rare letter of explanation about an internal personnel dispute, [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

Cardinal Timothy Dolan (and, ahem, a deacon), during a Mass he celebrated this afternoon for Archdiocesan employees at the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan. The cardinal’s mother Shirley was also there. [Read more...]

So what religion IS Marco Rubio anyway?

A friend on FB was recently speculating about a Santorum/Rubio ticket — in theory, the first to be all-Catholic — but Marco Rubio’s religion remains murky and contradictory. Now, according to at least one report, he has Mormon roots. Details: In the compelling personal narrative that has helped propel Florida Senator Marco Rubio to national [Read More...]

Have deacons, will travel

From yesterday: Pope Benedict XVI — preceded by two deacons — arrives to celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome. (photo by AP/Gregorio Borgia) [Read more...]


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