Forgive us our debts: religious aspirants learn how to pay off student loans

It’s a daunting challenge for anyone — but what if you feel called to religious life?  There is help. From National Catholic Register:  When Danielle Lussier of Battle Creek, Mich., was taking out loans to pay for her photography degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, she didn’t anticipate that God would call her [Read More…]

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Heavenly and heartbreaking: Newtown kids singing “Over the Rainbow”

Kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown appeared on “Good Morning America” yesterday with singer Ingrid Michaelson for a sweetly moving rendition of a song that, I dare say, has never resonated quite like this. Check it out, and learn the story behind it, below.  Warning: Kleenex suggested. [Read more…]

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Vatican preparing guide for priests on how to celebrate Mass

This could have interesting ramifications, judging from the comments below. From Zenit:  The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is preparing a booklet to help priests celebrate the Mass properly and the faithful to participate better, according to the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. Cardinal Antonio Cañizares confirmed this [Read More…]

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What we have come to: hospital to stop delivering babies over drop in births, Obamacare

Details:  A southwestern Pennsylvania hospital will stop delivering babies after March 31 because its obstetricians are either leaving or refocusing their practices, and because hospital officials believe they can’t afford it based on projected reimbursements under looming federal health care reforms. The Windber Medical Center, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, is losing two obstetricians [Read More…]

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Parishioners quit church over same-sex support group that teaches chastity

Evidently, some people mistakenly think that the Catholic Church teaches that the only good homosexual is a straight former homosexual. Um, no.  Check the catechism.  And listen to the bishops. But then along comes this story from Canada.  (h/t Thomas McDonald)  The Toronto Star headline sums it up succinctly: “Gay celibacy group prompts parishioners to leave.” [Read More…]

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The deeply moving story behind a unique father-daughter dance…in prison

I stumbled on this over at the Patheos Evangelical Channel.  Take a few minutes and watch. The speaker is Angela Patton, Executive Director of Camp Diva in Richmond.  Camp Diva started as a five-week summer retreat and has since expanded to offer several after-school programs, summer and other programs that empower African-American girls —young women she refers to as [Read More…]

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Obama picks Episcopal priest for inauguration prayer

He replaces Louie Giglio, the evangelical pastor who found himself in hot water for his remarks on homosexuality two decades ago. From CNN:  The president has picked a neighbor to deliver the closing prayer at the inauguration. The Rev. Luis León told CNN on Tuesday the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee invited him [Read More…]

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Speaking of altar rails…one priest’s experience

Fr. Jay Finelli of the Diocese of Providence stumbled on yesterday’s post and recounted on his blog his own experience with adding an altar rail at his parish: Since installing the altar rail in 2010, a number of people requested to use if at all of our Masses. We began using the altar rail for [Read More…]

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Deja vu: the Atlantic, Scientology, and a classic letter by E.B. White

Today, the Atlantic announced it was pulling an “advertorial” singing the praises of the Church of Scientology.  Slate has details: The sponsored content drew the attention—and ire—of both reporters and readers, and no doubt sparked an untold number of newsroom conversations about the ethics and optics of such revenue-generating efforts. In place of the the [Read More…]

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“It’s not a sin to be beautiful”

That’s evidently the translation of the headline above, trumpeting Vanity Fair’s story on the pope’s private secretary. Details: Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Pope Benedict’s private secretary, who has been dubbed “Gorgeous George” by the Italian media, is now a real-life cover boy. The prelate has landed on the cover of Vanity Fair. The cover on the [Read More…]

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One man’s road to the priesthood: “I fell in love”

From my blogging friend and neighbor, Fr. Michael Duffy, heres’s great testimony on his own vocation, over at the USCCB blog: When people ask how I knew in that moment that I wanted to be a priest and I simply tell them I fell in love. In an instant I fell in love with the [Read More…]

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Sweeping new abortion bill in New York: “It defies common sense”

Last week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan raised his objections to proposed abortion legislation in New York.  Now the state Catholic Conference has issued a point-by-point memo that makes clear how extreme Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal really is.  The memo below comes from the conference website.  +++ Re:      The Abortion Expansion Bill “In relation to revising [Read More…]

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Remembering Deacon Ken Cappelletty

What a legacy of diakonia. A deacon friend in Ohio sent this my way, from the Toledo Blade:  Businessman Ken Cappelletty, whose life’s mission involved working for social justice causes and operating Ken’s Flower Shops for some 45 years, died Friday at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg. Mr. Cappelletty, 72, who had been ill [Read More…]

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In this order, vocations are thriving. What’s their secret?

Today’s Catholic News, the web publication for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, takes a look: With more than 50 men in formation, the vocations program of the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, is among the healthiest for Catholic religious orders in the United States. Personal attention and an [Read More…]

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I’ve changed my mind. It’s time to bring back the altar rail.

It’s not about architecture. It’s about attitude. I write about it here:  Hey, I’m as surprised as anyone else that I feel this way. Two years ago, I rhapsodized on the Feast of Corpus Christi on the theology behind standing to receive communion, and defended it. And why not? I’ve received that way for most of my adult [Read More…]

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An approach to prayer as old as time—and timely

This afternoon, I received an e-mail from a parish in Queens, encouraging me to take part in the March for Life later this month, and it included a link to the international abortion counter. The what? Check this out.  It tracks the number of abortions worldwide every second, and continually refreshes. It was modeled on [Read More…]

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Something to chew on for Vocation Awareness Week

From the Facebook page of a friend who was ordained a priest last year: On the day of my ordination I was made a Priest. Now I spend the rest of my life becoming a Priest. Or, as a wiser person than myself has noted: God loves us into being, and creates each of us [Read More…]

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RIP Leon Leyson, youngest survivor on Schindler’s List

The Los Angeles Times notes his passing: Among the 1,100 Jews saved from the Nazis by German industrialist Oskar Schindler was an emaciated 13-year-old boy named Leon Leyson, who had to stand on a box to reach the machinery in the Krakow factory where Schindler sheltered him and his family. The boy Schindler called “Little Leyson” survived the [Read More…]

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