“Instagram dat joint!”

Watch what happens when a clever dude with a camera, a costume and a car decides to freak out people working at the drive-thru window. [Read more…]

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“We listen, and God moves us forward…”

My friend, the Trappist priest James Stephen Behrens at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Georgia, published the following reflection on time, and starting a new year, in the local paper. A snip:  Looking back is a common experience as a new year approaches. Nostalgia warms the heart as it evokes the past, making [Read More…]

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German church drops sex abuse investigation; independent researcher claims church interference

Details, from AP:  Germany’s Roman Catholic Church said Wednesday it has called off an independent institute’s investigation into sexual abuse by clergy over several decades. The lead researcher complained that the church wanted too much control over his work. In 2011, the church asked Prof. Christian Pfeiffer’s Lower Saxony Criminological Research Institute to analyze data [Read More…]

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Engaging the opposition: Cardinal Dolan shows how it’s done in his letter to Governor Cuomo

With a grateful h/t to my blog neighbor Frank, here’s the text of the letter from Cardinal Timothy Dolan to New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, following Cuomo’s “State of the State” message.    Dear Governor Cuomo: Congratulations on your third State of the State message earlier today. There is much to cheer in your report, and [Read More…]

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Was Don Bosco rolling over in his casket?

The saint’s relics arrived in England’s Liverpool Cathedral last weekend, where the performance below took place. The thing that surprises me the most isn’t the dancing during Mass, but the light attendance.  Turnout looks to be rather sparse. You can read more about the tour of the relics here.  [Read more…]

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What can you do about Catholics who support same-sex marriage?

Well, despite what you may think, you can’t just automatically excommunicate them. Canon lawyer Ed Peters notes one case in particular:  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, a Catholic, is pushing the ‘gay marriage’ agenda in the Land of Lincoln to the obvious and rightful chagrin of Catholics faithful to the natural law (not to mention, to [Read More…]

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Someone alert George Jetson: amazing device projects a computer keyboard onto any flat surface

Wow.  Just wow:  Smartphone and tablet users who want a full-sized keyboard without carrying one around may want to check out a device called the Magic Cube. Demoed by manufacturer Celluon at CES this week, the Magic Cube displays a full keyboard and a multi-touch mouse on just about any flat surface. The virtual keyboard and mouse appear as [Read More…]

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Who will be the next ambassador to the Vatican?

NCR’s John Allen speculates: President Barack Obama needs to find a new envoy to the Vatican since Ambassador Miguel Diaz, appointed in 2009, has accepted a position as professor of faith and culture at the University of Dayton in Ohio. Obama’s choice for a replacement is being closely watched in Rome, according to one senior [Read More…]

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A first: Obama chooses laywoman to give invocation at inaugural

From the Washington Post:  President Obama has picked Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers, to deliver the invocation at his public swearing-in later this month. It is believed to be the first time a woman, and a layperson rather than a clergy member, has been chosen to deliver what may be [Read More…]

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Vatican: calling Jews “enemies” unacceptable

You may remember when the head of SSPX used that term recently. Now the Vatican is firing back:  The Catholic Church remains committed to deepening its relations with Jews and finds it “absolutely unacceptable” to consider the Jewish people as enemies, the Vatican spokesman said. “It is absolutely unacceptable, impossible, to define the Jews as [Read More…]

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“Les Mis”: it’s all about the bishop

There’s a lovely remembrance of first encountering “Les Miserables” — the musical and the book — by Rev. Charles Klamut, in this week’s issue of AMERICA—and he concludes with this poignant epiphany: I read Les Misérables in a week. It was the perfect book at the perfect time, with soul-shaking impact. For a long time afterward, I [Read More…]

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A “bucket list” for the Year of Faith

A reader in Cincinnati brought this to my attention.  It comes from St. Cecilia’s Church in Oakley, Ohio.   The pastor has posted a “bucket list” for the Year of Faith, with 33 ideas to enrich and enliven your spiritual life in the months head.  A sample: Join the parish, if you are not already [Read More…]

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Nun speaks out in support of same-sex marriage in Illinois

Really? Yes. Read on: Sister Donna Quinn, a Chicago native who has been a Catholic nun for over 50 years, said it’s about time for Illinois to approve legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage. “We believe in this, this has to be done,” she said. “We can do nothing less.” Quinn, the coordinator of the [Read More…]

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New York’s Sullivan to lead Camden

From Whispers:  At Roman Noon this Tuesday, the Pope named Bishop Dennis Sullivan – the 67 year-old vicar-general of the 2.5 million-member Gotham church – as the eighth head of the six-county, 530,000-member fold, which stretches from one of the nation’s most violent cities across scores of suburbs and over a farm country with a [Read More…]

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Catholic University to launch new business school, teaching marketing and morals

From the Wall Street Journal:  Confident that aspiring corporate leaders want to worship more than just the almighty dollar, Catholic University of America is creating a new business school. The Washington, D.C., university will announce the launch of its new School of Business and Economics on Tuesday, infusing an education in strategy, accounting and marketing [Read More…]

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Now the work of Christmas begins

Lest we forget:  When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, [Read More…]

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Try this in the pulpit. Let me know what happens.

From the review of new books about St. Francis of Assisi: “Why you?” a man asked Francesco di Bernardone, known to us now as St. Francis of Assisi. Francis (1181/2-1226) was scrawny and plain-looking. He wore a filthy tunic, with a piece of rope as a belt, and no shoes. While preaching, he often would [Read More…]

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Love among the ruins: life in Aleppo

A glimpse at life in one corner of war-ravaged Aleppo, Syria, from AFP: The aging Christians holed up inside a retirement home in the devastated northern Syrian city of Aleppo have no light, no telephone lines, and little idea of what is happening in the outside world. But fellow Christians and rebel fighters still ensure [Read More…]

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