One man’s letter to friends: “I have decided that I will be leaving the seminary…”

A friend posted the note below on his Facebook page four days ago.  With his permission, I reprint it here in its entirety, minus his name.  I found it moving, brave and more than a little bit wise.  Please keep this young man, and so many like him, in your prayers.  Dcn. G. +++ Dear [Read More...]

“Hosanna, Hey-sanna…”

If you haven’t gotten enough “Hosannas” today, here are a couple more. The top clip is from the 1973 movie version of “Jesus Christ, Superstar.”  The second clip is from the 2000 stage revival, which was later adapted for video. The two make for an interesting comparison — different “Superstars” for different generations and different [Read More...]

For Holy Week: comments closed

We’re entering one of the Christian calendar’s holiest times — and one of the busiest.  Beginning Thursday, I’ll be involved in nine liturgies over four days. I’m going to turn off comments for the week.  Blogging will be lighter, too. I think a little quiet will do us all good. Meantime, if you’re wondering why [Read More...]

Needed in Latin America: deacons

That’s the conclusion of Fr. Peter J. Daly, writing in the Brooklyn Tablet: The Catholic Church in the various parts of the Americas has much that we could learn from one another. U.S. parishes could learn about joyful and enthusiastic celebration from Latino countries. The Latino Catholic community could learn about the ministry of permanent [Read More...]

A pastor’s letter on IVF

This merits attention not only for the subject matter, but the way in which a pastor has used this opportunity for a teachable moment. (H/T to Matt Abbott at Renew America.) Below is the letter from Fr. Thomas Milota, of Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Naperville, IL, asking parishioners to oppose the construction of a [Read More...]

Catholic school to name center after Bill and Camille Cosby

Details: A historic Baltimore Catholic school will name its community center in honor of Bill and Camille Cosby, the biggest donors in the school’s 184-year history and fierce champions of education, the school announced Friday. St. Frances Academy, which serves 162 primarily low-income high school students, will host the comedian, his wife and their relatives [Read More...]

Homily for April 1, 2012: Palm Sunday

[Click here for readings.] When I was a kid, this was always a busy week. There was planning for the big meal next Sunday. Would it be ham or lamb? Some years, I’d have a new suit – usually a couple sizes too big, so I could grow into it. My mother would be cleaning [Read More...]

“You’ve Got Holy Week”: Cardinal Dolan’s message on AOL

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Catholic college withdraws speaking invitation to Kennedy’s widow

Details: A small Catholic college that invited Victoria Reggie Kennedy to speak at its spring commencement has rescinded the offer under pressure from the Worcester bishop, who described her apparent political views as out of line with Catholic teachings. Anna Maria College in Paxton, west of Worcester, released a statement today placing the decision at [Read More...]

Census shows Ireland is still overwhelmingly Catholic

Despite being rocked by the sex abuse scandal, a huge percentage in the country still self-identify as Catholic.  Details, from the Irish Times: Ireland remains the overwhelmingly Catholic country of the English-speaking world, according to results of the April 2011 census, published yesterday. Over 84 per cent of people in the Republic, or 3.86 million, described [Read More...]

Wow: behold an amazing 86-year-old gymnast

This is truly something special.  Here’s Johanna Quaas, 86-years-young, performing in Germany this week. (Me, I just finished a bag of potato chips while watching “The Office.”  You’ll never see that on YouTube. Thank God.) [Read more...]

Catholic group leaving university over “discriminatory non-discrimination” policy

Sad but true.  Details: One of the largest student religious groups at Vanderbilt [University] will be leaving campus at the end of the year in a dispute over the university’s nondiscrimination policy. That policy bars student groups from requiring their leaders to hold specific religious beliefs. Leaders of Vanderbilt Catholic said that rule makes no sense. [Read More...]

The bee’s knees

As we near the Easter Vigil, and deacons around the globe are clearing their throats and practicing the new Exsultet, here’s an interesting tidbit from New Liturgical Movement: Recently one of our priests sent in some photos with a brief note about a Paschal candle that he, himself, undertook to design for his parish. He [Read More...]

“To acknowledge the dignity of every human life”: Louisiana diocese plans mass funeral for unclaimed bodies

An extraordinary undertaking: For the last two years, Lafayette Catholic Service Centers have been working towards burying the unclaimed at the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s office. This unexpected journey began when Kimberly Boudreaux, Executive Director at Lafayette Catholic Service Centers, contacted the coroner’s office to claim a formerly homeless man, whom I had befriended at St. Joseph [Read More...]

A potent new video: “Stand Up for Religious Freedom”

From Blackstone Films comes this must-see message: the official Stand Up for Religious Freedom promotional video. Watch it and pass it on. [Read more...]

A man in formation writes: “I’m quickly becoming frustrated…I’m bored to death”

The following comment appeared today in a post on married priests.  I’d like to hear what deacon readers think: I am currently in formation for the permanent diaconate.  I have often thought in the back of my mind that, at some point in the not-so-distant future, the door will open wider for a married priesthood [Read More...]

“The church is called to be an equal opportunity critic”

Fr. Frank Pavone looks at the Church’s role in politics in this morning’s Washington Post: The church is called to be an equal opportunity critic. She must have the freedom to challenge all, across political lines, with the Gospel call to repentance. The institutional church in the United States has at times been called “the Democrats [Read More...]

First look: “Les Mis” on the big screen

Fans of the blockbuster musical — you know who you are — will appreciate these shots from the Daily Mail, with the first glimpses of Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his nemesis Javert.  Others in the cast include Anne Hathaway as Fantine, and Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as [Read More...]


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