To my readers, some timely insight on charity

I dropped by the website of St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg, Maryland today — a church that has been very much in the news this week — and found the following note in the weekly “From the Pastor’s Desk” column.  It’s timely, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I’d ask all who visit [Read More...]

What if the bishops aren’t bluffing?

That’s the question at the heart of this piece by Ed Morrissey: Earlier this week, Francis Cardinal George of the archdiocese of Chicago sent a message to parishioners in Barack Obama’s home town that imposition of the HHS mandate to fund and facilitate contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization would force the Catholic Church to close its [Read More...]

I’m speechless

What so many of us have been waiting for — and in an election year, no less! Details: Japanese researchers have invented a speech-jamming gadget that painlessly forces people into silence. Kazutaka Kurihara of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and Koji Tsukada of Ochanomizu University, developed a portable “SpeechJammer” gun that [Read More...]

Desert days

Since we often consider Lent to be time spent in the desert, it’s instructive to read what it’s really like to live in a land blighted by drought. Journalist Don Duncan reflects on life in Lebanon.  Think Lent is hard?  Think again: Within a few weeks of my initial move, the hot summer season was [Read More...]

56 years later, priest survivors of Andrea Doria tell their story

An ambitious undertaking by a seminarian is throwing new light on a dramatic moment of history: It’s been almost 60 years since the Andrea Doria sank 200 miles off Nantucket Island, but retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert hasn’t forgotten that day or his journey on that ship. And if Mundelein seminarian Kyle Lee has his [Read More...]

Catholic college sued over dorm sex complaints

Details: A Stonehill College graduate sued the Catholic school in federal court, Wednesday, alleging pre-existing psychological problems worsened after administrators refused to let her move to a single dormitory room to escape her roommate’s frequent sexual trysts with guests in their shared room. In suing the Easton, Mass. private college, Lindsay Blankmeyer cites federal and state [Read More...]

13 Catholics voted to defeat the Blunt amendment

How did Catholics vote? A summary: Today, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 51 – 48, defeated the effort led by Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri) to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act as an amendment to pending legislation. Thirteen Catholic Senators joined the majority. The amendment, offered by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO, [Read More...]

Davy Jones, and his neighbors the nuns

Turns out the recently deceased Monkee was chummy with the sisters who were his neighbors in Florida.  Details: Jones and The Monkees created hits such as “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer” but were always fighting for more creative freedom to produce and create their own music. The tensions between the cast and producers caused [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: the deacon’s back

At the office this morning, Your Humble Blogger met the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal.   Read more. [Read more...]

Illinois miracle: altar spared after church hit by tornado

A deacon from Belleville, Illinois sent me the pictures below — before and after shots of St. Joseph Church, in Ridgeway, struck by a twister on February 29th. You can read details here. The deacon wrote: You will notice the Italian marble altar that was miraculously spared.  Work is underway to salvage the altar by [Read More...]

From the Archdiocese of Washington: “The prime obligation falls to the persons presenting themselves for Communion…”

Below is an essay, reprinted here in its entirety, from this afternoon’s Washington Post, by Fr. William Byrne, who works as the Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns  for the Archdiocese of Washington: In light of recent news this seems like a good time to explain (or review, in the case of Catholic readers) [Read More...]

From Cardinal Dolan: “We have to be realistic and prepare for tough times…”

From his blog today: The President invited us to “work out the wrinkles,” and we have been taking him seriously.  Unfortunately, this seems to be going nowhere: the White House Press Secretary, for instance, informed the nation that the mandates are a fait accompli (and, embarrassingly for him, commented that we bishops have always opposed Health [Read More...]

On denying communion: “How grave does a sin have to be?”

The Barbara Johnson story continues to stir debate — including this item from the Washington Post about when communion should be denied: Some people believe Catholic teaching either required the Gaithersburgh priest to deny the woman Communion – or at the least gave him the right to – while others believe the opposite. Both sides [Read More...]

Why isn’t Santorum doing better among Catholics?

Analysts are crunching the numbers and looking at exit poll results, and have some conclusions: It still is not clear whether Rick Santorum’s comments on religion in public life cost him a significant number of Roman Catholic votes in the Michigan and Arizona primaries. The conventional wisdom seems to be that the comments did hurt [Read More...]

“I trust God”: before execution, man receives last communion from a deacon

Details: Robert Moormann, who killed his mother and chopped her into pieces during a compassionate leave from prison 28 years ago, was put to death Wednesday morning by lethal injection. Moments before the lethal injection began, Moormann smiled at the witnesses assembled behind glass nearby. In his last words, he apologized to his family and [Read More...]

Full text: letter of apology to lesbian

From MSNBC: Comments are now closed. [Read more...]

RIP, Davy Jones

The teen heartthrob from the 1960s, and lead vocalist for “The Monkees,” died of a heart attack this morning.  He was 66. Read more here. A classic flashback from my youth, below. [Read more...]

The USCCB on communion: “We should be cautious when making judgments…”

Someone reminded me of this document, put out by the USCCB in 2006, which states: In virtue of our membership in the Catholic Church we are ordinarily free to receive Holy Communion.  In fact, it is most desirable that we receive the Lord’s Body and Blood, so that Holy Communion stands out clearly as a [Read More...]


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