“I don’t have to think. I’m Catholic.” — UPDATED

That’s the side-splitting punchline Kathleen Turner delivers in the new movie “The Perfect Family.” Are you laughing yet? [Crickets chirping.] Judging from the trailer, the movie traffics in stereotypical insults and anti-Catholic bigotry that would be offensive if they weren’t so predictable, cliched and obvious. But don’t take my word for it.  See the clip [Read More...]

Kilimanjaro-climbing Iowa priest nominated to medical board

You may remember the story about Msgr. Frank Bognanno, who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro recently.  He’s also a cancer survivor. Now he’s in the news again: Three weeks after the Iowa Senate rejected a Dubuque anti-abortion activist for a seat on Iowa Board of Medicine, Gov. Terry Branstad has nominated a prominent Catholic priest for the [Read More...]

Is student debt contributing to the vocation crisis? — UPDATED

A recent study from CARA says, “Yes”: With accumulated educational debt increasing by five percent yearly in the United States, the research was designed with two main goals: 1) to learn more about the impact of student loans on the men and women who are coming to religious life today. 2) to learn about the policy [Read More...]

“Loose canon”: Vatican may tighten rules on annulments

From John Allen: A Rome conference in late April hinted that the Vatican may be moving towards a more restrictive posture on annulments, the procedure in church law for declaring a marriage null and void, which some critics refer to as “Catholic divorce.” If so, the fallout could have special significance for the United States, [Read More...]

From the in-my-backyard desk: two new auxiliary bishops for Brooklyn

And one of them, Bishop-elect Paul Sanchez, is not only the territorial vicar for my parish; he’s also the son of a deacon. The press release: Pope Benedict XVI has appointed two priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn – Msgr. Raymond Chappetto, 66, and Msgr. Paul Sanchez, 65 – as auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn. Archbishop [Read More...]

Life is short. Be fearless. Like this 104-year-old paraglider.

God bless you, Peggy McAlpine. Read her story here.  And watch her break a world record below. [Read more...]

Make a joyful noise!

I got an email the other day alerting me to a music institute happening on Long Island next month and, while I’m not in the habit of plugging this sort of thing here, this time I’ll make an exception because I know it’s just got to be good. Because: one of the teachers is the [Read More...]

For all you college students out there…

Good luck.  You’re in my prayers. [Read more...]

“A gay man I consider a saint…” — UPDATED

This morning Mark Shea tackled a tough subject with a kind of grace and compassion that couldn’t help but leave me impressed.  There’s a benevolent wisdom here, and mercy, too: One of the people I admire most in the world, who I regard as an inspiration and, very likely, as a saint was a gay [Read More...]

Best. Wedding toast. Ever.

Congratulations from Kenny and Selma. – Watch More Funny Videos [Read more...]

Shepherd of note: the musical stylings of Bishop Paprocki

Springfield’s Bishop Thomas Paprocki is getting a lot of attention these days as one of the bishops reviewing the LCWR. He also likes to sing.  A lot.  In homilies.  The clip below is from his installation as bishop two years ago. [Read more...]

Making God a hit on Broadway

It’s an unusual trend in the theater right now, and the New York Times looks at one effort to get people who go to church to also to the theater: Jesus is cracking jokes, sharing parables and dying for our sins in three Broadway musicals this spring, while another six shows feature religious themes that [Read More...]

A Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop [Read More...]

Sheer genius: using an iPad in ways you never imagined

This is pretty amazing and very clever: from a presentation designed to sell people on Stockholm. I don’t know if I’m sold on Stockholm, but I’m definitely sold on the way they use iPads here. [Read more...]

A fine romance

The clever cats at Improv Everywhere decided to stage an unexpected romantic date in Central Park — complete with champagne and a classical quartet — for two people who were, in a word, whelmed. Can you feel the love? [Read more...]

“Who wants to live in a ghetto, anyway?”

That’s the question at the heart of this thoughtful and challenging piece by Star Foster, who toils over at the Pagan Portal here at Patheos (and who, I should add, is a great gal, to boot!)  I’m not in the habit of posting links to pieces by Pagans, but I thought this one worth thinking [Read More...]

Wisconsin bishop warns parishioners of censure for spreading “rumors and gossip”

Details: Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino has moved to quell a backlash against a group of conservative priests in Platteville by warning parishioners they risk formal church censure unless they stop spreading “rumors and gossip.” The action by Morlino, which two Catholic scholars called highly unusual, appears to include the possibility of offenders being prohibited [Read More...]

Remembering the forgotten: 118 people whose bodies were never claimed receive Catholic burial

You may remember this item I posted last month, about a Catholic diocese in Louisiana planning a funeral for dozens of people whose bodies were never claimed at the local coroner’s office. Saturday, that service took place, and the local paper was there: A few hundred people gathered at the Cathedral of St. John the [Read More...]


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