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A banner spotted this morning in the lobby of the New York Catholic Center, which houses the offices for the Archdiocese of New York: [Read more...]

Virginia scraps ultrasound bill

It engendered a lot of controversy – and late yesterday it failed after the governor changed is mind and decided not to support it. Details: A Virginia bill that would have required women to undergo an invasive ultrasound before having an abortion failed Wednesday after Gov. Bob McDonnell withdrew his support. McDonnell, a Republican who opposes [Read More...]

“Pizzas de Cuaresma”: Texas chain offers special pizzas for Lent

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post about Wendy’s suddenly ubiquitous fish sandwich comes this story about a Dallas pizza chain offering vegetarian pizzas as a way to battle what has become an annual Lenten slump in sales: The folks at Pizzeria Patron have nothing against Catholicism, really, but every year, starting after Ash Wednesday [Read More...]

Ohio church offers drive-thru ashes

And now for something completely different: An Ohio church is offering a drive-thru Ash Wednesday blessing for parishioners pressed for time or reluctant to come inside the church for the Lenten observance. The Rev. Patricia Anderson Cook of Mt. Healthy United Methodist Church in Mount Healthy offered the ashes Wednesday evening for people of all [Read More...]

More Protestants observing Ash Wednesday

Have we started a trend? Details: Don’t assume every ash-marked forehead you see today belongs to a Catholic. Ash Wednesday, long associated with Catholicism, is increasingly observed in Protestant churches. The Rev. Joe DeRoulhac became senior minister of Redlands’ First Baptist Church in 1989 but didn’t preside over Ash Wednesday services there until 2003. The [Read More...]

Remember, you are smudged

This year’s ashy portrait, courtesy Fr. Antonin: [Read more...]

“Long have I waited for your coming home to me…”

I’m sure I’ll hear this Ash Wednesday staple sung multiple times at our parish’s Masses today. Here, a beautiful rendition of a beautiful hymn (written by Gregory Norbet), performed by John Michael Talbot. [Read more...]

A sure sign that it’s Lent

You start to see commercials like this… [Read more...]

Homily for February 22, 2012: Ash Wednesday

[Click here for readings] Click the green tab below to hear this homily as it was delivered at 8 a.m. Mass. When I was in high school, I had an English teacher by the name of Mrs. Comberiatti.   She was a quiet, tiny little woman, very young, but surprisingly strict.  I spent most of the [Read More...]

For only the second time, the son of a deacon becomes a bishop

Whispers has the scoop on Bishop-elect George Sheltz: His father a permanent deacon, according to an official release, the bishop-elect would become the second deacon’s son to be raised the episcopacy on these shores, following the Washington auxiliary Barry Knestout, who was ordained in late 2008. And there’s this statement from the son-of-a-deacon: I am sad [Read More...]

“Let us pray to set the world ablaze…”

Almost a year ago, we began the Easter season with a roaring fire at the door of the Church – we re-lived the creation of the universe, and it exploded into hundreds of points of light: small, bright candles that were held by every one in the church. We sang: “Christ Our Light, thanks be [Read More...]

Hospital administrator, lawyer…and deacon

From Gary, Indiana comes this profile of a deacon serving the people of God in so many ways, I have to wonder when the guy sleeps: While Tom Gryzbek may have diverged from his original plan to become a priest, he has found his own ways to serve as a hospital administrator, lawyer and deacon. [Read More...]

When Benedict met Shirley

Cardinal Dolan took his mother to meet the pope yesterday: Capping a whirlwind nine-day trip with a final visit to the Vatican, Timothy Cardinal Dolan introduced his 84-year-old mom to Pope Benedict XVI yesterday — then jokingly asked the pontiff if he could make her “the first lady of the College of Cardinals.” Amid cheers [Read More...]

Meet Mitt Romney’s Catholic connection

He’s a former prosecutor who keeps a statue of Mary on his desk — and he’s trying to woo Catholics and Evangelicals to the Romney cause. Details: The response seemed to defy the rough-and-tumble rules of modern politics. One of the nation’s most prominent opponents of same-sex marriage, Maggie Gallagher, had just told aides to [Read More...]

The myth and the reality of the “Catholic vote”

Author Stephen S. Schneck, from Catholic University, argues that there are actually several different kinds of Catholic voters: While there is not an obvious Catholic vote on the macro scale, there are three discreet “Catholic votes” that really matter in American elections. The first of these is Latino Catholics.  Over the last three decades, Latino [Read More...]

A must-read for this President’s Day

A huge h/t to The Anchoress for bringing this to my attention.  It drives home, with blinding clarity, the fact that the issue of the HHS mandate is not about contraception.  I mentioned that when I preached on this topic some weeks back, and it cannot be said enough.  This goes far beyond pills and [Read More...]

Cardinal Dolan: “I’ll return home a cardinal, but I’m still a sinner”

New York’s new cardinal shared some thoughts on his new title in an exclusive column in this morning’s New York Post (which put the archbishop on its front page yesterday, below). Take it away, Cardinal Dolan: Most people have heard the famous story of Christ washing the feet of his apostles at the Last Supper. [Read More...]

Tailoring the message: how preachers adapt to different audiences

From Abilene, KS comes this intriguing look at how preachers of various denominations — including Catholic — sometimes adjust their sermons, depending on the congregation: For churches with more than one Sunday worship service, the sermon doesn’t change much from one service to the next. While the basic message stays the same, there are subtle [Read More...]


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