Ireland moves to legalize abortion

From Catholic News Agency: The Irish government has announced that it will introduce legislation on abortion that will legalize the procedure in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, drawing criticism pro-life advocates. Independent Irish Senator Ronan Mullen said in the Irish Senate that the move showed “no concern for unborn children” and was [Read More…]

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“This is a Christmas festival”: Catholic school drops Hanukkah song from concert

Details:  A Hanukkah song was dropped from a Roman Catholic school concert just a day before the show after an official said the season’s focus should be on the birth of Jesus. As a result, two music instructors who had been working with students declined to participate in the concert Tuesday night at Interlochen Arts [Read More…]

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“Les Miserables”: timeless—and timely

Tony Rossi offers his review of this year’s must-see movie musical: The Christmas debut is appropriate since it’s the most profoundly Christian story for mainstream audiences that’s been produced in years. Far from being a niche movie just designed for religious viewers, this is a big budget drama whose universal values will appeal to anyone yearning for [Read More…]

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Pew study: 1 in 6 worldwide follow no religion

From this morning’s New York Times: A global study of religious adherence released on Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found that about one of every six people worldwide has no religious affiliation. This makes the “unaffiliated,” as the study calls them, the third-largest group worldwide, with 16 percent of the global population — about [Read More…]

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Cardinal O’Malley calls for larger Catholic presence in politics and media

From Catholic News Agency: Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston says the Church needs more and better prepared Catholic politicians and journalists who can bring the faith into the public square. “We need to be much more proactive to prepare our laity and help them understand what a crucial role they have in public life [Read More…]

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Some logo ideas for the New Orleans Pelicans…

You may remember that I posted on the unusual new name being proposed for New Orleans’ basketball team. Now, a contest is underway to pick the new team logo. Who knew there were so many ways to draw a pelican?  Check ’em out and cast your vote here. [Read more…]

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Archbishop, this is why Catholics use a hammer

Or as one wag put it: “Archbishop gets rid of a crook on his staff!” From Ireland: The Most Reverend Doctor Richard Clarke was striking the West Door of St Patrick’s Cathedral three times as part of the traditional ceremony when his staff snapped in two. However he took the mishap in good humour and [Read More…]

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“I thought about Paul”: the compassionate courage of the pastor in Newtown

A colleague at work noted today, “It’s at moments like this that the Church as at Her best.” As evidence, here’s a great profile of a great priest, from the Washington Post:  As if it were any normal day, Monsignor Robert Weiss had his usual breakfast at the Sandy Hook Diner — a short stack [Read More…]

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Need a smile? This should do it.

God bless Tom McDonald for digging up this wonderful picture, which came along at a moment I really needed it.  After the last few days, it gives us all something we sorely need:  Santa Pope!   [Read more…]

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At Newtown parish, “faith in action”

A beautiful testimony to the power of prayer, and the power of presence, from the National Catholic Register:  Nothing seemed different about the well-traveled two-lane route leading into this Connecticut community on Saturday. Newtown looked for all purposes like the typical scenic, small New England town — the way it always did. The turn at the [Read More…]

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VIDEO: During Monday’s Angelus, pope prays for Newtown victims

The video, from CNS: [Read more…]

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Is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” anti-Semitic?

At the beginning of Advent, I quoted the first line of that timeless chant in my homily, and after Mass a parishioner took me to task.  “Deacon Greg,” she said, “you know you said something anti-Semitic in your homily?”  I was taken aback.  She explained, “That first line in ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’?  Where [Read More…]

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The story behind one iconic image of the Newtown shootings

Photo: Shannon Hicks/Newtown Bee This picture was one of the first images to circulate widely, just after the story broke, and it remains arguably the defining image of this tragedy. A writer with Poynter Institute, Julie Moos, explores how a small weekly paper is covering a story of global interest and national significance, and she [Read More…]

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“With the angels, let us sing…”—UPDATED

For those who missed it, here’s the lovely, unexpectedly moving cold open to “Saturday Night Live” last night. Access Hollywood noted: “Saturday Night Live” strayed from the comedic path for their cold open on this week’s show, opting instead for a somber performance of “Silent Night” by the New York City Children’s Chorus in light [Read More…]

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Priest’s “horrible” job in Newtown: telling the parents

From ABC News: A Newtown, Conn., priest had the “horrible” job of informing families this morning that their children had been killed in the elementary school massacre. There were 20 children among the 27 people brutally killed the day Adam Lanza, 20, invaded Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire on staff and students. Lanza [Read More…]

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Homily for December 16, 2012: 3rd Sunday of Advent

As some of you know, my office is located in the Catholic Center in Manhattan, on First Avenue.  On Friday they were decorating the lobby for Christmas – trimming trees and hanging lights and assembling a small wooden stable, the Nativity scene. As I was leaving work, I stopped to take a look. This Nativity [Read More…]

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The deacon who preaches in glass

Meet stained glass artist, Deacon Bob Markert in the Louisville Courier-Journal:  The pounding of a mallet and the ratcheting of a ladder echoed through the front atrium of Brescia Hall on the Ursuline Campus on a crisp November morning. Bob Markert and Peter Eichhorn were busy installing stained-glass windows designed decades ago by Markert, filled [Read More…]

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Catholic priests rush to scene of Newtown school tragedy

photo: Cloe Poisson, Hartford Courant From Catholic News Agency:  Several priests of the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport responded quickly to the mass murder of adults and schoolchildren at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, rushing to the scene to comfort victims and their relatives. Brian Wallace, the diocese’s director of communications, said that priests from St. [Read More…]

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