Homily for February 5, 2012: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for the readings.] Sixty years ago, in the spring of 1952, Congress was in the middle of a long and controversial investigation into Communists in Hollywood.  The House Un-American Activities Committee was summoning writers, directors, and actors to Washington to get them to “name names” of people they knew with ties to the [Read More...]

Fandemonium: another great Super Bowl commercial

What happens when two rec league hockey teams suddenly get thousands of fans cheering them on? You gotta see this.  It’s great. [Read more...]

What’s a great way to raise breast cancer awareness? How about a pink gun? — UPDATED

Seriously. The good people at the Susan G. Komen Foundation — ever heard of them? — are offering the pink pistol below: Discount Gun Sales has teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to offer a pink version of its popular Walther P-22 handgun in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Komen Foundation, [Read More...]

Quote of the day

And so, like a good but weak soldier, Komen has essentially destroyed itself: hardline leftists will never forgive it; hardline rightists will never trust it. But feel a little sorry for Komen. They were trying to do the better thing, and they got mauled for it. They’re not cowards, they just weren’t strong. Not everyone [Read More...]

Komen apologizes, reverses decision on funding Planned Parenthood

Details: Komen for the Cure just released the following statement from Nancy Brinker and the Susan G. Komen Board of Directors: We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our [Read More...]

Poll: Catholics still favoring Obama in election

Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me: With many American Catholic leaders blaming the current administration for a new requirement that Catholic employers provide birth control coverage, you’d think that President Barack Obama wouldn’t exactly be their favorite person right now. Still, a survey conducted this week has the president beating Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich [Read More...]

What’s the matter with kids today? Not that much, actually

A new study may surprise you: By several noteworthy measures, today’s teenagers are growing increasingly conservative. While marijuana use has recently had an uptick, teenagers are smoking far less pot than their parents did at the same age. In 1980, about 60 percent of high-school seniors had tried marijuana and 9 percent smoked it daily. [Read More...]

Sin, in a nutshell

Makes sense to me.  From Black, White and Gray: [Read more...]

Skirting the issue: parents protest Catholic school replacing skirts with pants

At one Catholic school in Connecticut, those plaid skirts we remember are becoming a thing of the past: Parents at St. Bernadette Catholic School are up in arms over a new uniform policy that eliminates the trademark plaid skirts and jumpers for little girls in favor of less traditional female garb — khaki pants. The [Read More...]

Happy Candlemas

In my church tonight, we’re introducing a special liturgy to mark Candlemas, featuring Vespers, the blessing of candles and concluding with Benediction. So: what exactly is Candlemas?  Glad you asked: Today is a day of purification, renewal, and hope. On this day, exactly 40 days after Christmas, we commemorate Mary’s obedience to the Mosaic law [Read More...]

“God wanted me ordained without her being there…”

As part of her master’s project at Iowa State University, Eloisa Perez-Lozano documented the immigrant experience of three families in Marshalltown, Iowa.  One of those families included Deacon Felix Hernandez, whose wife ended up being deported in a raid shortly before his ordination in 2009. As the National Catholic Reporter tells it: Immigration and Customs [Read More...]

Is Obama losing the Catholic vote?

A few observers are starting to wonder: Some rank and file Catholics are beginning to express the same frustrations as clergy about a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy requiring all employers, including religious ones, to pay for FDA-approved contraceptives, such as the birth control pill and Plan B, through health insurance [Read More...]

“Paul wants to be a deacon”

And he became one.  From Staten Island, the story of one deacon’s journey to ordination: When Paul J. Kosinski‘s third-grade teacher, Sister Perpetua, discussed the Catholic church’s seven sacraments, he predicted, “I’ll receive them all” — unlikely, since mutually exclusive marriage and the priesthood are among them. But 47 years later, Paul has achieved his [Read More...]

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua dies

He was a rarity: a Brooklyn priest (who grew up down the road from me in Queens) who became a cardinal.  The definitive obit, from Rocco: He was the ultimate man of the law. How bitter the irony, then, that his days would end under a cloud of court scrutiny. At 9.15 tonight, Anthony Cardinal [Read More...]

Obama backlash: Rubio introduces “Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012″

Someone whose name, and profile, have both become more prominent this election year is now staking out his turf in the looming battle over the recent HHS ruling on contraception. From National Catholic Register: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 today, marking the GOP’s first legislative response to the [Read More...]

“The Amish Project”: life without a cell phone, computer, social media

What happens when a college student walks away from modern life for 90 days?  Jake Reilly did that.  And what he found was a revelation: In the end, having finished this whole thing, is your life different now or did you fall right back into old habits? Reilly: It’s definitely different, but I catch myself doing [Read More...]

Does your life sound like this?

Mine does. Oscar Hammerstein once wrote, “All the sounds of the earth are like music.”  Here’s the 21st century version of that idea, cleverly conceived and executed. [Read more...]

Great moments in the Commonwealth of Virginia

This would be funny, if it were’t true. Virginia is about to pass a bill that would require pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion. Details: It’s one of several anti-abortion bills now moving through the General Assembly. Others would give legal rights to unborn children, prohibit abortions after 20 weeks unless [Read More...]


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