The new normal: parents making out with their kids

Incest, anyone? The Anchoress has veins bulging out of her neck over this — and me, I’m just stupefied: A pep rally prank intended to bring laughter and cheers at a Minnesota high school has instead sparked a firestorm of controversy after parents of some senior student athletes took a practical joke too far. As [Read More...]

What’s so funny? Here’s proof that laughter is contagious

From a train in Germany, a fit of laughter spreads like a virus — or at least something viral — and YouTubers are hysterically lapping it up: It’s unclear what the joke that sparked the mass hysterics was, but mobile phone footage uploaded to the video sharing site has caught the imagination of many online [Read More...]

“Praying for what?”: Christopher Hitchens dies

The notorious atheist died from pneumonia, related to his cancer, at 62.  You can read the BBC’s obit here. Last year, I wrote a brief post on this blog about Hitchens, who had just announced he was dying.  I asked that we keep him in our prayers: Prayer isn’t a chore, or a favor we [Read More...]

On Santorum: “It’s always been about faith…”

Recently, a reporter with McClatchy Newspapers took a look at how much a role religion plays in this Catholic candidate’s life: For former Sen. Rick Santorum, it’s always been about faith. Deep religious faith fuels Santorum’s conservative politics. It’s what propelled him into becoming one of Congress’ leading opponents of abortion, same-sex marriage and wrongdoing [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

In 2002, when I was beginning formation for the diaconate, a young teenager by the name of Sean Suckiel worked at night answering phones in the rectory of my spiritual director.  I used to see Sean a lot.  He told once me that the one thing he had wanted, his whole life, was to be [Read More...]

How to make Christmas cookies (revised translation)

From someone at Commonweal: In the comments section of Commonweal, James Martin (in a similar spirit, and with our spirit) has helpfully provided this blessing for Christmas cookies: “O God, who see the cookies that you have graciously deigned to allow us to bake here according to this recipe that you have given us that [Read More...]

The Christmas story, as told by children

This is now causing a sensation on YouTube.  It comes to us from New Zealand.  Take a look. [Read more...]

Indian Catholics express solidarity with “untouchables”

Here’s an issue we in the West don’t hear about very much. Details: Parishes in India celebrated Dalit Liberation Sunday last weekend, with Christians renewing their commitment to those of Dalit origin who still suffer from the traditional practice of untouchability. The annual day is marked on the nearest Sunday to International Human Rights Day, [Read More...]

Jesus in the mall: amazing Eucharistic flash mob in California

Just watch: Seems to me the folks behind this are clearly getting their inspiration from this video, which swept YouTube over the summer, around the feast of Corpus Christi. [Read more...]

Little drummer priest

A priest reader sent this my way: a video from his ordination reception last June, featuring a priest friend whose talents obviously extend beyond pounding the pulpit.  Way to go, daddy-o!   [Read more...]

Everything old is new again: church “recycles” windows, altar

Hot on the heels of this posting on a dramatic church renovation comes news about a new church in Pennsylvania which is reusing old elements from other churches: An $8 million Catholic church being built in Lower Paxton Township has taken recycling to new heights. The new Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church — Romanesque [Read More...]

Shock: number of married couples hits record low

Details, from the Washington Post: The proportion of adults who are married has plunged to record lows as more people decide to live together now and wed later, reflecting decades of evolving attitudes about the role of marriage in society. Just 51 percent of all adults who are 18 and older are married, placing them on [Read More...]

“A group of parishioners hoisted the deacon on their shoulders…”

From Jordan comes this colorful description of a Melkite diaconate ordination, via Msgr. John Kozar of CNEWA, who is on a pastoral visit to the Middle East: We were invited by the archbishop and Abuna Boulos to concelebrate at the ordination liturgy for a subdeacon and deacon. What an honor for Father Guido and myself. [Read More...]

Mary’s pregnancy test

The intentionally provocative image above — without any words — has been posted on a billboard by a church in New Zealand: Vicar Glynn Cardy said: ‘It’s real. Christmas is real. It’s about a real pregnancy, a real mother and a real child. It’s about real anxiety, courage and hope. This billboard portrays Mary, Jesus’ [Read More...]

“Around the world, someone is always saying the Liturgy of the Hours”

You can now pray the office on your computer, on your cell phone, on your iPad — or, the old fashioned way, from a book with colorful silk ribbons.  Catholic San Francisco takes a look at this great prayer of the Church, and why more people are embracing it: Each morning at St. Anthony Church [Read More...]

An incredible church renovation

A commenter at this post about the Crystal Cathedral suggested they hire the architect who did the renovations below to transform the space. In a word: wow. You can see more here. The architect is Duncan G. Stroik. RELATED: Everything old is new again: church “recycles” windows, altar [Read more...]

St. Joseph tweets: “Next stop, Bethlehem!”

An anonymous German man is tweeting the story of the Nativity as “Joseph von Nazareth” (you can follow his journey here). Details: It seems that the micro-blogger’s intention is to provide a light-hearted commentary on the Christmas story from St Joseph’s perspective. Although Joseph von Nazareth (to give him his German name) only began using [Read More...]

“A true miracle”: why the Crystal Cathedral deal was such a bargain

Writer David Gibson takes a closer look at the deal to buy the Crystal Cathedral and suggests that it was more than a deal — it was a steal: Not only did Catholics get a national landmark designed by the renowned architect Philip Johnson, but Bishop Tod D. Brown wasn’t even the highest bidder: Schuller [Read More...]


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