World’s oldest woman: 115-year-old Catholic in Iowa

CNS uncovered this just posted on its blog: The Gerontology Research Group announced this week that 115-year-old Dina Manfredini is the oldest person in the world. She is Catholic and a longtime parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in West Des Moines, Iowa. She inherited the title when 116-year-old Besse Cooper of Georgia died Dec. 4. [Read More…]

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Homily for December 8, 2012: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

[Click here for readings.] In his new book about the infancy of Jesus, Pope Benedict mentions one powerful detail in the gospel we just heard—and it’s something that I have to agree is striking. It is Mary’s aloneness. The pope wrote: “I consider it important to focus on the final sentence of Luke’s Annunciation narrative: [Read More…]

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Just in time for Hanukkah…

…comes this awesome video. Thanks, Bosco! [Read more…]

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The theologian as evangelist

Deacon James Keating dropped me a note about this upcoming gathering and said: Greg, this is big news. In the midst of tensions between bishops and theologians, the CTS has designated it annual meeting as a place for theologians to think about their role as EVANGELISTS! In my college years at three Catholic universities, no [Read More…]

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You had me at “flash mob”

And clinched the deal with “Les Miserables.” Tony Rossi has a winning video of a wedding flash mob performing “One Day More.”  Not exactly my first choice for a sentimental wedding song (“One day more to revolution, we will nip it in the bud…”) but, boy, it’s done with gusto and a lot of good [Read More…]

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Behold, the Orthodox deacons of Ethiopia

Do you have vestments like these? Over at our CNEWA blog, ONE-TO-ONE, there’s an interesting look at the clergy in that part of the world: Traditionally, a priest’s primary duty is the celebration of the Qeddase — in Ethiopia, typically five priests concelebrate — and other liturgical rites, particularly burials. Liturgical festivals feature rhythmic dancing, [Read More…]

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Ordination update: 20 new deacons in New Orleans

From the Clarion Herald newspaper: There were so many men to be ordained as permanent deacons Dec. 1 at St. Louis Cathedral – 20 in all – that the carpeted sanctuary was not big enough to accommodate them for the centuries-old liturgical ritual of lying prostrate in front of the altar for the Litany of [Read More…]

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Deacon on strike??

From the mailbag of Fr. Z: From a deacon: Dear Father Z, my parish priest is leftist and modernist (like the vast majority of priests and bishops here in ___) and always changes the words of the Missal, adding his personal opinions. His homilies are more about ___ than the Gospel. My question is: as [Read More…]

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Encore: bishops plan second Fortnight for Freedom for 2013

Don’t throw away those foam fingers yet.  From the USCCB website:  The U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a pastoral strategy addressing critical life, marriage and religious liberty concerns. The five-part strategy or call to prayer was approved by the bishops in November and is set to begin after Christmas. The overall focus is to invite [Read More…]

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An encounter with St. Nick

My colleague Michael La Civita posted this remembrance of a poignant trip to Italy over at CNEWA’s blog, ONE-TO-ONE:  In May 1997, I traveled to Puglia, Italy, to visit my father’s family. While there, I visited Bari, home to the Wonder Worker, good ole St. Nick. Here’s how I concluded an article on that visit, which [Read More…]

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Ordination update: 12 new deacons for Columbus

Hello, Columbus! There’s a full write up in a recent edition of the Catholic Times.   Congratulations, brothers, and welcome!  Ad multos annos!   [Read more…]

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Pope Benedict makes Forbes “Most Powerful People” list at #5

He’s just below Bill Gates (#4) and above Ben Bernanke (#6). The Forbes thumbnail profile: How’s this for a job description? According to the doctrine of Papal Supremacy, the Pope enjoys “supreme, full, immediate, and universal power” over the souls of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. They turn to the Vicar of Christ for [Read More…]

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How Dave Brubeck made liturgy swing

I found this great piece by Bob Faw on Dave Brubeck, and it gives more dimension to his religiously themed jazz music, including his legendary jazz Mass called “To Hope!” Watch Dave Brubeck on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. And YouTube offers this sensational piece of music from his Mass: the gorgeous, [Read More…]

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Meet the deacon novelist

Details, from Arkansas Catholic: In “I Hear Your Heartbeat” Deacon Larry Hatch’s recently released first novel, the reader is reminded that to receive forgiveness, one must first be willing to forgive. “Unforgiveness is the poison you drink hoping the other person will die,” said Hatch, who serves St. Agnes Church in Mena. The story follows [Read More…]

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Remembering jazz great Dave Brubeck, Catholic

The composer and musician died today:  Dave Brubeck, a jazz musician who attained pop-star acclaim with recordings such as “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” died Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Conn., said his longtime manager-producer-conductor Russell Gloyd. Brubeck was one day short of his 92nd birthday. He died of heart [Read More…]

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When it’s appropriate to clap at Mass: a handy list

Marcel over at Aggie Catholics has a helpful post about applause during liturgy. While it’s frowned upon—the pope is not a fan of it—there are a few instances when it might be acceptable: Clapping is usually done for a human achievement and is not for God. So, it is a misplaced act in most liturgies. There are [Read More…]

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Here come the Anglicans: Brooklyn ordains its first Ordinariate priest

My pastor, Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez, did the honors. Details, from the Brooklyn Tablet: When Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez laid hands upon the head of Belen Gonzalez y Perez Nov. 20 at St. James Cathedral-Basilica, Downtown Brooklyn, Father Gonzalez y Perez became the first former Anglican priest to be ordained a Catholic priest in Brooklyn. [Read More…]

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Great moments in journalism: “Everybody at Fox News loves you”

Wherein the good people at Fox prove that media bias cuts both ways. Details, from the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward: Roger Ailes, the longtime Republican media guru, founder of Fox News and its current chairman, had some advice last year for then-Gen. David H. Petraeus. So in spring 2011, Ailes asked a Fox News analyst [Read More…]

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