Catholic New Year’s resolutions

[I wrote the following for my parish bulletin.  Dcn. G.] So here we are, beginning another year, rising to face new challenges, hoping to be better people next December 31 than we were last December 31.  Some people are hoping to lose weight.  Some will stop smoking.  Looking for suggestions?  Maybe these will help.  Meantime, [Read More...]

Here come the Anglicans: details on America’s first ordinariate

This broke while I was away from my desk, in the middle of the Sunday Marathon of Masses, but Rocco has all you need to know: In an unprecedented Sunday announcement — a significant sign of Rome’s degree of seriousness about the effort — the Vatican’s press bulletin gave official word of the erection of [Read More...]

“We may be seeing the future of Christianity’s encounter with the book”

There’s a long but intriguing essay here by Professor Alan Jacobs that explores how the rapidly changing technology — from cell phones to iPads and Kindles — may have a profound impact on Christianity in the developing world.  He draws some interesting parallels between the small screen (cell phones) and the big screen you find [Read More...]

2012: the year of the Anglicans?

Before the confetti is swept up and the champagne glasses put away, the new year will be bringing something else new: the ordinariate, enabling Anglican parishes in the U.S. to become Catholic.   Details: The Vatican is set to launch a structure Monday that will allow Anglican parishes in the United States — and their married [Read More...]

Cubans end year by honoring their patroness, Mary

In advance of tomorrow’s solemnity, and the start of a brand new year, Cuba paused to hail Mary: Thousands of Cuban Catholics flocked to Havana Bay for an open-air mass marking the end of a 16-month island tour of the statue of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, Cuba’s patron saint. The service was led [Read More...]

Simply amazing: world’s largest model railroad

It’s in Hamburg, Germany.  But I’m sure everyone has something like this under their tree every Christmas, right? [Read more...]

A New Year’s Day message: what some preachers are planning to say

Stuck for a homily idea?  Check out this interesting overview, from a variety of faiths in Indiana, here: Pastors will have similar new Yyear themes in their Sunday sermons. A fresh start, personal reflection and improving one’s relationship with God are just a few sermon topics. The Rev. James Foster, pastor, will preach about “a [Read More...]

Catholics in Iowa “not sitting on the sidelines”

The National Catholic Reporter goes looking for Catholic reaction to what is happening in Iowa these days: Religion has had an extraordinary presence in the buildup to the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, but Catholics have been distinguished by their silence. “It’s part of the Catholic culture,” said Deacon Dan McGuire, parish administrator at [Read More...]

Chaput reportedly plans to sell cardinal’s residence

Details, from Rocco: In the most concrete sign yet of his plans to thoroughly reshape the beleaguered church he’s inherited, Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. is giving up the mansion at the city’s edge which his predecessors have called home for the last 75 years. Less than four months after taking the reins of [Read More...]

Tying the knot at 91

You might consider this sweet story the flipside to that Italian divorce saga. Details: A couple at a retirement home got married Wednesday — both at age 91 — a reminder that it’s never too late to start a new phase of life. Margaret McSpadden and retired Air Force Col. William Thomas, both residents at [Read More...]

Homily for January 1, 2012: Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God

[Click here for readings] A lot of us had our travel interrupted over the holidays – flight delays, cancellations, weather problems.  But none, I think, can compare with the story of Msgr. Steve Rossetti. Msgr. Rossetti is a priest from the Diocese of Syracuse.  He teaches at Catholic University but every couple years, he goes [Read More...]

The next big reality TV star just might be a priest

He’s Father Steve Porter, from California (of course!) and he’s getting a lot of buzz for a series now in development. From a press release on the program: The Rev. Steve Porter of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and Derek Christopher of Lighthouse Blues Productions have spent the last year filming, editing and pitching [Read More...]

It’s still Christmas, so let’s keep the carols going…

One of my favorites, from an old PBS special.  (The CD of this is a holiday perennial around our house.)  Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Staade and “Gesu Bambino,” conducted by Andre Previn. Has anyone ever done this better?  I don’t think so. [Read more...]

“How beautiful, the hands that serve”: a moving ordination slideshow

A couple weeks back, I posted on the diaconal ordination of Sean Suckiel.  Below is a lovingly produced slideshow of the event, which also includes his profession of faith and Deacon Sean’s first vespers/Benediction. [Read more...]

“The joy of quiet”

Who doesn’t crave that, especially this time of year? It turns out, we not only crave it, we need it. From author Pico Iyer, in this Sunday’s New York Times: LAST year, I flew to Singapore to join the writer Malcolm Gladwell, the fashion designer Marc Ecko and the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister in addressing [Read More...]

Quote of the day, on deacons

Actually, this quote comes from a blog posting last week, but I just discovered it today (thank you, Deacon Scott Dodge!). From Deacon Bob Yerhot’s blog Catholic Faith and Reflections: Diaconal ministry is not about always doing more. It is about doing what is right in front of you with the grace of the diaconate. [Read More...]

“This is my story”: Ben Breedlove’s astonishing testimony

The teenager died Christmas Day, just a week after making the brief videos below.  Read more about his life here and here. But watch these two brief YouTube clips (which have become a phenomenon on the Internet). They are his legacy — moving, heartbreaking, but ultimately luminous and full of hope. Eternal rest grant unto [Read More...]

Divorce, Italian style: couple splits after 77 years

Would counseling have helped? Better pre-Cana? Details: The Italian man, identified by lawyers in the case only as Antonio C, was rifling through an old chest of drawers when he made the discovery a few days before Christmas. Notwithstanding the time that had elapsed since the betrayal, he was so upset that he immediately confronted [Read More...]


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