Remember, you are smudged

This year’s ashy portrait, courtesy Fr. Antonin: [Read more...]

“Long have I waited for your coming home to me…”

I’m sure I’ll hear this Ash Wednesday staple sung multiple times at our parish’s Masses today. Here, a beautiful rendition of a beautiful hymn (written by Gregory Norbet), performed by John Michael Talbot. [Read more...]

A sure sign that it’s Lent

You start to see commercials like this… [Read more...]

Homily for February 22, 2012: Ash Wednesday

[Click here for readings] Click the green tab below to hear this homily as it was delivered at 8 a.m. Mass. When I was in high school, I had an English teacher by the name of Mrs. Comberiatti.   She was a quiet, tiny little woman, very young, but surprisingly strict.  I spent most of the [Read More...]

For only the second time, the son of a deacon becomes a bishop

Whispers has the scoop on Bishop-elect George Sheltz: His father a permanent deacon, according to an official release, the bishop-elect would become the second deacon’s son to be raised the episcopacy on these shores, following the Washington auxiliary Barry Knestout, who was ordained in late 2008. And there’s this statement from the son-of-a-deacon: I am sad [Read More...]

“Let us pray to set the world ablaze…”

Almost a year ago, we began the Easter season with a roaring fire at the door of the Church – we re-lived the creation of the universe, and it exploded into hundreds of points of light: small, bright candles that were held by every one in the church. We sang: “Christ Our Light, thanks be [Read More...]

Hospital administrator, lawyer…and deacon

From Gary, Indiana comes this profile of a deacon serving the people of God in so many ways, I have to wonder when the guy sleeps: While Tom Gryzbek may have diverged from his original plan to become a priest, he has found his own ways to serve as a hospital administrator, lawyer and deacon. [Read More...]

When Benedict met Shirley

Cardinal Dolan took his mother to meet the pope yesterday: Capping a whirlwind nine-day trip with a final visit to the Vatican, Timothy Cardinal Dolan introduced his 84-year-old mom to Pope Benedict XVI yesterday — then jokingly asked the pontiff if he could make her “the first lady of the College of Cardinals.” Amid cheers [Read More...]

Meet Mitt Romney’s Catholic connection

He’s a former prosecutor who keeps a statue of Mary on his desk — and he’s trying to woo Catholics and Evangelicals to the Romney cause. Details: The response seemed to defy the rough-and-tumble rules of modern politics. One of the nation’s most prominent opponents of same-sex marriage, Maggie Gallagher, had just told aides to [Read More...]

The myth and the reality of the “Catholic vote”

Author Stephen S. Schneck, from Catholic University, argues that there are actually several different kinds of Catholic voters: While there is not an obvious Catholic vote on the macro scale, there are three discreet “Catholic votes” that really matter in American elections. The first of these is Latino Catholics.  Over the last three decades, Latino [Read More...]

A must-read for this President’s Day

A huge h/t to The Anchoress for bringing this to my attention.  It drives home, with blinding clarity, the fact that the issue of the HHS mandate is not about contraception.  I mentioned that when I preached on this topic some weeks back, and it cannot be said enough.  This goes far beyond pills and [Read More...]

Cardinal Dolan: “I’ll return home a cardinal, but I’m still a sinner”

New York’s new cardinal shared some thoughts on his new title in an exclusive column in this morning’s New York Post (which put the archbishop on its front page yesterday, below). Take it away, Cardinal Dolan: Most people have heard the famous story of Christ washing the feet of his apostles at the Last Supper. [Read More...]

Tailoring the message: how preachers adapt to different audiences

From Abilene, KS comes this intriguing look at how preachers of various denominations — including Catholic — sometimes adjust their sermons, depending on the congregation: For churches with more than one Sunday worship service, the sermon doesn’t change much from one service to the next. While the basic message stays the same, there are subtle [Read More...]

Report: Catholic hospitals across country performing sterilizations

From the Philadelphia Inquirer: U.S. Catholic bishops have vowed to fight the Obama administration’s compromise on insurance coverage for contraception and sterilization, denouncing it as “coercive,” “insulting,” “unconstitutional,” “belligerent,” and “dangerous.” Yet there is evidence the sterilization services the bishops oppose have been provided by many Catholic hospitals across the country, including a few in [Read More...]

How will they convert the Crystal Cathedral?

It’s a question a lot of people are pondering these days, and Terry Mattingly chatted recently with a leading church architect who’s given it some serious attention: ”It would be hard to imagine a more symbolic project than this one,” said Matthew Alderman, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s classical design program and [Read More...]

“The Love of Christ urges us on”

During our trip last week, we visited the Basilica Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe, just outside Disney World, and I noticed this unusual crest hanging in the narthex: The Latin translates as “The Love of Christ urges us on.” And the predominant image just above that is Joseph, Mary and Jesus journeying to [Read More...]

What happened when a church opened its doors during the Super Bowl

Remember St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis?  They launched an extraordinary hospitality campaign during the Super Bowl, opening their doors to anyone and everyone. How’d it go? Take a look. [Read more...]

Vocations surging in Great Britain

Some happy news from across the pond: A few years ago he was a roadie with a band, living what he admits was a rock’n’roll lifestyle. Today, 42-year-old Rob Hunt is training for the Catholic priesthood in a seminary in central London. It’s a very different way of life from what he’s been used to. [Read More...]


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