When the preacher can’t preach

What can you do about bad preaching? I wondered about that recently, after hearing from two different priests, from two different corners of the country, who expressed frustration at deacons whose homilies in their estimation just aren’t up to snuff. “It was dismal,” one pastor wrote about his deacon’s homily.  “He preached, as always, far [Read More...]

Could you eat on less than $5 a day?

Recently, a lot of people did — and some of them didn’t even have to. They took part in the Food Stamp Challenge, to experience what it’s like to live on a food stamp budget.  Here in New York, several people involved with Catholic Charities blogged about the experience.  It’s eye-opening. The ground rules: 1. [Read More...]

Ordination update: 6 new deacons in Archeparchy of Pittsburgh

Some news from the East!  (Well, actually, Pennsylvania…).  You can read the details here. Who’s who, below. His Grace Bishop Gerald N. Dino (center), Eparch of Phoenix, ordained six men of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh to the Holy Diaconate on Sunday, Oct. 9. The ordinations with hierarchical Divine Liturgy took place at the Cathedral of [Read More...]

Bishops call for one date for Easter

The subject comes up periodically, and it was broached again during a meeting in Lebanon this week: Catholic bishops in the Orient called Thursday for a common Easter holiday across the Christian churches to boost unity within the religion. The exact date of Easter changes from year-to-year based on the movement of the moon, and [Read More...]

The spirituality of Springsteen

That was the topic of an unusual workshop held last month at  St. Barnabas parish in New Jersey last month, where  Augustinian friar Fr. Kevin Keelan spoke about the religious threads running through the writings of Bruce Springsteen.  (One of those in attendance was Springsteen’s mother, Adele, shown above with the priest.) From the Trenton [Read More...]

The woman behind one of the most familiar voices in the world

Now it can be revealed: the woman heard by millions around the world at airports, train stations and on subway platforms. [Read more...]

Bishops add two new memorials to U.S. calendar

Details: The U.S. bishops approved adding optional memorials for Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed Marianne Cope to the U.S. Proper of Saints calendar. The memorials were discussed and approved on Nov. 15 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops during their fall General Assembly, which was held in Baltimore. By a vote [Read More...]

Dolan on Obama meeting: “Extraordinarily friendly”

The head of the USCCB spoke with reporters the other day about his recent meeting at the White House. Details: The standoff between the White House and the nation’s Catholic bishops over gay marriage and other hot-button issues may be easing after a quiet Oval Office meeting between President Obama and the head of the [Read More...]

Bishop Finn strikes deal, avoids indictment

Details from the Kansas City Star: Bishop Robert Finn on Tuesday avoided a possible criminal misdemeanor indictment in his handling of a priest facing child pornography charges by agreeing to enter into a diversion program with the Clay County prosecutor. Authorities have pledged not to prosecute Finn, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas [Read More...]

Study: 3% of Catholics left over the sex abuse scandals

An interesting observation, from the New York Times (h/t Marcel): A survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted in 2008 found that Americans who had left Catholicism had done so for many reasons, including unhappiness with the church’s position on abortion or homosexuality, disagreement with teachings on birth control, and the feeling [Read More...]

Play ball: Cincinnati opening day moved from Good Friday

You may remember the controversy from some weeks back.  Well, now there’s an update: A looming conflict between a religious holiday and a yearly tradition has been avoided. The Cincinnati Reds announce the 2012 Opening Day game will be played Thursday, April 5 at 4:10pm vs. the Miami Marlins at Great American Ball Park. The [Read More...]

Pamela Anderson to play Mary in Christmas special

That would be the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus (seen above in a promotional picture). Details: Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, famed for nude photo shoots and a homemade porn video withTommy Lee, is to play mother Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms on Canadian TV this Christmas. Anderson, a native of Canada, will headline A [Read More...]

From horror to hope: Gabby Giffords’ long journey back

Did you see the special edition of “20/20″ last night?  I was riveted, moved and ultimately uplifted.  It told the story of Gabby Giffords’ arduous journey back after being shot in the head last January, and featured her first interview, with Diane Sawyer.  The entire episode is now available online at this link. It’s a [Read More...]

Obama “turns his back on Catholics”

Washington Post opinion writer (and former Bush speechwriter) Michael Gerson is adding his voice to the growing chorus of critics who charge the Obama White House is betraying its Catholic supporters: In 2009, the University of Notre Dame set off months of intra-Catholic controversy by inviting a champion of abortion rights to deliver the school’s [Read More...]

The Digest goes digital

Among the various hats I wear, one is as an editorial advisor to Deacon Digest magazine, the only   publication for and about deacons in the United States. I was delighted to discover today that they have recently revamped their website, and put most (all?) of the current issue online. The November issue is devoted [Read More...]

Study: Catholic men are better paid

Okay.  Show me the money. Details: Catholicism, with all its attendant ceremony, piety and guilt, may well trump a good Protestant work ethic when it comes to earnings potential, according to the authors of a new study. Catholic men between 25 and 54 years were found to benefit from a wage premium of 6.7 per [Read More...]

Pope will light world’s largest Christmas tree with an iPad

Take that, Rockefeller Center … [Read more...]

Go ahead. Take your time.

If I’d known that an extra nine minutes and 50 seconds could make such a difference, I would have  paced myself. Behold, a clever tribute to creativity — and taking your time. [Read more...]


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