The “affirmative orthodoxy” of Archbishop Dolan

Now that he’s about to get the red hat, Archbishop Timothy Dolan is getting a closer look — and it sounds like a new book about him may be a good introduction: Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York is becoming the most visible Catholic churchman in the Western Hemisphere. He is also a down-to-earth [Read More...]

What are you praying for next year?

This year is only a few days old, but Pope Benedict has already posted his prayer intentions for 2013. Two that strike me as especially interesting: September General: That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters. October General: [Read More...]

Low-gluten hosts: the bread of life for those who can’t eat bread

An issue that is often overlooked in many parishes is now getting renewed attention — thanks, in part, to a deacon candidate from Chicago: After Stuart Heyes was diagnosed with celiac disease last year, he learned that a gluten-free diet would prevent the pain he experienced after meals, which he described as “like the food is having [Read More...]

Retired bookkeeper leaves $7.5 million to Catholic schools

Hot on the heels of this story, about a couple who left millions to the church, comes this item, which may be even more surprising: A former bookkeeper has left $7.5 million to Aquinas Catholic Schools in La Crosse — the largest donation in the schools’ history. James Kiffe was a 1942 graduate of Aquinas [Read More...]

Did you hear the one about the priest who’s a standup comic?

Seriously: The Rev. Britto Berchmans’ upcoming one-man show, “Centennial Chuckles,” is no joke, but the pastor of Park Ridge’s St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church hopes his comedy act produces plenty of laughs. “For too long people have thought church is kind of heavy and boring,” Berchmans said. “No, church is wonderful, and my [Read More...]

Mark Wahlberg as Thomas Merton?

Several years ago, while I was on retreat at Thomas Merton’s old monastery in Kentucky, his former secretary Br. Patrick Hart mentioned to me that some movie people were going to be dropping by for a visit.  He was bemused and thought they might be wanting to discuss a movie version of “The Seven Storey [Read More...]

Martin Luther King Jr.: “Love your enemies…love has redemptive power”

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and [Read More...]

Jolt: Texas bishop sues outspoken priest

Some may recall the story of Fr. Michael Rodriguez, from the Diocese of El Paso, who was promptly reassigned last fall after making some strong public statements — and taking out newspaper ads — condemning homosexual activity. Now there’s more, and it’s getting ugly: In a rare move, Catholic Bishop Armando X. Ochoa and Monsignor [Read More...]

Slim Tim: Doctor reveals that heavyweight church leader is on a diet

And he’s hoping the cardinal-designate will soon be a lesser man.  Details: Weight-loss guru Dr. Howard Shapiro tells us that Dolan, 61, has dropped approximately 25 pounds since he became a patient at his upper East Side practice in February 2011, and, he adds, he’d like to see the holy man double that figure in [Read More...]

Did they sing this at your parish today?

Given the readings, “Here I Am, Lord” is a natural.  We sang this at my place.  How about you? Here’s one of the prettiest versions I’ve heard, from a boys choir. [Read more...]

A hermitage gets a deacon

This is something a little unusual, and worth noting: a monk ordained a deacon for a small hermitage in Texas. Details: Brother Martin Mary’s first visit to the Mount Carmel Hermitage in Christoval touched his soul. A bright college kid from the Dallas-Fort Worth area with aspirations of attending medical school, Martin Mary spent an [Read More...]

Tebow didn’t win, but his bible verse still scored on TV

Maybe things didn’t turn out Saturday the way Tim Tebow might have hoped. But the gang at Focus on the Family used the big game to run the ad below — which, imho, is a winner. UPDATE: Melinda Henneberger in the Washington Post is less impressed: Though not exactly a Benetton commercial – I think [Read More...]

Dolan, the Big Cheese

As the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers prepare for tomorrow’s big game, it’s worth remembering, whimsically, the colorful headgear worn by a certain archbishop (now Cardinal-Designate) several years back, when he was newly ensconced in Milwaukee. Not everyone was charmed. But the man who would later be dubbed “America’s Pope” proved something: he [Read More...]

Homily for January 15, 2012: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] “What are you looking for?” That question at the heart of the gospel is one that some of us need a lifetime to answer.  And the answer can change.  Some of us are looking for a good job, a spouse, a family, a fulfilling career.  Some of us may be looking [Read More...]

A Vatican observer weighs in on Tim Tebow

The director of the “Church and Sport” section at the Pontifical Council for the Laity — yes, there is such a section at the Vatican — has offered a few thoughts on the Tim Tebow phenomenon. From ZENIT: Legionary of Christ Father Kevin Lixey works in the Roman Curia helping the Church make a contribution [Read More...]

Ka-ching: the salaries of clergy

One of the most common questions I get asked from the people in the pews is: “What does the parish pay you?”  The answer: Nada.  Zip. Zilch.  Zero.  I receive no salary from the parish.  I don’t get stipends for Masses, baptisms or weddings, either. Deacons are, in every sense, volunteers.  Our “outside” jobs support [Read More...]

Wouldn’t it be easier just to read it online?

How one man reads a newspaper and turns the pages… H/T New Advent. [Read more...]

Inside The Heights, exclusive school for conservative DC Catholics

The New York Times takes a look at the school where Rick Santorum sent two of his sons: Are your jackets on, boys?” Joe Cardenas inspects his charges in a first-period freshman humanities class, sees that they are all appropriately blazered and standing tall, bows his head and begins the morning Hail Mary: “Hail Mary, [Read More...]


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