Missouri enacts 72-hour waiting period for abortion

From The New York Times: The Republican-controlled Missouri legislature has enacted one of the most stringent waiting periods for women seeking abortions, overriding a veto by the state’s Democratic governor, Jay Nixon. The bill, which will take effect next month, increases to 72 hours, from 24, the amount of time a woman must wait to [Read More...]

Look who’s getting into “selfies” now!

CNS tweeted this shot this morning, announcing: This is being billed as “first ever #selfie with #PopeBenedict.” Taken by an Italian seminarian, Giuseppe Ricciardi. [Read more...]

Bridgeport Bishop Caggiano returns his residence to the seminary

From NCR:  As part of a series of diocesan changes, the bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., announced Tuesday plans to repurpose his nearly 9,000-square-foot home and possibly relocate his diocesan offices but said he will leave solutions to larger pastoral questions to Fairfield County’s first synod in 33 years. In a “state of the diocese” address [Read More...]

Pope will preside at wedding of Catholics living together, couples with children

From CNS:   Among the men and women Pope Francis was set to unite in marriage were Catholics who have been living together as well as couples who already have children.The pope, who is the bishop of Rome, will preside over his first wedding ceremony as pontiff during a nuptial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica [Read More...]

“We remember…”

Part of my homily for the ten year anniversary, on September 11, 2011: +++ I think perhaps that forgiveness – like conversion – is a journey.  The human heart isn’t necessarily converted over night.  We don’t all have that electrifying moment on the road to Damascus.  For many of us, it grows out of what Flannery [Read More...]

Argentine stadium to be named for Pope Francis

This may be a first for a pontiff. From the BBC: Argentine football club San Lorenzo has announced it will name its new stadium after Pope Francis. The pontiff has supported the Buenos Aires-based team since he was a boy. San Lorenzo, one of the oldest teams in the Argentine Football Association, is planning to [Read More...]

Fr. Mychal Judge’s last homily: 9/10/01

The now-famous first fatality of 9/11 delivered these remarks the day before he died, at FDNY Engine 73, Ladder 42, Bronx, NY.  *** Good morning, everyone.May the grace of God the Father, peace of God the Son, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.We come to this house this morning to celebrate renewal, rejuvenation, new [Read More...]

More on the seminarian ordained near death: “He will be serving the people of God in heaven”

For those who read this story yesterday and saw the poignant video, more details today from The Tennessee Register:  As William Carmona lay gravely ill in a San Antonio hospital bed, he repeatedly questioned his classmates from nearby Assumption Seminary: “Where is Bishop Choby?” “When will he get here?” And finally: “How many more hours [Read More...]

Must-see video: The fight ministry of Paul Burress, the “Pastor with a Punch”

As someone says in this video, “You’re the first really badass preacher I’ve met.” From The New York Times: “Can you love your neighbor as yourself and at the same time knee him in the face as hard as you can?” So wondered Pastor Paul Burress, as we interviewed him about his “fight ministry,” which [Read More...]

Why the seal of the confessional cannot be broken

From my blog neighbor Sam Sawyer, SJ, comes this must-read on the subject of confession:  I try not to make a habit of wading into swamps, but there’s something going on in Louisiana that should not be ignored. The state Supreme Court ruled that, once a penitent has waived confidentiality, what was discussed in the sacrament of [Read More...]

Egypt’s Grand Mufti condemns ISIS—UPDATED

Another important Muslim voice joins the chorus of condemnation: Egypt’s Grand Mufti on Monday condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying its horrific actions take it “far from Islam.” Last week leading Muslim institutions denounced ISIS’s killing Steven Sotloff, the second U.S. journalist to be executed by the jihadist group. Former Deputy Imam [Read More...]

Horror: nuns raped, murdered in Burundi

Details:  When 79-year-old Sister Bernadetta Boggian, of the Saverian order, called Father Mario Pulcini on Sunday afternoon to tell him that she had just discovered two of her elderly colleagues brutally raped and murdered in their convent in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, she had no idea she would face the same fate just nine [Read More...]

As another year of RCIA begins, meet some who have made the journey home

Here’s a story I suspect will resonate with many, from The Lowell Sun: A couple of years ago, Richard Lee of Billerica, a retired University of Massachusetts police officer, wasn’t enjoying his then-recent retirement. In fact, since a son died shortly after a premature birth 15 years before, his outlook on life wasn’t great. One day, [Read More...]

Pope names two Americans to key posts on sex abuse reform

From John Allen in Crux:  ​Two priests from the United States, one with ties to Chicago and the other a veteran of the Boston archdiocese, have been named to key Vatican roles by Pope Francis in his clean-up effort with regard to the Church’s child sexual abuse scandals. ​Fr. Robert Oliver, who served as a [Read More...]

Ordination update: 7 new deacons for Milwaukee

The photograph above arrived in my in box this morning with a note, from Deacon John A. Ebel, Director of the Office for Diaconate Formation in Milwaukee. He wrote: Seven new deacons [were] ordained Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Jerome E. [Read More...]

Pope sends condolences to family of Steven Sotloff

From Vatican Radio:   Pope Francis has expressed his sorrow for the death of slain US journalist Steven Sotloff, urging people everywhere to reject violence, aggression and lack of compassion. His words came in a telegram of condolences addressed to Sotloff’s family and signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Jesus has chosen sinners…he calls everyone!”

Some timely thoughts from Pope Francis in this morning’s homily:   Jesus is not a professor who speaks from the professor’s chair; rather, He goes among the people and lets them touch Him so that they can be healed. That was Pope Francis’ message at Mass this morning at Santa Marta. Commenting on the day’s [Read More...]

Ireland’s new “servant leader,” Archbishop Eamon Martin

Details:  The new leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has pledged to lead it through a process of “humble renewal” without trying “to make sure that it dominates politics and the State”. Archbishop Eamon Martin succeeded Cardinal Sean Brady as Primate of All Ireland yesterday, taking over a leadership role which covers the 26 [Read More...]