Message for today: Stop whining

“The enemy has taken most of the Church and turned them from prophets into a bunch of complainers – myself included. We spend more time complaining about life than prophesying the love and grace of God over it. It’s an interesting thing when we silence all our prophets and turn them into complainers because it [Read More...]

Teachers sue to observe Good Friday

From AP:  Teachers in Cranston, Rhode Island, have filed a lawsuit against the city’s school department after their requests to observe Good Friday were denied in a move they say violated their civil rights. About 200 teachers contacted the union to report that they were being prevented from taking the day off, although they had [Read More...]

After bookstore pulls “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Catholic college has it returned to the shelves

It happened last week at Boston College. The explanation, via The Boston Globe: BC spokesman Jack Dunn told us the decision to remove the book was made by Follett Corp., the Illinois-based company that operates the BC store (and about 950 other campus booksellers), not by BC. He said the school urged the company to reconsider its decision, reminding [Read More...]

U.N. says Pope Francis to visit on Sept. 25

From CNS: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announcement that Pope Francis would visit the United Nations the morning of Sept. 25 to address the U.N. General Assembly.In a statement March 18, the United Nations also said the pope would meet separately with the secretary-general and with the president of the General Assembly and would [Read More...]

SF cathedral dousing homeless with water to keep them from sleeping in doorways —UPDATED

That sound you hear is my mind, boggling. From KCBS:  KCBS has learned that Saint Mary’s Cathedral, the principal church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, has installed a watering system to keep the homeless from sleeping in the cathedral’s doorways. The cathedral, at Geary and Gough, is the home church of the Archbishop. There [Read More...]

A glimpse at Jeb Bush’s Catholic faith

From The New York Times:  Like his brother George W. Bush, who established the White House office on faith-based initiatives, Jeb Bush was a champion of faith-based social services. As governor, he established what he said was the nation’s first faith-based prison, encouraging religious activity — of any faith tradition — in an effort to reduce criminal behavior. And [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: AP’s correction on Robert Durst

Noted:  In the second item of the California 10th NewsMinute sent March 16 to users of the state broadcast wire, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Robert Durst is a member of a band. He is a real estate heir; Fred Durst is the former frontman of Limp Bizkit. Good to know. Image from Wikipedia [Read more...]

Knights of Columbus: false “smear campaign” forced them to withdraw from Boston parade

From Catholic News Agency:  The Massachusetts Knights of Columbus withdrew from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston on Sunday, saying that their motives for participating in the parade – which this year included a gay activist group – have been misrepresented.The Knights asked people to pray during the march in honor of St. Patrick, [Read More...]

Pope Francis: Who are you to shut the door of mercy?

From his homily this morning:  Pope Francis has again forcefully emphasized the Catholic church’s need to be merciful, pointedly asking who Christians that do not allow someone to renter the church community think they are. Speaking Tuesday during his daily homily at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Francis asked bluntly: “Who are you who shuts the door of your [Read More...]

City to dedicate portion of street to honor deacons

This may be unprecedented. Details from the Desert Dispatch in Barstow, California: For as long as Don Burgett can remember, he has answered the call to serve. Twenty-five years ago Burgett answered a special calling without hesitation. “I heard the calling from God,” Burgett said. “And I accepted the calling.” Burgett joined forces with Margarito [Read More...]

Catholic college board votes unanimously to decline federal funds: “Our Catholic identity might be further in danger”

From CNS:  Wyoming Catholic College, a Catholic university founded in 2005 in Lander, announced in late February that it “shall not participate in federal student loan programs.” The decision came after months of analysis and deliberations by the college and its board of directors. “While the financial benefits are undeniable,” said a news release, “the [Read More...]

Religion on the menu: how some restaurants make adjustments for Lent

An interesting insight from the pages of The Economist:  Drop into the McDonald’s branch in Syntagma, the central square of Athens, at this time of year and you will find that “fast food” has a double meaning. Along with the familiar burgers and fries, customers have the option of meals that conform with the dietary rules observed by Orthodox Christians during Lent: essentially vegan, [Read More...]

Take a look: “Keep it Catholic,” website for permanent deacons in New Zealand

This popped up on my radar screen this morning, and it’s worth a visit: “Keep it Catholic,” a fairly comprehensive website described as “an initiative of the Permanent Diaconate in the Catholic Diocese of Auckland, New Zealand.” The site has some valuable insight for all of us who serve as deacons, with essays and news and [Read More...]

“Why are white Catholics abandoning the Democratic Party?”

Patricia Miller tries to answer that question in Salon:  It’s one of the central contradictions of American politics: that there’s no such thing as the “Catholic vote,” yet the Catholics vote still matters. There’s no “Catholic vote” in terms of Catholics representing an electoral bloc that votes according to what their bishops tell them, or [Read More...]

Notre Dame to give Laetare Medal to Aaron Neville

The press release:  Aaron Neville, a four-time Grammy Award-winning singer and musician, will receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2015 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics, at Notre Dame’s 170th University Commencement ceremony May 17 (Sunday). “Aaron Neville proudly embraces and honors his faith through his God-given musical talents,” said Notre Dame’s [Read More...]

Two deacons make a mark on Christian radio

The Toledo Blade has a long look at the rise of Christian radio in Ohio—and spotlights Annunciation Radio and the two deacons who are bringing The Word to the air: Scan the radio dials in northwest Ohio and it won’t be long before you come across a religious song, sermon, lesson in Christian living, or [Read More...]

Suicide bomber attacks Catholic church in Pakistan

Details:  At least 10 people were killed and scores were injured Sunday when suicide bombers attacked a Catholic church in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, another act of violence against religious minorities here. According to initial reports, at least two suicide bombers tried to make it inside St. John’s Catholic Church but were stopped [Read More...]

After gay organizations are welcomed, Catholic group urges removal of St. Patrick’s name from Boston parade

From AP:  Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is making history as two gay and lesbian groups are being welcomed by the organizers after decades of opposition. The sponsoring South Boston Allied War Veterans Council has invited the gay military veterans group OutVets, and gay rights groups Boston Pride to join Sunday’s parade. Boston mayors have boycotted the event for [Read More...]