“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…”

Last week, my colleague at CNEWA, Fr. Guido Gockel, delivered a speech in Washington that looked at the problems of the Holy Land in a striking, thought-provoking way. A snip: When we look at the Holy Land from a political point of view, I don’t know what is happening. Recently a senator friend told me [Read More...]

“Show me the data”

Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the USCCB is continuing to hold HHS’s feet to the fire, regarding the way it denied grants to Catholic organizations. The latest: When Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise yelled “Show me the money” in the movie Jerry Maguire, it was funny. When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) cries [Read More...]

Buffalo parish discovers hidden letters to God from children

From Buffalo comes this surprising story of a discovery that is reminding a parish of its past — and offering hope for its future: They were letters to God, written by schoolchildren more than a century ago. And since being discovered concealed in a cross atop Corpus Christi Catholic Church on Clark Street, they continue [Read More...]

Pope is #7 on Forbes list of world’s most powerful people

He’s right between King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud and Ben Bernanke. As Forbes notes: The spiritual leader to one-sixth of the world’s population–1.2 billion souls–delivers the final word on matters of abortion, gay marriage, female priests and, most recently, Occupy Wall Street. In October the Vatican called for a supranational authority to oversee [Read More...]

Cardinal’s advice: spice up your homilies

Tired of dull sermons?  So is a high-ranking official at the Vatican. Details: Roman Catholic priests have been told to inject ‘scandal’ into their sermons by a senior official from the Vatican. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said priests needed to liven up their often ‘dull’ sermons with the scandalous parts from the Bible. Cardinal Ravasi, the [Read More...]

Behold, I make all things new: an Anglican order of nuns becomes Catholic

Details, from the Baltimore Sun: The Archdiocese of Baltimore added a new religious order of nuns Tuesday, its first in decades and one that began as an Anglican community. The All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor left the Episcopal Church for the Roman Catholic Church two years ago. By a decree from the Vatican, they [Read More...]

But who’s counting? — UPDATED

A commenter in another post noted that his parish keeps track of how many confessions are heard on any given weekend, and then publishes the tally in the Sunday bulletin. Color me surprised. This is something new to me.  Parishes routinely announce other sacraments — baptisms, weddings, even confirmations — but I’ve never heard of [Read More...]

Before and after: how to renovate a Catholic church — UPDATED

I stumbled upon this today: pictures of a beautifully executed renovation at Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis, a church that offers frequent celebration of the Latin Mass.  (Indeed, here’s one curiosity: in the renovation, it doesn’t appear that the priest is able to face the congregation.) The first picture is the church from 2004.  The [Read More...]

What can you do with an old Sacramentary?

A few people have wondered about what to do with the old liturgical books on November 26.  (At my parish, the sacristan cracked the other day that we should just keep them and wait another 40 years or so until another generation of liturgical experts decides to bring them back…)  But the USCCB, meantime, offers [Read More...]

Is the Obama White House anti-Catholic?

After looking at the controversial dispute over some HHS funding that has made headlines, one writer takes a closer look: You can argue Catholic bishops have a legitimate beef with HHS on this grant, but the Obama administration has not exactly put the freeze on Catholic groups or turned its back on engaging Catholic organizations. [Read More...]

Ordination update: 6 new deacons for San Bernardino

From the bishop’s office comes the following e-mail: The Diocese of San Bernardino welcomes six new permanent deacons ordained Saturday morning at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Chino Hills, California.  Most Rev. Rutilio J. del Riego, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino, was the ordaining prelate.  The six new deacons are all [Read More...]

How long is your confession line?

That’s the interesting question that Rambling Follower is asking this weekend — and the RF provides one answer from her own experience: Over the past month, at our new parish, we have encountered something new: long lines for the confessional. The other week, it took me more than an hour to have my turn. This [Read More...]

Report: German Church involved in marketing porn, with bishops’ knowledge

Details: Germany’s biggest Catholic-owned publishing house has been rocked by disclosures that it has been selling thousands of pornographic novels with titles such as Sluts Boarding School and Lawyer’s Whore with the full assent of the country’s leading bishops. The revelations made in the publishing-industry newsletter Buchreport concern Weltbild, a company with an annual NZ$3bn [Read More...]

Andy Rooney, RIP

Another broadcasting legend is gone. Here is a timely classic — and one we can all agree with — on that most wonderful time of the year, Christmas. For the curious, CBS News has compiled some of his best clips, including his very first commentary, at this link. [Read more...]

“People go where they find something that appeals to them”

Having recently posted an item on what’s wrong with American parishes, I thought I’d post a story about someone who is doing something right.  A paper in Erie profiles a priest who is helping to rejuvenate a parish, and part of his effort includes preaching: Monsignor Henry Kriegel spent a decade in California parishes where [Read More...]

Prayer request for a deacon …

This came across my Facebook feed tonight, regarding a deacon from Omaha.  Please hold this man and his family in your prayers: URGENT: Please keep Deacon Rob Jergovic and family in your prayers. Rob suffered a heart attack this past weekend. He had 5x bypass. But did not recover well from it. He is in critical [Read More...]

“Everyone is creative”

From a friend’s FB page, via The Naked Pastor, who writes: Do something. Draw something. Paint something. Cook something. Write something. Sing something. Say something. Dance something. Give something. Make something. Break something. Shout something. Demonstrate something. Carve something. Kiss someone. Hug someone. Challenge someone. Help someone. Visit someone. Hear someone. Bless someone. Write someone. [Read More...]

UPDATE: Author of controversial column on gays quits

After the column was pulled from the website of The Pilot, it drew even more attention and controversy. From the AP: The author of a newspaper column suggesting the devil may be responsible for homosexuality has resigned from his job with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. A spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic bishops said [Read More...]