My Holy Saturday

A drizzly, miserable spring morning here in New York.  Sloshed through puddles to the church for 9:30 coffee and bagels with the RCIA crew, followed by rehearsal for the Easter Vigil.  I got to meet The Candle and try it out for size. It’s big.  Really really big. One of the priests walked everyone through [Read More...]

Homily for April 23, 2011: Easter Vigil

Several years ago, the PBS series “American Masters” decided to profile a true American master, Don Hewitt, the creator and executive producer of 60 MINUTES.   And the reporter asked him, what is the secret of the show’s success?  How has it endured for four decades as one of the top rated shows in America? And [Read More...]

My Good Friday

It was busy. “Mary’s Way of the Cross” at 1 pm, led by me and my wife and accompanied by about 15 altar servers;  incredibly, we had a packed church, close to a thousand people.  Then, the liturgy commemorating the Lord’s Passion at 3, and again at 7:30.  The 7:30 liturgy included a spellbinding performance [Read More...]

"It is accomplished"

This is one to watch again and again, every Good Friday: the last nine minutes of “The Passion of the Christ.” [Read more...]

What Christ saw from the cross …

A stunning, haunting image by the great James Tissot… [Read more...]

Good Friday 2011: The Way of the Cross at the Colosseum

The Vatican has posted online the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum, composed by Sr. Maria Rita Piccione, to be led tonight by Pope Benedict. TWELFTH STATION Jesus dies on the cross Jesus experiences his death as a gift of love V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. R/. Because by [Read More...]

"Where are you going? Can you take me with you?"

A little Good Friday meditation for you, from the movie of “Godspell” … [Read more...]

My Holy Thursday

Jesus, moved tonight to a temporary altar erected in the middle of our church.  (Click to enlarge the pictures). This was accomplished with a beautiful candlelight processional around the darkened church, complete with Pange Lingua Gloriosi… Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s Glory, Of His flesh the myst’ry sing: Of the Blood, all price exceeding, Shed [Read More...]

Further proof that no one knows anything

Totally off topic, but awfully interesting …and, I think, even inspiring. I stumbled on this intriguing account of a meeting between Walt Disney and a focus group of amusement park owners who, in the early 1950s, were given the first look at plans for Disneyland.    What did they think of it? Not much: Walt’s [Read More...]

"Here is where you see the true image of Christ…"

For a Holy Thursday meditation, a blast from the past … A few nights ago, The History Channel showed a documentary in which scientists attempted to create what may be the most realistic 3-D image of the face of Christ. They spent many months on the project, using sophisticated computer technology to craft the image [Read More...]

"Jesus took a towel…"

This hymn is sung every Holy Thursday at my parish during the mandatum, the washing of the feet.  It remains one of my favorites.  I haven’t been able to find a recording of it — until now. Here’s “Jesus Took a Towel,” by the late great Trappist composer Chrysogonus Waddell (who lived at the Abbey [Read More...]

"Do you mind if I kneel for communion?" — UPDATED

A young woman approached me before mass on Palm Sunday to ask that question. I replied, “Of course not.  That’s fine.”  She smiled sheepishly and said, “I know some priests don’t like it.”   I reassured it that it was okay, and she later came to my communion station, knelt, and received on the tongue. [Read More...]

Priest who paid for abortions will not be excommunicated

I’m sure there must be a good explanation for this — but I haven’t yet found one. Details: The Archdiocese of Barcelona has announced that it has no plans to excommunicate Rev. Manuel Pousa i Engroñat, having found that the Catholic priest had not had any “primary complicity” in an abortion performed on a young [Read More...]

Spy Wednesday, Judas, and us

Tomorrow begins the Triduum, but today is “Spy Wednesday,” when Judas set in motion the events that would lead to Christ’s passion. I reflect on what that means for all of us in this week’s column, “All Things New”: If you want to consider this merely a curious date that stands outside the proper of [Read More...]

Deacons on Broadway?

Well, whaddya know? From the new Broadway musical version of “Sister Act.“ Deacons merit a mention in the lyrics to a big production number “Sunday Morning Fever”: Spread the news! It’s time to rock the pews! We’ve got the Sunday morning fever! It’s a sound that turns your soul around until it makes you a [Read More...]

Brilliant: the Royal Wedding we'd all love to see

Spot on, as usual, from the geniuses at T-Mobile (the company that almost single-handedly added the phrase “flash mob” to our vocabulary). Check out this inspired take that manages to satirize YouTube, the Windsors and our infatuation with all things royal, all at once. [Read more...]

Exquisite love, exquisite heartbreak: the last testament of Dom Christian

He was one of the monks beheaded by Muslim extremists in Algiers in 1996 — the basis of the story retold in the acclaimed film “Of Gods and Men.”   Heather King yesterday posted his last testament, written a couple of years earlier, when he began to sense that the monks’ mission in Tibrihine might [Read More...]

Life inside the pope's apartment

The good people at TIME magazine have thoughtfully translated and posted a piece from the Italian daily La Stampa, which gives a glimpse inside Pope Benedict’s private world. Snip: Pope Benedict XVI isn’t alone in his apartment at the Vatican. Four “guardian angels” help him, and recently there has been an addition to the personnel [Read More...]