"Soon, it's gonna rain…"

As we get ready for Irene, here’s a favorite song from a favorite show, “The Fantasticks.”  This is a clip from the seldom-seen movie version, from 1995.  It features Jean Louisa Kelly, who is probably better known as the chipper wife, Kim, on the long-running sitcom “Yes, Dear.” Who knew she could sing? [Read more...]

Homily for August 28, 2011: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

You may have heard: we’re about to get a little rain. I’ve been following the stories in the paper and on TV.  They’re encouraging people to be prepared.  I made the mistake of going to Walgreens last night.  It was packed with people.   Stores around the area report that they have run out of batteries, [Read More...]

Do you still have to attend Mass during a hurricane? — UPDATE

A friend from my parish called, wondering if there was any policy about Mass and bad weather, or if any of the three dioceses in our region had issued a statement on Hurricane Irene. Here’s what I found. All three have  statements on their websites from their respective bishops. From Nicholas DiMarzio in Brooklyn: “In [Read More...]

Earth, your hurricane is showing

In space, no one can hear you scream. The pictures below, from our friends at NASA.  You can see more shots of Irene here. I stopped by Walgreens to get some odds and ends this afternoon, which turned out to be a terrible idea. (You can never have too much dental floss or deodorant!) My [Read More...]

Hurricane? What hurricane?

Clouds are scuttling across a beautiful blue sky here in New York City. But batten down the hatches.  Stay tuned.  Things could get interesting in the next day or so. Meantime, take it away, Lena. [Read more...]

Census shows divorce rate higher in the south

Why is that?  Some details: While the Bible Belt is known for its devotion to traditional values, Southerners don’t do so well on one key family value: They are more likely to get divorced than people living in the Northeast. Southern men and women had higher rates of divorce in 2009 than their counterparts in [Read More...]

Funniest joke?

The winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s Best Joke award, by Nick Helm: “I needed a password eight characters long, so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” Are you in stitches yet? Read the other winners. [Read more...]

Nevermind: Catholic school won't host Ramadan dinner

But it will take place at another location, according to reports out of Cincinnati: Mother of Mercy, a Catholic girls high school, complied with a request from Archbishop Dennis Schnurr and backed out of hosting an interfaith Ramadan dinner at the school Friday night. Instead, the dinner will be held in the Catholic Center at [Read More...]

Boston posts list of accused priests

It happened Thursday afternoon.  Details, from the Boston Globe. Nearly 10 years after a worldwide clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted in the Boston Archdiocese, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley today released a long-awaited roster of 159 archdiocesan clerics who have been accused of sexually abusing children. But O’Malley’s action was immediately criticized by Attorney General Martha [Read More...]

Bishops: "An economy that cannot provide employment…is broken"

The United States bishops yesterday released their annual statement for Labor Day: “This Labor Day, the economic facts are stark and the human costs are real: millions of our sisters and brothers are without work, raising children in poverty and haunted by fears about their economic security,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California in [Read More...]

What's it like to be a deacon with the pope?

This guy knows: Just under a month ago I was having supper with a friend when a text message arrived from Fr Stephen Langridge. “James,” it said, “I’ve arranged for you to read the Gospel at the welcoming ceremony for the Pope at WYD. Let me know if that’s a problem.” Once I had regained [Read More...]

Flashback: Steve Jobs introduces the Mac in 1984

Lest we forget: a little piece of history-in-the-making, as Steve Jobs (pre-turtleneck and jeans) lets the Mac out of the bag, and the public gets its first glimpse at a little machine that will rock the world. [Read more...]

NY Times: "Every faith holds beliefs that seem bizarre"

Bill Keller of the New York Times is wondering what some of the 2012 presidential candidates believe when it comes to matters of faith. But I can’t escape the feeling that he’s using his column as an excuse not just to question, but to sneer: This year’s Republican primary season offers us an important opportunity [Read More...]

Florida bishops on death penalty: "Killing someone because they killed diminishes respect for life"

“An execution re-opens the emotional wounds of victim’s families and does not bring back or honor their loved one. True peace can only be achieved by forgiveness. Killing someone because they killed diminishes respect for life and promotes a culture of violence and vengeance. We affirm the right and duty of the State to assure [Read More...]

What the pope will find in Rio in '13: fewer Catholics

The numbers are dwindling, according to this report: Catholic numbers in Brazil strongly declined among all classes in recent years, according to a study released as Rio de Janeiro is slated to host the Catholic World Youth Day in July 2013. Published Wednesday in local media, the results of the “New Map of Religions,” a [Read More...]

NYC mayor: no prayer at 9/11 memorial service

Incredible, but true: The atheists aren’t the only ones making a stink about the goings-on at Ground Zero; the former Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani is lambasting Mayor Bloomberg for excluding religion from the upcoming 10th anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center. “This is America, and to have a memorial service where there’s no [Read More...]

More men asking about becoming military chaplains

Are vocations to chaplaincy on the rebound?  Last week, the Archdiocese for Military Services issued a release that indicates that could be the case: Father Kerry Abbott, OFM Conv., Director of Vocations, said, “This is one of the ‘untold stories’ of the blessings of the Holy Spirit upon the Church and those Faithful fervently seeking to [Read More...]

Reports: Chinese priests detained

From the Associated Press: A number of priests and laymen in China’s underground Catholic church have been detained in the country’s northwest in a struggle over the appointment of a new bishop, overseas reports said Wednesday. Catholic news agencies AsiaNews and ucanews said security officials rounded up men from the underground community in the city [Read More...]


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