New York Times spotlights Call to Action

The peg, ostensibly, is the rich Catholic history of America’s Second City.  But, of course, this being the Times, there’s more to it than that. Snip: It’s a long way from the Vatican to Roscoe Village, but a group based in that North Side neighborhood is leading a high-profile protest among American priests that challenges [Read More...]

World Youth Day? There's an app for that

And the Vatican announced it yesterday. Details: Pilgrims at next month’s Catholic World Youth Day in Madrid will have some high-tech help in their devotions, thanks to a new iPhone app unveiled at the Vatican on Friday (July 29). World Youth Day (WYD), an international gathering held every three years in a different city, will [Read More...]

Wanted: cowmonks

A monastery that once ran one of the largest ranching operations in North Dakota is planning to stop raising cattle. Details: A Roman Catholic monastery in western North Dakota is ending a century-old practice of raising cattle because of a lack of monks with cowboy skills. The Assumption Abbey in Richardton intends to sell its [Read More...]

Homily for July 31, 2011: 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

For the last few weeks, we’ve been hearing a series of parables from St. Matthew’s gospel: the story of the sower and the seed; the parable of the wheat and the weeds, the stories that have compared the Kingdom of God to a pearl of great price or a treasure in a field. While each [Read More...]

The paper people: when iCal just won't do

It sounds soooo 1985, but there is a loyal band of people who steadfastly refuse to give up their Filofaxes and DayRunners. Writer Pamela Paul has done a little anthropological study on this rare breed: Last month, I did something that not once in my 20 years as an overscheduled, neurotically punctual, paper-bound calendar keeper [Read More...]

Philadelphia monsignor, priests to be tried together

Details: A monsignor who is the only US church official ever charged with transferring pedophile priests to unsuspecting parishes will be tried alongside three priests and a lay teacher accused of rape, a judge ruled yesterday. Common Pleas Judge Lillian Ransom denied most pretrial requests made by Monsignor William Lynn, two current priests, a former [Read More...]

Ha!

Get a load of this: H/T to the jolly Frank Weathers, who has more here. Thanks, Frank.  I needed that. [Read more...]

Worth a thousand words: Norway remembers

The scene in Oslo today: It was a memorial service for the victims of last week’s attacks.  The first funerals were held today.  Read more here. [Read more...]

"We call them 'Chritches'"

Well, here’s a new word for my vocabulary.  If you can’t guess what it means, see below. An upcoming TV series is raising eyebrows, and blood pressures — and writer Cathleen Falsani has some thoughts on it: When ABC recently announced it had ordered a season’s worth of a new show based on the novel [Read More...]

More Germans leaving Catholic Church, fewer being baptized

The numbers are grim, but sadly unsurprising, given the bad news out of the German church last year. Details: The number of people leaving the Roman Catholic Church in Germany jumped by nearly 50 percent in 2010 as an abuse scandal widened, new data showed Friday. Some 181,000 people quit their memberships last year, up from 124,000 [Read More...]

The life of a priest: "Too much of a good thing"

At my parish, we’re in the middle of an annual novena to St. John Vianney, praying for vocations to the priesthood. It’s a beautiful tradition in our church; we begin the novena with a jubiliarian celebrating mass, and we conclude nine days later with a newly ordained priest, who also offers special individual blessings after [Read More...]

Clowns make annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico

And now for something completely different. This is news to me, but apparently they do this every year.  The copy accompanying the video says simply: Hundreds of clowns made their annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady Guadalupe in Mexico City to pay homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe. The artists are members of [Read More...]

Catholics to Boehner: "We urge you to honor the values of the Catholic Church you love…"

A group from the House Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio sent him a letter today, as the debt crisis continued. The letter says: As one of the most powerful Catholics in Congress, you are now faced with a monumental choice. You can heed the consistent moral calls from Catholic leaders who have urged [Read More...]

"The world is charged with the grandeur of God": Happy Birthday, Gerard Manley Hopkins

In tribute, a great poet reads a great poem by another great poet. Stanley Kunitz pays tribute.  The final lines remain among the most beautiful and hope-filled ever written.  Enjoy. [Read more...]

Walking "The Gospel Trail"

One of my happiest memories is a visit to the Holy Land that my wife and I undertook in 2000.  This brief video brought back some of that experience, describing a pilgrimage known as “The Gospel Trail,” centering around the world that Jesus would have known and the path he would have walked. Take a [Read More...]

"The Silence of Love": gorgeous, heart-wrenching ad from Thailand

Grab a Kleenex and take three minutes to watch this artful, heart-felt commercial for a life insurance company. [Read more...]

So just what, exactly, is an Apostolic Nuncio?

The sudden death of Pietro Sambi may have a few people wondering.  Sambi had a critical role in planning Pope Benedict’s trip to the U.S. (below) in 2008.  But that’s just the beginning. A good explanation, from the USCCB: The nuncio is the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States.  (The United States and the Holy [Read More...]

Bishops to Congress: protect "the least of these"

As Washington confronts a potential economic catastrophe, two bishops sought to keep attention on those who are often forgotten. From the USCCB web site: In a July 26 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York, called on Congress to [Read More...]


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