A "dying breed": nuns disappearing from hospitals

Given the dwindling vocations, this shouldn’t be a shock.  But it’s sad news nonetheless: When Sister Mary Jean Ryan entered the convent as a young nurse in 1960, virtually every department of every Catholic hospital was run by a nun, from pediatrics to dietary to billing. After her retirement on July 31 as the chief [Read More...]

Sacred transformation: another wedding story

You might consider this the flip side of the story I posted yesterday, courtesy Fr. Dwight Longenecker.  He approached a wedding ceremony the same way I approach baptisms, by first reminding those present of what is really about to occur and underscoring the solemnity of the occasion. The results, I think, speak for themselves: As [Read More...]

"Let's get out there and scratch that surface!"

When I first joined CBS News in 1982, typing and answering phones in the Washington bureau, one of the first calls I picked up was from New York, from a producer who said his name was “Elaine Benardos.”  Well, it was my first day on the job, and that was my first big blunder.   It [Read More...]

It's the Circle of Laughs

From those whacky folks at Disney, “Bloopers and Outtakes” from the new “The Lion King” DVD. [Read more...]

"These news media don't provide trustworthy information about religious faith…"

“In the United States, our battles over abortion, family life, same-sex ‘marriage,’ and other sensitive issues have led to ferocious public smears and legal threats not only against Catholics, but also against Mormons, evangelicals, and other religious believers. And with relatively few exceptions, the mass media tend to cover these disputed issues with a combination [Read More...]

There goes the bride

Every priest or deacon can tell you a wedding story — and the protagonist is usually the bride.  Here’s mine. File this under “Things They Don’t Tell You About in Deacon School” … The background:  I inherited a wedding in my parish from a foreign priest who was called back to his home diocese in [Read More...]

"Live the years of your formation in deep joy…"

The pope spoke to seminarians in Spain today — and his words carry a message, I think, for deacon candidates, too: Dear friends, you are preparing yourselves to become apostles with Christ and like Christ, and to accompany your fellow men and women along their journey as companions and servants. How should you behave during [Read More...]

Tacky. Shameless. Offensive. Sick.

Those are just a few of the words I’d use to describe this cynical stunt: a special wine commemorating the 9/11 terror attacks, for $19.11 a bottle. It gets worse: The wines, produced by Lieb Family Cellars, are a 9/11 Memorial Commemorative Merlot, which the winery’s website says is barrel-fermented, and a 9/11 Memorial Commemorative [Read More...]

"Evangelical Catholicism"?

John Allen says it’s on abundant display in Madrid: “Evangelical Catholicism” is a term being used to capture the Catholic version of a 21st century politics of identity, reflecting the long-term historical transition in the West from Christianity as a culture-shaping majority to Christianity as a subculture, albeit a large and influential one. I define [Read More...]

What about the families of former Anglican priests?

A few months back, I posted an item about one Anglican clergyman’s leap of faith, and questions surrounding how he would support his family once he became a Catholic priest. This morning, National Catholic Register has more about him, and others like him: When Father Ian Hellyer, a Catholic priest in England, figures his personal [Read More...]

Caught on tape: riot police clash with anti-pope protesters in Madrid

Details, from AFP: Spanish riot police clashed for a second night with protesters as Pope Benedict XVI’s lavish visit inspired a rapturous reception from pilgrims but deep resentment over the costs. Anti-riot police late Thursday swung batons to disperse about 150 protesters, seething over the scale of the party, who had gathered in the central [Read More...]

Philadelphia prepares for return of suspended priests

It was big news when they were removed from ministry in March.  Now, the Archdiocese has issued an update: As a wave of discontent ripples among its priests, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Thursday described its contact with 26 clerics suspended over past allegations of child sex abuse or misconduct and said it hoped to [Read More...]

Flashback: a classic moment of inspiration by Tony Melendez

CNS blogger Emma Lulgard reports that the legendary performer sang Thursday at World Youth Day in Madrid — which, of course, brought back for some of us vivid memories of Tony Melendez’s stunning performance for Pope John Paul (and a much younger Roger Mahony) in Los Angeles in September 1987.  Just watch. This performance — [Read More...]

California seeks removal of crosses from public land

They’re a landmark in southern California, and they could soon be gone, according to news reports: The state intends to remove three crosses, which have stood for decades and possibly close to a century, from a vista point near Julian because of complaints lodged this summer about the religious symbols being on public property. The [Read More...]

Bishops: let undocumented immigrants have driver's licenses

It’s the bishops of New Mexico, and they wrote about it yesterday. Details: Allowing undocumented immigrants living in New Mexico to have a driver’s license if they can provide a valid ID is a matter of “mercy, fairness and safety,” said the state’s three Catholic bishops. “We are in favor of allowing individuals without Social [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words, WYD edition

Pilgrims at World Youth Day in Madrid get a peek at the pope. H/T Catholic Vote [Read more...]

Meet a Christian professional soccer team

They’re called the Charlotte Eagles, the team logo includes a prominent cross, and they proudly say their number one mission is saving souls. Details: With 12 minutes left in the game, the Charlotte Eagles are losing 2-0. The North Carolina humidity hangs thick in the evening air. The home crowd becomes restless as the opposing [Read More...]

Survey: most U.S. Catholics don't know about upcoming liturgy changes

The new edition of the Roman Missal is set to debut in just a few weeks — many parishes will begin using new music settings next month — but a lot of people, evidently, are still in the dark: A new survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown [Read More...]


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