What's the secret of a successful parish?

New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan has the answer. From his blog: “What makes this place tick?”  I quizzed the exuberant pastor as he showed me around the parish, renowned for its high rate of Sunday Mass attendance; first-rate school; excellent religious education for kids, teenagers, young adults, and adults; remarkably effective stewardship; and successful initiatives [Read More...]

"Incandescent with rage": priest close to pope calls for mass resignation of Irish bishops

This should have a lot of people sitting up and taking notice. From the Catholic Herald: A theologian who is a former student of Pope Benedict XVI has called for every Irish bishop appointed before 2003 to resign. Fr Vincent Twomey, emeritus professor of moral theology at Maynooth seminary, said the Irish Church had been [Read More...]

Catholic innkeepers sued for refusing to host gay wedding

It happened in Vermont, over a reception that was slated to be held at the inn pictured below. Details: A Vermont inn violated state anti-discrimination rules by refusing to host the wedding reception for two New York City women, the couple said in a lawsuit Tuesday. The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union’s [Read More...]

Nothing sacred: dozens of Catholic statues vandalized in New Jersey

Police have now labeled the acts bias crimes. Details: FBI agents are assisting in the investigation of a rash of vandalism cases at Roman Catholic churches in Camden and Burlington Counties. About three dozen religious statues have been damaged at six churches in Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, and Evesham over the last week. Local authorities [Read More...]

When a bishop chooses cremation

Not that long ago, it was unthinkable for a Catholic to be cremated.  But no more.  And it’s even become an acceptable practice among some high-ranking clergy. A blogger in London has a rare case in point: As more details concerning Bishop Michael Evans’ funeral arrangements have come to light over the past week or [Read More...]

A bishop and his deacons

From today’s mass at the cathedral in Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles Chaput and two deacons.  (And, of course, Cardinal Rigali…) [Read more...]

For all you hermits out there

I know The Anchoress is itching for a retreat, and one of my readers just reminded me that he’s a hermit, which got me to thinking that we really need right now something very hermit-y. Ladies and gentlemen: Herman’s Hermits. And some absolutely spectacular lip-synching. Enjoy. [Read more...]

An offer they couldn't refuse

From Las Vegas comes this surprising story of a rare autographed movie script that found its way to a Catholic Charities thrift store. Details: This is how Diane Hutton, who runs one of the largest thrift store operations in town, ended up on the hit cable TV show “Pawn Stars” on Monday night. A while [Read More...]

From the e-mail bag: You say "Sha POO," I say "Sha PEW"

From a reader in Denver: Those of us who personally know and serve the Archbishop here in Denver pronounce his last name “Sha Pew” as does he and as did Cardinal Rigali at this morning’s press conference in Philadelphia. The Archbishop doesn’t correct those who mispronounce it unless you totally butcher it. Please accept this [Read More...]

Bishop in South Sudan dies while celebrating mass

It happened only days after history was made in the land where he had served as a missionary. From ZENIT: Just one week after welcoming the independence of South Sudan where he had been a missionary for three decades, Bishop Cesare Mazzolari of Rumbek died Saturday while celebrating Mass. The 74-year-old Italian Comboni missionary had [Read More...]

From the trenches of the culture war

Those scanning the web this morning will find, among other things, two views of the culture war, from two very different perspectives — but both writers come to conclusions that are more similar than you might think. From Elizabeth Scalia, over at First Things: Recently a reader at my blog asked me what it would [Read More...]

The first Chaput interview

NCR’s John Allen sat down for an exclusive interview with the soon-to-be Archbishop of Philadelphia, and found a few things that might surprise people. Snip: Love him or hate him, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Pope Benedict XVI’s choice as the new chief shepherd of the embattled Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is impossible to ignore. Few American bishops [Read More...]

Charles Chaput, a "visionary"

“You can’t mistake what he’s thinking. He’s a visionary. And what a change this will be. Philadelphia has had staid, traditional bishops and here comes someone who can combine genuine fidelity to the church with this vigor. This is a revolutionary choice!  [The pope wants] significant changes in the culture of the archdiocese. You won’t [Read More...]

Report: fewer priests, fewer parishes, more masses

Does this sound familiar? Details: More U.S. Catholics are attending Masses at fewer parishes staffed by a rapidly declining corps of priests, according to a new report on “The Changing Face of U.S. Catholic Parishes.” Produced by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate for the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership project of five [Read More...]

Laura Ingraham: baptismal cross stolen at airport

The conservative talk show host converted to Catholicism nearly a decade ago — and a gift from that occasion is now missing. Details: Laura Ingraham’s baptismal cross went missing from her checked luggage at the Newark airport this weekend, and the syndicated radio host says either a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker or a Continental [Read More...]

Quote of the day: Canada edition

“When I went to business school, part of what you learn is a culture that rewards ambition. I did a lot to unlearn that when I decided to become a priest.  I am ambitious for the higher gifts, as Saint Paul put it – primarily the gift of service.” – Fr. Thomas Dowd, age 40, [Read More...]

First thing you should know: it's Sha-POO

Not Sha-PUTT, not Sha-POOT.  (N.B.: The Philly Inky has it listed as “Sha PEW” in their story…which I guess to them seems more churchy and less naughty.) Second thing: as of tomorrow, you will be hearing his name a lot. And here’s why: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, widely perceived both as a leader of [Read More...]

Ground Zero cross moving

The priest who worked to rescue it from oblivion will bless the cross before it moves to its new location. Details: The Ground Zero cross — two steel beams that were found standing amid the ruins of the World Trade Center — will get a permanent home this week after a brief blessing ceremony. The [Read More...]