Did they sing "God Bless America" at your church this weekend?

With Memorial Day tomorrow, we marked the occasion today with a rousing verse of “America the Beautiful,” segueing into “God Bless America” after the final announcements, and before the final blessing.  The flag was also dragged out from its place in the corner, and planted prominently beside the pulpit.  (Despite that, we heard grumblings about [Read More...]

Meet the priest who's "one of the most dangerous people in town"

And he’s been called that because of ardently pro-Catholic letters he writes for the hometown newspaper in Minnesota. From the Duluth News Tribune: Every 30 days or so he and his opinions are published in the letters to the editor section of the News Tribune. He’d be in more often if we let him, no [Read More...]

Homily for May 29, 2011: 6th Sunday of Easter

Back in the 1940s, a father found himself spending one too many Saturday afternoons at a California amusement park with his two young daughters.  He’d spend a couple hours on a park bench, reading the paper or watching the skies for signs of rain, mostly feeling bored.  And he would look around and see dozens [Read More...]

Ordination update: 27 new deacons in Brooklyn

Think I could overlook Brooklyn?  Fuggedaboutit. From the In My Backyard Desk: the ordinations happened this morning, and will surely mark a Memorial Day weekend these men and their families will never forget. The sacrament was celebrated at Our Lady of Angels Church in Brooklyn — one of the largest in the diocese, and a [Read More...]

Coming next: Extraordinary Minister of the iPhone

Tuesday, my wife and I marked our 25th wedding anniversary with a special mass in Orlando, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe. (A big hat tip to my friend, blog reader, and hard-working Disney employee Fernando Martinez, who made it all possible — and provided cupcakes after!  His [Read More...]

Miracle dog: "We are honored to be a part of his recovery…"

If you want to know the meaning of loyalty, and the depths that drive one to seek a place called home…take a look at this story, about a dog who miraculously survived a tornado. [Read more...]

The short, troubled life of Jeff Conaway

The star of “Taxi” and “Grease” died today at 60, after a lengthy battle with drugs. Details: The actor was taken off life support Thursday and died Friday morning at Encino Tarzana Medical Center, according to one of his managers, Kathryn Boole. “It’s sad that people remember his struggle with drugs. … He has touched [Read More...]

Shock: bishop never read letter warning him about predator priest

The more you read about this case, the more it defies credulity. First, the headline yesterday from the National Catholic Reporter: Diocese warned of priest’s aberrant behavior one year before arrest. Details: The principal of a Catholic elementary school warned the Kansas City-St. Joseph chancery office that a local priest “fit the profile of a [Read More...]

RIP, Joe Feuerherd

Sad news from the world of Catholic media: Joseph A. Feuerherd, whose journalism career began as a college intern in the Washington Bureau of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) and concluded with his service as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of that award-winning publication, died Thursday morning (May 26) at Casey House, a hospice facility in Rockville, [Read More...]

Ordination update: 10 new deacons for Camden

From the New Jersey Turnpike bureau comes this heartening report:   On Saturday, May 21, in Glassboro, 10 men in the Camden Diocese were ordained as deacons, after completing six years of formation and readying themselves to be of service to God and the Catholic community. Bishop Joseph A. Galante performed the Rite of Ordination [Read More...]

Quote of the day

“Our call is truly to service of God’s people, and our presence on the altar represents the service of the whole parish community. We have one foot on the altar and one in the pew…We [deacons] have this special ability to talk about the Gospel from the view of parents, husbands, managers, home-buyers and workers [Read More...]

Pope receives papers for cause of Fulton Sheen — and reveals that he worked with him

A small but significant step forward for the cause of the man who (I hope) will one day be the patron saint of television (alongside St. Claire, of course). Details: When Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., presented Pope Benedict XVI with two thick volumes about the life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the [Read More...]

Lay off it

Dear media writer/religion reporter/journalist… I know you have a busy life.  I know you are under deadline.  I know it’s easy to stumble and make mistakes.  Believe me, I’ve been there.    But please, try to avoid making the  blunder that this writer made, in an otherwise fine piece:  referring to Catholic deacons as “lay deacons.” [Read More...]

"The problem wasn't that Katie was a woman…"

Last week marked the end of an era — okay, a mini-era — with the final sign-off of Katie Couric as anchor of “The CBS Evening News.”  The marriage of Katie and CBS was rocky from the start.  What went wrong?  Some thoughts from someone who was there at the beginning (that would be, um, me): People have [Read More...]

A life saved, a life changed: one deacon's story

With ordination season now in full swing, some great vocation stories are emerging — and this one, from Newark, is just one of them. Snip: Under the majestic gothic stone arches of a Newark cathedral on Saturday, a man from Hasbrouck Heights hugged a woman from Brooklyn. She thanked him again for saving her from [Read More...]

Happy Anniversary

To the love of my life, who said “I do” on May 24th, 1986.  Thank you, Siobhain, for everything.   Happy 25th anniversary!  Ad multos annos! [Read more...]

Incredible: Dutch priest defends pedophilia, is suspended

File this under: “What the — ?” Details from Reuters: A Roman Catholic order of priests sacked its leader in the Netherlands and disciplined another priest Monday after the two publicly defended pedophile sex, an issue haunting the worldwide Church in recent years. The scandal erupted over the weekend when RTL radio reported the priest, [Read More...]

May the force be with you

To which I have to reply, of course: “And with your spirit!” Last weekend, the dreams of every “Star Wars” geek were fulfilled, when Disney unveiled a new iteration of its popular “Star Tours” ride.  Orlando was crawling with would-be Jedis, eager to be among the first to take the ship for a spin.  (I’m told [Read More...]