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...]

Apostolic Nuncio Pietro Sambi dies — UPDATED

Rocco broke the news late yesterday, and notes that it’s the first time a papal legate to the U.S. has died in office: Pope Benedict’s representative to these shores since 2006 — and tipped to be in line for a Vatican post just a few weeks back — Sambi turned 73 in late June. As [Read More...]

Meet Bishop Bobblehead

From Erie, PA, here’s something…well…eerie: The story: Donald Trautman, the Roman Catholic bishop in Erie, Pa., received a special gift in honor of his 75th birthday: a bobblehead in his likeness. The Erie Times-News reports Trautman was presented with the swaying-headed statue last month at a gathering of priests from 13-county diocese. Trautman calls the [Read More...]

What do you wear to Mass?

Something like this, maybe? Or maybe not. It’s rare to see folks dressed like that today — even rarer in the heat of summer. I have a few thoughts on all that right here. [Read more...]

RIP John Chervokas, "squeezable" Catholic

The man who came up with the idea to tell the world “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin” has died. Obituaries note that in addition to coining one of the most enduring advertising slogans ever, ad executive John Chervokas also wrote books on spirituality and prayer that included “Patient Prayers” and “Pinstripe Prayers, or How to [Read More...]

New poll: God's approval rating at 52%

Last time I checked, that was better than Obama.  (Though I’m told some people do get the two of them confused.) At least God doesn’t have to worry about re-election. Details. [Read more...]

Voris on WYD: "We prefer to rely on the higher authority of Our Lord…" — UPDATED

After the organizers of World Youth Day put out a statement Monday disavowing any connection with Michael Voris’s appearance there next month, Voris’s media operation, Real Catholic TV, yesterday responded with a statement of its own.  It’s posted as a comment on Patrick Madrid’s blog (and, as yet, not posted elsewhere). In an e-mail, Real Catholic [Read More...]

Wearing your faith on your sleeve

From Hawaii comes this engaging photo essay about devoutly religious men and women, from different faiths, who are proud to show what they believe by what they wear and how they dress. Consider this profile of a sister: “Living in poverty and simplicity is easier,” says Sister Linh Nguyen. I don’t have to think: What [Read More...]

Atheists sue to remove Ground Zero cross

Is anyone surprised at this? A group of atheists filed suit Monday to prevent the iconic symbol from being displayed in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Details: American Atheists, a group that describes its mission as protecting civil rights for non-believers, claims the government installation of the religious symbol is an unconstitutional “mingling of church [Read More...]

The color purple: prose (and cons) from the Bulwer-Lytton prize

Well, this one didn’t nab the top prize, but it should have: “As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he [Read More...]

Take heart: famous authors who didn't give up

Ready to throw in the towel? Consider a few well-known writers who didn’t. For example: Feel glum over oodles of rejection letters? Get this: John Grisham’s first novel was rejected 25 times. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) received 134 rejections. Beatrix Potter had so much trouble publishing The Tale [Read More...]

"We are there to worship God in Word and sacrament, not in Apple or Microsoft…"

After last week’s installment, Bishop Christopher Coyne continues  his treatise on tweeting at funerals: As a liturgy, a funeral Mass is a sacred service within a sacred space.  It is an action of God’s people the Body of Christ and of Christ Himself, the head of the Body.  It is a mystical moment in which [Read More...]

That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing

The Anchoress is pretty fed up with the noise coming out of Washington these days — who isn’t? — and offers a brief meditation this afternoon on hate, and praying not to hate. She concludes with this wisdom from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Within the best of us, there is some evil, and [Read More...]