Catholic valedictorian joins fight to pray at her graduation

A judge has ruled that even words like “Amen” and “benediction” cannot be a part of a public high school graduation ceremony, and now the class valedictorian is filing a motion to change that. Details: The valedictorian of Medina Valley High School wants to pray during her speech at Saturday’s graduation and has joined the [Read More...]

What's wrong with "Praise and Worship" music?

One priest offers his perspective on the music many teenagers hear at youth liturgies: Will the kids today who are raised on a diet of Praise and Worship continue to practice the Faith when they are no longer of that age middle-aged people in the Church want to cater to? I don’t know. But my [Read More...]

What most people regret on their death bed

Now it can be told. A palliative care nurse sums it up: The top regrets center largely around living a more authentic life: 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realise [Read More...]

Off the hook: should we give up more than just meat on Fridays?

While some bishops are calling for a return to the discipline of giving up meat on Fridays, at least one writer says we should skip fish, too. Snip: Catholic bishops in the U.K. want to reinstate year-round meatless Fridays, which sounds great to me, except for one thing: They still seem to think that fish are [Read More...]

Nice hats! — UPDATED

The TODAY Show is continuing its extensive coverage of Vatican stuff — and Matt Lauer had a chat this morning with Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Check out more of the coverage and a number of intriguing videos right here. UPDATE: Turns out the inspiration for this week’s trip was none other than the late, great Tim [Read More...]

USCCB names deacon to head Secretariat for Child, Youth Protection

From the conference website: Deacon Bernard V. Nojadera, of the Diocese of San Jose, California, and director of the diocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, has been named head of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection. He begins his position August 15 and succeeds Teresa Kettelkamp, who has [Read More...]

"Catholics increasingly are reaching out to the LGBT community…" — UPDATED

A retired Brooklyn auxiliary bishop, Joseph Sullivan, is offering his perspective on how Catholics view gays and lesbians — and suggests it may be evolving. From the Buffalo News: One need only flip through some of today’s cable news channels to witness how some of our society’s most sensitive public policy matters are overly simplified [Read More...]

Who was Thomas Merton?

Good question.  And one that James Martin and the good people at Loyola Productions answer in this newly released (online, anyway) segment from the video “Who Cares About the Saints?”  Longtime readers know I’m a big Merton fan.  Take a look.  (And, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think Merton bears an [Read More...]

"Why are you standing there looking at the sky?"

“In Matthew’s gospel, before Jesus ascends, he tells them, very simply, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.’ He urges them to baptize, to teach, to carry on the work that he has begun. But his first direction is so clear: ‘Go.’ The world is waiting. Act on what I have taught you. And [Read More...]

Set your TiVo for "Today"…tomorrow

Evidently, Matt Lauer and company will be offering an extended look at life at the Vatican — including a day in the life of the pope, and more. Over a “Whispers,” Rocco has posted a tease video, featuring a sweet moment when Lauer got to meet Benedicit (under the bear paw of the always-affable Archbishop [Read More...]

Christians, Muslims, Jews to share pulpits later this month

Details, from Catholic News Service: It will happen for just one Sunday in June, but on that day, dozens of houses of worship across the United States will open their pulpits to clergy from the other two Abrahamic faiths to read from their scriptures. The project, called Faith Shared, is set for June 26. A [Read More...]

The writing on the wall

I recently experienced a growing trend in Catholic parishes, and wrote about it for this week’s column, “All Things New”: I have seen the writing on the wall. And I’m not impressed. A couple of Sundays ago, I found myself at a sparkling, sprawling parish in central Florida, in a church nave surrounded by stained [Read More...]

Blogging, to the Max

Max Lindenman, that is. The ham-on-wry (and wouldn’t his Jewish ancestors love that?) who gained a loyal following as sub-Anchoress when Elizabeth was tied up in Rome now has a blog of his own, right here at Patheos, called “Diary of a Wimpy Catholic.” From his first post — which begins, aptly enough, with a [Read More...]

Inspiration: homeless head to Joplin to lend a hand

In a remarkable move co-sponsored by the Catholic Action Center, people who have next-to-nothing are going to Missouri to help those who have even less. Details: A dozen Kentucky volunteers who know what it’s like to lose everything are joining the relief effort in tornado-stricken Missouri. The volunteers are from a homeless shelter in Lexington, [Read More...]

What's it like to give the opening prayer at the Indy 500?

Well, Indianapolis Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Coyne shares that and more in his blog.   He seems smitten by both Kelly Clarkson and Florence Henderson.  (Picture below!) The bishop’s prayer: “Good and gracious God, we give you thanks for the gift of this marvelous day and for all blessings in our lives as we gather on [Read More...]

Deacon on young adult ministry: "You are giving birth to new hope…"

From Los Angeles comes this inspiring story of a deacon and his wife who are leading a ministry that is helping young people reconnect with their faith: “The church usually skips a generation; it goes from serving youth to serving adults, and young adults are usually left out,” Rouzan said, echoing her peers. The 37-year-old [Read More...]

Another Catholic paper in trouble

This time, it’s the Catholic Spirit, from Minnesota. From the Star-Tribune: The Catholic Spirit, the venerable 100-year-old newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, may publish fewer editions and eventually go completely digital — changes that could affect how the most faithful, least Internet-savvy church members get their news. A report to the [Read More...]

Check the forecast: man builds replica of ark

No, it’s not “Evan Almighty.”  But it’s been quite a production. Details, from the New York Times: If Noah had run into the modern nanny state, or nimby, or a few of the other obstacles that Johan Huibers has been facing, the animal kingdom might look a lot different today. Mr. Huibers, 60, the successful [Read More...]