Brilliant: the Royal Wedding we'd all love to see

Spot on, as usual, from the geniuses at T-Mobile (the company that almost single-handedly added the phrase “flash mob” to our vocabulary). Check out this inspired take that manages to satirize YouTube, the Windsors and our infatuation with all things royal, all at once. [Read more...]

Exquisite love, exquisite heartbreak: the last testament of Dom Christian

He was one of the monks beheaded by Muslim extremists in Algiers in 1996 — the basis of the story retold in the acclaimed film “Of Gods and Men.”   Heather King yesterday posted his last testament, written a couple of years earlier, when he began to sense that the monks’ mission in Tibrihine might [Read More...]

Life inside the pope's apartment

The good people at TIME magazine have thoughtfully translated and posted a piece from the Italian daily La Stampa, which gives a glimpse inside Pope Benedict’s private world. Snip: Pope Benedict XVI isn’t alone in his apartment at the Vatican. Four “guardian angels” help him, and recently there has been an addition to the personnel [Read More...]

Was Holy Thursday really on Wednesday?

One scholar thinks so — and is suggesting that we got the date of the Last Supper wrong. From the Sydney Morning Herald: One of the most famous meals in history is commemorated a day late, a new book by a Cambridge University physicist claims. Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, who was knighted last year for [Read More...]

Pssst. Want the secret to a long life? Here.

A new book, “The Longevity Project,” may hold some answers. The New York Times takes a peek: After reading “The Longevity Project,” I took an unscientific survey of friends and relatives asking them what personality characteristic they thought was most associated with long life. Several said “optimism,” followed by “equanimity,” “happiness,” “a good marriage,” “the [Read More...]

Meet the man who will be America's youngest bishop

He will be ordained an auxiliary bishop for Detroit next month.  Details, from the Detroit Free Press: Arturo Cepeda, 41, who is rector of Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, and has a doctorate in theology, was chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to reach out to metro Detroit’s growing Latino community as one of four auxiliary [Read More...]

Why do people leave the Catholic Church?

The answers in a new study offer some insight, and Fr. Thomas Reese takes a closer look: The principal reasons given by people who leave the church to become Protestant are that their “spiritual needs were not being met” in the Catholic church (71 percent) and they “found a religion they like more” (70 percent). [Read More...]

Got a backpack of sins? Unpack 'em in confession!

Here’s a very cool entry in the iConfess video contest. It’s Reconciliation Monday here in New York.  Want to get something off your chest (or off your back)?  Now’s the perfect time to do it. Here’s one reason why… [Read more...]

Feel like turning over the tables in the temple? Read this first

John Martens at America’s blog “The Good Word” has a few good words for those who consider themselves the next John the Baptist — or even the next Jesus: John the Baptist was a prophet and Jesus is considered by Christians to be both God and man, the Messiah, Lord, who will come again in [Read More...]

From 1897: How to hear a woman's confession

Since this is Reconciliation Monday in the greater New York City area — three dioceses are “leaving the light on” until 9 pm tonight, so people can go to confession — here’s a fascinating glimpse at the sacrament from the 19th century, courtesy Pat McNamara, who found this advice in a manual for seminarians: A [Read More...]

Top 50 blogs for seminarians

Well, whataya know? A website has decided to put together a handy list for seminarians of all faiths who are hunting online for information and news about religion and religious formation — and Your Humble Blogger merited a mention. Visit the site, Theology Degrees, to see who else is on their list.  You’ll find a [Read More...]

These monks want you to friend them on Facebook

Like many monastaries, the Benedictine house at Portsmouth Abbey in Rhode Island is seeing its enrollments dwindle down to next-to-nothing.  And they’re trying to reach a new audience using new technology. From the New York Times: The Benedictine monks at the Portsmouth Abbey in Portsmouth, R.I., have a problem. They are aging — five are [Read More...]

Got a minute? Make a cross

If you’re wondering what to do with those long, leafy fronds you got at church today, here’s the answer. It shows you, in one minute, how to turn a palm leaf into a cross. Meantime, the truly ambitious can try the designs at this website.  (Thanks, Shana!) [Read more...]

My Palm Sunday

At my parish in Queens. Masses were pretty full, but not as crowded as last year.  I was there for four of the five weekend masses. (Served and preached at two, assisted with communion at the others.)  Everything went beautifully — and none of the readers made the blunder I was anticipating: pronouncing “buffeted” as [Read More...]

Kmiec resigns, effective on the Feast of the Assumption

It has to be the most conspicuously religious resignation letter President Obama has received, coming from a high-profile Catholic in his administration: Douglas Kmiec, U.S. Ambassador to Malta, plans to resign from his post on August 15. Kmiec’s resignation follows the release of a State Department report which criticized him for a number of alleged [Read More...]

"Gethsemane" — and a 63-year-old Ted Neeley

Yesterday, I posted this clip of “Hosanna” from the 1973 movie version of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  If that had you feeling nostalgic, you have to check out  the clip below: the star of that movie, Ted Neeley, performing the heart-rending “Gethsemane” over 30 years later, in a “Farewell Tour” of the stage musical.  When I [Read More...]

The way we were: what did Catholics think of Vatican II in 1967?

Some intriguing answers can be found over at the excellent Pray Tell blog, which unearthed a Harris Survey from 1967. What were American Catholics saying about the changes in the mass and the Church? Check it out: Asked of their opinion of the changes to simplify and modernize the Church, 66.7% of US Catholics thought [Read More...]

Mass exodus: why are they leaving the Church in Buffalo?

It’s a problem a lot of Catholic dioceses are facing, but it seems especially acute in upstate New York. From the Buffalo News: More people in Western New York adhere to Catholicism, by far, than any other faith, but clergy sometimes joke that the area’s second-largest denomination also is Catholic. Its members just don’t show [Read More...]