"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...]

The end is near: one family braces for the Rapture

From the New York Times comes this story about a family bracing for the Rapture on May 21: The Haddad children of Middletown, Md., have a lot on their minds: school projects, SATs, weekend parties. And parents who believe the earth will begin to self-destruct on Saturday. The three teenagers have been struggling to make [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words — or a thousand roses

I saw this for myself last weekend: Every year for Mother’s Day, people donate roses in honor of their mothers at the Basilica Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe in Orlando, Florida. They had some 10,000 on display the last two weeks. The celebrant pictured above is the shrine’s rector, Fr. Paul Henry. If [Read More...]

Quote of the day

Caught this one in a trailer the other day, and it just cracked me up… “Is the Popemobile Catholic?” – Tow Mater, in Pixar’s “Cars 2,” opening next month. [Read more...]

Man sets priest on fire during mass

Details: An assailant has sprayed a Roman Catholic priest with flammable liquid and set him alight during mass in a church in Lithuania, police in the Baltic state say. Father Remigijus Kuprys, 46, managed to extinguish the flames with the help of worshippers, but suffered facial burns. The attack occurred during the service on Thursday [Read More...]

Where were you four years ago today?

I was here: And here: Happy 4th anniversary, diaconate class of ’07. Ad multos annos! And a special prayer of love and gratitude to Jim. We miss you, brother. [Read more...]

25 years after "I do" …

From my column  this week “All Things New” … “Beyond the sacramental grace involved—and grace and prayer do play a big part, I think—it’s a lot of talking, and a lot of listening, and a lot of patience, and a lot of persistence. It’s wanting this little partnership to hold together, in spite of all [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

Mel Gibson, photographed a few weeks ago, wearing his scapular. Story here. [Read more...]

Florida parish prays for Osama bin Laden

A couple weeks ago, this exact situation arose in England, and made headlines.  Now it’s happening in West Palm Beach, Florida. Details: The name of Osama bin Laden appears in the Holy Name of Jesus Sunday bulletin. There’s a cross next to it. A parishioner made a prayer request for the mastermind behind the 9/11 [Read More...]

Jerry Lewis hangs up tux, quits telethon

Wow.  This really is the end of an era.  Labor Day will never be the same. Details: For 45 years, Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Labor Day fundraiser have been synonymous, so much so that it’s now known as the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, in honor of the comic’s tireless efforts. But this [Read More...]

Call off the search team!

I’m fine.  If anyone was wondering where I’ve been, no worries:  I’m taking a couple weeks off to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary.  My bride and I are in sunny Orlando, where we’re spending an inordinate amount of time sleeping late and over-eating and rubbing elbows with royalty.  (This place is crawling with princesses, by [Read More...]

Amnesty International cites Vatican for human rights concerns

Not so very long ago, something like this would have been unimaginable. From NCR: Amnesty International named the Vatican in its annual report on human rights’ concerns for not sufficiently complying with international mandates on protecting children from abuse. It marked the first time the Vatican was named in the group’s Annual Report on the [Read More...]

Just for the halibut: no meat on Fridays

It’s happening in England, beginning on September 16th, the anniversary of the pope’s trip to the UK. From ZENIT: The bishops of England and Wales are re-establishing the practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays as a penance to identify with Christ on the cross. In the resolutions published from their spring plenary assembly, which [Read More...]

On women deacons: "Not all of us are agitating for such a 'restoration'"

Evidently irked by Phyllis Zagano’s argument in support of women deacons, Daniel Van Slyke today offers a counter-argument, in the form of an open letter to the pope, in Crisis: The specific roles assigned to deaconesses in ancient documents such as the Didascalia Apostolorum comprise charitable services for women, the instruction of female catechumens, and [Read More...]