"Illegitimate": woman renounces her attempted ordination to diaconate

In a rare move, a woman who attempted ordination as a deacon has had a change of heart. Norma Jean Coons announced as much on her own website: On July 22, 2007, I was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Patricia Fresen, of Germany and South Africa who was ordained by three male bishops in [Read More...]

Deacon's discovery: "There are people in prison closer to Christ than most of us"

A lot of deacons are involved in prison ministry — but few have spoken about it with such insight. Details, from Catholic San Francisco: There are enough house rules as is at San Quentin State Prison, and it is not Deacon Larry Chatmon’s place to add to them when he serves inmates in his prison [Read More...]

I'm guessing it won't be the Year of Grammar

“Come see what 2011 will be the year of.” – Wording on invitation to Apple event, reportedly launching the next generation iPad [Read more...]

"You come to supper with the Lord, but you don't eat"

That’s the memorable remark of one priest to a member of his flock who consistently skipped communion.  How should pastors handle this? Catholic News Service has an interesting take: Father Adam Forno occasionally notices parishioners skipping the Eucharist at St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph parish in Rensselaer, where he is pastor. Sometimes, a [Read More...]

Florida pro-life candidate jokes about abortion bombing

And it was okay, he said, because his audience was Catholic. The story: Jacksonville mayoral candidate Mike Hogan‘s statement that jokes about abortion clinic bombings are OK if delivered in front of Catholic audiences isn’t sitting well with Catholics, including those heavily engaged in the movement to ban abortion. And a fellow Baptist who leads [Read More...]

What Catholics don't know

That’s the notion I’m chewing on this week over in my column, “All Things New.” A snip: A couple years ago, during Easter season, a man stopped me after church one Sunday. He was perturbed. “What’s all this Latin doing in the mass?” he asked. “What do you mean?” “All this Latin!” he said, exasperated. [Read More...]

A movie star plays a martyr: Lambert Wilson on "Of Gods and Men"

The star of the acclaimed French film about the murdered monks of Tibhirine is talking about his role as one of the monks, and the challenges it presented. From the New York Times: These days his face looks craggy instead of boyish, and his American roles tend toward suave villains, like the sneering cosmetics mogul [Read More...]

Pope grants special permission for married man to be ordained priest — UPDATED

It happened in Germany. Details, from the New York Daily News: A married father of two in Germany was ordained as a Catholic priest on Tuesday, a rare move by the church, which typically requires priests to be single and to take a vow of chastity. Harm Klueting, 61, a professor of theology at universities [Read More...]

What's the big deal about shared communion?

Elizabeth Scalia, with an eye on what just happened in California, offers a perfect answer: Our Communion is much more than a mere family meal. it is a face-to-face, one-on-one, intimate encounter with Christ. This is nothing to engage in lightly. Paul warned us in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 against unworthy reception of the Eucharist and [Read More...]

Scores killed, cathedral heavily damaged in New Zealand quake

This is what is left of Christchurch Catholic Cathedral… Details: The mayor of New Zealand’s second-largest city, Christchurch, has declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked the “garden city” shortly before 1 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Prime Minister John Key, who was raised in Christchurch, said that [Read More...]

"I beg you to forgive me": priest who concelebrated with minister suspended

This story sparked a lot of debate when it broke over the weekend.  Now, it turns out, the priest has been suspended — and has promptly issued an apology: The priest who invited a Presbyterian minister to concelebrate a Mass at St. Norbert Catholic Church in Orange has written a letter of apology to his [Read More...]

Legendary Trappist Fr. Matthew Kelty dies

Another tall tree in the forest has fallen. I had the good fortune of hearing Fr. Matthew Kelty preach several times at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.  He usually gave talks in the evenings for people in the retreat house, and his delightful, poetic, stream-of-consciousness ramblings, delivered in that melodious and ancient Bostonian voice, [Read More...]

Do you hate meetings? This prayer may help

Are too many of your work meetings like this? A friend sent me the prayer below.  I like it Prayer to St. Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings O Raphael, lead us towards those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us! Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand towards those [Read More...]

From the folks who brought us the Walkman and the Toyota

A quirky, brilliant, minimalist music video, courtesy the Japanese pop group World Order. Read about the multi-talented guy behind it right here. And enjoy. [Read more...]

Ask not for whom the cell phone rings…

…it rings for thee.  And we can all hear it. A priest describes an all-too-common occurrence in today’s parish, in the latest edition of Commonweal: It was a Mass celebrating a major anniversary of the parish and I was right in the middle of the homily. It was also one of those exquisite moments when [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

The scene yesterday in Dublin: In Dublin’s pro-cathedral, St. Mary’s, Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the archdiocese’s Apostolic Visitor, Cardinal Séan O’Malley of Boston, lie prostrate (above) before the altar at the start of yesterday’s Liturgy of Repentance for victims of sex abuse. Read more. [Read more...]

In the e-mail: a dissenting view of Sunday's homily

This arrived late Sunday, from a parishioner who took issue with my homily that morning: I really feel you were misguided in you presentation of today’s sermon at the 11:30 AM Mass. Loving people and reaching out with love to those that have hurt us, (individually) is one thing. And has to be done on [Read More...]

The Adoration effect: "We are a church on fire"

With so much grim Church news crackling over the wires, here’s something to lift the heart. From South Coast Today in Massachusetts: A little church in a small town, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church was facing tough times. The congregation was dwindling, and Mass attendance was at an all-time low. The empty confessional was collecting [Read More...]


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