Worth a thousand words, Easter Vigil edition

From the Vatican at the Easter Vigil, one of five new Catholics baptized and confirmed by Pope Benedict prepares to bring up the gifts at the offertory. Photo from CNS/Paul Haring [Read more...]

Episcopalians to McGreevey: not so fast

Remember the scandal-plagued former New Jersey governor James McGreevey? The one-time Catholic (and former altar boy) was studying to become an Episcopal priest, but the church now wants him to wait: Former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who abruptly resigned in 2004 after declaring himself “a gay American” and admitting an extramarital affair with a male staffer, [Read More...]

How are vocations doing? The numbers tell the story

Over at Catholic Vote, Thomas Peters is touting some interesting statistics about this year’s class of ordinands. The USCCB has been publishing a report on men being ordained as priests for the last 15 years. A little Googling, though, reveals a little more. This year, according to the USCCB, 480 men are to be ordained [Read More...]

What was your Easter like?

Or, to offer a diaconal bow to Amy Welborn, “What did you hear”?  How were the masses?  The homilies?  The music? A few observations from my parish: 1. All the masses were SRO, which was great, of course.  But when did people stop dressing up for Easter?  Saw a few nice dresses (and bonnets!) but [Read More...]

A miracle for Kateri?

Maybe.  The Vatican is investigating a case in Washington state that could be tied to the Blessed Native American — a New Yorker, in fact, whose image is depicted in the reredos behind the altar in my parish. Details: Doctors at Children’s Hospital worked miracles five years ago to save a young boy’s life. But [Read More...]

Jesus is risen: a moving Arabic flash mob from Beirut

After all the flash mobs we’ve seen over the last several months, this may top them all. I have no idea what they’re saying — click on the arrow under the screen for “CC” to get the translation — but what happens below is potent and poignant. [Read more...]

Family claims discrimination because child was denied first communion

It happened in Texas, and the child has cerebral palsy. Details: A disabled boy was refused his first Holy Communion after a priest decided the child could not understand what it meant, his family have claimed. Eight-year-old Kevin Castro’s family have accused Father Phil Henning, priest at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Floresville, Texas, [Read More...]

Scenes from the Easter Vigil

A great big thank you to my friend Niranjan Fernando who took these gorgeous shots of the Easter Vigil! It includes a shot of the chanting of the Exultet, and the blessing of the water used for baptism. (Click on pictures to enlarge.) [Read more...]

"I was called to serve, and I'm back to serve…"

A deacon who was seriously injured during last year’s Easter Vigil is marking another Easter, and giving thanks for his recovery. Details: As he waited for the Good Friday Mass to begin at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Deacon Joseph Hieu Vinh took one more look at his watch. Church members entered the evening service and [Read More...]

Pregnant Like Me

That could be the title of a revealing memoir by Gaby Rodriguez  (with a nod to the classic “Black Like Me“), recounting her experiences as a pregnant teen — who, it turns out, wasn’t really pregnant after all. Details: After surviving six months of high school with a steadily growing baby bump, Gaby Rodriguez finally [Read More...]

"And how about 'Whatsoever You Do'?"

This tells you all you need to know about modern liturgy. One of the members of my parish choir recently moved to Florida, and was looking for a job as a leader of song at a parish down there. She’s accustomed to singing, regularly, things like “Ave Verum,” “Panis Angelicus,” “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” [Read More...]

"If you can't find a seat, don't worry. Next week, we'll have plenty of room."

That was how a priest at my parish opened mass this morning, and we all knew exactly what he meant.  This is what it looked like from the front door of the church at 1:15, Easter Sunday: Standing room only at all the masses, lots of unfamiliar faces, a few colorful hats. A couple people [Read More...]

"He has been raised!"

Doesn’t that deserve a little “Hallelujah”?  I think so. [Read more...]

My Holy Saturday

A drizzly, miserable spring morning here in New York.  Sloshed through puddles to the church for 9:30 coffee and bagels with the RCIA crew, followed by rehearsal for the Easter Vigil.  I got to meet The Candle and try it out for size. It’s big.  Really really big. One of the priests walked everyone through [Read More...]

Homily for April 23, 2011: Easter Vigil

Several years ago, the PBS series “American Masters” decided to profile a true American master, Don Hewitt, the creator and executive producer of 60 MINUTES.   And the reporter asked him, what is the secret of the show’s success?  How has it endured for four decades as one of the top rated shows in America? And [Read More...]

My Good Friday

It was busy. “Mary’s Way of the Cross” at 1 pm, led by me and my wife and accompanied by about 15 altar servers;  incredibly, we had a packed church, close to a thousand people.  Then, the liturgy commemorating the Lord’s Passion at 3, and again at 7:30.  The 7:30 liturgy included a spellbinding performance [Read More...]

"It is accomplished"

This is one to watch again and again, every Good Friday: the last nine minutes of “The Passion of the Christ.” [Read more...]

What Christ saw from the cross …

A stunning, haunting image by the great James Tissot… [Read more...]