Angry Bird-day cake

Last month, I reported on my fixation with “Angry Birds.” This month, I’ve discovered what I want for my birthday.  See below. [Read more...]

Ordinary men, sacred calling

I stumbled on this almost by accident, and was delighted to see it was produced by Brooklyn’s homegrown Grassroots Films (“The Human Experience”, “Fishers of Men”). It’s a terrific glimpse into the Dominicans — the Order of Preachers, don’cha know — and well worth a look.  Enjoy. [Read more...]

Best opening paragraph of the week

Maybe, the month. Check it out: In his concise, elegant book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper, Brant Pitre, a professor of sacred scripture at the Notre Dame seminary at New Orleans, attempts the scholarly equivalent of patting his head while rubbing his stomach and juggling [Read More...]

"This is about evil men being held accountable for evil behavior"

The Catholic prosecutor who made headlines earlier this month — with the shocking sex abuse news out of Philadelphia — remains, despite everything, deeply committed to the faith that he loves. From the Religion News Service: For Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, leading the sex abuse prosecution that has roiled this city’s Catholic community is [Read More...]

Which side in Wisconsin?

The state’s Catholic Conference has chosen neither — and taken a stance it describes as “neutral.” The bishop of Madison, Robert Morlino, has more to say in his weekly newspaper column: The question to which the dilemma boils down is rather simple on its face: is the sacrifice which union members, including school teachers, are [Read More...]

Quote of the day: on suffering

“Where would I be today without my crosses? What knowledge and wisdom would I lack without the challenges and difficulties that caused me to ask questions and passionately seek answers. When you suffer, platitudes aren’t enough, slogans won’t do. You have to go deeper, search for real answers and often learn that there are no [Read More...]

Minnesota parish under fire for lay preaching

The problem reportedly surfaced last weekend, and drew the attention of higher-ups in the diocese. Here’s more, from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune (and I’m sure you can spot the glaring factual error in the second paragraph…): At a recent Sunday mass at St. Edward Catholic Church in Bloomington, a woman stepped to the lectern [Read More...]

"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...]