Fr. Robert Barron on bin Laden's death

Amid all the clamor and noise, a voice of reason and faith. Check it out. [Read more...]

Oops: parish publishes mass intention for Osama bin Laden

The parish is saying it was a hoax. Details: Irish church officials have been left red-faced after announcing plans for an Osama bin Laden memorial Mass. Howth parish in Dublin yesterday hastily withdrew an online newsletter advertising plans to dedicate a Mass to the man credited with masterminding the 9/11 attacks on New York’s twin [Read More...]

Boys Town names Hindu as its next chairman

The legendary organization founded by Fr. Flanagan — or, Spencer Tracy, to people who remember the movie — will make history with a new non-Christian chairman: For the first time in its 94-year history, the board chairman of Omaha-based Boys Town will be a non-Catholic. In fact, the new chairman is also non-Christian — he [Read More...]

Fr. Pfleger prays with mothers of slain children

The suspended priest made a brief appearance for a special Mothers Day event in Chicago near his former parish, according to the Chicago Sun-Times: On a bright Sunday morning, children around the city celebrated their mothers while a group of mothers gathered at St. Sabina Church to remember their children lost to violence. For the [Read More...]

"Do you know what brings you gladness?"

That’s the stirring question at the heart of a recent post by spiritual writer Tony Woodlief, and the point of it seems to echo something that was mentioned at the royal wedding last weekend: “If you become whom God meant you to be, you will set the world on fire.” Doesn’t the world need more [Read More...]

In the breaking of the bread …

One reason I look forward to this Sunday’s gospel reading every year is the opportunity it offers to hear this beautiful hymn.  It was sung by our choir at the 11:30 mass this morning.  (I’ve heard it in other settings, too — including, last year, as the communion hymn for a wedding.) Here’s a lovely [Read More...]

Who does what: why the deacon proclaims the gospel

Last night, I attended the annual convocation for deacons in my diocese.  During dinner, one of the deacons — a classmate of mine, in fact — told me about a particular problem he was having with his pastor. “If I’m not preaching,” he said, “he doesn’t want me to read the gospel.  He wants the [Read More...]

Best wedding video ever?

That’s what they’re calling this jaw-dropping production over at Huffington Post. See what you think. Now, when I was married (25 years ago this month!), my uncle brought a gargantuan video camera from New Jersey and surprised us by shooting the whole thing on a big fat beta tape with blurry images and scratchy sound.  [Read More...]

Homily for May 8, 2011: 3rd Sunday of Easter

The writer Amy Welborn lives in Alabama, near Birmingham, and she spent part of this past week volunteering at a call center, helping people whose lives had been turned upside down, literally, by the tornadoes that tore through the region.  She wrote about her experience on her blog, and described what people were doing for [Read More...]

Air Force dedicates chapel to Wiccans and Druids

It happened earlier this week in Colorado. Details, from the Colorado Springs Gazette: Add Wiccans and Druids to the list of faiths that have their own chapel at the Air Force Academy. A circle of stones around an altar was dedicated on a hilltop above the campus Tuesday with earth-centered prayer and speeches about religious [Read More...]

Priest tapped to be chaplain for House of Representatives

He would be the second Catholic priest to hold the job.  Details, from USA TODAY: The Rev. Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest and former chaplain at Georgetown University, is Speaker John Boehner’s choice to be the next chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. If formally elected, Conroy would become the second Roman Catholic priest [Read More...]

"More coffins than cradles": America's future?

The picture below of a recent first communion in Brooke County, West Virginia caught my eye — and it illustrates a growing problem among many American communities, where fewer children are being born.  Is this a glimpse at America’s future? From the New York Times: Life in this industrial area has slowed to a shuffle [Read More...]

Oh, baby: Jacob and Isabella top names for 2010

And once again, popular culture  – not saints or family tradition — is playing a big role. From the New York Daily News: What’s in a name? A nationwide obsession with “Twilight,” Teen Mom and celebrities, it seems. The most popular baby names of 2010 are Jacob and Isabella – both lead characters in the hit [Read More...]

Deacon formation: "It has truly enriched my life"

A large class of deacons is about to be ordained in California — and the Los Angeles paper, The Tidings, takes a closer look at the men, their calling, and their formation: Ordination to the diaconate is less than three months away for the 48 candidates and their wives who have journeyed for nearly five [Read More...]

Detroit officially names St. Anne as its patroness

The woman who was the grandmother of Jesus — and who was a collaborator in the Immaculate Conception — now has a place of honor in the Motor City. Details: To loud applause, the head of the Catholic Church in Detroit announced Thursday that St. Anne — the grandmother of Jesus — is the patroness [Read More...]

Deafness and Darth: one seminarian's story

One of the man about to be ordained in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is a huge fan of “Star Wars” — who also happens to have been born deaf. Details, from the Catholic Herald: People may be surprised to learn that Darth Vadar, chief antagonist in the original trilogy, is the favorite “Star Wars” character [Read More...]

Happy Mother's Day, to the mothers of priests

Every priest has a mother — and now there’s news about a group of mothers who have banded together to support their sons’ vocations. Details, from CNS: When Father John Helmueller was ordained to the priesthood 10 years ago for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., he was not the only member of his family [Read More...]

Larry David to play nun in new movie

Here’s a Sister Act of an entirely different kind: Larry David, the man who enraged Catholic groups in 2009 when he urinated on a portrait of Jesus Christ in his HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is reportedly poised to play – wait for it – a Catholic nun in the Farrelly Brothers upcoming take on the classic [Read More...]