Why Catholicism is good for America

A non-Catholic, Tom Krattenmaker, makes his case in USA TODAY: Yes, the church could use some changing. But what shouldn’t change about this 2-millennia-old religious movement is its inconvenient refusal to forget the poor and vulnerable in these winner-take-all times. Catholicism is not alone in this; indeed, all religion at its best, and secularists, too, [Read More...]

After the "God Squad," priest still hits the road

The priest who got into trademark trouble last year with a big retail chain is still getting attention. The story, from Gannett Wisconsin Media: Father Luke Strand has sold his black Volkswagen Beetle that landed him in hot water last year. Instead, he’s driving a GMC Terrain and moving on with his spiritual life. “It [Read More...]

Survivor of Baghdad church massacre killed in robbery

And there is speculation that she may well have been killed because of her religion. From the Washington Post: Rafah Toma survived one of the most horrific attacks on Iraq’s tiny Christian community – the siege on a Baghdad church two months ago that left 68 people dead – only to be gunned down in her [Read More...]

"Make your mouth into a landing pad…"

That’s just one of the tips Taylor Marshall is offering for receiving communion on the tongue — a practice that is hardly taught anymore, but that the pope seems to favor. On any given Sunday, when I’m distributing the Body of Christ, I will give communion to about 50 or 60 people at each mass. [Read More...]

From bishop to layman to deacon to priest

That’s the unusual trajectory that three former Anglican bishops in Great Britain will take over the next two weeks. From Damien Thompson: So it turns out that John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton will spend less than two weeks as laymen. According to the Friends of the Ordinariate website, the former bishops of Fulham, Ebbsfleet [Read More...]

Pete Postlethwaite, RIP

The great, craggy-faced actor who at one time wanted to be a priest — and got to play one in “Romeo + Juliet” — has died. Details: Pete Postlethwaite died in a in Shropshire, England, hospital Sunday after a lengthy fight with cancer. The actor was 64. An Oscar nominee for his role as the [Read More...]

Word made flesh: the remarkable Christmas mass of Fr. Prus

A reader sent this my way in the comments, adding that she wanted to show… the wonderful way one priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit celebrates the Christmas Mass starting with a real baby in the manger. The manger is then used as an altar. Brought my camera this year because so many not in [Read More...]

Andrew Cuomo's Epiphany: mass at Albany's cathedral

New York’s new governor  evidently began the new year like a lot of Catholics did: by heading to mass. From the New York Daily News: Gov. Cuomo got some spiritual backing Sunday as he set out to revitalize state government. The new governor began his second day in office at 9 a.m. Mass at Albany’s [Read More...]

God bless Dave Barry

Once again, he’s penned a classic summary of the year just-ended. Prepare to howl. A choice piece: In New York City, the big issue is a proposal to build, two blocks from Ground Zero, a Muslim community center that proponents claim will promote dialogue. Even in the purely conceptual phase it promotes a huge amount [Read More...]

How tweet it is…

My old CBS colleague Andrew Cohen has a few thoughts this Sunday on how he uses Twitter. From the Atlantic: I just delivered my 10,000th sermon on Mount Twitter, chapters and verses preternaturally limited to 140 characters of course, and feel it’s time to offer up my testimony, in more luxurious form, on this remarkable development [Read More...]

Having BlackBerry trouble?

No problem!  Just watch. [Read more...]

New Year's resolutions for Catholics

Okay.  So maybe you don’t need to lose weight or give up smoking.  Looking for some other resolutions for 2011?  Look no further. I wrote this several years ago for my parish bulletin, and it was reprinted this week.  I got a lot of comments about it after mass today, so I thought I’d post [Read More...]

A prayer for Epiphany

Let us pray… Father of light, unchanging God, today you reveal to men of faith the resplendent fact of the Word made flesh. Your light is strong, Your love is near; draw us beyond the limits which this world imposes, to the life where Your Spirit makes all life complete. We ask this through Christ [Read More...]

"Lo, it was done. We are in communion."

Those are the simple, but stirring words of British blogger Fr. Sean Finnegan, who was present as several people — including three Anglican bishops, wearing simple neckties — joined the Catholic Church at Westminster Cathedral on New Year’s Day.  For a groundbreaking moment of Catholic and Anglican history, it was all surprisingly low key. From [Read More...]

The servant of the servants…in dalmatic

Below, Pope Benedict celebrates mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, January 1, 2011. You can read more about the pontiff’s New Year’s message here.  And he also announced a special inter-religious summit in Assisi for peace. [Read more...]

Homily for January 2, 2011: Epiphany of the Lord

Several years ago, my wife’s sister came home one day to learn that her husband of 25 years no longer wanted to be married to her.  To say it was a shock would be an understatement.  It turned her world inside out.  She ended up, like so many people today, going through a difficult and [Read More...]

Slaughter in Egypt: bomb kills Coptic Christians at mass

Another deadly attack on Christians, this time in Egypt, as they attended mass on New Year’s Day. Details, from the AP: A powerful bomb, possibly from a suicide attacker, exploded in front of a Coptic Christian church as a crowd of worshippers emerged from a New Years Mass early Saturday, killing at least 21 people [Read More...]

"Today is where your book begins — the rest is still unwritten…"

I’ll be preaching about this song in my homily for Sunday. I think it’s a great way to kick-start the new year, with a message of new beginnings and resilient hope. Enjoy.  Happy New Year — happy new you! [Read more...]