In hard times, a surge in cremations

At the rate things are going, by the end of this decade a majority of Americans will choose cremation. Details: As Toni Kelly battled lymphoma, first with a bone marrow transplant and then with brutal rounds of chemotherapy, she worried obsessively that her four-year struggle would destroy her family’s finances. Her husband, Doug, refused to [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Circle of light: behind the Advent wreath

It’s a popular fixture in Catholic churches and homes, but the Advent wreath comes with a long history and rich meaning. From the Catholic Sentinel in Portland, OR: Advent is about more than marking an event 2,000 years ago and the wreaths help make that clear. Progressive lighting of candles symbolizes a two-part hope surrounding [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Let there be lights: pope uses tablet to light world’s largest Christmas tree

You can read all about it here. Evidently, he opted for a Sony S, rather than iPad which he’d used earlier in the year. See for yourself below. [Read more…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

The end of an era

As is the custom in the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, they ordained transitional deacons today, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at the 80-year-old facility shared by the two dioceses, the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York.  The occasion was beautiful but bittersweet:  this will likely be the last ordination [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Researchers: nuns should take the pill to cut cancer risk

Really? Strange as it sounds, yes: Catholic nuns take a vow of chastity, so you might not think that any sister would need to be on birth control. But oral contraceptive pills have other uses besides preventing pregnancy; in fact, Catholic bioethicists say there is no inherent conflict in nuns (or any other Catholic) taking [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

It’s here: this season’s first big holiday flash mob

Leave it to T-Mobile to kick-start the season with another splashy production number in a public space — this one, a shopping mall outside Chicago. [Read more…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Sebelius overrules experts, blocks selling abortion pill on store shelves

Details: In a surprise move, the nation’s health secretary stopped the Plan B morning-after pill from moving onto drugstore shelves next to the condoms, deciding Wednesday that young girls shouldn’t be able to buy it on their own. The Food and Drug Administration was preparing to lift a controversial age limit and make Plan B One-Step the [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

RIP, Harry Morgan

One of the most familiar faces on television has gone to the great dressing room in the sky: Harry Morgan, the prolific character actor best known for playing the acerbic but kindly Colonel Potter in the long-running television series “M*A*S*H,” died Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 96. His son Charles [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Another sign of Christmas: billboards from atheists

They’re back: Nearly $40,000 was spent during the last Christmas season on a billboard war between atheists and Roman Catholics at the New Jersey entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. But so far, this year’s version of the atheist billboard has failed to generate much of a fight. The American Atheists’ new orange and black billboard, just [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

A Catholic wedding performed without a net

Remember the good old days before Vatican II, when people took sacraments seriously and priests treated the liturgy with reverence? Behold, a Catholic wedding in France from 60 years ago.   [Read more…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

U.S. bishop heads to Afghanistan for Christmas

And he’ll be confirming several U.S. soldiers while he’s there, too. Details: Catholic Bishop F. Richard Spencer, who serves as Episcopal Vicar for Europe and Asia of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) of the U.S. military, arrived on December 5 in northern Afghanistan, where he will spend Advent and the Christmas holidays ministering to United States and multinational [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Blessed Marianne Cope recommended for sainthood

Details: A nun who dedicated her life to caring for exiled leprosy patients is a step closer to sainthood after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints recommended her canonization on Tuesday. The recommendation to the pope confirmed previous rulings that a second miracle was due to Blessed Marianne Cope’s intercession. In 1888, Cope [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

O, Tannen-bomb: the Christmas tree controversy in Rhode Island

Trouble is taking root, and spreading: Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee unwrapped a Christmas conundrum when he erected a “holiday” tree in the Statehouse, incensing the Roman Catholic Church, many residents and even the tree farmer who donated the 17-foot-tall spruce. The holiday hubbub comes to a head Tuesday evening when Chafee presides over a [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

FDA weighs selling abortion pill off the shelf — UPDATED

The mind boggles: The federal government is grappling with the explosive question of whether to let anyone of any age buy the controversial morning-after pill Plan B directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves without a prescription. The Food and Drug Administration has until Wednesday to respond to a request from the drug’s manufacturer to make [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

A prayer to St. Nicholas — UPDATED

Good St Nicholas, Help us prepare for the miracle of the coming of Jesus. Help us not to be blind to the gifts of getting ready. Help us be sincere in the greetings we send and receive, with love and prayer. Kind St. Nicholas, protect us from shoppers’ fatigue, stress, overspending, yet help us to [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

What happens when Santa gives $100 to needy strangers?

For some, it’s a gift of hope and an answered prayer.  From the Reading Eagle in Pennsylvania: Sitting in Reading’s Inter-City Bus Terminal on Tuesday night, Thomas Coates Jr. was out of work and out of hope. Then, out of the blue, a stranger sat next to him and restored his faith in human kindness. [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Red Bull to stage extreme ice event on cathedral steps

This may be a first: A Red Bull Crashed Ice extreme sports event is going to be staged on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul come January. The event, which is referred to as a “downhill ice cross,” pits international competitors skating down a specially designed ice ramp. To see a video of [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Health care, chaplains — and the story of one deacon’s wife

She’s the widow of a classmate of mine, Jim Hynes, and her story begins this report in the Wall Street Journal about how spiritual care is increasingly a part of health care: Doctors and nurses were preparing Kathleen Hynes for a stem-cell transplant at Long Island’s North Shore University Hospital last June when she asked [Read More…]

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK