12 @ 50: Fr. Martin's guide to (almost) everything

This strikes me as eminently sane, and even wise — and good advice for all of us as we enter a new year. From Fr. James Martin at the Huffington Post, who marked his 50th birthday by tweeting these life lessons to his friends: 1. First up: Stop worrying so much! It’s useless. (I.e. Jesus [Read More...]

Poll: most Americans will pray as they ring in the new year

How will you ring in the new year tonight? How about with a prayer? According to the Christian Post, a new poll indicates you’ll have plenty of company: A new Rasmussen Reports found that a majority of Americans don’t plan on skipping prayer even though they won’t attend parties this New Year’s Eve. An estimated [Read More...]

Another sign of peace on earth?

Break out the syrup and tuck that napkin under your chin. Details: The International House of Pancakes has dropped its legal flap against a Missouri church over their shared initials. The Glendale-based flapjack chain accused the International House of Prayer in Kansas City over the church’s use of the initials on its website and in [Read More...]

Ladies and gentlemen: pants! They're amazing!

Just what the world has been waiting for! H/T The Concord Pastor [Read more...]

Oy: a PSA with a sense of humor

Need a laugh?  Check this out: As Fr. James Martin noted on his Facebook page: “Catholic Relief Services needs to get someone to do something like this for them.”  Amen!  (But if CRS could do something like this, Catholics would have invented the Borscht Belt…) Enjoy [Read more...]

A word about comments

To those who are new to these parts (and that would include me!), if you register at Patheos, your comment will appear immediately and will not have to wait to be approved by Your Humble Blogger. And the ground rules that were in place back at Beliefnet still hold. You might want to check them [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

At the end of a brutal year, Iraq’s Christians continue to have faith — though many are now forced to practice it elsewhere. Shown above: An Iraqi girl prays during Mass at a Chaldean Catholic church in Amman, Jordan. [Read more...]

Deacons and the collar: Fr. Z goes there

After much dissection of the norms, he concludes: Sadly, I think, bishops still have little idea what to do with deacons. The idea of denying the Roman collar to men duly ordained as clerics, while permitting it for those merely studying for the priesthood, as is the case in many seminaries, doesn’t make sense to [Read More...]

Behold: a cathedral made of junk

Incredible, but true. The church above is made entirely of discarded materials, and built mostly by just one man. Details, from the BBC: It’s the sheer size of the structure that first strikes you. Almost 40 metres (131ft) tall, its spires and giant dome tower over the surrounding apartment blocks in this Madrid suburb. That’s [Read More...]

Priest sues abbey, charging sex abuse

It’s almost unheard of for a priest to sue over allegations that he was sexually abused, but it’s happening right now in Oregon. Details, from the Oregonian: A Roman Catholic priest who says he was sexually mistreated as a teenager in the 1970s by a priest at Mt. Angel Abbey is suing the abbey for [Read More...]

Quote of the day

“I must honestly tell you that our Christmas Eve liturgy was so slap-dash, so irreverent and untrained and featured music so poorly chosen and executed that it was joyless, perfunctory and at times just so awful as to feel more like torture than celebration. Even my husband, who never has a bad word to say, [Read More...]

Holy cow!

I mean, REALLY! Details, in the Telegraph: Moses, who has been hailed as a “holy cow”, was born last week at a dairy farm in Sterling, Connecticut, a small rustic town on the Rhode Island border. But Mr Grummer said the cross shape is unique. Ric Grummer, the chairman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department [Read More...]

My saint

Over at The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia is inviting folks to try a nifty “saint-generator” — a kind of digital religious roulette that picks for you, evidently a random, a patron saint. So who did I get?  Joyful St. Francis?  Funny Philip Neri?  Nah. I got this guy: He’s Blessed Anton Martin Slomsek (with a curious [Read More...]

RIP "Liesl": model for "Sound of Music" character dies

Sad news for those of us who grew up with the film (or caught it last week during one of its many holiday airings). From the AP: Agathe von Trapp, a member of the musical family whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was the basis for “The Sound of Music,” has died, a longtime friend said [Read More...]

Priest proposes "exit interviews" for lapsed Catholics

It’s a novel concept, but what would we learn? From America magazine, here’s Fr. William J. Byron: Ever since Larry Bossidy, a former C.E.O. of Allied Signal and the Honeywell Corporation, raised the question of conducting interviews with lapsed Catholics, I have been giving it a lot of thought. Mr. Bossidy is a devout Catholic [Read More...]

Me and my Kindle

When it comes to reading electronic books, or e-books, I was an agnostic. All that changed over the holidays. Now, I’m a believer.  I have seen the light.  It emanates from a little grey pad of plastic called a Kindle. My in-laws gave me a Kindle (Amazon’s version of an e-reader) for Christmas.  Minutes after [Read More...]

The arrogance of the new atheists

Columnist (and atheist) S.E. Cupp dissects the “neo-atheists” in a piece in today’s New York Daily News — and I think she says what a lot of us have been thinking about this phenomenon: So often it seems like a conversation ender, not a conversation starter. And the loudest voices of today’s militant atheism, for [Read More...]

Watch this with your kids. Now.

It just might save a life. AT & T has released this powerful video about texting and driving.  It’s one every person who gets behind a wheel needs to see — especially young people.  Take 10 minutes and make a difference. [Read more...]