Historic: Muslim imam earns masters in theology at Catholic Seattle University

From The Seattle Times: The premise of Abdullah Polovina’s story sounds like the start of a bar joke: A Muslim imam walks into a Catholic university … Except it’s true. Polovina, who leads a congregation of Bosnian Muslims in Portland, did just that. And in June, he’ll walk out to “Pomp and Circumstance.” The 41-year-old [Read More...]

Brooklyn gets two new auxiliary bishops—including one who regularly celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form

From the In My Backyard Desk, the following press release arrived in my mailbox this morning. One detail of note (which is unmentioned here): one of the new bishops, Fr. James Massa, often celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form. In fact, a few years ago, Bishop DiMarzio appointed him to coordinate the celebration of the liturgy in [Read More...]

Ordination update: 8 new deacons for Baltimore

From The Catholic Review:  Lying face down on the hard sanctuary floor of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland, May 16, eight white-robed men remained motionless as more than 1,000 people called on the heavenly saints to intercede for them. “Pray for us,” the congregation repeatedly chanted in solemn unison, after a cantor [Read More...]

Putting out into the deep: May 19, 2007

About the stole It is a custom in this diocese for each deacon class to design its own distinctive stole to wear on the day of ordination. Taking as our inspiration Bishop DiMarzio’s motto “put out into the deep” (Luke 5:4), we’ve designed a stole that shows a vessel sailing into the water. It resembles a [Read More...]

“Dear Church…”: A millennial writes about how to keep his generation in the pews

View image | gettyimages.com This was written by a young Protestant—United Methodist, actually—but it should be read by everyone (Catholics, I’m looking at you). He offers a few modest proposals, including: Don’t expect a “worship style” to do your dirty work. Contemporary worship hasn’t worked. The longer we extend the life of this failed experiment, the more we [Read More...]

Jude Law to star as “The Young Pope”

Pope Lenny?? From Variety: Jude Law will topline Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s TV series, with the working title “The Young Pope,” about an imaginary pontiff who is the first Italian-American pope in history. Rupert Murdoch’s paybox Sky and France’s Canal Plus will co-produce with HBO, marking the first multiple-player production of this type in Italy. The series [Read More...]

Professional actors help seminarians with “Preaching Boot Camp”

From the Detroit Free Press: Let’s be honest, Catholic priests aren’t known for soul-stirring preaching. And according to Pope Francis and many ex-Catholics, that’s a problem. Boring sermonizing does not fill the sanctuary or pay the bills. It certainly will not curb the steady march of American Catholics from the faith. “Priests today have to [Read More...]

“Here is a happy priest”: homily for a priest’s 25th anniversary

Today Fr. Antonin Kocurek, a priest in our parish who ministers to the Czech apostolate in the Diocese of Brooklyn, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He asked me to serve and preach at the Czech Mass marking this occasion in Astoria, Queens. Here’s what I had to say. +++ The last [Read More...]

Meet the newly ordained Catholic priest with two Muslim daughters

This may be one of the most unusual vocation stories you’ll ever encounter. From The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:  Like most seminarians, the Rev. Dennis Saran could tick off the many influences that bolstered and shaped him in his yearslong path to the priesthood. There was his Catholic upbringing, of course. His teacher-priests and fellow seminarians. Long-dead [Read More...]

That story about Catholic University offending Muslim students? Bull.

Steven Greydanus has been following the controversy—and doing a very good job of debunking it—over at the National Catholic Register:  Everybody take a deep breath. Nothing is actually happening here. The source of the confusion appears to be an undated article posted on BeliefNet — a story that dates back to 2011. (Undated news stories are the worst. Actually, as I [Read More...]

Great moments in education: teacher screens “Fifty Shades of Grey” for high school students

Details:  Part of the erotic movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” was shown in a West Virginia high school classroom this week after students convinced their teacher to let them watch it as a reward for good work. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the teacher apparently didn’t know what the film was about. Hampshire High principal [Read More...]

There go the Germans. Again.

From the National Catholic Register:  A public dispute has broken out between Germany’s top lay Catholic organization and a German bishop, after the organization issued a statement calling for a raft of new pastoral practices, which the bishop and other critics say are opposed to Church doctrine. The Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken (Central Committee of the German Catholics, [Read More...]

Marching for life in Queens

This morning, my parish hosted once again the great Msgr. Philip Reilly and his remarkable apostolate Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. The turnout was small—a couple dozen people—but it was a drizzly, miserable morning. Mass began at 7:45, celebrated by my pastor, Bishop Paul Sanchez, and then we all headed out the door and down Queens [Read More...]

Holy smokes: an electric incense thurible?

A reader mentioned this to me in an email, and I didn’t even know such things existed. But through the miracle of Google, I found it: NO MORE CARBON – only the aroma of incense all around. INSTRUCTIONS: It is extremely easy to use and fully automatic. After having added your incense, all you need to [Read More...]

The nuns spoke—and the archbishop listened

The archbishop in question is Seattle’s J. Peter Sartain—FOTB (Friend of the Bench)—and this account appears in today’s New York Times: When 25 leaders of the largest organization of American nuns met for the first time with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle in 2012, after theVatican appointed him to lead an overhaul of their group, they expected [Read More...]

“The deacon stands as a vital link between the clergy and laity…”

A reader sent this my way, and it’s a fascinating glimpse at the theology of the diaconate, in the Orthodox Church, from a talk by Father Deacon Photios Touloumes: During the liturgy, the deacon stands in the midst of the faithful as master of ceremonies, directing them in the proper posture and movements of the [Read More...]

Vatican official credits TV series “Modern Family” for drawing attention to family issues

Well now. This is different. From Crux:  Politics has no monopoly on making strange bedfellows, as a senior Vatican official paid tribute to Hollywood on Thursday for raising the profile of family issues, specifically citing the American sitcom “Modern Family,” a show that features two married gay men who adopt a baby, plus an older [Read More...]

Is Ave Maria University losing its Catholic identity?

Some students and alumnae think so. From The Naples Daily News:  Alexandra Clark ended her search for a Catholic college about five years ago at Ave Maria University. She and her sister wanted a place true to their faith, a school that wasn’t “just Catholic in name only.” Clark graduated from Ave Maria in 2014, and while [Read More...]