Phoenix hosts massive celebration in honor of Mary

Behold, an annual tradition known as “Honor Your Mother.”  The Catholic Sun reports:  Thousands of people were drawn to the streets of downtown Phoenix Dec. 6 in an outpouring of love for Our Lady of Guadalupe at the annual Honor Your Mother celebration. Phoenix police shut down traffic to allow for the parade of colorfully [Read More...]

Believe it or not: in seven states, you must believe in God to hold public office

Who knew? From The New York Times:  A bookkeeper named Roy Torcaso, who happened to be an atheist, refused to declare that he believed in God in order to serve as a notary public in Maryland. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and in 1961 the courtruled unanimously for Mr. Torcaso, saying states [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: you decide, we report

Media Bistro reported last week on a media summit featuring ABC News anchor David Muir. Tweets from the event reveal some of the editorial thinking now leading one of America’s premiere newscasts. Evidently it is the viewing public—which this morning is trending stories on Facebook about a man eaten alive by a snake and Bobby Moynihan’s [Read More...]

World Meeting of Families debuts official hymn: “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom”

Kathy Schiffer got the scoop: On Sunday, November 30,worshippers at a Mass at Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul heard for the first time the hymn that will be played at Pope Francis’ Mass during next year’s World Meeting of Families. “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom” was co-written by Norbertine Father Andrew Ciferni and [Read More...]

Swiss company gives pope a pair of donkeys

From The New York Daily News:  The head of the Roman Catholic Church has a fondness for donkey milk. Pope Francis was given two of the animals this week by the Swiss firm Eurolactis, and the Pope waxed a little nostalgic about drinking donkey milk as a baby in his native Argentina. The company’s founder, [Read More...]

“Text Me Merry Christmas”: a carol for our times

An instant classic, from the wonderful a cappella group Straight No Chaser, joined here by the insanely talented Kristen Bell. I LOL’d. [Read more...]

WWMD: What Would Mary Do?

“The Annunciation” by James Tissot From the vault, my homily for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 2007:  +++ His name was Charles Sheldon – and he is one of the most influential preachers in American history. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of him. Until I started looking into this, I hadn’t [Read More...]

Report: Retired pope wanted to be known as “Father Benedict”

From the AP: A German newspaper is reporting that retired Pope Benedict XVI says he would have liked to be known after his resignation as “Father Benedict” — a title that would have distinguished him more clearly from the current pontiff. The German-born Benedict has been known as Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI since retiring last [Read More...]

In new interview, pope discusses Synod, reassignment of Cardinal Burke

This just in, from Gerard O’Connell in America magazine: Immediately after his election on 13 March 2013, Pope Francis told himself, “Jorge, do not change, continue being yourself, because to change at your age would be ridiculous.” He revealed this interesting personal detail in a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Elisabetta Piquè, for La Nacion, the [Read More...]

NFL star gives up his career to help the needy

Amazing:  In 2012 — after seven years in the NFL –- Jason Brown was let go from the Rams. Though other teams were interested in signing him, he left his career because he felt he had found a higher calling. Brown went on to become a farmer and to help the hungry with the fruits of his labor, [Read More...]

Awesome: parishioner donates kidney to pastor

From CNS:  A parishioner walks up to her pastor and says, “I want to give you my kidney.” Pastor smiles and says, “OK.” Don’t expect a punchline. It’s no joke. Fr. Michael Whyte arrived at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in 2007 and has been pastor there since 2008. A type 1 diabetic, he began [Read More...]

Homily for December 7, 2014: 2nd Sunday of Advent

If you want to understand what Advent is about, it helps to know the story of Mike Wise. Mike Wise is a sports columnist for the Washington Post. On a January night six years ago, he was jogging along the C&O Canal in downtown Washington with his dog, a golden Lab named Looly. The canal [Read More...]

Pope praises diversity, “feminine genius” in talk to theologians

The Vatican text: of his brief remarks to the International Theological Commission: I meet you with pleasure at the beginning of a new five-year period – the ninth – the International Theological Commission . I thank the President, Cardinal Müller , for the words he addressed to me on behalf of all of you. Your Commission was born shortly after [Read More...]

Dear NBC…THIS should be your next musical

You can count me among those who were underwhelmed by last year’s “The Sound of Music” and bored by Thursday night’s “Peter Pan.” But if NBC wants to atone for its sins, here’s my humble suggestion: Reba McEntire in “Annie Get Your Gun.” Back in 2002, she replaced Bernadette Peters in a revival on Broadway. My wife has loved [Read More...]

Windfall: Christ Cathedral in Orange gets $20 million anonymous gift

Wow:  A donor who asked not to be named has donated $20 million to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange to help fund its multimillion-dollar renovation and transformation of the 34-acre campus that was once home to Robert A. Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral. The donation, which will be paid off within seven years, is the largest gift [Read More...]

Church construction in U.S. hits record low

From The Wall Street Journal:  Americans aren’t building churches like they used to anymore. Construction of religious buildings in the U.S. has fallen to the lowest level at any time since private records began in 1967. Religious groups will build an estimated 10.3 million square feet this year, down 6% from 2013 and 80% since [Read More...]

Deacon wins fight against HHS mandate

You may remember the story of Deacon Greg Hall from last year. (This deacon from Texas also made news a few years back, for his work helping to rescue the trapped Chilean miners. ) Now, an update: The U.S District Court for the District of Minnesota issued a permanent injunction in the case of Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory [Read More...]

California diocese sees Catholic school enrollment climb

Details:  Just a few minutes into his first tour of St. Joseph School, Daniel Ramirez was sold. Looking for a new school for his three children, Ramirez walked into the 101-year-old private Catholic school in Santa Ana and saw teachers wearing suits. He also saw that each student had an iPad, that classes were small, [Read More...]


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