Pope Francis calls family of James Foley

Details:  The death of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic State has been mourned internationally since the tragic news broke. On Thursday, Pope Francis personally called Foley’s grieving family in Rochester, New Hampshire, to “console them for their loss and assure them of his prayers,”according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi. Foley’s relatives were “deeply [Read More...]

Restaurant offers discount to people with church bulletins. Can you guess who’s upset?

Details from KTHV in Searcy, Arkansas:  Searcy restaurant Bailey’s Pizza is getting national attention for encouraging residents to attend church. This comes after a local resident complained to the national non-profit, Freedom from Religion, that the restaurant discriminates against some residents. The pizza parlor offers customers discounts to those who bring their church bulletins on [Read More...]

Detroit’s Cardinal Szoka dies

From the Archdiocese of Detroit:  With sadness and great hope in the Resurrection we share news of the death of Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, who served as Archbishop of Detroit from 1981 until 1990 and went on to oversee the government of the Vatican City State under Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.“We mourn [Read More...]

The head of World Jewish Congress asks: “Who will stand up for Christians?”

Ronald S. Lauder offers us this provocative and stirring piece from yesterday’s New York Times: Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by [Read More...]

James Foley reminds us of what we knew all along: prayer matters

Elizabeth Scalia, as usual, nails it:  What I have been arguing for in these past months is what James Foley himself advocated: the acquisition of what used to be considered a rather conventional religiosity, one in which prayer was not something foreign, but something natural, practiced to varying degrees and understood widely as a real [Read More...]

Diocese finds a new use for a closed Catholic school, but you won’t believe it—UPDATED

They rented it out to film a sex comedy. The best part: “[The producer] had been rejected by a number of other local public and private schools once they read the script. At Sacred Heart, no one asked to read it.” Details:  Producers generally spread the word when they’re filming a project so they can generate [Read More...]

Archdiocese throws cold water on the “ice bucket challenge”

And if you read on, you’ll see one of our Patheos bloggers mentioned. Details:  The Cincinnati Archdiocese has warned Catholic school principals against donating to the ALS Association due to concerns that the money could wind up funding research that uses embryonic stem cells. Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Catholic schools [Read More...]

The godless, lame-stream media strikes again

From the Facebook page of Channel 11 in Atlanta. While shooting a story at a local diner, the team decided to do something that undoubtedly will leave some people shocked. Post by 11Alive.   [Read more...]

Must-read: James Foley writes of his Jesuit education, prayer and seeing God in all things

A friend from Marquette, Tim Cigelske, posted this on his Facebook page today. It’s an email he received from James Foley, the journalist beheaded by ISIS yesterday. It was sent in 2011, after he was freed from a jail in Libya. Cigelske noted: “I’ve re-read the email he sent three years ago in search of [Read More...]

Faith, prayer sustain James Foley’s family

From CNS: In April 2013, the parents of slain U.S. journalist James Foley attended a prayer vigil at Marquette University in Milwaukee to pray for their son, who at that time had disappeared in Syria.Before Diane and John Foley had confirmation that spring that their son was missing, Diane said she just felt it — [Read More...]

Want to support Iraqi Christians? Here’s a great fundraiser

And it was all started by a deacon. From the CNEWA blog, One-to-One:  A couple days ago, I got an email from Deacon Charles Rohrbacher in the Diocese of Juneau (Alaska), who wanted me to know about a fundraiser they are undertaking to help Christians in Iraq — and, specifically, to support the work of CNEWA. [Read More...]

In Iraq, one man’s “No” led to a massacre

Chilling details of what is happening in parts of Iraq, via Reuters: When Islamic State militants stormed into a northern Iraqi village and ordered everyone to convert to Islam or die only one person refused. But that did not satisfy the Sunni insurgents who are even more hardline than al Qaeda. The militants, who have [Read More...]

James Wright Foley, Catholic, writes of praying the rosary in prison

What happened to this man yesterday is beyond imagining. But few accounts of his brave life and horrible death have mentioned one significant fact: his faith. My blog neighbor Frank Weathers has the scoop, with an excerpt from a piece Foley wrote for the Marquette alumni magazine three years ago: Myself and two colleagues had [Read More...]

“Blessing of the planes” in Alaska

Details: Some Anchorage pilots may feel safer in the skies now that a Catholic priest has blessed their planes. Rev. Leo Walsh of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church performed a blessing ceremony Tuesday evening at Lake Hood Seaplane Base. The Catholic priest sprinkled holy water and prayed over about a dozen planes while their owners looked [Read More...]

“I’m a straight woman married to a woman…”

And now for something completely different. I’ve never seen a story quite like this before. This isn’t exactly the ordinary couple next door. From The Washington Post:  I’ve never questioned my sexuality, my desire to be with a man. Still, when I first encountered the person who would become my husband, he was wearing makeup and [Read More...]

The struggles of being a woman minister—and staying employed

We don’t usually think about people in ministry being out of work and struggling to make ends meet. But this profile of one woman in New York City offers a different perspective: The Rev. Dominique C. Atchison stood at the lectern in the church fellowship hall, her voice soaring, her body swaying. There were joyful [Read More...]

One priest’s challenge to the “ice bucket challenge”

You may have read about the moral problems of donating to ALSA.org. via the “ice bucket challenge.” Now, a blogging priest, Fr. Michael Denk, is offering a challenge of his own…to ALSA.org. Check it out. And, like my blog neighbor Fr. Mike Duffy (who first raised ethical questions about this gimmick) he offers an alternative to donating [Read More...]

St. Louis archbishop issues letter on Ferguson, encourages prayer to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots

From the Archdiocese of St. Louis website:  Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, We are all aware of the turmoil and tragedy our St. Louis community is experiencing. The residents of Ferguson, Missouri, are struggling to find peace in the chaos. As people of Christ, we are struggling to find direction in the unrest. I [Read More...]