Can we do better than just “Pre-Cana”?

I think most thoughtful Catholics would say “Yes.” And some bishops at the Synod seem to agree. From National Catholic Register: Could marriage preparation by itself become a thing of the past for couples approaching the wedding altar? The idea of a “marriage catechumenate” — a period of formation for marriage that would cover a [Read More…]

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By the numbers: latest Church statistics show more priests, deacons

  View image | gettyimages.com Some highlights, from Fides:  As every year, in view of World Mission Day, this year celebrated on Sunday, October 18, Fides News Service offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama of the missionary Church all over the world. The tables are taken from the latest edition of the “Church’s [Read More…]

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When a prison cell became a cathedral: a lesson on Eucharist from Francis Xavier Nguyn Van Thuan

Planning to address the children of my parish as they prepare for their First Holy Communion, I instead addressed my homily yesterday to their parents. Here is some of what I said, just published at Aleteia:  We see these milestones in the lives of our children and sometimes they go by in a blur. Sometimes it becomes [Read More…]

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A single parent writes to the Synod: “Why aren’t we represented?”

From Katrina Fernandez over at Aleteia, raising a very good point: I know it seems like a small thing, silly perhaps, but I keep scanning the headlines and reading the news looking for those two small words. Small words with significant meaning. Single. Parents. Each time I read a news article about the discussions within [Read More…]

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Ordination update: 12 new deacons for Boston

It happened on Saturday, and here’s the preview from The Boston Pilot:  Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley will ordain twelve men to the Order of Permanent Deacon at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Oct. 17, 2015 at 10 a.m. The candidates began their studies in September 2011 when they started attending classes two nights [Read More…]

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Transgender activist: Bishop, priest supportive of my transition

This op-ed piece appeared in the Edmonton (Canada) Journal last week, written by transgender activist Marni Panas: My Ukrainian Catholic faith has been a significant cornerstone in the life of me and my family, but I had been pulling away from my faith over the past few years, mostly out of fear I would not feel welcome [Read More…]

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Ordination update: 14 new deacons for Richmond

A first look, from the diocese’s Facebook page, below. This Sunday’s gospel couldn’t be more apt. “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and [Read More…]

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Circle of life: priest administers baptism to great-nephew from his sick bed

Beautiful story, from The Boston Pilot:  On Oct. 3, senior priest Father John McCormick baptized his great-nephew Owen Rourke, pouring water over the 3-month-old’s head and blessing him, just as he had done for all his other family members — but this time was different. Father McCormick administered the sacrament from his sick bed in [Read More…]

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Pope Francis lays out vision of synodal Church, a “church of listening”

View image | gettyimages.com From  Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis on Saturday morning marked the 50th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops as a permanent body. Gathered with the Fathers of the XIV Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops – who are currently meeting in Rome to discuss the vocation and mission of [Read More…]

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In new interview, Pope Francis declares “I have always been a priest of the street”

From Zenit:  The Argentine Pope is on this week’s cover of the famous magazine “Paris Match,” generally reserved for sports and stage celebrities. The magazine published a long interview with the Pope by Vatican expert Caroline Pigozzi, where such topics appear as poverty, human dignity, criticisms of capitalism and the environment. In sum, there is [Read More…]

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“Deacons are the waiters at the table of the Lord…”

A diaconal bow to my Byzantine brother, Deacon Daniel Dozier, who posted this on Facebook. Some great insight into the meaning and purpose of deacons in the Orthodox Church:  “Deacon” literally means server. Deacons are the waiters (servants, slaves) at the table of the Lord (e.g., Luke 14:16-24; John 2:1-11). Therefore they are usually found [Read More…]

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Baltimore’s Catholic Review newspaper to become a monthly magazine

A trend continues. From The Baltimore Sun:  The Catholic Review, which has chronicled Catholic life in Baltimore for nearly two centuries, will stop publishing in its traditional newspaper format and become a glossy monthly magazine. The Oct. 29 issue will be its last as a biweekly newspaper, editor and associate publisher Chris Gunty said Wednesday. [Read More…]

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From the Synod: On birth control, lay auditor says, “This ‘paralyzed status quo’ cannot continue”

John Thavis reports:  The question of birth control, sometimes described as the “elephant in the room” at the Synod of Bishops on the Family, was the focus of a bluntly worded talk by a lay auditor at the Vatican assembly. The auditor, Sharron Cole from New Zealand, told the synod that the teaching of the [Read More…]

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From the Synod: Chicago’s Cupich on divorce, conscience, reconciliation

One archbishop’s take, via NCR: The Catholic church has to respect decisions divorced and remarried people make about their spiritual lives after they examine what their conscience is telling them to do, Chicago’s Archbishop Blase Cupich said during a press briefing. Cupich — one of nine Americans attending the ongoing Oct. 4-25 Synod of Bishops and one of [Read More…]

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Meet the Muslim who became a Catholic bishop—and later baptized his father

Who knew? A surprising interview from Diane Montagna in Aleteia, about Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of the Blantyre archdiocese in Malawi.  He is one of the Synod fathers and he has a remarkable story to tell: You were raised Muslim? At the age of 7, I left home and went to the parish because I wanted to [Read More…]

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Pope makes surprise visit to homeless shelter—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

From Vatican Radio: On Thursday, Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the new Jesuit homeless shelter, ‘Gift of Mercy’, just around the corner from the Vatican. All 30 guests at ‘Gift of Mercy’ (Dono di Misericordia), most of whom are Italian, were overjoyed to see the Holy Father and were eager to tell him [Read More…]

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From the Synod: “We do not support a process of admitting the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist”

That comment comes from a Polish archbishop who briefed reporters Thursday. Details:  Archbishop Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference, and Archbishop Carlos Aquiar Retes of Mexico, were guests at the briefing. Holy See Press spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told the media that there had been about 93 interventions on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday [Read More…]

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Synod, shmynod

Enough already. Put down that crockery. Count to 10. Breathe deeply. Then follow doctor’s orders: take this prescription from a Doctor of the Church, on her feast day… [Read more…]

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