The mustard seed: a story aching to be told

Does the mustard seed realize what it is destined to become? In the familiar parable, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, “the smallest of all the seeds on earth.” From such a small, seemingly insignificant start grows “the largest of plants,” with branches that attract the birds of the sky. It’s [Read More...]

Forget “Jurassic World” — here’s the blockbuster everyone is waiting for this summer

Read all about it here. But catch the trailer below. [Read more...]

New York Times profiles Fr. C. John McCloskey III, “Opus Dei priest with a magnetic touch”

Details:  Last fall, I traveled to Palo Alto, Calif., to meet the man with the unusual gift. Some priests are known for their work among the poor, others for their learning, still others for decades of service to a parish. The Rev. C. John McCloskey III, a priest of the traditionalist Opus Dei order, has [Read More...]

Homily for June 14, 2015: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday, after the weeks of celebrating Easter, then the big feasts of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi, we find ourselves slipping back in Ordinary Time. “Ordinary” is exactly how you might describe the subject of today’s gospel. Jesus speaks of the power contained in a seed—an object so small, but so significant. [Read More...]

Ordination update: 19 new deacons for Los Angeles

From Angelus:  Archbishop José H. Gomez ordained 19 men to the permanent diaconate during a June 6 multi-lingual Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. “Brothers, you are called to be servants of love,” said the archbishop during his homily, directly addressing this year’s diaconate formation class, including Deacons Carlos Castro (St. [Read More...]

Cardinal Sarah endorses facing East, suggests appendix to Roman Missal

Details:  Paying tribute to the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy as a liturgical “Magna Carta,” Cardinal Robert Sarah called for a more faithful implementation of its text, lamented misinterpretations of its teaching on “active participation,” and suggested an appendix to the Roman Missal that might better manifest the continuity of the extraordinary [Read More...]

Pope to priests: “A Church where no discussions take place is a dead Church” — UPDATED

He gave a remarkable talk today to priests gathered in Rome — most of it unscripted.  It sounds like it was extraordinary, in every sense. Catholic News Service has a good Twitter overview right here. (It includes at the bottom the full video.) And Rome Reports offers this brief report that gives a sense of the [Read More...]

Pope to meet publicly with married gay activist at roundtable next month

Details:  Pope Francis is slated to hold his first public meeting with a married gay activist during a visit to Paraguay in July. The activist is Simón Cazal, executive director of the Paraguayan LGBT rights group SOMOSGAY, who married another SOMOSGAY activist, Sergio López, in neighboring Argentina in 2012. Though the pope has reportedly held pastoral [Read More...]

Deacon Sal Alvarez, RIP — UPDATED

A giant is gone:  A career that started in academia and then embraced the teachings of Jesus, Mohandas Gandhi and Cesar Chavez — a life’s work honored by the Vatican in 2011 — ended on Sunday when Salvador E. Alvarez died at home in San Jose after a long, debilitating illness. He was 74. Soon [Read More...]

One more reason why Catholic schools rock

Places like this:  A California high school has beat the odds, sending all its graduating seniors off to college for the seventh straight year, despite being located in a neighborhood riddled with crime and plagued with gangs. “It’s not Beverly Hills by any stretch,” said Paul Hosch, vice president of mission advancement at Verbum Dei [Read More...]

Ordination update: 12 new deacons for Orlando—UPDATED

It happened last weekend, at the Basilica Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. Bishop John Noonan wrote about deacons for the diocesan paper, noting “Each yes to the permanent diaconate is grace-filled.” Unfortunately, coverage of the ordination is not available in the current online edition of Florida Catholic.  (Presumably, it will be included in the [Read More...]

Abu Dhabi opens second Catholic church

You may remember this item from a few days back. Now, it’s official:   A second catholic church in Abu Dhabi was inaugurated on Thursday evening in the presence of Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state and Bishop Paul Hinder, [Read More...]

Irish bishop seeks discussion on ordaining married men as priests, women as deacons

From CNS:  An Irish bishop urged his colleagues to establish a commission to discuss the possibility of ordaining married men. Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore also wants the Irish bishops’ conference to empower the commission to further study female deacons. The proposal stemmed from a 10-month listening process that O’Reilly led in the Kilmore Diocese, [Read More...]

Bishop buries fetus, “Baby Francis,” found floating amid sewage

From The Rhode Island Catholic:  Finally, “Baby Francis” is resting in peace. In a simple, but dignified ceremony this morning in a section of Gate of Heaven Cemetery set aside for the repose of babies, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin presided over a Christian burial service for the unborn child he named “Francis,” fulfilling a commitment [Read More...]

New Brooklyn bishop-elect to offer Latin Mass for persecuted Christians

You may remember that Pope Francis last month named a devotee of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, Rev. James Massa, as an auxiliary bishop to Brooklyn.  Fr. Massa has a special interest in issues affecting the people of the Middle East. He worked for the USCCB for several years as Executive Director of the United States [Read More...]

The upcoming encyclical: “An important event in the life of the universal church”

View image | A couple of high profile people have been talking about the pope’s upcoming encyclical on the environment and climate change.  Of course, nobody talking about it has even read the document, so it’s impossible to know what it contains. But what we do know right now is that the ideas expressed in an encyclical—any encyclical—are [Read More...]

Ordination update: 13 new deacons for Paterson

From The Beacon: Bishop Serratelli ordained 13 men to the Order of Deacon June 5 in St. Peter the Apostle Church here, which was filled to capacity with many diocesan priests and deacons, the families and friends of the new pernament deacons, and the faithful of the Paterson Diocese. The 13 permanent deacons — William [Read More...]

Growing phenomenon: more students in Catholic schools aren’t Catholic

View image | The Buffalo News picks up on a trend a lot of us have been noticing for a while: In a striped bow tie and patterned dress shirt, Ryan Zuccala looks every bit the part of a Catholic prep-school student. His dark hair is neatly trimmed and combed to the side. He’s [Read More...]