A Catholic funeral for…a dog?

Check this out:  It happened on April 22, 2015 in the city of Sambreville, Belgium, in St. Victor Church of Auvelais. The parish priest, Fr. Francis Lallemand, took the initiative of celebrating the first religious service for a dog that we know of. He opened his church for the burial religious and preached a homily [Read More...]

German Catholic Church sets new employee policy for divorced and remarried, same sex couples

Details: Germany’s Roman Catholic Church, an influential voice for reforms prompted by Pope Francis, has decided lay employees who divorce and remarry or form gay civil unions should no longer automatically lose their jobs. Catholic bishops have voted to adjust Church labour law “to the multiple changes in legal practise, legislation and society” so employee [Read More...]

Pope blesses small statue for Maryland family whose daughters died in fire

From Catholic News Agency:  After reading a letter while visiting Rome’s North American Seminary detailing the death of two young girls in a house fire, Pope Francis blessed their picture and a small statue to be given to their parents.“The Holy Father read the story about what happened and he was very moved by it. [Read More...]

Vandals deface statue of Mary

It happened in Oklahoma over the weekend, at the beginning of the month dedicated to Our Lady: Churchgoers were upset Sunday morning when they discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary vandalized with black spray paint. The defacement of the shrine at St. Thomas More University Parish and Student Center, 100 E Stinson, near the [Read More...]

Actor Joe Mantegna to receive Saint Pio Award

From the foundation that bears the saint’s name: The Saint Pio Foundation is proud to present the 1st “Saint Pio Award Ceremony,” which will take place at The Naval Heritage Center (701 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20004), on Friday, May 22, 2015, at 6:30pm. A cocktail reception will be followed by the award ceremony. [Read More...]

Events announced for Jubilee of Mercy, including one for deacons

Save the date: May 29, 2016. From the Holy See press office:  “Some events are being organised which most likely will involve large crowds of people. We wanted the first event, which will be held from January 19-21, to be dedicated to all those involved with the organisation of pilgrimages. It will symbolically emphasise that the [Read More...]

Coming to a church near you: “Missionaries of Mercy” for the Year of Mercy

The full text of the papal bull announcing the Jubilee of Mercy was published several days ago, and is now available on the Jubilee of Mercy website. There are a number of specific, concrete details worth noting: The initiative of “24 Hours for the Lord,” to be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week [Read More...]

Great moments in American business: Nail salon forced to change name after harassment

From the In My Backyard Desk:  The terrorists have won in Queens — where the owner of a salon called ISIS Nails was forced to change the name because of constant harassment from people who thought the shop was connected to the terror group. Charlene Tse finally caved last week and renamed her Forest Hills [Read More...]

The Jubilee Year of Mercy now has a website—and a logo

The website, unveiled today, is here.  The logo:   A description of the image and its meaning: The logo and the motto together provide a fitting summary of what the Jubilee Year is all about. The motto Merciful Like the Father (taken from the Gospel of Luke, 6:36) serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who [Read More...]

“A.D.” and the stoning of Stephen — UPDATED

I was looking for a longer version of this clip, but it doesn’t appear to be available. Nonetheless: here’s a recap of last night’s episode of “A.D.: The Bible Continues,” which concludes with Stephen’s martyrdom. I found the stoning gripping and graphic—but Stephen wasn’t exactly the most saintly or sympathetic of martyrs. He was, actually, [Read More...]

A message from the pope in English

These are the words he left in the guest book at the Pontifical North American College this weekend: Photo via Twitter [Read more...]

What the world has been waiting for: a selfie stick that looks like you have a friend taking the picture

Check this out:  Fascinated by the idea of technology and its illusionary ‘connectedness’ and ‘sociableness’, [designers] Snee and Crowe created the ‘selfie arm’. the sarcastic solution to a quintessential problem — nobody wants to look alone while they mindlessly snap pictures of themselves — the product conveniently provides you a welcoming arm and, better yet, [Read More...]

Boom: Australia sees surge in vocations

From Sydney:  Morning prayer at Corpus Christi College, where 59 men are currently studying to become Catholic priests. That’s more than double the 1999 enrollment figure of 28 students. This year there are 17 first year students among them: the highest it’s been in decades. Father Brendan Lane is the priest in charge. “We’ve got [Read More...]

Ahead of the Synod, proposing a change for the Sacrament of Penance

From Chiesa in Italy, come details of one theological proposal that would not permit communion for the divorced and remarried, but would extend sacramental grace: The author is the Dominican theologian Thomas Michelet, of the theological faculty of Fribourg, Switzerland.Fr. Michelet’s proposal is to institute an “ordo paenitentium” for those who find themselves in a persistent [Read More...]

Ordination update: 9 new deacons for Cleveland

From the Diocese of Cleveland website:  Most Reverend Richard Lennon, Bishop of Cleveland ordained 9 men to the Sacred Order of Deacon on Saturday, May 2nd Those men ordained to the Permanent Diaconate include: Deacon John Joseph Amedeo, Sr. of Akron; Dennis Alan Conrad of Westlake; Mark Alan Cunningham of Bay Village; Bruce Elliot Dobbins, Jr. of [Read More...]

Minnesota gets a married priest

Details:  Vaughn Treco, a married man, grandfather of two and former Anglican priest, has received the approval of Pope Francis to be ordained to the Catholic diaconate and priesthood in early May. His ordination as a Catholic priest who is married is allowed as an exception to the normal requirement for celibacy. Upon ordination, Treco [Read More...]

Historic: Brain-dead woman kept alive for two months so her baby could be born

Remarkable:  A brain-dead and pregnant Nebraska mother was kept on life support for nearly two months so her baby could survive and be delivered in a historic birth. Karla Perez, 22, became the first person on record in the United States, since 1999, to give birth after being kept on somatic support, health officials said. [Read More...]

Actress Maria Bello: “I’m proud to call myself a Catholic”

The star of “ER” and “The Cooler” has just published a series of personal essays on the “labels we give ourselves,” in which she discusses, among other things, being bipolar and bisexual. She was born and raised Catholic, and talked about that in an interview with The Daily Beast:  What might surprise a lot of people is [Read More...]