Pope Francis to preside over wedding ceremony next month

Did you get an invitation? From CNS:  Pope Francis will preside over his first wedding ceremony as pontiff during a nuptial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Sept. 14. The Vatican confirmed Aug. 29 that 20 couples from the Diocese of Rome will be married by the pope, the bishop of Rome. The papal Mass celebrating [Read More...]

Behind every great married clergyman…

…is a woman like Mary Alma Parker. She helped make history. She is remembered this day by Fr. Dwight: On Tuesday Mrs Longenecker and I traveled to Charleston for the funeral of Mary Alma Parker. Mary Alma was the wife of Fr James Parker–the first Episcopal priest to be ordained under the Pastoral Provision in the [Read More...]

Must-see video: Cardinal Wuerl’s powerful plea on Iraq

My blog neighbor Kathryn Lopez posted this last night, and it deserves a wider distribution. As she wrote: This is no ordinary opening of an academic year, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., said toward the end of Mass for my alma mater’s academic year. “Atrocities happen because there are people who commit them and [Read More...]

Canadian archdiocese launches diaconate program

From The Catholic Register: The Archdiocese of Regina has launched its inaugural diaconate course, with 10 men taking their first steps towards becoming permanent deacons. The course was set to begin Aug. 29 and archdiocesan theologian Dr. Brett Salkeld couldn’t be more pleased. “We’re really excited. We’ve got 10 great guys who really want to [Read More...]

Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner becomes Catholic, with Cardinal Dolan attending

Details:  Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) converted to Catholicism in a quiet ceremony at Milwaukee’s St. Francis de Sales Seminary on Monday — a private affair reportedly attended by at least two Wisconsin bishops and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Sensenbrenner’s office confirmed the conversion in an e-mail. But it turned down an interview [Read More...]

Brad and Angelina: non-believers married in a chapel

So, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally got married:  Jolie and Pitt wed in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends at Chateau Miraval. In advance of the nondenominational civil ceremony, Pitt and Jolie obtained a marriage license from a local California judge. The judge also conducted the ceremony in [Read More...]

Further proof that God loves us

Let the revels begin:  September is prime pumpkin season at Dunkin’ Donuts, as America’s all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods today revealed its harvest of new and returning pumpkin favorites for fall. Leading the autumn array are new Pumpkin Crème Brulee Coffee and Lattes, which are available hot or iced, featuring the delicious flavors of [Read More...]

Statistics show “signs of life” among sisters

Some interesting insight from the 1964 blog at CARA:  In spring 2014, CARA began analyzing membership data reported by the religious institutes of women in the United States as listed in The Official Catholic Directory (OCD). Forthcoming is a CARA Special Report based on this research entitled, Population Trends among Religious Institutes of Women. This post presents a [Read More...]

Muslim scholar: “I’m a Nazarene, too”

From Catholic News Agency:  Referring to the label “Nazarene” marked on houses of Christians in Iraq by the militant Islamic State, a Muslim scholar also called himself Nazarene in solidarity – maintaining that many people in the Muslim community are identifying with Christians as well.“Millions of Muslims have used the Arab letter ‘nun,’ or ‘n,’ [Read More...]

Leading Italian bishop: Church must make “unconventional couples” feel at home

From Zenit:  Addressing a national conference on the liturgy on Wednesday, Bishop Nunzio Galantino said the Church must make everyone feel at home, including “unconventional couples”. “Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice,” he said, according to Italian news agency ANSA. “The burden of exclusion from [Read More...]

From Marquette, a prayer for James Foley

Photo by Xidan Zhang via the Marquette Tribune. From the university’s website: The Marquette University community gathered to remember alumnus and slain journalist James Foley at a vigil yesterday at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee. Foley, a 1996 graduate, was working as a war correspondent when he was kidnapped in Syria in November [Read More...]

A deacon recounts the final moments of a man on death row

A haunting testimony about the death of Joe Woods, from Deacon Ed Scheffer in the Diocese of Tuscon, via The Catholic Sun:  I prayed the rosary seven times as I sat in a small cinderblock room watching Joe gasp for air. He finally died one hour and 58 minutes later. In that time of prayer [Read More...]

“Would you like a rosary?”

Catholic San Francisco this week has this glimpse at an unusual lay ministry—one that is, literally, taking it to the streets: Office workers on their lunch hour, shivering tourists, local street folk and others crisscrossing the sidewalks near San Francisco’s Metreon complex Aug. 18 walked past – and a few around – the burly man [Read More...]

Great moments in fashion design: concentration camp chic?

From The New York Times:  The Zara T-shirt is called the “Sheriff,” but it looks more like the top of a Nazi concentration camp uniform. And that’s a problem for many people, judging from the outcry on social media. On Wednesday, after an uproar on Twitter, where many posts accused the clothes firm of anti-Semitism [Read More...]

St. Monica: two different views

Today marks the feast of the mother of St. Augustine. Below, two dramatically different depictions of this woman who died sometime late in the 4th century. The first comes from John Nava, and is one of the studies he did for the gorgeous tapestries at the cathedral in Los Angeles. The artist for the second [Read More...]

“This woman has never never gossiped. Such a woman can be canonized tomorrow.”

The Holy Father returned to one of his favorite themes—the sin of gossip—during his weekly audience this morning: Francis, during the general audience, emphasised that “experience shows that there are many sins against the unity of the Church: let us not think only of schisms but also of very common faults within our communities, the [Read More...]

What if your child had Down syndrome? “If he can’t have a shot at becoming president, we don’t want him”

Because, you know, it’s all about getting what we want when we want it. Otherwise, forget it. Details: The abortion rate for Down syndrome babies is tragically high. Some studies put the number at 90%. Our culture puts so much value on independence and individual achievement that human beings who do not “measure up” to certain [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: CNN interviews man who pinpoints origin of California earthquake—and it’s not what they thought

From The Washington Post:  Breaking news coverage is challenging: Updates are flying in from everywhere; official sources don’t communicate everything they know; competition is brisk; and there are pranksters, as MSNBC learned earlier this summer upon the downing of MH17. Someone claiming to have been a U.S. military official got on the network’s live coverage [Read More...]


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