Pope will visit Philadelphia prison housing a convicted priest

Details:  Word that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility when he is in the city Sept. 26-27 for the World Meeting of Families must have held special significance for one of the 2,760 men in the city’s largest jail. He’s No. 1102886, also known as Msgr. William J. Lynn, the 64-year-old former Secretary [Read More...]

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RIP Nicholas Winton, Britain’s Schindler

What a remarkable life: Nicholas Winton, a Briton who said nothing for a half-century about his role in organizing the escape of 669 mostly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, a righteous deed like those of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg, died on Wednesday in Maidenhead, England. He was 106. [Read More...]

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Want tickets to see the pope? Try this.

Those clever people at the Archdiocese of Washington media office have come up with a video contest: Here’s your chance to be creative! Tell us about your experience serving others by documenting it on video.  Three prize winners will receive four tickets to the papal Mass with Pope Francis and their choice of an iPad [Read More...]

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Great moments in electronics: a cell phone case that looks like a gun

Stupidity defined. This warning is going out around the country: The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is warning consumers not to buy a new cell phone case that resembles a gun.The case has a handle attached that when placed in a pocket makes it appear that a weapon is tucked into the pants. On its Facebook page, [Read More...]

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Bishop sees a Church “trying to banish judgmentalism”

From NCR:  Many U.S. Catholics want the church to “banish judgmentalism” of people in its ministries and to focus instead on getting close to them and understanding the struggles they face in their lives, the new bishop of San Diego said. In an almost hourlong interview with NCR, Bishop Robert McElroy said while people want to [Read More...]

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“Shouldn’t the Church be excommunicating these people?”

I’ve seen that question a lot lately, as people have wondered on social media why certain Catholic Supreme Court Justices—along with prominent Catholic politicians—haven’t yet been publicly excommunicated, either for their position on abortion or their stance on same-sex marriage. Good question. I have no idea. That’s above my pay grade. Public excommunication, at any [Read More...]

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Mosque aids Catholic church that was vandalized

Details:  A mosque in Mississauga, Canada, has donated thousands of dollars to help a neighbor in need. A Catholic church in the area needed a clean-up after acts of vandalism on its premises. Following the incident, Hamid Slimi, imam of the Sayeda Khadija Centre in Mississauga, visited St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church. The [Read More...]

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It’s here: Pope Francis’ schedule for trip to the United States

From the USCCB:  2015 Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to The United States of America Here is the schedule for Pope Francis’ September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015.  All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 (WASHINGTON, DC) 4:00 p.m.    [Read More...]

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What role can the deacons’ wives have during the ordination rite?

This question popped up this morning on Zenit: Q: In the ordination of permanent deacons, during the procession, some wives of deacons expressed the idea of wives carrying their husbands’ vestments and walking beside or behind their husbands who are to be ordained. This seems to show vividly their support for their deacon husbands and [Read More...]

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Ordination update: 8 new deacons for Springfield

Details:  Eight men were ordained permanent deacons by the Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, on Saturday in St. Michael’s Cathedral. Most of them are married, reflecting a nationwide trend in the Church for active deacons, Ordained to assist the diocese’s 147 priests, who serve more than 217,000 Catholics [Read More...]

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Yabba dabba do: 41% of Americans say humans and dinosaurs co-existed

Oh boy:  “Jurassic World” may have been a documentary as far as millions of Americans are concerned. A recent survey by YouGov — a for-profit research firm that conducts all sorts of online polls — found that 41 percent of those queried think dinosaurs and humans “probably” or “definitely” once co-existed on Earth at the [Read More...]

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From Canada, a pastor offers advice to the U.S. on same sex marriage

View image | gettyimages.com From Carey Nieuwhof:  I write from the perspective of a pastor of an evangelical church in a country where same sex-marriage has been the law of the land for a decade. That does not mean I hold any uniquely deep wisdom, but it does mean we’ve had a decade to process and pray [Read More...]

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Historic meeting between pope and patriarch could be near

View image | gettyimages.com Let us pray:  An historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church is “getting closer every day,” a senior Orthodox prelate said in an interview published on Sunday. The unprecedented meeting would be a significant step towards healing the 1,000-year-old rift between the Western and Eastern [Read More...]

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Did Pope Francis say he approves of divorce?

Some people seem to think so. It popped up repeatedly in headlines last week. Huffington Post, for example, posted a story by RNS with this headline: “Pope Francis Says Divorce May Be ‘Morally Necessary’ To Protect Kids. The New York Post also reported: “Pope Francis: Divorce can be ‘morally necessary’” The story itself, however, is more [Read More...]

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Pope approves decrees of canonization for St. Therese’s parents

Details:  Pope Francis approved on Saturday the decrees allowing for the canonization of Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus (of Lisieux). The Holy Father approved the decrees allowing Louis and Zelie Martin to be canonized during the Ordinary Consistory in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican. The couple [Read More...]

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Charleston’s amazing grace

View image | gettyimages.com My friend Fr. Gregory West of Charleston, South Carolina sent me the above snapshot, taken last week. The caption reads: Gregory West leads a prayer in front of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church after a mass shooting killed nine people. Fr. West adds: This was snapped by a Getty Images [Read More...]

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Ordination update: 14 new deacons for Washington

Details:  Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, ordained fourteen men as permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Washington at a Mass of Ordination today at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl reflected on the ordination taking place in an age of renewed focus on our Catholic identity [Read More...]

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Journey to Genesee: “Those who think they have arrived have lost their way”

I spent Saturday afternoon visiting with my sister, who lives part of the year in Geneseo, New York, about an hour’s drive southeast of Buffalo. She arranged for us to get a private tour of a place I’ve always wanted to visit: The Abbey of the Genesee, a well-known Trappist monastery just a short drive [Read More...]

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