Turning toward the light: Homily for 4th Sunday of Lent

About 20 years ago, the novelist William Styron took a courageous step, and described his battle with depression in a book called “Darkness Visible.” Depression is one of those afflictions that millions of us suffer with, but few want to talk about. The World Health Organization estimates over 120 million people live with it every [Read More...]

Ladies and gentlemen, “clergy on the catwalk”

View image | gettyimages.com From a fashion show a couple years back. Seriously?  Yes. Read about it here. The very latest Parish fashions were modelled today by men and women of God who paraded down a clergy catwalk. Five vicars showed off the new designs in ecclesiastical wear, which are made in the different colours [Read More...]

Stations of the Cross and Benediction together?

Reading about how my parish follows the Stations of the Cross with Benediction, a couple readers have wondered if this is liturgically correct or appropriate. A deacon candidate noted: “I’m being taught in diaconal formation that Benediction is not a closing to another devotion. Must be linked to the Eucharist.”  Far as I know—and from [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: reporter lies in confession, records priests’ responses

From Catholic News Agency:  Laura Alari writes for Quotidiano Nazionale, which is headquartered in Bologna. She authored a series of four articles in the newspaper which disclosed the responses of priests in the area when she approached them under the pretext of seeking Confession.Alari went to Confession several times, inventing delicate issues for herself: she pretended [Read More...]

O happy fault: living with a deacon at Easter time

It can’t be easy living with a deacon, especially now. Every year, for a few weeks before Easter, the deacon pulls out sheet music and starts practicing that Everest of liturgical song, the Exsultet:  a nine-minute a capella chant sung in near-darkness at the start of the Easter Vigil. Around our home, the Exsultet is [Read More...]

Walking the way of the cross with Mary

Some images from Friday’s night’s Stations of the Cross, courtesy parishioner and friend Regina Faighes. My parish does “The Way of the Cross with Mary“ by Richard Furey—a stirring and deeply human interpretation, which follows the traditional stations, but seen through the eyes of the Blessed Mother. (You can order copies here.) Every stop includes a first [Read More...]

Pope announces extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy

From CNS:  Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy, to highlight the Catholic Church’s “mission to be a witness of mercy.”“No one can be excluded from God’s mercy,” the pope said March 13, marking the second anniversary of his pontificate by leading a Lenten penance service in St. Peter’s Basilica. “I [Read More...]

Rome pulls the plug on Medjugorje event in St. Louis

Diane over at Te Deum has all the details, but the letter below, from Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, makes it plain: “I have received a request from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to remind everyone that they are not to participate in events that promote the so-called visionaries of Medjugorje…” [Read More...]

Altar-ed states: liturgical decoration for Lent

A priest friend posted the following image on Facebook this morning, describing it as “artsy church decor for Lent.” “This is a bit much,” I commented. “Lent is about stripping away, not adding on. It’s distracting, too. You don’t know where to look.” I was curious about what guidelines, if any, the General Instruction of [Read More...]

In new interview, Pope Francis talks about his pontificate: “I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time”

Vatican Radio has just posted its translation of a wide-ranging interview Pope Francis has done with Valentina Alazraki, from the Mexican broadcaster Televisa,to mark the two-year anniversary of his election as pope.  The pontiff covers a wide range of topics. In the section below, he describes the night of his election: The journalist  asks if it [Read More...]

Knights of Columbus responds: “The State Council deeply regrets the violation of policy…”

The latest on the St. Patrick’s Day parade story:  On Thursday afternoon, the Knights of Columbus Virginia State Council posted an updated statement to its website: It said the state council “reaffirms the longstanding policy of the Knights of Columbus not to invite or bestow honors on public officials who do not support the legal [Read More...]

Atlanta’s Archbishop Gregory sells mansion, moves to more modest home—UPDATED

A local TV station reports: At Christ The King’s midday Mass Wednesday, there was a sense of peace that transcended all negativity surrounding the Archbishop’s once lavish lifestyle in Buckhead. “It was a strategic mistake that perhaps I should have seen in advance,” Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory said. Gregory told CBS46′s Scott Light exclusively last [Read More...]

Francis names a Franciscan for Lexington — and one involved in deacon formation

He’s also relatively young, 48. The press release: Today, at 12-noon Rome time (7 a.m. EDT) Pope Francis appointed Conventual Franciscan Father John Stowe as the Third Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington. A press conference will be held at The Catholic Center, 1310 W. Main St. in Lexington at 10 a.m., Thursday, March [Read More...]

What’s “the most Catholic” state in the U.S.?

The answer:  Rhode Island is still the most Catholic state in the U.S., a new study has found. A total of 44% of Rhode Islanders identified as Roman Catholic in a survey of nearly 53,000 Americans conducted last year by the Public Religion Research Institute, a five-year-old nonprofit organization based in Washington. The results are similar to [Read More...]

Pope to wash feet of male and female prisoners on Holy Thursday—UPDATED

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis will visit inmates and staff of a Rome prison on Holy Thursday, April 2.   The Prefecture of the Papal Household reports that the Pope will visit the new complex of the Casa Circondariale Rebibbia in the Rome suburbs, and celebrate the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper at the “Padre [Read More...]

“What this priest did was totally inexcusable”

You got that right. Read the whole account.  Pita bread? From Redemptionis Sacramentum:  1. The Matter of the Most Holy Eucharist [48.] The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition. It follows therefore that bread [Read More...]

Virginia parish severs ties with Knights of Columbus over plans to honor Gov. Terry McAuliffe —UPDATED

Lifesite News has the scoop: A Virginia Knights of Columbus council is pressing forward with plans to honor pro-abortion, pro-homosexual “marriage” Gov. Terry McAuliffe by having him as grand marshal of its St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In response, the parish priest has strongly reproached the council and cut ties. Norfolk Knights of Columbus Council 3548, which has organized the [Read More...]

Save the date: Romero beatification reportedly set for May 23

Via NCR: Slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, the murdered prelate of the people whose sainthood cause languished under previous pontiffs but has been fast-tracked by Pope Francis, is to be beatified May 23 in San Salvador. News of the date of the ceremony — which puts Romero one step away from sainthood — was made [Read More...]