Bishop resigns, saying “I’ve been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest”

This doesn’t happen very often. Details:  An English bishop has announced his resignation after disclosing that he has been unfaithful to his vows. Bishop Kieran Conry made the announcement in a letter to be read out at Masses in his Diocese of Arundel and Brighton this weekend. He apologised for being “unfaithful to my promises [Read More...]

Homily for September 28, 2014: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Of all the remarkable moments that marked Derek Jeter’s last home game Thursday night, there is one that really struck me. You might call it a home run. Before leaving the field for the last time, as the crowd roared, Jeter walked to his spot where he played shortstop, crouched down, bowed his head, and [Read More...]

Ordination update: 13 new deacons for Boston

From The Pilot:  As he ordained 13 new permanent deacons at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Sept. 20, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley recounted the history of the diaconate and his appreciation for their ministry. “In every diocese where I have worked, the presence of the dedicated permanent deacons has been such a great blessing. [Read More...]

Elderly husband and wife plan first “couple” euthanasia, despite not being terminally ill

Details:  An elderly husband and wife have announced their plans to die in the world’s first ‘couple’ euthanasia – despite neither of them being terminally ill. Instead the pair fear loneliness if the other one dies first from natural causes. Identified only by their first names, Francis, 89, and Anne, 86, they have the support [Read More...]

Derek Jeter makes the Sign of the Cross

The Yankee legend evidently did just that before leaving the field last night. From The New York Times: Jeter wanted the best view in New York City. He wanted something that cannot be bought and something he can never have again. In the end, it meant everything to him. “I want to take something special [Read More...]

RIP, John Slattery of WCBS-TV

From the In My Backyard Desk, some sad news. The veteran television reporter was a familiar face to many New Yorkers—and a devout Catholic. Details:  John Slattery, a longtime CBS New York reporter from Larchmont who covered major stories for more than 30 years, has died at age 63. Slattery died unexpectedly Wednesday night after suffering [Read More...]

“We believe in the sanctity of life…and counteract the abuse of religion to justify oppression, violence and conflict”

From the Vatican’s news site:  The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, based in New York, U.S.A., yesterday published a declaration of principles, signed by the foreign ministers of Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain, as well as by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for [Read More...]

Where is Jesus? What the Church teaches on the placement of the Blessed Sacrament

There’s been some critical commentary about the new designs for Christ Cathedral in the Diocese of Orange—and a lot of people have bemoaned the proposed location of the Blessed Sacrament, reserved in a side chapel (shown above). William Newton wrote:  The most important question to ask in entering any Catholic church is, “Where’s Jesus?” The answer in [Read More...]

“We didn’t start this fight, but we’re not going to cave in and back out of it”—UPDATED

A newspaper in Billings, Montana takes a closer look at the story of two gay men who were removed from ministry after they married each other.  Among other things, it reveals that one of the men is a former priest. Details:  The first thing you need to know about Tom Wojtowick and Paul Huff is [Read More...]

“I have seen the love of Christ shine through them”: check out this beautiful video on the priesthood

A thoughtful reader sent this along: it’s the video that was shown last night at a fundraiser for retired priests in the Archdiocese of Boston. It is superb. The YouTube description: The Celebration of the Priesthood dinner on September 24, 2014 raised more than $1.6 million in support of the health, welfare, and retirement needs [Read More...]

Why do Catholics stop going to Mass?

The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is getting some interesting answers: Professors Phillip Hardy, Kelly Kendra and Brian Patterson surveyed 575 lapsed Roman Catholics from November 2012 to March 2013, asking them why they had stopped attending Mass or had left the church altogether; what might motivate them to return; and whether the church’s stance [Read More...]

“Deacons’ significance lies as much in who they are as what they do…”

You may remember the story from several days ago in Ireland, where a bishop bowed to protests and decided not to introduce the permanent diaconate in his diocese. Br. Martin Browne, OSB, has written excellent response in The Irish Catholic:  Some of those who were most vocal in their criticism of Bishop O’Reilly seemed to imply [Read More...]

“Singing Nun” Sister Cristina releasing an album for Christmas

Details:  Sister Cristina is back! Though in reality she never went away. After her breakout performance of Alicia Keys’ “No One” on Italy’s “The Voice,” Sister Cristina Scuccia went on to not only win the final competition but land herself a recording deal with Universal. With the world stunned and wooed by her explosive vocal talent, the young nun [Read More...]

Diocese unveils new design for Orange County’s Christ Cathedral—UPDATED

From Orange County Catholic:  Outwardly, the familiar structure, with its 10,000 panes of glass, will look much the same as it always has, albeit with a necessary dose of maintenance and restoration. Inwardly, however, the changes will be dramatic: –The former theater-style seating will give way to pews arranged antiphonally on either side of a [Read More...]

Chicago church gives flock $500 each to spend on a good cause

From Reuters:  Churchgoers grumble that they always get hit with pleas for money. But congregants at a Chicago church this month got a surprise – they each received a check for $500, with instructions to go out and do something good with it. “I was just in disbelief,” said Valency Hastings, 42, when she got [Read More...]

They don’t: Marriage rates continue to plummet

From The New York Times:  Of all the milestones on the road to adulthood, Americans are increasingly forgoing one of the biggest: marriage. Twenty percent of adults older than 25, about 42 million people, have never married, up from 9 percent in 1960, according to data in a Pew Research Center report published Wednesday. The trend has [Read More...]

A dal-what? The story behind the deacon’s vestment

  Wearing the dalmatic for Midnight Mass a few years ago, with my late pastor, Msgr. Joseph Funaro. Periodically, people ask me about that “robe” I wear during Mass. How come it has sleeves? What’s up with that?? My blog neighbor Kathy Schiffer, thankfully, has found some interesting answers, courtesy Zenit and Fr. Edward McNamara. [Read More...]

Vatican ex-envoy arrested, will stand trial on sex abuse charges

Details:  The Vatican put its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic under house arrest Tuesday after opening a criminal trial against him, the first time a high-ranking Vatican official has ever faced criminal charges for sexually abusing youngsters. Josef Wesolowski had already been defrocked in June after the Vatican’s canon law court found him guilty [Read More...]