Historic: three brothers, all deacons

A remarkable find, from NBC News:  Though small in number and rarely recognized, black Catholics in the U.S. have been making significant contributions to the church since 1565. Of the 76 million Catholics in the United States, just 1.5 million are African American according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). St. [Read More...]

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Francis Effect: Jewish writer yearns to be Catholic for a day

View image | gettyimages.com This is pretty interesting:  So it’s come to this. After two millennia of persecutions and executions, massacres and pogroms, false aspersions and forced conversions, inquisitions, disputations, book-burnings, blood libels, boycotts and curses; despite all the Pontiffs and prelates and priests who accused the Jews of killing Jesus, of emulating Judas, of [Read More...]

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New York Post changes its name for Pope Francis

It was just for one day but, heh, why not? Yesterday’s front page. Details here. News stand price: a buck. Souvenir value? Priceless. [Read more...]

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Why wasn’t Jesus mentioned in the U.N. speech?

Edward Pentin explains:  In common with Pope Francis’ addresses at the White House and to Congress, the Holy Father chose not to mention Jesus Christ in his speech this morning to the United Nations. It’s understandably causing quite a bit of head-scratching among some Catholic commentators who are keen to point out that the Pope speaks in the name of [Read More...]

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“Go out and meet others where they really are, not where we think they should be”

From Pope Francis’s homily Friday night at Madison Square Garden: Big cities…conceal the faces of all those people who don’t appear to belong, or are second-class citizens. In big cities, beneath the roar of traffic, beneath “the rapid pace of change”, so many faces pass by unnoticed because they have no “right” to be there, [Read More...]

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Trump arrives at Iowa event with a Bible and a photo of his confirmation

From AP:  Donald Trump recently showed up at a gathering of Iowa conservative Christian voters with a copy of the Bible in hand. “See, I’m better than you thought,” he said. Then came a black-and-white photograph from his confirmation to further prove his Christian cred. “Nobody believes this,” he said to laughs. “What went wrong?” [Read More...]

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Vatican partners with CNEWA to launch global initiative to help refugees in Syria

This is big news. At a press conference this afternoon in Philadelphia, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council For The Family announced a major “global initiative”—partnering with Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), an agency of the Holy See where I work—to provide much-needed heating for 6,000 Syrian refugee families. With winter fast approaching, for [Read More...]

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Stunning: “Let There Be Peace on Earth” sung at Ground Zero

I’ve been hearing this song all my life and thought I was immune to it. But when I saw and heard this today, sung by a children’s choir for the pope at Ground Zero — in the presence of families, clergy from many faiths, and towering, battered remnants of the fallen towers—I was blubbering like Boehner. [Read More...]

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Pope Francis at Ground Zero: “O God of love, compassion and healing…”

  View image | gettyimages.com   Pope Francis’s Prayer at Ground Zero   [Full program here] O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many different faiths and religious traditions, who gather today on this hallowed ground, the scene of unspeakable violence and pain. We ask you in your goodness to give [Read More...]

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Did the visit of Pope Francis affect John Boehner’s decision to resign?

Talking heads have been wondering about that this morning, and CNN has this fascinating detail: Boehner, who has presided over the House since 2011, explained during a closed-door meeting with Republicans Friday morning that he had only planned to serve two terms as speaker but decided to hold onto his post after then-House Majority Leader [Read More...]

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Pope Francis at the UN speaks of the “the sacredness of every human life”

View image | gettyimages.com Some high points: The simplest and best measure and indicator of the implementation of the new Agenda for development will be effective, practical and immediate access, on the part of all, to essential material and spiritual goods: housing, dignified and properly remunerated employment, adequate food and drinking water; religious freedom and, more generally, [Read More...]

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Colbert to Francis: “Welcome, Frank!”

He devoted his entire show last night to the visit of Pope Francis. A musical highlight, below. And, in what must be a late night first, one of America’s archbishops, Thomas Wenski of Miami, stopped by, too. [Read more...]

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On Francis’ pro-life message to the world: “Jesus isn’t just being butchered in the womb”

View image | gettyimages.com   My friend, pro-life activist and doctor Gerard Nadal, answers the critics of Pope Francis: For traditional Catholics, for pro-lifers, the visit by Pope Francis has been a series of missed opportunities. In his address to Congress not only did he make fleeting reference to abortion by stating the need for Americans to [Read More...]

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Pope to sisters: “What would the Church be without you? I love you very much”

View image | gettyimages.com From his homily Thursday night in St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Gratitude and hard work: these are two pillars of the spiritual life which I have wanted to share with you this evening. I thank you for prayers and work, and the daily sacrifices you make in the various areas of your apostolate. [Read More...]

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Archbishop sanctions priest who attended woman’s ordination conference

You saw the video of the conference’s closing liturgy here.  Now, a priest who took part in the gathering is in hot water:  Two days after appearing at a women’s ordination conference in Philadelphia, Precious Blood Fr. Jack McClure said today he has been told he can no longer celebrate Mass at Most Holy Redeemer parish [Read More...]

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Citing Merton and Day, Pope Francis once again turns attention to the peripheries

When Pope Francis delivered his stirring speech to Congress this morning, he made particular mention of two American Catholics—and the two he chose probably raised a few eyebrows. Rather than spotlighting well-known American saints—say, Elizabeth Seton or Frances Cabrini—the Holy Father singled out two converts of the modern era, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. Both are [Read More...]

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Pope Francis salutes four great Americans: Lincoln, King, Day and Merton

View image | gettyimages.com   The full text of his address to Congress is here.  It is a rich and thoughtful speech, highlighting the necessity for dialogue—a word he used often—and a hunger for the common good. The conclusion: Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin [Read More...]

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Pope Francis to bishops: “Ever present is life as gift and responsibility”

From his reflection yesterday, delivered before bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington: Ours must not be just any kind of prayer, but familiar union with Christ, in which we daily encounter his gaze and sense that he is asking us the question: “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” (Mk 3:31-34). One in [Read More...]

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