Slap-happy

Were you slapped at your confirmation? We don’t do that anymore and, in this week’s All Things New, I wonder if we need to bring back the slap: Earlier this month, I was serving as deacon at our parish confirmation in Queens. The bishop anointed each of the kids as they came forward and then—I [Read More...]

The writing on the wall

I recently experienced a growing trend in Catholic parishes, and wrote about it for this week’s column, “All Things New”: I have seen the writing on the wall. And I’m not impressed. A couple of Sundays ago, I found myself at a sparkling, sprawling parish in central Florida, in a church nave surrounded by stained [Read More...]

Bless this house, O Lord we pray…

The day after Easter, I stopped by a parishioner’s apartment to perform a favorite ritual, a house blessing.  That simple blessing, and all that it means, is the subject of this week’s “All Things New”: Whatever compels people to ask for these blessings, there is in every case a strong desire to make something old [Read More...]

Splash of recognition: on celebrating baptism

Last weekend, I wrote about my experience baptizing 15 babies (gulp).  Today, I talk a bit more about deacons and the sacrament in my column “All Things New”: We find ourselves intersecting with people at critical pinpoints in their lives—baptisms, weddings, wakes. Moments of arrival and departure, beginnings and endings. But there’s something about baptisms [Read More...]

What Catholics don't know

That’s the notion I’m chewing on this week over in my column, “All Things New.” A snip: A couple years ago, during Easter season, a man stopped me after church one Sunday. He was perturbed. “What’s all this Latin doing in the mass?” he asked. “What do you mean?” “All this Latin!” he said, exasperated. [Read More...]


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