Meet the deacon novelist

Details, from Arkansas Catholic: In “I Hear Your Heartbeat” Deacon Larry Hatch’s recently released first novel, the reader is reminded that to receive forgiveness, one must first be willing to forgive. “Unforgiveness is the poison you drink hoping the other person will die,” said Hatch, who serves St. Agnes Church in Mena. The story follows [Read More...]

“Same Call, Different Men”

This sounds like something to put on my “must-read” list.  From U.S. Catholic:  Same Call, Different Men: The Evolution of the Priesthood Since Vatican II presents a comprehensive portrait of the Catholic priesthood in the United States today based on sociological data on 960 priests and interviews with 60 others, both collected in 2009. First the [Read More...]

Great Scott: a visit to Fitzgerald’s grave

With some time to kill this weekend, my wife and I decided to pay a nostalgic visit to St. Mary’s in Rockville, Maryland, the chapel where we were married 25 years ago. Afterward, we dropped by the graveyard next door to pay our respects to its most famous residents, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. This is [Read More...]

For the feast of St. Francis: a "forest of Junipers"

From Fr. James Martin’s new book, “Between Heaven and Mirth,” comes this delightful anecdote about one of Francis’s most enthusiastic followers: Perhaps the most enjoyable of all the tales in the Franciscan annals concern the lovable Brother Juniper, whose lavish generosity constantly exasperated his Franciscan brothers.  Juniper, one of the early companions of Francis, thought [Read More...]

Whatcha readin'?

Well, put it down and pick up something over at the Patheos Book Club! Elizabeth Scalia offers an introduction to what’s new this month: From today until October 15, the Patheos Book Club will be taking in-depth looks at three books, Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism: a Journey to the Heart of the Faith, Brandon Vogt’s [Read More...]

It is finished: remarkable hand-drawn Bible goes on display

It’s quite an achievement and, as those who have seen it can attest, it is a feast for the eye.  (I gave a copy of the Psalms to my pastor as a gift for the 40th anniversary of his ordination.  It’s ravishing.) Details: It was a task of biblical proportions — drawing every letter and [Read More...]

"Where Do Deacons Come From?"

I’m delighted to report that a new book for children answers that question — and may answer it, too, for grown ups.  In fact, anyone who is curious about the married man with the angled stole who putters around the sacristy, baptizes babies and expounds every now and then from the pulpit should check out [Read More...]

Um, Your Eminence, that wasn't in my job description…

Reading Bill Keller’s review of “Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy” by John Julius Norwich, my eyes fell upon this choice paragraph, which mentions deacons, and a task one deacon in particular allegedly had to perform: “A scholar or devout Roman Catholic would probably not have had so much fun, for example, with the [Read More...]

Pssst. Want the secret to a long life? Here.

A new book, “The Longevity Project,” may hold some answers. The New York Times takes a peek: After reading “The Longevity Project,” I took an unscientific survey of friends and relatives asking them what personality characteristic they thought was most associated with long life. Several said “optimism,” followed by “equanimity,” “happiness,” “a good marriage,” “the [Read More...]

Great word cloud: books everyone must read

Take a look at this nifty word cloud of titles (you can click to enlarge): Check out the story behind it for more. [Read more...]


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