Word made flesh: the remarkable Christmas mass of Fr. Prus

A reader sent this my way in the comments, adding that she wanted to show… the wonderful way one priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit celebrates the Christmas Mass starting with a real baby in the manger. The manger is then used as an altar. Brought my camera this year because so many not in [Read More...]

Baby Jesus stolen from nativity scene

While not exactly the crime of the century, it’s one that has understandably upset a lot of people. From a newspaper in Rochester: Parishoners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Lowell Street were shocked Christmas morning to find a major piece of its nativity scene missing: baby Jesus. Church secretary Suzanne Verrill said it appears [Read More...]

God rest ye, merry gentle friends

Visiting a parish in Maryland this weekend, I was surprised that the recessional hymn at today’s mass wasn’t altered for political correctness. But no: to my amazed ears, they actually sang “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” The reason this surprised me was because the entrance hymn, on the other hand, was changed from “Good Christian [Read More...]

Christmas in Queens

From the nativity scene outside my parish. Blessed Christmas, everyone! [Read more...]

Christ is born!

I’ve seen him for myself, at my parish. A snapshot from Christmas Eve, below. I told the father: “He’s the best baby Jesus ever! I mean, the SECOND best!” [Read more...]

Worth a thousand words

This is Christmas at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad: A shrine for Iraqi Christians who were killed in Al-Qaeda siege is erected at the Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Salvation) Church in Baghdad on December 23. Faced with renewed threats by Al-Qaeda and still mourning the church massacre, Christmas for Iraq’s Christian community [Read More...]

Homily for Midnight Mass

Note: I won’t be preaching this Christmas, or this weekend.  But I’m re-posting this year my first Christmas homily, from Midnight Mass in 2007.   A few of the references are a bit dated, but the message, I hope, still comes through. Blessed Christmas, everyone!  Dcn. G. Like a lot of people of a certain age, [Read More...]

The greatest toy story ever told: Mr. Bean goes to Bethlehem

Anyone who’s ever played with a small nativity scene — come on, admit it, you’ve done it — will appreciate this priceless piece of performance art by the inimitable Mr. Bean. [Read more...]

When "Christmas" wasn't a dirty word on television

Or anywhere else, for that matter. Check out this “60 Minutes” story from its first season, in 1968. On the night before Christmas, Harry Reasoner actually dared to talk about Jesus Christ  – and the story explored what he may have looked like. [Read more...]

Something fishy: an Italian Christmas tradition

It’s a big deal in parts of Brooklyn, and in Italian enclaves around New Jersey and Philadelphia: celebrating Christmas Eve with a feast of fish. Wonder where the tradition comes from? Some answers: Whether it represents the hills of Rome, the Catholic sacraments, or, as veteran home cook Rosella Vitale suggests, “lucky lottery numbers,” the [Read More...]