Priests and deacons and blessings (oh my!)

With ordination season rapidly approaching, some helpful information from canon lawyer Dr. Ed Peters:  1. The practice of receiving a priest’s “first blessing” after his ordination Mass is a praiseworthy custom, but there is no specific indulgence attached to receiving such a blessing or, for that matter, to attending a cleric’s ordination Mass. 2. There [Read More...]

Leap of faith: Russia’s parachuting priests!

Now for something completely different, from CNEWA’s blog One-to-One:  The Russian military unveiled an unlikely new weapon in its arsenal this month — an army of parachuting priests. The unit of chaplains, who have joined the Russian Airborne Force to train in parachute jumping and vehicle assembly, will operate out of flatpack churches that can [Read More...]

Oldest priest in Scranton dies on Good Friday at 99

Details:  The Diocese of Scranton’s oldest and longest-ordained priest, Monsignor James T. Clarke, died on Good Friday at age 99. Monsignor Clarke was ministering to others even on his deathbed, said the Rev. Thomas Muldowney, the vicar general/director of clergy personnel of the diocese. With his health failing, Monsignor Clarke was admitted Wednesday to Wilkes-Barre [Read More...]

Lovely video: Holy Saturday at the seminary

Here we have a brief but beautiful glimpse at a service this morning at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York —the facility that forms priests for three dioceses: the Archdiocese of New York, Brooklyn, and Rockville Centre. While the rest of us were practicing with altar servers, rehearsing RCIA rites, sweeping the floor of [Read More...]

How Pope Francis is reforming the priesthood

I wondered earlier this week if the new pontiff might have a profound impact on vocations.  Fr. Roger Landry in the National Catholic Register is sensing an impact, already, on the priesthood:  In his first couple of weeks as Pope, as well as his 14 years in Buenos Aires, Francis has been charting out the [Read More...]

God’s army: overflow crowd attends discernment retreat for military chaplains

Very impressive turnout: Twenty-six (26) men from every service branch of the U.S. armed forces and civilian life are gathered [in Menlo Park, California] today for a March 21-24 discernment retreat aimed at helping them determine if they are called by the Holy Spirit to be Catholic priests and military chaplains. The Vocations Office of [Read More...]

Married priests: “Why such aversion?”

An alert reader sent this my way: another interesting voice, from Sean Connelly, in the debate over a celibate priesthood: It was recently my distinct displeasure to be roped into a debate about whether, under Canon Law, married deacons in the Latin Rite have an obligation to observe “perfect and perpetual continence.” Those arguing in favour [Read More...]

Cleveland bishop excommunicates priest

This doesn’t happen very often, but it happened yesterday in Ohio:  The Rev. Robert Marrone, who broke away from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland after Bishop Richard Lennon closed his downtown church in 2010, has been excommunicated, according to a statement issued by the diocese Tuesday. Lennon said in the statement that Marrone violated terms of a [Read More...]

A married priest writes about the “c word”: celibacy

Take it away, Fr. Dwight:  I can speak from experience. I was a celibate Anglican priest for seven years. Then I got married. I was a married Anglican priest for three years. Then we joined the Catholic church. I was in the married state as a layman for ten years. Now I am a married [Read More...]

British cardinal argues for married priests—UPDATED

Details:  Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry and have children, Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric said Friday. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who heads the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said the requirement for priestly celibacy is “not of divine origin” and could be reconsidered. He told BBC Scotland that “the celibacy of the clergy, [Read More...]


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