The truth about dishonesty—and how confession helps us change our behavior

A colleague at work said, “Hey, you should put this on your blog,” and sent me the link. It’s a cleverly animated lecture by Dan Ariely, an expert in the field of “behavioral economics” (yeah, I don’t know what it is, either). Anyway: a few minutes into this secular head-scratcher about human behavior, he talks about [Read More...]

“A historic moment”: Catholic, Protestant churches agree to recognize each other’s baptisms

 Details:  Leaders of U.S. Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches will sign a historic agreement Tuesday in Austin by which the two traditions will formally recognize each other’s liturgical rites of baptism. The product of seven years of talks among five denominations, the agreement will be signed at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at a prayer service [Read More...]

Vatican preparing guide for priests on how to celebrate Mass

This could have interesting ramifications, judging from the comments below. From Zenit:  The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is preparing a booklet to help priests celebrate the Mass properly and the faithful to participate better, according to the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. Cardinal Antonio Cañizares confirmed this [Read More...]

Speaking of altar rails…one priest’s experience

Fr. Jay Finelli of the Diocese of Providence stumbled on yesterday’s post and recounted on his blog his own experience with adding an altar rail at his parish: Since installing the altar rail in 2010, a number of people requested to use if at all of our Masses. We began using the altar rail for [Read More...]

I’ve changed my mind. It’s time to bring back the altar rail.

It’s not about architecture. It’s about attitude. I write about it here:  Hey, I’m as surprised as anyone else that I feel this way. Two years ago, I rhapsodized on the Feast of Corpus Christi on the theology behind standing to receive communion, and defended it. And why not? I’ve received that way for most of my adult [Read More...]

Pope baptizes 20 babies in Sistine Chapel

Details:  The frescoed walls of the Sistine Chapel are ringing with the wails and coos of newborns as Pope Benedict XVI presides over his annual Mass to baptize 20 babies. Other babies slept through the Mass during which Benedict told the godparents their job is to teach the faith by example, even if it’s unfashionable, [Read More...]

Flu outbreak: Boston suspends using the cup

New York’s governor has just declared that the flu this season has reached epidemic proportions:  This flu season is nothing to sneeze at. Gov. Cuomo declared a statewide public health emergency Saturday to combat what’s already been a severe flu season. The declaration will make it easier for vaccinations to get to more children. “We are [Read More...]

The baptism of Jesus: “an act of radical identification with humanity”

On his Facebook page, Father James Martin, S.J., offers a snippet from his forthcoming book about Jesus: Why does Jesus feel the need to be baptized? Let’s see what the Gospels have to say. In Mark’s Gospel, he simply does it–sans explanation. Jesus “came from Nazareth in Galilee” and, upon his baptism, he saw the [Read More...]

One of the most commonly asked questions about communion…

I hear this a lot. “I’ve already received communion.  Can I receive again?” No less than two people asked me this question on Saturday, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.  They’d been to Mass for the feast day, and were then attending Mass in the evening for their Sunday obligation. The short answer is: yes. [Read More...]

Here come the Anglicans: Brooklyn ordains its first Ordinariate priest

My pastor, Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez, did the honors. Details, from the Brooklyn Tablet: When Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez laid hands upon the head of Belen Gonzalez y Perez Nov. 20 at St. James Cathedral-Basilica, Downtown Brooklyn, Father Gonzalez y Perez became the first former Anglican priest to be ordained a Catholic priest in Brooklyn. [Read More...]