In St Patrick’s Purgatory


Rocco posted a moving story last night on the opening of the Dublin Eucharistic Congress, and how---at the request of the Holy Father---the papal legate Cardinal Mark Ouellet spent last night in St Patrick's Purgatory, fasting and keeping barefoot vigil in prayer for reconciliation and healing of the grievous wounds dealt by Ireland's clergy abuse scandals.The ancient pilgrimage site known as St Patrick's Purgatory is on an island in Lough Derg near Dublin. According to legend, Christ … [Read more...]

Lost & Found: A Prayer to St Anthony


Image SourceTomorrow, June 13, is the Feast of St Anthony, native son of Lisbon and adopted son of Padua. I'm posting today because I'll be on the road tomorrow, but the anticipation seems right for a day full of stories about how much our Church could use Anthony's intercession these days.Almost everyone, Catholic or not, knows to invoke Anthony as the Finder of Lost Things, a reputation he acquired after death. (Spaniards are the exception. Perhaps less willing to trust a Portuguese, … [Read more...]

Entertaining Panda Angels, Unaware


The Hollywood Bowl, 44 years ago tonight. Fireflies (Southern California still had them, then) flickering against the foothills. The summer smell of sage and eucalyptus. From the pit, an organist sounds the first strains of Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance." Two lines of young women, dressed in identical white formal gowns and white elbow-length gloves, carrying bouquets of red roses, make their way down the hillside to the stage. Graduation night for the Pandas of Immaculate Heart High School, … [Read more...]

The Parable of the Order Muppet and the Turquoise Hightops


Max Lindenman shared a great piece yesterday categorizing everyone as either an Order Muppet or a Chaos Muppet. Today my Order Muppet manifested itself in a big and ugly way, leading to a reenactment of the parable we used to know as The Pharisee and the Publican. (The first time I heard this story, in second grade, I ran home to my Democrat family wailing at the notion that Jesus preferred Republicans.)This video, God in the Streets of New York (h/t to Deacon Greg Kandra), is the kind of … [Read more...]

The Light of the Body of Christ


Image SourceThis weekend Catholics in the Thursday-averse United States celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the feast more familiarly known by its Latin name, Corpus Christi. I can't get as worked up about the transfer of this feast as I did about Ascension Thursday, mostly because the Feast of Corpus Christi is itself a transfer, and hopped around a lot before settling into the Church's universal calendar.We owe this feast---and, by extension, Thomas … [Read more...]

Praying for a Win–UPDATED

Santa Anita

[UPDATE---Just after posting this, word came that I'll Have Another will not race tomorrow due to a developing injury. There will be a press conference at 1pm Eastern time. Complicated, complicated . . .  . Prayers for all.]"Around the turn and into the stretch . . ."According to family lore, that was the first coherent string of words I put together as I toddled around after my father, a man who played the ponies with a fervor so dedicated that the first condolence call we got after his … [Read more...]

Breathe, Henny-penny!


One day Henny-penny was picking up corn in the cornyard when---whack!---something hit her upon the head. "Goodness gracious me!" said Henny-penny. "The sky's a-going to fall; I must go and tell the king." Henny-penny (aka Chicken Little) seems to have seized control of my Facebook news feed lately. From those ubiquitous (and universally bogus) posts warning of dire privacy breaches or other internetual urban legends to news stories that appear to imply The End of the Catholic World as We Know … [Read more...]

Roll Up! Roll Up for the Mystery Tour!


Be careful what you pray for.I thought I was going to have trouble finding blog material, but it's arriving by the busload.In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.The bus tour is a response to ablistering critique of American nuns released in Ap … [Read more...]