Chiara, Lady of Light: A Renewed Prayer for Guidance in the Nun Wars

ClaraPainting1

UPDATE: I wrote this reflection on St Clare two years ago, at the start of the Nun Wars. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and its head-butting with the Vatican are in the news again, and on the feast of St Clare it's worth looking at (and praying for the intercession of) this singular woman religious who both challenged and obeyed the Church. At root, the word religious means "one who binds herself again." To what---and to whom---do today's women religious, sisters and nuns, … [Read more...]

Can the Catholic Church Survive? (You Betcha!)

Fr Angelo Anthony, C.PP.S., celebrates the annual Gaelic Mass at the Dayton Celtic Festival

 Two weeks ago, in the New York Times, Ross Douthat stirred up a bit of an ecclesial ruckus by asking "Can liberal Christianity be saved?" Douthat was moved to ask by viewing the news out of the then recently concluded General Convention of the Episcopal Church---news that confirmed the markedly liberal social and ecclasiastical turn the denomination has taken in recent years---alongside recently released statistics on the precipitous decline of membership, financial support, and … [Read more...]

Just One Thing

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After the radio silence of my weekend in the wilds of Southern Indiana, many voices this morning: Former NYT editor Bill Keller, echoing the It's-time-to-get-outta-Dodge chorus that has included full-page ads from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the NYT and WaPo, writes today (h/t Deacon Greg Kandra) that Catholics who disagree with Rome should stop dithering and vote with their feet. It's a sentiment, Keller notes, that appears to be shared by the hierarchy. He cites Bill Donohue on … [Read more...]

Of Divine Bondage: When the Ties of Religion Unravel

10077shoelaces

Blest be the tie that binds Our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds Is like to that above . . .Two stories I was too dumbfounded by to blog about last night, and the tie that (pun intended) binds them.Story 1: Sr Joan Chittister, OSB, is interviewed by CNN's Christiane Amanpour. The piece, as Diane at Te Deum notes, epitomizes everything that is wrong with the media coverage of the CDF-LCWR interaction, and with the GPS system of the bus the LCWR sisters are … [Read more...]

Is There Healing for the Dialogue of the Deaf?

JesusHealstheDeafMute

Ouch. What a morning.So far I have already: Missed a meeting that I have inexplicably had in my calendar for two weeks as being scheduled for this afternoon, when it was this morning at 9:30---in Cincinnati. Been told that my post on St Patrick's Purgatory represents the worst of the "world-rejecting" worst of Irish Jansenism. (Yup. That's me. If it's a choice between the world and a place of pilgrimage, prayer, and penitence, I'm kicking the world to the curb. Especially this morning.) … [Read more...]

Roll Up! Roll Up for the Mystery Tour!

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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...]

On Fire: St Barbara, MoDowd, Sr Farley and the Grand Inquisitor

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The day began with fire.I smelled smoke at 4 a.m. and walked outside to see billowing grey clouds reflecting two-story flames and full of lightning flashes, just half a block away. Burned power lines cracked like rifleshot. Sparks and pieces of burning roof tar paper sailed toward me on the wind. I swear I saw a bird on fire, furiously beating wings of flame. In the predawn darkness, I prayed a storm novena (9 consecutive seconds of very intense prayer, a devotion I learned from my … [Read more...]


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