GOOD FRIDAY: “Praying the Steps” Is a Cincinnati Tradition

Image courtesy of Holy Cross Immaculata parish

A PRAYERFUL TRADITIONAtop Mount Adams, the highest point in Cincinnati, Ohio, stands Holy Cross Immaculata Church.  Overlooking the downtown area and the Ohio River, it is a beacon of faith to local Catholics.And each year on Good Friday, pilgrims from the local community and around the world flock to the historic church for a 155-year-old tradition called "Praying the Steps."From midnight on Holy Thursday until midnight on Good Friday, more than 10,000 pilgrims climb the long … [Read more...]

On Groundhog Day: What Do Punxsutawney Phil and the Prophet Simeon Have in Common?

Groundhog Day 2005, taken by Aaron Silvers (Wikimedia Commons)

Wherever you live, chances are you've seen Punxsutawney Phil on your TV screen today, looking nonplussed and sleepy and fat.  Today, February 2, is Groundhog Day, and the oversized rodent woke from his winter nap and popped out of his hole to see his shadow, so--the legend goes--we'll have six more weeks of winter.  It's a cute little story and it's fun to play along, even though we're getting hungry for spring.  But how did the custom begin? Punxsutawney Phil has his origins in the New Test … [Read more...]

In a Timeless Tradition, the Camerlengo Taps His Silver Hammer on the Pope’s Head

Today in Vatican City, Pope Francis named a new camerlengo. For those (probably most of us) who aren't sure what that means, the "camerlengo" or "chamberlain" is the  cardinal who keeps things running smoothly in the Vatican City-State after the death or resignation of a pope.  According to Wikipedia:Unlike the rest of Roman Curia, the Camerlengo retains his office during the sede vacante and functions as the executive director of the Vatican's operations, answerable to the College of Card … [Read more...]