His Name Is John: Happy Birthday, John the Baptist!

Birth of St John the Baptist by Artemisia Gentileschi c. 1635 (In the public domain)

When the time  arrived for Elizabeth  to have her child she gave birth to  a son. Her neighbors and  relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced  with her. When they came on  the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to  call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother  said in reply, “No. He will be  called John.” But they answered  her, “There is no one  among your relatives who has this name.” So they made  signs, asking his … [Read more...]

Billy Graham’s Grandson Resigns Pastorate Over “Moral Failure”

CORAL RIDGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH By Jimmy Baikovicius (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jikatu/3780295748) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I'm just so sorry this happened:  Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of the popular evangelist Billy Graham, has resigned from his post at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale.Apparently, according to a statement which Tchividjian gave to the Washington Post, the resignation is due to a "moral failure" that included extramarital affairs. In his public statement, Pastor Tchividjian said, “I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital … [Read more...]

Fr. Thomas Belczak, Popular Detroit-Area Priest, Is Cleared of Charges

Bishop Reiss letter

Father Thomas Belczak, the popular pastor of St. Kenneth's Catholic Church in Plymouth, has been reinstated after a nine-month FBI investigation into alleged financial improprieties. He will return to the pulpit on June 27.Father Belczak was suspended from the pastorate in October 2014, pending an investigation into whether he had misused funds intended for the parish. In a letter dated June 20, 2015, Auxiliary Bishop Francis Reiss announced that he will be reinstated, effective June … [Read more...]

Dylann Roof’s Manifesto Shows Real Hate, Confusion

KKK Virginia parade 1922

Dylann Storm Roof, the white man who allegedly opened fire on worshippers in a historically African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, had published his "manifesto" before committing the crime. Roof's racist, hate-filled screed was uncovered Saturday morning by Emma Quangel and Henry Krinkle, two Twitter users who discovered the hate-filled webpage called "The Last Rhodesian." According to Yahoo News, the online activists used the Reverse Whois search on domaintools.com … [Read more...]

An Unexpected Privilege: The Day I Attended Mass with Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger

Talk about being in the right place at the right time!It was September 2003, and I was leading a pilgrimage to Rome for a group of Catholic CEOs, members of Legatus.  We were so busy--Every day of our pilgrimage was filled with tours of historic basilicas, meetings with Vatican officials, lunches and dinners and gelato stands and, of course, daily Mass.  In the entire week we were in Rome, I slept little.  There was only one "free" night, when members of our group were encouraged to explore t … [Read more...]

Sweet, Old-Fashioned Summer Entertainment, Now Available on DVD


Back in February--on Valentine's Day, to be exact--theatergoers were given a choice:Watch a sultry porn flick on the big screen, replete with violence and sadomasochism and lust; or Take in a sweet romantic saga of love and respect and noble sacrifice.The media hype around the first option, 50 Shades of Grey, overshadowed a truly wholesome, enjoyable, and family-friendly film, Old-Fashioned. I was happy to have the clean movie showing in my area theater, though, and I told the story h … [Read more...]

Laudato Si’: So Much to Say, So Much to Learn

Laudato Si

There is a calm this morning over the Catholic Interwebs. I've noticed fewer Facebook posts, fewer messages.... Everyone is reading!Laudato Si', the Pope's much-touted encyclical on the environment, was released at noon Rome time (6:00 a.m. Eastern). It's 197 pages long, and it'll take a little time to absorb all the nuanced passages, the poetic expressions, and give you a full analysis. For now, though, I do have a couple of quick thoughts:1. This is not, as some had feared, a … [Read more...]

Why Attend Church? Five Pretty Good Reasons, But There’s Another One…


"5 reasons to attend church."  The headline in The Examiner caught my eye: After all, the recent PEW study demonstrated that Catholics and Christians are dropping out of the church-attending group, as society grows increasingly secular. "People can pray anywhere," they reason; and of course that's true, but aren't there real reasons for showing up in the pew on Sunday morning, for staying connected with a church community?Jessica McFarlane, reporter for the Philadelphia Catholic Examiner, o … [Read more...]

BREAKING: Multiple Fatalities in Charleston Church Shooting

Police car with emergency lights on

A number of people have died this evening, victims of a shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Early reports from CNN indicate that there are "multiple fatalities" inside the church, and that several bodies have not yet been identified. Police are on the scene, and coroners' vans are staging nearby, preparing to transport the victims. The shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic African-American church which calls itself the "oldest AME church … [Read more...]

“Sweet Baby Jesus” Beer Is Off the Shelves in Ohio Grocery Chain


The barley, the malt sugars, the yeast and...what? The chocolate, the peanut butter?  Those are the familiar flavors which, when mixed in an unfamiliar way, turn heads and win customers to Sweet Baby Jesus beer."Sweet Baby Jesus" is the creation of Baltimore-based DuClaw Brewing Company.  According to its founder, Dave Benfield, the brew was so delicious that it made the brewers think, “Sweet baby Jesus!” after partaking. Benfield told Cleveland.com that the company has received occasional co … [Read more...]