“Bucket List” Baby’s Short Life Was Full of Love

Baby Shane

"Today at 6:15AM, after meeting his entire family and being baptized into the Catholic faith, baby Shane died peacefully in his Mother's arms." *     *     *     *     * On October 9, more than 910,000 followers of the "Prayers for Shane" Facebook page received the sad news that Shane Michael Haley, an anencephalic infant, had died just four hours after birth."We are so grateful for the time that we were blessed to hold and hug our son," wrote his parents Jenna Gassew and Dan Haley.  "The s … [Read more...]

Sauter de Joie! Young Parisian Religious in Notre Dame Flash Mob

Brothers and Sisters at Notre Dame

Oh happy day!Toe-tapping fun:  On January 19, 2012, six hundred young religious brothers and sisters dance before Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, in an extraordinary flash mob.I know that in 2012, the famed Cathedral was celebrating its 850th anniversary.  I'm not sure, though, just why these happy men and women were gathered on that particular cold afternoon.  Obviously, though, they're having a good time! … [Read more...]

Diocese of St. Augustine Honors the Virgin Mary, Breastfeeding Mother

Our Lady of La Leche

On Saturday, October 11, the Diocese of St. Augustine will honor Mary in her role as a new mother nursing her infant.Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, head of the northeastern Florida diocese which is the oldest diocese in the United States, has declared the Feast of Our Lady of La Leche to be celebrated throughout the diocese.He also instituted a Jubilee Year in commemoration of the Blessed Mother, celebrating the 450th anniversary of the founding of America's oldest city at the site of the cu … [Read more...]

Flannery O’Connor Has Become So Collectible!

Flannery O'Connor

A great announcement this week out of Emory University in Atlanta:  The Mary Flannery O’Connor Charitable Trust, the literary estate of influential Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor, has donated a collection of her works and personal items to Emory University.  Emory plans to make the long-hidden literary drafts, journals, letters and personal effects available to the public soon.Flannery O'Connor described herself as a  "pigeon-toed child with a receding chin and a you-leav … [Read more...]

The Snowshoe Priest and Other Great Stories

Statue commemorating Bishop Baraga at L'Anse, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

In the long, harsh winter of 1835, Father Frederic Baraga trudged through the snow, carrying the gospel to the Ojibway tribe in northern Wisconsin and Michigan.In the region south of Lake Superior, the average snowfall is 300 inches.  Undaunted, the native Slovenian priest traveled thousands of miles on snowshoes, ministering to the region's Native American population.It was the Ojibway (Chippewa) tribe that gave Father Baraga his nickname, "the Snowshoe Priest."  But the young priest's m … [Read more...]

What’s a “Synod”? The Holy See Press Office Explains the Basics

Pope Francis at the Synod

As the 2014 Synod on the Family gets underway, the Holy See Press Office continues to keep us informed.In this brief video, they try to explain the process and structure:  What's a Synod?  Who attends?  What are the objectives?Whether you're experienced with "All Things Vatican" or you're watching for the first time as the wheels of the Church slowly turn, you'll appreciate this clever lesson in ecclesiology. … [Read more...]

Pope Francis’ Homily at the Opening Liturgy of the Synod on the Family

Mass opening the Synod

This morning in St. Peter's Basilica, the Synod Fathers gathered for the Opening Liturgy, before beginning their conversations regarding issues important to the family.The Holy See Press Office has been doing a good job of reporting from the scene.  You can also keep up to date by following #Synod14 on Twitter.Here, the full text of the Holy Father's homily at this morning's mass.Today the prophet Isaiah and the Gospel employ the image of the Lord’s vineyard. The Lord’s vineyard is hi … [Read more...]

Born Into Slavery, Fr. Augustus Tolton May Become a Saint

Fr. Augustus Tolton

On March 2, 2010, Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, announced that he was beginning an official investigation into Father Augustus Tolton’s life and virtues, with a view to opening the Cause for his canonization. The following year—on February 24, 2011—the Roman Catholic Church officially began the formal introduction of the Cause for sainthood of Father Tolton.  He was designated Servant of God; and Historical and Theological Commissions were established, with the responsibil … [Read more...]

It Begins: Opening Liturgy at the Synod on the Family

Opening liturgy - Synod

The Holy See Press Office has released this first photo from St. Peter's Basilica, where Synod Fathers are gathered for the opening liturgy.More information coming as the day goes on!  … [Read more...]

Beardless Jesus? Not so likely….

Plate with beardless Jesus

Here's a little tidbit from the BBC that's not likely to shake anyone's faith, but which has archeologists sitting up and taking notice:Archeologists in Spain have discovered what they believe to be one of the world's oldest known images of Jesus.  And he's beardless!The image is on a glass plate which was inside a church in the ancient town of Castulo, outside present-day Linares.  It's believed that the 9-inch plate was used in distribution of the Eucharist during worship services.   Af … [Read more...]