Vatican's Christmas Tree Is a Show-Stopper

It was only fitting.Last week Pope Benedict XVI got to light that great Christmas tree, the “world’s largest” tree, on the Italian hillside….So it was good that an excited little boy got to press the button to light the towering 82-foot Ukrainian spruce that marks the 2011 Christmas season at the Vatican.And what a celebration it was—especially for the people of Ukraine, who had given this great 60-year-old tree to the Holy Father. They crowded into St. Peter’s Square, dressed in their … [Read more...]

Edmund Cardinal Szoka: Forty Years of Episcopal Leadership

Today Cardinal Edmund Szoka, archbishop-emeritus of the Archdiocese of Detroit and president-emeritus of the Vatican City State, celebrates the 40th anniversary of his episcopal ordination; and all of us here in the Detroit archdiocese join in honoring him for his long, outstanding service to the Church.He is a man to be reckoned with, a man whose influence has extended beyond the Detroit archdiocese to the world. As a young priest, he studied canon law at the Pontifical Urban University … [Read more...]

THE POPE AND THE POOR: You Finish the Picture

Over at his website, “Father Z” posted this picture of a new, 16-foot-high bronze statue of Blessed John Paul II.  The statue was unveiled on March 19 at Stazione Termini, Rome’s main train station. I don’t know the artist’s intent in creating the cavernous belly, but I imagine future generations of pilgrims posing for pictures, shielded beneath our beloved pope’s generous heart. *     *     *     *     *        I was reminded of another statue which stands outside the cathedral in Salzburg, … [Read more...]