Mary Alma Parker RIP

Mary Alma Parker RIP

On Tuesday Mrs Longenecker and I traveled to Charleston for the funeral of Mary Alma Parker.Mary Alma was the wife of Fr James Parker--the first Episcopal priest to be ordained under the Pastoral Provision in the early 1980sJim Parker helped untold numbers of Anglican Christians both lay and clergy to make the journey from to the Catholic Church.He and Mary Alma encouraged those who were also seeking to be received into full communion, and Mary Alma ran a book lending … [Read More...]

The proposed new Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville. SC

Holy, Holy, Holy – How to Build a Beautiful Church

 Here is my latest article for Our Sunday Visitor on God's blueprint for a beautiful and sacred church.God is not “the Great Architect,” and he doesn’t deal in blueprints and building committees, but did you know God told us how to build a church? It’s in the Bible. If we believe the sacred Scriptures are the inspired word of God, then we have to take seriously the passages in the Old Testament where God gives directions for building; first the tabernacle — that portable worship … [Read More...]

O Lord, Make Me Happy, But Not Yet…

Sister Mary Lucy was a Poor Clare nun who suffered greatly. She lost her eyesight and had a degenerative bone disease which caused her spine to crumble.The doctors could do very little to help her. I used to visit her regularly, but never once heard her complain.Instead she had a huge … [Read More...]

Gigantic Spanish Food Fight!

August is the silly season...Go here for a gallery of photos from Spain's annual Tomatina tomato festival which ends in a gigantic food fight with thousands of folks chucking tomatoes at each other.I think Mantilla the Hon may have something to say about this later. … [Read More...]

Can You Get Catholicism Gradually?

Here is an article for the editorial stream at Patheos which explores the problem of different religions--all of which make truth claims.Should we merely be tolerant of all religions? Should we seek to amalgamate them all?The Catholic solution is unique: If the modern multicultural world is … [Read More...]

Onward Christian Soliders? Not Likely

George Tate was in the US Army in World War II. He served in a unit that was establishing communication lines across the Himalayas.George's son, Sid is a parishioner, he said about his Dad, "His plane was riddled with enemy gunfire going in, and as I understand it his job was conducted in an … [Read More...]

Religion–Is It All in Your Head?

Here is my recent article for ZENIT - it is a lengthened version of a blog post from earlier in the year which explains the difference between mere mystical experiences and real religion.Religious experiences of the mystical kind occur throughout human experience and in most every kind of … [Read More...]

Why Not Women Patriarchs?

 Here is my article today at National Catholic Register asking why women could not be patriarchs in the church. It goes on to explore the idea of patriarchy and the feminine.When I was a priest in the Church of England 20 years ago, the debate over women’s ordination that has now c … [Read More...]

Be of Good Cheer: Elephants Can Dance

Are you feeling weary and frightened reading about terror in Iraq, droughts and earthquakes in California, riots in St Louis and liturgical abuses by a priest somewhere in Iowa?Are you concerned to read that nun's habit have been stolen by terrorists intent on blowing up a major city and … [Read More...]

Killers Dressed As Nuns

OMG!What Have I Done?Who have I been mixing with?Holy Deacon Kandra reports here that terrorists may have been behind the recent raid of an ecclesiastical outfitters.The officials worry that the ample nun's habit will provide cover for a suicide bomber.And to think that I met … [Read More...]

The Hilarious Evangelist – On Laughter in Religion

I'm waiting for my ride at San Antonio airport. The car pulls up. A Latino fellow leans out the passenger window with a huge grin, "Hey Father Longenecker! I get to meet you at last! I read your stuff all the time man!"It was Catholic lay Evangelist Jesse  Romero. I have had the pleasure of … [Read More...]

Thoughts on the Thanatos Syndrome

 My article for Imaginative Conservative today is a report on Walker Percy's novel The Thanatos SyndromeIn the wonderful world of Walker Percy, old fashioned Southern gentility saunters in seersucker into sub human behavior and sips bourbon while planning a congenial … [Read More...]

Encounters with Angels

What is our proper understanding and relationship with angels?This article outlines the answer Praise and Proclamation and Protection may not seem quite as exciting as “listening to the light within”, channeling your angel or summoning up dark spirits, but our faith is incarnational. The child i … [Read More...]

ISIS – an Incomprehensible Enemy

James Foley was kidnapped first. He was just grabbed off the street by Muslim fanatics.Then he was kept as a prisoner and tortured.Finally he was be-headed publicly.Why could that not be the fate of any American traveling abroad?You're a tourist in a Middle Eastern country with an … [Read More...]

Fullness of Truth Conference

I'll be blogging from San Antonio in the great republic of Texas for the next few days.It was great to be met at the airport and to find Jesse Romero grinning from the car, "Hey! Father Longenecker! Thanks for your writing. We use your stuff all the time!"Stopped for a taco with Jesse and … [Read More...]

Pope Francis Called the Foley Family

This article in the Daily Telegraph suggests James Foley may have volunteered for execution to spare others.James Foley may have volunteered to be murdered to spare the lives of fellow hostages, his family said, as it emerged that his kidnappers had emailed them last week to say they were about … [Read More...]