Hankies Please

Try to keep your eyes dry on this one.  For American readers a ‘council estate’ is poor government housing for the underclass. h/t Fr Ray [Read more...]

From the Pope’s homily at St Patrick’s

The first has to do with the stained glass windows, which flood the interior with mystic light. From the outside, those windows are dark, heavy, even dreary. But once one enters the church, they suddenly come alive; reflecting the light passing through them, they reveal all their splendor. Many writers – here in America we can [Read More...]


Placido Domingo singing Panis Angelicus at the Papal Mass in Washington. Very moving to see him kneel to kiss the Pope’s ring at the end. [Read more...]

Road to Cana

Anne Rice’s second installment on the life of Christ is even better than the first. Now Jesus is a young man, living in Nazareth with his extended family. One of the things Rice makes clear is how Jesus’ ‘brothers’ in the New Testament are his kinsmen. Not only do the semantics allow for this probability, [Read More...]

More on Marriage

There has been further comment on my post about Love and Marriage. I defined marriage as being essentially between a man and a woman, and that other alternative unions were not marriages. I was taken to task by one commentator who suggested that other people disagree and believe that the marital act between a man [Read More...]

New Poem

The Dogwood TreeFor a Papal VisitMy garden has an ancient dogwood tree,grown from a cutting from a tree that datesback beyond all living memory.The old gardener loves that tree, and relatesthe tale of how one tree was kept alivefor thousands of years through bad times and good;how some cuttings would falter, others thrive,yet all, both [Read More...]

Apostolic Visit

During Pope Benedict’s Apostolic visit to the USA, remembering that ‘apostle’ means’ ‘sent one’. From yesterday’s gospel: Whoever rejects me and does not accept my wordshas something to judge him: the word that I spoke,it will condemn him on the last day,because I did not speak on my own,but the Father who sent me commanded [Read More...]

Papal Visit Coverage

American Papist has some of the best blogger coverage of the Pope’s visit to Washington.  John Allen summarizes the Pope’s message to the Bishops here. [Read more...]

Mass Evangelism

There was a Protestant publishing company in England that used to produce smart publicity materials that you could buy for your parish events. They would do overprinting–putting your details into their nice artwork. They had rules though. You weren’t allowed to use the word ‘Mass’ in any of your publicity materials because they couldn’t be [Read More...]

Why America Needs the Pope

Here is my article for National Catholic Register published this weekend. [Read more...]

Pictures from Day 1

London’s Daily Telegraph has this nice gallery of photos from the Pope’s visit to the White House. [Read more...]


The Times has a gallery of popemobiles past and present. Cathcon prefers the original… [Read more...]

True Authority

Why am I a Catholic? It’s all about authority. The Pope. The Chair of Peter. If you are looking for an authority to help decide the crucial questions what criteria would you set for that authority? There are fourteen things you would look for, which come in seven pairs. The authority would be historical – [Read More...]

Official Papal Visit Site.

Here is the link to the US Bishop’s Papal Visit site. View the Pope’s address to the American people recorded before his visit. [Read more...]

Longenecker in London

Here is my article on the Pope’s visit to America in The Times of London. If you’re a blogger (especially a British blogger please post a link to the article. It helps all in the blogosphere to link to the big papers. [Read more...]


London’s Daily Telegraph has a feature on Ave Maria town here [Read more...]

Pope Benedict XVI Visits America

America welcomes Pope Benedict XVI tomorrow. I’ll be writing about the visit for The Catholic Herald and The Time in London, have an article in National Catholic Register and will comment here and at InsideCatholic. For research I have been following the different news outlets, and I fear most of them are predictably boring. They all have to [Read More...]

New Poem

Organ Recital for Adam The whole world of music was there beneath  your dancing fingers and your flying feet. I heard tubas, trombones, foghorns, bells and flutes, whale songs, birdcalls, clarinets and lutes. Bassoons, sackbuts, wolves howling at the moon; The plaintive cries of oboe, owl and loon.   The diapason rumblings deep to deep  [Read More...]


What is shame? I think shame is the emotion we feel when we have done something that falls below our standards for ourselves. We feel ashamed, and when others find out they should make us feel ashamed as well. Our society doesn’t do shame real well. We think it is hurtful and no one should [Read More...]

Gothic Frankfurter

Chust for nice (as the Pennsylvania Dutch would say) h/t Roving Medievalist [Read more...]

Love and Marriage…

…go together like a horse and carriage… (or even a surrey with the fringe on top?) In a thread on the lesbians next door I said they were living a lie, and my observation evoked this comment:  Father, with due respect, in the couple’s eyes, it’s not a lie at all. They believe (one would [Read More...]

Moral Mess 2

One of the problems facing Catholics in the present moral mess is how to deal with the friends, family members, neighbors and acquaintances who are in, err… irregular relationships. We’re not supposed to be judgmental and self righteous. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and all that. At the same time, we have [Read More...]