For All the Saints

C.S.Lewis once observed, “How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints!” Therese of Lisieux wrote, ” All the saints will be indebted to each other…Who knows the joy we shall experience in beholding the glory of the great saints and knowing that by a secret disposition [Read More...]

Ebenezer Cromwell Grinch

You’ve heard of Scrooge and the Grinch.The Puritants were the first to be down on Christmas festivities. Jay, over at Pro Ecclesia has an amusing take on how the Puritans stole Christmas. Its in the form of a Twelfth Night poem. Enjoy! [Read more...]

The Silent Scream

Google have made available online the classic anti abortion film The Silent ScreamIt makes for pretty grim viewing. If you’ve never seen it, take the time to watch and be reminded just what goes on in our infanticide clinics. If you have a blog post the link and pass it on to others. [Read more...]

St Elizabeth Ann Seton

St Elizabeth Ann Seton proves that the following types of people can be saints: Mothers Wives Schoolteachers Americans Americans who go to live in Europe Americans who go to live in Europe and move back to America Anglican converts. Five out of seven…. I’m starting to feel uncomfortable…. [Read more...]

English Priest

This is a picture of a very English priest outside Westminster Cathedral in London. I don’t know Fr.Whinder, but he looks pleasantly bookish and trad. He keeps popping up in the blogosphere, and I think it might be amusing to know how far and wide the picture has already gone, and how much further we [Read More...]

Two Famous Catholics

Two very famous Catholics share a birthday today. (As well as an appreciation for good hats) They are pictured here. A prize (a copy of one of my books) for the first person to recognize both of them and state the respective years of their birth on 3 January. [Read more...]

Another Anglican Priest Comes Home…

David Palmer, a former Anglican priest, tells a great tale going from a nominally Anglican family, to New Age hippy, converted by a Baptist, drawn further by Anglican Franciscans, ordained, next stop Anglo Catholicism, and finally Home to Rome. His story highlights the life changing witness and work of our Evangelical brothers and sisters. If [Read More...]


‘Apocalypse’ stands for the end of time, but the word also means ‘Revelation’. Was Mel Gibson making a prophetic movie about our culture, a heroic underdog film or just a good old action picture with more gore than usual? Some friends and I debated this after seeing the film a few weeks ago. My own [Read More...]

Now and Then

After my ordination a perky seventeen year old girl at school said, “Fr Longenecker, do you feel ontologically different?” A delightful question which goes to show the high level of orthodox catechesis at St Joseph’s Catholic School. A parishioner asked a similar question, “Does it feel different saying Mass as a Catholic priest than it [Read More...]

Missionary Witnesses

Some of my Evangelical friends argue that the Catholic Church is not a missionary Church. Amy Welborn has a post with statistics on the number of Catholic missionaries who gave their life for the faith in 2006. When we take the trouble to read the history of the Catholic Church we learn that in every [Read More...]

Heresy Poolside

One day last summer I got into a conversation with a woman at our community pool. She was an Evangelical Presbyterian, and was intrigued to hear that I was Catholic. Before long I got all the questions fired at me, and we finally got to Mary. The woman asked why we worship Mary. I said [Read More...]

The Little Flower and the Big Weed

In all the discussion of how terrible (or not) the execution of Saddam was, maybe we didn’t pray enough. Remember the story of Therese of Lisieux’s answer to prayer with the murderer Pranzini. If she was a human little flower he was a most noxious weed. Here’s the story: In the early summer of 1887 [Read More...]

The Odor of Sanctity

Fr Tim Finegan links to a site that sells the Pope’s Cologne. I thought the Pope’s Cologne was one of B16′s German cathedral cities, but it seems a California perfumier has resurrected a formula for a papal perfume. This adds a whole new dimension to ‘smells and bells’. I wonder if there is a special [Read More...]

Hangman’s Justice

David Palmer’s British blood runs cold at the hanging of Saddam, and Evangelical Catholicism supports the Vatican’s line that the execution of Saddam Hussein accommplishes nothing. Jimmy Akin and Gerald Augustinus think justice has been done. What does his execution accomplish? Is this really justice or is it revenge? C.S.Lewis has a very interesting essay [Read More...]

Two Toms

Today we remember the martyr Thomas Becket. Once chancellor of England, he was murdered on this day in 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral by agents of King Henry II. A great way to remember him is to read or re-read T.S.Eliot’s 1953 verse drama Murder in the Cathedral. Eliot is probably the only modern playwright to [Read More...]

Muslims Defending Christians

Amy Welborn has a great report from Christmas in Indonesia where the Muslims help to foil attacks on Christians by extremist Islamic groups by turning up in large numbers to the Christian services. Since moving to the USA I’ve heard a lot of anti-Islamic bigotry. Its understandable, and I can’t profess to having a love [Read More...]

TV or not TV…that is the question.

An Amish elder was once visited by some city slickers who asked him why he didn’t have television. He stroked his beard, thought for a moment then asked them if they had seen anything on TV that week that they could recommend. There was an embarrassed silence. He’d made his point. David Palmer is a [Read More...]

The World’s Danger

I saw a stable low and very bare A little child in a manger The oxen knew him, had him in their care To men he was a stranger. The safety of the world was lying there And the world’s danger. – Mary Coleridge MAY YOU HAVE A HAPPY AND BLESSED CHRISTMAS [Read more...]

The Humility of Ecumenism

There are a lot of misconceptions about both Ecumenism and the Catholic Church. Many people equate ecumenism with the World Council of Churches…an organization that has sunk into near oblivion and bankruptcy. In this equation ecumenism is a kind of ecclesiastical United Nations; a talking shop where church leaders meet to work together for peace [Read More...]

Finnegan’s Awake

English priest, Fr Tim Finnegan has an intelligent and perceptive blog. Have a look! [Read more...]

Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned

Last night we had a penitential service at St Mary’s. It was my first opportunity to hear confessions. What a beautiful sacrament this is! The church was full. Six priests heard confessions for nearly two hours. Young and old, male and female, people from every ethnic background, all came to open their hearts to God [Read More...]

Pearce, Lewis and the Catholic Church

If you have been following the recent posts you will be interested in the best book on the subject of C.S.Lewis and the Catholic Church. Written by the excellent biographer Joseph Pearce, the book explores the great question, why Lewis never joined the Catholic Church. It delves into Lewis’ Ulster Protestant background, compares ‘Mere’ and [Read More...]