The Healy Brothers; a Thrilling, Shameful Story

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February is Black History Month, and to kick it off historian Dr. Pat McNamara brings us a fascinating story that thrilled and shamed me. What a remarkable family of faith existed in the sons and daughters of Michael Healy and Eliza Clark; they became priests, nuns and even a bishop emerging from their home in Georgia, where mixed-race children were called "slaves." But none of it came easily or peacefully in 19th century America:By any standard, the Healys were an impressive family. … [Read more...]

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"Goodnight, Chesty"

I had never heard of "Chesty Puller" until reading this piece just now, but it sounds like a film needs to be made, here:Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1918 he would serve until 1955, rising in rank from private to lieutenant general. Throughout his career he led from the front, never asking his men to go where he would not go. For his courage he was five times awarded the navy cross, a silver star, a distinguished service cross, and a bronze star with a v for valor, along with … [Read more...]

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Buster, Gratitude, Hillbilly Thomism UPDATED

When Buster was pretty small, perhaps three or four years old, a priest asked a rhetorical question during his homily--I don't remember the question; it might have been "why are we here, today" or something like that--but the boy was determined to answer it, and his hand shot up and remained there, like one long skinny flagpole wavering, while the priest tried to ignore him.After a while, Fr. Patient--who had baptized Buster and knew him well--sighed and said, "okay, Buster, what's your … [Read more...]

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Benedict, Condoms, Humanae Vitae – UPDATED

"O Lord, in your light we see light itself." --a 1st Antiphon of Lauds In the comments section of the post below, the subject of Humanae Vitae has arisen. I am of the opinion that Paul VI's encyclical was prophetic, but poorly taught and too quickly dismissed; its message was unwelcome in an "if it feels good do it" era.Deacon Greg notes that what Pope Benedict has said in Light of the World is not appreciably different from what Paul VI proclaimed in 1968: "The Church does not consider … [Read more...]

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Roman Collar as Yoke and Witness

There is a story--or a bit of blarney, I'm not sure which--about why Catholic priests wear the distinctive Roman Collar, all black with just a tab of white showing at the front, rather than the full white collar. I heard it a while ago, and don't remember details, but in this telling it seems that during wartime many priests were easy targets because their all-white collars were easy to see, particularly at night, and so the collar was changed to what we see today, and the rectangle of white … [Read more...]

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Beatifying Newman, Neri & More

Chapel Shrine of Bl. John Henry Newman, Oratory Church of St. Boniface, Brooklyn. Image mine

One of the books I'll be trying to read while in Rome is John Henry Newman; Prayers, Verses and Devotions, from Ignatius Press.Just as it seems like St. Philip Neri, my Patron for this year, may have had a hand in making Rome a suddenly reality (when I discovered that our lodgings are very near his Oratory, I could almost hear him laughing), finding this book--in perfect condition--in the "used book" bin at church seemed like a gift, too. Since Pope Benedict will be beatifying Newman on … [Read more...]

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Mary Anne Marks, Harvard ’10 -UPDATED

This is really charming, and comes our way thanks to reader Jenny, whose son graduated from Harvard University (motto: Veritas ) last month, with this young woman, Mary Anne Marks.Ms. Marks, a classics and English joint concentrator hailing from Queens, NY, chose to give her salutatory address in Latin; and manages to be engaging and lively with this "dead" language:You can read read the speech, here.Come the fall, this gifted, confident and serene young women will head to … [Read more...]

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Sex Abuse is about Control and Power

The Catholic League has taken out a full-page ad in the NY Times that tries to be a point-by-point rebuttal to the Times' reverberating prelude to Holy Week.As rebuttal it is a tad weak -that's what happens when your answer rightly requires 10,000 words and 350 is all you can manage in 18 pt Arial Narrow- but it hits its main targets; it manages to make one important point that is too-often ignored, that the church (and secular organizations as well) erred greatly in taking the advice of … [Read more...]

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Cardinal DiNardo at Baptist U

I can't remember where I came upon this video -it might have been from First Things' Evangel blog- but I like it a lot, and I think y'all will, too: Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, doing the convocation at Houston Baptist University.An excellent video for an extended Sunday Coffee Break. … [Read more...]

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St. Therese & Our Own Genius

Ste. Thérèse de L'Enfant Jesus et de la Sainte FaceFrom the Responsory for today's Office of Readings:From the very beginning, O God, you came to me with your love, which has grown since my childhood - Its depths I cannot fully grasp.O Lord, how great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. - Its depths I cannot fully grasp.Coming directly after Therese's nearly ecstatic words in the second reading, the quiet acknowledgment of ongoing mystery and unplumbable depths i … [Read more...]

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