The Healy Brothers; a Thrilling, Shameful Story

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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Deacons in the Center Ring! UPDATE

Ladies & Gents and children of mature ages: may I draw your attention to the center-ring, where the Wrangling Deacons will amaze and astound you with arguments about countenancing continence and canon law! You'll laugh! You're cry! You'll scream in terror as they wrestle the issue of celibate-deacons to the ground, and you'll wonder why I couldn't find a better way to describe that!Introducing--weighing in on Canon 277--Edward "the Examiner" Peters!Peters invites the competent … [Read more...]

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Vocation Awareness Week

This is Vocation Awareness Week -- one of my favorite weeks of the year, because (as regular readers know) I get to bring out the Nun News Network banner (designed by reader Brian J.) and discuss all things nunny (and priestly, friarly, monkish and so forth)Let's begin here, with the Solemn Profession of a Poor Clare Nun as covered by the St. Louis Review:The sign of a woman’s true strength is not a measure of independence or success, but rather her persevering love.Just ask Sister Mary C … [Read more...]

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The Setons, Bayleys and Roosevelts

Seton, Bayley and Roosevelt sounds like a Park Avenue practice; they sound like surnames of character names from an old Katharine Hepburn/Cary Grant movie. In fact, Hepburn did play a "Seton" in the 1938 film "Holiday".If the names sound much more "Episcopal" than Catholic, it's because they are.Dr. Pat McNamara, who runs a weekly column, "In Ages Past" at Patheos' Catholic portal, also blogs at McNamara's Blog, where this week I was delighted to read about a favorite saint of mine, … [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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Behold! We have always been "radical" -updated!

I very much like this piece by Pat Gohn:"Behold!" is one of my favorite words from the Bible. The wordsmith in me adores words that tickle my ears, words that are uncommon yet descriptive. Behold sounds somewhat archaic yet it still shows up in modern usage. Behold makes me perk up and pay attention. Simply defined, behold means to see, to gaze upon, to observe, to have vision.Whenever I find it in the New Testament, I always watch what happens next. Behold is like the sound of the drum roll … [Read more...]

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O Come, O Come

Emmanuel, God-With-Us...Emmanuel, born in Haiti the day after quake in which father died. He did not survive/Photo, "Missionary Ed"Stricken with some sort of bug, over here, and it has me under the weather and working at half-speed. But while I try to pull myself together, here is one of the best versions of this haunting call I have ever heard:Video via Matt Labash, who is looking at this Christmas with a perspective permanently changed thanks to his post-earthquake trip to Haiti, his … [Read more...]

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Hecker like the Flour!

Illustration by Dr. Pat McNamara, 1993I somehow neglected to share with you last week this very interesting profile of a very interesting Catholic priest who had an profound impact on the faith in America.Dr. Pat McNamara writes about the Vibrant, Active Piety of Fr. Isaac Hecker, yes, Hecker like the flour that is currently in my cabinet. That family:Early 19th-century America was an exciting time, an age of reform. Known as "the era of the common man," it saw a movement toward greater … [Read more...]

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A Balm for Fried Brains

Longtime readers know that when I get over-busy and overworked there is a crash and burn, (strangely enough, it's often an Crash-and-Burn-in-ADVENT) followed by a period of fried-brains-recovery that involves staring at beautiful fabric and period clothing, because despite my Tomboyish ways, somewhere within me there is a pathetically girly girl who is living in the wrong era and occasionally must be served.The past few days, which featured all my regular work, plus a few promised projects and … [Read more...]

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"Are you a woman of God?" UPDATED

That's the question Sr. Lisa Doty got from a kid in trouble:“Yes, I am,” I responded, “is there something I can do for you?”Looking down at his feet, he stammered, hardly audible, “I’m not sure what you can do, but I really could use your prayers.” He went on to explain how he had gotten into a lot of trouble at school, and as a result of it, he was expelled. Naturally, his folks are angry, and they worry he won’t be able to go on to college. “I’ve ruined everything! I have no future now!” Te … [Read more...]

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