“The apostles had wives!” Well, Peter was married, but…UPDATED

Peter and Mother in Law

Father James Martin is a very kind man and a joyful priest who loves his vocation and will tell you that priestly celibacy is a discipline and gift that has enabled him to form deeply intimate, lasting friendships with with all kinds of people -- friendship that, removed from the flesh and the material, is free to seek out the God-element in each person, and to love with the mind of Christ. Many of my celibate friends feel similarly, whether they are priests, religious or layfolk. Their … [Read more...]

Nuns and Bishops and Popes, Oh My! – UPDATES

joan

The sisters are all Joan of Arc and the Bishops are all Don Giovanni! Allow me to clear my tabbar of these numerous links touching on the Sr. Margaret Farley story, the LCWR leadership meeting with Rome story and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad menfolk -- offering "the contorted thinking of celibate men" -- who just don't appreciate the linear and perfect thinking of the celibate women. I guess female celibacy is superior to male celibacy and therefore confers credibility on … [Read more...]

The Talking, Thinking and Wondering Will Continue

12apostles

There is a saying attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, that I used to keep up on my header: "Ideas lead to idols; only wonder leads to knowing." I wonder about that phrase often, and continually draw new understanding as I apply it to different subject matters. It reminds me that I am not only free to ponder, but that as a Catholic, I am (quite contra-CW) required to think. Not to give in to the soft tyranny of sentimentalism until I'm so busy feeling that thinking is dismissed; not to … [Read more...]

Nuns, Monks, Friars Linkfest! – UPDATED

It's unusual to be writing much about monks, nuns and friars in February, but for some reason I have a flurry of news and reports, so here goes! The Norbertine Sisters are a very interesting group of women. You know they make fabulous Christmas Wreaths each year (we had ours by the end of November and only just threw it out because it seemed oddball to have a wreath up at Valentine's Day, but it still looked great, still wasn't dropping needles!) Well, the sisters are finally established as … [Read more...]

Pope, Condom, TSA & Crucifix – UPDATED

With a title like that, what else could I be talking about but my Tuesday column: I had been driven to the crucifix because I had become overwhelmed with the media/internet cacophony that had followed L’Osservatore Romano’s weekend revelation of Pope Benedict XVI’s thoughts on the use of condoms in certain situations, and by the uproar over newly put-in-place TSA regulations on pre-flight searches and pat-downs. In both cases, reactions were swift, and they varied according to agendas … [Read more...]

The Heroic Ordination at Dachau – UPDATED

Deacon Greg brings us a look at a secret ordination that took place at Dachau: Leisner was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and in Dachau his condition began to deteriorate. Fearing that the great dream of his life -- to be a priest -- would never be realized, he and the priests in his cellblock secretly sent a petition to a local cardinal (aided here, and in so many areas, by a heroic nun known as the "Angel of Dachau," Sister Imma Mack.) The cardinal granted permission for a French bishop … [Read more...]

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...]

"Recognized as a House of Prayer"

Earlier this month, Sr. Mary Catharine of Jesus, OP shared some wonderful insights into the value and meaning of the religious habit and wrote: The experience of one's clothing day remains etched in heart and mind. For Dominican nuns, that means etched in lines that are black and white! White for purity; black for penance. Two years after her clothing, a novice will profess vows, and a black veil will be placed on her head signifying that she has become "recognized as a house of prayer . . . … [Read more...]

Roundup for Noontime Reading

Busyness has made me remiss in letting you folks know about Patheos' Religion and Faith Book Club, which is currently discussing Stephen Prothero's God is Not One, with a nifty tie-in to the PBS-series, which is also looking at the book. Sadly, neither the book nor the series has crossed my path, simply because of a lack of time, but you'll want to check out the sites and reviews, I think. Speaking of reading, Halloween is coming up. Check out John C. Wright's guffaw-inducing thoughts on the … [Read more...]

Beatifying Newman, Neri & More

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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