12 Reasons to Love the Irish!

1) We gave you the Irish Soda Bread Recipe.2) We gave you we gave you Joyce, Yeats and Oscar Wilde.3) We gave you U2. Sorry that Bono can be such a blowhard sometimes, but you know...he's Irish.4) We gave you Errol Flynn.5) And Tom Selleck.6) And John Wayne and Maureen O' Hara.7) And Gene Kelly.8) And the foundation upon which bluegrass and old-timey music were founded.9) We gave you Daniel Day Lewis (hey, he carries an Irish passport). The only Mohegan who can … [Read more...]

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Candlemas Illuminated: Feast of the Presentation

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined to be the rise and the fall of many in Israel, and a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 2It is odd that this feastday -The Feast of the Presentation of Christ- (which as Deacon Greg explains, is also called … [Read more...]

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Belying Emily Letts’ “good abortion” Words: Her Face UPDATE

Kathy Schiffer calls a video of Emily Letts getting an abortion "weird", and if all you take into account is this young woman's words, they are weird; they make almost no sense.“I know that sounds weird, but to me, this was as birth-like as it could be. It will always be a special memory for me. I still have my sonogram, and if my apartment were to catch fire, it would be the first thing I’d grab.”If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth, you miss all that is … [Read more...]

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You Balance Out the Keening Pain of Newtown – UPDATED

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from PrisonMy goodness, you guys, I'm not easily moved to tears but the response to this request for toy donations on behalf of an outreach that had none to give -- and the kindness and generosity that is so e … [Read more...]

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Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?

So, two days ago the Vatican announced the Pope's new Twitter handle and relative hashtags. Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has amassed about half a million English-speaking followers (he will tweet in 8 Languages) and there are innumerable (and sometimes irreverent, often downright hateful) questions awaiting him at the #AskPontifex feed. The pope is not at a loss for reaction or, for that matter, advice. Our friend Brandon Vogt offers His Holiness Five Suggestions as he becomes a Tweeting … [Read more...]

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The Cross always threatens Communists – UPDATED

Found Via Deacon Greg:Government authorities from a district in the Central Highlands last week compelled ethnic villagers to remove Catholic pictures and items from their chapel and replaced them with images of Ho Chi Minh last weekend.“After local Catholics finished prayers in the chapel on Sunday morning, local government authorities came and asked them to remove a cross and a Marian picture from the chapel,” a Church source said.The source added that authorities from Kon Thu … [Read more...]

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LCWR, the SSPX and the Vatican; Fun Times in Catholicland UPDATED

Busy days here at Patheos and I am only now getting to a bunch of emails from people asking me what I think about "this misogynist outrage from the Vatican" concerning the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Others, possibly recalling a piece I wrote three years ago sound like they're rubbing their hands together in anticipation; "I can't wait to see what you have to say about this!" wrote one woman.I wrote back, "what I think may surprise you."The possibility of the … [Read more...]

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You Say “Tomato,” I Say “To-MAH-to”: St. Blase and the Holy Helpers

OK, so Father Longenecker—This week I wrote about St. Blase, and you followed up with a great post on St. Blaise.Nonplussed, I went directly to Spell-Check, I did not pass Go, and I confirmed that We Are Both Right. The saint whose feast day we celebrated today answers us, whichever spelling we prefer.I am not defensive or spiteful or OCD or anything like that, but I did happen to notice that the following websites all spell the name as I did: Blase. • EWTN • Holy Spirit Inter … [Read more...]

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A Brother’s Lesson on Christmas

This morning, on Facebook I noticed that The Christopher's Tony Rossi had posted something from their "Three Minutes A Day feature -- quick inspirational reads that can put a day into perspective. You can get the Three Minutes a Day Book, too and Tony quoted for the latest volume (#47) which is for 2012.As it turns out, that entry uses something from a piece I wrote a long time ago. It was from an open letter, written to Maureen Dowd back when I wasted time and energy trying to cheer her … [Read more...]

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Holy Eucharist, Humility and Flannery O

My column at First Things this week looks at the story of Father Augustin Escobar, the California priest who recently had his priestly faculties suspended for concelebrating Mass with a Presbyterian minister. As few details had yet emerged as I was writing, I stuck to the question of closed communionThere exists an odd double-standard concerning Catholic observances and almost any other ritual. Culturally nuanced and sensitive Americans would never presume to attend a Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, … [Read more...]

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