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 but fe … [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...]

Dolan New USCCB Prez – UPDATED

For American Catholics who pay attention, today's big news is the surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.Dolan counts himself among the surprised (Photo: CNS/Nancy Wiechec)Personally, I think this is a terrific selection. Dolan is a very pastoral, humble and joyful presence. He is faithful, but for the most part he does not come down like a hammer (his parlays with the NY Times notwithstanding).Our bishops are … [Read more...]

"Blood and Forgiveness"

When Deacon Greg Kandra showed me his homily for yesterday, I wrote to him that he had written "the best piece I have yet seen on the slaughter of Iraqi Christians; it rounds out what is missing in the secular coverage."One of the [Iraqi] parishioners put it so simply, and so beautifully. He said that he returned because the week before he hadn't finished his prayers. I need to finish them, he said. A woman with a bandage around her knee told a reporter, "We forgive them. We're not afraid. … [Read more...]

Out of Iraq: the Gospel Message Writ Large – UPDATED

Our Lady of Salvation Church, IraqIn the gospels, Our Lord made it very clear that to claim His salvation and his Name was to put oneself at odds with the world. His cross is a sign of contradiction, and our lives are meant to be, as well. In truth, Christians should be happy, not angry, when the world despises them; it despised Him, first. If the world loved Christians, or loved the church, it would indicate that the church (or the Christian) has become too much "of the world."And where … [Read more...]

Dolan on Dorothy Day

This is a great start to the weekend, thanks to Mary DeTurris Poust:6 Insights from the Life of Dorothy Day from Province of Saint Joseph on Vimeo. … [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...]

Fr. Barron on Eucharistic Adoration

It takes a genuine bigot to suggest that Eucharistic Adoration is a practice reserved to the stupid and the uneducated. Another sort of elitism. … [Read more...]

"We had Cancer & Christ in Common

"Friendship" by PicassoIt's breast cancer awareness month, and Pat Gohn has permitted me to reprint an affecting piece she wrote a couple of years ago, about her own breast cancer, and the a deep and faith-filled friendship that came like a balm and gift to counter the medical chaos:Sometimes friendships blossom where we least expect them -- like in foxholes. That echoes my relationship with Judi. I was in a battle, but lacked experience. As a cancer veteran, Judi helped me adjust my armor … [Read more...]

The Employment Rosary; on Currents

Last week, I had a chance to speak with Currents' Nathalia Ortiz about the idea of using the mysteries of the Rosary as a consolation and meditation for all of those who are seeking employment, or their family members who are anxiously watching them.The prayers and meditations are fleshed out in this little publication by Our Sunday Visitor, which I have written more about here.The great folks at NET-NY produce Currents (the only nightly Catholic newscast in the nation) have excerpted the … [Read more...]


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