Lino Rulli: “Perfect people don’t inspire me…”

Lino press kit

Okay, I've been very upfront about it, so we already know that I am an idolator!But perhaps you didn't know how bad it has become.Take a look:Aye, that's not just a copy of Lino Rulli's new book, Saint: Why I Should be Canonized Right Away, but a medal, and a prayer card and, yes, an I-mean-business 7-day candle.Let's call it what it is: The Shrine of Saint Lino de Sirius-ly Imperfect, patron of "Catholic Guys" and Gals, Bookies, and People Who Expect Every Flight to End … [Read more...]

“My name is Kevin; that’s spelled Q-E-V-V-E-N

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A month or so ago I was doing a book-signing -- which, believe it or not, is actually a fun thing to do, even when you're shy -- and as people came up and we greeted each other, they would ask me to inscribe a copy of Strange Gods to "Mary" or "Anna" or "Joe". About 60 books or so into it, I declared that I loved signing books for Catholics, because we tend to use rather conventional names of saints and also the conventional spellings.So, naturally, the very next person in line asked me to … [Read more...]

“We are Church.” As self-referential as the Curia.

You might think it takes a peculiar sort of mind to find common themes uniting an interview with Antonin Scalia and an exhortation from Pope Francis, and you'd be right. My piece at First Things this week brings these two divertingly counter-cultural men together on the subject of narcissism and idols:After his election to the papacy, notes were released outlining the pre-conclave intervention delivered by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, which many of the Cardinal-electors said impressed them … [Read more...]

If we “get” Francis, we have to absorb his lessons

One aspect of fallen human nature is that we, in a weirdly paradoxical way, tend to become precisely what it is we do not like. Saint Paul decried this tendency in himself, "I do not understand myself; all that I hate I am become" (Romans 7:15).In attempting to walk with people who still processing our new pope and trying to understand him, or trying to understand themselves and what matters within the depths, I've had a lot of time to ponder that line of scripture. It is so easy for those … [Read more...]

Re Translating Francis’ Interview with Eugenio Scalfari – UPDATED

Pope Francis called Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist editor of La Repubblica, and said, "how about an interview" and Scalfari, no fool, took him up on it. Reading the first English translation found online this morning, I cursed my poor Italian and kept thinking, "this must be a sloppy translation -- some of this isn't even making sense."Well, "Nunblogger" Sister Anne Flanagan, a Daughter of Saint Paul, saw issues too, and since she reads Italian well, she has become a piecemeal translation … [Read more...]

Craving Silence to Hear: Atchison Blue

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If I am late coming to a review of Judith Valente's new book -- which is currently being featured in the Patheos Book Club, it is only because the pope keeps all of us very busy these days, and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith is too good for a slap-dash mention. After reading, it needed time for absorption, and even some revisits, to do it justice.People are fast to make comparisons between Atchison Blue and Kathleen Norris' beloved modern classic, … [Read more...]

More Thoughts on “Bad Mass”

Earlier today I linked to two posts, by Cravings author, Mary DeTurris Poust, which gave vent to frustrations felt by far too many Catholics, these days -- including me -- regarding the quality of our liturgies. Mary is craving something better, healthier.This evening, Elizabeth Husted Duffy, who shares one priest with three parishes, looks at what it means to be a healthy parish:Our new priest’s schedule is brutal. On Saturdays, he says the vigil Mass at one church at 4, followed by a S … [Read more...]

A Spiritual Anti-venin for Catholic Battlers

Oh, boy. I'm still trying to put some thoughts together concerning Pope Francis' profoundly good, profoundly Catholic, profoundly touching interview, released yesterday. But as I do that, here's something for all of us to chew on, particularly those who are fretting that "this is the end of everything Catholic!" and those who are sneering that weird "nyahnyahnyah..." that I don't even understand. This is for all who are convinced that the church can't be righted until "those people" that other … [Read more...]

A “Priesthood” Disingenuous, Thoughtless and Vain UPDATED

"I am Long Island's first female priest!"Deacon Greg has the story, from Newsday (while Tom has the impatient snark):A Sag Harbor grandmother says she has become the first Long Island woman to be ordained as a priest in a group that seeks equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church.Eda Lorello, a longtime church worker, said she was ordained during a service in Wellesley, Mass., on Aug. 10 organized by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an advocacy group that says it has ordained … [Read more...]

Four Sunday Humblers

One from Karen Beattie, discussing her unexpected, out-of-nowhere conversion to Catholicism:One Good Friday, I watched worshippers line up in the aisle to walk up and kiss a wooden cross as a sign of reverence and love for Christ. I had never seen this before.I saw young and old, rich and poor, black and white, people from all walks of life who were carrying who knows what kind of sorrows and burdens, make their way down the marble aisle to the cross, kneel down, and gently kiss the … [Read more...]


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