Fulton Sheen Might Counsel Patience, Today

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At the news, late yesterday, that the cause for sainthood for Venerable Bishop Fulton J. Sheen had been suspended, there was some understandable confusion and sadness. Some predictable high-drama and Catholic angst got flung around the web, too, as it seemed like -- given the available information -- Peoria's Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria ("actor" of the cause and President of the Sheen Foundation) and New York's Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan were having a tug of war with the corporeal remains … [Read more...]

BREAKING: NY Archdiocese responds on Sheen – UPDATED

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Cardinal Dolan's Office Responds to Suspension of Cause of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen:Minutes ago, Joseph Zwilling, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of New York, released the following statement today on behalf of the archdiocese, in an attempt to clarify certain questions concerning the cause of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.“The Archdiocese of New York joins Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria in his invitation to prayer that “God’s will be made manifest” c … [Read more...]

Expelled Iraqi Christians, Give Witness to ISIS Fascism – UPDATE! KURDS!

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The choice is leave or take a bullet to the head; you have ten hours to get out or die; take nothing but the clothes on your back; oh, you need that glucose meter? Your blood pressure meds? That's too bad.The Christians interviewed here make me feel very proud, and very humbled. They are obviously hurting, obviously shocked and displaced, yet full of spirit. And who wouldn't be a bit angry and undone in such a case? As the lady says, "what have the Christians done to you?"And yet, when … [Read more...]

The Carmelite Nuns of Compiègne Wore Priestly Collars

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As with the Martyrdom of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions we today remember a group of martyrs whose story is not nearly as well-known as it should be. And as with Lwanga and the Ugandan martyrs, the martyrdom of the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne speaks urgently to our own age, and offers instruction:After the fall of the constitutional monarchy and the execution of King Louis XVI in 1792, Maximilien Robespierre created rituals to honor the Cult of the Supreme Being even as he led the … [Read more...]

Scary John the Baptist – UPDATED

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A favorite priest calls him "Scary John the Baptist", and there are my notes on what makes him scary, culled from one great homily:John’s scariness; he embodies faith at its most primitive; he seems unsophisticated and a little exotic. He is the wild man, of wild places; he is not civilized.There is in him no facade of civilization or society. He delivers a unfiltered message, one undistracted by the worldly things or the niceties. He disgusts the Sadducees and Pharisees who see t … [Read more...]

“Why be singular when you can participate in heaven?”

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My latest column at The Catholic Answer is called "Our Professors, Who Art in Heaven" and touches on the question that comes up again and again, particularly with those concerned about idolatry: why do Catholics show such reverence for saints?The Communion of Saints must seem strange to outsiders who wonder why Catholics and Orthodox Christians bother taking side roads in their orisons when a prayer to Jesus seems like a faster, more direct route. As a religious sister from my childhood put … [Read more...]

O My 3 Patron Saints, Teach Me What You Know!

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Yes, that is patrons, as in multiple. Because I have three of them, this year. Plus all the others I'm not able to leave behind.I've been pulling saint patrons (or having friends pull them for me, or using internet generators like this one and this one) for probably a dozen years, and most years I start out getting my saint and wondering, "Whaaaat? Saint Who?"My nun friends all say "you don't pick the saint; the saint picks you", and I've tried to keep that in mind. Most years, I … [Read more...]

A Female Cardinal? Not a New Idea, Really

Saint Thecla Praying for the Plague-Stricken Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770)

It's always struck me as interesting that when Tiepolo painted Saint Thecla, here portrayed at prayer for plague victims, he imagined her in what appears to be an old-fashioned Cardinal's robe.Our Orthodox and Byzantine brothers and sisters call Thecla "the Protomartyr, Equal-to-the-Apostles". I've always thought of her as first in a long line of women -- from the earliest days of the church until today -- who were headstrong in their obedience.One of my favorite writers, David Gibson … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

Maximilian Kolbe: Catholic Subversive!

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That night, I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me, a Child of Faith. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both. -- Saint Maximilian Mary KolbeIt is fitting that we today anticipate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary by remembering a saint whose devotion to … [Read more...]


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