St. Monica, Mothers, Manutergium and Father Michael


photosourceToday is the feastday of Saint Monica, mother of Saint Augustine, whose tomb I meant to visit on my last trip to Rome, but got sidetracked, because I am an idiot. As the mother of two young men, I need her help!Her feastday has Fr. Michael Duffy thinking about his mother and the mothers of priests and the manutergium:In recent years many newly ordained have carefully set aside these purificators in a bag with their name on it so that they may retain this purificator and … [Read more...]

In other News, Fulton Sheen is “Venerable” UPDATED

fulton sheen

While the SCOTUS ruling was breaking, this story came over the wires, too:Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is now “Venerable” after the Vatican announced today that Benedict XVI had signed a decree recognising that the archbishop heroically lived Christian virtues.The announcement of the decree marks a significant step in the canonization cause of Peoria, Ill.-born Archbishop Sheen (1895-1979), the Emmy award-winning televangelist whose program, "Life is Worth Living," was bro … [Read more...]

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

St. Blase

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...]

ST. BLASE: Patron of Throat Illnesses

St Blase

Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. — From the blessing of throats on the Feast of St. Blase, February 3*    *     *     *     * It’s great to be Catholic—We have so many cherished friends crowding around the throne of God!Like our earthly friends who are just a phone call away, the saints—those in the C … [Read more...]

“I Hate Youse All!” A Christmas Memory

Image courtesy of

I love the Feast of Saint Nicholas because he is the patron saint of children -- I have been putting my kids under the protection of his prayers for half my life, and I do believe his prayers have enormously helped a severely autistic little boy named Nicholas, who has made great strides these past few years, under the Bishop of Myra's patronage.A few years ago, as we were putting up on Christmas tree on St. Nicholas Day (it was different when I didn't work full time. By now the shopping was … [Read more...]

Thanks to the Anchoress!

As the day draws to a close, I want to thank Elizabeth Scalia for her kind hospitality in welcoming me to spend a day here in her warm cozy blog space. I know you readers will be thrilled to have the Queen back firmly ensconced on her throne tomorrow, but I thank you all for your warm welcome and for the great interactions we've shared in this space today. If you'd like to connect with me in the future, please feel free to visit any time (even if you're not Catholic, or not a … [Read more...]

The view from the pew


When big news breaks as it did today with the release of "Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority" by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, I sometimes pause to think about the majority of the Catholics I know.While we in the blogosphere are running from Twitter to Facebook to the blogs in search of informed perspectives, I'd venture to say that most of the folks sitting near us in the pews have no idea that such a … [Read more...]

Living the Faith in My Corner of California


In the comments below, Manny invited me to say a few words about living as a faithful Catholic in the state of California. I'll state up front that I'm not a political blogger, nor am I qualified to making sweeping defenses of every issue on the plate. But I can respond -- at least from one mom's perspective -- to Manny's question, "Is California as anti Catholic (or anti religious in general) as it seems?"California is a big, diverse and beautiful melting pot of a state, just as in many … [Read more...]

Catholic First

St. Margaret Clitherow

In the comments below, my good friend Lisa Schmidt (of the wonderful blog The Practicing Catholic) posed the following query: Archbishop Chaput recently issued (in part) the following statement: “We should see ourselves as Catholic first — not white or black, or young or old, or Democrat or Republican, or labor militant or business owner, but Catholic first as the main way we identify ourselves. Our faith should shape our lives, including our political choices.” One of the many things I admire a … [Read more...]

Jewish and liberal paeans to a blessed pope

Here are two especially moving tributes to John Paul II, whose beatification ceremony Elizabeth is now winging her way to attend. The first comes from Dr. Michael Berenbaum of A Jewish Journal:Enter Pope John Paul II who as a young man in Poland witnessed the Shoah. Three million Jews of Poland were killed in the Holocaust. After the war, Polish cities, which were once the home of large and thriving Jewish communities, were bereft of Jews and the Pope’s hometown was the site of a large g … [Read more...]