Grandma Nun and More Vocations – UPDATED

This time of year I generally put together a huge "Vocation Round-up" and give news of vows and clothings and entrances. Here we go.First, the Grandma Nun: When Sister Shirley Shafranek makes her final profession of vows as a Catholic nun Sunday morning, two of her grandchildren will be gift bearers at the Mass.The 59-year-old mother of three and grandmother of five will become the first grandmother ever to join the Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin as a nun and the first mother since … [Read more...]

American Zombies?

Over at First Things Ethan Cordray writes:But what if this [Zombie] fascination is about more than just gross-out gore and action thrills? What if it represents a subtle, subconscious understanding that something is wrong—spiritually wrong—with our culture.Zombies represent the appetite divorced from everything else. They are incapable of judgment, self-awareness, or self-preservation. Though they still move and act, they are not really alive. They hunger and are never filled. And they are … [Read more...]

Unforgettable Improv

Some surprising entries, here. Enjoy. The drill Sargent probably requires a warning or something. … [Read more...]

Assumption of Our Lady — UPDATES

Pope Benedict XVI: Praising Mary is a response to Divine ProphecyDavid Mills at First Things:The Assumption of Mary is a difficult matter, from the Protestant point of view, because the traces and hints in Scripture are not easily found, unless you assume that they are there to be found, which somewhat defeats the purpose of using Scripture to convince anyone else. Pius XII said only that the dogma “is in wonderful accord with those divine truths given us in Holy Scripture” and that "va … [Read more...]

Rainy Sunday Read

Yes, it's quiet over here.It's quiet so's I can listen to the rain pattering on my roof, while I plow my way through Mark Steyn's latest:As a rule I have stopped reading ideological and political books because increasingly they contain 40 interesting pages -- which are always well-covered in the reviews and promo tours -- and 250 pages of boredom-unto-torpor, but I'm halfway through Steyn, and not bored, yet. I am horrified, depressed, disturbed and a little mind-blown, but definitely not … [Read more...]

Betraying Charity or Truth?

Every once in a while, I find myself saying "yes" to too many people asking me to look at their books, and I amass a rather slap-dash pile of books I feel like I will never plow through. Occasionally I miss a review "due" date, and I am never happy when that happens.I am especially not happy to be late on The Betrayal of Charity; the Sins that Sabotage Divine Love, which the Patheos Book Club has been talking about and excerpting for over a week, and which I have almost missed, to my overbusy … [Read more...]

Three Little Words – UPDATE

Deacon Greg used his phone to take this picture -- an ad on the back of a NYC bus, promoting NET-NY (Where of course, In the Arena and Currents are produced, along with many other great programs).Even if the ad promoted nothing at all, I love the idea of that message being seen on the streets of New York.Or any streets, anywhere, especially in these times.They are, after all, the consoling words of our visiting angels.UPDATE: Someone writes that they liked the words, not the image -- … [Read more...]

Dear St. Clare and her Daughters

Chiara Offreduccio (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253)When you have loved Jesus, You are chaste; when you have touched [Him], You become more pure; When you have accepted [Him], You are a virgin. Whose power is stronger, Whose generosity more abundant, Whose appearance more beautiful, Whose love more tender, Whose courtesy more gracious. In Whose embrace You are already caught up; Who has adorned Your breast with precious stones and has placed priceless pearls on Your ears and has surrounded You … [Read more...]

Muldoon and Coffey Honored by CPA

Well, bust my buttons!It seems that while passing out awards recently, the Catholic Press Association singled out two of our Catholic Portal columnists for distinction:Congrats to Boston College's Tim Muldoon, who runs his own page, here and also toils weekly at Culture in the Crossroads, where his recent series on Sex and Christianity has been a popular feature.Of his book, Love One Another, co-edited with Cynthia S. Dobrzynski and honored with a third place prize in the book category … [Read more...]

Madrid's Mobs of Youth

ATTENTION, WYD Pilgrims: While you're in Madrid, do yourself a favor, and try the incredibly delicious, air-cured "Iberian Ham."You're welcome.Meanwhile Archbishop Chaput recalls WYD '93, in Colorado:Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, my friend and predecessor as archbishop of Denver, hosted World Youth Day in August 1993, and he still likes to tell the following story.One of his staffers had just moved to Colorado from a much larger and higher crime city on the West Coast. The man was … [Read more...]