Patheos Welcomes Dr. Pia de Solenni to the Mix!

Pia headshot

One of the great pleasures and challenges of assembling the Catholic channel at Patheos has been presenting a broad-but-balanced-view of Catholicism -- one that is not-too-conservative, nor too-progressive in scope, but finds the more common middle area between those extremes, wherein most Catholics reside.For most Catholics, in fact, arriving at Catholic Orthodoxy is a process. Our faith is difficult, sometimes; that's what makes it great.Catholicism demands not "blind obedience" but … [Read more...]

Pentecost: A Beautiful Illumination

Illumination from Hours of the Usage of Rome, French School, 16th Century

Sometimes the heart just longs for beauty. June's cover of Magnificat Magazine took my breath away. That's "Pentecost" an illumination from a book of Hours from the 16th Century, and this is what Pierre-Marie Dumont writes of it:Shown at prayer, Mary intercedes for her "daughter" [the church] at the moment of her birth at Pentecost, just as she will constantly intercede for her to the end of time. Kneeling in the right foreground is Saint Peter, the first pope, wearing the mozetta in cloth … [Read more...]

“We are Church” Leader Martha Holzer is Excommunicated – UPDATED

The Herald UK was fast on the story:Martha Holzer and her husband, Gert, were excommunicated for “simulating the Mass”, according to the website Kath.net.Mrs Holzer is a leading personality in We are Church, which was founded in 1995 in Austria, German and South Tyrol and seeks liberal reforms within the Catholic Church.According to reports, the 67-year-old regularly took part in “private Eucharistic celebrations” at her home with no priest present. The Church considers the simulat … [Read more...]

Perhaps Oculus Rift Will Restore Us to Ourselves

Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds links to a letter from the editor that may be cause for both delight and concern.The version of the Rift I tested felt like a pair of heavy ski goggles, and it did seem a little dorky to be fixing and tightening the various headbands and supports. But an amazing transition happened as my eyes resolved a new field of vision. I blinked, and while my brain remembered (for a moment) that I was sitting in my office, my eyes told me I was somewhere completely … [Read more...]

A Joyful Community of Intercessors Needs a Bit More Space

dear sisters

In Rumer Godden's classic gem of a novel, In This House of Brede, a large cloistered community of English Benedictine nuns faces a pressing debt; one nun rather serenely says she will pray for the solution. "Like a child asking the bank manager for a bag of money to take home to Daddy?" a sharp-tongued sister asks in rebuke."Exactly. Exactly like that," says the first nun.Later, when the idea of selling of 7 of the community's 14 acres seems like the only practical answer, the doubtful … [Read more...]

Douglas-to-Dust: Feeling Helpless About the Homeless

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

New York City is such a microcosm of every aspect of the human experience -- and the human condition in all its vagaries of darkness and light -- that if one is halfway awake and paying attention, it is impossible not to, at some point, have your world-view challenged, or your spiritual bell rung. I recently related how getting clocked at Penn Station has changed everything for me, though not always in a good way.Recently, Tom Zampino, a lawyer working in the city, had one of those moments, … [Read more...]

Blegging What to Read, Retreat Topics, Book Subjects

books in mail

So, I owe some apologies. If you've asked me to review your book, or to read your pdf, or to write a book for you, and I haven't gotten to reading it, or offering assessment, or um, writing the thing due in August, I am really, really sorry.I truly intend to do all of those things, or most of them, and have them done by the end of summer. Right now, there is just an awful lot of material coming in, breaking stories, very long workweeks, exercise regimes, prayer hours, boatloads of email, a … [Read more...]

Heading to Holy Land: May I Take Your Intentions WIth Me?

Holy-Sepulcher-place-of-crucifixion,-tb092902203-bibleplaces

Early next week I will be heading to the Holy Land as part of a team of Catholic journalists who will be touring most of Christendom's holiest sites, and also encountering the Holy Father during his time in Jerusalem.You regular readers know I do not travel well, so please pray for me, particularly that I might survive that long, tightly-packed-in flight without stroking out, getting deep vein thrombosis or whatever.Please pray for Pope Francis, too, whose itinerary is public, and who … [Read more...]

A Freaky Little Coda to the “Black Mass” Story

huysmans-j-k-l-oblat

You like a little freaky? I got a little freaky for you, right here! This gave me goosebumps when I heard it, this morning, while visiting the gang at the Son Rise Morning show.Recall this earlier post about Joris-Karl Huysmans, the French novelist who described the "Black Mass" meant to be re-enacted at Harvard, on May 12 of this year. Huysmans died in 1907, as a Benedictine Oblate.Do you know the date of his death? You'll never guess, so I'll tell you: he died on May 12. 107 years to … [Read more...]

James Martin SJ: Gravity in Face of MSNBC Condescension – UPDATED

Jesus, A Pilgrimage, Excellent New Book!

Having read and followed the work Father James Martin, S.J. for a decade or more, I would be hard-pressed to identify a time when he was less than smiling and serene in his discussions on matters of faith, prayer, church-life and more.So, it was striking, and meaningful, to see this most temperate of priests bring a respectful-but-grave presence to an MSNBC discussion that, it seems to me, was handled poorly. The participants, save the Jesuit, seemed unserious and … [Read more...]


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