Boom!: Patheos Catholic Bloggers Call for Um…Revolution! UPDATED

Yes, Revolution. It all started with Joanne McPortland, who we know is completely subversive. She wrote "What's Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education? Everything!":Bad Catechesis has been an integral part of our tradition for a lot longer than 40 years, and it still goes on. Our seeming inability to form Catholics who understand and embrace the basics of the Faith is not the fault of Vatican II or goofy textbook publishers or ill-equipped religious ed volunteers. It’s not even the f … [Read more...]

The Catholic Book Blogger comes to Patheos!

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Back when Strange Gods was first released, I got an email from a friendly fellow named Pete Socks whose site, The Catholic Book Blogger, was about six months old.He gave my book a spanking review and also shot me some fun and interesting questions for an interview, and I began to follow Pete's work. I was impressed with his energy, his willingness to read and read when the books sometimes flow in more quickly than most of us can manage them, and to conduct lively give-aways. Along with … [Read more...]

Hawaiian Folk Music, Crusades and Columns

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Last night, my husband got home from an outing and watched The Descendents, starring George Clooney. Not really a Clooney fan, but he was very good, and the movie was engrossing. Hubby and I both wished that some religious perspective might have been introduced, but then that would have made it a completely different movie, so -- it is what it is. The reason I'm mentioning it at all, though is because we both commented, almost at precisely the same moment, that we were really enjoying the … [Read more...]

Accept Almighty Father – FOUND!

A couple days ago I awoke with my memory ringing back a hymn from my childhood that I had not heard in likely 42 years, and which I could not find on google.Happily, a twitter-follower, HeyJulieo found the hymn, with the melody I remember, in the 1966 Parish Mass Book - St. Joseph Edition.Can we please have this wonderful, singable, instructive and reverent hymn back? Please? … [Read more...]

Rome-bound, against all odds…

Lots of excited talk this weekend about the Blogger-meetup scheduled in Rome scheduled for May 2 -- the day after the beatification of Pope John Paul II -- and instigated by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. We might call this gathering of international bloggers a "baby step" toward helping disparate voices to get to know each other less as "contingents" and more as hale-fellows-well-met. It will also, hopefully, help to coalesce blogdom's diverse, multi-focused alternative … [Read more...]

The Church is not a Democracy – UPDATED

As Holy Week approaches we can always count on provocative headlines, like Time Magazine's Is Hell Dead? which looks at the latest book by Evangelical preacher Rob Bell. In October, it wouldn't warrant a cover, I'm sure.This entire Lent, however, the Catholic church in America has been roiling with Cult of Personality issues. The scandals of recent years have shaken the faithful; Rome seems distant to many and in our media-obsessed society a passionate orator proclaiming "the truth" … [Read more...]

"But You’re So Happy!"

I love this story from Sr. Mary George, FSMG:I am a firm believer that children say some of the most heartfelt prayers that I know. So, I asked my 1st grade class on Thursday to do me an extra special favor. I explained to them that 23 sisters would be renewing their vows on Sunday and I would be one of them. Could they pray for us at Mass?They gave me many heartfelt assurances that they would do so and then immediately a plethora of hands went up into the air. What exactly are these … [Read more...]

Viper-bitten and Polarized in Lent

I'm a little behind and late getting this linked, but my column is up at First Things, where I am reflecting on todays readings and how viper-bitten the whole church seems to be, this Lent:The Church seems always to be challenged during the Lenten season, but this time the attacks are not foreign, as it were, but domestic: Interior factions are attempting to pull the Church toward their own interests, and as Holy Week approaches the Body of Christ seems as openly vulnerable as Leonardo’s V … [Read more...]

Glimpses of God in the Everyday

"I don't feel like it's any of my business what people think of me." -- Jim CaviezelAs a faithful Catholic who is an actor, Jim Caviezel must have had to use that philosophy a lot to remain true to his faith. We all should take a lesson from his book and do likewise. I'm serious here. We really should.I just want to ask though, has anyone else tried to practice what Jim Caviezel preaches?I have. It is darned near impossible.It was excruciating It went completely against my … [Read more...]

Bad Benedictine; "I love you, go home!"

As I anticipate coming into my tenth year as a Benedictine Oblate, I rejoice that the effect of Benedictine spirituality in my life has helped me to become less savage than I was, although I am still quite feral in some ways. But, as I explain in my latest column at First Things, there is a part of the Holy Rule of St. Benedict that still has me stymied: Benedictine Hospitality, and St. Benedict's dictum that we must receive everyone we encounter as receiving Christ. I have a long way to go, … [Read more...]


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