Obama “Accommodation” Reactions

This morning I wrote what I had anticipated in the Obama "accommodation" and the reaction.I expect President Obama will come out and say something that sounds wonderful and conciliatory and that seems reasonable to people who are eager to reconcile with the president and give themselves permission to vote for him again in November. I also expect that beyond the words, what the President offers will be too little — the government miserly granting to us pieces of freedom we are utterly e … [Read more...]

Holy Hour Reading Recommendations

holy hour reading

Someone asked me if I could recommend a good book for reading during Holy Hour.Lots of great books, of course, but I am particularly fond of Jesus, Present Before Me: Meditations for Eucharistic Adoration by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.Then again, for Adoration, I like to bring my breviary, mostly, as it is a chance to pray an hour (usually Vespers) before the Blessed Sacrament. I also like old-fashioned prayerbooks like this one. They're kind of comforting and familiar, even if the … [Read more...]

Bishopalooza! Great American Bishops -UPDATED

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Recently the Gregorian Institute polled some Catholic bloggers and writers, asking them to name the top ten American Catholic Intellectuals, lay or clergy.I was flattered to be among those polled, but never did manage to participate. For the record, the (slightly controversial) Top Ten came in as follows:1. Orestes Brownson (1803–1876) 2. John Courtney Murray (1904-1967) 3. John Senior (1923-1999) 4. Avery Dulles (1918-2008) 5. James Schall (1928-) 6. Ralph McInerny (1929-2010) 7. … [Read more...]

NY’s Tri-Diocesan Merger of Seminaries

Seminary Merger

(Photocredit Gregory A. Shemitz for The Long Island Catholic)Patheos' Future of Seminary Educationsymposium included some thoughts specific to Catholic Seminaries, but there was one issue I really wanted to write about and couldn't because the timing was off -- the truly historic Tri-Diocesan merger of three important seminaries in the New York area:Archbishop Dolan and his brother bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre Nov. 10 jointly signed a joint … [Read more...]

The Priest as Bridge and Balm – UPDATED

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Over on the Dedicated-Catholic page of Patheos' symposium on the Future of Seminary Education, two more entries, and I think they're both exceptional expositions of both the challenges facing our new generation of priests, and the profound gift of opportunity that lies within those very challenges.Read Deacon Greg Kandra's remarkable and moving story (it made me cry) of Father Martino BaThong Nguyen, who was born in great deprivation in Vietnam and now serves in the Diocese of Savannah in … [Read more...]

Future of Seminary Education

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I mentioned yesterday that Patheos was hosting a symposium on the Future of Seminary Education, and that it was primarily focused on Protestant seminaries, but today we're going live with a page devoted to Catholic Seminary issues, which we're kicking off with a very informative piece by Father Shawn McKnight.Father Shawn is currently serving as Executive Director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations at the USCCB, and he writes, here:There's good and bad news … [Read more...]

“ABC: Anybody But Catholics”

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, Writing at the USCCB Media Blog:There seems to be a new unwritten reg at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It’s the ABC Rule, Anybody But Catholics.It showed up in a letter from HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to advise the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Office of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) that it would not receive a grant to continue its services for victims of human trafficking.The USCCB progr … [Read more...]

Freedom of Religion Under Assault

I have to stop blogging and start writing two columns and an introduction to a book, but I wanted to just encourage you to be aware of two important stories, and perhaps take the time to make a phone call or send an email:Julie at Happy Catholic writes: ...Margaret at ten thousand places rightly points out that this is a much bigger issue. Which is, of course, what Keith Rothfus points out in his letter.And, I forgot that today is the deadline.Today is the last day to voice your concerns … [Read more...]

Jesus in the Bookstore or the Leaves?

Matt Emerson takes an encounter in a bookstore, gives it some literary spin and then leaves us with something to think about:His brow is smudged with condensation and his shirt smeared with sweat. The shirt, draping him like a large towel, looks just-pulled from a washer, but a washer that doesn't clean and in fact is not a washer at all. It's supposed to be a collared shirt, but by mysterious exertions it is now a v-neck. His chest, visible through the v, makes me think of gaunt children in … [Read more...]

Debuting at The Catholic Answer – UPDATED

Look at that cover; Pope Benedict XVI and Jordan's Prince Ghazi Muhammad bin Talal, taken during Benedict's visit to the Holy Land in 2009. Given the headlines coming our way every day from an evolving Middle East, and what these changes mean for governments and churches, could it-- or the cover story featuring an interview with Jesuit Father Samir Kahalil Samir -- be more timely?Like its editor Dr. Matthew Bunson, The Catholic Answer has a gift for timeliness; it's previous issue anticipated … [Read more...]


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