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...]

Feast of Dear St. Philip Neri

Today is the memorial of my dear patron, teacher and friend, St. Philip Neri, whose chapel in Santa Maria in Vallicella (also called Chiesa Nuova) in Rome feels like a very natural and welcoming second home, for me -- where I was able to participate, daily, in the mass on my last visit.In her column, "A Word in Season" Pat Gohn takes a really wonderful look at this very great saint, whose "mission" was to the people of Rome; the churches and hospitals he built are still serving. The Oratory … [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...]

Annulments: Myths and Reality

We've talked a few times about the very real healing that can come through annulments but over at OSV Mary DeTurris Poust and Dennis Poust have together written a particularly good piece on the myths (and there are a lot of myths out there) and realities of this process, which is very much a mischaracterized and misunderstood part of the ministry of the church. The Pousts write from the perspective of a couple who has gone through this process together, and that brings a voice of true … [Read more...]

Are you Happy?

When my Elder son was very small, and was trying to figure out facial expressions, he would ask me, or my husband, or the lady at the grocery store, "Are you 'appy?"He was missing his h's for a little while.Sometimes my husband and I will still tease each other with that. He'll see me looking pensive and ask "are you 'appy?"It's a sweet question, and it always makes me smile, for the warm memories of my son at such a young age. But sometimes I wonder if, rather than asking people … [Read more...]

The Healy Brothers; a Thrilling, Shameful Story

February is Black History Month, and to kick it off historian Dr. Pat McNamara brings us a fascinating story that thrilled and shamed me. What a remarkable family of faith existed in the sons and daughters of Michael Healy and Eliza Clark; they became priests, nuns and even a bishop emerging from their home in Georgia, where mixed-race children were called "slaves." But none of it came easily or peacefully in 19th century America:By any standard, the Healys were an impressive family. … [Read more...]


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