Me, as a Nun, and New Cecilias! UPDATED

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I have one of those very ordinary faces that are a dime-a-dozen in a crowd. People are always telling me, "I work with someone who looks exactly like you," or "I grew up with someone who could be your double; I hated her, come to think of it." Or, "we had a maid, looked like you."But this time, I think I may have found a genuine doppelganger, or one who, at least in 1948, looked like me in my own younger years.She was a religious, a novice with the Sisters of St. Francis, of Perpetual … [Read more...]

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NY’s Tri-Diocesan Merger of Seminaries

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 operating agreement creating a single program of priestly formation for … [Read more...]

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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...]

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Barron on Of Gods and Men

I wrote about the film here, and in the comments Manny pointed out that Fr. Robert Barron had written about the film and also talked about it in video.Well, a weekend after seeing the film, I am still haunted by its beauty and challenge.Barron, like me, is impressed with Brother Luc's statement that he is "a free man." And yeah, it's all about detachment -- the discipline that frees us. … [Read more...]

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"Of Gods and Men" and John Corapi

The remarkable film Of Gods and Men is out on Netflix, and if you haven't seen it yet, I urge you to put it on your queue and move it to the top. It is one of the best films I seen in years -- gripping, moving, enlightening and insightful. I can't think of a film in recent memory that so truly and respectfully portrays the life of faith, the religious life, and most especially the value, use and meaning of liturgical prayer and the sacramental, Holy Mass -- how these enhance the life of faith, … [Read more...]

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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...]

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"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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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"Racism is a God-damned thing!"

If you are not reading historian Pat McNamara's weekly column In Ages Past, you're missing great profiles, of American Catholics who impacted this nation in dramatic and often downright exhausting ways.This week, say hello to Father John Markoe, S.J. - football star, soldier, alcoholic, priest, and a civil rights activist a few decades ahead of the rest:Born in 1890 to a blueblood family whose ancestors included Benjamin Franklin, John Prince Markoe was the son of a prominent Minnesota … [Read more...]

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