Little Sisters with Big Grins

Deacon Greg Kandra recently highlighted a beautiful video of a Our Lady of the Stars, a small community of young men in France with Down Syndrome. Also in France one will find The Little Sisters, Disciples of the Lamb, a monastic community: The Institute of the Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb, a contemplative vocation, offer young girls with Downs the possibilty of realising their religious vocation. This realisation is made possible only by the support of sisters without this … [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...]

O Saints: Teachers who Behold the Mystery -UPDATED

All-Saints

After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb." - Rev 7;9-10 Today is one of my favorite of all of our Holy Days. It has always pleased me to leave mass of a blustery morning and think, "while … [Read more...]

An Hour with Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B.

Quite a journey, and a practical, one-on-one charism I really like: … [Read more...]

A Catholic Seminarian Reflects UPDATED

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Michael Duffy will be ordained a transitional deacon on December 8, in anticipation of his ordination next June. Some may remember his contribution, last year, to our "Habit of Witness" series, when he wrote about "The Collar as Yoke and Witness" As part of our Symposium on Seminary Education, he shows up tonight on the Catholic page and writes very effectively (and affectingly) on the experience of a seminary formation: We are all called to follow and to conform to the promptings and … [Read more...]

Calling and Revolution and Calling UPDATED

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(Photo: APF/Getty) My piece today at First Things is a little odd, I think. In some spots it is deliberately to the fore, and in others, deliberately ambiguous, and it is talking about two seemingly very different things -- the Occupy Wall Street folks who know that they want something, but are not quite able to articulate what that something might be, and impossibility of nurturing a sense of "calling" in our children when we over-manage their lives, from an early age, teach that … [Read more...]

October Gift: Renew Our Rosary Appreciation — UPDATED

The wonderful Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary have produced this really lovely video to help us appreciate the Holy Rosary and to deepen our abilities to ponder the 15 fundamental mysteries they entail. I enjoyed it very much, especially the lovely soprano voices! UPDATE: The sisters did a quick adjustment to the video as they note here. It's been updated here. Sister Emailer informs me that the first version was "elongated" which she didn't exactly mind (hey, a girl … [Read more...]

Norbertine Nuns taking Wreath Orders!

It's that time of year again! The Norbertine Nuns in California have begun taking orders for their incredibly fresh, long-lasting Christmas wreaths. My husband rolled his eyes when ours arrived last year, and wondered why I was ordering from the sisters, rather than from the Boy Scout troop, but even he had to admit that the huge wreath was gorgeous, wonderfully constructed and so fresh that we kept it on our door through to February -- I just took off the Christmas stuff and put Valentine's … [Read more...]

New Nuns at Any Age

The Dominican nuns at Summit, NJ have welcomed a new novice, this week, and apparently have another postulant coming soon, which will fill up their novitiate! A nice problem to have, isn't it? Not enough room for new vocations? If they're going to keep growing, however, they really need some help getting some repairs done to their house. Their incredible artisan soaps and lotions help with the day-to-days but these repairs are hugely expensive, and with money so tight, the donations have … [Read more...]

WYD: Sweet Sisters, Magnificent Papa & Wrap

I just love this: At the end of [The Pope's] meeting with some 1,600 young religious women — most under 35 — he intoned the Lord’s Prayer in Latin and the sisters joined in. The pope and his aides — all men — usually lead the singing when the pope is with a large group, but the papal aides drew back quickly and the pope lowered his volume, letting the sisters’ fill the courtyard with their voices. Go here to listen. It's just lovely. Did anyone else think, as I did, that the … [Read more...]

Learning The Artist's Rule

I'm a sucker for wavy stripes; I find them restful. So when I saw the cover of Christine Valters Paintner's The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom, I gave a little gasp of appreciation -- okay, I stared at it in a kind of bliss for a while -- and anticipated in those blurred, calming lines the message: more restful stuff within! Well. . .yes and no. There's a little treasure trove within the book, but how restful one finds it depends, ultimately, upon one's … [Read more...]

An Elegant Argument for Catholic Education

Photosource First things first. The goal of a Christian is to come to know and believe in Jesus Christ and to live with God forever. Catholic education remains vital because it anchors itself in that foundational truth. [. . .] Catholic schools are also indispensable because they help students understand the transcendent purpose of their thousands of hours of cramming and test-taking. As one of my colleagues put it, Catholic education responds to the question, "What now?" "Now that we know … [Read more...]

Hope and Grace; Reports from WYD -UPDATED

I really like the logo for this year's World Youth Day gathering in Madrid: I also like a lot of the writing and reports I'm seeing from pilgrims. Patheos' own Tim Muldoon's piece is a very fine exposition of the hopes and faith that lie behind the celebrations that some too-quickly dismiss as "Catholic Woodstock": In making a pilgrimage to WYD, then, we seek a deeper and a greater hope, one that does not fall prey to the silly trading of power from one generation to the next. We seek the … [Read more...]