May 12, 2011

An evangelization effort seems to be paying off, according to the Providence Journal: Mass counts released Thursday by the diocese show that while Mass attendance among Rhode Island’s Catholics grew by a mere 1.9 percent between October 2009 and October 2010, that reversed a decline that had been observed over a number of years, as when attendance dropped by 5 percent between 2006 and 2008. When the diocese launched its Year of Evangelization with a series of “Catholics Come Home”… Read more

May 12, 2011

The image below has become something of a tourist attraction in southern California: But its days may be numbered: City-hired consultants indicated in a rough draft report Wednesday that they would like to test heat, chemical and mechanical methods of removing an unauthorized surfing Madonna mosaic. But the issue of what to do with the roughly 10-by-10-foot rogue public art project on Encinitas Boulevard may go next to the City Council. During Wednesday night’s council meeting, Councilwoman Teresa Barth asked… Read more

May 12, 2011

New deacons, that is.  Ordination season is just beginning. Details, from the Catholic Review: Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien will ordain 14 men to the permanent diaconate May 14 during a 10 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland. Hailing from as far west as Oakland in Garrett County, the soon-to-be deacons represent a variety of professional and personal backgrounds. All married, they include the president-CEO of a hospital, a scientist, a social worker and a biomedical… Read more

May 11, 2011

It’s not often that a conservative Catholic speaker at Catholic commencement comes in for criticism from Catholics — but that’s exactly what has happened to the Speaker of the House. From the New York Times: House Speaker John A. Boehner, a Republican who grew up in a devout Roman Catholic family in Ohio, is scheduled to give the commencement address this Saturday at the Catholic University of America in Washington, a prestigious venue in church circles for its affiliation with the… Read more

May 11, 2011

I’m working my way through St. Josemaria Escriva’s “The Way,” and this jumped out at me this morning — apt thoughts for a deacon, and for this month devoted to Mary: “Love our Lady.  And she will obtain abundant grace to help you conquer in your daily struggle.  And the enemy will gain nothing by those perversities that seem to boil up continually within you, trying to engulf in their fragrant corruption the high ideals, those sublime commands that Christ… Read more

May 11, 2011

Details from the New York Times: The outcome is a reversal from only two years ago, when a majority of the church’s regions, known as presbyteries, voted against ordaining openly gay candidates. This time, 19 of the church’s 173 presbyteries switched their votes from no to yes in recent months. The Twin Cities presbytery, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul, cast the deciding vote at its meeting on Tuesday. The vote was 205 to 56, with 3 abstentions. Cynthia Bolbach,… Read more

May 11, 2011

The controversial Chicago priest made a statement about his situation last night. Details from the AP and the Chicago Sun-Times: The Rev. Michael Pfleger, suspended by the archdiocese after suggesting he would leave the church if he is removed from his parish, says he will begin preaching at other churches if he is not reinstated by this weekend. Pfleger made the comment Tuesday during a meeting with parishioners at St. Sabina Catholic Church. Pfleger told about 150 people he has… Read more

May 10, 2011

The good folks at Fordham have announced eight people will be receiving honorary degrees this month — including Brian Williams, George Pataki and (drumroll please) Alex Trebek! Details: Fordham will present honorary degrees to leaders in journalism, philanthropy, politics, conservation and the arts during its 2011 commencement exercises this month. Brian Williams, award-winning anchor of NBC Nightly News and 2011 commencement speaker, will receive a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, at the 166th commencement on Saturday, May 21, at… Read more

May 10, 2011

A father, and committed Catholic, states his case for the Church revising its teaching on in vitro fertilization (IVF).  His story began with a medical mixup, and turned into a moral and ethical quagmire. From CNN: On September 24, 2009, the day Carolyn gave birth to a very loved baby boy, who was immediately turned over to his genetic parents, the Catholic Diocese of Toledo released a statement to The Toledo Blade condemning IVF as “morally unacceptable.” Because we were… Read more

May 10, 2011

Somehow I missed this when it was published several days ago, but it’s worth a look: an open letter by researcher and author Phyllis Zagano on the thorny issue of women being ordained…not as priests, but as deacons. A snip: I am not writing to argue for woman priests. But you told me many years ago in New York women deacons were “under study.” From 1992-2002, the International Theological Commission worked on that question, producing a report essentially repeating what… Read more

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