March 10, 2011

These are really something:  the Stations of the Cross, in Rome.  Below, a shot of their installation, from Catholic News Service. Details, and the story behind them, from Zenit: This week, the grand avenue of the Vatican is taking on another guise, the Via Crucis. Fourteen life-size stations line the wide sidewalk of the Via della Conciliazione. Cast in bronze, using the same lost-wax technique of Brunelleschi and Donatello, they comprise 49 statues and 11 crosses, and are the largest… Read more

March 10, 2011

Really. It happened in South Dakota: Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent . It a time for penance, reflection, fasting and apparently, dance for one group of catholic students. We attend one Ash Wednesday Service that was interrupted by an unexpected, but emotional flash mob. Not long after receiving the ceremonial ashes and final blessing, a flash mob broke out during the Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in Sioux Falls. The name of… Read more

March 10, 2011

Yesterday was one of the busiest days of the year for priests everywhere — including at America’s airports. From the Wall Street Journal: For the Rev. Michael Zaniolo, Ash Wednesday is the busiest day of the year. He’s the head chaplain at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, which had three Masses and 14 different ash ceremonies. Here, services can’t go longer than 30 minutes to fit into workers’ breaks. He has his “regulars” at services—airport workers and airline employees as well… Read more

March 10, 2011

Behold, what transpired yesterday in Manila: Details, from Reuters: Thousands of Filipinos lined up across a football field in Manila to mark the start of Lent by forming a human cross they hoped would go down as the world’s biggest. Officials at the University of Santo Tomas, a Catholic university that at 400 years old is the nation’s oldest, said the Ash Wednesday event was also a proclamation of the school’s stand against abortion and a controversial bill on reproductive… Read more

March 10, 2011

That’s the determination of the bishop who oversees New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s diocese. Controversy erupted last month, when a canon lawyer declared that Cuomo should be denied communion because the divorced governor lives with his girlfriend. Details: One of New York State’s leading Roman Catholic bishops said on Tuesday that it was not appropriate for church officials to comment on whether specific elected officials should be allowed to receive holy communion. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, the leader of the… Read more

March 10, 2011

Really. It happened in South Dakota: Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent . It a time for penance, reflection, fasting and apparently, dance for one group of catholic students. We attend one Ash Wednesday Service that was interrupted by an unexpected, but emotional flash mob. Not long after receiving the ceremonial ashes and final blessing, a flash mob broke out during the Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in Sioux Falls. The name of… Read more

March 9, 2011

This Ash Wednesday perennial gets to me every time. Here, two versions…the first, from John Michael Talbot, and the second, from the composer himself, Gregory Norbet. Read more

March 9, 2011

“Ash Wednesday is for people who know that it means for their soul to be logged with these icy waters: all of us are such people, if only we can realize it. There is confidence everywhere in Ash Wednesday, yet that does not mean unmixed and untroubled security. The confidence of the Christian is always a confidence in spite of darkness and risk, in the presence of peril, with every evidence of possible disaster… Once again, Lent is not just… Read more

March 9, 2011

Seriously. She makes her debut today at Patheos, with a lovely and lyrical column that she calls “Book of Sparks.” She explains where that name comes from, and concludes with this gorgeous Ash Wednesday meditation: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” the priest will say today, as he makes the sign of the cross in ashes on our foreheads. We do not come to Christ as Protestants or Catholics, as Democrats or Republicans, or even… Read more

March 9, 2011

Can I ask for a do-over? Read more

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