March 6, 2011

She’s now sharing her story with the world — and seeking others who have also survived abortion. From the Des Moines Register: The defining moment of Melissa Ohden’s life arrived five days before she was born. Her biological mother entered St. Luke’s Medical Center in Sioux City on Aug. 24, 1977, as a pregnant, 19-year-old college freshman. She must have been scared. The teen from South Sioux City, Neb., was administered a saline infusion abortion – a salt injection designed… Read more

March 5, 2011

So says one analyst, sizing up the rare move by the Vatican to reverse a decision by a local bishop on some parish closures. From the AP: Like many Roman Catholics, Marie Lutkus felt anger, sadness and disillusionment after her beloved church was shut down in a consolidation of parishes. St. Francis of Assisi had been her spiritual home since 1961. It’s the place where she was married, where her children and grandchildren were baptized, where she mourned the loss… Read more

March 5, 2011

Three years ago, my in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  They decided to have a special mass for family and friends, to mark the occasion, and they asked me to pick the readings and preach.  And I selected this gospel reading that we just heard, about building a house on rock. It is a beautiful statement about what it takes for a commitment to last — whether it’s a commitment to another person, to a cause, or to a faith…. Read more

March 5, 2011

Three years ago, my in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  They decided to have a special mass for family and friends, to mark the occasion, and they asked me to pick the readings and preach.  And I selected this gospel reading that we just heard, about building a house on rock. It is a beautiful statement about what it takes for a commitment to last — whether it’s a commitment to another person, to a cause, or to a faith…. Read more

March 4, 2011

The Archbishop of New York — and President of the USCCB — will be visiting Albany next month with several other bishops from around the state.  And the governor doesn’t have time to meet with him. From the New York Daily News: Apparently stung by a Vatican adviser’s slap at his lifestyle, Gov. Cuomo has declared a holy war with the Catholic Church – saying he’s too busy to meet the state’s bishops here next week. The Catholic governor, recently roasted… Read more

March 4, 2011

…what?  How would you finish that sentence? An artist in New Orleans has created a special installation around an abandoned building, and asked people to fill in the blanks: Check out the rest of the installation.  Clearly, this is something designed to provoke comment, and thought, and more than a little introspection. Read more

March 4, 2011

I had a hamburger for lunch.  Next Friday: Catholics are getting ready for Lent — and so are purveyors of fish: Aw Shucks & Big Shucks restaurants, for example, will serve grilled tilapia with rice and veggies for $8.95 on Fridays during Lent. That’s two $2 off the regular price, which, ahem, would fit nicely in the collection plate on Sunday, perhaps. And Taco Cabana restaurants sent around a press release last week announcing that through mid-April the chain will… Read more

March 4, 2011

It’s the tiniest country in the world, and most of its citizens are overwhelmingly male. Details, from CNS: Millions of citizens of countries from all over the world enter Vatican territory every year to visit the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica or catch a glimpse of the pope on a Sunday in St. Peter’s Square. But only a select 572 souls can claim citizenship of the Vatican itself, statistics released March 1 showed. Those are the ones carrying what… Read more

March 4, 2011

And it seems a lot of Protestants are embracing the penitential practices of the season, too: Although receiving ashes on the forehead as a visible sign of penance has been a traditional Roman Catholic practice for centuries, many Protestant denominations have adopted the tradition, too. “Lutherans receive ashes at Ash Wednesday services,” said the Rev. Cliff Eshbach, assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. “Our Ash Wednesday services include reflecting privately… Read more

March 3, 2011

Just in time for Lent, here’s something new to give up: a new flavor of Ben & Jerry’s, named in honor of late night host Jimmy Fallon and dubbed “Late Night Snack”: Previously, Ben & Jerry’s flavors have saluted such show-biz figures as Stephen Colbert (Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream), Elton John (Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road), Jerry Garcia (Cherry Garcia) and Vermont-bred rockers Phish (Phish Food). But Fallon is the first broadcast late-night TV host to be so honored. “I creamed… Read more

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