January 26, 2011

Some notable Catholics were special guests, according to CNS: Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl was among the guests of House Speaker John Boehner, along with an assortment of students and teachers representing the archdiocese’s Consortium of Catholic Academies, other supporters of school choice and the Heritage Foundation. In first lady Michelle Obama’s box were several Catholics who recently have made the news. They included Roxanna and John Green, and their son, Dallas. The family was among guests from Tucson, Ariz.,… Read more

January 26, 2011

After we’ve all torn our hair out over the canonical question of continence, now might be a good time to reflect on the issue of a married clergy in general — and the priesthood, in particular. I’ve lost count of the number of times people have asked me, “Wouldn’t you like to be a priest?,” a question that is usually followed by a laundry list of qualifications that people seem to think would be ideal for a priest.  Usually one… Read more

January 26, 2011

For my money, this is the first must-see movie of 2011.  I read the book “The Monks of Tibhirine” a few years back, and was deeply moved by this story of a Trappist monks martyred by radical Muslims in Algeria in the 1990s.  The movie tells this same story, and strikes me as carrying a message that’s both timely, and timeless, about persistence, and prayer, and a faith that transcends fear.  As the movie’s publicists describe it: “The film tells… Read more

January 25, 2011

Over the weekend, I took the plunge and upgraded my mobile phone.  (I got an EVO, if anyone is wondering.) This thing is a marvel that would not be out of place at Spacely Sprockets.  It keeps my calendar, takes my pictures, shoots my video, finds my destination, locates a restaurant, and even provides me with the Liturgy of the Hours — along with a gazillion other applications that can allow me to read the New York Times, catch a… Read more

January 25, 2011

Speaking as someone who graduated — barely, and a semester late — from an unexceptional state university, I found this essay both welcome and consoling.  It’s hard to accept nowadays, but the fact remains: we are more than what it says on our diplomas.  Much more.  Have we lost the ability to see that? From Elizbeth Scalia, writing at First Things: Perhaps the over-reliance upon credentials is connected to the undervaluing of faith in society. In the past, people of… Read more

January 25, 2011

…just go ahead and ask him for a raise. As America marks the 50th anniversary of JFK’s inauguration — and that timeless address he delivered that day — the note below is, well, of note. It’s 10-year-old Jack Kennedy’s plea for a raise in his allowance.  You can find a copy of the original over at the Letters of Note website. Take a look at how a future president charted his own New Frontier, as he shares his thoughts in… Read more

January 25, 2011

… will be delivered by a little-known Congressman, Paul Ryan, who also happens to be a practicing Catholic; his Wikipedia entry notes that he is “a member of St. John Vianney’s Parish” in Janesville, Wisconsin. More on the man who will deliver the GOP response to the State of the Union, from the Wall Street Journal: In Washington, Mr. Ryan’s speech will be closely watched not only because of his central role in the fight over federal spending. He also… Read more

January 25, 2011

Welcome to the brave new world of the YouTube funeral, where grieving friends and relatives no longer have to travel cross country to bid goodbye to the dearly departed. Now you can do it online. From the New York Times: In an age of commemorating birthdays, weddings and anniversaries on Facebook and Twitter, it was perhaps inevitable that live Web-streaming funerals for friends and loved ones would be next. It is no surprise that the deaths of celebrities, like Michael… Read more

January 25, 2011

That’s one surprising and uplifting discovery in a new study on religious belief in China. Details: One of the last great efforts at state-sponsored atheism is a failure. And not just any kind of failure. China has enforced its anti-religion policy through decades of repression, coercion and persecution, but the lack of success is spectacular, according to a major new study. No more than 15 percent of adults in the world’s most populous country are “real atheists.” 85 percent of… Read more

January 25, 2011

“Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is, and in what our nobility consists, and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead. When he saw death imminent, he bade others… Read more

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