Watch out, Madonna: Sister Cristina turns “Like a Virgin” into a prayer

This is something.Italy's fabled "Singing Nun" from "The Voice" has released her first video, and it is lightyears from what Madonna must have imagined.The original video, of course, featured the singer gliding through the canals of Venice as a bride. Well, here we have the singer as a bride of Christ.Singing in and around churches. In Venice.The songstress notes:  “I chose [this song]. With no intention to provoke or scandalize. Reading the text, without being influenced by prev … [Read More...]


If you’ve read “Rebuilt,” you’ll want to read this

The book "Rebuilt" has become something of a phenomenon of modern American Catholicism: the story of how a parish in Maryland almost literally "rebuilt" itself, rethinking everything from liturgy to lay participation and beyond.  I've lost track of the number of priests, deacons and even bishops who have asked me "Have you read 'Rebuilt'?" (One priest I know ordered 50 copies for every person on his parish staff and in ministry to read and study.) It's clearly seen as a convincing template for h … [Read More...]

Stunning video: stranger rescues man from fire

Get a load of this:The story: An unknown man was being heralded as a hero on Saturday for carrying a man out of a burning duplex near McLane High School in east-central Fresno.Firefighters were dispatched to the two-alarm fire at 8:14 a.m. on the 4300 block of East Dakota Avenue, near the … [Read More...]

Despite decline in Catholicism, millions turn out for Brazilian celebration of Mary

RNS reports:  More than 2 million worshippers, pilgrims and onlookers poured around an 11-inch wooden figure of the Virgin Mary as it made its way through the streets. A crush of the faithful heaved and hauled away at a rope that stretched over a thousand feet from the cart that bore the beloved … [Read More...]

“We cannot resign ourselves to thinking about the Middle East without Christians”

Pope Francis delivered that comment this morning. From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis convened a Consistory of Cardinals on Monday morning in the Vatican. Originally scheduled in order to proceed with the causes of candidates for beatification, the Holy Father expanded the agenda of the meeting to … [Read More...]

Francis on Paul: “This great pope, this courageous Christian, this tireless apostle…”

"For the gift of this Synod and for the constructive spirit which everyone has shown, in union with the Apostle Paul “we give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers” (1 Th 1:2).  May the Holy Spirit, who during these busy days has enabled us to work generously, in … [Read More...]

Ordination update: 5 new deacons for Detroit

From The Michigan Catholic: As Deacon Paul Nickels stood before a cathedral full of family, friends and well-wishers Oct. 4 to reflect on four years of prayer, study and discernment, his voice caught. He, along with four others, had just been ordained by Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron to the … [Read More...]

It’s here: final Relatio of synod, plus speech of Pope Francis—UPDATED

Hot off the press. Translations are rough, and need some polishing, but you get the gist. Synod14 - "Relatio Synodi" of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops: "The pastoral challenges on the family in the context of evangelization" (5 to 19 October 2014), 10/18/2014 And … [Read More...]

Blessed Paul VI, pray for us

As the celebration of his beatification draws near tomorrow, let us whisper a grateful prayer for the man who 47 years ago authorized the restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order."Let the deacons, as those who serve the mysteries of Christ and of the Church, abstain from all vice … [Read More...]

Cardinal Burke confirms transfer: “As priests, we always have to be ready to accept whatever assignment we’re given”

In an unexpected interview with a surprising news outlet, BuzzFeed, Cardinal Raymond Burke discusses the synod and rumors that he is about to be transferred: In the interview with BuzzFeed News, Burke confirmed publicly for the first time the rumors that he had been told Francis intended to demote … [Read More...]

What about the sacrament of reconciliation for the divorced and remarried?

John Thavis has just posted a summary of a speech given at the synod by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, the director of the journal La Civiltà Cattolica, who is considered a close collaborator of Pope Francis. John thinks this may shed light on the pope's thinking on several critical issues raised ov … [Read More...]

The final message from the synod

Or, at least, from this first two-week session. The second half kicks off next year. Meantime, the bishops are also preparing a more detailed final report, which will be published (or not) at the discretion of the pope.From the Vatican Information Service, the full text:We, Synod Fathers, … [Read More...]

From the synod: African cardinal says pressure groups are trying to change Church teaching

From CNA: Inaccurate media reports about Church teaching on homosexuality published after the Extraordinary Synod on the Family’s midterm relatio was released are an attempt to pressure the Church to change its perennial teaching, a cardinal who is also a synod father has said. Cardinal Robert S … [Read More...]

Fort Worth becomes first U.S. diocese to set out new Mass guidelines because of Ebola—UPDATED

From RNS: The Blood of Christ will not be offered during Mass. The Host will be placed in the hands, not on the tongue. And the faithful should not hold hands while reciting the “Our Father.”These are but a few of the guidelines the Diocese of Fort Worth — not far from the Dallas hospital where … [Read More...]

Hello, Lawn Guyland!

If anyone is interested, I'll be visiting St. James Catholic Church in Setauket this Sunday on behalf of CNEWA.I'll be preaching at the 11:30 am Mass about the work we're undertaking in the Middle East—and, specifically, ways to support persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria.   Come by and … [Read More...]

Cardinal Pell: Relatio was “skewed…it didn’t represent accurately the feelings of the synod fathers”

From CNS:  Cardinal George Pell said working-group reports from the Synod of Bishops on the family finally give a true picture of the assembly's views, counteracting what he characterized as a misleading midterm report."We wanted the Catholic people around the world to know actually what was … [Read More...]

For first time, Sistine Chapel to be rented out for corporate event

Details: Pope Francis has for the first time allowed the Sistine Chapel to be rented out for a private corporate event, with the proceeds to go to charities working with the poor and homeless.The concert, to be performed amid the splendour of Michelangelo's frescoes on Saturday, will … [Read More...]

Houston mayor criticizes subpoena of sermons

This story sparked a lot of discussion earlier in the week.Now, the mayor appears to be backing away from it.Details:  The city initially defended the demand. Houston's Chief Policy Officer and Director of Communications Janice Evans told LifeSiteNews that "the subpoenas were issued to … [Read More...]