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Reconciliation Monday at St. Francis of Assisi

I dropped by one of my favorite churches in Manhattan, St. Francis of Assisi, for confession today, "Reconciliation Monday."  The church is open for confessions every day, at all hours, but there was a line today anyway—about 20 people when I arrived at 5 p.m.  Four confessionals were open, so things moved quickly.I was done by 5:30, and after spending some time in prayer (and doing my penance—which, considering my sins, was pretty tame, frankly)I took a brief stroll to snap some pictu … [Read More...]

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Want to prove you’re a good Catholic? Get your papers in order!

An excellent nudge, from Commonweal: Want to prove you’re a good Catholic? I’m afraid you’ll have to do more than feed the hungry and teach your children the Lord’s Prayer in at least four modern languages and one or two dead ones. The absolute steel test for proving you’re a good Catholic has little to do with the directives of Matthew 25 or your ability to educate and evangelize. No, it has everything to do with whether or not you can pry a 3x6 inch piece of paper from the hand of your pari … [Read More...]

EWTN workers build Pope Francis Habitat for Humanity house

Details: EWTN employees more accustomed to running cameras, editing video and overseeing a worldwide religious TV network got their hands dirty on Friday. An anonymous donor contributed $60,000 to Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity in honor of Pope Francis and his commitment to "work … [Read More...]

Cupich: hospitalized Cardinal George in good spirits

From The Chicago Tribune:  A day after the Archdiocese of Chicago announced that Cardinal Francis George was back in the hospital, Archbishop Blase Cupich said that his predecessor was in good spirits."He was very good to talk to, as he always is," Cupich told reporters after Palm Sunday Mass in … [Read More...]

Palm Sunday: the view from my parish in Queens

Weather: chilly.Liturgies: beautiful.Music: "All Glory, Laud and Honor," "The Palms," "Ride On! Ride On!," "O Sacred Head Surrounded," "Lift High the Cross."Church: packed. … [Read More...]

“My earthly journey is now at at an end…”

"My earthly journey is now at an end. When I was born, my Mother laid me in a manger. I lived almost my whole life in Nazareth. I immersed myself in the history of the Chosen People. On my journey as the One sent by the Father, I preached the breadth of his love, which overlooks no one; the length … [Read More...]

“We need these palms as a reminder—and a challenge”

We need these palms as a reminder – and a challenge. They remind us that we are called to be heralds of Christ – to celebrate him the way they did that day in Jerusalem. And these palms challenge us to keep crying “Hosanna,” to keep proclaiming the Good News – even when the world tempts us to do ot … [Read More...]

Who knew Mitt Romney had a sense of humor?

Or that Jimmy Fallon did such a great Mitt impression?This popped up on The Tonight Show this week. It echoes Jimmy's hilarious bit with Mick Jagger a few years ago—and it's pretty great. … [Read More...]

Cheers: Catholic Church opens a bar

Details: A bar being run by the Catholic Church might sound like the setting for a lame Irish joke, but it's not Irish and it's no joke. AFP reports that a bar recently opened in northern France with the backing of the Catholic Church. Bar Cana in Lille launched this month as part of an effort … [Read More...]

“God, I’m a dancer! A dancer dances!”

Is he auditioning for "A Chorus Line"?The YouTube description says: "French Provincial Minister Michel Laloux expressed himself in dance during our morning Mass for the Annunciation." Because, of course, that's more important than, like, listening to the wisdom of Pope Benedict XVI, who … [Read More...]

Lent to go: church offers drive-thru fish fry

From The Detroit News:  On Fridays during Lent, just a little before 4 p.m., a line of cars starts to wrap around Inkster Road in Redford Township. It's not a line for a popular fast food chain, but the fish fry drive-thru at a local Catholic church.The men's club at St. Robert Bellarmine and … [Read More...]

This is something to see: a painting of Jesus like no other

A stunning work of prayer, creation, art...all at once.From artist David Garibaldi, just in time for Holy Week.This has been around for a few years, but even if you've seen it before, it's worth another look.People are amazing, aren't they? … [Read More...]

Woman accused of cutting baby from victim’s womb will not be charged with murder

Details: A Colorado woman accused of luring an expectant mother to a basement and cutting the baby from her belly will not be charged with murder, prosecutors said Thursday night. Catherine Olguin, a spokeswoman for the Boulder County District Attorney's Office, said prosecutors won't bring … [Read More...]

Pope Francis surprises homeless during Vatican tour: “Welcome, this is your house”

From Huffington Post:  Visitors had to leave the Sistine Chapel earlier than usual on the afternoon of March 26 -- before 4:00 p.m. -- and not because of some exclusive VIP event. A group of around 150 homeless were granted a private visit before being offered supper inside the Vatican Museums' … [Read More...]

Once again, Fortune names Pope Francis to list of “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”

They did it last year, and they've done it again. From USA TODAY:  Fortune explains, "To make this roster, it was not enough to be brilliant, admirable, or even supremely powerful (see Moisés Naím's essay on Vladimir Putin). We set out to find singular leaders with vision who moved others to act as … [Read More...]

Pope Francis: faith, not “cold doctrine,” brings joy

From Vatican Radio: It is not “cold doctrine” that brings joy, but faith, and the hope of meeting Jesus.  He who cannot rejoice is an unhappy believer: that’s what the Pope said in his homily at Thursday morning’s Mass in Santa Marta in the Vatican. Abraham’s joy upon hearing that as God promise … [Read More...]

Is there a “Francis Effect”? Let’s look at the numbers.

The research blog at CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) at Georgetown offers some intriguing new statistics.  Among other things, the declining number Catholics over the last few decades seems to have stopped, and the Catholic retention rate appears to be holding steady: To date t … [Read More...]

Former EWTN host accused of abuse

You may remember that the man once known as Father Frances Mary Stone left EWTN several years back. Now, he's back in the news, in the middle of an ugly custody battle.From AL.com: A national group that monitors allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy has focused attention this week on t … [Read More...]


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