Jews observe High Holy Days in Illinois Catholic church

Details: The trickiest part about hosting Beth Tikvah's Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in the sanctuary of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Inverness is finding a discreet and sensitive way to hide Jesus. From a suspended perch above the altar, a larger-than-life Jesus Christ reaches out from a clear, acrylic cross in Ernest Caballero's magnificent "Cross of New Life" sculpture, which is the focal point in the Holy Family sanctuary. The sculpture, which cost $750,000 when it was unveiled in … [Read More...]


What happens when you restore a church’s beauty?

Renovation, it turns out, can have some powerful side effects.In Crisis, Michael Tamara looks at some striking restorations of churches—including one in Brooklyn—and the impact it's had on the people in the pews:Dating from the late nineteenth century, Holy Name of Jesus has been a familiar anchor in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn for generations. Although humble in size and outward appearance, the church boasted an exquisitely decorated interior. Expansive scenes from the l … [Read More...]

“God has called me to to support his sons this way”

Photo: by Gregory A. Shemitz I had the privilege of meeting Rosemary Sullivan last winter during a retreat in Huntington. She's the real deal. Someone described her to me as "the most important lay person in the American church," and that's not an exaggeration.Details:  Rosemary Sullivan fir … [Read More...]

Prayers for Benedict Groeschel

The Cardinal Newman Society posted this on their Facebook page: We received word from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal that Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., fell and reinjured the same arm that was hurt in his accident ten years ago.One of his brother friars, Fr. Glenn Sudano, … [Read More...]

Ordination update: a record 21 new deacons for Rockford

The press release from last week says it all: The largest class of permanent deacons in the history of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford will be ordained this weekend before family and friends from across the 11-county Diocese.Bishop David J. Malloy will ordain 21 men to assist in the ministry … [Read More...]

Bye bye, books: Catholic school drops textbooks for tablets

A fascinating glimpse into modern education, from Ocala, Florida: Biology teacher Cheryl Tomlinson looked at her Trinity Catholic High School class and challenged her students to find interesting facts about adenosine triphosphate (ATP).Last year, many students would have had to thumb through … [Read More...]

“The pope’s most important step on sex abuse may come in Kansas City”

From John Allen in Crux: News yesterday that the Vatican is investigating Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, first reported by Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter, is potentially a prelude to the most significant step Pope Francis may ever take with regard to t … [Read More...]

“The more conservative Catholicism of the United States has been dealt another blow…”

Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister weighs in on the man who will be the new archbishop of Chicago: While still reeling from the news of the imminent removal of Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the more conservative and traditional Catholicism of the United States - and historically the more “papist” - has be … [Read More...]

St. Jerome and me

From the vault: Today marks the feast of St. Jerome– a prolific writer, scholar, and friend of lions (he reputedly helped one by removing a thorn from its paw).He’s also someone close to my own heart. In his youth, my father was a Christian Brother, and was given the name of “Brother Jerome” … [Read More...]

Muslims rally in Paris to protest ISIS; Muslim leaders issue condemnation of violence

Details: Hundreds of Muslims have gathered near the Grand Mosque in Paris to condemn the execution of the French tourist, Herve Gourdel, by Islamic State-linked jihadists and the rise of Islamophobia caused by it. The demonstrators were holding up placards, reading “"Tribute to Herve Gourdel” an … [Read More...]

Vatican investigating KC Bishop Robert Finn—UPDATED

From NCR: A Canadian archbishop visited the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese last week on behalf of the Vatican to investigate the leadership of Bishop Robert Finn, the first Catholic prelate to be found criminally guilty of shielding a priest in the ongoing clergy sexual abuse … [Read More...]

Atheist offers “invocation” at town council meeting in Alabama

Details:  Here's what happens when an atheist offered Alabama's first non-theist invocation to open a public meeting: 90 seconds of thoughtful statements that began with "Dearly Beloved" and ended with "Let it be so," and no reaction from a packed City Council chamber. As the invocation ended, … [Read More...]

When was the last time you heard a homily that mentioned mental illness?

A new survey looks at how this subject is treated in Protestant churches. But I can't say it gets much attention in the Catholic Church, either.Details: Protestant clergy rarely preach about mental illness to their congregations and only one-quarter of congregations have a plan in place to a … [Read More...]

Off the hookah: owner explains why he named his bar “ISIS”

As you can imagine, it's causing him all sorts of problems. Now this Queens Coptic Christian is going to the media to clear things up.From the In My Backyard Desk, via the New York Daily News: Despite its menacing name, there are no beheadings on the menu at this Queens smoke … [Read More...]

Man charges bishop had affair with his wife, threatens lawsuit—UPDATED

Now the other shoe is dropping in the eyebrow-raising story of the bishop who suddenly resigned over the weekend.Details: A husband is threatening to sue the Catholic Church after one of Britain’s leading bishops allegedly became “the third person” in his marriage.The Bishop of Arun … [Read More...]

Francis hails Benedict as “the grandfather of all grandfathers”

From Catholic News Agency:  Retired pontiff Benedict XVI joined some 50,000 pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square on Sunday, Sept. 28 for a meeting between Pope Francis and elderly people from around the world.Welcoming his predecessor, the Holy Father described Pope Benedict as the “grandfather of all g … [Read More...]

The deacon who acts—and who is, in fact, an actor

Details:  When Deacon Glenn Netemeyer was preaching for just the third time at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Albers, the piece of paper he had written everything on blew off the lectern."It just flew away in the fan breeze," he recalled with a chuckle. "I looked at the crowd and they looked at … [Read More...]

Epic: hundreds join massive “Riverdance” celebration

I'm not sure what the Gaelic word for "Wow" is (O'Wow?) but this definitely deserves it.Just watch. … [Read More...]