“By the goodness of God, we are so far from want”: A Thanksgiving homily

I'll be traveling today, but before I head out the door I wanted to leave you with this: my Thanksgiving homily from 2009.  My heart is full of gratitude for all who find their way to these pages. Know that when I count my blessings, you are all among them. Happy Thanksgiving, one and all! ++ Most of us know the story.It was the autumn of 1621. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, after a rich harvest, the men, women and children who had survived the first year in the New World gathered for a feast … [Read More...]


Clergy on the scene in Ferguson

From Huffington Post:  Following the grand jury's decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, thousands took to the streets in Ferguson, Missouri, and around the country to protest. As alternating scenes of peaceful demonstrations and those of violence, fire and looting were broadcast, Ferguson faith leaders repeatedly urged that the only way to move forward was to amplify the voices of peace.Many local clergy, who had called for non-violent r … [Read More...]

Have you ever seen a diaconate ordination like this?

A reader sent this my way, with this explanation: Deacon Greg,Knowing your interest in all things deacon-ish, I thought I'd pass along a video showing scenes from the ordination of a new deacon in Christ the Savior Cathedral according to the rites of the Russian Orthodox Church by Patriarch … [Read More...]

Catch of the day: what one fisherman found in the bottom of a Maryland lake is miraculous

From The Catholic Review in Baltimore: A man fishing at the Loch Raven Reservoir in north Baltimore County some two decades ago was convinced he had snagged a big fish after his line hooked something substantial.After reeling in his haul, the angler had no fish. He had, however, caught … [Read More...]

A Catholic mother and autism: “What families seek from the church is security and support”

A friend of mine, Shana Buck, offers a personal perspective on this important issue over at The Font: When I read about the Holy Father addressing the needs of individuals with autism, I was elated. My husband and I have three children “in the spectrum” — a 23 year old daughter, Luci, with mode … [Read More...]

Gobble, gobble: an early Thanksgiving Day gift, the first glimpse at “Jurassic World”

Color me thrilled.  N.B: this does not look like it's going to be a turkey.And, continuing the holiday theme, you'll see quite a few "Easter eggs" here, including a haunting interpretation of the iconic John Williams' theme near the end. What's not to love?Get your geek on and enjoy. … [Read More...]

Church of England says Sunday mornings are “inconvenient”, midweek services more popular

All this religion stuff is just so gosh-darn hard.It is worth noting: no one is saying—at least, not yet— that the C of E is doing away with Sunday services.But the leadership is noting a trend—and, let's face it, the C of E is nothing if not adaptable.  We'll see where this goes. … [Read More...]

Archbishop in Ferguson: “I implore each of you, choose peace!”

Last night, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson was in Ferguson, to lead a prayer service at St. Teresa of Calcutta parish and pray with the people as the grand jury decision was announced.From The St. Louis Review:  "I implore each of you: Choose peace!" said Archbishop Carlson, who prayed at … [Read More...]

Archbishop bars son of Italian crime boss from confirmation ceremony

Details: It’s long been accused of adopting an at best ambiguous role in the fight against organised crime in Sicily, but the Catholic Church has now taken a symbolic stand against the Mafia in its Palermo heartland by refusing to give sacrament to the son of a notorious Cosa Nostra crime lord. … [Read More...]

Ordination update: 6 new deacons for San Bernardino

This arrived in my in-box this morning, from Rich Herbst, Episcopal Master of Ceremonies in San Bernardino: Six new permanent deacons ordained for the Diocese of San Bernardino this past Saturday, November 22.  Pictured with Bishop Gerald Barnes are (left to right) Deacons Andrew Orosco, Brooke … [Read More...]

The value of giving thanks

It's all about grace.This essay is not particularly religious—the author admits she was raised Catholic but now numbers herself among those who are "spiritual but not religious"—but it strikes me as having the seeds of a compelling Thanksgiving Day homily.Take a look: Most nights of my ch … [Read More...]

Cardinal Sarah named Prefect for Congregation of Divine Worship

From The Vatican: On Sunday, 23 November 2014, the Holy Father named Cardinal Robert Sarah as Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cardinal Sarah has been serving as President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of … [Read More...]

We need a little Christmas, right this very minute…

Spotted on Yellowstone Blvd. in Forest Hills, Queens:November 23, 2014.  8 p.m.Merry Christmas. … [Read More...]

Most adorable Christmas ad ever? Maybe…

This slays me.From a UK department store, John Lewis.I have a soft spot for penguins anyway—well, penguins and anything remotely pumpkin—but this ad is something else. … [Read More...]

Report: ISIS terrorist seen on video was once a “devout Catholic”

From The Independent: The disturbing face of French “jihadism” has been revealed by a statistical survey and by the most recent, horrific video clip from Isis.The “face” is French or European, rather than Arab or North African. It belongs to a young man from a loving, non-religious family … [Read More...]

Because this never grows old

Happy Solemnity of Christ the King!  Everybody dance! … [Read More...]

Bishop vs. deacon arm-wrestling match

Can you guess who won?Details:  There were no 1980s Rocky Balboa training montages and no official weigh-in for contenders during the inaugural Man Alive arm-wresting challenge. But in the title fight, the "Melee on Main Street," Bishop Gary Gordon of Victoria squared off against Deacon Paul … [Read More...]

The deacon symbolizes “the care of Christ for those who need to be nourished”

Someone passed this along: A very good piece on the diaconate by Fr. Jan Larson in The Inland Register, diocesan publication of Spokane:Occasionally a bishop will ordain men to the order of deacon, one of the ministries included in the sacrament of Holy Orders. Many of these deacons are called … [Read More...]