Quinn Bradlee’s beautiful eulogy for his father, Ben

The Washington Post has just printed (and posted the video) of Quinn Bradlee, speaking at his father Ben Bradlee’s funeral yesterday at the National Cathedral. Quinn, 32, has learning disabilities and also has velo-cardial-facial syndrome. But the words he spoke at the funeral are deeply felt, eloquent, and profoundly personal. An excerpt:  A lot of people [Read More...]

Things to say to a homeless person—and my own conversation on a corner in Queens

It happened a few weeks ago. For several days, I’d been walking by a morbidly obese homeless guy who was sitting on a crate by the subway entrance just a couple blocks from our apartment in Queens.  One afternoon, I decided to strike up a conversation with him. “What can I do for you?,” I asked [Read More...]

Cardinal Dolan prepares flock for a “real sense of grief” that will come with parish closings; 14% will merge

His column in this week’s Catholic New York, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of New York, sets the tone, without getting into specifics: Let me be candid: there will soon be a real sense of grief at some of our parishes as we get set to announce publicly what we’ve been preparing for the last five [Read More...]

Backlash: “A schism isn’t out of the question”

That’s the assessment of religion writer Andrew Brown in The Guardian:  Until this weekend, I had largely believed in the liberal narrative which holds that Pope Francis’s reforms of the Catholic church are unstoppable. But the conservative backlash has been so fierce and so far-reaching that for the first time a split looks a real, if distant, possibility. [Read More...]

“There are three kinds of Christians that outsiders to the faith respect…”

The Christian writer Philip Yancey has a very good rumination on “preaching without words” over at Huffington Post, with examples of some who do it best. Take a look:    Writing for the Internet, I’ve learned, is a bit like taking on the hecklers at the Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park. The normal rules [Read More...]

The Talking Dead: “Cemeteries have a huge opportunity to evangelize”

Priests and deacons understand that key moments in life—baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, weddings and funerals—are often ripe opportunities for evangelization. With two important feasts approaching, All Saints and All Souls, CNS looks at the role cemeteries can play: Beyond their traditional roles as predictably quiet and often-beautiful places, “cemeteries have a huge opportunity to evangelize and a [Read More...]

Looking for the perfect gift for the deacon in your life? Look no further

Give a subscription to Deacon Digest! Deacon Digest is the only publication written especially for Catholic permanent deacons, deacon candidates, and their families.  It’s a rich trove of information on the life and ministry of the deacon, with helpful and interesting articles on preaching, marriage, liturgy, you name it. The brainchild of veteran journalist Jim Alt [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: Daniel Berger, doing his part to bolster MSNBC’s credibility

David Mills noted yesterday: “Pope Francis made a significant rhetorical break with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real,” announced MSBNC reporter Daniel Berger. He is, to excuse him a little, a “policy wonk” who covers politics and whose favorite tv shows are The Rachel Maddow Show, Hardball with [Read More...]

Holy penguin, Batman: priest blesses bird in Manila

Take a look: The story:  Kaya the Humboldt penguin is just four months old — so young its gender is still unknown. But Wednesday marked the big day that Kaya, whose name means competence or ability in Tagalog, separated from its parents and took its first swim at the Manila Ocean Park in the Philippines. [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “We are all the Church!’

From today’s audience:  Often, we hear people say: the Church doesn’t do this …the Church doesn’t do that!’ ‘Tell me who is the Church? – ‘Well the Church is the priests, the bishops, the Pope …’ We are all the Church! All of us all of us Baptized! We are the Church, the Church of [Read More...]