From 1978: Ratzinger on Paul VI, “who fought strenuously against the idea of retiring”

A priest reader brought this to my attention: a homily delivered by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in Germany a few days after the death of Pope Paul VI—now Blessed Paul VI. The homily is both eloquent and poignant, with one passage that seems almost prophetic:  Paul VI increasingly accepted his papal service as a metamorphosis of [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 and endeavor to be [Read More...]

The nun in the hotel lobby

This is one of my favorite stories from the writings of Thomas Merton. In The Waters of Siloe, he tells the true story of a businessman checking into a hotel in Paris in the days following World War II and, inexplicably, passing a young nun in the lobby:  The nun is smiling…she is a young sister [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” — a [Read More...]

Dolan on Sheen body battle: “We’ve had some issues with Peoria over what to do…”

The Cardinal Archbishop of New York offered some thoughts on the controversy in an exclusive interview with John Allen over at Crux:  Q. Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, seems to fault the archdiocese for slowing down the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Is it true you’ve put on the brakes? A. No, that’s not [Read More...]

Fulton Sheen update: Peoria issues “additional clarifications” on sainthood cause

After New York’s volley yesterday, here comes a response. From the Diocese of Peoria: After an outpouring of great support for the actions taken by Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria regarding the suspension of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause of Sainthood, the Diocese is providing additional clarifications. According [Read More...]

Statement from the Archdiocese of New York on the canonization cause of Fulton Sheen

This email arrived in my in box a few moments ago: Joseph Zwilling, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of New York, released the following statement today on behalf of the archdiocese, in an attempt to clarify certain questions concerning the cause of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. “The Archdiocese of New York joins Bishop [Read More...]

Shock: effort to canonize Fulton Sheen suspended indefinitely—UPDATED

Details:  Efforts to canonize Archbishop Fulton Sheen have been suspended indefinitely, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria announced Wednesday afternoon. In a statement, the diocese said that the process leading to beatification and canonization was being halted, despite having been moving smoothly up until now. In fact, expectations were for a beatification ceremony as soon as [Read More...]

St. Monica: two different views

Today marks the feast of the mother of St. Augustine. Below, two dramatically different depictions of this woman who died sometime late in the 4th century. The first comes from John Nava, and is one of the studies he did for the gorgeous tapestries at the cathedral in Los Angeles. The artist for the second [Read More...]

Is James Foley a martyr?

  My blog neighbor Pia de Solenni takes up that question and offers some very compelling answers:  With the beheading of James Foley and the increasing reports of his Catholic faith, the word “martyr” is becoming more popular. Some would caution that we shouldn’t use the word too lightly. I agree. At the same time, [Read More...]


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