Miracle? Fire destroys church, but crucifix is discovered intact

Photo: Gary Reyes / Bay Area News Group Details: The morning after the spectacular fire, the Rev. Firmo Mantovani and bleary-eyed members of his parish were stunned by the wondrous sight inside the burned out shell of Holy Cross Catholic Church. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing,” said Sam Arlotta, a parishioner for all of [Read More...]

Homily for November 16, 2014: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The Samaritan” by Eric Fischl The gospel this Sunday is familiar to a lot of us. We tend to think it’s all about ability, or talent — what special gifts God has given you. Certainly, that’s a big part of it. But I think there is more to the parable of the talents than just [Read More...]

Inside Iraq: “I cry every day. I pray and I am fasting. I am simply hoping…”

The Autumn edition of ONE, the magazine of CNEWA, is now online, and the centerpiece is an astonishing and moving glimpse at life for Iraqi Christian refugees in Erbil. Journalist Don Duncan captures it in all its harrowing detail: On talking to many Christian families and individuals who have taken refuge in cities across Iraqi Kurdistan, the [Read More...]

Homily for November 2, 2014: All Souls

Many of you may remember something Msgr. Funaro used to say when he was celebrating Mass at this altar. During the Eucharistic Prayer, he always made a point of praying for those in purgatory—and he never failed to ask us to pray for those who had no one else to pray for them. I cannot [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...]

Fiancée, family of Dallas Ebola victim staying at Catholic conference center

Details from The Dallas Morning News:  Bishop Kevin J. Farrell said he hesitated only briefly before offering up the Catholic Diocese’s conference center as housing for Louise Troh and her family. “I had to think of the consequences but it was in my heart all the time that I had to do something,” Farrell said Monday, [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...]

In the Kasper-Pentin fiasco, they’re both wrong

Reading over the transcript of the now-infamous exchange between Cardinal Walter Kasper and Edward Pentin, I’m struck by one over-arching point. It’s this:  both men blundered and both men are wrong. In no particular order, some bullet points: 1. First, Cardinal Kasper is no naif. He is a creature of the media, who has done [Read More...]

Synod reaction from a bishop: “The sky has not fallen”

Bishop Robert Vasa, from the Diocese of Santa Rosa, has looked over the relatio, and offers this context:  It is important to recognize this report does not constitute a final report. It is simply a report on what has been proposed by one or more of the participants in the Synod. As such it does [Read More...]

What many Catholics don’t know about divorce and receiving communion

With all the talk lately about divorce and communion, I’ve been reminded of how much we Catholics don’t know what we don’t know. A few months ago, I met with a woman from my parish to help her begin the annulment process. We chatted a bit before we started going over what was involved. “So,” [Read More...]


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