Quote of the day: Thomas Merton on Ash Wednesday

“Ash Wednesday is for people who know that it means for their soul to be logged with these icy waters: all of us are such people, if only we can realize it. There is confidence everywhere in Ash Wednesday, yet that does not mean unmixed and untroubled security. The confidence of the Christian is always [Read More...]

When I grow up, I want to be Heather King

Seriously. She makes her debut today at Patheos, with a lovely and lyrical column that she calls “Book of Sparks.” She explains where that name comes from, and concludes with this gorgeous Ash Wednesday meditation: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” the priest will say today, as he makes the [Read More...]

Is this the best he could do? Really?

Can I ask for a do-over? [Read more...]

What everyone wants to know today

Anyone who has ever worked in a rectory on Ash Wednesday knows the drill. Ready?  Here goes. “8:00, 12:05, 4:00 and 7:30.” [Read more...]

BREAKING: Philadelphia suspends 21 priests

From the New York Times: The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Tuesday that it had placed 21 priests on administrative leave from active ministry in connection with credible charges that they had sexually abused minors. The mass suspension was one of the single most sweeping in the history of the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman [Read More...]

Pope will grant first-ever TV interview

Some authors do Oprah to plug their books.  The pope has other ideas. Details: Pontiffs utter and pronounce. They, well, pontificate. But on 22 April, Good Friday, Pope Benedict will– in a papal first – answer viewers’ questions on television. Rosario Carello, presenter of a special programme to be broadcast onItaly‘s publicly owned RAI network, [Read More...]

Teamwork

Now here’s a picture that’s really worth a thousand words … or more. Caption: Charles B. Tripp the armless man and Eli Bowen the legless man. Both men traveled with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circuses in the 1890′s. Source H/T Deacon Eric [Read more...]

Praying for an end to abortion: one priest's story

Reader and blogger Anne Bender sent this my way, from her blog Imprisoned in my Bones: an account from Fr. Don Hying, about his experience praying outside an abortion clinic. With the Lenten “40 Days for Life” campaign about to begin, this couldn’t be more timely. Snip: Late last Saturday morning, a group of us [Read More...]

Not too busy, after all: Dolan and Cuomo to meet

After the kerfuffle last week, the two men found time for a meeting today, according to the New York Times: For Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, it is a lesson that not even his Catholic-school upbringing could have taught: When you are the state’s top elected official, even the most innocent scheduling conflict can assume a life [Read More...]

Homily for March 9, 2011: Ash Wednesday

Some of us of a certain age here tonight can remember a song that was popular exactly 40 years ago.  In 1971, a group from Canada called the Five Man Electrical Band had a hit called “Signs.” The song is about how signs are always telling us what to do, and the chorus says, “Do [Read More...]

Celine Dion's celebrity baptism

This isn’t exactly earth-shaking news — but when was the last time a celebrity baptism made headlines? Details: Celine Dion baptised her twin sons in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 05, 2011. The singer and her husband Rene Angelil christened four-month-old tots Eddy and Nelson at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, in a [Read More...]

Just in time for Mardi Gras, here's a different take on New Orleans

A former colleague of mine from CBS, Richard Barber, is working on a documentary about the high school Mardi Gras bands of New Orleans — and yesterday he sent me this new preview of the film, “The Whole Gritty City.” It looks amazing. Check out the clip below.  And  visit the website for more information [Read More...]

Living together, falling apart

Why don’t more couples who live together stay together? Marcel over at Aggie Catholics offers one answer: The analogy that is most commonly used is that cohabitation is like taking a car on a “test drive”. The problem is that when we use people as objects, it is the worst thing we can do in [Read More...]

There's something about Mary Magdalene: hundreds turn out to venerate relic

Some bone, reportedly from one of the church’s oldest saints, is drawing the faithful and the curious. From a local paper in San Bernardino, California: Sixteen hundred years ago, if someone wanted to describe a relic of Mary Magdalene and the cave in southern France in which it rests, they would have needed a little [Read More...]

"The Keyser Soze" of evangelists

Pardon the absence of an umlaut.  I’m not sure how to add one. But I am sure of this: Max Lindenman is the real deal. For proof, just read his latest essay, which references in its lede one of the ’90s greatest movies (crafted from one of the decade’s most inventive screenplays), while dissecting the [Read More...]

"What if we said 'wait'?" missal critic says: nevermind

An outspoken critic of the new missal is reversing course: A prominent Catholic pastor in Seattle is “letting go” of his campaign against a new Latinized translation of the church liturgy, but not his convictions in starting it. “It is the people who will have the last word on the new missal once it is [Read More...]

"To love another person is to see the face of God…"

That’s my nominee for Best Song Lyric Ever, from the final moments of “Les Miserables.” For those who missed it: below is the thrilling finale to the 25th anniversary concert, which aired Sunday night on PBS. In a word: wow. [Read more...]

Lived to tell: the astonishing story of an abortion survivor

She’s now sharing her story with the world — and seeking others who have also survived abortion. From the Des Moines Register: The defining moment of Melissa Ohden’s life arrived five days before she was born. Her biological mother entered St. Luke’s Medical Center in Sioux City on Aug. 24, 1977, as a pregnant, 19-year-old [Read More...]


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