A song for the desert: "My Lord Did Trouble Me"

I first posted this a few months back, but it’s worth a second hearing.  Here’s a rich performance of a great song by Tom Jones — and the video below includes the arid landscape of the desert, as well as a clutch of rosary beads. It’s a perfect anthem for Lent. [Read more...]

Catholics and communion, Jesus and Judas

While people continue to debate the Cuomo Communion Controversy, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles weighed in on the issue earlier this week: While some of Mahony’s brother bishops appear as if they won’t be happy until they get the chance to deny Communion to elected officials who deviate from church teachings, Mahony has resisted [Read More...]

Pray. Hope. Give.

A prayer for the quake victims, from the Catholic Medical Mission Board: God our Father, In faith we acknowledge your care over us, your sons, daughters and children. In hope we trust in your divine providence of giving us wisdom and courage as we face challenges in life. We invoke your help and guidance during [Read More...]

Homily for March 13, 2011: 1st Sunday of Lent

Friday morning, when I clicked on my computer at home, I was stunned, like a lot of people, to see the images and video from Japan. Within hours after it happened, almost instantaneously, hundreds if not thousands of pictures and videos had been loaded onto the Internet, many from cell phone cameras, capturing this disaster [Read More...]

Sarah Palin on Lent: "Catholic baptism and catechism classes have stuck with me"

“I do observe Lent, and my family and I have traditionally sacrificed something during these weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. When I was growing up, my Irish Catholic grandfather would remind me that sacrifices offered up during Lent are to be like tithing — if you advertise your ’sacrifice’ and tithe then you negate any spiritual gains. [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: the tsunami strikes

From Japan this morning: Our Lady of Akita, pray for us. [Read more...]

The largest Stations of the Cross in the world

These are really something:  the Stations of the Cross, in Rome.  Below, a shot of their installation, from Catholic News Service. Details, and the story behind them, from Zenit: This week, the grand avenue of the Vatican is taking on another guise, the Via Crucis. Fourteen life-size stations line the wide sidewalk of the Via [Read More...]

A really bad idea: a "flash mob" during Ash Wednesday mass

Really. It happened in South Dakota: Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent . It a time for penance, reflection, fasting and apparently, dance for one group of catholic students. We attend one Ash Wednesday Service that was interrupted by an unexpected, but emotional flash mob. Not long after receiving the ceremonial [Read More...]

Ministering "on the fly": meet the airport chaplains

Yesterday was one of the busiest days of the year for priests everywhere — including at America’s airports. From the Wall Street Journal: For the Rev. Michael Zaniolo, Ash Wednesday is the busiest day of the year. He’s the head chaplain at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, which had three Masses and 14 different ash ceremonies. [Read More...]

World's biggest human cross?

Behold, what transpired yesterday in Manila: Details, from Reuters: Thousands of Filipinos lined up across a football field in Manila to mark the start of Lent by forming a human cross they hoped would go down as the world’s biggest. Officials at the University of Santo Tomas, a Catholic university that at 400 years old [Read More...]

Cuomo and communion: it's private

That’s the determination of the bishop who oversees New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s diocese. Controversy erupted last month, when a canon lawyer declared that Cuomo should be denied communion because the divorced governor lives with his girlfriend. Details: One of New York State’s leading Roman Catholic bishops said on Tuesday that it was not appropriate [Read More...]

"Come back to me…"

This Ash Wednesday perennial gets to me every time. Here, two versions…the first, from John Michael Talbot, and the second, from the composer himself, Gregory Norbet. [Read more...]

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...]


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