More views from the Vigil

If you haven’t gotten enough of Easter, and caught some of these pictures the other day, you can find a whole gallery of my parish Easter Vigil over at this link. Alleluia. And kudos, again, to Niranjan Fernando, the photographer. [Read more...]

Soldiers push for a chaplain for atheists

I know: it sounds like a headline from The Onion.  But it’s true. From the New York Times: In the military, there are more than 3,000 chaplains who minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of active duty troops, regardless of their faiths. The vast majority are Christians, a few are Jews or Muslims, one [Read More...]

Helping tend the "new Catholic subculture"

Russell Shaw explains: Signs of a new Catholic subculture can be seen in things like a handful of proudly orthodox colleges and universities, media ventures like EWTN and Catholic radio, a growing number of websites and periodicals and a few publishing houses, and organizations and movements that work to promote a dynamic Catholic spirituality — [Read More...]

The pope was his co-pilot

Below, John Paul checks out the cockpit on Shepherd I during his first trip to the United States in 1979. One of the pilots for that trip, Nelson Krueger, has published a charming gallery of photos from that trip — which includes a shot of a guitar that the pope used to play “Silent Night” [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: a Deacon heads to mass

That would be Reese Witherspoon’s young son, Deacon Phillippe. (I can’t tell you how often I’ve Googled the word “Deacon” and stories about this kid have popped up.  Really.  Who’s his agent?) Photographers snapped him — along with his mother, sister and new step-dad — heading to Easter mass at a Catholic church in Santa [Read More...]

Bless this house, O Lord we pray…

The day after Easter, I stopped by a parishioner’s apartment to perform a favorite ritual, a house blessing.  That simple blessing, and all that it means, is the subject of this week’s “All Things New”: Whatever compels people to ask for these blessings, there is in every case a strong desire to make something old [Read More...]

Lila Rose to address National Prayer Breakfast Wednesday

A young woman who has become a household name in the pro-life movement will be addressing the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast tomorrow. From the Religion News Service and USA TODAY: Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose has shared the stage with Sarah Palin, seen her exploits extolled on Fox News and drawn comparisons to heroic Gentiles who [Read More...]

One Anglican priest's leap of faith

One of those who joined the Church during the Triduum is a former Anglican priest with eight children — and, for now, no job. Details, from CNS: It’s a brave decision for Ian Hellyer to give up his job when he has to provide for eight children and his wife is pregnant with the couple’s [Read More...]

Ladies and gentlemen, the Dominicans

Here’s a terrific short video about the order, full of wonder and reverence and joy. H/T CMR. [Read more...]

Worth a thousand words, Easter Vigil edition

From the Vatican at the Easter Vigil, one of five new Catholics baptized and confirmed by Pope Benedict prepares to bring up the gifts at the offertory. Photo from CNS/Paul Haring [Read more...]

Episcopalians to McGreevey: not so fast

Remember the scandal-plagued former New Jersey governor James McGreevey? The one-time Catholic (and former altar boy) was studying to become an Episcopal priest, but the church now wants him to wait: Former Gov. Jim McGreevey, who abruptly resigned in 2004 after declaring himself “a gay American” and admitting an extramarital affair with a male staffer, [Read More...]

How are vocations doing? The numbers tell the story

Over at Catholic Vote, Thomas Peters is touting some interesting statistics about this year’s class of ordinands. The USCCB has been publishing a report on men being ordained as priests for the last 15 years. A little Googling, though, reveals a little more. This year, according to the USCCB, 480 men are to be ordained [Read More...]

What was your Easter like?

Or, to offer a diaconal bow to Amy Welborn, “What did you hear”?  How were the masses?  The homilies?  The music? A few observations from my parish: 1. All the masses were SRO, which was great, of course.  But when did people stop dressing up for Easter?  Saw a few nice dresses (and bonnets!) but [Read More...]

A miracle for Kateri?

Maybe.  The Vatican is investigating a case in Washington state that could be tied to the Blessed Native American — a New Yorker, in fact, whose image is depicted in the reredos behind the altar in my parish. Details: Doctors at Children’s Hospital worked miracles five years ago to save a young boy’s life. But [Read More...]

Jesus is risen: a moving Arabic flash mob from Beirut

After all the flash mobs we’ve seen over the last several months, this may top them all. I have no idea what they’re saying — click on the arrow under the screen for “CC” to get the translation — but what happens below is potent and poignant. [Read more...]

Family claims discrimination because child was denied first communion

It happened in Texas, and the child has cerebral palsy. Details: A disabled boy was refused his first Holy Communion after a priest decided the child could not understand what it meant, his family have claimed. Eight-year-old Kevin Castro’s family have accused Father Phil Henning, priest at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Floresville, Texas, [Read More...]

Scenes from the Easter Vigil

A great big thank you to my friend Niranjan Fernando who took these gorgeous shots of the Easter Vigil! It includes a shot of the chanting of the Exultet, and the blessing of the water used for baptism. (Click on pictures to enlarge.) [Read more...]

"I was called to serve, and I'm back to serve…"

A deacon who was seriously injured during last year’s Easter Vigil is marking another Easter, and giving thanks for his recovery. Details: As he waited for the Good Friday Mass to begin at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Deacon Joseph Hieu Vinh took one more look at his watch. Church members entered the evening service and [Read More...]


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