My Perspective on the Facebook Fracas

08/24/2015 Comments (34)

It was quite a week, last week. I am surely not the first cleric of the Catholic Church to be caught up in Facebook’s perplexing policy stated by them:

“We ask everyone on Facebook to use the name they go by in everyday life so that friends know who they’re connecting with.”

Indeed, Deacon Greg Kandra, Fr. Jay Finelli, and many others had already been required to remove the “title” that was attached to their first name. Then when I sent my tweet out of my suspension from Facebook until I sent government ID and complied with their policy, quite a little storm erupted. I guess by the time my tweet went out the storm had been brewing for quite a long time. Sadly, I was not as aware of the...READ MORE

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Awesome Vid: Judge Bars Band from Playing Hymn At Halftime, Crowd Sings It

08/24/2015 Comments (15)

This is beautiful.

I'll give you a little background first but you can already guess most of it as it's so clichéd at this point. High school band plays the instrumental version of "How Great Thou Art" at halftime of the football game. Insert nutty secularist type who sues. Lunatic Obama appointed judge (redundant?) declares they can't play it. (Mind you, it's the instrumental version) The judge also fined the school district to really teach it a lesson.

So the season opening game occurred on Friday night and there was to be no high school band performance.

During halftime, one person stood up and began singing "How Great Thou Art" and then another and then another. Soon, it looks like...READ MORE

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The Delusion of the Familiar

08/23/2015 Comments (7)

"Historic Route 66 near Amboy (California, USA)." Dietmar Rabich, [CC BY-SA 4.0 (].

I have always been joyously afflicted with wanderlust. In It’s a Wonderful Life, when George Bailey tells Uncle Billy that the three most exciting sounds in the world are anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles, something stirs in my marrow. I have always felt the romance of travel, even when I’m standing in line while some portly TSA (Thousands Standing Around) agent puzzles over my rosary, wondering whether it might an Al-Quaeda Ninja weapon. When the car engine starts at the beginning of a vacation or you feel the jet shove you into your seat on take off, I think you have to be a little dead of soul not to feel the thrill of it.

My line of work as a writer and speaker on things...READ MORE

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Mary is Our Queen, And Her Dominion is Vast

08/22/2015 Comments (21)

Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, "The Coronation of the Virgin with Six Saints" (1504)

Years ago, my spiritual director pointed out to me that, since the folks in heaven don’t really need anything, it would make sense that they would give rather than expect gifts on special days like holidays and birthdays. Since our Blessed Mother Mary loves us purely and without bounds, wouldn’t that also be true of her – to an even greater degree?

On August 22, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Queenship of Mary, one of my favorite of her feast days.

That’s likely because of my love for all things Medieval, but I have another reason, too.

I love the feast because of the way it came about.

The roots of the feast are found in the Annunciation narrative, when the angel...READ MORE

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It's Business As Usual For the LCWR

08/21/2015 Comments (27)

Ever since the mandate to reform the 1,100-member Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) was concluded in April, speculation has swirled around what changes the LCWR would actually implement.

A joint statement prepared by LCWR leaders and the bishops who worked on the reform was very general and made little reference to specifics in the 2012 mandate issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Now that the major addresses from the Aug. 11-15 LCWR annual assembly are posted on the LCWR webpage, some clues are emerging that indicate the “reformed” LCWR has taken a more conciliatory tone toward Church authority.

However, serious questions still remain about the...READ MORE

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Archdiocese of Philadelphia Reports Threefold Increase in Priestly Vocations

08/21/2015 Comments (4)

Some good news coming out of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Archdiocese just announced a three-fold increase in its priestly vocations from last year with 20 new seminarians enrolling in Saint Charles Seminary. One of those men is the godfather of my youngest child and we couldn't be prouder.

The increase is the largest in over ten years.

"It is extraordinarily gratifying to see these young men choosing a life of service to Jesus Christ and the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia," said Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior, Rector of Saint Charles Seminary in a press release. "With the servant leadership example of Pope Francis and Archbishop Chaput, these young men are once again...READ MORE

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What Catholics Need to Know About Marriage and Sex, Part II

08/20/2015 Comments (15)

"The Wedding at Cana" (fragment) at Tsalenjikha Cathedral, Georgia. By Cyr Manuel Evgenikos (Réunion des Musées Nationaux).

Paradoxically, our spiritual God is incarnational. He is not disembodied but has taken on a human nature so that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He communicates his life to us through ordinary, everyday things like water, oil, food, and the love of man and woman for one another. That is why marriage is one of the seven sacraments of his covenant with us—a means of divine grace entering our lives—and why Catholics have to understand that before they understand all the rest of the self-help book stuff about how to find a mate, keep the fizz in your marriage, balance the family budget, or raise sensible kids. We need the Big Picture.

The big picture is that Marriage is about union...READ MORE

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How You Can Live in the Present Moment

08/20/2015 Comments (5)

Too often we fall into the trap of dwelling on the past or being anxious about the future. A consequence of this frame of mind is that we become frozen in time. We are unable to move forward because either our history haunts us or we are unwilling to make a leap of faith into the future.

This also means that we miss opportunities in the present moment. God could be calling us to do great things today, but we are too focused on a past hurt or future concern that we simply ignore what is happening right in front of us!

The key is to live in the present moment. But how does one do that?

First of all, we must look at Christ’s own teachings. In the Gospels we read how He exhorted His apostles...READ MORE

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