The Amazing And Inspiring Story of the Quadriplegic Priest

04/17/2015 Comments (14)

This is an amazing story.

Bill Atkinson was an exceptional athlete and ruggedly handsome young man from the Philadelphia area. He attended Catholic schools throughout his life in the 1960's including Monsignor Bonner High School.

The Atkinson family was a wonderfully faithful Catholic family. In fact, the New York Jets nearly didn't draft his older brother, Al, as a linebacker because they feared he would become a priest. He didn't. Bill did.

Bill attended a pre-seminary program in upstate New York where one winter morning he was terribly injured when a toboggan he was riding down a hill along with three friends crashed into a tree. His friends weren't sure he would survive being carried...READ MORE

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The Critics Rave!

04/16/2015 Comments (12)

As a guy who's done a bit of chatting about the Catholic Faith with folks, one of the things that has struck me over the years is the sheer fecundity of the human mind in giving reasons not to be Catholic. To a young Catholic or a new convert, such overwhelming fertility in repudiating the Faith can be rather daunting. A trip to an Internet list group, for example, can be a bit like drinking from a fire hose of anti-Catholic rhetoric. One can simply be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it all.

This is, however, all to the good for the intrepid Catholic who takes seriously the fact that "in everything God works for the good with those who love him" (Romans 8:28). So when life serves you...READ MORE

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Love Isn't Supposed to Be Efficient

04/16/2015 Comments (14)

As a mother of lots of kids, I think a lot about treating them fairly. They make sure I think about it a lot:  "Hey, she got more pudding than I did!" "Hey, you never let us watch Jaws when we were that age!" "No fair, he got an extra ten minutes on Minecraft, but I didn't even get to save my chickens!"

It's enough to make you crazy, or crazier. But in a big family, especially, it really is necessary to keep track of things and try to keep them just and fair and evenly distributed. If you don't keep track, you're likely to find out that one especially squeaky kid has gotten all the grease, while a more reserved child gets unintentionally gypped. So I do constantly assess how fair I'm...READ MORE

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Ten Pleasures Gwyneth Paltrow Will Never Know

04/14/2015 Comments (65)

"We felt very nice and snug," says Ishmael in chapter 11 of Moby Dick,

The more so since it was so chilly out of doors; indeed out of bed-clothes too, seeing that there was no fire in the room. The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrastIf you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. But if, like Queequeg and me in the bed, the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel most delightfully and...READ MORE

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Life Lessons from Abraham Lincoln, 150 Years Later

04/14/2015 Comments (12)
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April 15 marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death. During my school boy years, I had a surface level knowledge of Abraham Lincoln:  President during the Civil War, freed the slaves, stove-top hat, unique beard, “four score and seven years ago”, assassinated, coupled with George Washington on Presidents Day, profile found on a penny, etc.

Last summer driving back to Massachusetts from Nebraska, I started listening to the Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and then continued reading it after I got back.  

I now have a new list of associations with Lincoln: home-grown scholar, entertaining storyteller,...READ MORE

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Asking Questions

04/12/2015 Comments (16)

In 1996, Pope St. John Paul II said it's okay to think God may have used evolution to create the body of the first humans. In other words, he said Catholics may, if they like, believe God formed Adam from the dust of the earth reeeeeally slowly rather than very quickly. This commonplace liberty of Catholic teaching (which merely echoed Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis and which can be traced back to the patristic era) was hailed as a complete theological revolution in a Church which, the media seemed to imagine, had hitherto forbidden the very mention of Darwin. The Pope, we were informed, had finally "conceded" the possibility that evolution might be true. To anybody with even an elementary...READ MORE

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Superhero Catholics

04/12/2015 Comments (16)

There's a new Netflix show about the superhero Daredevil, who happens to be Catholic. And there's been a lot of discussion about how Catholicism is portrayed in the series.

For those of you who don't know, Daredevil is like weaponized spandex. He's a bit...complex. He's blind but somehow he knows how to fight crime. He's a public defender and a vigilante. He's a vigilante and he's Catholic. And he can afford expensive suits but seems to like wearing spandex more. Hey, don't judge. There's a lot going on in this guy's life. His mom abandoned him in a Church and later became a nun. But don't worry she comes back sometimes and saves him. Sheesh. Forget about Daredevil I want to watch the...READ MORE

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Pope Formally Announces Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

04/11/2015 Comments (15)

Pope Francis formally announced the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy during Solemn Vespers this evening in St. Peter's basilica. 

The Bull of Indiction, through which the announcement was made, was presented before the Holy Door of the basilica to a representative group of heads of the dicasteries of the Holy See.

The Jubilee will open on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, and end on the Feast of Christ the King on November 20th, 2016. 

Excerpts of the Bull of Indiction Misericordiae Vultus (below) were then read aloud by Msgr. Leonardo Sapienza of the prefecture of the papal household.

The Pope explains in the bull it is his "burning desire" that, during...READ MORE

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