Have You Ever Asked Your Priest Over For Dinner?

05/13/2016 Comments (11)

Eduard von Grützner (1846-1925), “Three Monks”

I’m not sure about your parish but at mine we’ve got three priests and an equal amount of deacons. It’s one of the larger parishes in the diocese, so perhaps you have a smaller number then these at your parish. Either way, there is so much to do for them, it can be very difficult to get a break. I really feel for them, too, and I really can’t grasp the level of energy it must take to be a parish priest.

When you think about it, they’re almost constantly involved in high-stress, high-emotion events on a near-daily basis. From the sacraments and celebrations involved at the beginning of life, to those that come with the end of one’s life, a week for a parish priest can almost always consist...READ MORE

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In the Thick of Things: Of Graham Greene, the Gospels, and Evangelization

05/13/2016 Comments (2)

Blue plaque outside Graham Greene's Birthplace, St. John’s boarding house (part of Berkhamsted School) on Chesham Road in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. The writer Graham Greene was born here in 1904 when his father was housemaster. (Photo Credit: “Wikidwitch”, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate.
Flannery O’Connor

It was the end of finals week at the evangelical college where I work, and P.J. stopped by to say hello. “I just got done with my class on British apologists – you would’ve liked it,” he said. Like most of my students, P.J. is a Protestant, and we’d had friendly conversations the past year regarding theology and the Church. “The class read several Catholics – like G.K. Chesterton” (no surprise there) “and Graham Greene.”

Whoa, I thought, back up. Graham Greene and apologetics? It was a pairing that raised more than a few questions, for Greene was certainly not a conventional Catholic, let alone a defender of the...READ MORE

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Mary: First Guardian of the Faith

05/13/2016 Comments (2)

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), “The Madonna of the Book”

As we saw last time, the biblical authors and the Fathers of the Church see in Mary a figure who is a fulfillment of prophecy, just as Jesus is. However, the way in which she fulfills prophecy is of a different character from Jesus, precisely because she is a creature and not God. All that she does, she does by grace, not by her own divine power. So, for instance, she fulfills prophecy by giving birth at Bethlehem (as the prophet Micah foretold (cf. Micah 5:1)). But she is not the architect of the situation which places her there, God is. She cooperates with His will and she and Joseph do the sensible things that need to be done in their situation, but the outcome is guided by God.

Mary’s...READ MORE

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The Word of God Reveals the Heart of God

05/13/2016 Comments (5)

Ashkenazi-style Mezuzah, B'er Chayim Temple, Cumberland, Maryland (Image Credit: “Bohemian Baltimore”, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

On March 7, 2008, Fr. Rainero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the Pontifical Household, commented in the Lenten meditation he delivered to Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Curia that the Bible is the most infallible spiritual director.

In his homily, Fr. Cantalamessa compared reading Scripture to looking into a mirror. When we look into "the mirror of the Word, we do not only see ourselves; we see the face of God; better, we see the heart of God."

He went on to explain that "God has spoken to us in Scripture of that which fills His heart, and that which fills His heart is love." Thus, the Bible serves us as a spiritual guide and in the life of the believer, "the words of God, by the present...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’s Commission on Women Deacons: 12 things to know and share

05/12/2016 Comments (31)

Pope Francis has agreed to have a commission study the question of women deacons. Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

Pope Francis has agreed to create a commission to study the possibility of women deacons.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1) What has happened?

On Thursday, May 12, Pope Francis was meeting with a group of women religious who asked him about the possibility of creating a commission to study the possibility of women deacons, or deaconesses.

Edward Pentin reports:

Speaking to around 900 members of the International Union of Superiors General today, representing half a million religious sisters from 80 countries, the Pope was asked if he would establish “an official commission” to study the question of women deacons.

He replied: “I accept. It would be useful for the Church...READ MORE

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Pope to Set Up Commission to Study Possibility of Women Deacons

05/12/2016 Comments (67)

Pope Francis said today he would set up a commission to study women deacons in the early Church, a proposal that has often been discussed by modern theologians such as Cardinals Carlo Martini and Walter Kasper. 

Speaking to around 900 members of the International Union of Superiors General today, representing half a million religious sisters from 80 countries, the Pope was asked if he would establish “an official commission” to study the question of women deacons.

He replied: “I accept. It would be useful for the Church to clarify this question. I agree."

The Church reintroduced the permanent diaconate for males after the Second Vatican Council. Deacons cannot celebrate the Eucharist,...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal carlo martini, pope francis, women deacons, women priests

St. Peter's Square, May 13, 1981

Remembering the assassination attempt on Pope St. John Paul II 35 years on.

05/12/2016 Comments (3)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

The commemorative stone that marks the spot in St. Peter's Square where the assassination attempt took place.

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

On a calm and sunny May afternoon 35 years ago this Friday, on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope St. John Paul II was driven into St. Peter’s Square to deliver his weekly catechesis.

He was going to talk about the role of work and workers to mark the 90th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum, and announce the creation of what would become the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family (the full text of what he was going to say on that fateful day was published by Aleteia for the first time in English last week). 

But at 5.19 p.m., Turkish gunman Ali Agca emerged from the adoring and excited crowd of pilgrims and opened fire on John Paul,...READ MORE

Filed under ali agca, assassination, our lady of fatima, pope st. john paul ii, st. peter's square

Countdown to WYD: St. Stanisław’s Witness of God Before Government

05/12/2016 Comments (1)

TOP: Image of St. Stanislaw via Wikimedia Commons. BOTTOM: Tomb of St. Stanislaw (Photo by Stephen Weigel)

On May 8th, Poland honors its first saint, St. Stanisław of Szczepanów (1030 – 1079). Since his canonization, Poles have celebrated the feast with a procession of the saint’s relics from the Church at Skałka, where he died, to his tomb at the Wawel Cathedral.

(Don’t let the Roman calendar confuse you: though the rest of the world celebrates St. Stanisław’s feast on April 11th, Poland holds to the 8th because of a lingering dispute about the actual date of his death.)

George Weigel and I discuss St. Stanisław at length in City of Saints, but given that his Polish feast day was earlier this week, it seemed appropriate to discuss a bit of his life and legacy.

There are many stories about...READ MORE

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