Boston Priests Asked to Stay on Longer

07/29/2009 Comments (1)

Priests in Boston who had hoped to retire soon have been asked to stay on a bit longer. The Archdiocese of Boston, faced with a priest shortage, has raised the priestly retirement age from 70 to 75 (health permitting).

The Boston Globe reports that the change, which is effective Aug. 1, was announced to priests of the diocese via e-mail on July 21 sent by Father Richard Erikson, vicar general for the archdiocese.

Father Erikson said that healthy priests can continue to seek the status of “senior priest’’ at 70, but then will be required to fill in for priests who are sick or on vacation.

In addition to the retirement age change, the archdiocese is attempting a variety of efforts to...READ MORE

Filed under boston, priests, retirement

Nominee for Ambassador to Vatican Post Remains Silent

07/23/2009 Comment

The Washington Times’ religion editor, Julia Duin, reports that U.S. ambassador to the Vatican nominee Miguel Diaz remains a closed book.

Following his confirmation hearings Tuesday, Diaz made only one public comment to reporters and posed for a family photo.

Duin described that as a “bad sign.” She went on to predict how Diaz might conduct his years at the Holy See.

“Like the president, he’ll allow interviews with ‘safe’ Catholic publications who won’t throw him any hardballs, such as how he reconciles the Catholic Church’s position on abortion, stem-cell research, etc. with that of the president,” said Duin. “As to what his personal views on ‘life’ issues, it doesn’t sound like we’ll...READ MORE

Filed under miguel diaz, u.s. ambassador to the holy see

Actress Uma Thurman to 'Become' a Nun

07/23/2009 Comment

Several Hollywood sources are reporting that actress Uma Thurman will be playing the role of a nun in her next film, Girl Soldier.

The movie, MTV reports, is based on Kathy Cook’s firsthand account, Stolen Angels, of the kidnapping and enslavement of 140 Ugandan girls in 1996.

Thurman will play Sister Caroline (Rachele Fassera by birth), who was among a group of interfaith religious who fought to rescue the girls from their captors.

Sister Caroline tracked members of Uganda’s Lord Resistance Army back to their camp and demanded the release of the kidnapped; 110 girls were returned to her, but Sister Caroline refused to abandon the rest.

She rallied parents, the Ugandan government, the...READ MORE

Filed under movies, nun, uma thurman

Father Fessio Fired From Ave Maria University a Second Time

07/21/2009 Comment

Two years after first being fired from Ave Maria University, Father Joseph Fessio was told yesterday that he’s being dismissed from the school.

Father Fessio, the university’s theologian in residence was notified of the action by Jack Sites, academic vice president of Ave Maria University.

According to an e-mail received from Ignatius Press’ president Mark Brumley, Father Fessio said that the reason for his dismissal stems from a conversation he had in November 2008 with the university’s chairman of the board, Jack Donahue.

“I felt it an obligation to speak to the board chairman before the upcoming board meeting, to make sure he was aware of the urgency of the university’s financial...READ MORE

Filed under ave maria university, father joseph fessio

Pope Benedict Breaks Wrist in Bathroom Fall

07/17/2009 Comment

Reuters is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI slipped in the bath and broke his wrist on Friday.

According to the report, the Pope walked into the Umberto Parini Hospital himself in the city of Aosta, where he has been on vacation in a mountain chalet in the Alps. The Vatican said that he suffered “a slight fracture to his right wrist.” Before going to the hospital, the Holy Father celebrated Mass and had breakfast.

“He slipped in his bath this morning. He was taken to hospital for check-ups,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi. “It’s nothing serious.”

Hospital spokesman Tiziano Trevisan told The Associated Press that an X-ray had been taken and that the Pope would be held for...READ MORE

Filed under pope benedict xvi, vacation, wrist

Sotomayor Is No Blessed Mother

07/16/2009 Comment

Judge Sonia Sotomayor's face was superimposed on Our Lady of Guadalupe by D.C. attorney Felix Sanchez.

In the midst of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination confirmation hearings, one Washington politico has recast Mexico’s famous Our Lady of Guadalupe image with the face of the high court nominee.

Felix Sanchez, a Washington, D.C., attorney, CEO of the government and public relations firm TerraCom, and chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, features the image on his Twitter page in an effort to appeal to Hispanics and promote Sotomayor’s confirmation.

While Hispanic actors Jimmy Smits and Sonia Braga, who co-founded the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts might like the image, not everyone’s pleased.

Catherine Maggio of Newsbusters describes the...READ MORE

Filed under blessed virgin mary, our lady of guadalupe, sonia sotomayor

The Catholic Behind President Obama

07/15/2009 Comment

Mark Linton, the president's Catholic liaison.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the most important Roman Catholic figure in President Obama’s administration is someone whom few Catholics would recognize.

Mark Linton, the director of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the White House’s top Catholic liaison. He not only prepared the president for his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, but also helped the president reach out to American Catholics prior to the visit.

A former employee of Catholic Relief Services, Linton worked as a legislative assistant in Obama’s Senate office before heading up Catholic outreach for Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.

“Mark has...READ MORE

Filed under faith-based office, mark linton, obama

President to Catholic Press: On the Bishops

07/03/2009 Comment

In response to Joe Feuerherd’s question about whether the president might “write off the bishops,” President Obama had this to say:

He said that he would not “write off the bishops,” and he gave his reasons.

“No. 1, one of the strengths of our democracy is that everybody is free to express their political opinions, and I take people’s opinions seriously. I’m the president of all Americans, not just the Americans who happen to agree with me,” said the president.

“The American bishops have a profound influence in their communities, in the church, and beyond,” he continued. “What I will say is that although there have been criticisms leveled at me from some of the bishops, there have been a...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal bernardin, cardinal george, catholic press, obama, u.s. bishops

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About Tim Drake

Tim Drake
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Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.