Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete: The Unkempt Man, the Brilliant Priest

10/28/2014 Comments (3)

I first met Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete on Capitol Hill. I was the Press Secretary for Congressman Bill Archer and he was the featured talent in a Knights of Columbus initiative to teach hill staffers about the Bible.

He sat with us in an empty House committee chamber eating a sandwich that dribbled down his chin and onto his jacket, while sharing incredibly deep and original thoughts about God.

Everyone who knew him has their Msgr. Albacete stories, and they all tend to dwell on those two aspects of his personality: the uncouth man and the brilliant priest.

As Robert Royal put it, he was a “certifiable eccentric and a proven genius.”

Albacete was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1941 and...READ MORE

Filed under benedictine college, catholic faith, communion and liberation, john paul ii institute, karol wojtyla, msgr. lorenzo albacete, national catholic register, tom hoopes

Top 10 Reasons It Makes Sense That St. John Paul II Loved 'Princess Bride'

10/22/2014 Comments (5)

The news is terrible, the future worrisome. What better time to relax with Princess Bride?

In his new book about the making of the movie Princess Bride, Cary Elwes reveals some surprising fans the 1980s comedy-adventure movie has won. Elwes starred as Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts — and happens to be a practicing Catholic, too.

First: John Gotti. Director Rob Reiner encountered the boss of the Gambino crime family at a New York restaurant, and the Mafioso (in a far different accent from Inigo Montoya’s from the movie) called out “Hey! You killed my father. Prepare to die!”

Second, from mobster to saint — Pope John Paul II. When Elwes met him at the Vatican (who, ironically, he would later...READ MORE

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Why Catholics Are Grateful to George W. Bush

04/26/2013 Comments (46)

After yesterday’s opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, many in the media are taking a look back at the presidency of George W. Bush after a little time to put it in perspective, and the results do a Catholic heart good: Former fierce critics are acknowledging the kindness and accomplishments of the man.

When millions of Catholics see Bush standing in between Presidents Clinton and Obama in those pictures, surely we remember him more fondly than ever.

Because of the abortion extremism of Bill Clinton, pro-life Catholics were rooting for Bush to win. When he did, pro-lifers cheered. When Gore challenged the win, pro-lifers took action.

If you were on faithful...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, bill clinton, catholic voters, george w. bush, iraq war, terri schiavo

The Power of Catholic Fridays

03/14/2013 Comments (3)

Friday starts to work on you when you are a child.

You wake up, and it’s Friday. You don’t understand why adults say, "TGIF." For a child, a Friday is painful, because it is almost, but not yet, Saturday.

Your lunch bag has a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich in it. You like peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches better, but sometimes you wish it was ham when it’s Friday.

After school comes dinner: fish sticks and rice, with ketchup. You have taught yourself to tolerate and then to like ketchup-y rice. But why is it that fish sticks are always either too burnt or too mushy?

In Lent, Stations of the Cross comes at the worst possible time — in the early evening. You don’t understand why...READ MORE

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The Two Threats to Christmas

12/11/2012 Comments (8)

There are two major threats to Christmas each year: the marketplace and the state.

The marketplace is a threat because it takes everything beautiful, banalizes it, mass produces it and puts a price tag on it. It changes the lovely tradition of gift-giving from a participation in the incarnational generosity of God into a materialistic feeding frenzy.

Today’s ubiquitous state is a threat because Caesar will not tolerate rival gods. As the state gets bigger, it gets more aggressive in its secularizing, pulling society’s institutions into its cult, insisting there is no other view but the state’s that needs be taken seriously, consequently banning Christmas in schools, libraries,...READ MORE

Filed under advent, catholic faith, christmas, christmas wars, families, pope john paul ii

Time for True Democrats to Start Their Own Party

09/07/2012 Comments (172)

It’s time for Catholics to lead true Democrats to start their own party.

Catholic Democrats are in a terrible quandary. They vehemently disagree with the Republicans’ approach to policy, so they won’t vote for them.

And since the Democratic Party’s leaders stand against religious liberty and for taxpayer-funded abortion, as well as support for stripping marriage of its meaning and endless war, they morally can’t vote for many Democrats either.

The only viable option for a traditional Democrat is to not vote at all.

It’s a terrible travesty that this has come to pass. It is crucially important that we have at least two morally viable parties proposing solutions to America’s...READ MORE

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To April, 20 Years Later

08/14/2012 Comments (17)

Detail of 'The Assumption of the Virgin' by Rubens

April, 20 years ago on my last night as a single man, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling unable to sleep in the middle of the night. I was afraid you were making a huge mistake by marrying me — one for which I was largely to blame.

You were going to give me everything you had, including your future. You were going to say “Whatever happens to you, I’m going to be involved.” You were going to take all your chips, bet them on “Tom Hoopes,” roll the dice, and live with the consequences.

It seemed like a monumentally stupid thing for you to do.

I wrote a prayer that night and showed you the next morning. We were getting married on the feast of the Assumption, a day that celebrates how...READ MORE

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Farewell, Dear Reader

04/01/2010 Comments (13)

Today, as Lent gives way to the Triduum, I set aside my mouse with a sigh and bid these fond blog pages adieu.

I’m going to miss this place. But today I start a new job here at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas (vice president of college relations), and while I will still write often, I won’t have the time to blog.

There is too much to do at Benedictine as we build one of America’s great Catholic colleges. Today, we launch a prayer campaign for a new home for our Philosophy, Theology, Business and Education departments (the core of our Benedictine mission) and we are preparing other great initiatives for very soon ... Stay tuned.

But, for me, farewells call for poetry, not...READ MORE

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About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.