This morning, a friend of mine who lives in Rome posted the following observation on Facebook:
Looking up at the chimney on the Sistine Chapel this morning, I began to see the problem with creating recognisably black smoke in weather like this. With the light grey of the overcast, any solid, including smoke particles, are going to show up appearing very dark in silhouette. It was obvious last nig... More
The Papal Conclave is now in progress and two stories from opposite ends of the political spectrum both came to the same conclusion: the Catholic Church is facing an existential crisis. On the left, Reuters described the selection of a new pope to lead the Church as, “one of the most difficult periods in its history,” and invented words which Pope Benedict XVI never said. On the right, Fox New... More
In certain Catholic circles, there has been no small amount of alarm over Pope Emeritus Benedict’s abdication, and the possible circumstances that precipitated it. Those who have always looked to Benedict as a dauntless pillar of strength in a very tumultuous period for the Church found it suspicious that he would step down from his duties unless in some way, his hand was forced. To many, h... More
As we head into the papal conclave it’s important to remember that the church’s primary mission is the salvation of souls, and that whoever the next pope will be, he will takeover a church that is rapidly changing – not only in size and stature, but in the composition of its members.
Currently, there are roughly 1.1 billion Catholics around the world. That’s three times a... More
From the BBC:
The crypt in which Elvis Presley was first buried has been withdrawn from a Los Angeles auction after protests it should be kept as a shrine.
Fans argued on the Elvis Matters website: “Can you imagine visiting the crypt and spend a few moments of silence, while an unknown is buried there? If the crypt is still accessible for fans, that is.”
Other items up for auc... More
Signs and stories of hope:
From the University of St. Thomas:
When seminarians from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas gather for their annual group photo at the start of the school year on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 7, it will be the largest such gathering since 1980.
The seminary is welcoming 30 new graduate-level seminarians this fall, bringing the tot... More
Think the age of the catacomb churches has come to a close? Think again:
Deep underground in Poland lies something remarkable but little known outside Eastern Europe. For centuries, miners have extracted salt there, but left behind things quite startling and unique. Take a look at the most unusual salt mine in the world.
From the outside, Wieliczka Salt Mine doesn’t look extr... More
It’s almost the weekend — time for a post that’s just fun! A reader writes:
What happens when six Dominican Novices go to the garage of St. Gertrude Priory in Cincinnati, OH? Jazz music!
Notice the statue of St. Dominic keeps vigil as the friars play (it is being restored by one of the novices).
Watch for yourself….
There are many young dominicans who are also incredib... More
Already missing the Feast of Corpus Christi? Feast your eyes on this!
I know, I know: it sounds like a headline for The Onion.
But it’s actually by Anna Arco of the UK Catholic Herald, who relays to us a (slightly) tongue-in-cheek story to make us smile on this dreary day of fasting and abstaining:
An American blogger has pledged to live only off beer during Lent.
Following the ancient tradition of Bavarian monks who brewed stronger beer during the Lenten f... More