National Review Online
February 24, 2014, 12:00 AM
By Kathryn Jean Lopez
‘Do you have another dollar?”
I honest to goodness heard it a second too late.
But why did I?
And what’s too late anyway?
Outside some urban churches, a man or woman — quite often multiple men and women — will reliably ask anyone entering or exiting for money, particularly right before and after Mass.
You might even be asked while praying inside.
On this particular day, I had seen two men, one with a cup, as I was leaving Mass. I smiled, and the man with the cup asked if I had a dollar. I did, and I gave it to him along with a little coin bearing a message from St. Rose of Lima, to nourish the interior. I smiled at the second man, but he seemed to be otherwise occupied, and so I kept walking. A few strides away, I realized he was addressing me, and what he was asking belatedly clicked. It seemed awkward to turn around at that point. But it would have been authentic to turn around. It would have been the loving thing to do. To stay and talk. To be present.
February 20, 2014
By David Gibson
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday (Feb. 20) opened a major two-day meeting on the church’s approach to the complexities of modern family life, telling the world’s Catholic cardinals that the church needs a “pastoral” approach that is “intelligent, courageous and full of love” and not focused on abstract arguments.
In brief introductory remarks released by the Vatican, Francis pushed the closed-door summit of about 150 cardinals to “deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires.”
The Washington Post
By Kathleen Parker
President Obama gave a lovely speech at the recent National Prayer Breakfast — and one is reluctant to criticize.
But pry my jaw from the floorboards.
Without a hint of irony, the president lamented eroding protections of religious liberty around the world.
Just not, apparently, in America.
6:56 a.m. CST, February 9, 2014
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A year after his shock resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict has no regrets and believes history will vindicate his tumultuous and much-criticized papacy, the man closest to him told Reuters in a rare interview.
February 1, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. —
You’ve heard of flash mobs? Behold the Mass mob.
Playing off the idea of using social media to summon crowds for parties or mischief, mobs of Buffalo-area Roman Catholics have been filling pews and lifting spirits at some of the city’s original, now often sparsely attended, churches.
It works this way: On a given Sunday, participants attend Mass en masse at a church they’ve picked in an online vote and promoted through Facebook and Twitter. Visitors experience the architecture, heritage and spirit of the aging houses of worship and the churches once again see the numbers they were built for, along with a helpful bump in donations when the collection baskets are passed.
“I call these churches faith enhancers. You can’t help but walk in and feel closer to a higher power,” said Christopher Byrd, who hatched the idea in Buffalo last fall and has organized two Mass mobs so far, both of which drew hundreds. He’s heard from other cities about starting their own.
The aim, he said, is to reignite interest, support and perhaps even membership in older churches that “kind of fall off the radar screen of people.”