June 23, 2014 |
When I heard that Popes John Paul II and John XXIII would be canonized, I knew I'd be Rome-bound. I traveled to the Eternal City for John Paul's funeral in 2005 and his beatification in 2011, sleeping on the cobblestones to ensure entrance to St. Peter's Square. It worked. This time I decided to travel with an organized group - understanding that I'd be on my own for the canonization, a non-ticketed event. Our group of 40 included a teacher, a musician, an ex-nun, a Korean couple married 50 years, and three priests: Father Matt, a high-energy West Point grad; Father Mike, blind since age 6; and Father Jose, a young Colombian priest serving in Jersey City, N.J. Ordinary people like myself embarking on an extraordinary journey.
March 18, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - The focus of Pope Francis' papacy began to emerge Saturday as he offered some intimate insights into the conclave that elected him pontiff, describing how he was immediately inspired to name himself after St. Francis of Assisi because he wants to see a church that is "for the poor. " His comments provided further evidence that this first Latin American papacy would look beyond the confines of the church to the most disadvantaged. He took his name from a 13th-century friar who renounced a wealthy, dissolute lifestyle to embrace a life of poverty and simplicity and go out in the countryside to preach a message of joy and peace.
March 16, 2013 |
Just after Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, I received a text from my son: "I guess I took the right Confirmation name. " Last year, at age 33, Nick was confirmed in the Catholic faith, and he adopted the name of Francis in honor of Francis of Assisi. I remember asking him why. "The guy was crazy, Dad. " Not an auspicious start, but I listened on. "You know, he was from a pretty well-to-do family. He rejected everything, wouldn't even wear shoes. " "You're not thinking of going shoeless.
March 14, 2013 |
IN TAKING THE NAME Francis, the new pope hearkens back eight centuries to the preaching of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the most revered figures in the Catholic Church. St. Francis, born Giovanni di Bernardone, was something of a playboy in his youth and was a soldier before a vision sent him into a life of poverty and preaching. He was never a Catholic priest, but he founded the Franciscan Order and the Order of St. Clare for nuns. He was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX on July 16, 1228.
March 5, 2013
By Xavier Suarez I may be the only lay person to have roomed an entire summer with Cardinal Sean O'Malley. For sure, I am the only politician to have lived under one (rather small) roof with the Capuchin friar. It was in the early 1970s, and the location was a little, sparsely furnished apartment in an area of Washington, D.C., that was populated by the working poor and illegal immigrants. Some of the latter survived from the wages paid to their daughters and wives by diplomats who could risk violating U.S. minimum-wage laws because they could invoke diplomatic immunity.
February 7, 2007 |
Citing declining enrollments and unacceptable financial burdens on the parishes supporting them, Camden Bishop Joseph A. Galante announced yesterday that he was closing six parish schools at the end of the school year. Galante told a news conference the closings were "painful" but necessary for "laying the foundation for the long-term stability" of Catholic schools in the diocese. St. Patrick School in Woodbury and St. Matthew School in National Park are among the six affected.
February 10, 2002 |
Having been raised Roman Catholic, I was more than familiar with the saints and their miracles. So, when my husband, Mike, and I and our two best friends, Frank and Barbara, went to Tuscany in 1995, we decided one day to visit Assisi. St. Francis' feast day was the next day. Preparations and a parade in honor of him were already going on. Fluttering along in their long, brown robes, Franciscan monks all had somewhere to go and something to do. When we drove into Assisi, we parked at the lower church.
July 6, 1999 |
Catholic schools have rules about this sort of thing, and St. Francis of Assisi is no exception. Hair must be short and well-groomed, and cuts that look punk, spiked or bald are not acceptable. When 11-year-old Joey Tobolski showed up at the end of the year shorn to the scalp in the webbed pattern of a soccer ball, his teacher pointed him to the office. The principal decided to go easy on Joey once she found out who was behind the haircut, which turned heads in his fifth-grade class and on soccer fields throughout the region.
February 8, 1999 |
Hugh P. McKenna, 85, a former Democratic ward leader and one-time sergeant-at-arms at City Council, died of cancer Friday at his home near Sonestown, Pa. Mr. McKenna was born in Kensington. He left school in the eighth grade to help support his family, but he became well-schooled in politics. At first, he held a series of jobs delivering ice and coal. He was small enough to crawl through the basement windows through which the coal was delivered. Once he received his driver's license, he went to work as a truck driver for Highway Express Lines, owned by then-Democratic City Chairman James P. Clark.
June 13, 1998 |
The Rev. Msgr. Joseph P. Cooney, 81, pastor emeritus of St. Katharine of Siena Church in Wayne, died Wednesday at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital after a lengthy illness. He lived at St. Joseph Villa in Darby. Msgr. Cooney had served as pastor of St. Katharine of Siena Church for 22 years, from 1970 until his retirement in 1992, when he was named pastor emeritus. "He cared very much for the children and for the Catholic education program," said Msgr. John J. Jagodzinski, pastor at St. Katharine of Siena.