September 29, 2015 |
The pre-Mass sentiment at the Cherry Street Tavern was unanimous. Pope Francis would deliver. The Eagles would win. Your basic Philly miracle. And so it was on this unusual Sunday, as the tavern at 22d and Cherry Streets served first as an Eagles tailgate party, and later as a refuge for those who couldn't get into the papal Mass. "The pope comes, the Eagles get their first miracle," said patron Rick Lacey, 60, of Springfield, after the team triumphed over the New York Jets, 24-17.
September 29, 2015
WITH GREAT faith, hope and love in my heart, I decorated the front of my house in South Philly to honor and welcome our Holy Father Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, a sinner robbed my decorations not once but twice! I want to thank you for trying to test my faith, trying to make me angry, trying to make me feed into your evilness! I enjoy being tested! You could rob all the material things I own but you and no one else will ever take my faith away from me!
September 23, 2015 |
On July Fourth, as thousands packed the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, prepared to party beneath the fireworks, a high-tech medical tent was ready to treat anyone who might need help. That tent and others will be back in action this weekend for the visit of Pope Francis, with at least one big difference: Medical staff will be ready for visitors who had significant medical problems long before they got there. Wherever Francis goes - Ecuador in July, Cuba this week - he is greeted by cancer patients, people in wheelchairs, and others who seek healing through his touch.
September 11, 2015 |
How appropriate that the theme from the third Rocky movie, "Eye of the Tiger," was played as the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gays was released Tuesday. It was perfect for the sparring for attention at the scene by Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee. Both politicians hope to corral the evangelical Christian vote, which has been a mainstay for Republican political success since the 1980s. And no one at the moment better symbolizes the antigay positions of fundamentalist Christians than Kim Davis, the clerk who spent five days in jail for ignoring a judge's court order.
August 5, 2015
AS FAITH LEADERS from across Pennsylvania, we are proud to publicly support Planned Parenthood and the essential care they provide. As providers of pastoral service in our houses of worship and faith communities, we trust Planned Parenthood to offer quality reproductive health care and educational programming, and we know that their mission and work is consistent with the teachings of our various faiths. This is just the latest political attack on women's health - and a clear cynical and coordinated effort designed to undermine this essential health-care provider.
July 27, 2015 |
IT'S BEEN years since Ocean City, N.J., proclaimed itself "America's Greatest Family Resort. " But it's been many more years - 136, to be precise - since four Methodist ministers set up a camp meeting beneath cedars and named streets after their denomination's prominent leaders. They called their al fresco spiritual outpost "the Tabernacle. " That tamed land still belongs to "the Tab," a nonprofit charged with upholding island tradition and drawing some of the town's 120,000 summer visitors away from the beach and into ample theater seats.
July 21, 2015 |
TEL AVIV - When Ira Somers descended from the El Al plane with his wife and five kids and more than 200 other new immigrants Tuesday at nearby Ben Gurion International Airport, he turned a ram's horn skyward and let out a loud, sustained blast more commonly associated with Judaism's High Holidays. "I was hoping that my shofar-blowing would be the wake-up call for everyone listening" to an American Jewish organization's simulcast of the arrival - "that they would hear it and be inspired to come home," said Somers, 44, who, like his wife, Lauren, became religious as an adult.
June 29, 2015 |
In the Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood where Carla Caple has lived since birth, maintaining a faith life has been like a game of musical chairs. One Catholic parish closes and Caple moves to another. Then that church shuts down and she moves on to the next. Through each closing or merging of a parish and school, Caple has enrolled her children in someplace new and gone to Mass with a new group of congregants. But her faith has remained strong, whatever the parish. And despite the revolving door of parishes, Caple has stayed involved with her congregation.
June 29, 2015 |
HOUSTON - Ana Ulloa Romero and her two younger children reached their arms over the car tire supporting them as they propelled themselves through the murky Rio Grande toward the hope of something better. Debris and water started filling the tire, pulling them downward and scaring the younger ones, whom Romero comforted with quick prayers . Please God, protect my family. Somewhere in the desert expanse ahead of them, Romero's husband, Oscar, was crossing with "coyotes," human smugglers.
June 22, 2015 |
When he heard the names of those killed in the Charleston, S.C., church shooting, the Rev. Robin Hynicka wrote all nine on a white index card, tucked it in his shirt pocket, and started to search for the right words to deliver on Sunday. "It's not hard to make the decision to go there. But it's an emotional and spiritual challenge," said Hynicka, pastor of Philadelphia's Arch Street United Methodist Church. "You have to take a leap of faith to begin to engage. " Hynicka was one of many faith leaders who in the wake of Wednesday's shooting put their planned sermons - some still in process, some already complete, several focused on Father's Day - to the side and tried to find a new message in the tragedy.