December 2, 2013 |
WITH ITS bronze doors, stained glass and iconic dome, the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul on Logan Circle is an ode to God's grandeur. Around the corner, a Mormon cathedral rising on a former parking lot promises to be similarly inspiring, with granite-clad walls to provide a solid base to soaring spires. In the shadow of such places, you'd think that the Rev. Violet Little's humble Welcome Church would feel inadequate. Yet here we are, dozens of us, gladly worshipping around a folding-table altar on the grass in front of Family Court on the Parkway.
November 28, 2013 |
The pastor's faith had taken a hit. The man entrusted with the spiritual life of hundreds had lost a teenage daughter to cancer. So Jim Laverty, 48, an associate pastor at Souderton Mennonite Church, leaned on the people he shared so much with - his football buddies. They sent him texts of support. They listened when Laverty shared his grief and disappointment. And it all started with football. On the eve of the biggest pigskin binge day of the year, the Men's Monday Night Football Fellowship at the 700-member Souderton Mennonite Church is about more than touchdowns and Eagles pride.
November 12, 2013
TO CHRISTINE Flowers: I've just read your piece on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed recently by the Senate. And although I agree with the assessment that most liberals try to paint conservatives as uneducated bigots, I cannot follow you as you affirm that offering the right to marriage matters less when it comes to fight discrimination. Changing people's minds to make them accept and not tolerate another often happens when they consider the other to be part of the same group (at least on some level)
October 14, 2013 |
Debra Johnson saw it coming. "Dear God. Not here, where everybody could hear," she thought. She was at a packed college basketball game, sitting alongside her great-niece, who had just learned to count. "And she was holding my hand, which we do all the time," Johnson, 54, recalled in a honeyed, Louisiana drawl. "I could see her counting her fingers, and then she would reach over and . . . count mine. " And then it came. "I have five fingers . . . . You have four?" "Yes, I do. " "Why?"
September 26, 2013 |
A FRIEND asked whether I liked the new man in the Vatican. "Is the pope Catholic?" I answered. Sorry - couldn't resist. But seriously, how could anyone not be taken by Pope Francis? In comportment alone, the guy is a bracing blast of Alpine air. You know, the way he rocks plain, white robes instead of jewel-toned, ornate ones. His decision to live in the Vatican's modest guesthouse instead of the 10-room papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace. How he put-puts around Vatican City in a 1984 Renault instead of being chauffeured in a luxury Mercedes the way his predecessor was. "A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but please, choose a more humble one," he advised Catholic priests and nuns shopping for new wheels.
September 15, 2013 |
MT. CARMEL Baptist Church is a West Philadelphia landmark, a place of worship where political heavy hitters come to pray, and a force for social change in its neighborhood and beyond. We talked with the church's pastor, the Rev. Albert F. Campbell, about his congregation's beliefs, its good works, its considerable history and its challenges in the here and now. Who we are: Campbell described Mt. Carmel as a "traditional Baptist church" that has evolved and adapted to the community around it. When Campbell, 81, became pastor 47 years ago, the congregation was made up of neighborhood residents, who'd walk to the church every Sunday with their families, he said.
September 11, 2013 |
Salvator Mundi, the portrait of Christ by Renaissance master Antonello da Messina, stares through you. It doesn't matter how you address the beneficent visage, which looms over the stage during On the Concept of the Face Regarding the Son of God . It doesn't matter whether you believe in Jesus as a divine power; his gaze burrows into you as it burned into Romeo Castellucci. "He called me as a man, not as God," says the provocative Italian theater practitioner, whose play runs Thursday through Saturday at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre as part of the 2013 Fringe Festival.
July 31, 2013 |
LAST WEEK, Pope Francis marked a triumphant return to South America by exhorting 30,000 young Catholics from his native Argentina to launch "a revolution" for God, to make "a mess" and "stir things up. " Yesterday, the 76-year-old pope took his own radical advice. Pope Francis shocked a planeful of reporters - and much of the planet - with his compassionate remarks about homosexual priests, saying: "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"
July 28, 2013 |
IT'S NOT UNUSUAL to find a doctor in the house during Friday services at the Zubaida Foundation mosque in Lower Makefield - or several doctors. "We have two heart surgeons, for example," said mosque administrator Mohammed Husain. The largely professional, mostly second-generation immigrants who worship at the Bucks County mosque tend to be accomplished people. That's why America opened its doors in the first place to the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi families who are the core of the congregation (now joined by some with roots in the Middle East and South Africa, along with American-born Muslims)
July 7, 2013 |
CENTER CITY'S Arch Street United Methodist Church is probably best known for its commitment to social justice. It has long been active in feeding the hungry, and it works with other organizations to find shelter for the homeless. Occupy Philadelphia organizers planned their protest for the rights of "the 99 percent" in its sanctuary. Built in the 1800s, the Gothic-style church predates City Hall, which lies just to the south. The chapel was dedicated in 1865. The sanctuary, which seats more than 900, was dedicated in 1870.