October 17, 2014
BACK IN THE mid-1960s, my aunt's husband did what a lot of other husbands (and wives) did with spouses who no longer filled their wish lists: traded her in for a younger model. Given the fact that my aunt was not even 30 at the time, you could rightly say that her eventual ex was a bit picky. In fact, given the age of the shiny new model he ended up choosing, Uncle "Johnny" was dangerously close to being known as "Uncle Holmesburg. " But this isn't about him. It isn't even about my aunt.
September 1, 2014 |
Frederick Van Fleteren is ending a long-term relationship, one that's been by turns exhausting and exhilarating. Not with a person. With a text. For nearly 25 years, he has painstakingly translated a 300-year-old religious biography, turning antique, 17th-century French into readable 21st-century English. Yes, he's a former priest and friar. But that hardly explains his singular act of intellect and endurance, which has consumed a third of his life. How has he done it?
August 24, 2014 |
The Mercer County (N.J.) Prosecutor's Office announced the arrest Thursday of a Roman Catholic priest on charges that he sexually abused a 16-year-old boy this year. Authorities said they had charged the Rev. Romannilo "Nilo" Apura, a pastor at St. Martha's parish in Point Pleasant, with endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and attempt to commit criminal sexual contact. Apura, 67, is accused of having sexual contact with the boy in late spring or early summer at a Trenton home, prosecutors said.
August 8, 2014 |
ONE OF THE sleeper pleasures of 2011 was "The Guard," pairing Brendan Gleeson and director John Michael McDonagh in a comedy about a crafty Irish cop. Now they've reteamed for "Calvary. " This time Gleeson's an Irish priest, and if you've seen the unforgettable poster (the cross on the priest's chest is comprised of bullet holes) you understand this movie is not so funny. The first scene is a corker - Gleeson takes confession from an anonymous man who reports that he was abused as a child by a priest, and now will take revenge in one week's time by killing one. The twisted twist: He doesn't want to kill the offending priest, or a bad priest.
August 4, 2014 |
It's the picture of innocence: a country priest in billowing cassock, strolling a rural road in Ireland's windswept West, encountering a young girl, chatting with her about this, about that. But then her father pulls up in a car, and angrily summons her. With an utterly vilifying look, he warns the cleric off. "That scene encapsulates everything the movie is about," says Brendan Gleeson , the Irish actor who plays Father James, a good priest in a bad world, in John Michael McDonagh's stormy tale of reckoning, Calvary . "It's a powerful, troubling, funny moment," says Gleeson, a familiar face in big Hollywood pictures ( Edge of Tomorrow , the Harry Potters )
July 26, 2014 |
The Rev. Thomas Shawn Tracy, 74, an Augustinian priest in Villanova known for his singing and songwriting, died Sunday, July 20, of congestive heart failure at Lankenau Hospital. Father Tracy was a gentle, low-key man who saw the Scriptures as poetry, and whose special gift was in setting music to that poetry, and later in creating music as an accompaniment for quiet contemplation, said his nephew Michael Dolan. Thrust into the New York folk scene of the mid-1960s when he was assigned to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Father Tracy became a spiritual troubadour.
June 24, 2014 |
Part two of three parts. Capt. Kenny Schwartz was convinced that William J. Gray was "the Jogging Rapist. " This is the guy, this is the guy. How do we hang him? He assigned a crew of cops to Gray. "We woke him up in the morning, and we put him to bed at night, watching, watching. He knew we were there. "And he was never gonna rape again. " Police began showing his victims a Polaroid of Gray that he said had been taken illegally by Northeast detectives. A 14-year-old girl who had been assaulted on Erdrick Street on May 18 said Gray was the man. On Dec. 10, Gray was arrested in connection with her attack, charged with attempted rape, robbery, assault, unlawful restraint, and indecent assault.
June 10, 2014 |
ARCHBISHOP Charles Chaput announced yesterday that a monsignor could return to ministry because allegations that he sexually abused minors 20 years ago were "unsubstantiated. " Chaput said that Monsignor Joseph L. Logrip is "suitable for ministry," although archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin said that his "return to active ministry is not immediate. " Logrip, 67, had been placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 grand-jury report on sexual abuse by local priests.
April 21, 2014 |
WASHINGTON TWP. The Rev. John Stabeno calls his Monday-night meetings a sobering dose of "reality. " In the basement of St. Charles Borromeo, dozens of drug addicts and alcoholics and their family members meet weekly to vent, cry, laugh, and smile. Stabeno, a 14-year priest in the Diocese of Camden, says he tries to keep it real himself - right down to his attire. At a recent meeting, he wore loose jeans and a T-shirt as about 60 people gathered in a circle. "He's not just a priest," said Rich Bilo, 26, of Deptford, who on this warm spring night had reached 38 days without alcohol with Stabeno's assistance.
April 18, 2014
IN THE HIERARCHY of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me. While I love St. Bernadette with her story of mystical vision, it's St. Maria Goretti - the child who surrendered her life to protect her purity - who animates my faith. St. Therese of Lisieux is an example of the glory we can find in small things but the Little Flower doesn't inspire me like Joan of Arc, who died in a maelstrom of fire. And while St. Francis of Assisi with his gentle ways is a hero to our current, beloved pope, I'm drawn to St. Sebastian, a Roman soldier who paid for his conversion to Christ in a barrage of piercing arrows.