October 30, 2015
DOUGLAS McKAY got the call from God while sitting on a bar stool at Sam's Bar, 30th and Wharton, Grays Ferry, USA. It wasn't the first call he heard, but it was the final one. After a fight at Sam's that night (he won, he says) he got lost in thought. He wasn't destined to spend his life on a bar stool at Sam's. The next day McKay presented himself to his parish priest at St. Gabriel's, the massive stone Catholic church dominating his Irish, working-class neighborhood. He said he wanted to become a priest.
September 27, 2015 |
Mom was on the phone from Queens with a message for Philly. "Philly should feel so fabulously, wonderfully blessed," Patsy Newall was saying. I know, Mom. "It should be ecstatic and so proud to welcome him with open arms. " You're right, Mom. "Your last column on the pope wasn't strong enough. You weren't as excited as you should be. " OK, Mom. The spirit was really moving through her. She had been driving down Flatbush Avenue, on her way home from the Meat Supreme grocery store, when the man on the radio said the pope's helicopter had just left JFK airport.
September 21, 2015 |
For someone whose very title - Roman Catholic Womanpriest - triggered her excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church, Eileen DiFranco has much in common with Pope Francis. "I think he has said just marvelous things about poverty and Catholic social justice," DiFranco said of the pontiff. Their views, however, diverge sharply on the role of women in the church. That is: DiFranco, a retired school nurse who lives in Mount Airy, believes that women can and must be ordained as priests, as she was in 2006 in a ceremony declared invalid by the church.
September 16, 2015 |
Mark Wahlberg, erstwhile rapper and underwear model whose sometimes-crude humor earned him starring roles in two comedies about a grown man and his sentient teddy bear, seems like an odd fit to host a festival for the pope. But the 44-year-old actor has long credited his Boston parish priest with guidance that helped him overcome a childhood of crime and drug use. And, after all, this pope is a progressive one. So, Marky Mark: Meet Pope Francis. Wahlberg will anchor the Saturday, Sept.
September 15, 2015
Heeding the pope's plea on aiding the poor Kudos to The Inquirer for reminding everyone that Pope Francis' visit must not become a public spectacle ("Pope wants to help the poor," Aug. 31). Indeed, this pope has made it his personal mission to alleviate the suffering of the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the marginalized. Given that Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of any major city in the nation, this is an opportunity to highlight that unfortunate reality. For the last 30 years, my students at Germantown Academy have made it a priority to reach out to make a difference in the lives of those who are hungry and homeless in our city.
September 9, 2015 |
The Rev. William Atkinson would probably laugh at the idea that he could become a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. The Upper Darby-born priest, who died in 2006 when he was 60, didn't think his life was anything extraordinary. But the team of caregivers who washed, dressed, and fed Atkinson after he became a quadriplegic while in seminary think differently. For them, the man who loved a roast beef sandwich and a beer conducted ministry while displaying a kind of inspiring - and otherworldly - acceptance of his situation that friends and family say they couldn't have mustered.
September 4, 2015 |
TO EXCOMMUNICATED "Bishop" Bridget Mary Meehan, ordaining women as priests is a backed-by-the-Bible no-brainer. Bible verses preaching gender equality abound, she said. Look at Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ. " So she'll be in the front rows when "Gender, Gospel and Global Justice" - a three-day international conference dedicated to female ordination and hosted by Women's Ordination Worldwide - kicks off in Philadelphia on Sept.
August 21, 2015 |
THE NUMBER OF MEN beginning their journey into priesthood in Philadelphia more than tripled this year and yesterday church officials attributed that rise, in part, to what has become known as the "Francis Effect. " Bishop Timothy Senior, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, said the school welcomed 20 men from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia when the academic year started this week. That's up from just six men last year. "It is the highest number of priestly vocations in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 10 years," Senior said.
August 20, 2015 |
"MASS HAS ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. " The response, "Thanks be to God," has been uttered with more relief than I care to admit the past few years. My faith has been shaken - by scandal, by political squabbles and by discrimination. The sacred trust that I established throughout all my sacraments - Holy Communion, confirmation, reconciliation - somehow seems tarnished. These struggles have been recurring in my mind as Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families draws nearer.