10 results
March 14, 2013

In 2005, I was in a colleague's office when another colleague came running down the hall, breathlessly announcing, "There's white smoke!" I ran for a radio in my office, but an announcement came over the intercom. "We're gathering in the conference room!" Table and chairs were shoved aside, people stood or sat on the floor, all eyes were glued to a tiny TV set that had very poor reception. 

When "Josephum" was announced as the new pope's first name, I sucked in my breath. At the word...

February 26, 2013

By nature I tend to be a rather contrary person. Or, as my father sometimes put it, I tend to end up "crosswise in the door" when told that a particular direction is one in which I must go. Perhaps then it is no surprise that I kind of liked wearing a veil to Mass . . . until I was told I had to do it. Ever since then the subject makes me bristle.

The first time I wore a headcovering to Mass was soon after my conversion in 1996. A friend invited me to a diocesan-approved Tridentine...

February 14, 2013

I sometimes wonder what the real St. Valentine, probably a third-century Roman martyr but no one knows for certain, would think of what's become of his feast day. Not only is the tradition of celebrating romantic love tenuously connected to what is told about this saint, but the day's name is often stripped of its sanctity. We never refer to March 17 as "Patrick's Day," but somehow February 14 became...

February 9, 2013

For years a friend of mine has hosted an annual Shakespeare party. It used to be held around William Shakespeare's birthday (April 23), but usually it is now held just before Lent, when the weather is more amenable to wearing heavy costumes. It also serves as a final farewell to the Christmas partying season. The party includes music and skits prepared by the guests, either from Shakespeare or evocative of his time.

This year's Shakespeare party will be tonight. It's not often that...

February 8, 2013

Last June, I made my First Promise as a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites. The First Promise to the local community is for three years, at the end of which (God willing) the community may invite me to make a Definitive Promise, for life. 

Because secular Carmelites are considered to be full members of the Discalced Carmelites, according to their state in...