An extraordinary ordination in NYC

As the sun slowly rose on Manhattan sending its rays into the dark corridors between the skyscrapers, a familiar scene was unfolding before the massive doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. Scores of people dressed in their finest clothes scurried across the sidewalk with smiling eyes and tense laughter, exchanging hugs and warm words of welcome as they made their way into “America’s parish church.” The day is Saturday, May 26, 2018. And on this day, before parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, friends and family, nine men would lay their lives down in the service of the …

See how a mother’s prayers changed a man and changed the world

Daylight streamed through the leaded glass windows of the little room that sits adjacent to the entrance to the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton, New Jersey. The room sits in stark contrast to the cathedral’s soaring marble columns and radiant stained glass that bathes the cavernous space with Gospel glory through a dance of color and light. On Saturday, June 3, the little room was the last place that four men would stand together before crossing over the threshold of the sanctuary and taking their places to be ordained as Priests. “Any last words of advice …

The NYC Subway Rosary

On a cloudy Saturday morning, a small but warm-hearted group of people ascended the stairs from the dark alley behind the Church of the Holy Innocents on West 37th Street, carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary and bags laden with rosaries, prayer cards and other religious items. As they spilled onto the sidewalk, the familiar sound of the NYC streets filled the air. The quietly thunderous ensemble of undefined noise that is the sound of the city disappeared from consciousness after a few moments of discussing who carries what and jokes about whose back is worse than the whose. …

The Sisters of Life are moving in!

On Saturday, May 5, The Sisters of Life. along with a small army of cheerful volunteers including the Frassati Fellowship of NYC, rolled up their sleeves and got to work cleaning out the new residence at the Church of St. Andrew, located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, getting it ready for a fresh coat of paint and some much needed repair work after sitting dormant. The Church of St. Andrew was famous back in the early 1900s for celebrating what was known as The Printers Mass, a Mass celebrated at 2:30 a.m. for those who worked at Printing …

Rosary procession in NY at Planned Parenthood vigil site

Hundreds were in attendance for the 2018 Spring Campaign Kick-off of 40 Days for Life and Witness for Life on Saturday in New York. The Mass, celebrated by Bishop Peter Byrne of the Archdiocese of New York at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, was followed by a Rosary procession to a local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic and vigil site. Priests, religious, and faithful gathered to pray for Christ’s mercy and healing for all those effected by abortion. They were met with opposition to their efforts, but they stood strong in the face of the verbal abuse and yelling. …

Christ’s latest disguise: A poncho and an umbrella

I could tell from the water dripping down the inside of my sleeve that my beloved raincoat — the very raincoat I’d purchased to cover the papal conclave following the historic resignation of a pope — had finally given up on keeping me dry. My disappointment was not only because I was getting soaked; in a funny way I’d considered that coat a “holy” raincoat. I’d worn it to countless events involving popes, cardinals, bishops, brothers, nuns — you name it. It had protected me from the elements on at least three continents, through every conceivable weather condition, and it …

The Sorrowful Mysteries for athletes

Anyone who runs, rides or trains for athletic things knows that there’s a degree of suffering that goes along with it. It doesn’t really matter if you’re a person who’s just started jogging or a seasoned professional ready to run their 10th marathon, training can be brutal. A few months ago, in a fit of insanity, I signed up for my first triathlon. I had no idea how much training and effort would be involved, but perhaps that was a good thing because had I known … So in the countless hours I’m putting into running, riding and swimming I find …

Meeting the living God in the New Mexico desert

I remember looking out the airplane window marveling at the huge rock formations that seemed to shoot forth from the expansive red sand below, and wondering what this new adventure would bring. Such a barren land – strikingly similar to Jordan and other areas of the Middle East that I’d visited – right here in the United States. Below me was New Mexico. It might as well have been Mars. Read on…

How watching Catholic bishops talk about Catholic layfolk had a surprising effect on me

In my role as Art Director for Aleteia.org, I’ve had an exciting and faith-affirming 2016: to travel to Poland to photograph the crowds (and experience the power) of World Youth Day; I went to India to cover the canonization of Mother Teresa, and discovered there a world of pain and poverty, and selfless giving, that left me – still has me – reeling. On assignment for EWTN, I was privileged to witness the intimate grief of humble Poor Clare nuns, mourning Mother Angelica. So, when the National Catholic Register assigned me to cover the General Assembly of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, in Baltimore, …

I’m back from Calcutta and still having nightmares

I didn’t want to write this. Probably because I didn’t want to think about it. Since I returned home from Calcutta, I’ve been trying to shake off what first seemed like a major case of jetlag. I’ve been referring to it as my “India hangover.” I’m battling extreme fatigue and trying to laugh it off, and I’ve been waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, terrified that I’m still there. I’ve been avoiding conversations about it, and not even wanting to archive the photos I took. Something’s been seriously off. So this morning, in an …