It was in second grade that I first suspected I didn’t belong at St. Cecilia’s.
I was only 7, but when I looked into Sister Mary’s unfeeling eyes I knew, as clearly as only 7-year-olds can, that whoever she was working for wasn’t worth my Sunday morning. I brought my concerns to my mom, hoping for a quick “Jesus Loves You!” Band-Aid to ease the impending existential crisis.
Now, I realize this was a mistake. My mother is a wonderful, empathetic, kind-hearted woman, but comforting white lies aren’t really her strong suit. Santa died early in our house, and the Easter Bunny wasn’t far behind. The Tooth Fairy, well, she never stood a chance on Hoffnagle Street. This is what it sounds like when a child asks Joan if we’re floating on, all alone, through this vast, indifferent universe:
“How do you know God is real?”
“Well, I don’t.”
“Oh. Do you think he is?”
“I’m not sure.”
“So … where do we go when we die?”
“Nobody really knows.”
“Where did Smokey go?!?”
“He’s in the flower bed, honey. Now brush your teeth – Wings comes on at 8.”
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NBC 10 recently posted a video of Pope John Paul II arriving in Philadelphia in 1979. And what better time to share it than today, with Pope John Paul II among two men to be canonized on Sunday. Pope John XXIII, who called the Second Vatican Council, will also be named a saint.
The head of the Ukranian Catholic Church in the area, Stefan Soroka, tells KYW 1060’s Mark Abrams his memories of JP2’s 1979 visit: “He came in, he knelt, he prayed.”
While some are opposed to John Paul II’s canonization, one can be certain that longtime residents of Port Richmond will be having weekend-long parties this weekend. Several Philadelphia Catholics will be in Rome this weekend.
The Inquirer‘s Claudia Vargas gives the Philadelphia taxpayer a reason to feel good today: The mayor’s trip to Rome wasn’t paid for by the city!
But the source for the funds of that trip remains unclear, she writes today, and it doesn’t appear we’ll learn the source of the funds anytime soon. The mayor’s trip to Rome was underwritten by the nonprofit organizing the World Meeting of Families, held here — whether Pope Francis comes and rides SEPTA or not — in 2015.
But who funded that nonprofit? Some of the money came from the Philadelphia archdiocese, but that’s the only contributor to the nonprofit the Inquirer could get verified. Also, no one will say how much the trip to Rome cost. How much did that St. Joe’s Prep jersey cost, Mr. Mayor?!
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Mayor Michael Nutter is in Rome with a delegation — including Governor Tom Corbett and his wife, Susan — stumping for a papal visit to Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families meeting here in September 2015. (Hopefully, he mentioned my bet with God to attend church every Sunday for a year if the Pope rides SEPTA, which I figure would seal the deal.)
Today, though, Nutter talked to the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome, attempting to get the Pope to visit Philadelphia. We have a transcription of his remarks. Sadly, it does not end with “XOXO, Philadelphia.”
I have the great honor and privilege to make a brief statement in support of our fervent hope that His Holiness might visit Philadelphia during the World Meeting of Families in September 2015.
As a loyal son of Philadelphia, born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, educated by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Transfiguration of Our Lord Elementary School and inspired by the Jesuits to be a man for others at St Joseph’s Preparatory high school, the Jesuit High School in Philadelphia, I am often called upon to discuss the exceptional qualities of my great city.
It continues after the jump.
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Church attendance has been dwindling for decades. The Catholic Church hasn’t been able to reverse the trend, but that hasn’t stopped it from trying. My idea would be “have more Ash Wednesdays somehow, even on Sundays” — church lines are out the door that day! Plus, Catholics would get to wear a cross of ashes on their foreheads more often.
But until the Church figures out a way to start Lent more often, they’re stuck with more conventional means that don’t change years of doctrine and tradition. And, so, the Archdiocese has announced its first “mass mob,” where Catholics from around the region all celebrate mass at the same location.
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