New Advent Best of the Catholic Web

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These stories have been handpicked from blogs and news sites around the Web -- some Catholic, some not.
Updated: 47 min 54 sec ago

Pope Francis asks Mary to intercede for end to pandemic during Rosary with world’s shrines...

47 min 54 sec ago
Pope Francis asked the Virgin Mary to intercede for an end to “this terrible pandemic” as he recited the rosary with Marian shrines worldwide via videolink May 30. The pope was joined Saturday by 50 shrines in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa as he implored God’s help amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 365,000 lives so far.

The inevitable long, hot summer: Sooner or later, masks will have to come off.....

47 min 54 sec ago
Another indelible image. Or rather a series of them: night fires, masked faces running in and out of burned storefronts, a wheelchair overturned; the burned uniforms, the white teenagers in parodies of revolutionary attire photographing themselves, the journalists arrested; and, simultaneously at the edge and the center of memory, a vivid nightmare: the snuff film of a man held down by the most grimly appropriate choice of appendage until he could breathe only with difficulty and then not at all...

‘Racism is not a thing of the past’ – US bishops respond to George Floyd killing...

47 min 54 sec ago
Leaders of the U.S. bishops’ conference responded to the killing of an African American man in Minneapolis this week by stressing that the fight to eradicate racism is a pro-life issue.

No Mass and Communion? Let faith trump feelings.....

47 min 54 sec ago
During this period of not being able to attend Mass—a period which is now ending ever so slowly in most of the United States—I’ve reflected frequently on this question: What discernible impact is the absence of public Masses having on me? I presume each moderately serious Catholic has reflected on the same personal question. Here are ten possible answers...

Why this Pentecost calls for a different kind of reopening...

47 min 54 sec ago
“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.” It’s a line we proclaim during the Nicene Creed, a prayer that is still very much a part of Mass whether online or with social distancing measures, in 2020. Don’t we need life, and don’t we need the presence of its Giver more than ever right now? So many of us have experienced an abrupt change in our lives...

The oldest church in America took its time getting to Marquette University...

47 min 54 sec ago
100 years ago this month Joan of Arc was declared a saint by Pope Benedict XV, and although she may be remembered as patron of France, part of her elaborate legacy has found a home on the campus of an American Catholic university. In the central mall of Marquette University sits the Saint Joan of Arc Chapel, which the Jesuit institution likes to boast is the “oldest structure in the western hemisphere still being used for its original purpose,” effectively making it the oldest chapel in the United States.

This is a news story: Shuttered churches fuel death of Catholic newspapers during pandemic...

47 min 54 sec ago
When it comes to religious media, there is nothing like the Catholic press. Spanning the doctrinal spectrum, there are 600 Catholic-based news websites and newspapers in the United States and Canada alone. In the past few years, the diversity of the Catholic press has provided a wealth of information and insights to readers and to mainstream journalists. Like secular news outlets, Catholic media also face financial hardships created by the pandemic.

Kendra Clark, a Catholic convert from Mormonism, describes her journey...

47 min 54 sec ago
"I did know that if I continued to just look at the cross and pray to Jesus and kind of fundamentally get my feet back on the ground — and using the Holy Bible, and the Bible only for my references and my truth — that I would be led to where I was supposed to be," said Kendra Clark. She is interviewed by Deacon Geoff Bennett, the host of Respect Life Radio, who introduces her as "a wife, a mother of four and convert to the Catholic faith after spending 40 years in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints..."

Unraveling the complicated life of Norma McCorvey...

47 min 54 sec ago
“Her whole life was an attempt to tell her real story. That never really happened. I hope it can posthumously.” So laments Protestant minister Rob Schenck, a onetime pro-life leader with Operation Rescue and one of three pastors who co-officiated the 2017 funeral of Norma McCorvey, along with his former colleague Flip Benham, who baptized McCorvey in a swimming pool in 1995, and Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who received her into the Catholic Church in 1998.

Hong Kong Catholics are right to fear Beijing’s henchmen...

47 min 54 sec ago
It’s a strange quirk of history that the Diocese of Hong Kong is part of the Archdiocese of Guangzhou. That technically gives the archbishop of a diocese in the People’s Republic of China control over the diocese of the special administrative region where different legal rules apply.

Why the height of Mount Everest may change soon...

47 min 54 sec ago
A group of eight researchers from China finally summited Mount Everest on Wednesday, May 27. One of only two climbing teams on the mountain this year, they were there for a very specific purpose—to take the most accurate measurement to date of the world’s tallest point.

A guide to celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation outside the Easter Vigil...

47 min 54 sec ago
“Look, here is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?” So said the Ethiopian Eunuch traveling with Philip (Acts 8:36). In these times of the coronavirus (COVID-19), most dioceses in the United States did not celebrate the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. Some dioceses are celebrating them at the Extended Form of the Vigil of Pentecost. For others, however, the sacraments of initiation...

Head back to Mass prepared to unmask your heart and sanitize your soul...

47 min 54 sec ago
As states loosen restrictions on public gatherings and dioceses do the same for public Masses, Catholics will be returning to Sunday Mass, most of them after weeks of finding alternative ways to live the Lord’s Day. Their return should, by all accounts, be a cause of great joy: the liturgy, the source and summit of the faith, will once again stand at the center of their lives. On the other hand, Catholics will encounter enough safety restrictions that their liturgical encounter with Christ may not be as satisfying as it could be...

Coronavirus on the edge of a grimpen, where there is no secure foothold...

47 min 54 sec ago
The pandemic has suddenly thrown our affluent and seemingly secure and safe lives into a tailspin. In fact, the security and certainty was always an illusion, and in East Coker T.S. Eliot ponders life’s shifting uncertainty. The line that always catches my imagination is, “On the edge of a grimpen, where there is no secure foothold.” Eliot liked word games, and the very strangeness of the word “grimpen” served his purpose. The word is not in the dictionary. We may not know what a grimpen is, but we suspect it is the endless bog, the slough of despond, the windswept moor with hidden pits of tar, or the jungle swamp ambushed with quicksand.

“Unorthodox” and the modern myth of origins...

47 min 54 sec ago
Unorthodox, a mini-series that debuted on Netflix a few weeks ago, is the story of a young woman who escapes from her oppressive Hasidic community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and finds freedom with a group of welcoming friends in Berlin. I offer this description with tongue pretty firmly in cheek, because, though it represents a fairly accurate summary of the narrative, it also hints at the oversimplification that makes this admittedly compelling and well-acted drama more than a little problematic.

Vatican orders founder Enzo Bianchi to leave ecumenical Bose community...

47 min 54 sec ago
The Vatican has ordered the prominent Italian Catholic layman Enzo Bianchi to leave the monastery he founded in 1965. The Holy See made the ruling in a decree dated May 13, signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and approved by Pope Francis, following an apostolic visitation.

What role has prayer played in driving down COVID-19 deaths?

47 min 54 sec ago
What do you think? The graph shows a steady drop the day following Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi Eucharistic Blessing. Is it a coincidence? Is it the result of prayer? Surely the drop was also fostered by human activities such as staying at home, the shuttering of many businesses, and the cessation of certain activities. However, these mitigations were going on before the Pope’s blessing as well.

“The smallest Catholic church in 49 States” is in West Virginia...

47 min 54 sec ago
West Virginia is known by many for its stunning scenery immortalized in John Denver’s song “Country Roads.” But perhaps not many Catholics know that the southern state is home to what is considered “the smallest Catholic church of the 49 states.” Measuring 12 24 feet, the Lady of The Pines Catholic Church is found in Silver Lake, an unincorporated community in Preston County, West Virginia...

The incredible story of the U.S. Army’s earth-shaking, off-road land trains...

47 min 54 sec ago
You need to get 500 tons of supplies from Fairbanks, Alaska to the Arctic Ocean—a journey of about 400 miles through pure wilderness. There are no roads, very few airstrips, and endless ice. You're going to have to withstand minus 68 degree temperatures. Also, nuclear armageddon is on the menu if you're not quick about it.

Galileo, the Catholic Church, and the impact on science...

47 min 54 sec ago
Four hundred years after the trial, the mere mention of the name “Galileo” is often considered a powerful one-word refutation against the Catholic Church. Why? Because, according to the popular telling of the “Galileo Affair,” it was Galileo who: 1) proved heliocentrism, despite a Church that officially declared heliocentrism to be a heresy; 2) was tortured and martyred by the Church, and; 3) discovered that Scripture—and by extension, the Catholic Church—was a fraud.