7 Inspiring Bits: Younger priests, age-defying feats + LeVar Burton’s happy tears

1. Jesus prays for us with his wounds – 

In his daily homily Tuesday, Pope Francis asked, “How does Jesus pray? I don’t believe he talks too much with the Father. He doesn’t talk: He loves.

“There is one thing that Jesus does today, I’m certain he does this. He shows his wounds to the Father and Jesus, with his wounds, prays for us.”


2. Pope Francis encourages Catholic charismatics – One of the most beautiful video clips I’ve seen of Pope Francis is his singing and praying along to “Vive Jesus, El Señor” (Jesus the Lord Lives) with members of the Catholic charismatic renewal movement this past weekend. Watch here. As regular readers know, I belong to a parish that is characteristically charismatic (though I wouldn’t describe myself that way), so it was exciting to watch the Holy Father’s enthusiastic disposition during the gathering.

Pope Francis at Catholic charismatic gathering

The gathering also included time for the 50,000 attendees to pray over Pope Francis, many with the gift of tongues:


3. Tim Duncan – At 38 years old, he is leading his team to the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year. He tied this year for 12th most popular jersey in the league’s sales. In other words, he’s not a ‘big shot superstar’; he’s just playing unselfish, fundamentally-sound basketball with ardent determination.

But at 38, why not retire from pro basketball? “He ain’t goin’ nowhere,” former teammate and friend Robert Horry insists. “He’s still a top-five center in this league.”


 4. Thousands of donors raise millions to re-launch Reading Rainbow; LeVar Burton sheds tears of joy. You’ve all probably heard about the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter that, at present, has raised $3,417,506 to bring back Reading Rainbow and make it accessible for children everywhere and free to thousands of classrooms.

I cried when I watched LeVar Burton’s reaction to their reaching $1,000,000 on the first day of the campaign.


5. San Martin de Porres parish in Laredo, TX has a great websitehttp://sanmartincatholicchurch.org/

Y’all know I love me a great parish website. But why am I so excited about seeing SMdP’s site in particular? The City of Laredo’s median household income is only $36,624. Everyone deserves a high-quality parish website, and I’m glad to see it happening in Laredo.

 6. The Roman Catholic Ordination Class of 2014 report tells us that our priests in the United States are getting younger: Eight in ten are between 25 and 39. We’re also seeing a decrease in the number of foreign-born new priests. See some of our new priests’ faces and get to know them here.

Some of my favorites:

Q: People might be surprised to know…

A: “I am a rocket scientist.” – Fr. Dan Folwaczny, Chicago

A: “I was a gang member before encountering Jesus.” – Fr. David Dufresne, Arlington

A: “I was a professional tap dancer before becoming a priest.” – Fr. David Rider, New York

7. Which reminds me…


The late, great Howard Sims passed away 11 years ago, May 30. If you’ve never heard of him, do yourself a favor.


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