St. Louis Gets New Auxiliary Bishop - former Msgr. Ed Rice!

I would like to extend a very heartfelt congratulations to now-Bishop-designate Edward M. Rice, who will be ordained as the new Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis on January 13!

Bishop-designate Rice is a very cheerful, fun, and friendly priest who is faithful, prayerful, and loving of all the people entrusted to his spiritual/pastoral leadership. I have had the honor of working with him from time to time as he has helped at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and in his role as the Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and I'm glad that I'll be able to work with him as the soon-to-be Auxiliary Bishop!

Here's a photo I shot of him for a Vocational Discernment pamphlet last year (it's on Flickr - click to view larger sizes):

Priest at Prayer

Youth Ministry – Segregating Youth from the Rest of the Church?

Derrick Flannigan, a good friend and relatively new blogger, has posted a link to a trailer for Segregation, a movie discussing youth ministry in Protestant Churches in the U.S. The gist of the movie is that by segregating youth from other parts of the church, individual churches are unable to retain young people after they enter college.

This is a trend that I have seen happen in many a young person's life... and these days, without proper catechesis of the youth (many don't even know basic tenets of the faith—Protestant or Catholic), many leave the Church and never look back. Even after they become older/wiser.

From Derrick's post:

According to the NCFIC, "65% and 85% of Christian youth leave the church when they enter college" ( Such numbers are shocking, to say the least! I would only hope that the Catholic Church could boast of having fewer numbers.

Archbishop Carlson proposes a solution to the St. Stanislaus situation

From the St. Louis Review's story, Archbishop Carlson makes an offer to the parishioners of St. Stanislaus:

In order to help get the parish re-established, I have committed that the archdiocese would provide the pastor for the first year of the reestablished parish without cost to the parish and would contribute up to $10,000 to pay the cost of the consultant for a fund drive to secure the finances of the parish corporation and the St. Stanislaus Corporation for the future.

This proposal has my full support and I will do everything in my power to make St. Stanislaus succeed as a personal parish for Catholics of Polish heritage.

I ask that you please join me in praying that reconciliation can be brought about and, with the help of God, healing will take place.

Just as with Archbishop Burke before, Archbishop Carlson seems to be willing to go to very great lengths to ensure the Catholicity of this once great parish—let us pray that this situation gets resolved sooner rather than later!

HUGE Photos of Saint Peter's Basilica

Two images taken on Saturday at Saint Peter's Basilica - both were stitched together using two images from my Canon PowerShot G11 in Photoshop. Click on the picture link to view the photo page on Flickr, or click the download link below the picture to see the HUGE picture file!

The first shot shows the interior of the main transept of Saint Peter's Basilica, with the main dome, the altar, and the beautiful and organic baldaccino designed by Bernini:

Panorama - Saint Peter's Basilica Transept
Download this photo (HUGE)

The second photo shows the exterior of the basilica, along with the obelisk and much of Saint Peter's Square:

Saint Paul Outside the Walls

Saint Paul outside the walls. More pictures to come - I've now toured all the four major basilicas of the Church, but am quite tired. Pictures will be posted as soon as I'm able to get to them :-)

Saint Paul Outside the Walls - Palm Tree at Dusk

Picture taken at dusk, with the Canon Powershot G11 at ISO 80. Stabilized against a wooden post.

Needed in America - Respect for God

Sign Prohibiting Shorts and Casual Wear in Basilica Church
If you're not wearing respectful clothes, please don't enter.

"Si prega di usare un abbigliamento adeguato alla casa di Dio. Pertanto si invita a non entrare in pantaloni corti, in minigonna, in canottiera, con la schiena scoperta o con abbigliamento troppo scollato. Grazie!"

Roughly translated: "Please use appropriate clothing to the house of God. Please don't enter wearing shorts, mini-skirts, in a singlet, or with backless or low-cut clothing. Thank you!"

Jeff's tranlsation: Wear modest and respectful clothes, for goodness' sake! God is here!

New Article Posted - Taking Pictures During Liturgies

Offeratory Procession for Graduation Mass

I posted a new article today concerning photography during liturgies such as Mass, Confirmation, a Wedding, etc. In it, I describe five basic things anyone taking pictures at a liturgy should do:

  1. Turn off your flash.
  2. Don't move around all over the place.
  3. Turn off the camera's sound.
  4. Turn off the 'focus assist' light.
  5. Turn off the camera's LCD.

But most of all, a person wishing to take pictures during a liturgy should remember this golden rule: Thou Shalt Respect, and Not Distract, when Taking Pictures During Liturgies!

Read the article in its entirety here.

"God and the Internet"

Today I found that my blog was mentioned in First Things, a journal of religion, culture and public life, and it seems that there has been a small spike in visitors over the past week. Some parts of the article "God and the Internet" (by Jonathan V. Last) struck me as profound, and I thought I'd share a few thoughts on them.

Last speaks of how Steve Waldman, the founder of online religious supersite Beliefnet says that "distancing of the self from the religious act can be helpful" (speaking of a new form of 'interactive, online faith'). Waldman relates the new exploration of potentially embarrasing religious matters in the privacy of one's home on the Internet to the "same phenomenon that has led to pornography spreading." Last then asks: