Blog

A glimpse into Archbishop O’Brien’s playful side

The archbishop has a well-earned reputation as a serious-minded and devoted leader who gives everything he has in service of a Church he loves. Yet, there's another side to him - a playful side that endears him those who know him.
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All together now: ‘I love my cross, I love my beads’

A song from the “Manual of Select Catholic Hymns and Devotions.” (CR Staff/George P. Matysek Jr.) They just don’t write hymns like the ones I recently stumbled across in an old Catholic songbook at the recently closed St. Michael Church, Fells Point. Published in 1925, the yellowed and crumbling “Manual of Select Catholic Hymns and...
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Our Lady of the Butterflies

An image of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child is made out of African butterfly wings. (CR Staff/George P. Matysek Jr.) One of the great joys of my recent pilgrimage to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland was meeting Father Anastasio Roggero. The Carmelite priest, who shepherds the Church of Our Lady Victorious...
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Letters that made a difference

Father Milton Hipsley holds his rosary at his Mercy Ridge residence in Timonium last year. (CR/Owen Sweeney III) Father Milton Hipsley's letters started arriving on my desk in the summer of 2009. Very neatly written in all capital letters, the notes always seemed focused on the importance of kindness and of taking time for
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‘The greatest temptation of my life’

Dominican Father Carleton Parker Jones (CR/Owen Sweeney III) Dominican Father Carleton Parker Jones calls it the “greatest temptation” of his life. It happened 21 years ago in the library of the Anglican Centre in Rome, where Father Jones was completing research for his doctoral dissertation on Blessed John Henry Newman. Blessed Newman, an Anglican priest...
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Calling St. Polycarp

When Marilyn Szewczyk was about to launch a network of pro-life pregnancy centers in Maryland, she turned to St. Polycarp for help. Reasoning that the obscure early Christian martyr didn’t have many people asking for his intercession, Szewczyk figured she’d have easy access to his ear. Lynn Anne Sukeena, one of Szewczyk’s daughters, told me...
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Cardinal Keeler and the Psychic Reader

 Cardinal William H. Keeler, master of the one-liner, meets with George P. Matysek Jr. (CR Staff/Owen Sweeney III)During a March 2 testimonial at a special celebration of Cardinal William H. Keeler's upcoming 80th birthday, Richard Berndt told a story that demonstrated why friends know the retired archbishop as a master of
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Pep Perrella got inclusion before it had a name

Pep Perrella is buoyed by Catholic schoolkids he feeds. Was on the phone with my daughter Kate last weekend, and told her that Pep Perella was ailing. “Do you remember Pep?” I asked. “How could I forget his chicken parmigiana?” she said, 3,000 miles and 12 years from the last time she had one of...
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Mystery of George Washington’s missing (and recovered) letter to Catholics

Part of a 1790 letter to Catholics written by President George Washington is shown in this photograph. The letter is housed in the archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. (Courtesy Archdiocese of Baltimore) In honor of President’s Day, tomorrow’s issue of The Catholic Review will feature an article on a very valuable letter housed in...
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Sargent Shriver: Cardinal Gibbons’ godson remembered

Sargent Shriver is shown in a Life photograph. The former vice presidential candidate was the godson of Baltimore Cardinal James Gibbons. This week’s cover story in The Catholic Review spotlights a mother and daughter who are planning to jump into the icy Chesapeake Bay at the end of the month to raise money for the Special Olympics. Was...
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Remembering a Baltimore culinary classic

  The pending closure of Obrycki’s in Fells Point, a legendary crab house and Baltimore institution, reminds me of the loss of another Baltimore culinary landmark: Haussner’s in Highlandtown. The quirky German restaurant, famous for its endless menu and extensive art collection, closed its doors more than a decade ago. Located within walking distance of several Catholic...
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Reporter’s notebook: Martin Sheen says Gospel values needed now more than ever

The congregation that packed St. Peter Claver Church for Philip Berrigan's funeral Dec. 9 was slowly making its way onto ice-covered streets of West Baltimore when I spotted the president of the United States standing outside the 114-year-old brick building.
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