Catholic Review’s most-read stories and blog posts of 2015


By Catholic Review Staff
What were the most-read stories and blog posts on CatholicReview.org in 2015?  Here are the top items posted in the last year:

Top local stories

#1

Monsignor Arthur  F. Valenzano, a man described by Archbishop William E. Lori as a priest of “tremendous pastoral love” who touched the lives of thousands of people throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore, died Sept. 5 after a lengthy battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
The 24th rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore was 66 and had undergone two bone marrow transplants, the first in 2006 and a second in 2013. 
Read the full story here.
 
 
#2
The ultrasound technician who gently swept a probe across my wife’s gel-covered belly spoke hardly a word as she collected flickering images of our wriggling 20-week-old unborn baby.
“The baby definitely doesn’t like fireworks,” I offered, recounting how just a few weeks earlier our little one had demonstrated his disdain for pyrotechnics by giving some forceful kicks during a Fourth of July show.
The technician remained quietly focused on the monitor, analyzing tiny hands and feet, measuring limbs and listening to the beating heart.
A few minutes went by. Then another two or three. Then maybe five more. The silence was excruciating.
“Have you had genetic testing?” the woman finally asked, not looking away from the screen.
“No,” I said, my heart sinking.
Read the full story here.

#3

In a final sendoff marked with heartfelt displays of raw emotion, hundreds of people from across the Archdiocese of Baltimore packed the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Sept. 10 to say goodbye to Monsignor Arthur F. Valenzano.

Read the full story here.

#4

Match made for heaven: From the handshake of peace to engagement at Holy Cross

By Erik Zygmont

Attention single guys: If that young woman you noticed in church seems to be sitting closer to you this week than last week, there is virtually no chance that it’s anything more than a benign coincidence aggravated by wishful thinking.

But there’s still a chance.
Ellen Pfister and Michael Gries met at the 5 p.m. Mass at Holy Cross in Federal Hill on Oct. 13, 2013. They are now engaged.

Read the full story here.

 
 

Top blog posts

#1
Where are they now?  Candace Dold

By Jennifer Williams

I wrote about Candace Dold a little more than 14 years ago. Then a 17-year-old senior at St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson and a parishioner of Our Lady of Grace in Parkton, Dold was running her own chapter of Happy Helpers for the Homeless. Each Sunday, she and fellow students would gather at her school where they would form an assembly line to prepare peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for individuals who are homeless. Then she and her crew of volunteers, including her mother, would gather at the corner of Fallsway and East Madison Street where they would serve the sandwiches and other food contributions. They also set out clothing on nearby picnic tables.

Read the full blog post here.

#2
Praise Jesus for Monsignor Valenzano

By George P. Matysek Jr.

When a doctor told Treasa and me two years ago that our unborn baby likely wouldn’t live for more than a day or two after his birth, one of the first people I called was Monsignor Arthur Valenzano.
I had written a cover story for the Catholic Review in 2007 about how the much-loved pastor, then stationed at St. John in Westminster, had successfully undergone a bone-marrow transplant in his fight with acute myeloid leukemia.
Throughout his ordeal, which included punishing rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the priest had maintained a remarkably positive outlook – always diverting attention from himself as he encouraged others.
My wife suggested that we look to Monsignor Valenzano for inspiration. If Treasa and I could emulate just a small portion of our friend’s boundless courage, humility and faith, we knew our cross would be more bearable.

Read the full blog post here.


#3

Remembering Mark Pacione: Part I: Stories from youth who were impacted during his local ministry 

By Patti Murphy Dohn

When Pope St. John Paul II died in 2005, there were countless calls for “Santo subito” (“Sainthood now”) as people from around the world were expressing what was on their minds in regard to the passing of this holy man and leader of the Church.
And though we are not hearing the words “Santo subito” this week, people from every corner of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and throughout the youth ministry world in the U.S. Catholic Church are indeed sharing what is on their minds….
We lost a holy man on December 29, an advocate for youth and for those who work with youth, and a true Christian role model for all who seek to be disciples of the Lord.
Read the full blog post here.

#4
The importance of a Catholic high school ring: Sharing memories and traditions with the John Carroll Class of 2016

By Patti Murphy Dohn 
 
At 7 p.m. tonight, they will gather with classmates and loved ones for one of the best traditions of their high school experience in Bel Air: the reception of their John Carroll ring.
This ring ceremony —and all the festivities that accompany it— is part of a time-honored tradition and legacy that has been passed down to every class since the very first class received their rings to identify them as members of the John Carroll Class of 1968.  

Read the full blog post here.

Top international stories
#1
A.D.: The Bible continues

By Catholic News Service

The opportunity to watch a biblical interpretation on the big or small screen can be a mixed blessing.
It’s certainly something of a novelty, given the current television culture, to see the story of Jesus’ earthly life – or its aftermath – unfold in a mass-media format. Yet audiences are at the mercy of the directors’ vision of the New Testament – and of its leading personalities.
Read the full story here.

By Sharyn McCowen
Special to the Catholic Review
When Cardinal Edwin O’Brien was named grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem in 2012, he found himself embroiled in a war a world away from the jungles of Vietnam where he ministered to dying troops as a young priest.
“The forces that are at work now are intent on eradicating the Christian civilization, nothing less, nothing less,” said the 76-year-old archbishop emeritus of Baltimore. “It’s genocide taking place.”

Read the full story here.

#3
Catholic-Lutheran document sums up agreements, maps steps to full unity

By Nancy Frazier O’Brien 
A new 120-page document marks the progress in Catholic-Lutheran relations over the past 50 years and maps the remaining steps needed to achieve full unity.

The “Declaration on the Way” was prepared by a joint task force of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Read the full story here.

 
 

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