• 16th Century Boxwood Carvings Are So Miniature Researchers Used X-Ray To Solve Their Mystery

    These 500-year-old boxwood miniatures from the 16th century are tiny religious carvings created in Flanders (Netherlands) that require researchers to view them using micro-CT scanning, Advanced 3D analysis Software, and even X-rays. Market demand for profitable religious 16th-century carvings... Read more
  • Archbishop dons hard-hat to hold first Mass in Notre Dame since devastating fire

    The archbishop wore a hard-hat helmet, burnt wood debris was still visible and only about 30 people were let inside, but Notre Dame Cathedral on Saturday held its first Mass since the devastating April 15th fire that ravaged its roof and toppled its masterpiece spire. Exactly two months after... Read more
  • Rebuilding Notre-Dame will pit Church against state – again

    The Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, is renowned for his calm demeanor and easy-going manner. That made it all the more significant when, during a recent radio interview following President Emmanuel Macron’s address to the nation about the burning of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Aupetit expressed... Read more
  • Walking Where Jesus Walked: ‘Holy Stairs’ Reopen to Pilgrims

    ROME — For the first time in almost three centuries, the stairs that Jesus is said to have climbed to receive his death sentence from Pontius Pilate are accessible to pilgrims in their original version. Since 1723, at the request of Pope Innocent XIII, the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairway) was... Read more
  • The angels are weeping over the ravages of Notre Dame

    Architecturally, the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris spanned the age of endurance to the era of transcendence. Begun in 1163 when the sturdy Romanesque style demanded chunky columns and low slung arches, it flowered into the Gothic eventually soaring 115 feet off the ground. This new... Read more
  • Crowd of 1,200 Gets Rare Glimpse of Underwater Crucifix in Lake Michigan

    It was cold on Saturday morning, March 9 in Petoskey, Michigan – it's been a cold winter, to be sure – but that didn't stop an estimated 1,200 of the faithful and the curious from venturing out onto the frozen ice of Lake Michigan, then trekking 800 feet from shore to peer through a hole in... Read more
  • The Beauty and Power of the O Antiphons

    O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel! This favored Christmas carol is no carol at all. It’s a hymn for the season of Advent — the liturgical season that... Read more
  • I was an Atheist until I Read Lord of the Rings

    I grew up in a loving, comfortable atheist household of professional scientists. My dad was a lapsed Catholic, and my mom was a lapsed Lutheran. From the time that I could think rationally on the subject, I did not believe in God. God was an imaginary being for which there was no proof. At best,... Read more
  • Aretha Franklin started with gospel, ended with soul at age 76

    Aretha Franklin, a singer who began her career with gospel music and was later crowned the “Queen of Soul,” died Thursday (Aug. 16) after battling a range of health issues. She was 76. Often simply called “Aretha,” Franklin got her start in the Detroit church of her pastor father,... Read more
  • Iraqi iconographer honors his Syriac roots

    [caption id="attachment_101982" align="alignnone" width="640"] Mothana Butres of Zahle, Lebanon, works on an icon in this undated photo. (CNS photo/courtesy of Mothana Butres) See SHRINE-ICON-BUTRES June 19, 2018.[/caption] BEIRUT — When Islamic State fighters overran Qaraqosh, Iraq, in the... Read more