Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith

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Three-city Papal Lovefest: a recap

Pope loves NY

Click below to hear the episode:


jenniferpope and kevinFred McKay

Estella and MariaRoderigo MongeKarenBrigittepolesitterpope_fiatVictoria

welcomeDonna and AnnO familyCarita Paul Julia PJ Geibjackjack's family

Weldedpraying pilgrimbuffalo wingsJulia and Logan

Maevelive teecourage tee

From top left: In DC: Documentarian Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory whose video can be found at; Channel 3 reporter Kevin Hogan and friend; Rev. Fred McKay in Union Station; in NYC: Estela B. Astacio, who got a hug from Francis, and Maria Beltran, who got a selfie (see below) and a handshake; Roderigo Monge, who did a papal station i.d. for me; and NYU student Karen Monge (no relation as far as they know); German Lutheran Brigitte; modern-day Zacchaeus saying rosary on light pole; Pope Francis waving from the now-famous Fiat; on Amtrak train to Philly: Maureen Morello; Victoria Cessna brought late father’s rosary to St. Pat’s; sign outside Philly bistro trying to tempt Pope with soup; Donna Otto and Ann Hodge, of New Jersey; the Olejniczaks, from Detroit; Carita, Paul, Julia and PJ Geib, from Philly; Jack and parents, who brought up the gifts at a Mass; security measures included welded-shut manhole covers; pious woman to my right during Mass we attended via Jumbotron; buffalo-hot-wing-eating college students to my left; cousins Julia and, from Florida, Logan; Villanova student Maeve Cavanaugh; t-shirt advice

Maria B's selfie

Special thanks to David H. Goldenberg, dean of the University of Hartford’s Hillyer College for generous support of my trip, as well as to Prof. Anthony Rauche, head of the Hillyer Humanities Dept.

Thanks, too, to Leith Johnson for logistical, technical and moral support, as well as for preparing comfort food for me to come home to.

Thanks to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, for media credentials. They will hang on our Christmas tree for years to come.

photo 1photo 2photo 3photo 4Pope Francis is seen on a downtown Jumbotron as he arrives in Philadelphia

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Birds of a feather: Audubon CT bird conservation director lauds Francis’ encyclical on the environment

Patrick Comins picHE’S FOR THE BIRDS! — Patrick Comins, director of bird conservation for Audubon CT, shown here playing plover calls at the WESU-FM studio, directs our eyes upward in a free-ranging chat about birds near and far and lets us know about the New Haven Migration Festival and Northeast Waterfowl Festival this weekend, Sept. 19 and 20. Find details here:

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The Making of a Modern Pope: Passionist Father John Baptist Pesce traces Francis’ evolution

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Fr John 2  As we wrap up our third year of “Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith,” and with Pope Francis soon to be packing his bags for his USA trip, Passionist Father John Baptist Pesce, a faithful supporter of RC:KF since its launch, reads from his latest research.

In a retreat talk based on months of study and delivered here for the first time, Father John delves beyond the cult of personality around Pope Francis, tracing the successes and failures that turned a quite conservative Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio into the progressive-minded, open-hearted Pope who has captured the world’s attention.