Despite loss, NAC Martyrs lead division


Seminarians from the Pontifical North American College cheer from the stands during the Clericus Cup in Rome March 3. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).

ROME — The Pontifical North American College is still leading its division in the Clericus Cup soccer series even though it lost in a shootout over the weekend.

The NAC Martyrs played on Saturday against Santa Maria della Riconciliazione, which has a number of Latin American and U.S. players.

Organizers of the the seminarian soccer series reported that the game got off to a slow start, but that the NAC put on the pressure in the second half.

Several missed shots-on-goal by both sides in the second half left the score 0-0. According to the Clericus Cup’s modified rules, a tie after regular play is broken with a shootout rather than by continuing  play with overtime and the Santa Maria team won 3-2.

However, because of a previous big win against Redemptoris Mater and Santa Maria’s loss to St. Paul’s College, the NAC are number one in their division with four points.

How our video on tap-dancing seminarian came to be

By Robert Duncan
Catholic News Service

ROME — I briefly met David Rider two years ago in New York City while on retreat at the archdiocesan seminary. I was surprised to run into him on the streets of Rome last spring. He was wearing clerics and I gave him one of those “don’t-I-know-you-from-somewhere” finger wags. Since then, we’ve run into each other often, he going to and from class at the Pontifical Gregorian University and I all about the city with my camera, on the job.

I’m a lover of the old Fred Astaire movies and all the great show tunes of his day, so when I discovered that Rider had left theater to give his life to the priesthood, I asked him to talk about all that jazz on camera. I hope the video I’ve produced pays homage to both the quintessential American art form and to Rider’s vocation story.

Robert Duncan is a multimedia journalist in the Catholic News Service Rome bureau.

New clearinghouse for doctrinal congregation’s documents


Screen grab from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's new website

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has unveiled a new webpage listing the major public documents and decisions it has issued since 1966 plus key commentaries.

It has separate categories for doctrinal and disciplinary documents and documents dealing with sacramental questions.

It also lists important speeches and statements issued since 1983 by the last two prefects of the congregation: U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada and then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

The series of volumes “Documenti e Studi” will only be helpful to folks who can read Italian. It’s a list of volumes published by the Vatican publishing house of the congregation’s major documents and proceedings of various symposia the congregation has organized.

Some choice documents in the archives:

Pope Benedict’s ‘amazing’ energy, attentiveness

Our Rome bureau talked to Archbishop Jerome G. Hanus, who this month took part in his fifth “ad limina” trip to Rome. The visits are to report to the pope and other Vatican agencies on the status of their dioceses and to pray at the tombs of the apostles.

In the interview the archbishop talks about the differences between his “ad limina” visits with Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, but also calls “amazing” Pope Benedict’s energy with and attentiveness to the visiting bishops, especially since Pope Benedict is already older than his predecessor was when he died.

Our Rome bureau’s scoop of the day

Posted by the ever-observant bureau about 30 minutes ago:

Havana’s online welcome

Screen grab of

VATICAN CITY — “To the dislike and failure of the White House´s diplomatic pressures, Pope Benedict XVI will arrive to Cuba on March 26th,” reports the Cuban foreign ministry’s new website dedicated to the papal visit.

Internet penetration on the island is 14%, according to the International Telecommunications Union, so the site is presumably intended largely for foreign consumption. Here visitors can read the government line on the state of religious freedom in Cuba, among other topics.

For another perspective, the USCCB website has a page dedicated to the pope’s trip to Mexico and Cuba, featuring coverage by CNS.

New video highlights work of priests, in their own words

Our friends at Salt + Light Television, Canada’s premier Catholic media ministry, sent along this video they produced for Toronto’s annual “Ordinandi Dinner” for seminarians who will be ordained this year. (Here’s a story posted today by another longtime CNS friend, The Catholic Register in Toronto, on this week’s dinner.)

In the fast-paced video, about a dozen priests (they’ll come at you so quickly you’ll lose count) give their testimonies to what their priesthood means to them. It’s a celebration of ordained life. Take a look: