There may be 21 other cardinals-designate in Rome this week, but it has been Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan’s city. Imagine what it would be like if he ever becomes bishop of Rome. As Mr. Sinatra sang, if he can make it in New York, he can make it anywhere.

From Rome to home: Being in the Eternal City didn’t stop the face and voice of the church in the U.S. from talking about the Department of Health and Human Services contraception and sterilization mandate, and the president’s Feb. 10 revisions to that mandate in the health care form law. Cardinal-designate Dolan told Catholic News Service Feb. 13: “What (Obama) offered was next to nothing. There’s no change, for instance, in these terribly restrictive mandates and this grossly restrictive definition of what constitutes a religious entity. The principle wasn’t touched at all.”

Oh, oftentimes we hear, “Our priest never talks about this stuff from the pulpit.” The exception can be found here. Fr. Sammie Maletta, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. John, Ind., definitely talked about “this stuff” when he preached at Masses last weekend:
From Rome to home II: John L. Allen Jr., author of “A People of Hope,” the most comprehensive book about Cardinal-designate Dolan, will speak in Milwaukee Feb. 28 at Mount Mary College and Feb. 29 at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. For information on the former, go to; for the latter go to

Daybreak: Saturday, April 28 is going to be quite a day in the Milwaukee area. In the morning, there’s the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Beds4Kids Walk at Mount Mary College. In the afternoon, there’s Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan celebrating the 4:30 Mass at Holy Hill, and in the evening Barry Manilow performs at the Milwaukee Theater. Put those two in the same venue at the same time and we could bill it as “The Prelate and the Pianist.”

Speaking of music, during last Sunday’s Grammy Awards, Tony Bennett, who kicked his own cocaine habit 30 years ago, made a pitch for the legalization of all drugs as he reflected on the death of Whitney Houston: “In Amsterdam they legalized drugs and it calmed everybody down. It stopped a lot of gangsters who sneak around and get people to take drugs. Everybody gets wounded that way. By legalizing it, you won’t have that problem.”
My response is here

Let’s not offend St. Valentine: Administrators at a Sheboygan public school didn’t allow a second-grader to distribute his homemade Valentines Tuesday because they contained a message that read, “Jesus loves you.” What? Did they think St. Valentine would have had a problem with such a message? Every time something like this happens, it just strengthens the case for fortifying Catholic schools and for expanding the School Choice program.

There’s still time: Twelve days remain in Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month.

Seasonally speaking: Lent begins this Wednesday. We need it; we really need it. Make it a great one. OK, make it a good one if great is too lofty of a goal.