Author Archives | Michael Pytleski

About Michael Pytleski

Multimedia Communications Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, father of two boys, fitness obsessed, reads apologetics, philosophy and theology and could use a little more sleep.

New book on Catholic social teaching offered as free digital download from Pope Francis

July 28, 2016


“DoCat” is a follow-up to the popular YouCat (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church) from World Youth Day 2011.

The book which teaches the basics of Catholic social teaching is a gift from Pope Francis to all of the participants of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland and extended to those participating from afar.

When you download the DoCat app you may add the DoCat book content into the app without charge until the close of World Youth Day on July 31, 2016.

Here Pope Francis explains it:

And another video just for fun:


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Kitchy crèches revisited

December 22, 2015



A couple of kitchy crèches spontaneously appeared in our offices recently (something about a dare) and reminded me it’s been a while since this topic has been visited.

Here are the local offenders:


And the original blog I came across in 2011, whyismarko. He’s up to 62:

The 62 Worst and Weirdest Nativities (the 2015 revised list!)



From a very young age I have always loved Nativity scenes. I had my own as a child that featured small wood-carved painted figures that I set up and took down through Advents past. One can be found on display in my dining room year round and somewhere in storage is a classic crèche that has been in the family for years and is safely waiting for a slightly less rambunctious household in which to be displayed. Maybe next year.

The beauty of the Nativity story told in statuary was something that I didn’t think could be done wrong. And then I came across this blog…

27 worst nativity sets: the annual, growing list!

Truth be told, there is one in the collection that I kind of like (Hint – It’s not the one made of meat).


If you have pictures of beautiful crèches out there to offset these, please link them in the comments.

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The miracle of the liquified blood

March 23, 2015

1 Comment

It started quietly and with a degree of cautiousness but by the end of the weekend the internet was flowing with stories of the miracle in the presence of Pope Francis.

Some stories used quotes around ‘miracle’

From Brietbart: ‘Miracle’ Proclaimed as Saint’s Blood Liquefies in the Presence of Pope Francis

From the UK: Pope Francis ‘Miracle’ Sees Blood Of Patron Saint Januarius Half Liquify During Naples Visit

Some stories inexplicably claimed that the pope was being credited with a miracle

From Huffpo: Pope Francis Credited With Performing ‘Miracle’ As St. Gennaro’s Blood Liquifies

From The Guardian: Pope Francis’s half-miracle: why he’ll need more than that to become a saint 

Some Catholic sources

Catholic Online: For the first time in over 150 years — Blood of St. Januarius liquefies during Francis’ visit to Naples

The Catholic Spirit: Saint’s relic with miraculous tendencies does it again for Pope Francis


The Church has never formally pronounced one way or the other on the miracle but does allow for veneration of the relic.

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Tap dancing priests go viral

October 23, 2014


Here’s the video:

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Here’s the story:

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And here’s an interview with Father David Rider from CNS:

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Prayer discount at the diner

August 4, 2014


A woman and her co-workers prayed over a meal at a diner in North Carolina. When it was time for the check she found that she had received a “praying in public” discount. As any sane modern person would do, she posted the receipt on Facebook and it became a viral phenomenon.

Read more:

Local story from Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Story from The Blaze

NPR wonders if the practice is in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964


Screen shot of the Orlando radio station's Facebook post that shared the receipt.

Screen shot of the Orlando radio station’s Facebook post that shared the receipt.


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So what does this gold U-like symbol mean?

July 24, 2014


It’s taken over profile pics everywhere. What does it mean?


In the tradition of stealing pejorative words and symbols from the opposition it is now being used in solidarity with the Christians in Iraq who are being forced out of their homes.


Mark Shea over at Patheos has a short explanation: It Stands for “Nazarene”

There is also a story at National Review Online: A Christian Genocide Symbolized by One Letter

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The Papal Cup?

July 10, 2014



As people all over the internet are claiming to have predicted, the final of this year’s World Cup will be contested by the home countries of our two living popes. This is far too tempting to pass up!

Here is a sampling of what’s out there:

The World Cup becomes The Pope Cup  – Catholic News Service Blog

World Cup finals: It’s Pope versus Pope – CNN Belief Blog

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A house divided as Popes’ teams face off in World Cup championship

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Crashed Ice construction

February 7, 2014


The track is being constructed. Follow along with photos of the construction on The Catholic Spirit’s Facebook page. The Crashed Ice competition will take place February 22 at the Cathedral of St. Paul, National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.


Photo by Michael Pytleski / The Catholic Spirit

Photo by Michael Pytleski / The Catholic Spirit

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Matt Birk to sign copies of his new book at Saint Patrick’s Guild

January 28, 2014


BirkBookCoverA little over a year after Matt Birk and the Baltimore Ravens emerged victorious in the Super Bowl, Matt will be back home in the Twin Cities signing copies of his new book All-Pro Wisdom.

Birk, a former player for the Minnesota Vikings and graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul is a committed Catholic and active in the pro-life, pro-marriage and religious freedom movements.

When: 10:30 – Noon, February 8

Where: St. Patrick’s Guild
154 Randolph Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105


Read more

Matt Birk: NFL great, faithful Catholic and . . . author

Super Bowl champ speaks to men about defending faith

Faith on fire – Archdiocesan Youth Day draws 1,600

Video and Photos: Minnesotans rally for religious freedom

Pro athletes thankful for life lessons learned in CAA

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9 days, 4 high tech ways to pray to end abortion

January 17, 2014


9days-day1-color-ENGThis year, to mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the USCCB has made available four different ways to engage in a novena for life:

  • App for iPhone or Android
  • Daily text messages
  • Daily emails
  • Online novena page

To sign up for any or all of these, visit the 9daysforlife website.

The USCCB also has a People of Life Facebook page which includes a 9 Days for Life event page.


More about 9 Days for Life

9 Days for Life: Get your information here! Kathy Schneeman on what’s going on locally

A day to march for the unborn and a culture of life Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, Ky on the pro-life efforts of the Church nationally

Nine days of prayer part of Roe v. Wade anniversary General information from Catholic News Service

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