The Deacon's Bench
December 2007 Archives

…I’d fit right in at the Vatican’s nativity scene. A couple weeks ago, I posted an item about the nativity scene going up in St. Peter’s Square, and noted that it would be very different, because it would be set […]

Years ago, my wife and I decided, just once, to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square. We weren’t brave enough to stand outside in the cold with noisemakers and funny hats. Instead, we got a package at the Marriott, […]

How does someone who believes in nothing come to believe in God? Down in Virginia, the Arlington Herald recently published the remarkable story of how a young woman who had turned her back on God found her way to the […]

After months of waiting and wondering, last night I finally got to see the movie version of “Sweeney Todd.” I’d seen the stage production years ago, with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn, and knew to expect something different with Johnny […]

They are beautifully crafted, exquisitely designed — and people are dying to have them. They are Trappist caskets. And according to this item from CNS, business is booming: For the craftsmen and artisans at New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, a […]

This is a season for the ringing of bells — but for a group of Catholics in St. Petersburg, Florida, the peal will soon have a different appeal. They’ll be ringing bells for the pope: To most Catholics, having an […]

I’m struck every year by the timing of this feast, celebrating the Holy Family. It comes on the first Sunday following Christmas, and at a time when I think most of us – after the parties and cooking and visiting […]

Evan Austin, 4 years old and a patient at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, S.D., showed his excitement in learning that Santa Claus knew where to find him. Photo: from Associated Press

Like a lot of people of a certain age, I remember well the first time I heard this gospel proclaimed – and it wasn’t in church. It was in my parent’s den, in Rockville, Maryland, watching an 18-inch Philco black […]

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for this particular singer — so here’s an early Christmas gift, from Your Humble Deacon to you. Merry Christmas!