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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

January 1970 Archives

If I had a hammer…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…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 […]

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Homily for January 1, 2008: Mary, the Mother of God

posted by deacon greg kandra

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, […]

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From atheist to catechist

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

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 […]

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Attend the tale: thoughts on “Sweeney”

posted by deacon greg kandra

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 […]

Grave matter: the booming business of Trappist caskets

posted by deacon greg kandra

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 […]

Carol of the bells

posted by deacon greg kandra

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 […]

Homily for December 30, 2007: Feast of the Holy Family

posted by deacon greg kandra

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 […]

Merry Christmas

posted by deacon greg kandra

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

Homily for Christmas Midnight Mass

posted by deacon greg kandra

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 […]

A Christmas medley of melody

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

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!

Tony Blair = St. Paul?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I suspect we’ll be hearing more and more about Tony Blair’s conversion, as more experts and friends and enemies weigh in. Today’s nugget: from Ruth Gledhill, religion correspondent from the London Times, who spoke with one of the priests who […]

O, star of wonder…

posted by deacon greg kandra

People have been wondering about that star, the one that guided the magi, for 20 centuries, and now an astronomer at Notre Dame is giving it a shot: His quest: discovering just what “the star in the East” was that […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Bulldozer, a 5-month-old male giraffe calf, is fed by Santa Claus at the San Francisco Zoo, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007 in San Francisco. Photo: by George Nikitin, San Francisco Zoo, via AP

Man protests commercialism by crucifying Santa

posted by deacon greg kandra

Whenever I think I’ve seen everything, someone comes along to prove me wrong. Such is the case with this unbelievable display in Washington State: If you’ve stood in one line too many at the mall as you watched your bank […]

Ba-rum-pa-pum-pum

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I was wondering if anyone had posted this to YouTube, and sure enough, it’s there: one of the most unusual — and on re-viewing, charming — television duets from about 30 years ago. You can read the story behind it […]

It started at Downing Street…

posted by deacon greg kandra

More details are seeping out about Tony Blair’s conversion. This piece from the Guardian says that he actually began instruction before leaving his job as prime minister: Tony Blair began formal instructions to convert officially to Roman Catholicism four months […]

Stressed out about December 25th? Blame the pagans

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Most scholars agree that Christ probably wasn’t born on December 25th — and possibly not even in the winter. Now a historian has put forth an intriguing theory about the first December 25 Christmas: The church where the tradition of […]

It’s official: Tony Blair is Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

After months, if not years, of speculation, Tony Blair has crossed the Tiber. The report from the Times of London: The former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been received into the Roman Catholic Church. Mr Blair was received into full […]

Homily for December 23, 2007: Fourth Sunday of Advent

posted by deacon greg kandra

A popular poem that we hear this time of year talks about children nestled, snug in their beds, with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. This is a time for dreaming, and wishing. And not just among children. […]

“In God’s Name”: seeking Him and filming the quest

posted by deacon greg kandra

In early 2002, I got a phone call from CBS News executive producer Susan Zirinsky, asking me if I would be interested in helping her with a project she was trying to throw together in just a few weeks. I’ve […]

Huckabee’s curious Christianity

posted by deacon greg kandra

The only minister running for president may be running into a little religion trouble, even as his candidacy continues its astonishing rise in popularity. First, there’s this curious choice of venue, which reminds me of George Bush’s visit to Bob […]

Top 10 religion news stories of 2007

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This a time of year when we’re inundated with Top 10 lists, and religion is no exception. The Religion Newswriters Association has just published its list of Top Religion Stories of 2007: A poll of the nation’s leading religion writers […]

Official logo for papal trip unveiled

posted by deacon greg kandra

You can expect to see a lot of the image above in the next few months. It’s the official logo for the pope’s trip to the United States next spring. For more details, read this press release from the USCCB.

Everybody, sing!

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

You already know the melody, but here’s a little help if you don’t know the words. It’s a scream. H/T Diane over at The Word, where the WGA strike clearly has left her with too little to do…

It depends on how you define “indecent”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The priest who is accused of wandering around Colorado in The Altogether says he is altogether innocent: The Rev. Robert Whipkey, a Catholic priest accused of walking naked down a Frederick street in June, has pleaded not guilty to indecent […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

A Swiss Guard stands by a crib figurine during Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly general audience inside Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, December 19, 2007. Photo: by Filippo Monteforte/AFP, Getty Images

Is midnight mass becoming a thing of the past?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

In some places, Christmas midnight mass is becoming too dangerous — or too disruptive. Is a tradition about to disappear? This item from the UK outlines some of the problems parishes are facing: A growing number of Catholic churches are […]

San Francisco tunes in to Catholic radio

posted by deacon greg kandra

It sounds as if San Francisco just got an early Christmas gift: a Catholic radio station to herald the good news: At noon on Monday, December 10, Immaculate Heart Radio began broadcasting in San Francisco on 1260 AM. Though already […]

Deacon Dave’s “ministry of lights”

posted by deacon greg kandra

For a quarter century, a Catholic deacon in California has transformed his home into a cosmic light show for Christmas. Now, he’s at it again: It’s one thing to get the ladder out, drag the holiday light string up to […]

A pause for Pius

posted by deacon greg kandra

According to press reports, our German-born pope may be having second thoughts about sainthood for the pontiff who ruled during the Second World War: Moves to make wartime Pope Pius XII a saint have been delayed because Pope Benedict wants […]

Getting closer…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It’s “O” Antiphon time — and my cyberpal The Anchoress sent me this lovely link, with the antiphon for today. Enjoy.

The deacons of December: Tyler, Texas welcomes 35 this month

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A thoughtful reader sent along this article from a paper in East Texas, with the happy news that still more new deacons will be joining our ranks this month: Bishop Álvaro Corrada, SJ, will ordain 35 men to the permanent […]

When was the last time you saw mass on a magazine cover?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The good people at U.S. News and World Report have noticed a trend, and they’ve splashed it across their cover this week, just in time for Christmas. In a nutshell: the practice of traditional ritual is becoming more common among […]

“Disability is a gift”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a story worthy of Tiny Tim, during this season of affirmation and hope — a profile of a gifted Jesuit born with one arm, but seemingly limitless optimism: The life of the imagination has no physical boundaries and people […]

They clean up nicely, don’t they?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Below, a new shot of the Five Amigos, just ordained in San Bernardino: Congratulations, again!

Remembering Dan Fogelberg

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Sad news today that Dan Fogelberg has died of prostate cancer at 56. His song, “Same Old Lange Syne” for decades has been a perennial this time of year. But for me, his greatest legacy is “Longer,” which was the […]

Bishop Vasa: “I have a bias for action”

posted by deacon greg kandra

There are a lot of bishops floating around this country, and every now and then I stumble across one I haven’t heard of before: someone who is quietly but diligently tending his flock, in a far-flung corner that doesn’t get […]

Meanwhile, back at the carpentry shop…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

We’re accustomed to seeing Nativity scenes in stables and caves; sometimes, the scenes even unfold under the open sky. But the one going up at the Vatican this week sounds altogether different — and very fitting, actually, coming from a […]

Homily for December 16, 2007: Third Sunday of Advent, “Gaudete”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Back in the 1930s, one of the great producers in Hollywood was the legendary Samuel Goldwyn, of Metro Goldwyn Meyer, or MGM. He thought movies should be entertaining, not preachy or heavy-handed. He once said, “If you want to send […]

High five: San Bernardino ordains new deacons

posted by deacon greg kandra

A regular visitor to The Bench, Pete Bond, sent me this wonderful bit of news: Saturday, he and four other men will become the newest members of the diaconate family in California: As most of the faithful are aware, “Gaudete” […]

Missing from the pews, but not from the faith

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Anyone curioius about what Catholics really think of the Church — and why so many of them aren’t there for Sunday mass — should check out the Rhode Island Catholic for an interesting piece on Catholics who are absent, but […]

Faith and politics: “Things seem to be getting out of kilter”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Is any candidate good enough? These days, maybe not. Peggy Noonan has some thoughts this morning on the impact that Christian conservatives have had on American politics: The Republican race looks–at the moment–to be determined primarily by one thing, the […]

On Mary: “She adapted herself to the mentality of her audience”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Vatican has used yesterday’s feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to issue some thoughts on what it means to be a Catholic communicator. As a Catholic, and a communicator, I found this pretty interesting: Like Our Lady of Guadalupe, […]

“You don’t see the Stations of the Cross”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The other day, Rocco posted about St. Louis’s Fr. John Jay Hughes, whose homilies have become the stuff of legend. The good padre now has started posting them to a blog. One of my readers sifted through some of the […]

A Jesuit off-Broadway, and on the web

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Elsewhere, I’ve written about a particular FOB (friend of the blog), author and Jesuit celeb, James Martin. (He’s become quite the priest-about-town, even popping up on television to chat with MCPF Stephen Colbert. I expect to read about him in […]

Charlie Brown’s Christmas: happiness is a warm cartoon

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for one of the great Christmas classics of my generation, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” In the recent PBS documentary about Charles Schulz, he described the difficulties he had with CBS — […]

Maryland deacon charged with incest

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Grim news from the Archdiocese of Washington, where a deacon has been charged with sex abuse: Police have charged a Roman Catholic deacon with incest for allegedly abusing an underage female relative in the 1960s and 1970s. Dan Paul Stallings […]

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

posted by deacon greg kandra

Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical rose, intercede for the Church, protect the Holy Father, help all who invoke you in their necessities. Since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your […]

Nature’s balancing act: a pregnancy puzzle solved?

posted by deacon greg kandra

For all those who are, were, or ever will be pregnant, here’s some fascinating news: scientists (who evidently have too much time on their hands) have figured out why women who are preggers don’t fall over when they stand up: […]

Hushed Huckabee

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is what happens when you have a minister running for president. Mike Huckabee undoubtedly has what might be called a “pulpit trail” — but he won’t let anyone see it. This, from Mother Jones: Before beginning his political career, […]

Okay, but why is he skipping Brooklyn?

posted by deacon greg kandra

You may have heard the pope will be doing a little traveling next year. You may also have heard that he’s decided to skip one particularly large and troubled archdiocese. The graphic below explains why. H/T, and much laughter, to […]

Russert the Roman

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Washington Post’s Sally Quinn has been talking to various well-known public figures about their faith, and this week she’s chatting with NBC’s Tim Russert about politics, his upbringing, and Catholicism. Take a look at this link.

The Vatican’s new online bible commentary debuts

posted by deacon greg kandra

Every now and then something pops up online that is a real breakthrough — and a wonderful resource. This link is one of those: Biblia Clerus, a bible commentary set up by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy. As Catholic […]

To err is human. To correct, hilarious.

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Straying momentarily from the world of religion, I just thought this was too funny not to post: the best typos and media blunders of 2007. A sample: In an article in Monday’s newspaper, there may have been a misperception about […]

A gift of Providence: the dancing cop

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

You have to see this to believe it: a Providence, Rhode Island traffic cop who, every year, puts on a show right in the middle of the street. I’m told he comes out of retirement for the holidays just for […]

Nicole Kidman, Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

“The Golden Compass” has engendered more than its share of controversy. Now, after hearing a lot of complaints, the USCCB has withdrawn a favorable review written by two of its staff critics. But the film’s star, according to press reports, […]

Got milk?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just in time for Christmas: CNS has unearthed a fascinating story about the place outside Bethlehem where tradition holds that the Holy Family paused while on the way to Egypt: The rows of framed letters and baby pictures are testimony […]

Holy smoke

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A priest in Kansas has taken up a new cause: the right to smoke. That’s right. I’m not making this up. See for yourself: As each customer walked into Mort’s Cigar Bar in Old Town on Monday night, the Rev. […]

Aloha, Jesus!

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’ve been itching for something altogether different this Christmas, try this: instructions on how to make a Hawaiian-style Advent wreath, from the Hawaii Catholic Herald: Materials you’ll need: + Greenery from a Norfolk Pine, Ironwood, or other local evergreen, […]

For extra credit: can you name the seven sacraments?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I’m not sure why this bit of news shocks me — given the poor-to-God-awful state of catechesis here in the U.S., it’s par for the course — but it’s quite an eye-opener: A new study has uncovered a surprising lack […]

Holy drinking water? Taste and see

posted by deacon greg kandra

You know the craze for bottled water has reached its apex when even the Church is getting in on the act: Inspired, perhaps, by vitamin and energy waters, a number of new companies have begun making more explicit claims: their […]

University of Maryland Catholics brush up on their Latin

posted by deacon greg kandra

When I was a lowly undergraduate at the University of Maryland (class of ’81 — barely), I’d sometimes attend mass at the beautiful campus chapel. Frankly, I wasn’t a big mass-goer in those days, and tended to spend my Sunday […]

The steadfast faith of Iraq’s Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

As we know, these are dire times for Christians in Baghdad. But in this season of hope, hope does spring eternal. The AP reports: The worshippers were searched at the door and snipers stood guard on the roof, but Sunday’s […]

When in Rome: Marini writes about “The Challenging Reform”

posted by deacon greg kandra

We’ve been hearing a lot of talk lately about the “reform of the reform” — and now a leading liturgist at the Vatican has said, “Be careful about that”: In a new book, a Vatican archbishop has chronicled the birth […]

Sister act: nun reads curse words to students

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Like a lot of you out there, I was taught by nuns. But I never had one do something like this: Sister Kathy Avery won’t put up with swearing on the playground at her school, and she’s not above repeating […]

“Are you there, God? It’s me, Rudy”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Does Rudy Giuliani have a religion problem? This piece from Salon seems to say: yes. And it’s not an insignificant one: Late last spring, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence opened his mail to find […]

The three wise men’s next stop: Tucson

posted by deacon greg kandra

You’d think, after following that star from the East, the wise men would want to rest a while. But no. The journey of the magi isn’t over. They’re visiting Arizona this week, where fragments of the relics of the three […]

With six you get deacons

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Conveniently — and meaningfully — the Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts ordained new deacons yesterday, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell ordained six men as permanent deacons of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield […]

Worth a thousand words — or watts

posted by deacon greg kandra

A house in the beautiful borough of Brooklyn, with a few tasteful holiday decorations. Featured on HGTV’s special “What’s With That Decked Out Christmas House?” Image: from HGTV

On Our Lady of Guadalupe: “The child in me has a sense of wonder”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is a time rich with Marian feasts, beginning with today (the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) and ending with January 1 (Mary the Mother of God.) In the middle, of course, come two great feasts that prominently feature Mary […]

Homily for December 9, 2007: Second Sunday of Advent

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last Sunday, on “60 Minutes,” there was an alarming report about the plight of Christians in Iraq. They interviewed the Anglican vicar for Baghdad, who said it has never been a worse time to be a Christian there. Most, he […]

About those three kings…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those original gift-givers of Christmas — the magi — are back in the news. If you’re wondering just who those “wise men from the East” might have been, the Religion News Service has done a little digging: They came. They […]

Prayer on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

posted by deacon greg kandra

Let us pray,[on this feast of Mary,who experienced the perfection of God’s saving power.]Father,the image of the Virgin is found in the Church.Mary had a faith that your Spirit preparedand a love that never knew sin,for you kept her sinlessfrom […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

An unidentified mourner at a Creighton University memorial service for the victims of the Omaha mall massacre. Photo: by Michael McNamara,Lincoln Journal Star/Reuters

“Adopt-A-Priest” for Eucharistic adoration and vocations

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Vatican is poised to make a big push for Eucharistic adoration — and John Allen has the very creative details: As part of a broad initiative to promote Eucharistic adoration, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy is proposing that religious […]

Best high school graduation story. Ever.

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A pal sent this my way this morning: it’s a wonderful story about the last graduate of a Texas high school that closed its doors in 2006. Grab a box of Kleenex and watch.

Noonan on Romney

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the modern era’s great speechwriters has given an assessment of Mitt Romney’s “religion speech” yesterday: His text was warmly cool. It covered a lot of ground briskly, in less than 25 minutes. His approach was calm, logical, with […]

Homily for December 8, 2007: Feast of the Immaculate Conception

posted by deacon greg kandra

His name was Charles Sheldon – and he is one of the most influential preachers in American history. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of him. Until I started looking into this, I hadn’t heard of him either. In […]

Jolly old St. Nicholas

posted by deacon greg kandra

Since today is the feast of the legendary saint who is, in fact, Santa Claus, I thought you’d like to see how he is represented at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. The tapestries that […]

Is anti-Catholicism the new anti-Semitism?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some thoughtful people are beginning to argue that it is — and it’s not hard to see their point, when you scan the list of popular movies and books. Author Phillip Jenkins has even argued it is “the last acceptable […]

Advent and Hanukkah: sharing the light

posted by deacon greg kandra

‘Tis the season for light. And both Jews and Christians have made the lighting of candles this time of year a celebration of God’s continued love for the world He created. In Wisconsin this week, there was a stirring reminder […]

Why Romney is no JFK

posted by deacon greg kandra

While the media watches and wonders what Mitt Romney will have to say tomorrow in his “religion speech”, at least one person is taking the time and trouble to remind us that there are significant political and theological differences between […]

Flip this archdiocese

posted by deacon greg kandra

You can’t surf cable TV anymore without finding a show about “house flipping” — turning over some piece of property for tidy profit. Now a version of this seems to be playing out in Boston, where the former cardinal’s residence […]

Getting a Handel on Advent

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Last Sunday, the choir at my parish offered us a little Handel for Advent: “And the Glory of the Lord,” sung during the offertory. It was a wonderful rendition, beautifully performed — and, I think, a joyous foretaste of Christmas. […]

Hannah Storm: “God has created me to do Him some definite service”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a blog post from a television news anchor that is simply a Catholic prayer. It comes from my CBS colleague, Hannah Storm, who is about to depart as co-anchor of CBS’s The Early […]

A Muslim in Iraq: “Tell me more about Jesus”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Every now and then, a conversion story hits you so hard you just stop and go “Whoa.” That pretty much sums up my reaction to this remarkable item from the Catholic News Agency. A stringer went over to Iraq and […]

The wonder of Wesley: an ecumenical evening in Rome

posted by deacon greg kandra

I suspect that my Methodist-born mother would have been tickled by this bit of news from, of all places, Rome: Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists filled Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls with some of the most famous hymns […]

When heaven calls

posted by deacon greg kandra

If — like countless Catholics — you have your sock drawer stuffed with torn and crumpled Holy Cards, have no fear. Modern technology is creating a new kind of card, for a new kind of Catholic. You can now get […]

Women priests: “We don’t feel we have to defend ourselves”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Two women who were “ordained” last month had their first “mass” last weekend. The Kansas City Star has details: Rose Marie Hudson and Elsie McGrath were ordained Nov. 11 by a bishop of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests group, in defiance […]

Our Lady of Guadalupe wins over a new following

posted by deacon greg kandra

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe doesn’t happen until next week (December 12), but the Los Angeles Times has laid the groundwork with an interesting piece on how this particular vision of Our Lady is now being seen and […]

“I’ll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In Great Britain, they’ve found a novel way to use 21st century technology in the service of a 1st century message: ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ is likely to become the most favoured carol in Catholic parishes up and down […]

A deacon’s son — and seminarian

posted by deacon greg kandra

What’s it like to be a seminarian today? This piece from a paper in Salt Lake City profiles one seminarian — who, it turns out, is the son of a deacon: “Whether you’re new or almost finished with your seminary […]

Grieving for Sean Taylor: “The whole earth just shook here”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The death of Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins was a shock to fans and friends — and to the other players on the team. How do you cope with a loss like that? The Washington Post spoke with the […]

The Church’s “spiritual response” to HIV

posted by deacon greg kandra

I remember the reports that circulated after the death of New York’s John Cardinal O’Connor: though few people knew about it, he had spent many nights at a local AIDS ward, anonymously, bathing the sick and emptying their bedpans. No […]

Flashback: Kennedy’s “religion speech” of 1960

posted by deacon greg kandra

Amid reports that Mitt Romney is poised to give his own “religion speech” — perhaps trying to dispel any lingering misgivings about his Mormon faith — The Boston Globe has just reprinted John F. Kennedy’s own “religion speech” from 1960. […]

Advent calendars? Online?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Who knew? When I was a kid, we had them in the classroom: flimsy cardboard things that were tacked to the bulletin board, and you could fold over the doors and count down the days to Christmas. But that’s so […]

Seattle slew: 21 deacons ordained in Washington

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A reader sent this along late Sunday: a fresh dollop of deacons (21 of ’em) in Seattle, ordained just before Thanksgiving. Is that something to be thankful for, or what? Here’s more: Some are converts. Others are “cradle Catholics.” Their […]

Light that candle

posted by deacon greg kandra

Increasingly, Advent is being overshadowed by the holiday hype and hubbub of Christmas. But a thoughtful piece in the Los Angeles Times — yes, the LA Times — tries to put this special season in perspective: Christmas certainly is a […]

Hostage suspect at Clinton HQ claimed sex abuse by priest

posted by deacon greg kandra

The story, when it unfolded Friday, was bizarre. Now, it’s become something else — something sad, and more than a little bit shocking: The suspect arrested for allegedly holding hostages at Sen. Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire presidential campaign headquarters claimed […]

Lost in translation: the real meaning of the “Gospel of Judas”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Remember the Gospel of Judas? Well, an op-ed piece in the New York Times this morning says, in effect: forget it. The translators, it seems, played fast and loose with the material: Amid much publicity last year, the National Geographic […]

Los Angeles installs first lay parish administrator

posted by deacon greg kandra

California, birthplace of trends, may have just given birth to another: the first layman has been appointed in Los Angeles to act as a pastoral administrator at a parish: Like many in his religion, Humberto Ramos prayed regularly for God’s […]

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

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