Advertisement

The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

January 1970 Archives

Are you validly baptized? Married? Better check

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Vatican has just issued some guidelines and a clarifying statement on the sacrament of baptism and its validity that may throw some people into a tizzy — and maybe make a few lose sleep: Doctrinal and ecumenical officials at […]

Advertisement

Ladies and gentlemen: Benny Bear — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope’s upcoming trip now has an official souvenir. From a sidebar in USA Today: The first officially announced souvenir for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit is a tiny T-shirt for a teddy bear, says Archdiocese of Washington spokeswoman Susan Gibbs. […]

Advertisement

Catholic League: a “bigot” is backing McCain

posted by deacon greg kandra

Presumptive GOP nominee John McCain got slammed the other day for accepting the endorsement of someone who’s not exactly friendly toward the Catholic Church: The president of the Catholic League blasted John McCain on Thursday for accepting the endorsement of […]

Advertisement

“I’m forever hopeful and I believe in what I preach”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Need an upper today? This piece from a paper in Pittsburgh just might do the trick: He’s known from Pittsburgh to Guam, offering a message redeemable by all ages. His caring and compassion have comforted as many as 15,000 in […]

Goodbye, Lucky

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I have, of late, been in a rather funereal state of mind. It hurts to lose a friend. But when someone showed me the clip below — unaware of just what’s been going on in my life lately — I […]

Deacon Jim Hynes, 1958-2008

posted by deacon greg kandra

Not long ago, I posted about Deacon Jim, classmate and brother deacon and friend, who was diagnosed with cancer. Last night, Jim’s journey came to an end. Lord, who shall be admitted to your tentand dwell on your holy mountain? […]

What creates ex-Catholics? — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That’s the serious, but provocative, question Rod Dreher posed in his blog this morning, springboarding off yesterday’s report from the Pew Forum: Why do you think people leave the Catholic Church? We tend to accept the explanation that suits what […]

“No believer should die alone and abandoned”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict met with members of an international gathering of doctors and medical personnel and used the occasion to reaffirm the Church’s teachings on euthanasia: The Holy Father received participants in an international congress entitled: “Close by the Incurable Sick […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

A police dog wearing foot protection is seen in a photo provided by police in Duesseldorf, western Germany, on Monday Feb. 25, 2008. Police dogs in Duesseldorf will no longer get their feet dirty on patrol: The entire dog unit, […]

Concern grows over priests using homilies off the Internet

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Well, this piece of news left me shocked, simply shocked, from CNS: A prominent Polish priest said young priests are using the Internet to plagiarize homilies for Masses. “If a priest takes another person’s text and presents it as his […]

Losing our religion

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some news today on religion in America — and it’s not all good. Americans are, on the whole, faith-filled people. But their loyalties are in flux: The U.S. religious marketplace is extremely volatile, with nearly half of American adults leaving […]

“Falling Slowly”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

In case you missed it, here’s the lovely song that won the Oscar, “Falling Slowly,” from the movie “Once.” The performance here is from “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Take this sinking boat and point it home,We’ve still got […]

Coming soon: a diocese with only 65 priests?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Grim news from the American northeast, where the number of priests continues its decline, and where dioceses are taking some radical but necessary steps. This, from the Sun Journal paper in Maine: The number of Catholic priests in the city […]

Looking for a few good men

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a little something to lift your heart on a Sunday, a story about a huge gathering of men in Milwaukee, all eager to learn and live the gospel message: Father Larry Richards, host of Relevant Radio’s “Changed Forever” program, […]

A prayer for Lent

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

God of all compassion, Father of all goodness,to heal the wounds our sins and selfishness bring upon usyou bid us turn to fasting, prayer, and sharing with our brothers and sisters. We acknowledge our sinfulness, our guilt is ever before […]

The Catholic town without a Catholic parish

posted by deacon greg kandra

The people who have settled in at the Catholic town of Ave Maria in Florida are facing a curious contradiction. They don’t have, officially, a parish: For four years, the idea of a parish in Ave Maria has been on […]

Vote for Obama = go to hell?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A Catholic journalist in the Washington Post is asking the question that may be on a few Catholic minds these days: is voting for Barack Obama a sin? Like most Maryland Democrats, I voted for Sen. Barack Obama in the […]

Report: Vatican will order that all seminarians be trained in Latin rite

posted by deacon greg kandra

Hot on the heels of this news about permanent deacons and the Latin rite comes another news nugget, this from a British paper, about training seminarians in the old rite: Seminaries throughout the Catholic world will have to teach candidates […]

Former priest as deacon?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A reader dropped me an e-mail, wondering if an ex-priest who was married could become a permanent deacon. I told him I’d never heard of such a thing happening, and thought it highly unlikely. Curious, I dragged down my copy […]

On being a priest: “I don’t think I thought of anything else from the time I was 6″

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s wonderful when anyone reaches a 50th anniversary — in marriage or in the priesthood. Florida Catholic profiles a priest about to reach that milestone: Father Raymond Hubert, who will soon be honored on the 50th anniversary of his ordination, […]

Shameless plug: I like to be in America…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Your Humble Blogger can be found in the pages of the current issue of the Jesuit magazine America (subscription required). The title: “The Joy of Transformation” The subject: the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Permanent deacons and the Latin rite: “A deacon is a deacon is a deacon”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some of my brother deacons were wondering about this when the issue arose last fall — and now it seems to have been answered. What about permanent deacons and the “extraordinary form” of the mass, or the Latin Rite? Here’s […]

What does Benedict have in common with the Blues Brothers?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Answer: they’re on a mission from God. The pope today released his message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and as the Vatican website makes clear, the theme is missions: Dear brothers and sisters, 1. For the World Day […]

I’d like to thank the Academy …

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Who cares about the Oscars? Oscars, schmoscars. I just got word that I’ve won the Blog of the Day Award. I’m flabbergasted. If you’re curious to read more about this wonderful honor, you can visit the BOTD link, or just […]

Randy Pausch: an update

posted by deacon greg kandra

How could anyone forget Randy Pausch? Last year, I first posted the story of his amazing “last lecture” — and I even preached about it one Sunday in a homily. Steve Hartman, Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer have all profiled […]

Lift high the cross (or crucifix)

posted by deacon greg kandra

As the plans for Benedict’s visit in April start to come together — and the itinerary becomes finalized — everybody wants to get into the act. And an effort seems underway to try and involve as many locals as possible, […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

We got the season’s first big snow in New York City today. Here’s someone shoveling outside a business in Queens, just a few blocks from where my wife and I used to live. Photo: by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

French priest chronicles “Holocaust by Bullets”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Generations after the Holocaust left its mark on the world, there are still new chapters being written about that dark moment in history. The Chicago Tribune today has news of a French priest helping to tell the story: At first […]

Hugs and happiness for Atlanta’s new deacons — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Archdiocese of Atlanta welcomed a new batch of deacons a couple weeks back — and the Georgia Bulletin was there. The remarks by Archbishop Gregory struck me as especially vital, and necessary: Twenty robes and neatly folded stoles rested […]

Rabbi weighs in on Tridentine “mass hysteria”

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing, on all sides, over the Pope’s revision of a prayer in the Tridentine Rite which mentions the Jews. Now, a leading rabbi has offered his thoughts in the Jewish Daily Forward: In […]

The debate over Catholics backing Obama

posted by deacon greg kandra

Can a Catholic support Barack Obama for president? Recently, the conservative Catholic law professor Douglas A. Kmiec raised that question online at Slate — and he caught considerable flack for it from, most notably, Deal Hudson. Kmiec decided to tackle […]

Condom nation — and condemnation

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A commentator over at Bloomberg is suggesting that the real problem facing the poor of the Philippines is that they’re having too many babies. And he blames the Church. So, of course, he has a latex solution: “The most unprepossessing […]

“Reflections By The Bay”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That would be the Chesapeake Bay, in my beautiful home state of Maryland. And that happens to be the name of a wonderful little blog by a Redemptorist by the name of Fr. Andy Costello. A reader — another Redemptorist […]

“I got a peek at the pope”

posted by deacon greg kandra

When John Paul made his first visit to these shores, in 1979, I was a “marshall” on the Washington mall — an usher, really, bused in with my parish — and vendors were selling tee shirts with that cute saying […]

“God opened the door”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

As one of our correspondents at CBS likes to put it: “Everybody has a story.” And the story of this Protestant minister’s conversion to Catholicism, printed recently in the Catholic Explorer in Illinois, is well worth hearing: At the same […]

White out: no white communion dresses allowed

posted by deacon greg kandra

For as long as I can remember — and I’m sure, well before that — little girls were receiving their first communion in white dresses. I thought that was a fairly standard tradition, with a distinct connection to both the […]

Hispanic deacons reflect ethnic changes in Church

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Here’s a surprising, and heartening, bit of journalism from, of all places, the Chicago Tribune, about a demographic shift in the diaconate: When Sergio Lopez’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and told she had only three months to live, […]

Bill Clinton: “If you were really pro-life, you’d want to put every doctor in prison”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is a remarkable piece of political theater: President Clinton blows up at a pro-life heckler at one of his wife’s rallies. You can read more details at this link, and there’s a brief MSNBC field report right here. h/t […]

For President’s Day: Thomas Jefferson’s Prayer for the Nation — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, […]

“Not as easy as it used to be”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That’s Indiana Jones talking, in yet another moment of peril. And, after nearly 20 years, no wonder. At long last, he’s about to come back in the fourth installment of the franchise, and if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, […]

Deacon Jim’s way of the cross

posted by deacon greg kandra

Every Friday during Lent, parishes around the country – maybe around the world? – offer one of the most enduring devotions of our faith: the Stations of the Cross. We retrace the route to Calvary, praying at each station. We […]

“In Spain, it’s harder to cut down a tree than commit an abortion”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Here’s an eye-opener from across the Atlantic, courtesy the Associated Press: After same-sex marriage and fast-track divorce, Spain’s social revolution has hit a roadblock — abortion. The abortion law, severely restrictive during Gen. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship of the predominantly Roman […]

Trolling the ‘sphere…

posted by deacon greg kandra

I couldn’t help but notice that The Anchoress has pointed out that it’s time for the Catholic Blog Awards. They’re accepting nominations at the link. The Anchoress is high on my list of nominees — and so is the Happy […]

DiNardo: “When you come to Jesus, you get a job”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The new cardinal from Texas was making himself at home with his Episcopalian neighbors the other day, and the Galveston County Daily News was there: Malcolm Gee of Texas City seemed just a little bit nervous at Moody Gardens on […]

Gee, ya think?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A high-ranking Vatican official has put his finger on a big problem with the modern priesthood: The prefect of the Congregation for Religious has lamented that many Catholic priests are neglecting their duties under the pressure of conforming to secular […]

Deacons: a boom in Boston

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Up in Beantown, Cardinal Sean used his blog this week to throw a little attention on the diaconate community — and it sounds like it’s booming: I met with the permanent deacons’ community board, which meets six times annually. Deacon […]

The blessing of wrong turns

posted by deacon greg kandra

My friend, the Trappist monk and writer Fr. James Stephen Behrens, sent this along the other day. It’s too good not to share: No one likes getting lost as a result of a wrong turn off any real or figurative […]

Reading, writing, religion: a snapshot of young Catholics today

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’re wondering what’s up with the next generation of American Catholics, you might find one answer right here: College-aged Catholics are much less inclined to go to church or rely on authority figures than their elder counterparts, reports William […]

“Rise and do not be afraid”: Homily for February 17, 2008, 2nd Sunday of Lent

posted by deacon greg kandra

How is your Lent going? Right about now is when the newness and fervor start to wear off. We’ve left the ashes in the bathroom sink – or maybe on the pillow. The things we gave up – chocolate, TV, […]

“I teach Sunday school, mother******”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This has been making the rounds on the internet, and it’s classic: MCPF Stephen Colbert has a little smackdown with someone who is both creepy and funny.

Are converts happier?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A blogger over at Commonweal asked the question, and explains: The woman I plan to marry converted to the Roman Catholic faith as an adult ten years ago. She seems to have had an experience quite similar to the experience […]

Who cut the cake?

posted by deacon greg kandra

What could be a better Valentine’s Day gift than to get married? Earlier this year, I posted a story about a mass wedding in Georgia. Well, they had something similar, on a much smaller scale, in my own backyard just […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Students wait in DuSable Hall at Northern Illinois University, Thursday, February 14, 2008. Photo: CBS

Confession: how often?

posted by deacon greg kandra

With Lent upon us, more people will likely be lining up outside confessionals, to take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A diocesan paper has posted this helpful guideline for the sacrament, which comes to us via CNS: Q. In […]

It’s not “Conjunction Junction,” but “Vocation Station”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Remember Schoolhouse Rock? (If you don’t…well, nevermind. But the name of this new website hearkens back to that 1970’s classic.) A pal just sent this my way, and it looks terrific: a new website for vocations that specializes in the […]

“Put your little hand in mine, there ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Happy Valentine’s Day! As a footnote: I was pleased to find that this remarkable piece of TV history has been preserved on YouTube: I think it’s the last time they ever sang this together, on David Letterman several years back.

Voting and the “hierarchy of values”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Across the country, bishops have been weighing in on politics and faith during this election year. And my own bishop has just added his two cents, as reported by CNS: A “hierarchy of values” exists, which means not all political […]

Unmarried, pregnant…and fired — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What happens when an unmarried teacher in a Catholic school finds herself pregnant? A paper in Minnesota explains: Emily Prigge was in her first year of teaching fifth grade at St. Felix School in Wabasha when she found out she’s […]

Clinton holds rally at Catholic college

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What are people thinking? It still surprises me that something like this is allowed to get this far, and actually take place: Archbishop Jose Gomez complained Wednesday about plans for a rally by Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, an abortion […]

Pass me a fig leaf, please

posted by deacon greg kandra

Every now and then one of my favorite bloggers, The Anchoress, comes up with something so fresh and unpredictable and timely, I slap my forehead and say “Who’da thunk?!” This is one of those pieces: a well-thought-out meditation on Eden […]

Let’s face the music and dance

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

An early Valentine’s Day offering: the brilliant (and too often overlooked) Fred and Ginger re-enactment from “Pennies From Heaven”. Starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters and movie magic. Enjoy.

The rockin’ nun of MySpace

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later: a singing nun has become a sensation on MySpace: She jams on an electric guitar and introduces herself on her hot-pink MySpace page as a straight, single Libra who loves to […]

Chaput: Catholics can sometimes “legitimately vote pro-choice”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Can a Catholic support a candidate who is pro-choice? Denver’s Archbishop has recently weighed in on the subject. This comes from the Rocky Mountain News: Archbishop Charles Chaput left the door open Monday for Catholics to support pro-choice politicians, saying […]

A “Passion” for litigation

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just in time for Lent: one of Mel Gibson’s collaborators on “The Passion of the Christ” is expressing his displeasure with how he was compensated — and he’s taking the director to court. From the AP: A screenwriter has sued […]

The pope to deacons: “You give witness to the world today”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Holy Father had some warm words last week for permanent deacons — yes, you heard right: the pope actually chatted up the diaconate. It came during a Q&A with Roman clergy. Here’s the entire exchange, as reported by Zenit: […]

What we don’t know about marriage and divorce

posted by deacon greg kandra

The bishops have more evidence, if any were needed, that when it comes to matters of faith, a lot of Catholics are seriously in the dark: Although nearly three-quarters of American Catholics say they are somewhat or very familiar with […]

This will freak you out

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Just click here and watch what happens. Your computer screen will never be the same. H/T, I think, to the Happy Cat’lick.

Ain’t that a kick in the head?

posted by deacon greg kandra

And I mean, a kick in the ashes. Sometimes, it’s hard to know where reality ends and satire begins. Evidently, this weird news isn’t satire: Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the “Christian Ramadan” in an attempt to […]

“God wanted me ordained now, not 30 years ago”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Not long ago, a reader wrote in and asked if I knew of any places for a man with a late vocation. I directed him to this seminary, in Massachusetts. And now a local paper has done a story about […]

“Virgin of hope”: Pope John Paul’s prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The prayer below was offered by Pope John Paul II at the conclusion of the rosary, during his final pilgrimage to Lourdes in August, 2004: Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,Blessed by the Most High!Virgin of hope, dawn of a […]

Homily for February 10, 2008: 1st Sunday of Lent

posted by deacon greg kandra

This Sunday is World Marriage Day, sponsored by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter. My parish is marking the event with a mass that will feature speakers on Marriage Encounter and, at the end of mass, a renewal of vows. I’ve been […]

“Do not cross”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This news is not exactly the sort of thing you want to read as you’re getting ready to head to mass on Sunday morning. But it’s happening more and more: Armed sheriff’s deputies removed the last man from the Catholic […]

Bless me, Father…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Been to confession lately? ‘Tis the season, you know. And if you need a good excuse to go, take a moment to read this compelling rumination on the sacrament by Elizabeth Scalia: My recollection of confession as a child is […]

Priceless

posted by deacon greg kandra

The picture below was sent to me by my friend and deacon classmate Bill McNamara, who got it from a woman he knows in Minnesota. It’s her youngest child at this week’s Ash Wednesday service. Deacon Bill thought I might […]

“Lead us to a place, guide us with Your grace…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Sunday, we’ll be marking World Marriage Day, sponsored by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter. Our parish will be hosting a special mass for the event, and Your Humble Blogger will be preaching for the occasion. (Homily to come!) In anticipation of […]

Lent: it’s not just about chocolate anymore

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Still stumped about what you can give up for Lent? Check out these 25 suggestions, courtesy Busted Halo. Some highlights: 15) Make a commitment to “fast” from cruel comments about others. 16) As a part of your Lenten almsgiving, make […]

Voting for Sister Hillary

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, now here’s an interesting insight into Hillary Clinton’s popularity among Catholics. It’s all because of the most powerful and influential force in the lives of many middle-aged Catholics. I’m speaking, of course, of nuns. From The New York Times […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

An American soldier in eastern Afghanistan, late 2007, following a firefight. This image won the top prize today in the World Press Photo Awards. Photo by Tim Hetherington, for Vanity Fair.

Vocations drive: “Be A Scout For The Padres”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A new push for vocations has been launched in Florida, where parishes have started hanging that great recruitment poster you see on the left. Details on a vocations workshop, from the Florida Catholic: Pope John Paul II’s legacy of an […]

Quasimodo?

posted by deacon greg kandra

For anyone who’s ever wondered who really rings the bells at Notre-Dame, today’s New York Times has the answer: Stéphane Urbain stood leaning against a heavy wood frame high in the north tower of Notre-Dame, wrapped in a navy blue […]

Previewing “The Passion”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

For the first Friday of Lent, when so many parishes will begin praying the Stations of the Cross, here’s a glimpse at one man’s vision of that seismic event — and a little piece of movie history, to boot. It’s […]

The Super Tuesday Catholic vote

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some interesting numbers here on how Catholics voted in some of Tuesday’s big primaries: Catholic voters backed Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Senator Hillary Clinton of New York in many Super Tuesday presidential primaries and caucuses for […]

The other Atlanta Braves: 20 new deacons

posted by deacon greg kandra

Nothing, I think, is quite as rare as an ordination during Lent. But that’s not stopping the gang down in Atlanta, where a new class of deacons is about to be ordained tomorrow. From the Georgia Bulletin: There will soon […]

A saint grows in Brooklyn?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Now, for some news from my own backyard: word that the sainthood cause has been opened for the founder of Brooklyn’s first black parish. From CNS and Ed Wilkinson, editor of the Brooklyn Tablet: The process to declare a former […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

New Orleans, Ash Wednesday February 6, 2008. The day after Mardi Gras. And the first day of Lent. Photo: by Alex Brandon, AP

Better late than never

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I write a lot about late vocations around here — most deacons, after all, become deacons later in life — but a post earlier this week about the diminishing number of nuns and monks prompted this e-mail from one woman: […]

Everything you always wanted to know about Lent and Easter but were afraid to ask

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Well, now this little posting is pretty interesting: fun facts about Lent and Easter that have always had me scratching my head, and that now make eminent sense. My favorite one is at the end, regarding the 40 days we […]

Homily for February 6, 2008: Ash Wednesday

posted by deacon greg kandra

We all remember where we were on September 11, 2001. One of my most haunting memories, though, is the morning after. It was impossible to get out of Manhattan—or get in. Subways and trains had stopped. There were no cabs. […]

Something to give up for Lent: money

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’re looking for more reasons to give up something for Lent, a sociology professor is throwing in her two cents. And, speaking of money, it’s all about the economy, stupid: A University of New Hampshire professor claims that Lent […]

Number of nuns and monks worldwide continues to decline

posted by deacon greg kandra

This news won’t be surprising to those of us who have been following this sort of thing. But it’s still worrisome. From the BBC: Newly published statistics showed that the number of men and women belonging to religious orders fell […]

The death of a young priest

posted by deacon greg kandra

I checked in at Cardinal Sean’s blog late today, and was stunned to read the news of the death of a newly ordained priest: This week it was quite a shock for all of us that a young priest ordained […]

Who will you vote for?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A deacon has performed a valuable service for his parish community, offering a workshop in Faithful Citizenship for those who will be voting in the Super Tuesday primary. This, from the Catholic Explorer in Illinois: With the Feb 5 primary […]

“It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Weird — and wonderful. Take a look at what happens when a couple hundred creative souls decide to just STOP and FREEZE in position in Grand Central Station. A frozen h/t to The Anchoress.

Unexpected monks

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Here’s a little news nugget that made me go “Huh?” And then “Wow.” From the Boston Globe, a story about evangelical Protestants who are embracing, of all things, monasticism: S.G. Preston is a Knight of Prayer. Each morning at his […]

Fools for Christ

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just in time for Mardi Gras, here’s a little holy mirth from the other side of the pond: The men and women in white face-paint and polka-dot bow-ties sang hymns and said prayers as one of their number rode a […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Times Square, New York City. February 3, 2008. Photo: by Patrick Andrade, New York Times.

Extreme Makeover: The Lent Edition

posted by deacon greg kandra

Among other things, I write a weekly column for the bulletin at my parish in Queens, New York. From time to time, I’ll post it here, as well. Below is the column for this week. I confess: I’m a sucker […]

Sometimes, God comes to you…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

…and in ways you’d never expect. This is just incredibly cool. The description on YouTube puts it thusly: This is a song about a church being moved hundreds of miles across the US on the back of a very big […]

One last great Super Bowl ad

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Before the Big Game, another awesome ad. This is the classic commercial that introduced the Apple Mac to the world: And this is the inspired take-off from last year that, I think, has proved prescient.

A milestone is reached in the sainthood cause for Fulton Sheen

posted by deacon greg kandra

A key moment in the canonization process of Fulton Sheen is drawing to a close, as Clerical Whispers notes: A milestone in the cause for sainthood of El Paso native Archbishop Fulton Sheen comes Sunday, with a special mass of […]

“Faith with frequency”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another Catholic radio station is about to join the airwaves. Tune in to the aptly named “Annunciation Radio”, whose motto is “Faith with frequency”: A Toledo Catholic radio station will make its debut tomorrow. But it will be a limited […]

Homily for February 3, 2008: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by deacon greg kandra

We just marked Catholic Schools Week in this country – an appreciation of those who have taught – and continue to teach – in the Catholic school system. Many of us, I know, can remember when those teachers were nuns. […]

A prayer for Jim

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

One of my brother deacons, a classmate ordained with me last May, is seriously ill. Jim was taken to the ER earlier this week, and I finally was able to visit him in the ICU tonight. He’s hooked up to […]

Orange you glad he’s our pope?

posted by deacon greg kandra

It seems Pope Benedict is also Pop Benedict. Soda pop, to be exact: Winston Churchill made no secret of his love of brandy and cigars; Margaret Thatcher was bereft without her handbag, and Pope Benedict XVI, I can reveal, has […]

The “Catholic” writer — and the “Catholic imagination”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A recent post about Catholic writers prompted a reader to ask: What exactly is a Catholic writer? I prefer “Christian writer” who happens to be Catholic -and who is espoused to catholic dogma. No? It’s a good question — and […]

Stars of wonder

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Wall Street Journal today has a glimpse at an unusual business trend: branding the Bible. Specifically, “jazzing up” the Good Book with celebrities: A few years ago, Canongate issued the “Pocket Canons” — individual books of the Bible reprinted […]

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 »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.