The Deacon's Bench
March 2008 Archives

When I was growing up, like a lot of families, mine had one of those small, cheap Kodak Instamatic cameras. You used those flash bulbs that looked like ice cubes…and got these little square pictures back from the drug store […]

On Holy Thursday, I’ll have a couple of rare privileges in my still-new diaconate life. In the morning, I will join the other clergy at the annual Chrism Mass at our cathedral, and serve as deacon on the altar beside […]

Warning: Crucifixion Bad For Your Health

This is an amazing bit of news for Holy Week: Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Communist leader of the Soviet Union, has acknowledged his Christian faith for the first time, paying a surprise visit to pray at the tomb of St […]

There is a remarkable mini-industry that has sprung up on YouTube: home-made music videos crafted from Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” Clearly, this film has resonated with people, and moved them to create something deeply personal from that […]

One of Catholicism’s most insightful observers, John Allen, had some sage words for the faithful recently in Denver. He was invited to speak by his friend, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, and brought up an intriguing theme: mega-trends in the Catholic […]

A few readers have been wondering just what kicked up the kerfuffle in Belleville, and what exactly Bishop Braxton had done to incur such animosity among his priests. As usual, I turned to the definitive source on episcopal matters, and […]

Wednesday of this week marks what has been known for centuries as Spy Wednesday — traditionally, the day on which Judas spied for an opportunity to betray Jesus. It’s thought to be the day when Christ’s betrayer may have clinched […]

Coming into the Church this Easter? New? Just browsing around? Pull up a chair and stay awhile. And if you have a few free moments, wander over to this terrific blog, Catholic Converts. I stumbled on it when it got […]

As we continue our journey through Holy Week, I got an e-mail from a reader, alerting me to a new and, I think, very interesting voice in the blogosphere. It is aimed at those suffering with cancer — both those […]