The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

An ending. And a beginning.

Not long ago, I stumbled upon a letter from Thomas Merton, who offered this advice to a man who was thinking about a career change:

I would say there is one basic idea that should be kept in mind in all the changes we make in life, whether of career or anything else. We should decide not in view of better pay, higher rank, “getting ahead,” but in view of becoming more real, entering more authentically into direct contact with life, living more as a free and mature human person, able to give myself more to others, able to understand myself and the world better.


That made wonderful sense to me. And perhaps it informed a decision I made just a couple of weeks ago.

As I turn the page of the calendar and begin another month, I’m also turning a page in my professional career. This is my last day at CBS News. After 26 years, I’m “putting out into the deep,” and embarking on something utterly new. I’ve accepted an offer from the Diocese of Brooklyn to serve as News Director for its expanding cable channel. The channel will be re-launched on December 8 as NET, or New Evangelization Television. An important component will be a daily Catholic news program that we plan to debut in the spring.

It won’t be easy leaving a place that has been my home for more than half my life. And in all the boxes I’ve packed over the last few days, I’ve also socked away a lot of memories. Every chipped coffee mug and crinkled credential and box of unused business cards tells part of my story.


But this move is part of my story, too. Maybe the most important part.

Here, my two worlds — journalism and faith — at last can intersect. I can stop juggling two hats, and just wear one.

Among other things, I imagine it will be easier to keep my hair combed.

This new position affords me a tremendous opportunity not only to spread news, but to spread The Good News. And I can’t wait.

I’ll keep you posted as things develop. For those who are wondering: yes, “The Bench” will stay open. The blogging will continue. And: you can see the channel — now known as The Prayer Channel — in its present incarnation right here.


I’d appreciate any spare prayers you might be able to offer for Your Humble Blogger and this new enterprise.

And whisper one or two for my wife, too — she has to live with me, after all, and how she manages that is another of the unexplained mysteries of God, right up there with snow on Mars.

Finally, I can’t help but feel heartened that this turn in my life is happening on the feast of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, the patroness of missionaries. What better guide for the start of a new mission in life?

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posted October 1, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Sweet!!! congratulations and Godspeed. This also comes on the day I signed a petition to CBS, ABC, and NBC stating that I would not participate in their skreed between now and election day.

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Alex Vitus

posted October 1, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Congratulations, and good luck on your new endeavor.

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steve p

posted October 1, 2008 at 7:04 pm

May you and your family be blessed as God invites you into a new direction, Dcn. Greg. Your thoughtful and articulate reflection on the subject are a good indicator that you are going about things the right way.Know you are held close in prayer!

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posted October 1, 2008 at 8:20 pm

god speed–

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Barb, sfo

posted October 1, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Congratulations on your new venture! I’m sure you will do very well at this. Wish I still lived in the NY area so I could access this channel!I am a faithful reader of your blog because you present ideas clearly, with plenty of information as backup. And there is always the faith standing behind you.

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Deacon Volker

posted October 1, 2008 at 9:22 pm

That’s fantastic news Greg! How great to be able to put together both aspects of your “callings” to use for the betterment of the Word!I’ll be out here in the corn country of east-central Illinois praying for you and all Deacons that God will continue to make his will known to them!

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posted October 1, 2008 at 10:46 pm

This sounds like and exciting and fulfilling change, Deacon Kandra. I’ll pray for you in your new vocation, and I’ll be looking to see the result of your work on NET.May God guide and protect you.

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Fr. Stephen, C.S.C.

posted October 2, 2008 at 12:19 am

Wow! What great news for you, and for all those you’ll be able to serve through this new ministry. God bless you and Congratulations!

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posted October 2, 2008 at 12:20 am

You were too good for that dump!

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Gabriel McAuliffe

posted October 2, 2008 at 12:42 am

Blessings to you, Deacon Greg! I have really enjoyed reading your blog since its inception. I hope that this new turn enables you to continue the precious work that you do in the Lord’s vinyard.

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Mr Flapatap

posted October 2, 2008 at 7:56 am

Congratulations on your decision. We’ll be praying for you!

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Padre Steve

posted October 2, 2008 at 9:03 am

God bless you Deacon Greg! The new position sounds perfect for you!

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posted October 2, 2008 at 10:26 am

Here’s wishing you great success.

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posted October 2, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Sounds like a great move! I’m very glad that you’ll be keeping up the blog.

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posted October 2, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Wow, congratulations!I'm a production assistant at Telecare Television, the Catholic cable station of the Diocese of Rockville Centre (Nassau & Suffolk). It's always great to see experienced talent from the mainstream networks share their gifts with the Catholic television industry.God bless!

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posted October 2, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Congrats Deacon Greg and God Bless in your new vocation.

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posted October 2, 2008 at 4:19 pm

God Bless you,Deacon Greg… May He give you great success.Sounds wonderful and I am very happy for you!

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posted October 2, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Best wishes in your new endeavor Deacon Greg.

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The Ironic Catholic

posted October 4, 2008 at 10:57 am

Congrats and best wishes!

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posted October 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm

How wonderful! God bless you. Thank you.

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