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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

January 1970 Archives

“I want to talk about female altar servers, and my experience…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A couple days ago, I posted an amusing photograph from my parish’s Thanksgiving Day mass. To my amazement, it unleashed a tiny firestorm of comment and debate on the subject of girls serving on the altar. One veteran of my […]

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Any camels?

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s not even December (barely) and I have been avoiding digging out the Christmas decorations, but that hasn’t stopped some hardy souls in Ohio, who are getting into the spirit with some novel views of the Nativity. From CNA: A […]

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We wait: a homily for the first Sunday of Advent

posted by deacon greg kandra

I have the weekend off, homily-wise, but I read this reflection over at Rocco’s and just had to link. It’s part of a new weekly series he’s beginning, devoted to particularly good homilies. This one comes from Msgr. James P. […]

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Another priest urges confession for Obama voters

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s deja vu all over again. Yet another priest is telling his flock to make a trip to the confessional if they voted for Obama. From the Modesto (Calif.) Bee: Parishioners of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Modesto have been […]

Glittering

posted by deacon greg kandra

While spending a lazy Saturday surfing through iTunes, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Kristen Chenoweth has a Christmas album. My wife and I first discovered Chenoweth a few years ago, in a revival of “You’re a Good Man, […]

Doo-wop doing good

posted by deacon greg kandra

From the In My Own Backyard Desk comes this heartening report about a novel fundraising event at a church in Brooklyn. From the New York Daily News: On Dec. 6 spotlights will crisscross the Brooklyn night sky. Avenue T between […]

You talkin’ to me? YOU talkin’ to ME??

posted by deacon greg kandra

A parishioner sent this to me: a snapshot from the Living Rosary that we prayed outside my church last month (the month of the rosary). The plates served as our “beads” — blue for the Hail Mary, white for the […]

Casting out our NET

posted by deacon greg kandra

As I mentioned several weeks ago, I’ve embarked on a new chapter of my professional life, as News Director for our diocesan cable channel. On December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, (and the feast day of our diocese) […]

iWait for iAdvent on my iPhone

posted by deacon greg kandra

A couple of readers sent this my way, and I have to say: this is unbelievably cool. It’s an Advent app for your iPhone. As the good people at Mac describe it: Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation […]

The saga of a lion named Christian

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of my last projects at CBS was working on a pilot for a proposed series that would consist of great animal clips from YouTube. The clip below was one of the best I saw. Now it’s getting some airplay […]

What the hell is wrong with people?

posted by deacon greg kandra

You gotta wonder.

Happy Black Friday

posted by deacon greg kandra

Where I was yesterday

posted by deacon greg kandra

A parishioner sent me the photo below, from our Thanksgiving Day mass. I’m one of the guys up behind the altar. I think the photo may have been snapped on a cell phone. I especially like that the photographer caught […]

Remembering William Gibson and the worker of miracles

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some sad news today, that playwright William Gibson has died, at the ripe age of 94. He will forever be remembered as the man who gave us one of the most powerful and inspiring testaments to hope and perseverance: “The […]

Keeping the candles burning

posted by deacon greg kandra

Can you believe Advent is almost here? Neither can I. To better brace ourselves for the weeks ahead, the Catholic Spirit newspaper (from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis) has this terrific and practical primer on how to give […]

Come ye thankful people, come!

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is the entrance hymn for our parish mass this morning: Come, ye thankful people come, Raise the song of harvest home: All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin. God, our Maker, doth provide For our wants […]

Plucked from a time capsule: “All Good Gifts”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Before there was “High School Musical 3,” there was this musical staple of so many high schools (including my own) “Godspell.” Here’s a little curiosity for Thanksgiving Day that will either bring back fond memories of the early ’70s, or […]

The threat of FOCA

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s more than just a threat to the unborn, as Melinda Henneberger suggests in this piece from Slate: Though it’s often referred to as a mere codification of Roe, FOCA, as currently drafted, actually goes well beyond that: According to […]

Homily for November 27, 2008: Thanksgiving

posted by deacon greg kandra

A priest I know likes to say that Thanksgiving is one of his favorite holidays, and not just because of the food. The church is always filled, he says, and the great thing is that people come to mass today […]

You gotta believe

posted by deacon greg kandra

A plucky penguin gives us all a lesson in perseverance. Happy Thanksgiving, little guy.

Could the carpenter’s son help build Obama’s cabinet?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at Beliefnet, Fr. Jim Martin takes a wry look at what goes into cabinet appointments — and wonders if even the Son of God would pass muster these days. What if Obama’s transition team met with Jesus for a […]

If you think one person can’t make a difference…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…think again. The story below is a beautiful reminder of what matters, especially during this time of year. Watch it and weep. And pray in thanksgiving to God for giving us kids like this.

How the press covered (or didn’t) religion during Campaign ’08

posted by deacon greg kandra

The good people at the Pew Forum released an interesting report late last week on journalism and the press. Some highlights: Religion played a much more significant role in the media coverage of President-elect Barack Obama than it did in […]

Is Thanksgiving actually Catholic?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, to quote a certain governor from a cold climate: “You betcha.” Or so it seems, from this intriguing little giblet: This history books will tell you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621. Not true. […]

To be or not to be: a woman decides whether to perform abortions

posted by deacon greg kandra

You’ll find few stories more harrowing or heart-rending or sobering than this one, from Sunday’s Washington Post, which chronicles the journey of a medical student named Lesley Wojick, as she decides whether or not she wants to perform abortions: “Abortion […]

Ireland’s surprising priesthood boom

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just when you thought vocations in Ireland were dead, along comes this surprising piece of news, from the Irish Times: IT IS “a myth” to say there is a continuing dearth of vocations to the Catholic priesthood in Ireland, the […]

The dancing camel

posted by deacon greg kandra

My sister, a horsewoman, sent this my way. It comes just in time for Christmas — when, of course, we’ll be seeing the Magi depicted on countless Christmas cards, journeying on these lumbering beasts. But trust me: you’ve never seen […]

The non-Catholics who are keeping Catholic schools afloat

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s a phenomenon that most of us have seen: the growing number of students at Catholic schools who aren’t Catholic — and in some cases, not even Christian. A paper in Pittsburgh has more: When it came time for the […]

Remember EWTN’s Francis Mary? You can call him Dave

posted by deacon greg kandra

Someone asked me recently whatever became of Fr. Francis Mary, the celebrated EWTN host who took a leave of absence last year over his relationship with a widow. I wondered myself, so did a little googling. Turns out, he’s launched […]

Where should Obama worship?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some suggestions come from Amy Sullivan at Time magazine, who has penned a letter to Obama: Dear Mr. President-elect, No doubt you have a lot of big decisions associated with your upcoming move to Washington. What school (public or private) […]

When a deacon dies

posted by deacon greg kandra

A few months ago, one of my classmates who was ordained with me just last year died after a brief illness. The deacons of Atlanta have now suffered a similar loss. I got the following e-mail earlier tonight: Deacon Dale […]

“Remember, Christ calls us to be the voice…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is noteworthy, mostly because it’s the sort of thing that doesn’t usually get much attention. But it should. It’s a story about a group of deacon candidates being admitted to the ministry of reader (or lector) in Kansas: Be […]

“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask.”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Time for another great vocation story. This one comes to us from Louisville, where a young woman intent on having a husband and eight children (!) found her plans suddenly changed: Sister Michelle Sinkhorn, a Sister of St. Benedict of […]

“We try to give a kid the chance to be human for a while”

posted by deacon greg kandra

How much can one man do for a suffering child? My hometown diocesan paper, The Tablet, has this inspiring answer: There is an extraordinary spirituality that shines throughout the story of Father Joseph Maier. His heroic struggles offering hope and […]

“The family that prays together…” priest up for sainthood

posted by deacon greg kandra

Archbishop Fulton Sheen isn’t the only gifted Catholic communicator in line for canonization. USA TODAY has the latest on the fabled and much-beloved Fr. Patrick Peyton: Recognized widely for his catchphrase — “the family that prays together stays together” — […]

A first: the son of a deacon is named a bishop — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader who knows about this sort of thing wrote me with this exciting news, which has gone largely unreported: it seems the fella just named the new auxiliary bishop for Washington, Msgr. Barry Knestout is the son of a […]

Set your TiVo

posted by deacon greg kandra

Or, if you prefer, just be a dasher (like the reindeer, ha!) and head to the store next week for a new Christmas special by MCPF Stephen Colbert: The permanently suit-clad Stephen Colbert has traded in his pinstripes for a […]

Can you count the liturgical abuses?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A rather peculiar youth mass, celebrated by Cardinal Schonborn, of all people. H/T to American Papist.

Affliction: Nordstrom removes controversial t-shirt after complaint

posted by deacon greg kandra

A department store known for its stellar customer service has lived up to its reputation, and taken an offensive t-shirt off the shelves: The department store chain Nordstrom says it has removed a shirt from its shelves that shows a […]

A message from the pope: “Dear Deacons..”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Lo and behold, the blog Roman Catholic Vocations unearthed this terrific address from two years ago, and it’s well worth reading. It’s Pope Benedict’s remarks to the permanent deacons of his own diocese in Rome, from February of 2006. A […]

“We just looked around. We were in shock.”

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the treasures lost to the California fires was a Benedictine monastery. And the New York Times this morning sizes up the aftermath: On Tuesday the monks met with their insurance agent. Like thousands of other residents of Southern […]

Losing your savings, keeping the faith

posted by deacon greg kandra

The tough economic times are taking a toll — and churches and synagogues are facing challenges of their own, just trying to offer support. From the New Jersey Star-Ledger: Rabbi Benjamin Adler hasn’t felt particularly helpful lately. Older couples have […]

Priest apologizes over Obama sign incident

posted by deacon greg kandra

You may recall last week’s story about a woman who charged that she was ordered to leave church over the Obama signs on her car. Now the priest at the center of the storm has two words to add: I’m […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

A statue of the Blessed Mother is all that is left in the ruins of this mobile home park in Sylmar, California. The fire destroyed nearly 500 homes, according to the Los Angeles Times. Photo: by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty.

Soul man: a 3,000-year-old monument to belief

posted by deacon greg kandra

Archeologists have discovered evidence that at least one ancient culture, hundreds of years before Christ, believed in the separation of the body and the soul. From the New York Times: In a mountainous kingdom in what is now southeastern Turkey, […]

South Carolina priest: “I wrote my column in haste.”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The South Carolina priest who made national headlines by calling on Obama voters to go to confession before receiving communion had more to say on the subject this weekend at mass. And he drew quite a crowd of supporters. From […]

You’ve lost your job. Now what?

posted by deacon greg kandra

With more Americans facing that harsh reality during these harsh times, a number of Catholic parishes are stepping in with help. A glimpse, from Catholic News Service: The impact of the wave of layoffs in firms, factories, financial companies and […]

Drop-kick me, Jesus: meet the Catholic coach of the Baltimore Ravens

posted by deacon greg kandra

How’s this for a touchdown? A thoughtful reader sent this along: a terrific profile of the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, who just happens to be Catholic. From the Catholic Review: Not long ago, John Harbaugh walked into a […]

Catholic schools in “crisis”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Grim tidings this morning in the New York Post (does that paper have any other kind of tidings, by the way?) on the state of Catholic schools in New York City: In the Archdiocese of New York – which operates […]

A brush with the divine

posted by deacon greg kandra

From Texas comes this enlightening and inspiring story of a deacon of many talents — one of them, using a brush and paint: On any afternoon, artist Rolando Lujan could be found working on an art project, whether it’s painting […]

“Bench” press

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’ve been reminded by Julie over at Happy Catholic that it’s that time of year again. (No, not time to run and hide because it’s getting closer to Christmas.) It’s time for the annual Weblog Awards. There’s a category this […]

The Deacon’s Blush

posted by deacon greg kandra

Wow. I’m humbled to be included in such esteemed company. Thanks, Dave!

Homily for November 16, 2008: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by deacon greg kandra

The gospel this Sunday is familiar to a lot of us. We tend to think it’s all about ability, or talent — what special gifts God has given you. Certainly, that’s a big part of it. But I think there […]

Stephen Colbert wags his finger at the pope!

posted by deacon greg kandra

MCPF takes His Holiness to the woodshed.

“Always let your conscience be your guide…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Jiminy Cricket is the one who sang those immortal words, and the concept of conscience has been very much in the news lately. This Saturday, Jim Martin makes some salient points about conscience and canon law and the case of […]

The most happy fella…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…just might be your parish priest. Take a look at this list of America’s happiest workers.

For the Bible tells me so

posted by deacon greg kandra

Is another counter-Reformation brewing? Over at the Wall Street Journal, author David Gibson is wondering about that. He has been pondering the meaning and potential impact of the recent Vatican synod on the bible: The synod’s 55 final recommendations to […]

Re-inventing The Wheel

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at America, they have a very good dissection of my favorite TV series “Mad Men,” and I discovered that a lot of the best clips from the show are available on YouTube. The one below is, to my mind, […]

Panel votes in favor of life, not death

posted by deacon greg kandra

In my home state of Maryland, a panel has taken a strong stand for life — and voted in favor of completely abolishing the death penalty. From the Baltimore Sun: While executions in Maryland are infrequent, the issue is being […]

“If you go to church in Beverly Hills, those kinds of things happen…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

From our Hollywood Desk, a.k.a. Starpulse, a little tidbit about a high profile Catholic in Tinsletown: “Entourage” has become a curse for Mark Wahlberg on Sundays – because people approach him in church with story lines and requests to be […]

Priest: those who voted for Obama should not receive communion — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

A priest has taken the unusual step of telling his congregants that their political support may determine whether or not they can receive communion. From the AP: A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should […]

Woman says she was ordered to leave mass because of Obama signs on car

posted by deacon greg kandra

The election seems to have frayed everybody’s nerves — and this incident, first reported in a California paper, bears that out: A Fairfield woman whose car was adorned with celebratory signs for President-elect Barack Obama is furious that a priest […]

A plea from the Papist!

posted by deacon greg kandra

FOB (Friend of the Bench) Thomas Peters (a.k.a American Papist) is typing his little fingers raw, trying to pay off his student loans, and is asking for help. Here’s the good news: it won’t cost you a dime. Tom has […]

Did the bishops really lose last Tuesday?

posted by deacon greg kandra

While a few high profile pundits — notably Fr. Thomas Reese and author Peter Steinfels — have labeled America’s bishops “losers” in last week’s election, a writer over at America’s blog is saying: not so fast. Mark Stricherz has been […]

Finally, an idea for this Sunday’s homily…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s something you don’t hear priests preaching about very much. From the Dallas Morning News: God may have rested on the seventh day, but the Rev. Ed Young wants married couples to have sex all week long. Once a day. […]

Barack rings up Benedict

posted by deacon greg kandra

The man who will be president had his first phone conversation with the man who is pope. And Vice President-elect Biden’s bishop has a few things to say, too, about the most famous Catholic in his diocese. From The Times […]

The end of “objectivity”?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s an interesting take on the media — with a side glance at the religion beat — that focuses on Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe. This comes from the current issue of Editor & Publisher: When Michael Paulson began […]

“Any one of us would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow to bring about an end to abortion”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The bishops meeting in Baltimore is about to produce its most important and timely document, probably later today. From the Washington Post: The nation’s Catholic bishops Tuesday approved a statement declaring that if the Democratic-controlled Congress and the incoming Obama […]

“I think I have an onogoing conversation with God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s Barack Obama, just after he had clinched the Democratic nomination for the Illinois Senate race 2004. He spoke those words in his most revealing and extensive interview to date on the subject of faith. The interviewer was Cathleen Falsani. […]

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

posted by deacon greg kandra

They’ve strung the lights across Austin Street here in Forest Hills, and the trees are going up in shop windows, and the catalogs are spilling out of the mailbox. And, to make the seasonal readiness complete, The Anchoress has supplied […]

Priest who preached at woman’s ordination threatened with excommunication — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

You may recall the celebrated (and in some quarters, notorious) Maryknoll priest who took part in a woman’s ordination service some weeks back. Well, he’s in the news again: Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been threatened with excommunication by the […]

Revealed: the pope’s computer!

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Or so you might think…but I suspect his is a nice shade of Apple white… H/T The Papist

“You thank the Lord today for the gift of your child…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is a not-insignificant development down at the bishop’s gathering in Baltimore — and one that we can only hope will have far-reaching acceptance and implications: In a gesture with clear implications for debates over abortion, the U.S. bishops this […]

O’Malley on Obama

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The always-interesting Michael Paulson at the Boston Globe has just posted an interview with Beantown’s cardinal archbishop, Sean O’Malley, in which he discusses the election, abortion, and a raftload of other things: Q: So many bishops spoke out on abortion […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Sharif, who knows 40 commands, has helped Jeffrey Adams adjust to his prosthetic leg, after he was wounded in Iraq. You can read his story, and others, here, from this morning’s New York Times. Photo: by Alan Polzner, for the […]

For the veterans, from Fulton Sheen

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“The great French preacher Lacordaire once said the vocation of a soldier is next in dignity to the priesthood, not only because it commissioned him to defend justice on the field of battle and order on the field of peace, […]

Quote of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“The common good can never be adequately incarnated in any society when those waiting to be born can be legally killed at choice. If the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision that African Americans were other people’s property and somehow less […]

Passing the plate

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

We just finished a stewardship pitch at my parish, so this item struck me as particularly interesting and timely: a review of a new book on Christian giving — or lack thereof. Coming as it does during some difficult and […]

They’re baaaaack

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“They” being the very public preachers (one, a Catholic priest) who became suddenly very private after Barack Obama clinched the Democratic nomination. Have no fear. They’re still around — and speaking up. An Illinois paper has a roundup of the […]

“It ain’t easy being a bishop”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Periodically during this election cycle I’ve wondered: “Why on earth would anyone want to be President?” And now I’m wondering the same thing about the job of bishop. Once, it was a job with plentiful perks; but increasingly, it’s all […]

Homily for November 9, 2008: Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is one of the more unusual feasts on the church calendar. It doesn’t commemorate a saint, or a biblical event. It celebrates a building. Specifically, the Lateran Basilica, in Rome. It’s the oldest of the four major basilicas in […]

“Every morning I break my fast with the men in the breadline”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“The men from the Bowery were there, ragged, dirty, jobless, most of them Longshore workers, teamsters, gandy dancers, sand hogs, restaurant workers, men who had led hard and dangerous lives. There were Irish, Italian, mostly, but other nationalities, too. Poles, […]

Sounds like a deacon, actually…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

…though I was hoping to be more like Kermit. You Are Scooter Brainy and knowledgeable, you are the perfect sidekick. You’re always willing to lend a helping hand. In any big event or party, you’re the one who keeps things […]

Happy birthday, Dorothy Day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The striking icon above is by Nicholas Brian Tsai, and the open book of scripture contains this quote: He raises the poor from the dustand lifts the needy from the ash heapto make them sit with princes,with the princes of […]

What’s a dad to do?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Check out this wonderful short film from The Responsbility Project. How far would you go for your kids? Oh: it turns out the blog at this site is written by a former colleague of mine, Kathy McManus. Kudos, “Mackers”!

Advice to Obama: “Get on the phone if the pope calls”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over at the National Catholic Reporter, John Allen has penned an open letter to President-elect Obama, offering some unsolicited advice about how to deal with the Vatican, and he concludes with this telling anecdote about the last Democratic president: In […]

“Dear Senator Biden…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A bishop from Florida, John Riccard, has drawn a line in the sand — or maybe, at the altar rail — and has sent a letter to the vice president-elect regarding communion and conscience: I learned recently of your visit […]

“Because of God, I have the strength never to give up”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This sounds like exactly the sort of television we need: a program about perseverance, and hope, and more than a little bit of faith. It’s about a 30-something Sunday school teacher in Georgia named Ruby Gettinger and her struggle with […]

And, for the first time, a president who’s younger than me

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some interesting factoids from the Washington Post: History was made Tuesday when Barack Obama, 47, was elected president — the first man with a last name ending in a vowel (other than “y” or silent “e”) to ascend to the […]

A prayer for the unemployed

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The headline of the day: Unemployment Rate Leaps to 6.5%, 14-year High.   I suspect, in the months ahead, that number will get higher before it goes lower.  And so, a prayer: O Saint Joseph, we pray to you for […]

“Talk to a priest. Don’t believe what your hairdresser tells you.”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Just in time for the holidays, a group of priests in New York City (Staten Island, to be precise) is embarking on a mission to bring wandering Catholics back into the fold. Take a look: Since the summer, Monsignor Edmund […]

How he did it

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Barack Obama fared much better among religious voters than John Kerry did in 2004 — and this piece from the Wall Street Journal helps to explain why: The Obama campaign prevailed among Catholics despite sermons and letters from several conservative […]

Actually, Obama isn’t the first

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It was James Earl Jones. Anybody remember this? From 1972, “The Man,” a drama about the first black President of the United States.

And the next Vatican ambassador is … ?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Amy Welborn is thinking it may be a Kennedy. Or maybe Doug Kmiec? I’m thinking Obama may have bigger plans for Caroline Kennedy, who broke with Democratic orthodoxy when it was unfashionable, and who spearheaded Obama’s veep search. Seems to […]

A Wednesday prayer?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This morning, as is my custom, I had some deep conversations with myself in the shower. And I was wondering: if our show were on the air right now (it doesn’t debut until the spring), how would we cover The […]

B16: “Congrats!”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The man elected yesterday to be the leader of the free world received a congratulatory message today from someone who’s above his pay grade: Pope Benedict XVI sent a personal message to President-elect Barack Obama Nov. 5, congratulating him and […]

Quotes of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama. I wish […]

The Catholic vote, the morning after — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Rocco called it, aptly, a “repudiation,” and now others are weighing in with their thoughts about how Catholics voted yesterday. Here’s Thomas Reese, SJ, from the Washington Post: Catholic voters ignored the instructions of a group of vocal bishops and […]

Two speeches, two crowds

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The world heard two remarkable addresses Tuesday night: John McCain’s gracious concession speech and Barack Obama’s soaring victory speech. But I was struck by this: when McCain mentioned his opponent, the crowd booed. That didn’t happen when Obama mentioned McCain.

“I am a man”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

On CBS News tonight, Bob Schieffer spoke of how he attended segregated schools when he was growing up in Texas. “A black person had never attended any of my schools,” he said. Correspondent Byron Pitts told Katie Couric about how […]

Anxious about the election? Want to throw something at Wolf Blitzer?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Then take a mental health break: the inspired “Mad Men” parody from Sunday’s “The Simpsons.” You’ll feel better. I promise.

Having a voice

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A colleague at work described to me the scene at his polling place, in a mostly African American corner of Brooklyn. Long lines. A sizable crowd. And a cheerful mood. “There was singing,” he told me. Singing?, I said. What […]

A very good reason to vote

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Free stuff! Is it lunchtime yet?

That’s the way it was

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A friend of mine recently sent me an e-mail, asking if I was going to miss working this election night. I’d toiled into the wee hours for more election nights than I can remember and now, for the first time […]

Quote for an election day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“Voting is a civic sacrament.” — Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.

Quote of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“My fellow citizens of the United States of America should be deeply concerned about any candidate for the presidency who supports legislation which permits the destruction of human life at its very beginning, the killing of babies in the womb, […]

Prayer before an election

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city, state, and country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community. We ask for eyes […]

The small white casket

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Hours before we cast our votes, here’s a sobering reminder of what is at stake, from Florida Catholic: More than two years after her ignominious death at an abortion clinic, baby Shanice Denise Osbourne was laid to rest at Our […]

“It’s all about taking care of God’s children”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a Catholic agency being run by a Mormon. From the Utah Standard-Examiner: About once a week, Northern Utah Catholic Community Services sports an additional face among its employees. That face belongs to Brad […]

Catholic TV producer: “People respond to truth, not pablum”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Once, “Catholic media” meant just your parish bulletin and the diocesan paper. No more. Here’s a story that shows how much things have changed (and it happens to be right up my alley), about a growing Catholic television station that […]

McCain rocked the house

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

If you missed it, his hilarious appearance with Tina Fey last night on Saturday Night Live.

Homily for November 2, 2008: All Souls

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

His name was John Robert McGraham. Most of his life was unremarkable. He grew up the second youngest of six children in Cypress Park, in Los Angeles. As a little boy, he loved comic books and he’d sometimes run through […]

All Saint’s Day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

God our Father, source of all holiness, the work of Your hands is manifest in Your saints, the beauty ofYour truth is reflected in their faith. May we who aspire to have part in their joybe filled with the spirit […]

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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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