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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

February 2009 Archives

Lead us not into temptation

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just in time for Lent, when more of us are struggling to fast and do without, someone created this: It’s the world’s largest Girl Scout cookie. The caption says: Pastry chef Ernie Rich applies the finishing touches to the largest […]

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Vocations climbing — thanks to Africa and Asia

posted by deacon greg kandra

This bulletin is undeniably good news: The Vatican says the number of priests worldwide is slowly but steadily rising. The Holy See presented its yearbook filled with statistics to Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday. Since 2000, the number of priests […]

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Collared — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’d thought I’d toss this out there to see what “Bench” readers think. Most of us would probably agree that the collar to the right, or a variation of it, is typically found around the neck of a Roman Catholic […]

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“The Colored Sisters of the Holy Family”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That is the (nowadays) politically incorrect caption for the above photo, which shows an order of African-American sisters in New Orleans. As Black History Month draws to a close, you can find that and more at McNamara’s Blog, including the […]

When did Lent begin?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The cardinal archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, is suggesting to his flock that the answer is not what you might think. Here’s part of his 2009 Lenten message: According to the calendar, Ash Wednesday occurs this week and we […]

“Do not let your hearts be troubled…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

I can’t believe it’s been a year. We miss you, brother. Deacon Jim HynesJuly 31, 1958 – February 26, 2008

Vatican says Williamson apology isn’t enough

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Vatican wasn’t impressed with the limp olive branch offered yesterday by the SSPX’s most notorious bishop: The Vatican said Friday that the apology issued by an ultraconservative bishop who denied the Holocaust was not good enough to admit him […]

Boston’s message to deacons: “Step up to the plate”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The deacons of Boston had their annual convocation recently, and The Pilot has the scoop: Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley briefed permanent deacons on new archdiocesan initiatives and emphasized the increased importance of their ministry in the coming year at their […]

Religious ed for the autistic: “The whole point of Jesus is totally inclusive”

posted by deacon greg kandra

An alert reader spotted this item in the Washington Post, about a remarkable outreach to an often-neglected community: Two autistic boys sat inside a parochial school classroom this month. In a setting stripped of unnecessary furniture and toys to avoid […]

Through a mother’s eyes

posted by deacon greg kandra

Tonight, as we have every Friday during Lent for the past several years, my wife and I will undertake a unique apostolate within our parish, leading a devotion known as “Mary’s Way of the Cross,” by Richard Furey. It looks […]

Why Lent is green

posted by deacon greg kandra

And we’re not talking about the liturgical color here — we’re talking about how observing Lent can help to reduce our carbon footprint. Really. As we mark the first Friday of this season, take a look at this: It’s a […]

Williamson: “To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said, before God I apologise” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The latest wrinkle in the SSPX/Richard Williamson melodrama: he says he’s sorry. From Reuters: A Roman Catholic bishop who caused an uproar by denying the scale of the Holocaust has apologised for his views in statements carried on a Catholic […]

A precedent for the president: more Obama events are opening with a prayer

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those who are monitoring the presence of God in the public square might want to take a look at this: When Barack Obama’s presidential campaign contacted Ryan Culp last year to ask him to deliver a prayer at an Obama […]

“A guy’s guy” heads to New York

posted by deacon greg kandra

I missed this when it ran the other day, but this Times piece on Archbishop Dolan zeroes in on part of his appeal — and why he just might be very good news for vocations: The big recruiters talk about […]

A closed parish takes its sermons to the street

posted by deacon greg kandra

As many people know, New York is one of the archdioceses that has been feeling the pain of parish closings. And some parishioners aren’t taking it sitting down (or even kneeling). From the New York Times: The closing of their […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Vice President Joe Biden attending an event in Washington yesterday. PHOTO: by Getty Images/Win McNamee

Into the desert

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you are looking for a way to kick-start your Lent, I can think of no better person to turn to than The Anchoress, who is offering this day a rich roundup of thoughtful material. Among other things, she’s offering […]

Homily for February 25, 2009: Ash Wednesday

posted by deacon greg kandra

A true story: a few years ago, I was serving as a Eucharistic Minister on Ash Wednesday, and I stood over there during communion, holding the chalice filled with the Precious Blood. A man came up to me, and I […]

“It’s the general mediocrity of Catholic preaching that leaves me depressed…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A priest (and homiletics instructor) sent this my way, and it’s well worth pondering — one man’s reflections on the art of preaching: Listening to sermons at Mass, one often thinks, like the professor in the Narnia Chronicles, “What do […]

Another view of Dolan and deacons

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another reader, reacting to this post about a perceived slight by the new Archbishop of New York, dropped me a line, with a great story about Archbishop Dolan: [I’m] discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate in a diocese that […]

Other Christians embrace Lent: “We are reclaiming a sense of history”

posted by deacon greg kandra

As we get ready for another Ash Wednesday, and another 40-day sojourn into the desert, the Arkansas Catholic has this intriguing item reminding us that Lent is not just a Catholic thing anymore: Beginning Ash Wednesday, Catholics enter the 40-day […]

“Speaking of the Almighty…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

One FOB (Friend of the Bench) visits MCPF (My Close Personal Friend) Stephen Colbert. Enjoy. The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Turning to Religion – Jim Martin Colbert Report Full EpisodesFunny Political News Christian Bale ParodyJoke of the […]

Attention, twitter-files…any suggestions?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader, trying to be helpful, suggested I join twitter. It would be a great way for people to keep up with your blog, he said. Okay. I did. But now whenever I visit my blog — or, very often, […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Two shepherds. At St. Patrick’s this morning. PHOTO:  from The New York Times.

What? No deacons?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A deacon writes: Deacon Greg: I fully realize from all the testimony that Archbishop Dolan is a good man. However, (and this may be my own shortcoming) he gets off on the wrong foot with me by no acknowlegement of […]

Quote of the day II

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Part of our job here is to challenge guys to make sure they are not floating into the priesthood, to make sure they are asking the tough questions. So sometimes we say—as much as we hate to see a guy […]

Dolan: “I pledge to you my love, my life, my heart…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Courtesy the Loggia-Whisperer, the text of Archbishop Dolan’s remarks this morning to his new flock: Thank you, Cardinal Egan, for your gracious words of welcome. To know you are and will be at my side is a genuine blessing indeed. […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I was at the vespers when he was installed as bishop. And there’s a part where the bishop knocks on the door. Most do it timidly. Tap, tap. Not him — ‘Bang! Bang!’ It echoed through the cathedral and let […]

The Church’s worst-kept secret… — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

…is finally out. And the Grey Lady has it on page one. UPDATE: Michael Sean Winters has this glowing first review: During his time in Milwaukee, Dolan has been a model of centrism. At the blog “Cheeky Pink Girl” there […]

Brownback: “Real Catholics need a new voice”

posted by deacon greg kandra

After a long period of relative silence, following his departure from the presidential race, Sen. Sam Brownback is back, and he has some of his fellow Catholic politicians in his sights: Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback, in a fundraising letter […]

“Longing for something? Maybe it’s God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With Lent looming, the Archdiocese of Washington is launching an innovative ad campaign to lure back some of the sheep who have strayed. From the Washington Post: The archdiocese has an estimated 580,000 Catholics, according to spokeswoman Susan Gibbs, but […]

“Mary” joins the evangelicals

posted by deacon greg kandra

This little item may be a shock to many who watched the drama of World Youth Day unfold last summer. From a paper in Australia: World Youth Day was hailed for reigniting youthful passion in the Catholic Church, but the […]

Everybody dance!

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone who’s seen it knows you can’t help but grin and bop along to the jubilant, delightful finale of “Slumdog Millionaire.” It’s favored to win the Oscar tomorrow night. And it should. Watch below and dance!

Homily for February 22, 2009: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by deacon greg kandra

Sometimes, it can be hard to find the words to express grief after someone you love has died. But over the last few weeks, a woman I know has done that with remarkable clarity, power, and grace. Her name is […]

Re-opening the confessionals: “Salvation is not just a one-time deal”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With the news that the Archdiocese of New York is planning round-the-clock reconciliation to kick off Lent, the New York Times offers this look at how a church in a nearby diocese came to rediscover the sacrament: The day after […]

Need a break?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Crank up the speakers and enjoy.

“Our Jonathan…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is too funny to pass up: a self-described “collapsed” Catholic (Alec Baldwin) finds himself dating a beautiful woman (Selma Hayek) who takes her faith very seriously. They go out on a date that includes mass. And he’s worried they […]

It humbles earthly pride: singing the Exultet

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last year, I had my first experience scaling the Everest of liturgical chant, the Exultet. (I blogged about that, and my first Triduum, here, and that account was recently reprinted in Deacon Digest.) I know a few guys who now […]

Scorcese plans film on Japanese martyrs

posted by deacon greg kandra

From Zenit‘s Hollywood desk: An Academy Award-winning director is planning a movie on Japanese Christians martyred in the 17th century. Martin Scorsese will film the movie in New Zealand and release it in 2010, according to the Japanese daily Asahi […]

Scranton threatens to close cathedral on St. Patrick’s Day

posted by deacon greg kandra

After making headlines last fall, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton is doing it again, and upping the ante in the pro-life battle. From the local press: In a letter to the heads of three local Irish organizations, the Roman Catholic […]

All dolled up: Barbie at 50

posted by deacon greg kandra

I can’t believe it, but I’m the same age as Barbie. Needless to say, she’s holding up a lot better than I am. To mark this milestone — hers, not mine — there’s an exhibit now underway in Baltimore. And […]

The more things change …

posted by deacon greg kandra

… the more they stay the same. Why does this feel like Groundhog Day? (Which remains, to my way of thinking, one of the smartest and subtlest and sweetest conversion stories ever captured on film.)

“A baker’s dozen” of deacons ordained in Atlanta

posted by deacon greg kandra

At the “calling of the candidates,” Miguel Echevarría of St. Catherine of Siena Church, Kennesaw, joins his fellow deacon candidates in the center aisle of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, during the Feb. 7 diaconate ordination as his […]

“Little Jeff,” the almost-Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, who’d a thunk? McNamara’s Blog has this fascinating tidbit about the leader of the confederacy, who loved nuns and reputedly wore a Miraculous Medal: When he was a child, future Confederate President Jefferson Davis attended Catholic school for a […]

Sex and the sinner: “Men and women sin in different ways”

posted by deacon greg kandra

We’ve known for a long time that men and women often seem to be from different planets. Now, it turns out, that idea may also apply to how we sin: Women are prouder than men, but men are more lustful, […]

Benedict speaks, and the Speaker listens — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’re wondering what the Holy Father had to say to the Speaker of the House, Whispers has a glimpse: Following the General Audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, […]

Divine Mercy, indeed

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the passengers on that miracle flight that landed in the Hudson thinks that miracle may be due to something more than just divine intervention — perhaps, Divine Mercy. From Florida Catholic: Frederick Berretta humbly admits to being away […]

Everything you always wanted to know about Lent…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…but were afraid to ask. It can all be found right here, at this encyclopedic link put forth by Aggie Catholics. Want to know all about Lent, ashes, fasting and fish on Fridays? Look no further. This is a treasure […]

Another sign of the coming apocalypse

posted by deacon greg kandra

True headline: Cher Says She’s Living Like a Nun in Las Vegas

I have just three words for you: switch to decaf

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is why God made Sanka. See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

Candle becomes a burning issue

posted by deacon greg kandra

A controversial image of President Obama is causing a small war to break out in the California city named for a patron of peace: He may be the Second Coming to many San Franciscans – but one local Catholic priest […]

Breathless

posted by deacon greg kandra

Amy Welborn, writing here about a discovery in the midst of her own sorrow, stumbles on something so simple but profound, it just took my breath away: From where I sit on my bed, I count 6 icons, 2 crucifixes, […]

De Souza: “Our coverage of Fr. Maciel’s case has been inadequate”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The sad and still-unfolding story of Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legion of Christ, has touched a nerve in Fr. Raymond de Souza, longtime contributor to one of the LC’s most prominent and popular ministries, the weekly National […]

“He’s throwing out a life preserver, and I’m going to grab it”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last week, my own diocese announced a unique plan to save some Catholic schools threatened with closure: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn unveiled a proposal on Saturday to convert four Roman […]

Confirmed: Pelosi and Benedict on Wednesday — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

From AFP: Visiting US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have an audience with Pope Benedict XVI during her weeklong visit to Italy, a Vatican official said Monday. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, the official told AFP, […]

Confession 101: Part Deux

posted by deacon greg kandra

After posting Part 1 of “Confession 101,” the good folks at Busted Halo have now put up Part II — which stars Steve Carrell!! No, wait. That’s not Steve Carrell. It’s Fr. Dave Dwyer. (Carrell will play him in the […]

Cardinal George flashback: “We have a unique situation in America, for good or for ill…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

While the hand-wringing continues over the planned meeting between Nancy Pelosi and Pope Benedict, I thought it might be instructive to look at an item that John Allen posted in the pages of NCR five years ago: In January 2001, […]

What would the stork say?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I just saw this over at Jesus Goes to Disney World — a terrific ad that should be a challenge to all of us. What are you doing with your life???

Illuminating the Bible

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the more remarkable undertakings of recent years — a complete edition of the Bible, written by hand, and “illuminated,” is nearing completion. And a gallery in Baltimore is putting some of the extraordinary handiwork on display. From the […]

“Human beings hold within them the light of eternity”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With all the buzz about Timothy Dolan these days, Rocco has taken a moment to put his episcopal career in context. He points to several key homilies, including this stem-winder, from Washington DC’s Red Mass in 2007: Summer, 2002, and […]

Room for debate: on indulgences

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last week, the New York Times posted an item about the church putting a new emphasis on indulgences. This morning, in a followup, it’s posted online a debate about the meaning and significance of the same subject. Among those weighing […]

The Pope, Jesus and me

posted by deacon greg kandra

That could be the title of the window below, which adorns the sacristy of a church here in Queens: You can read the story behind it right here.

On Pelosi and the Pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

By now, you’ve probably heard reports that the Speaker of the House is planning to meet with Pope Benedict. As of right now, it’s unconfirmed. The Washington Post — the source for the story — reports: If working on NATO […]

Dolin’ the dish on Dolan

posted by deacon greg kandra

Rocco passes along this tidbit, from a highly regarded reporter in Rome: The announcement should arrive shortly. And it regards the name of the successor of the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York, Edward Michael Egan. According to leaks collected by Il […]

“God doesn’t call the qualified– He qualifies the called.”

posted by deacon greg kandra

I stumbled on this inspiring story of a deacon in Florida Catholic, which focuses on his ministry as part of the diocese’s annual fundraising appeal: Now-Deacon Walt Skinner served his church as a youth minister for many years, but that […]

“God had other plans for him”

posted by deacon greg kandra

You may remember the sad story of Deacon Adam Crowe, who died suddenly, just a few months before his scheduled ordination to the priesthood. A reader alerted me to this touching tribute from a local paper in upstate New York: […]

You are loved: Happy Valentine’s Day

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just because. I like the song and this video, and I suspect more people need to hear its message — especially now. Enjoy. Because you are loved!

Intolerance?

posted by deacon greg kandra

This story is causing a small stir in Britain, where it’s raising questions about religious tolerance, Christian persecution — and whether the story is being blown out of proportion. Here’s the BBC’s take: A Devon primary school has denied it […]

Crucifixes in Catholic classrooms: “offensive”? — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

That seems to be some of the reaction up in Beantown, at the venerable Boston College. Take a look: Some Boston College professors and students are raising a holy ruckus over the Catholic school’s return to its religious roots by […]

Did God rig the Super Bowl?

posted by deacon greg kandra

For those who may have missed it, MCPF’s insightful analysis of that question, and some others: The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Yahweh or No Way – The Super Bowl Colbert Report Full EpisodesFunny Political News Christian Bale […]

Go ahead. Watch this and try not to cry. I dare you.

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at New Advent, Kevin Knight has linked to this neat story, about the origins of some of the most familiar and popular Muppet characters. But for me, the hidden gem is at the bottom, where the post offers a […]

Plucked

posted by deacon greg kandra

Ah, memories … A former colleague from my days at CBS has penned this little reminiscence of life at the Eye Web. A snip: What had been the finest broadcast news organization has devolved into what employess there describe as […]

“Only Jack Benny could top Sheen’s ability to deliver a punch line”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A cheerful wave of the deacon’s stole to Doc Mac, who reminds us that today marks a little milestone in broadcast history, when Fulton Sheen made his TV debut. The good doctor quotes one writer who described the archbishop’s appeal […]

A seminarian boom: “A dilemma we’ve prayed for and worked for”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Everything’s up to date in Kansas City — and they’re reporting a surge in seminarians there. This comes from the Catholic Key, the archdiocesan paper: Abbot Gregory Polan of Conception Abbey led nearly 700 voices in a round of “Holy […]

When blog readers attack!

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at Googling God, Mike Hayes has discovered one of the hazards of blogging. Which is, of course, the comments box. Mike has posted one angry (and semi-literate) comment — which attacks, quote, “THE WATERED DOWN CUMBYA FEELY FEELY LEFTIST […]

Excuse me while I burp

posted by deacon greg kandra

Don’t try this during Lent. A sloppy Joe ladled onto a Krispy Kreme donut for a bun. That and so much more that’s bad for you can be found here.

Homecoming

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some heartening news from one war-ravaged corner of the planet: people are returning to the Church: Although armed conflict in Kosovo ended nearly a decade ago, the capital city still feels like a place hit recently by war or natural […]

In the vanishing rainforest, disppearing priests

posted by deacon greg kandra

The diminishing vocations to the priesthood have had an effect not only in the United States, but in mission countries, particularly Latin America. Reuters takes a look: They avoid taking buses, make sure friends know their schedules, and rarely go […]

“Hail Mary, poor and humble woman…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,Blessed by the Most High!Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,We join in your song of praise, to celebrate the Lord’s mercy, to proclaim the coming of the […]

“God Alone”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those iconic words are inscribed over the entrance to the cloister at the Abbey of Gethsemane in Kentucky, and they were the words Amy Welborn had inscribed on the back of the holy card for her husband’s funeral. They are […]

From Lourdes: “Love overcomes, love delights”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Fr. Jim Martin dropped me a line to let me know about this timely clip, from his DVD “Who Cares About the Saints?” It’s the portion that deals with St. Bernadette, and he recounts the story of the appearances of […]

Report: Pope Benedict heading to Holy Land this spring

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some interesting and timely news out of Rome early this morning: Two months after his trip to Africa, the Holy Father is scheduled to visit the Middle East where he will see the place of Jesus’ baptism, a mosque in […]

A John Paul miracle for John Paul?

posted by deacon greg kandra

An alert reader sent this my way: the poignant story of a baby in need of a miracle, and the namesake who just might provide it: Tracy and Tami Hauser are praying for a miracle and asking others to do […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“The last several weeks of curial chaos, confusion, and incompetence in the wake of the lifting of the excommunications of four Lefebvrist bishops have made clear just how dysfunctional the curia remains in terms of both crisis analysis and crisis […]

Over the top Down Under: a parish confronts excommunication threat — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The saga of St. Mary’s in Brisbane, Australia has attracted a surprising amount of attention. The blog Te Deum laudamus has a write up, and no less a luminary than Fr. Z. has also weighed in. If you want to […]

Indulgences: “Why are we bringing it back? Because there is sin in the world.”

posted by deacon greg kandra

During this year devoted to St. Paul, there’s been special attention in my diocese to something often overlooked in the modern church: indulgences. This morning’s New York Times takes another look at them, and what they mean: The announcement in […]

Merkel to pope: let’s talk

posted by deacon greg kandra

Two famous Germans — one a chancellor, the other a pope — chatted on the phone Sunday. They didn’t talk about the weather. From the AP: The German chancellor called the pope Sunday, days after she demanded he clarify the […]

Big families under attack?

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s the premise of this intriguing piece from the New York Times — and they make a pretty persuasive argument: The comment from the photographer at Sears was typical. “Are these all yours?” she asked, surveying Kim Gunnip’s 12 children. […]

Peachy: new deacons in Atlanta!

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Archdiocese of Atlanta ordained a fresh batch this weekend, and if you visit Padre Vic’s blog, you can see a nifty slide show of the whole event. Above, the boys before vesting. Visit the link to see the “ontological […]

“Marriage in the Lord”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Several weeks back, I got a nice e-mail from Deacon James Keating, Director of Theological Formation for the Institute of Priestly Formation at Creighton University, asking if I’d like to give a listen to a couple of CDs that he’s […]

Ben and ‘Bam: more in common than we think?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The venerable John Allen speculates that Barack Obama and Pope Benedict, while poles apart on some important issues, still share some common ground: The prevailing view in the Vatican leadership, even among Benedict and his conservative supporters, seems to be […]

Need quick cash?

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I have school debts and credit cards, and even living in New York, it’s one of the most expensive places to live. “So, when money started dwindling, I started doing a little bit of research on what I could be […]

Deacons in the Archdiocese for the Military Services

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last week I posted this interesting item on deacons who serve as military chaplains in Canada. Now Roman Catholic Vocations has a follow up, with more details from the United States. The item below comes from the AMS (Archdiocese for […]

Churches report drop in Sunday collections

posted by deacon greg kandra

The economic downturn is hitting some churches in their most sensitive area: the collection plate. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: For weeks now, Matt McCarron has been unable to muster the strength to go to Sunday Mass. A lifelong Catholic, he’s […]

Ladies and gentlemen, the Virgin Mary…

posted by deacon greg kandra

That would be the young actress depicted below, Camilla Belle, who is slated to star in a new film on Mary called “Mary, the Mother of the Christ,” written by Barbara Nicolosi and Benedict Fitzgerald (who also wrote “The Passion […]

“In the face of the media’s intense hatred of our Catholic faith…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s quite a storm brewing out in Illinois, involving allegations of sex abuse, lawyers, the bishop and, it seems, the media: Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky is lashing out at the news media and Illinois courts over the handling of sexual […]

Homily for February 8, 2009: World Marriage Day

posted by deacon greg kandra

February 8th marks World Marriage Day, sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. At my parish’s 11:30 mass, we’ll have a renewal of wedding vows. This is my homily for the occasion. When Msgr. Funaro asked me to preach for today, World […]

Homily for February 8, 2009: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by deacon greg kandra

Today’s gospel begins with just four brief words. “On leaving the synagogue…” It sounds so simple. It’s almost a passing reference. You could hear those words go by and not give them a second thought. But with those four brief […]

Getting job help from a Higher Power

posted by deacon greg kandra

The grim economic news has led a growing number of churches to become engaged in a special kind of ministry: helping those out of work. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The unemployed in metro Atlanta are turning to churches for help […]

“A promise perpetually kept”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A number of prominent politicians popped up at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday in Washington, and offered some of their thoughts on prayer and belief: President Barack Obama and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair struck similar themes in remarks […]

Falloff in Sioux Falls?

posted by deacon greg kandra

More parish closings and consolidations may be on the way — this time, in South Dakota: Thirty-five eastern South Dakota Catholic parishes could lose their regular Masses by 2012 under a plan led by Bishop Paul Swain of the Catholic […]

“The baby was just treated as a piece of garbage”

posted by deacon greg kandra

My first thought when I read this was: “What were they thinking?” My second was: “How many times has this happened before, and we don’t hear about it…?” Take a look: Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“What is the opposite of the ‘big lie’? Trust. When questioned by an English journalist about the future of the Religious Order that he co-founded, Father Benedict Groeschel gave a simple reply, “We have no plans, except to be led […]

Benedict’s choice?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The rampant speculation about who will succeed Cardinal Edward Egan as Archbishop of New York has now reached a fever pitch — and the pages of the New York Times: Catholics in Rome and the United States who track movements […]

SSPX and married deacons: “completely unlawful”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader who is a deacon candidate sent this along to me, and it seems worth some attention. If anyone is wondering how the SSPX feels about deacons and celibacy, take a look: In the fall of 1995, the French […]

How to help Michael Dubruiel’s family — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Amy Welborn has updated her post about her husband’s tragic death yesterday: Many thanks for all of the prayers and notes. It is overwhelming. Many have asked what they can do of a material or concrete nature. All I can […]

Confession 101

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you haven’t been in a while, the good folks at Busted Halo are offering this friendly primer. With Lent around the corner, it couldn’t come at a better time. H/T to the sinner in the video, God Googler, Mike […]

Tip of the mitre, wag of the crosier!

posted by deacon greg kandra

It turns out one of the names being mentioned for Archbishop of New York is MCPF. Personally, I don’t think he’s Irish enough.

Vatican to SSPX bishop: recant — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Vatican has upped the ante in the case involving a prominent member of the SSPX who denies the Holocaust: The Vatican demanded Wednesday that a bishop who denied the Holocaust recant his positions before being fully admitted into the […]

“The ministry of presence:” the deacon on the battlefield

posted by deacon greg kandra

This caught my eye over at the blog Roman Catholic Vocations: the story of a Canadian permanent deacon who is also a military chaplain: In an environment where death and brutality is inevitably part of the process, faith and religion […]

When a seminarian dies

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Diocese of Ogdensburg is grieving this week over the sudden death of a seminarian, Deacon Adam Crowe, who would have been ordained this spring. This tragic news hits especially hard in vocation-strapped Ogdensburg; Crowe was the only candidate for […]

A death in the family

posted by deacon greg kandra

This news just has to stun every reader in the Catholic blogosphere. My prayers go out to Amy and her family at this terrible time.

USCCB on SSPX

posted by deacon greg kandra

The U.S. bishops have just released a statement on the SSPX debacle: Statement of Cardinal Francis George, President USCCB Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the personal penalty of excommunication incurred by four schismatic bishops belonging to the Priestly Society of […]

The good Deacon Good has a website — and blog!

posted by deacon greg kandra

I got a nice e-mail the other day from Deacon Timothy Good, from the Diocese of Erie, alerting me to his webpage and blog. Drop and pay a visit: the link is here. And tell him hello from “The Deacon’s […]

Scandal at Legionaries? — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

For several days there have been dark suggestions that something was up, and now American Papist confirms it: The Ex LC Blog is claiming that Marcial Maciel is being renounced as the spiritual founder of the Legionaries of Christ, at […]

Read all about it!

posted by deacon greg kandra

And you can, right here. The Catholic Press Association has some info, too. H/T to the Doc McNamara.

And it’s a good way to shed those last pounds from Christmas…

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope, today, on fasting: Pope Benedict XVI says fasting is important for modern Catholics because it helps make them aware of the deprived state in which many people live. Benedict says that through fasting “we make a statement that […]

The missing clergyman — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

When this item popped up on the wires the other day, it sounded like a clever idea: A new website was launched today which endeavors to ignite some Catholic enthusiasm and devotion onto your computer’s desktop. Catholic Desktops wants to […]

More SSPX fallout: “It’s particularly disturbing, in that he is also a German pope” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Monday, there was still more fallout now from the pope’s decision to lift the excommunications of four SSPX bishops: A leading member of Germany’s Jewish community said Monday that Benedict XVI, the German-born pope and leader of more than a […]

Scranton moves to close nearly half its churches

posted by deacon greg kandra

Big news from northeastern Pennsylvania this weekend, as the bishop announced a massive restructuring that will affect every parishioner: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton is closing almost half of its churches, reducing the number of parishes from 209 to […]

A new Mad Man?

posted by deacon greg kandra

If Internet buzz is to be believed, it sounds like that big house on Madison Avenue may soon have a new resident. Stay tuned. My money’s on Dolan.

“How did Jesus live?” Young Catholics look for the answer.

posted by deacon greg kandra

This impressive story about young lay Catholics in Washington was published several days ago, and I’m finally getting around to reading and posting. Take a moment and read what these kids are doing. It’s something. Truly. A snip: Now for […]

The power of positive preaching: a minister retires

posted by deacon greg kandra

The minister who has led one of New York City’s most famous and storied churches retired on Sunday — and gave one last sermon. From the New York Times: At Marble Collegiate, the landmark church on Fifth Avenue and 29th […]

“You will find that strength to get back up”

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’m never complaining about my petty measly little life again. Watch this. And you’ll understand why. It’s full of courage, joy, hope — all those great things we Christians embrace and celebrate. But this young man lives them. Perfectly. Go […]

To serve and protect: police officers called to ministry

posted by deacon greg kandra

A surprising number of deacons in my diocese are retired cops — an indication, perhaps, of how deeply the call to serve others filters through every aspect of their lives. Now a paper in upstate New York has taken a […]

Ahoy! A deacon puts “both oars in”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some noteworthy deacon news from the Catholic News Agency: they’ve launched a regular column by Deacon Patrick Moynihan: CNA is excited to introduce a new current events and political column written by Deacon Patrick Moynihan, a permanent deacon for the […]

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 immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

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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