Advertisement

The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

January 1970 Archives

A designing deacon puts his stamp on Archbishop Dolan’s coat of arms

posted by deacon greg kandra

Below is a first glimpse (or second, thanks to Rocco) of Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s new coat of arms that will soon adorn St. Patrick’s. An explanation of what it all means — and a nod to the permanent deacon, Paul […]

Advertisement

What Matt learned on his feet

posted by deacon greg kandra

Remember Matt Harding and his delightful dance around the world? Over at NPR, he’s offered his thoughts on what that exercise taught him: Here’s what I can report back: People want to feel connected to each other. They want to […]

Advertisement

Letter to Obama: “Give your conscience a fresh opportunity to be formed anew” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The head of the order which founded Notre Dame has penned a letter to President Obama, and CNS has details from Rome: U.S. Father Hugh W. Cleary, Holy Cross superior general in Rome, said that when Obama receives an honorary […]

Advertisement

“De-baptized”???

posted by deacon greg kandra

Not content with simply renouncing their faith — or just ignoring it and sleeping in on Sundays — a number of non-believers have decided to take things a step further: More than 100,000 Britons have recently downloaded “certificates of de-baptism” […]

Welcome, Newt

posted by deacon greg kandra

There was much buzz a few weeks ago when it was revealed that Newt Gingrich was going to join the Catholic Church. Last weekend, he reportedly made it official. Since then, news has been scarce. But this tidbit popped up […]

Remnant, anyone?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The results of this recent Gallup poll are, to put it mildly, interesting. It does make one wonder: just how do you define “Catholic” for these things? And, of course: if this is even remotely accurate, what does that say […]

“I am greatly pleased that Obama has agreed to speak at my alma mater…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In the Washington Post this Sunday, you could read this opinion on the Obama-Notre Dame mess: I am an alumnus of Notre Dame. I am adamantly pro-life, independent as a voter — and greatly pleased that Obama has agreed to […]

Dolan on the Domers: “They made a big mistake”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“They made a big mistake. There’s a lot of things that President Obama does that we can find ourselves allied with and working with him on, and we have profound respect for him and pray with him and for him. […]

Lombardi out?

posted by deacon greg kandra

That seems to be the big news waiting to break, via Brit blogger Damian Thompson: The Pope’s press officer, Fr Federico Lombardi, is to resign after Benedict XVI’s visit to the Holy Land, according to Italian and German press reports. […]

The story of a married priest: “Do you call him ‘Father father’?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Ever since Cardinal Egan’s eyebrow-raising remarks on celibacy earlier this month, there’s been more discussion about a married priesthood. (Shameless plug: Part of that discussion will take part Sunday night on The NET, on a program I produce called “In […]

My big fat Greek parish

posted by deacon greg kandra

Okay, well, not exactly. But on the NET series “City of Churches” last week, they visited and toured my old parish in Astoria, Queens, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The neighborhood has the greatest concentration of Greeks outside of Athens. […]

Insert blogpost headline here

posted by deacon greg kandra

We know newsrooms are laying off staff and there is even word now that some broadcast outlets may outsource their sports coverage. But then you see something like this and think: “Last one out of the newsroom, please turn off […]

And then, the Lady in the tilma just rolled her eyes

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just when I needed a good laugh, along came this: During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white […]

“I find the invitation very disappointing…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I find the invitation very disappointing. Though I can understand the desire by a university to have the prestige of a commencement address by the President of the United States, the fundamental moral issue of the inestimable worth of the […]

From the Domers, to another dome…

posted by deacon greg kandra

With a lot of attention and ink being devoted to the “Domers” at Notre Dame, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at another Catholic university, and another dome, where a long-awaited architecture project may finally be […]

“I fear the situation is getting out of control…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A brother deacon from the Diocese of Brooklyn sent this link my way, with the note, “Let’s get civil and teach about the real problem.” Here’s an excerpt, from the National Catholic Reporter piece. It’s by Dr. Thomas Patrick Melady, […]

Is this a crime?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Take a look at the video below: It depicts Baptist pastor Walter Hoye protesting outside an abortion clinic in California, while clinic escorts attempt to block his sign with blank pieces of cardboard. Hoye was arrested and his now in […]

A deacon on fire with the Lord — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has a new deacon — and he probably has one of the more unusual resumes in the chancery: Fire Chief James Clack aims to keep us out of blazes – in Baltimore and in the hereafter. […]

Burke, irked

posted by deacon greg kandra

After visiting with Archbishop Burke a couple weeks back, and videotaping his remarks on communion and pro-choice politicians, passionate pro-lifer Randall Terry probably thought he was doing something noble by releasing the tape to the public. He thought wrong. The […]

A father becomes a Father…at 80

posted by deacon greg kandra

From Canada comes this remarkable story of a permanent deacon being ordained to the priesthood — but like so many, his journey was unique: Growing up on a West Quebec farm in the 1930s, Gerard Lafreniere’s dream came to him […]

Hotel manager fired for Catholic slur

posted by deacon greg kandra

You never know where anti-Catholic bigotry might pop up — and the New York Daily News has the story of an ugly incident that took place at one of New York’s finest hotels: The manager of one of the city’s […]

Ah, travel!

posted by deacon greg kandra

The New York Times reported the surprising (shocking?) news that former CNN anchor Bobbie Battista is now anchoring faux news on The Onion (it would be much funnier if it were faux news on FOX, but I digress…) If you […]

First, the birds went after Tippi Hedren, now the cardinals are going for Tom Hanks

posted by deacon greg kandra

You can expect more noise about this little movie in the coming weeks — some reports suggest the Vatican will call for a boycott — but anyone who’s curious can see the official movie poster below. There’s nothing scarier than […]

It is announced

posted by deacon greg kandra

Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,You have revealed the beauty of Your powerby exalting the lowly virgin of Nazarethand making her the mother of our Savior.May the prayers of this womanbring Jesus to the waiting worldand fill the void […]

The Annunciation: nothing is impossible with God

posted by deacon greg kandra

“At this dark moment in time…what is being announced is hope. Mary, we’re told, was troubled at what she heard. But what follows is a message for all of us. In our moments of confusion, when we are troubled by […]

In the arena: vocations

posted by deacon greg kandra

The latest episode of “In the Arena” is available online. This week’s topic: vocations. Guests include a seminarian, the Vocations Director for the Diocese of Brooklyn, a couple Little Sisters of the Poor, and, as always, the popular Elizabeth Scalia […]

“I have decided not to attend the graduation…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A short time ago, John D’Arcy, the bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend — the diocese of Notre Dame — issued a statement about the Obama commencement speech: On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that […]

The Annunciation — as you have never seen it depicted before

posted by deacon greg kandra

H/T to Dr. McNamara, who discovered this gem at the blog of another Queens clergyman, the pastor over at St. Sebastian’s, Msgr. Hardiman.

From the logo-sphere

posted by deacon greg kandra

Further proof — if any were needed — that anyone can have a blog, and there is a blog for anyone. This is called — with breathtaking precision —Your Logo Makes Me Barf. One example, below.

Backlash

posted by deacon greg kandra

President Obama’s planned appearance at Notre Dame appears to have sparked a backlash among some on campus — and among a number of Catholics, according to MSNBC: In today’s edition of the student newspaper, The Observer, letters to the editor, […]

The Boston three-party: one priest to oversee three parishes

posted by deacon greg kandra

An archdiocese that for generations had one of the most vibrant and celebrated Catholic populations in America is about to set a surprising precedent. From the Boston Globe: The Archdiocese of Boston, facing a growing shortage of priests but reluctant […]

Casting the first stone

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader discovered this column by Archbishop Wuerl in the Catholic Standard, the archdiocesan newspaper of Washington, and thought it especially noteworthy — and timely. I agree. A snip: The New Testament is filled with references to Jesus’ mercy, forgiveness, […]

Sorry, but …

posted by deacon greg kandra

… the comments in the posts about Obama and Notre Dame, and Glendon and Notre Dame, have started to go off the deep end. They’ve been shut down before things get out of hand.

Shell-raiser — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

File this under the category of “Papal Gifts, Animal Division.” From CNS’s intrepid John Thavis, aboard the pope’s flight from Angola: Non-cardinal passengers on the papal plane have to be onboard well before the pope or they get left behind […]

Life-giving water

posted by deacon greg kandra

A friend at the parish passed along a flyer about a worthy project she’s involved with and asked if I would spread the word. So here it is. She’s helping to raise funds for the people in the village of […]

Just when you think you’ve seen it all…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…along comes something like this: dolphins just doing what dolphins do. And it is simply amazing. This clip from Sea World is pure, undiluted delight. Just take a moment, watch and smile.

I don’t know any priests who sing like this, do you?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I had the good fortune of having lunch a couple weeks ago with a fella from the Archdiocese of New York who also happens to handle North American marketing for Sony for the singing trio known as The Priests. These […]

“What happened here was a financial tsunami..”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A couple weeks ago, I posted on a bill working its way through the New York legislature that would lift the statute of limitations on filing sex abuse claims. The bill could go for a vote before the Empire State […]

Do you know who was America’s first monsignor?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The good Dr. McNamara does. And his identity (and his story) may surprise you. (Well, it surprised me, at least!)

“Stand by me”: the song sung around the world

posted by deacon greg kandra

Take a few moments and watch this and feel suddenly much better about the state of the world. I guarantee: it’s the most moving and uplifting rendition of this song you’ve ever encountered. Enjoy. “Stand by Me” performed by musicians […]

“Too many Catholics just don’t really care” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Too many Catholics just don’t really care. That’s the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could […]

Homily for March 22, 2009: 4th Sunday of Lent

posted by deacon greg kandra

You might not know it from the weather, but Friday was the first day of spring. At the building where we live, that meant they finally took down the Christmas lights. The landscaping company came out to spread mulch and […]

And now, the other shoe

posted by deacon greg kandra

Fresh from the hand-wringing and teeth-grinding caused by having President Obama speak, Notre Dame has made another little announcement: At this hour, as the bells of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart toll in Laetare Sunday, the university has announced […]

Homily for March 22, 2009: 4th Sunday of Lent (Second Scrutiny)

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you cross Queens Boulevard and head down 112th Street, you’ll pass a Reform temple, the Temple Sinai, a modern building with a small plaque by the front door. The plaque commemorates a piece of Forest Hills history: on that […]

Raising hell

posted by deacon greg kandra

And now for something completely different. From the New York Times comes this odd item about a filmmaker who is having trouble with the law over the name he’s chosen for his production company: Back in the fall of 2007, […]

Something fishy: a Lenten tradition endures

posted by deacon greg kandra

In some places, a Lenten ritual that has been a mainstay of Catholic parish life for decades is still going strong: The line starts forming when the doors open at 5 p.m. and it doesn’t let up, snaking around the […]

Obama to give commencement speech at Notre Dame — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

This falls under the category of “What Were They Thinking?” From South Bend: President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address May 17 at the University of Notre Dame. Obama will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an […]

More on the “excommunications” in Brazil

posted by deacon greg kandra

After all the shock and dismay over the reported excommunications surrounding that abortion in Brazil, Amy Welborn this morning offers us more details. Pay a visit. It’s revealing. I’m sure it will surprise no one that, once again, the press […]

“The Mass in places like Malawi blows the American Catholic Mass out of the water” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

A blogger in Africa has some thoughts on what it means to take part in the celebration of mass in that corner of the world — and it sounds like something amazing: The Catholic Mass in places like Malawi absolutely […]

What can you do with an old convent?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A parish in Florida found one wonderful answer, and Florida Catholic recently paid a visit: How appropriate that what was once the home of the Sisters of Mercy should become the temporary home and refuge of pregnant women. “There were […]

“Pews are empty because we haven’t done our jobs”

posted by deacon greg kandra

How can deacons help evangelize? The Tidings, the Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, this week offers one answer, with this intriguing look at a unique deacon ministry that is striving to meet people where they are: In […]

Habit-forming

posted by deacon greg kandra

A priest sent this my way — an interesting item from Fr. Z on the fashion statement of the priesthood (along with some mild criticism from the always-smartly-dressed pontiff). The original news story, from ANSA: Priests are under pressure to […]

Hope from the pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

“‘Hoping against hope: is this not a magnificent description of a Christian? Africa is called to hope through you and in you! With Jesus Christ, who trod the African soil, Africa can become the continent of hope! We are all […]

And it isn’t even Christmas!

posted by deacon greg kandra

Clicked on the computer this morning and found this lovely gift wrapped and waiting for me. Thank you, A! If you want to see what she’s talking about, just drop by for a visit. All are welcome!

Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

posted by deacon greg kandra

From the irrepressible Fr. James Martin’s DVD “Who Cares About the Saints?”

The Anchoress again appears “In the Arena”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those who enjoyed her appearance last week (you know who you are!) can check out the latest installment right here.

Deacons and the Chrism Mass??

posted by deacon greg kandra

An alert priest sent this my way, and I thought it worth posting and discussing. From Zenit: Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university. Q: During Holy Week the Chrism Mass […]

St. Stephen, asleep

posted by deacon greg kandra

Googling around for background on this Sunday’s readings, I found this unusual depiction of St. Stephen — first martyr of the Church, and patron of deacons. It’s called “Saint Stephen Mourned by Saints Gamaliel and Nicodemus,” by a follower of […]

48 days without food: one priest’s Lenten fast

posted by deacon greg kandra

Think giving up chocolate is enough? From Canada comes this story of a priest who is doing something truly counter-cultural — and daunting — for Lent: Eleven days into a 48-day fast, Jesuit Father John McCarthy was feeling pretty good. […]

Q: “Is the Church’s position on fighting AIDS ineffective and unrealistic?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A: “I would say the opposite. I think that the reality that is most effective, the most present and the strongest in the fight against AIDS, is precisely that of the Catholic Church, with its programs and its diversity. I […]

“It’s always transubstantiation vs. consubstantiation…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s the pithy wisdom of Lisa Simpson, summing up the problems between the Irish. One last St. Pat’s nugget:

The spendin’ of the green

posted by deacon greg kandra

How did you spend St. Patrick’s Day? Whatever you did, I doubt it was anything like this: Father Maurice Chase celebrated his 90th birthday on St. Patrick’s Day by giving away green — and plenty of it. The Catholic priest […]

Two presidents meet — Obama and George

posted by deacon greg kandra

Information is scarce, but it seems the leader of the free world had a chat today with the leader of the U.S. bishops. From CNS: President Barack Obama met for half an hour March 17 with Chicago Cardinal Francis E. […]

Monkeyshines

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Anchoress has posted her own link of great Irish contributions to the world — including Michael Flatley. Good as Flatley may be, I have a certain affection for the version below.

Cool vocation ad watch

posted by deacon greg kandra

This evidently began running today in Kansas City. H/T to the Catholic Key.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

posted by deacon greg kandra

A l’il bit o‘ green for ye. With Debbie Harry, no less. Enjoy.

Pro-life leaders meet with Vatican officials, urge reassigning U.S. bishops

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader sent along this piece of news: Randall Terry, Operation Rescue Founder, led a delegation of nine pro-life leaders in an unprecedented series of meetings with Vatican officials from March 2-6 in Rome. (Names below.) The reactions ranged from […]

A reader writes

posted by deacon greg kandra

This showed up this afternoon in the comments of a post from nearly two years ago: I’m a Catholic, my fiance is not religious. He never had any sort of mention of God in his life and doesn’t seem to […]

When a Catholic woman gets an IUD

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I used to think of the IUD as the boogeyman, as the Intrauterine Devil. Now one abides in me. I would never have predicted such a future for myself. My husband and I have been pretty strict Catholics throughout our […]

Papal fashion, c. 1980

posted by deacon greg kandra

While Pope Benedict prepares to depart on his first trip to Africa, it’s interesting to flashback to his predecessor’s trip to the continent nearly 30 years ago. John Paul visited six countries on his first tour — and offered some […]

Happy Anniversary, Frank

posted by deacon greg kandra

A priest I know is celebrating his 30th anniversary of ordination today. This one’s for you! Ad multos annos!

Vatican official criticizes Brazilian abortion excommunications — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The controversial abortion performed on a nine-year-old girl has a new wrinkle, as a Vatican official weighs in: An influential prelate said Brazilian doctors didn’t deserve excommunication for aborting the twin fetuses of a 9-year-old child who was allegedly raped […]

Campaign urges Catholics to leave the Church

posted by deacon greg kandra

From a Canadian paper comes this news about an effort by atheists to get Latin American Catholics to quit the Church: In an effort to reduce the church’s political influence, Argentine atheists and feminists are spearheading a drive to get […]

Deacon gets spotlight on Letterman

posted by deacon greg kandra

Does the guy below look like David Letterman? Letterman’s producers evidently think so. Read on: Tuesday night, the Rev. Deacon Larry Sisterman went to bed early, happy that he and his wife had finally finished their taxes. He awoke Wednesday […]

Homily for March 15, 2009: 3rd Sunday of Lent

posted by deacon greg kandra

When I was growing up in Maryland, we’d often go to visit my grandmother, who lived in a little New Jersey town called Pitman, near Camden. Along the way, we’d usually pull in to a rest stop on I-95 that […]

Obama’s pastors

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone curious about where Barack Obama turns for spiritual guidance might want to check out this intriguing item from Saturday’s New York Times: President Obama has been without a pastor or a home church ever since he cut his ties […]

Catholic Charities calls Obama’s budget “very positive”

posted by deacon greg kandra

While a number of President Obama’s initiatives (notably on embryonic stem cells and abortion funding overseas) have been criticized by Catholic leaders, Catholic Charities has welcomed some of his moves: Seeing President Barack Obama’s first federal budget proposal in his […]

A Lenten lesson in a damaged cathedral

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some weeks back, a fire tore through part of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago and, ever since, workers have been trying to repair the damage. The place is closed to only a few visitors. But one who paid a call […]

“This is a ministry with a proud history of service”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another deacon who’s worked in the media is making news in the Archdiocese of Washington: Deacon Al Turner, a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Washington and former ABC News cameraman, has been named the director of the archdiocese’s Office […]

Bishop to lead “Service of Apology”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In the final hours of Lent, the Bishop of Pittsburgh plans a remarkable and very public act of penance: Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik will lead a special “Service of Apology” on April 7 at 7 p.m. at Saint Paul […]

Apocalypse when?

posted by deacon greg kandra

“A friend in Florida told me the local bank was out of hundred-dollar bills on Wednesday because a man had come in the day before and withdrawn $90,000. Five weeks ago, when I asked a Wall Street titan what one […]

Dog bites man: Evangelicals and Catholics express disappointment in Obama

posted by deacon greg kandra

Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me. And I expect that the list of those who are less-than-thrilled with the new president will grow. From the AP: Conservative evangelical and Catholic leaders who went out on a political limb by aligning themselves […]

Tip #1: Stay in the pulpit…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at Inside Catholic, David Mills is offering some sound advice for preachers. It all makes good sense to me. (Personally, the best advice I ever heard on this topic came from a layman who once said, “Good sermons don’t […]

The Anchoress — in the flesh!

posted by deacon greg kandra

I know she’ll hate that headline, but it’s my blog. Elizabeth Scalia, a.k.a. The Anchoress has announced to the world (and I’m happy to trumpet it as well) her recent appearance on my little TV show “In the Arena.” “In […]

On Lent: students striving to “turn around more to face God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Down at Louisiana State University, the student paper is looking into Lent — and what some of the students are doing for the season: Thomas Kajor is more productive these days. Since Ash Wednesday, Kajor, mechanical engineering sophomore, hasn’t been […]

An apology from the pope: “A mishap I sincerely regret”

posted by deacon greg kandra

As has been widely reported, Pope Benedict penned a letter to the world’s bishops about the Williamson boondoggle — and expressed regret for how it was handled. You can read the entire text here. A snip: One mishap for me […]

“The bill is designed to bankrupt the Catholic Church”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Devastating” is just one of the words used to describe a new bill working its way through the New York State Legislature. It has set off alarm bells among the Empire State’s Catholics — and many fear it could even […]

A pro-life Catholic writes for the New York Times?!

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, who’da thunk? The New York Times has just hired a new columnist that fits that description. And he’s under 30. Take a look: The New York Times has hired Ross G. Douthat, a 29-year-old conservative writer and editor at […]

Standing ovation for excommunicated doctor in Brazil

posted by deacon greg kandra

This story just refuses to die down. The Brazilian doctor who performed an abortion on a nine-year-old rape victim is now being hailed as a hero: A doctor excommunicated by the Catholic Church for performing an abortion on a 9-year-old […]

Egan predicts “discussion” on celibacy

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I think it’s going to be looked at, and I am not so sure it wouldn’t be a good idea to decide on the basis of geography and culture not to make an across-the-board determination.” — Retiring New York Cardinal […]

Twittering at the Vatican

posted by deacon greg kandra

This news item should be of interest to anyone reading this: the Vatican may issue a document on the New Media. From CNS: The Vatican is considering the preparation of a major document on new media and their implications for […]

Upon this rock

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict is poised to make some history when he visits the Holy Land this spring, according to the Associated Press: Pope Benedict XVI will show solidarity with Jews and Muslims during his first papal trip to the Holy Land […]

BREAKING: Connecticut bill DOA

posted by deacon greg kandra

That controversial bill in Connecticut is — at least for now — dead: Following the biggest political firestorm of the 2009 legislative session, a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday on the financial and administrative management of the Catholic Church has […]

“You cannot tell a church how to govern itself” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

This story landed like a like grenade yesterday, and the alarm over it is only growing. If you haven’t heard about it by now, take a deep breath and read on: A proposed bill that would take power from Catholic […]

A priest no more: Bozek laicized

posted by deacon greg kandra

The priest who has been at the center of a firestorm in the Archdiocese of St. Louis has been officially stripped of his faculties, according to the Associated Press: A priest who defied his Roman Catholic bishop in 2005 to […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“If bigots in one state succeed…bigots in other states will try the same.” — Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput,strongly condemning a Connecticut billthat would force the Catholic Church there to turn over control to lay people.

See it now: the first filmed papal blessing

posted by deacon greg kandra

The good Dr. McNamara dug this up from the vault, and it’s an interesting little curiosity: the first bit of film showing a papal blessing. It’s Leo XIII, in the 1890’s, and McNamara notes: It’s said that when this short […]

Two deacon dads, one memorable wedding

posted by deacon greg kandra

This may be one for the record books. I got an e-mail about this from Jim Alt, editor and publisher of Deacon Digest. It’s the surprising story of a wedding where the father of the bride and the father of […]

Transfigured

posted by deacon greg kandra

“The Gospel – the Good News – is not just about words – a message given by a prophet to which we politely listen and either accept or reject. It is about what really happens in life, about God entering […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Frankly, federal funding of embryonic stem cell research can bring on embryo harvesting, perhaps even human cloning that occurs. We don’t want that…. And certainly that is something that we ought to be talking about, but let’s take care of […]

Losing our religion

posted by deacon greg kandra

America may still be one of the most religious countries in the world — but there’s been a discernible shift in belief, and it’s worrisome. From the AP: A wide-ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic […]

Learning curve: when a Catholic school goes secular

posted by deacon greg kandra

A couple weeks ago, I posted on a bold proposal by my diocese to turn some Catholic schools into charter schools. How has that worked in other places? The New York Times reports: On his first day of eighth grade […]

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Check the pews at St. Patrick’s.

posted by deacon greg kandra

From our Sports Desk comes this tidbit, from the enterprising investigative journalists who run Page Six of the New York Post. It’s about Joe DiMaggio and the Catholic Church, and it ran on March 8, the 10-year anniversary of Joltin’ […]

“We should concentrate our efforts on the real opponent, and it’s not Sam Brownback”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“It’s no wonder that the pro-life movement takes three steps forward and two steps back, over and over again. Whoever stumbles gets thrown out of the movement and assigned to the outer darkness. Why would anyone of sound mind want […]

Green light special: the story of all night absolution in New York

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Archdiocese of New York is kicking off Lent with a big push for an oft-neglected sacrament, reconciliation. Many churches offered it round-the-clock this weekend. And the New York Times dropped in to see what was going on: Around midnight […]

The Newt Evangelization, Part Deux

posted by deacon greg kandra

As noted last week, conservative firebrand and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will be joining the Church soon, and now the American Papist has more details: Mr. Gingrich has regularly been seen attending Mass with his wife at the National […]

Attn: Governor Sebelius. You might want to take a look at this.

posted by deacon greg kandra

A new video from Priests for Life.

Homily for March 8, 2009: 2nd Sunday of Lent

posted by deacon greg kandra

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s the President of CBS News was a colorful and very gifted man by the name of Richard Salant. By the time I’d arrived at CBS in the early ‘80s, he was long gone, […]

“Republicans have to worry about Catholics”

posted by deacon greg kandra

At the US News & World Report, their religion blogger Dan Gilgoff recently chatted with Deal Hudson about the GOP and HHS: Trying to understand why Republican leaders have been all but silent on Kathleen Sebelius’s appointment to head the […]

Serious news: R.I.P.

posted by deacon greg kandra

That seems to be the thesis behind this item from Our Sunday Visitor — and after a long career in the business, I can’t disagree: Back in January, with fanfare, the Vatican announced that it was launching a site on […]

My favorite part of working for the Church…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…is having a chapel down the hall with a window like this: It was just installed yesterday, and depicts Christ on the seashore, calling to fishermen who are tending their nets — an apt image for a television channel called […]

What the FOCA??!!

posted by deacon greg kandra

After disappearing from the Catholic radar screen, the notorious Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) may be about to make a return. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A proposed bill promising major changes in the U.S. abortion landscape has Roman Catholic […]

Faith in the age of Facebook

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those of us who spend a fair amount of time floating through cyberspace — and if you’re reading this, you’re one of them — will appreciate this insight about finding faith in the age of Facebook: With a new media […]

Brazil archbishop announces excommunications over girl’s abortion

posted by deacon greg kandra

This story is troubling and upsetting and just sad on so many levels: A Roman Catholic archbishop says the abortion of twins carried by a 9-year-old girl who allegedly was raped by her stepfather means excommunication for the girl’s mother […]

Could you imagine that happening today?

posted by deacon greg kandra

What on earth could draw a crowd of men like you see pictured above? (No, it’s not a diaconate ordination in Santa Barbara — though it’s close.) It’s just a typical rally of the Holy Name Society for the Archdiocese […]

Pope to baptize California woman at Easter Vigil

posted by deacon greg kandra

Continuing his custom, Pope Benedict plans to baptize a number of new Catholics at the Easter Vigil this year — and one of them will be a woman from California. CNS reports: This year, parishioners at St. Joseph Church in […]

For Lent, abstain from text

posted by deacon greg kandra

That seems to be the point of this directive, from Italy: Roman Catholic bishops in Italy are urging the faithful to go on a high-tech fast for Lent, switching off modern appliances from cars to iPods and abstaining from surfing […]

A priest who stirs the pot

posted by deacon greg kandra

A lot of priests know their way around a kitchen, but the Washington Post this week profiled one who is turning it into his own little apostolate. Take a look: Mass had been over only a few minutes and the […]

“Sr. Schneiders’ tone is rather elitist…incongruous with humility and obedience”

posted by deacon greg kandra

By now, you may have heard about the indignant e-mail of Sr. Sandra M. Schneiders, wherein she discusses at some length, and with no small amount of rancor, the apostolic visitation to women’s communities in America. Elizabeth Scalia (a.k.a., The […]

Well, looky here!

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the blogosphere’s most esteemed members has a new blog, with a new name, and a new address. Pay her a visit right here.

“It’s not called St. Patrick’s Cathedral for nothing”

posted by deacon greg kandra

When the new archbishop for New York was announced last week, it continued the unbroken tradition: an Irish leader for a cathedral named for an Irish saint. Could that one day change? This morning’s Times takes a look: Latinos account […]

The Newt Evangelization: Gingrich to become Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

Buried deep inside this long and wonkish profile of Newt Gingrich in Sunday’s New York Times, was this little nugget that, I suspect, went largely unnoticed: At a moment when the role of religious fundamentalism in the party is a […]

Begging from the pulpit

posted by deacon greg kandra

Blogger and columnist Rod Dreher today posted this grim report from a reader about the kind of sermon nobody likes to hear: This year’s drive for the [local Catholic community chest] has been protracted, and Deacon N, after concluding his […]

On Sebelius: two lay Catholics, two different views

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Congratulations to Governor Sebelius on being nominated to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. It’s an honor for the State of Kansas to have an elected official appointed to the president’s cabinet.” — Sen. Sam Brownback, on the […]

“Little Man of God”: Preaching tips from an 11-year-old

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone who has qualms about climbing into the pulpit to preach might want to take a page from this tyke: The first time Terry Durham preached, he was not in front of a group of people or even inside a […]

Mystery brewing over alleged letter from Sen. Brownback

posted by deacon greg kandra

You may remember the fiery letter that reportedly was sent by Sen. Sam Brownback, questioning the authentic Catholicity of some members of Congress. Now there are doubts being raised about how authentic the letter itself was. From Politico: A mystery […]

PR and the pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another voice has weighed in with criticism of how the Vatican gets out its message — or, more often, doesn’t. Noted Catholic editor Philip Lawler offered his thoughts in an Op-Ed piece for this morning’s USA TODAY: “We didn’t control […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

A rare winter snowstorm strikes the south. This shot is from Centennial Park in Atlanta. The storm is now pushing north. New York City, among other places, may get a foot or more of the white stuff — our biggest […]

“We have to become a better servant church”

posted by deacon greg kandra

From Pittsburgh comes this item, about a new effort underway to deal with the diminishing number of priests: As head of the Allegheny Valley Deanery in the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, the Rev. Frank Almade advises 16 parishes — in addition […]

“Hello, Americans!”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I have never seen anything ever on television that matches the pictures painted on the mirror of my mind by a really good wordsmith. I have never pretended to objectivity. I have a strong point of view, and I share […]

Why we fast

posted by deacon greg kandra

Most of us do it out of a feeling of obligation, or tradition, or habit. But the Lenten fast has deeper and much more meaningful roots than most of us realize, as the newspaper Arkansas Catholic explains: Cackie Upchurch, director […]

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.