The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

May 2009 Archives

Amen

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the right to execute judgment against […]

Abortion doctor shot and killed at his church

posted by deacon greg kandra

Incredible but, tragically, true: one of the country’s most polarizing and notorious abortion doctors was slain Sunday morning while he was serving as an usher at his church. Details: President Obama said this afternoon that he was “shocked and outraged” […]

Psst…looking for a cheap vacation?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Mike “Googling God” Hayes, over at Busted Halo, is offering some helpful ideas for people who find themselves cash-strapped this summer. My personal favorite: retreats. Take a look: Retreats (findthedivine.org, charisretreats.org) are often great ways to get back in touch […]

A father’s blessing

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of Miami’s newly ordained priests, Father Randall Mussellman, is shown above offering his first blessing to his two daughters. If that sounds a little out-of-the-ordinary, so is his story: Born in Indiana, he was raised a Baptist and studied […]

Give this kid a blog, now

posted by deacon greg kandra

Diversity’s triumph

posted by deacon greg kandra

They beat out Susan Boyle for the top spot on “Britain’s Got Talent.” Did they deserve it? You decide. Their thunder-stealing performance, below.

Susan Boyle’s defining moment

posted by deacon greg kandra

Her final performance on “Britain’s Got Talent,” from Saturday night. Our gal didn’t grab first place. (You can read all about it here.) But she clearly gave it her all. Take a look.

Holy Toledo: Ohio’s Catholic radio station offering “faith with frequency”

posted by deacon greg kandra

As Your Humble Blogger prepares to launch the first-ever daily Catholic news show on our little channel in Brooklyn, there’s word that another deacon is about to put out into the deep, with a Catholic radio station in Ohio: Toledo’s […]

Diaz: thumbs up from the nuncio

posted by deacon greg kandra

This little tidbit almost slipped through the radar yesterday, but it’s worth noting: [Papal nuncio] Pietro Sambi leaped to the mic for a second time during this morning’s program to note the “wonderful and unexpected coincidence” of Miguel Diaz’s nomination […]

Something in common: the move toward one Easter for all Christians

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the sharp dividing lines between some Christians is when, exactly, to celebrate Easter. Now, efforts are under way to erase that line: Christianity’s largest ecumenical movement expressed hope Thursday that churches were moving closer to a common Easter […]

More on the new deacons of Brooklyn

posted by deacon greg kandra

A few days ago, I posted the first glimpse at the 20 new deacons ordained Saturday for Brooklyn. The diocesan paper has a complete write-up. The paper’s editor has penned an essay on the vocation right here. And there are […]

Cutie quits: priest leaves Catholic Church

posted by deacon greg kandra

The popular (and recently scandalized) priest has crossed the Tiber — in the other direction: Father Alberto Cutie, a priest and television host who was well-known in the Miami area, has left the Catholic Church and joined the Episcopal Church. […]

“Currents”: the news show that goes against the tide

posted by deacon greg kandra

It debuts Monday, June 1, on the NET, at 7:30 ET, but here is a first look at the program I’ve been developing over the last nine months: “Currents,” the first-ever daily Catholic news show. Take a look. And you […]

How about a hug?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’ve often said the world can be divided into two kinds of people: huggers, and everybody else. Now, the New York Times is reporting that, among teengers, it’s become hip to hug: There is so much hugging at Pascack Hills […]

It’s not Caroline: Obama picks Dr. Diaz as Vatican ambassador — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Word came late today that President Obama had named several of his nominees to various ambassadorships. One was to the Vatican: Dr. Michael Diaz. From the Boston Globe: Diaz is a Cuban-American theologian at the College of Saint Benedict and […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“There is no such thing as a ‘Catholic judge.’ The bottom line is that the Catholic faith seems to me to have little effect on my work as a judge…Just as there is no ‘Catholic’ way to cook a hamburger, […]

Pay up: Ireland demands religious orders contribute more to abuse settlements

posted by deacon greg kandra

The cost of Ireland’s sex abuse scandal is spiraling — and the country’s government is compelling the cash-strapped religious orders to pick up the tab. From the AP: Ireland’s government announced Tuesday it will summon Roman Catholic orders and demand […]

Jazz with Jesus

posted by deacon greg kandra

From Manhattan comes this hip liturgy: a Sunday night jazz mass. Dig it. This comes from the America magazine’s web page.

Our Catholic court — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Michael Paulson at the Boston Globe has picked up on something that may have eluded most Americans — and even, most Catholics: if Sonia Sontomeyer is approved as a justice to the Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court will become […]

“Highly improbable but mindlessly entertaining”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The USCCB has weighed in with its own review of Ron Howard’s “Angels & Demons”: Highly improbable but mindlessly entertaining sequel to “The Da Vinci Code” – adapted from Dan Brown’s prequel written in 2000 — in which religious symbologist […]

Mel: “I’m to blame”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Look. When it’s all said and done, I did a pretty good hatchet job on my marriage myself. I’m to blame. If you’re inclined to judge, put it here.” – Mel Gibson, talking last night to Jay Leno about the […]

Noted

posted by deacon greg kandra

“An article on Page 30 this weekend about Conan O’Brien misspells the given name of the secretary of state, who appears on some of his memorabilia. She is Hillary Clinton, not Hilary.” – A correction from yesterday’s New York Times […]

The way we were: the ordination class of ’69 looks back

posted by deacon greg kandra

With ordination season upon us, the Buffalo News decided to check in with a group of men who were ordained 40 years ago. It’s a fascinating glimpse at “the way we were” as a church — and the way we […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Are you out of your Vulcan mind?” – James Tiberius Kirk, in that movie. I finally saw it today. Everything you’ve heard is true. And then some.

Singing an American tune: a great poet from Forest Hills

posted by deacon greg kandra

I blame The Anchoress for this. She posted a string of great Paul Simon songs, which sent me scurrying to YouTube to find one of my all-time favorites. Here it is: a bittersweet elegy that comes from a different time, […]

“We knew, and did not know”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Amid all the reaction to these terrible revelations, I have heard no one address the question of what it means, in this context, to know. Human beings — human beings everywhere, not just in Ireland — have a remarkable ability […]

Susan Boyle strikes again: her latest performance

posted by deacon greg kandra

The singing sensation returned to “Britain’s Got Talent” this weekend — and made it to the next round of the talent contest with her rendition of “Memory.” It’s a little rocky at the beginning, but she soon finds her footing […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Cardinal Sean O’Malley congratulates Fr. Sean Carey during his ordination to the priesthood yesterday. Carey is one of only 11 deaf men in the nation to be ordained a priest. You can read more about Carey and the ordination here. […]

Newark ordains biggest class of priests in the U.S.

posted by deacon greg kandra

They ordained a bumper crop of priests in the Archdiocese of Newark yesterday — and with one interesting footnote: most were foreign-born. Take a look: The Archdiocese of Newark ordained 13 priests yesterday, a number believed to be the highest […]

Happy anniversary, to my Beauty

posted by deacon greg kandra

From your Beast 23 years? Already?

Because it’s more than just another three-day weekend

posted by deacon greg kandra

We remember.

The Dodgers may have left, but Brooklyn does have The Deacons

posted by deacon greg kandra

This just in, from beautiful downtown Brooklyn: a first glimpse at the newest of New York’s deacons, the class of 2009. Below, scenes from an ordination. I’ll post a link to the Tablet article when it’s published next week. Meantime, […]

Here come the new deacons of Brooklyn…

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’m off to the diaconate ordination at St. James Cathedral. Will post pictures when I return! Woo hoo!

Huh? — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

“We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature.” — Retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland,writing in his new book, “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church” UPDATE: The Anchoress has posted her […]

Gingrich: “The moment that finally convinced me to convert…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This week, U.S. News & World Report caught up with Newt Gingrich, who spoke at length about his conversion to Catholicism just before Easter: Part of what led to my conversion is the first time we [he and Callista] went […]

Praise for Obama from Cardinal George

posted by deacon greg kandra

The leading archbishop who described President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame as “an extreme embarrassment” isn’t saying that anymore. Quite the opposite, in fact. Cardinal Francis George is now lauding one portion of the president’s speech, on the subject of […]

Have you voted yet?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Polls close Saturday! You can view the nominees right here. If I win, I promise to mention you in my acceptance speech…

A Maryland miracle?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Hot on the heels of this news of a possible saint in nearby New Jersey, Maryland (my home state — go Terps!) may soon make way for one, as well. From the Catholic Review in Baltimore: Go home and prepare […]

Cleared for takeoff: one man’s unique vocation journey

posted by deacon greg kandra

From St. Paul comes this great vocation story about a man who had his head in the clouds, but kept his feet on the ground: Renaissance man Deacon Douglas Ebert, 62, is moving on to a new vocation that has […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I would really love to continue the perception that Catholicism has a very human face, that we’re clearly able to laugh at ourselves, that we are actually not afraid of being criticized and we are not going to get on […]

Shutting out “Mass for Shut-Ins”?

posted by deacon greg kandra

This story escaped my attention last weekend, but it’s something to wonder about — and, maybe, worry about. From the Washington Post: PBS stations are debating the limits of one of public television’s basic commandments: Thou shalt not broadcast religious […]

The last generation of priests in Scotland

posted by deacon greg kandra

While Ireland braces for what some say will be a devastating report on sexual abuse by priests on Wednesday, Catholics in neighboring Scotland are confronting a different crisis. The country’s last seminary is about to close its doors. And members […]

Dan Brown’s theology

posted by deacon greg kandra

In the New York Times, of all places, the conservative commentator Ross Douthat has taken off after Dan “Angels & Demons” Brown and his distinctly populist brand of theology: In the Brownian worldview, all religions — even Roman Catholicism — […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“We need to foster worship which stuns, which leaves the newcomer, long-time practicing Catholic, above all the fallen-away simply thunder stuck. Worship must at some point leave people speechless in awe. We need language and music and gesture which in […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Luis Carlos Ochoa Tello, right, hugs his father, Miguel Ochoa Espinoza, after his priestly ordination at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington, Del., May 16. PHOTO: by Don Blake, The Dialog, via CNS

On Notre Dame: “Less the roar of the lion than the silence of the lambs”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Among the most insightful commentaries in the wake of Notre Dame is this one, sent to me from a reader. It comes from the Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn: Probably Notre Dame is rich enough that it can safely thumb […]

May 19, 2007

posted by deacon greg kandra

Happy Anniversary, brothers!

A saint in New Jersey?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some people are starting to think so. The local press is reporting that an investigation is underway to determine if a nun who died over 20 years ago is responsible for a miracle: If Mother Mary Angeline Teresa McCrory is […]

A Coffin fit: a famous preacher’s sermons

posted by deacon greg kandra

Someone has taken the time and trouble to collect and edit the sermons of one of the most celebrated pulpit-pounders of the ’70s, William Sloane Coffin. I found this review in the online edition of the Christian Century: John Ames, […]

In a nutshell

posted by deacon greg kandra

Surfing around for analysis on the Notre Dame speech, I thought this observation, from Deacon Keith Fournier, put it all in context: “I must admit that one line from Fr. Jonathan Morris, a guest commentator for Fox (who was excoriated […]

Obama at Notre Dame: “Open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The first reports are now popping up about President Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame. This, from the New York Times: President Obama directly confronted America’s deep divide over abortion on Sunday as he appealed to partisans on both sides […]

A song for this Sunday: “Notre Dame, our Mother”

posted by deacon greg kandra

What could be more timely than this? The Notre Dame Glee Club singing the school’s beautiful anthem, “Notre Dame, Our Mother.” This day, let’s remember the school, its students, its president, and the school’s commencement speaker in our prayers. Notre […]

Meet William Donohue: “Perenially indignant”

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the more colorful and combative characters on the Catholic scene was profiled in the New York Times recently: the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue: William A. Donohue, the perennially indignant president of the Catholic League for Civil and Religious […]

From “The Deacon’s Bench,” to the priest’s…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Several months ago, I posted the moving story of Fr. Kim, and told of his remarkable conversion and journey to the priesthood. (I even preached a homily about him during Advent.) His son got in touch with me recently and […]

Protesting too much?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader alerted me to the disturbing video below, showing the arrest of an 80-year-old priest yesterday on the campus of Notre Dame. I was struck by this for a number of reasons. Just this morning, I took part in […]

Homily for May 17, 2009: 6th Sunday of Easter

posted by deacon greg kandra

His name was Thomas S. Vander Woude. He was a pilot during Vietnam and, after the war, flew commercial airliners. After his retirement in Virginia, he liked to spend his time farming, and volunteering and doting on his children and […]

More Jersey boys: Trenton welcomes new deacons

posted by deacon greg kandra

And now, Trenton. The Diocese ordained a baker’s dozen o’ deacons last weekend. The Monitor, the diocesan paper, has a full report: Thirteen men were ordained to the permanent diaconate by Bishop John M. Smith in St. Mary of the […]

Who is a real Catholic?

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s the question being asked by author, convert and FOB — Friend of the Bench — David Gibson in the Washington Post: All you need to know to diagnose the state of the Catholic Church in America today is that […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I believe it important to acknowledge the fine example you have given in your married life and in your love and devotion to your children. The ideal of stable family life has long been a focus of interest for the […]

Jersey boys: Camden’s new deacons

posted by deacon greg kandra

Happy news from south Jersey: last weekend, they added 10 more deacons to the roster. From the Catholic Star Herald in Camden: Bishop Joseph A. Galante ordained 10 men as deacons on Saturday morning, May 9, at Church of the […]

“Angels & Demons”: got to love this lede from the New York Times review

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Since ‘Angels & Demons’ takes place mainly in the Vatican, and is festooned with the rites and ornaments of Roman Catholicism, I might as well begin with a confession. I have not read the novel by Dan Brown on which […]

Want to feel inspired? Watch this

posted by deacon greg kandra

This video on YouTube is proving surprisingly popular — and just might spark new interest in one of the Church’s oldest devotions. Watch. It’s just plain great. You can read more about the video here.

Positive signs: a new way of promoting vocations

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Diocese of Little Rock has launched an innovative method of encouraging vocations: a “signing day,” similar to the kind that is common in professional sports: Three high school students signed letters of intent last week announcing plans to become […]

New deacons for Brooklyn!

posted by deacon greg kandra

My own diocese is preparing to ordain the first class of deacons since Your Humble Blogger’s, and the hometown paper (The Tablet) has biographies of the candidates. Twenty men will join us, bringing the total number of deacons in my […]

For those who think priests are not married to the Church

posted by deacon greg kandra

“In conscience, I can no longer support Notre Dame as a Catholic College. I am deeply offended how you treat my wife of 54 years, the Church I love, whose head is Jesus Christ.”  – Bishop John W. Yanta, Bishop […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I am saddened that many friends of Notre Dame have suggested that our invitation to President Obama indicates ambiguity in our position on matters of Catholic teaching. The University and I are unequivocally committed to the sanctity of human life […]

First look: “Currents”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some of you may remember earlier pictures I posted of the construction of our new studios for New Evangelization Television (NET), the cable channel for the Diocese of Brooklyn, where I work as Director of News. I’m pleased to announce […]

Jesus in jeans

posted by deacon greg kandra

We’ve seen a lot of different interpretations of Jesus, but here’s something altogether different, from a church in England: He could be a singer, an actor or even a footballer. But this is no mere entertainer – this is Jesus […]

The monk with a holster and a badge?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Leave it to Doc Mac to dig up this fascinating bit of Tom Merton trivia, regarding the late-in-life conversion of movie star Gary Cooper. McNamara’s Blog quotes Cooper’s daughter: In the mid to late fifties, my father’s conversion to Catholicism […]

“I’m praying for you to be a priest”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With ordination season upon us, we’re hearing more inspiring and surprising stories of the winding road that can lead a man to Holy Orders. From San Francisco comes this remarkable tale of one late vocation: On the eve of his […]

What we have come to

posted by deacon greg kandra

A Swedish news agency reports the latest slide down a slippery slope: Swedish health authorities have ruled that gender-based abortion is not illegal according to current law and can not therefore be stopped, according to a report by Sveriges Television. […]

Weakland: Yep, I’m gay

posted by deacon greg kandra

For surprise value, this might be filed under “Dog Bites Man,” but it is noteworthy that a retired archbishop is writing about this part of his life so candidly: A Roman Catholic archbishop who resigned in 2002 over a sex […]

“God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, hear the cry of the afflicted”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict XVI, places a note at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, in Jerusalem’s Old City, Tuesday, May 12, 2009. The prayer: “God of all the ages,on my visit to Jerusalem, the ‘City of Peace,’spiritual home to Jews, Christians […]

Former deacon threatened with excommunication

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a curious bit of news about a former deacon determined to become a priest in a schismatic church: The Diocese of Scranton is notifying parishioners that James Calderone, a former deacon at St. Aloysius Church of Wilkes-Barre, will be […]

Me so holy? Not so much

posted by deacon greg kandra

In a strange intersection of technology and religion, someone has designed an iPhone application involving an image of Jesus — and Apple has rejected it on the grounds that some may find it objectionable: Apple’s policy of encouraging a myriad […]

“The Simpsons” got new deacons??!!

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, it’s Springfield. Massachusetts, that is. The article is right here, along with names and some details. I’ll try to post more when I know more. Congratulations, brothers!

Father Cutie speaks

posted by deacon greg kandra

The scandalized priest, Fr. Alberto Cutie, popped up on The Early Show on CBS this morning. USA TODAY has this write-up about his appearance. You can watch the video at this link. Meantime, Deacon Keith Fournier opines: The real story […]

It’s a prayer, it’s a homily, it’s…life

posted by deacon greg kandra

Or maybe it’s Zen. But take 40 seconds and ponder this fascinating look at one year: One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

“She’s a faithful Catholic woman”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Falling in love is not something that I chose to do. It’s something I have been struggling with for a long time. This is not something that happened on the beach casually, with no seriousness to the relationship. That’s not […]

Everybody has a song

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those clever people behind the T-mobile “Life is for sharing” commercials have struck again. Here is a big, loud, lovable sing-along of “Hey Jude” recorded just a couple weeks ago in London. Enjoy. H/T to that Pittsburghian, Paul Snatchko.

Tim men: Dolan ordains his first New York priests

posted by deacon greg kandra

The new Archbishop of New York has rolled up his sleeves and gotten to work — and just a couple weeks into his tenure, he’s ordained his first crop of new priests. As in most dioceses, it’s a small group […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“To a certain extent Christianity is always going to be counter-cultural. It cannot become a religious apology for what contemporary culture happens to believe at any moment in time. But at the same time we have to translate the realities […]

The latest on Benedict in the Holy Land…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…can be found at this terrific site. Schedules, comments, homilies, you name it. It’s an offshoot of this fan site, which is also a small treasure trove of Ratzingeriana. PHOTO: The Pope arrives to celebrate mass in Amman, Jordan, May […]

A Prayer While Doing Laundry: A Mother’s Day Psalm

posted by deacon greg kandra

I find you so close to me right here, dear Lord. Surrounded by the dirt and scattered clothing of my family, I find this an ideal spot to pray with you. No one comes near here so it is quiet, […]

A Mother’s Day thought

posted by deacon greg kandra

“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” — Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895.

Fresh-squeezed: it’s the Lemonade Stand Awards!

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’m delighted and humbled to have been honored by Deacon Scott Dodge with the Lemonade Stand Award, given to “a blogger who demonstrates great attitude and gratitude.” The rules state that I now have to pass on this prestigious award […]

Florida Catholic: a bright ray of sunshine in the Sunshine State

posted by deacon greg kandra

You would be hard-pressed to find a better Catholic newspaper website than Florida Catholic. And if you want to see why, just pop over to this elegantly produced multimedia presentation on the recent ordination of two men to the priesthood. […]

Need a smile? Pull up a chair and watch this.

posted by deacon greg kandra

How’s this for a beaming affirmation of the Gospel of Life? 82 million hits, and counting. H/T Cathleen Kaveny at Commonweal.

“Prayer is a true force”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope met the press yesterday — again — chatting with reporters on the flight to Jordan and answering a few questions about the Middle East. At one point, he was asked about how the Church might contribute to the […]

Being both a Catholic priest and a Jew

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Israeli press is offering some compelling, and surprising, stories related to the pope’s visit to the Holy Land — including this one about three priests who were born Jewish: Father Gregorcz Pawlowski believes he can be both a Roman […]

Imagine that

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another beautiful and stirring video from the good people at Grassroots Films, a sequel of sorts to the first “Imagine the Potential” piece from some months back. Watch and share. (H/T to fair Amy.)

“A Preacher’s Prayer” by Henri Nouwen

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Dear Lord… You have sent me into this world to preach your word. So often the problems of the world seem so complex and intricate that your word strikes me as embarrassingly simple. Many times I feel tongue-tied in the […]

Fr. Corapi on Notre Dame: “This sends a terrible message to the Catholic world”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The celebrated preacher and television personality has stepped back into the spotlight after two years to release the statement below.

National Day of Prayer: the sound of silence

posted by deacon greg kandra

Today was the National Day of Prayer, and if it seems like it was a much smaller deal than usual…well, it was. From the Boston Globe: President Obama’s latest break from his predecessor is drawing some ire among some Christian […]

Dom DeLuise: “The Blessed Mother is someone I pray to all the time”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“People give me Blessed Mothers. I have one here, I have one there. I have them all over the house. The Blessed Mother is someone that I pray to all the time, and in fact, I use her as a […]

Vatican paper on “Angels & Demons”: “Harmless entertainment”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The first review of Ron Howard’s “Angels & Demons” is in from the Vatican: L’Osservatore Romano ran a review and an editorial in Wednesday’s edition, critiquing the movie based on the Dan Brown best-selling novel of the same name. “Angels […]

Swiss Miss: Vatican’s legendary guard may admit women

posted by deacon greg kandra

Could one of the most famous all-male bastions at the Vatican be ready to welcome women into the ranks? Maybe: The Vatican’s Swiss Guards will swear in 32 new recruits Wednesday amid suggestions from their new commander that women might […]

The way she was: Susan Boyle, 1984

posted by deacon greg kandra

You never know what you’ll find in the basement, next to the stack of 8-tracks and 33 rpm HiFi albums. Someone evidently unearthed this: a grainy tape (BETA?) of a 22-year-old Susan belting out the classic Streisand tune.

Meet Israel’s “Hebrew Catholics”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With the pope preparing to embark on his much-anticipated trip to the Holy Land, here’s a look at one tiny — and intriguing — slice of that region that is often overlooked: With just 400 faithful, the Hebrew-speaking Vicariate is […]

The incredible disappearing car

posted by deacon greg kandra

A brilliant art project in England. Take a look.

Celebrity priest suspended over magazine pictures

posted by deacon greg kandra

A high-profile priest in Miami finds himself now embroiled in scandal — and suspended: The Rev. Alberto Cutié, a national figure with movie star looks, was removed from his Miami Beach church Tuesday after photographs appeared in a magazine showing […]

Thank you for dancing with me

posted by deacon greg kandra

It snuck up on me, but my sitemeter at the bottom of this page now tells that there have now been just over one million visitors to The Bench. I’m amazed, incredulous, humbled and grateful beyond words. Thank you for […]

The problem with “Christian” music

posted by deacon greg kandra

Catholic Online is offering us some musical food for thought from Deacon Keith Fournier: “The problem with much of what calls itself ‘Christian’ music these days is that it puts ‘God words’ to poor music. Sometimes in so doing it […]

The question of a lifetime: “Is this going to be a gift or a burden?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s a cold, miserable, rainy morning here in Brooklyn. But my corner of it got suddenly and beautifully brighter after reading this inspiring story from the Chicago Tribune: Born with a disorder that would leave him 3 feet tall and […]

Fasten your seatbelts…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…for something wonderful. If this doesn’t make you smile, you haven’t got a pulse. H/T Googling God and The Concord Pastor.

Randall Terry arrested at Notre Dame

posted by deacon greg kandra

Somehow I missed this news last week, but it seems a noteworthy addition to the ongoing Notre Dame story. Catholic Online reports that it’s the first arrest in connection with the controversy: Pro-life activist Randall Terry was arrested Friday afternoon […]

“I think you’re the father of one of my kids”

posted by deacon greg kandra

I caught this on TV over the weekend. I almost did a spit-take.

Corapi speaks

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Especially in these times, I felt that people not only need education in the faith — we’ve always tried to do that — but they also need inspiration. I find that there is a lot of — I don’t want […]

Coming next: plague of locusts

posted by deacon greg kandra

I caught this tidbit over at Googling God, and pass it on, for whatever it may be worth. It comes from a paper in Australia: Swine flu and Mexico’s recent earthquake had been the judgment of God for that country’s […]

Over easy, with a side order of grace

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just in time for Mary’s month of May comes this little oddity from sunny California: A Mexican restaurant in this border town is drawing the curious and the faithful to see what some believe is a likeness of the Virgin […]

Ron Howard charges Vatican interference in filming of “Angels & Demons”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Ron Howard is continuing to fan the flames over the controversy surrounding his movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s “Angels & Demons.” The latest: Director Ron Howard claimed Sunday that the Vatican interfered with efforts to get permits to shoot certain […]

Shepherd me, O God

posted by deacon greg kandra

And now, a little musical interlude for Good Shepherd Sunday. A favorite modern hymn of Your Humble Blogger, this is sung often at funerals. But it remains haunting and meaningful, no matter what the context. Shepherd Me, O God – […]

World’s oldest monk dies in Indiana

posted by deacon greg kandra

This amazing news probably got little notice when it happened last week, but attention must be paid: The world’s oldest Benedictine monk died today at St. Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Ind. Father Theodore Heck, 108, died in the monastery’s […]

Vote early and often

posted by deacon greg kandra

Balloting is now underway for the fabled Cannonball Awards, and you can cast your vote over at The Crescat. Wouldn’t one of these look nice on my mantle?

Because you can never have too much Muppets…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here, as a sentimental follow-up to yesterday’s link, I offer this poignant rendering of a familiar Irish ditty:

Habit-forming

posted by deacon greg kandra

Leave it to The Anchoress to capture, beautifully, the power and poetry of what it means to wear the habit, on this World Day of Prayer for Vocations: In the late 1970’s I heard a teaching sister say that the […]

Owed to joy

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s Saturday night and this just seems like the right time for a little of this:

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I figured, ‘I’m a bishop — I’m not going to tell them to attack Notre Dame with a pitchfork.’ I’m going to tell them to go pray.” – Orlando Bishop Thomas Wenski,discussing a Mass of Reparation he plans to celebrate […]

Homily for May 3, 2009: 4th Sunday of Easter

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over the past several days, two words sent alarm around the world: swine flu. Just scroll through the articles about it online, and you see words like “pandemic,” “epidemic,” “outbreak,” “quarantine.” What cropped up unexpectedly in Mexico has now popped […]

I’d like to thank the Academy…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, what do you know? I popped over to The Crescat and discovered that I’m one of the nominees for the venerable Cannonball Award. Voting begins May 3. I’m humbled beyond words. (Do I get a discount at Denny’s or […]

The family that twitters together…

posted by deacon greg kandra

And now for something completely different: spiritual advice for the Facebook generation, from Ireland: The leader of Ireland’s four million Roman Catholics has urged social-network users to start sending daily prayers by text, Twitter or e-mail. “Make someone the gift […]

St. Joe, the working man

posted by deacon greg kandra

This seems a fitting and timely memorial to honest labor, on this day devoted to the patron saint of workers.

Gentlemen, start your engines (and iron your albs)

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s that time of year again: ordination season. Soon, men will find themselves face down on marble floors, a storm of saintly invocations raining down on them. We have three men about to be ordained priests here in Brooklyn, and […]

A prayer for May

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Throughout this month of May, let us offer our pleas to the Mother of God with greater devotion and confidence, so that we may obtain her favor and her blessings. Even if the grave sins of men provoke God’s justice […]

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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