Advertisement

The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

February 2010 Archives

Utah law would criminalize some abortions

posted by jmcgee

A bill awaiting the governor’s signature could go further than any other in the country. Details: Last May in a small town in eastern Utah, a 17-year-old girl, seven months pregnant, paid a man she had just met $150 to […]

Advertisement

God is his co-pilot

posted by jmcgee

What’s it like to be a priest in the remote reaches of Alaska? Meet one of them: a man whose commute from parish to parish involves something uplifting — air travel: Father William Hanrahan was ordained a priest at the […]

Advertisement

Worth a thousand words

posted by jmcgee

Anawim in Florida?  Who knew?! H/T to the indispensable Bill Ditewig: deacon with a sharp eye!  (And a handy cell phone…)

Advertisement

“A good priest is hard to find”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the title of a stem-winder of a rant that is must reading for anyone involved in parish life. It was prompted by this post, wherein the blogger notes a sad state of affairs: Lately I’ve taken to reading the […]

“The Sacred Made Real”

posted by jmcgee

Just in time for Lent, an unusual and dramatic exhibit of religious art has just opened at Washington’s National Gallery, and the Washington Post offers an assessment that, among other things, describes the lengths to which some artists will go […]

Pro-life billboard jolts Georgia

posted by jmcgee

Will it have an impact? Well, it’s already getting people talking: Georgia Right to Life recently sponsored a provocative billboard campaign that says black children are an “endangered species.” The campaign, unique to Georgia, combines the contentious race and abortion […]

A Prayer Before I Preach

posted by jmcgee

I have a rare weekend off from preaching; they’re showing a video for the Bishop’s Annual Catholic Appeal at all the masses, so that will eat up the homily time. So I don’t have a homily to post today.  But […]

On the new missal: “No translation will be perfect”

posted by jmcgee

“Even the best of all possible translations of the new Missal will not suit every individual’s preference. No translation will be perfect. Proponents of the new text sometimes argue, perhaps unfairly, that the texts currently in use in our liturgy […]

“It’s not torture”

posted by jmcgee

“There’s a standard of torture in civil law, which is severe mental pain and suffering. I also have a common-sense definition, which is, ‘If you’re willing to try it, it’s not torture.’” – Former Bush speechwriter (and Catholic) Marc Thiessen, […]

Remembering Jim

posted by jmcgee

Deacon Jim Hynes Friend, Classmate, BrotherJuly 31, 1958 – February 26, 2008 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there […]

Bishops: Senate health care bill still unacceptable

posted by jmcgee

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, from the USCCB, just sent around this e-mail, which I post here. It’s a response to recent media inquiries about the Senate version of the health care reform bill: The Senate Health Care Reform bill clearly […]

One reader’s words of wisdom

posted by jmcgee

Well, yes, he has a point: With the Olympic games closing this Sunday evening, how about a well-deserved tip of the hat to all of the Olympic officials because, after all, they are the souls which time men’s tries. Kindly […]

Remember: fish on Friday

posted by jmcgee

Does kibble count? I have no idea where this originated — a friend posted it on his Facebook page today — but it’s the perfect antidote for a blizzardy Friday. Enjoy.

When bronze is gold

posted by jmcgee

It happened the other night, when Joannie Rochette stepped onto the ice just four days after her mother’s death, and uplifted the hearts of the world: At the end of her medal-winning skate, Joannie Rochette threw back her head and […]

But are you ready?

posted by jmcgee

“God can also meet you at any time, no matter how confused your life may seem. You do not have to have a perfectly organized daily life to experience God. Your spiritual house does not need to be tidy for […]

Bishops will not sanction Spanish king over abortion law

posted by jmcgee

An interesting wrinkle in the ongoing debate over abortion in Spain: If King Juan Carlos of Spain signs a new law easing restrictions on abortion, as he is constitutionally required, the country’s bishops will not take action against him, the […]

Visiting New York City’s “Abortion Row”

posted by jmcgee

Here in New York, we’re embarking on an ambitious pro-life Lenten campaign, “40 Days for Life,” spearheaded by the innovative group Expectant Mother Care. Not long ago, the group paid a visit to “Abortion Row,” in Queens, where you can […]

Why you should take your kids to church

posted by jmcgee

This Canadian writer , in a secular paper, argues that they get more out of it than some people may think: Years ago I asked a close friend why she dragged her children to Mass every Sunday. Children in church […]

Here we snow again

posted by jmcgee

Forest Hills, New York. 10 a.m.  Another.  Really.  Big.  Storm.  Read all about it.

Is this the future?

posted by jmcgee

Some people seem to think so. A writer for the Wall Street Journal dropped by an interfaith gathering in Washington featuring Evensong and Benediction, using Anglican prayers and presided over by a Catholic priest: One former Episcopalian present confessed to […]

iDo

posted by jmcgee

So this is what we have come to: a couple exchanging wedding vows in the landmark Apple Store in midtown Manhattan. The person officiating is dressed like Steve Jobs, and reading the vows from text on an iPhone. Strangers mull […]

“The Church is in the ‘Yes’ business”

posted by jmcgee

That’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan, repeating one of his popular refrains, in an exclusive interview he gave to a New York TV station (no, it wasn’t mine, unfortunately). It’s part of a series of public appearances he’s made this week — […]

Catholic co-eds more likely to “hook up”

posted by jmcgee

So says a recent study out of Mississippi: Women at Catholic colleges engage more frequently in sexual “hook ups” than women at secular colleges, a new study shows, and researchers suspect alcohol may be the reason. The study defines a […]

Beat the clock: welcome to the 15-minute mass

posted by jmcgee

And it’s causing a small sensation in Ireland: An Irish cleric’s congregation has increased tenfold in a week — thanks to a quickie Mass. Despite the controversies which have rocked the church in recent years and the resulting fall-off in […]

Controversy over another Focus on the Family ad

posted by jmcgee

This time, it’s spot that appeared on the web. From the AP: Weeks after scoring a publicity coup with a 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, conservative Christian group Focus on the Family is at the […]

Everybody boogie: the dancing Rite of Election

posted by jmcgee

Do you know the way to San Jose? Just follow the dancers. That’s how the Rite of Election is done in that California diocese. A blogger for the diocese explains: In our Diocese of San Jose, we have dancing books […]

Gentlemen, start your rosaries

posted by jmcgee

And now for something completely different: a story about a priest who has a truly moving ministry: For many parishioners on a Sunday morning, once the closing hymn hits the second refrain, the race is on to get out the […]

We can remake the world

posted by jmcgee

Or at least, Hollywood can. Take a look at this astonishing demo reel — a virtual backlot. The world can be remade, with green screens and the right camera angles. H/T The Anchoress.

Church in Brazil sues over “2012”

posted by jmcgee

The dramatic image of Rio’s iconic statue of Christ crumbling under a tidal wave was evidently too much: Brazil’s Catholic Church is suing Hollywood for using unauthorized images of Rio’s famous giant Christ statue in its disaster movie blockbuster 2012, […]

What’s on your iPod?

posted by jmcgee

This catchy little tune is on mine, for the next several weeks. I practice it so often, my wife wanders around the house wearing earplugs. (One more reason why she really looks forward to Easter Sunday…)

“Who is worthy of your love?”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the first question asked in this innovative and inspiring video, that offers a rare glimpse at a group of cloistered nuns in Alaska. H/T The Catholic Anchor.

Weddings at sea hit an iceberg

posted by jmcgee

I’m surprised at how often requests come in to my parish to have a Catholic wedding outside of a Catholic church. (It’s almost never permitted, by the way.) Now, the church is making clear that the prohibition extends beyond catering […]

Slashed

posted by jmcgee

A couple weeks ago, the media world was reeling when CBS News began a round of layoffs that hit around 100 people. That was bad enough. This news is far, far worse: ABC News will sharply reduce its news-gathering staff […]

A Deacon’s Prayer

posted by jmcgee

Dear Lord, be with me now as I assist the priest in the Holy Eucharist. Let my mind and heart be focused upon the mystery of your Presence, the mystery of Your incredible self-gift. You want to share your body […]

Fast, pray, give

posted by jmcgee

Those three little words are the inspiration behind Busted Halo’s cleverly conceived calendar for Lent. (Why should Advent be the only Church season with a calendar?) Each day on the calendar is equipped with three helpful tips to help you […]

Survey says …

posted by jmcgee

The good people who are my landlords (overlords?) here at Beliefnet have decided to take a little survey — and they’d like your input. How often do you visit? What do you like or dislike about the site? Stuff like […]

In this corner, The Anchoress…

posted by jmcgee

The popular public affairs show on The NET, “In the Arena” is back on the air, returning for a second season. And once again the star attractions (from the WWF, it seems) are Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia and Grant “Commonweal” […]

Making music for God: “I am an instrument”

posted by jmcgee

In a world known for divas and egos, the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony is something altogether different: a committed Catholic who considers his talent a gift. From the New York Times: Many works in the classical music canon […]

“This is the most fun I’ve had since I was a monsignor!”

posted by jmcgee

Those immortal words were uttered earlier this evening by one Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and the man who can claim to occupy arguably the second biggest pulpit in the world (the first, of course, being Benedict’s, wherever he […]

One woman’s “tribute to God”: 2,000 descendents

posted by jmcgee

Somehow, I missed this eye-popping piece of news when it broke late last week — but it deserves some space here. It tells of a life deeply rooted in faith, tradition and family: When Yitta Schwartz died last month at […]

“Keep it rolling, baby”: meet a Catholic chaplain in Afghanistan

posted by jmcgee

What is it like to be a Catholic chaplain in Afghanistan, serving at the front lines? This gives a vivid picture: The U.S. Army brigade’s Catholic priest spits, smokes, cracks jokes and has come under fire like so many other […]

Fewer dioceses in Ireland?

posted by jmcgee

Evidently, that idea was floated during the recent meeting between the Irish bishops and the pope. From the BBC: Two of the Vatican’s most senior officials have raised the issue of reducing the number of dioceses in Ireland. The Bishop […]

Spark of the divine: the seminarian who carried the Olympic torch

posted by jmcgee

With the Olympics now underway, I finally caught up with this remarkable story of one of the Canadians who carried the torch earlier this month: The Olympic spark has been ignited within the soul of Vancouver seminarian Noel Oco, one […]

Ash not: attorney told to take off ashes in the courtroom

posted by jmcgee

In Iowa last week, Ash Wednesday became an occasion for trying penitence — and for trying a judge’s patience: The age-old question of separation of church and state played itself out in a Marshall County courtroom Wednesday. After a lunch […]

Report: Garrido to become first journalist ever beatified

posted by jmcgee

This is news to me — and, I expect, to a lot of journos. I hadn’t realized that no journalist has ever been named a saint, or even been beatified.   Take a look: Manuel Lozano Garrido, a Spanish journalist of […]

Nashville to get its first married priest

posted by jmcgee

Continuing a quiet trend in this country, another diocese is about to get its first married Catholic priest: Prentice Dean will be ordained as a Catholic priest on Monday — while his wife watches. The former Episcopal priest and father […]

Inspired: 50 impressions in 50 seconds

posted by jmcgee

This just cracks me up. Take a minute and laugh along.

Hide the carrots

posted by jmcgee

I’m not sure if this is cute…or creepy. But several weeks before Easter, we have a visit from this massive Thumper: a rabbit from England that weighs a whopping 40 pounds.  Watch CBS News Videos Online

Homily for February 21, 2010: 1st Sunday of Lent

posted by jmcgee

Lent is a time of penitence and confession. So today, I want to begin with a confession: I love “Undercover Boss.” This reality show debuted on CBS right after the Super Bowl. The premise is surprisingly simple: the CEO of […]

Stand and deliver: posture in church

posted by jmcgee

A columnist who writes from Ohio is using the beginning of Lent to wonder about the great cardio workout people get in church: Before Lent got going, I’d been writing about some of those “edge phenomena” around worship, “adiaphora” or […]

From “next top model” to role model

posted by jmcgee

That aptly describes the remarkable journey of a young woman named Leah Darrow — who is now traveling the country to tell her story: “For years my faith took a back seat until it all came to a soulful boiling […]

Okay. So what is curling, anyway?

posted by jmcgee

I’m sure you’re probably as baffled by this Olympic sport as I am. We never had curling teams in high school, and nobody that I know ever bought curling season tickets to tournaments at Madison Square Garden. Growing up, the […]

G’day: Australia gets its first saint

posted by jmcgee

And, it’s hardly a surprise: Mary MacKillop, a nun revered for her work with needy children as much as for her rebellious streak, is to become Australia’s first Roman Catholic saint on October 17, Pope Benedict XVI said Friday. The […]

Father may face jail over daughter’s baptism

posted by jmcgee

From the Windy City comes this story of an ill wind blowing between a divorced couple, over religion and the raising of their daughter: Rebecca Reyes opened an e-mail from her estranged husband last November to learn he’d had their […]

Are nuns really not complying with the visitation?

posted by jmcgee

Last year, the National Catholic Reporter published this little bombshell about the apostolic visitation to American nuns: The vast majority of U.S. women religious are not complying with a Vatican request to answer questions in a document of inquiry that […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“When you preach remember that your greatest homily will always be the integrity of your life. Your preaching will always depend upon the witness of the way you live.” – Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, homily at diaconate ordination. Read […]

Rocco of ages: the Loggia Whisperer speaks

posted by jmcgee

The popular but rarely-seen Rocco “Whispers in the Loggia” Palmo made an appearance recently on “Currents,” chatting with contributor and “Catholic Guy” Lino Rulli at a nearby pub. Over a couple brewskies, the two media mavens chatted about a wide […]

TV anchor mistakes Biden’s ashes for a “bruise”

posted by jmcgee

And not only that: evidently, the anchorwoman is Catholic. From Britain’s Daily Mail: Sky New presenter Kay Burley was forced to make an on-air apology after mistaking a Roman Catholic symbol on American vice president Joe Biden’s forehead for a […]

Smile and say “Ashes!”

posted by jmcgee

Now I’ve seen everything. I have a brief break between services on this Ash Wednesday, so I wanted to share this incredible-but-true moment from this afternoon. It was our noon mass. It was, predictably, mobbed. Standing room only. During the […]

“This is the time…”

posted by jmcgee

This is the time of tension between dying and birth The place of solitude where three dreams cross Between blue rocks But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away Let the other yew be shaken and reply. Blessèd […]

Homily for February 17, 2010: Ash Wednesday

posted by jmcgee

Last year, the writer Mary Karr published a beautiful memoir of her life, and her conversion to Catholicism. Some have actually compared it to the “Confessions” of St. Augustine. The book is called “Lit.” The title refers to literature, but […]

24-hour confession in New York

posted by jmcgee

Have something you’d like to get off your chest? The confessionals will be fully staffed, round-the-clock, in New York next month: A young adults group in the Archdiocese of New York has recently announced a 24-hour confession event which will […]

Vatican will post war archives online

posted by jmcgee

This could make for some fascinating reading: The Vatican plans to make some of its World War II archives available on the Internet soon to calm down the controversy over Pope Pius XII’s actions during the Holocaust. The Vatican’s newspaper […]

Fruitful Tuesday?

posted by jmcgee

Just in time for Lent, the Archbishop of St. Louis will continue a tradition, by celebrating a special mass for couples who are struggling with infertility: “Be fruitful,” God instructed Adam and Eve, “and multiply.” They were the first words […]

Couple marks 71 years of marriage

posted by jmcgee

It’s a little late for Valentine’s Day, but this has to be a love story for the ages: His hand brushed hers ever so lightly, and in that moment, Charlie Wellen’s life changed. “A big jolt of electricity went through […]

A year in the life

posted by jmcgee

A fella by the name of Dan Meyer has put together an “annual report,” detailing how he spent his time in 2009. He then decided to post it online, for the rest of the world to see. As we head […]

Spit-take of the day

posted by jmcgee

A reader left a comment about this post, by noting: This reminds me of a great salutation at the start of the Mass, “Let us stand and greet our celebrant, Father Whachamacolit, by singing “Hail, Holy Queen.” Eyebrows leap up […]

Geek alert: robot solves Rubik’s cube in under 12 seconds

posted by jmcgee

You have to see it to believe it. Take a look.

A Prayer for Presidents’ Day

posted by jmcgee

A Prayer for the Nation Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless […]

From the newsroom’s Deacon Desk…

posted by jmcgee

A priest friend sent this my way: news that a local TV station has named a deacon as its “Queens Person of the Week.” Not only that, but the deacon in question is a classmate of mine, Arthur Griffin. Hail, […]

For Valentine’s Day: “You Are Loved”

posted by jmcgee

A favorite video, and song, of Your Humble Blogger, from Josh Groban.  It never fails to move me. Remember: you are loved.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sister Catherine, Olympic speedskater

posted by jmcgee

Further proof that God calls everyone — and will use anyone, if we will only listen: Twelve years ago at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, a 17-year-old speedskating prodigy named Kirstin Holum was tapped for future greatness. When Holum placed […]

Latin mass coming to National Shrine

posted by jmcgee

According to this press release, it’s the first time such a mass has been celebrated at America’s largest Catholic Church in nearly half a century: The Paulus Institute announced today that on Saturday, April 24, 2010, at 1 p.m., the […]

Deep snow, empty pews

posted by jmcgee

“Snowmageddon” had a big impact on America’s churches — not just in the parking lot, but also in the collection basket: Oh, the weather outside has been frightful, meaning that fewer Catholics have braved a trek to their churches during […]

Seeking a Catholic love connection

posted by jmcgee

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Denver Post looks at a growing trend: Catholics seeking Catholics for romance and, just maybe, marriage. A snip: Wanted: “Someone close to my age, fairly good looking and Catholic.” Christina Newman says her […]

Simple pleasures really ARE the best

posted by jmcgee

Like laughing yourself silly over…ripped paper? This made my day. Enjoy. H/T Sullivan.

“We Are the World” for Haiti

posted by jmcgee

Here it is: the star-studded remake of the landmark hit, this one to raise funds for Haiti.  How does it compare to the original, from 25 years ago?  Check it out.

Homily for February 14, 2010: World Marriage Day

posted by jmcgee

We’ve all been digging out of the storm that we got this week, and I think most of us are grateful that we didn’t get socked with snow the way they did down in Washington. Call it “Snowmageddon” or “Snowpacalype,” […]

Dust in the wind: a Muppet ballad

posted by jmcgee

Something to warm a long, cold weekend — and to make you smile.

How do you keep a marriage alive?

posted by jmcgee

Everybody has their own advice on this subject. Now, just in time for Valentine’s Day (and World Marriage Day), the Wall Street Journal asks a few famous people for their ideas.  Sharon Osbourn, says “Never, ever give up.” Her husband […]

And thousands of Border Collies observe a moment of silence

posted by jmcgee

This news left me feeling inexplicably saddened: Walter Fredrick Morrison, the man credited with inventing the Frisbee, has died. He was 90. Utah House Rep. Kay McIff, an attorney who represented Morrison in a royalties case, says Morrison died at […]

Catholics coming home — but it isn’t always easy

posted by jmcgee

The phenomenally successful ad campaign for Catholics Come Home has drawn tens of thousands of people back to the church. It’s likely more will start their journey back during Lent. But as the Chicago Tribune points out, for many, there […]

Young Catholics: it’s all relative

posted by jmcgee

A new survey of American Catholics under 30 — “millenials” –finds some surprises: Among the survey’s positive findings: — When asked to choose among five long-term life goals, 31 percent of millennials chose “to be spiritual or close to God” […]

“I was born”: a great pro-life video

posted by jmcgee

This was created by students at Franciscan University. H/T to Thomas Peters.

I could stand a little of that unhappiness

posted by jmcgee

From Europe comes this remarkable tale of a millionaire whose millions were making him miserable — so he decided to give it all away: Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is giving away every penny of his £3 million fortune after realising […]

Candid camera: the Atlanta edition

posted by jmcgee

A big fat hat tip to Padre Vic down in Atlanta, who snapped some great pictures of the recent diaconate ordination, and sent them along to Your Humble Blogger. He scooped the Bulletin! Take a look.  The joy and excitement […]

No business like snow business

posted by jmcgee

The ghastly weather seems to have brought out the inner Michelangelo in some people — and these creations below are two clever examples. Even snowmen (and women) can have a vocation! The first one, a friar, comes from the Facebook […]

Pope John Paul’s Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

posted by jmcgee

 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 […]

Lent for Dummies

posted by jmcgee

And one of those dummies would have to include Your Humble Blogger — who had no idea until a couple years ago that, in fact, it’s not really 40 days.  (They don’t count Sundays.)  Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff […]

Still. Coming. Down.

posted by jmcgee

My sister in suburban Maryland (Howard County) reports that they’re getting hammered. Again. On top of the three feet or so they got last weekend, another foot or more is piling up. She sent me the picture below.  It was […]

A simply great ad

posted by jmcgee

On so many levels. It’s a PSA from the UK. H/T The A.

One more week ’til Lent

posted by jmcgee

Ash Wednesday is only a week away, and the purple will come out and the “Alleluias” will be silenced. So for now, enjoy this latest rendition — and a gorgeous one, at that — of a perennial favorite of The […]

It’s usually not this clean

posted by jmcgee

Brooklyn, New York. February 10, 2010. Photo by Associated Press

But the benefits are great

posted by jmcgee

One of the things that has astonished me during my  diaconate is how often people ask me the same question. It happens with remarkable consistency. They’re almost always embarrassed to bring it up. And the answer seems to leave them […]

Lindsay Lohan = Jesus Christ?

posted by jmcgee

So it would seem, judging from the magazine cover below, supplied by the sharp-eyed observers over at the Huffington Post.

Incredible time lapse of “Snowmaggedon”

posted by jmcgee

And to think: more is on the way. 

Mother O and her sisters

posted by jmcgee

I missed Oprah and her Dominicans sisters — I was otherwise engaged at that hour — but The Anchoress was impressed: Really good show. Winfrey teased but was never disrespectful, and the whole discussion -from leaving parents, to leaving relationships, […]

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

posted by jmcgee

Another sign that The End Times are upon us: Your Humble Blogger will be appearing this afternoon on “The Catholic Guy” with Lino Rulli on Sirius satellite radio.  This event will occur around 4:15 pm ET.   Hide the children. […]

“There’s a little black spot on your head…”

posted by jmcgee

So goes the latest ditty by a Catholic comedian Nick Alexander — dubbed by the National Catholic Register the “Catholic Weird Al.” I confess this guy is new to me, but his work is clever and pretty funny. (You can […]

Smile and say “Peaches!”

posted by jmcgee

The e-mail from Atlanta’s associate formation director, Deacon Steve Swope, says it all: This past Saturday Archbishop Gregory ordained fifteen Deacons here in Atlanta. The back row of the picture L-R are: (me, Bishop Joseph Madera -visiting from California, Auxiliary […]

Planned Parenthood: treat 10-year-olds as”sexual beings”

posted by jmcgee

Um, yeah. That seems to be just one radical idea behind this report: A new report by the International Planned Parenthood Federation is advocating that children as young as 10 be given extensive sex education, including an awareness of sex’s […]

What’s Oprah’s take on nuns?

posted by jmcgee

The promo for her chat with the Dominicans, scheduled to air tomorrow.   Stay classy, O.  

“Real men love Breesus”

posted by jmcgee

After last night, that phrase is truer than ever — and the cult of the quarterback seems stronger than ever, as the T shirt below indicates. For his part, Drew Brees — a Catholic — seems non-plussed and unimpressed. Check […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by jmcgee

From Fr. Austin Murphy’s fine blog, Jesus Goes to Disney World, this snapshot of his church grounds in Maryland:

In Haiti, faith among the ruins

posted by jmcgee

How do you rebuild a country’s faith after its spiritual infrastructure has been — in essence — destroyed? It’s happening right now in Haiti: Mass at Port-au-Prince’s Sacred Heart Catholic church is held under a UNICEF tarp beside Coleman tents. […]

Best ad of the night

posted by jmcgee

No, it wasn’t Tebow. It was this oh-my-gawd jaw dropper from CBS — arguably the biggest surprise of the night (or, at least, the biggest one that wasn’t on the football field.) UPDATE:You can read how it all came together […]

Here it is: the Tebow ad

posted by jmcgee

Below, you can see what all the fuss was about. Yeah, this sure is outrageous. Not. Focus on the Family – Tim Tebow Ad @ Yahoo! Video

“Grant a sense of charity to all, including the referees…”

posted by jmcgee

“God, we ask your blessing upon all who participate in this event, and all who have supported our Saints. Our heavenly Father, who has instructed us that the ‘saints by faith conquered kingdoms … and overcame lions,’ grant our Saints […]

A leading theologian on Medjugorje

posted by jmcgee

A leading Mariologist — dogmatic theologian Manfred Hauke — has given an interview to a German Catholic newspaper on the subject of Medjugorje. (H/T to Catholic Light .) It’s long and meticulously detailed, but it’s a real eye-opener: Particularly in […]

Will the “Faith Bowl” score a touchdown?

posted by jmcgee

While football fans with spend Sunday absorbed in the Biggest Game of the Year (if they aren’t still digging out from that massive storm), fans of faith will be keeping an eye on a different kind of sports program: It’s […]

“I am one among the billion”

posted by jmcgee

This powerful thought is just too good not to share: Some days you simply see the reality and it is stunning. I was celebrating Mass with just a few people in our beautiful little daily Mass chapel when I held […]

A prayer, and a plea, for life: UPDATE

posted by jmcgee

You probably remember this posting from several days ago, requesting prayers for a young woman facing pressure to have an abortion. From Julie, an update: Praise God. A corner has been turned. My friend courageously went to speak to the […]

Homily for February 7, 2010: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by jmcgee

We have been hearing so many stories of suffering and heartbreak in Haiti. But I wanted to share with you today another story about Haiti – and one that I think helps to illuminate the gospel we just heard. It […]

Blindsided by “The Blind Side”

posted by jmcgee

This is a fascinating peek at how Hollywood surprised itself – and a lot of other people — by making an old-fashioned movie about old-fashioned values and virtues. A lot of its success was the product of really smart marketing […]

Oh boy: world’s greatest weatherman

posted by jmcgee

I just love this. As the Storm of the Century churns northward, it helps to be able to laugh.  H/T to Rod.

Praise God, from whom all chickens flow

posted by jmcgee

The fast food chain Chick-fil-A had a banner year, and decided to give credit where credit is due: Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A celebrated its 42nd year of consecutive sales growth Tuesday with praise to God. “Chick-fil-A has truly been blessed to […]

Let them eat cake

posted by jmcgee

Hours after dozens of CBS News staffers were laid off — many of them, friends and former colleagues of mine — this video popped up on the Harper’s Bizarre website. It’s touting Katie Couric’s appearance in the magazine’s annual fashion […]

Staying, not straying: Catholic students at Catholic colleges

posted by jmcgee

These findings aren’t exactly surprising — but they might fuel some debate on just what makes a Catholic college “Catholic”: A new study finds Catholic students at Catholic colleges are less likely than Catholics attending public colleges to move away […]

Oprah’s sisters

posted by jmcgee

Thomas Peters broke the story yesterday, with the snapshot above: Oprah ( no last name necessary) is interviewing a group of sisters, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, for her TV show next week.   The Anchoress ( […]

Obama: pray for civility

posted by jmcgee

That was one of his messages at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington: President Obama bemoaned the “erosion of civility” in the nation’s political debate Thursday, telling an audience at the National Prayer Breakfast that there is a growing […]

The south is rising: Catholic schools booming in Atlanta

posted by jmcgee

While other parts of the country (notably the northeast) are struggling to keep schools open, it’s a different story down south: Anne Mancini makes a sacrifice to send her daughter to Catholic School — she leaves her home by 6 […]

Want to save a church? Move it

posted by jmcgee

That seems to be the solution for one church in upstate New York, which may soon be headed — brick by brick — to Georgia: St. Gerard’s was where her grandparents and parents were married, where she was baptized and […]

Meet the Super Bowl chaplains

posted by jmcgee

Of course, any team named the Saints would have a priest on board. But the Colts? Details: Sunday’s Super Bowl contenders have been well-coached–both in football and in spiritual fitness. The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints each include a […]

What does CBS stand for?

posted by jmcgee

In response to the Tim Tebow ad, the juvenile grandmothers below offer one profane answer. (Yes, there’s profanity here, so be forewarned — although anyone with two brain cells to rub together can figure it out without even watching it.) […]

A prayer, and a plea, for life

posted by jmcgee

My blog sister Julie, over at Happy Catholic, posted this urgent request yesterday: For a young girl who is making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy. She wants to give the baby up for adoption but is being pressured to […]

Blaise of glory

posted by jmcgee

When I was growing up, going to Catholic school in Maryland, it was a yearly winter ritual: every February 3rd, the Sisters of St. Joseph would line us up and lead us into the church, to receive a blessing of […]

When Lino met Jim

posted by jmcgee

The inimitable Lino Rulli interviewed Fr. James Martin recently for “Currents.” The conversation touched on everything from the priesthood to Jesuits to writing — and, in an odd way, resembled a scene from “Citizen Kane.” Curious? Check out the links […]

For Groundhog Day

posted by jmcgee

Okay. To mark the occasion, that terrific movie’s recurring, haunting and unbelievably annoying anthem — in what may be its definitive performance. This is a television classic: Sonny & Cher’s reunion on Letterman’s old show in 1987. I remember seeing […]

Looking “Up”: Scenes from a marriage in just four minutes

posted by jmcgee

I was heartened to see that the wonderful Disney/Pixar film “Up” nabbed an Oscar nomination for Best Picture — and deservedly so.  Trolling around on YouTube I found this lovely scene from the film, which distills the heart and soul […]

New York’s last Catholic hospital, on life support

posted by jmcgee

A New York City Catholic institution is now in critical condition, on the verge of closing. And the New York Times this morning looks at some of the symptoms of its decline: For more than 150 years, St. Vincent’s Hospital […]

A pro-choice writer plays defense for Tebow

posted by jmcgee

And does it devastatingly well. This piece on the Tim Tebow pro-life Super Bowl ad speaks for itself: I’m pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I’ve heard in the past week, I’ll take his side against […]

Go to hell? Not during the Super Bowl

posted by jmcgee

CBS has given the thumbs down to another ad, for an electronic game called “Dante’s Inferno.” You can see the ad, below.

“Jesus was a fighter”: religion that packs a punch

posted by jmcgee

And sometimes a mean left hook: In the back room of a theater on Beale Street, John Renken, 42, a pastor, recently led a group of young men in prayer. “Father, we thank you for tonight,” he said. “We pray […]

Abstinence-only classes may actually work

posted by jmcgee

I’m sure there are a few out there who won’t believe it, but one expert is calling the evidence “game-changing”: A new study shows for the first time that a sex education class emphasizing abstinence only — ignoring moral implications […]

Church suppers with “Jerry” Salinger

posted by jmcgee

Of all the appreciations that have been written about the late, great, curiously quiet J.D. Salinger, this one in the New York Times, focusing on his hometown in New Hampshire, may be the most surprising and poignant: By all accounts […]

Is this the way to save Catholic schools?

posted by jmcgee

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at one enterprising business model: Tim Busch has an answer to the epidemic of closing Catholic schools. And it has nothing to do with vouchers. It couldn’t come at a more critical moment. […]

Most sinful nation on earth?

posted by jmcgee

One unscientific report has concluded it must be Down Under: Australia is the most sinful nation on earth, as befits a country founded as a penal colony. A BBC magazine show’s investigation has supposedly shown we Aussies are still born […]

Megachurch produces ad for Super Bowl: “It’s a miracle!”

posted by jmcgee

Will this ad actually make it to the Big Game? It’s part of a contest being run by Dorito’s, and was produced by a California megachurch. The folks behind it think they have the inside track. See what you think.

“Shattering the stained glass ceiling” in California

posted by jmcgee

To promote the cause for women priests, the controversial Ray Bourgeois is taking his act on the road, and his latest stop was Sacramento. Details, from the The Bee: To parishioners in her small Sacramento congregation, Elizabeth English is their […]

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.