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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

December 2010 Archives

This blog is no longer active

posted by jmcgee

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

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One day more

posted by jmcgee

A reminder: “The Deacon’s Bench” is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

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Meet Montana’s married priest

posted by jmcgee

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.

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Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons

posted by jmcgee

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. […]

Gaudete! And let’s break out a carol or two…

posted by jmcgee

“Gesu Bambino,” anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

Homily for December 12, 2010: 3rd Sunday of Advent

posted by jmcgee

What have you planted this Advent? Check out this Sunday’s homily right here.

Silent plight: complaints put halt to Christmas carols

posted by jmcgee

Seems the familiar tunes chiming from one university’s clock tower weren’t “inclusive” enough. Details: The clock tower at Southern Illinois University has played Christmas carols for nearly 15 years. But this year, someone complained, leading university officials to briefly silence […]

WikiLeaks: Pope’s offer to Anglicans might lead to violence

posted by jmcgee

That’s evidently another little bombshell contained in the documents, according to the Guardian: The British ambassador to the Vatican warned that Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to Anglican opponents of female priests to convert en masse to Catholicism was so inflammatory […]

25,000 turn out for early Guadalupe celebration in LA

posted by jmcgee

It happened last weekend, and The Tidings has the scoop: Despite threatening skies, groups of parishioners, students and religious had already arrived by 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Ford Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue in East Los Angeles, to […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness […]

#1 tip for holiday decorating

posted by jmcgee

Use spellcheck.

The Wisconsin woman who saw Mary

posted by jmcgee

Who is Adele Brise, the visionary who is responsible for the first approved Marian apparition  in the United States? The Compass has the answer: Adele Joseph Brise’s story began when she arrived from Belgium with her parents, Lambert and Marie […]

Incredible edible: a gingerbread house of God

posted by jmcgee

Just in time for the holidays, a chef in Washington has created an extraordinary gingerbread house — er, church — of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. From the Georgetown Patch:(with a H/T to CNS) Crafting gingerbread […]

A deacon ON the bench

posted by jmcgee

He’s a judge in Canada — and he’s talking about how his faith intersects with his job, following a controversial sentencing in a high-profile case. From the B.C. Catholic in Vancouver: Ontario Superior Court Judge Alf Stong is not particularly […]

Reminder: “The Deacon’s Bench” is moving

posted by jmcgee

Starting Monday, December 13th, you’ll find it at Patheos.com.  Check out the new site here. Come by for a visit. And remember to change your bookmarks!

Great Falls-Billings welcomes its first married priest

posted by jmcgee

Another married Episcopalian is swimming the Tiber — and is about to be ordained a priest. From the Billings Gazette: When the Rev. Bart Stevens is ordained a Catholic priest in Billings on Thursday, he will share the moment with […]

The “baby window” that receives abandoned infants

posted by jmcgee

An unusual project in Switzerland reported some news this week: An unwanted baby has been left at a hospital in Einsiedeln. The foundling is the sixth in the nearly ten-year history of the baby window, which is unique in Switzerland. […]

Looking for a church? There’s an app for that

posted by jmcgee

Leave it to the innovative media wizards in the Archdiocese of Boston to come up with a church-finder app for your iPhone. From the Boston Globe: In the latest example of an ancient institution deploying the latest technology, the Archdiocese […]

Our Lady of Good Help: “Worthy of belief”

posted by jmcgee

For the first time ever, a Marian apparition in the United States has received formal approval. Details: Bishop David Ricken announced today that he officially approves the Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion. […]

Making progress

posted by jmcgee

Things are moving along — ha! — over at my new home. When you have a minute, stop by and check it out. A reminder: “The Deacon’s Bench” will be relocated over there on Monday, December 13th. Reset your bookmarks! […]

Homily for December 8, 2010: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

posted by jmcgee

Last Sunday, I had the great privilege of celebrating the sacrament of baptism here in the church – baptizing 12 babies. Before the service, I was chatting with a couple of women. They were friends of one of the families […]

Christian survivor: “I don’t want to go back to Iraq”

posted by jmcgee

Those are the words of a man, now in France, who survived the massacre at Our Lady of Salvation Church. Details, from the Christian Post: Iraqi Christians who were given indefinite political asylum in France say they don’t want to […]

A great message — especially for deacons

posted by jmcgee

Listen to one of the modern era’s greatest preachers. H/T New Advent

“Head ‘em up! Move ‘em out!”

posted by jmcgee

If you missed the news yesterday, “The Deacon’s Bench” is relocating. Beginning Monday, December 13th, you can find it right here. Feel free to drop by and look around.  Meantime, I’ll still be here, rounding up the cattle.

Princess Diana’s relative moves closer to sainthood

posted by jmcgee

Some intriguing news from across the pond, courtesy the BBC: A distant relative of Princes William and Harry has moved a step closer to becoming a saint. A Vatican investigation has declared that Father Ignatius Spencer, who is buried in […]

Meet Mother Teresa with a dental drill

posted by jmcgee

The remarkable story of Dr. Rich Meehan and his work among the poor in Los Angles deserves to be heard by a wider audience — especially now that he is hanging up his latex gloves and devoting his time to […]

Advertising takes another cheap shot at religion — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

It’s not Catholics under attack, but it’s a pretty low blow that manages to trivialize — and demean — something meaningful. UPDATE: Can’t see the video? Visit this link.

What Benedict’s new book is REALLY about

posted by jmcgee

“As I read Light of the World, I was continually struck by the way in which abandonment of the self to God’s will underlies so much of what Pope Benedict says. I think those puzzled by him, who try to […]

Announcement: “The Deacon’s Bench” is moving

posted by jmcgee

After 15 happy months here at Beliefnet, and several weeks of hand-wringing and finger-drumming while I make up my mind, I’ve decided to pull up stakes and relocate “The Deacon’s Bench” to another site. Beginning next Monday, December 13th, you’ll […]

“These Hands Bring Me Jesus”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the name of an ambitious, surprisingly powerful project undertaken by photographer Steven Golder. He’s been taking photographs of hands — some of them breathtaking in their simplicity and beauty — but not just any hands. They are the hands […]

What’s Latin for “slam dunk”?

posted by jmcgee

Here’s a local TV report with more on the blessing of New York’s new basilica, with Archbishop Dolan as winning as ever.

What is the “mind of the Church”?

posted by jmcgee

Good question, and it’s something every deacon should ponder.  But Deacon Bill Ditewig has an anecdote that speaks volumes: One day, as I was leaving the building, I encountered one of our bishops waiting for a taxi. He had been […]

How is your Advent going?

posted by jmcgee

Below, a little reminder of what it’s all about. Take time. And take your time…to remember what matters.

Comments are back: let the civil discourse resume

posted by jmcgee

And if you need a gentle reminder of the ground rules and guidelines, they’re right here. Happy Advent!

A new basilica: old St. Pat’s

posted by jmcgee

The venerable church in lower Manhattan — where America’s first cardinal received his red hat — today becomes the Archdiocese of New York’s very first basilica. (Incredibly, the fabled St. Pat’s on Fifth Avenue isn’t one.). Congratulations to our neighbors […]

Texas bank ordered to remove Christmas tree

posted by jmcgee

Incredible, but true. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Chase Bank told a businessman to remove the Christmas tree he donated to a local branch because it could offend people. Antonio Morales, owner of Bellagio Day Spa in Southlake, had assembled […]

America’s Lourdes? First Marian apparition shrine in U.S. may be approved

posted by jmcgee

So claims a Wisconsin newspaper: After a two-year investigation, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is set to release its findings about apparitions at an area shrine. If the apparitions are decreed true, it would be an extremely rare occurrence. […]

What the world has been waiting for: a Hanukkah carol

posted by jmcgee

This is causing quite a sensation around the internets … take a look. And, of course, Happy Hanukkah, y’all!

And wash it down with a little eggnog!

posted by jmcgee

From a friend’s Facebook page.  Oy to the world…  

Homily for December 5, 2010: 2nd Sunday of Advent/Rite of Welcome

posted by jmcgee

[Saturday night, my parish will celebrate the Rite of Welcome for the new class of RCIA candidates.  This is the homily for that occasion.]  Anyone who’s been coming to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs for a while knows the memorable […]

Survey: half of Americans think clergy are highly ethical

posted by jmcgee

I wonder what people think of bloggers. Details: What do nurses, soldiers, pharmacists, elementary school teachers, doctors, and police officers have in common? Americans say they are all more ethical and honest than members of the clergy, according to a […]

Fewer Catholics in Congress

posted by jmcgee

But, interestingly, the two parties have about the same number. From CNS, via U.S. Catholic: With more than three dozen Catholic Democrats voted out of office or choosing not to run in the November election, a decline in the number […]

Never. Ever. Give. Up.

posted by jmcgee

An amazing story, and a stunning video, below. My one question: what’s wrong with her? They never explain.     

Anti-Catholic jab wins comedy prize

posted by jmcgee

Not only that, it was delivered by a White House speechwriter. From Politico: Sparked by an impeccable impersonation of Arianna Huffington, White House speechwriter Jon Lovett took home the top honors at Washington’s annual “Funniest Celebrity” competition Thursday night. “Sarah […]

“My sister died on November 16…”

posted by jmcgee

You won’t find a more meaningful or moving reflection today than this beautiful post by Marcel LeJeune, written in tribute to his sister.  A snip: My sister, Simone LeJeune, died on November 16. She knew what it was like to […]

Military chaplains and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

posted by jmcgee

The proposed repeal of DADT is sparking a lot of debate — especially among chaplains. Details: A long-awaited report on the possible repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay members says the chaplains corps has “some of the most […]

Alberto Cutie update: he’s a father

posted by jmcgee

The former priest who caused a scandal last year is back in the news. From the Miami Herald: Ruhama Buni Cutié, wife of Miami celebrity priest Alberto Cutié, gave birth to Camila Victoria Cutie on Tuesday. “We…take this opportunity to […]

Bedazzled: incredible Christmas lights

posted by jmcgee

Need something to wake you up? Click on this, and turn up the volume. VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip

O Tannenbaum?

posted by jmcgee

No, you aren’t seeing things. That is, indeed, an illuminated cross inside a very patriotic Christmas tree. Want one? Read about it here.

Looking for something to do on Friday?

posted by jmcgee

Try fasting, says one British bishop.  From the Guardian: The Right Rev Kieran Conry, of Arundel and Brighton, said the traditional Friday Fast Day was a “source of pride” and something that marked Catholics out as different. In his pastoral […]

Just say Noah: full scale replica of ark planned

posted by jmcgee

Don’t pack your bags yet, but some biblically-minded entrepreneurs are planning a Noah-themed tourist attraction: The same group behind the Creation Museum is partnering with another group to build a full-scale version of Noah’s Ark that will anchor a family […]

Lest we forget

posted by jmcgee

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord…  To learn more, check out this link or this one. 

Bishop blasts Illinois’ Catholic governor for backing civil unions

posted by jmcgee

Details, from Catholic News Agency: Illinois’ legislature passed a bill on Dec. 1 that will establish same-sex civil unions in state law. While the state’s Catholic governor Pat Quinn said his faith prompted him to support the bill, his bishop […]

Don’t let the light go out

posted by jmcgee

Hanukkah began last night — and this morning after, the Church is reflecting on four lights that were extinguished 30 years ago in El Salvador.  So, a reminder from the troubadours below, to all of us people of faith: don’t […]

Sister act: young order of nuns a hit on campus

posted by jmcgee

A new order of sisters is having an impact on campus ministry in California — and what they’re managing to do is impressive. Details, San Francisco Catholic: It’s easy to get lost among the 30,000 students at San Francisco State […]

More numerous than the stars…

posted by jmcgee

That was God’s promise to Abraham about the number of his descendants.  And – it turns out – that number may be even bigger than previously thought. From the New York Times: Scientists said Wednesday that the number of stars […]

About comments…

posted by jmcgee

… to those who are wondering why the “comment” feature has disappeared, I wrote about it here. Basically, I decided to close down comments for the first week of Advent, to give everyone (especially me) a breather. This is similar […]

Deacon kills self after he’s denied priestly ordination

posted by jmcgee

The sad details, from ANSA: An aspiring priest has killed himself after the Vatican cancelled his ordination, his bishop said Wednesday. Luca Seidita, 29, threw himself from a rocky outcrop in this central Italian hilltown Tuesday, shortly after learning that […]

Here come more Anglicans

posted by jmcgee

This time, from Canada. From The Vancouver Sun: An Anglican parish in Calgary is taking a leap of faith by becoming the first church in Canada to accept an offer from the Vatican to join the Roman Catholic Church. Parishioners […]

Another blogging bishop

posted by jmcgee

He’s Bishop Kevin W. Vann, of Fort Worth, and this week he launched his very own weblog, aptly called “Shepherd of Fort Worth.” The good shepherd, of course, joins a number of other merry bishop bloggers, including most notably Boston’s […]

Another salvo in the Christmas wars

posted by jmcgee

It was fired by the Catholic League, responding to this billboard put up outside of Manhattan by a group of atheists. Details, from the New York Times: The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has responded to a Christmas-debunking […]

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 »

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