The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Announcement: “The Deacon’s Bench” is moving

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 find The Bench over at


You can get a sneak peek at this link. (Pardon the dust. It’s a work in progress. Once we hang some drapes and put down the rugs, it will feel a little homier.)

I’ll be pestering you with reminders over the next several days, but I hope those who have been loyal readers for the last three years — and those who have just discovered The Bench recently — will drop by my new digs. It will be the same old Bench, but with a fresh coat of paint and, I hope, some engaging and thoughtful conversation.

This wasn’t an easy decision to make. Beliefnet has been wonderfully supportive of my work, and I’m sure that’s one reason (among many) why the readership has nearly doubled over the last year.  But for a variety of reasons, this seemed like a good time to make a move. 

I’ll be posting here until then, so feel free to weigh in, vent, ponder, pray or just take a load off if you’re in the neighborhood.

Meantime, excuse me.  Gotta go get more boxes at the supermarket …

Comments read comments(18)
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Steve P

posted December 6, 2010 at 9:25 am

Hi Dcn. Greg,
I’m sure a “virtual” move can be almost as stressful as a physical one, so know that you are in our prayers as you find your way around.
I for one will continue to follow you, and look forward to more of your voice of sanity in the Catholic blogosphere.
Continued blessings on your Advent season, for you, your family, your parish, and all your work for the Lord.
In Joyful Hope,
Steve P.

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Dana MacKenzie

posted December 6, 2010 at 10:12 am

Wow, it looks very clean and elegant over there. I love the picture. Very nice.
And no more pop-ups, right? No more of these captchas that I can never get on the first try?
Bless you, Deacon Greg!
And good luck!

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Fran Rossi Szypylczyn

posted December 6, 2010 at 11:04 am

As you know, I love Patheos and I look forward to seeing you there. May the Holy Spirit lead some other great Catholic voice to fill the void that you will leave here. God bless!

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My Little Ways

posted December 6, 2010 at 11:27 am

Yay! Yay! Hooray!
Beliefnet has always felt a little. . . .icky . . .to me.

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Austin Fleming

posted December 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Sounds and looks like a good move for you, Greg!
Your “moving announcement” was beautifully done – love the way you carried out the theme!

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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted December 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Good luck at your new site. But I’d be interested in reading some day the reason for the change.
And I won’t miss the Captchas that sometimes take me 3 or 4 times to get right.

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Hoosier Deacon

posted December 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm

The Deacon’s Bench has been such a help to me in my ministry – I’d follow you anywhere! May the Spirit support you in the move.

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posted December 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Even though not of the “faith” I have enjoyed reading your articles and putting in my 2 cents—though not always appreciated by many of the faithful. Perhaps I’ll drop by your new digs and comment. Best of luck to you, Deacon.

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posted December 6, 2010 at 3:07 pm

I’ll miss you. Your perspective on the RCC and religion in general, all from an involved and committed layman’s view, has always been interesting.
Good luck, Have fun, and Keep the Faith

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Fr. Tom Welbers

posted December 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Greg. Best wishes on your move. It looks like an exciting and richly dynamic site. Frankly, I found Beliefnet’s advertising too often intrusive.

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posted December 6, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Yes— the ads on Beliefnet are sometimes relentless . . I hope the new site allows us to read the blog, without those pestering ads that are tough to get rid of! Good luck.
PS– I hope the nasty commenters get lost in the move!

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posted December 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Well Dcn. Greg to be honest I have mixed feelings about your move.
You know that I LOVED your first blog, and when you moved here, it took me a long time to get used to it. I too hate the ads (gave up trying to read you on my iphone, just too annoying). I also see belief net as more “secular” , or at the very least, a big differnece than the Catholic blogosphere. Consequently, when you came here, I knew it would bring in the trolls, and found myself staying aways for at least 4-6 weeks.
But one day I felt I had a “Holy Spirit” moment which made me think maybe, despite the trolls, there were more secular readers, some that may never comment, to whom the “seeds” were being planted. As bad as trolls are, they do often provide for great teaching moments. The more I hung around, the more I believe that to be the case. I would even wager that your most important audience might be the voices you never know , the ones silently reading and absorbing, and even with some thanks, to God using the trolls
I don’t mean any disrespect to Pathos, which I admit, I know little about nor have much interest. I’m sure it’s a fine blog, and from the little I remember, it’s also “non denominational” . Maybe Pathos is on track to be the new “upscale” Belief Net, but at least for now, I see it as a Catholic blog. That said, there is a great need to edify the faith, no question. My point is that I think you have a special gift for reaching out beyond the Catholics, and I hope your move to Pathos continues to ‘bring in the outsiders.”
I trust the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing. Perhaps I’m just a “neighbor” not liking the idea of your move. After all, I was just getting spoiled having you around; sort of like the guy next door who often invites me into dinner or offers to wash my car:)
God Bless and always, the best; to you, Pathos, and all to whom your light shines!
In Christ’s Love, Klaire.

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posted December 6, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Thanks to your mention I checked out Patheos. There’s not as much action there as far as I can tell but it may build. The Captchas are there, too. The pop-up adds I didn’t see.
In researching it lightly I learned Rupert Murdoch, who owns B’net, has it on the market (unless my news was not the latest). Maybe if he sells it, it will get better.
Perhaps I’ll see you over there, Greg.
[Actually, Murdoch sold Beliefnet earlier this year. Read about it here..]

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Gerard Nadal

posted December 7, 2010 at 12:29 am

I’ll be over with some pizza and beers to help unpack! A major loss for BN, a major gain for Patheos.

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posted December 7, 2010 at 7:27 am

Congratulations on the move.
They are always a little scary but things always seem to work out for the best.

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posted December 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

Greg, so they did. Thanks. Did you notice any difference after the sale?

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posted December 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

Wow! I just checked out the Patheos site for the first time and I am impressed….nice neighborhood! It looks like this may be a very good move. Congratulations on your new home.
If you run out of boxes, I have a bunch in the garage you can have.
See you over there!

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posted December 8, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Great blog, Deacon Greg–always very thoughtful. Grateful for your blog. I’ll bookmark you at the new site.

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