The Deacon's Bench

A Roman Catholic deacon serving the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, Greg Kandra is News Director for the diocese's cable channel, NET (New Evangelization Television.) Prior to that, Deacon Greg worked for 26 years as a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to "The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric," "60 Minutes II," "48 Hours," (Emmy Award, Writers Guild of America Award) and "Sunday Morning." He was co-writer for the acclaimed documentary "9/11," hosted by Robert DeNiro. (Emmy Award, Christopher Award, Peabody Award, Writers Guild of America Award.) His radio essays were featured in the bestselling book "Deadlines and Datelines" by Dan Rather. He's also a two-time winner of the Catholic Press Association Award. Other places you may find him: AMERICA, U.S. CATHOLIC, CATHOLIC DIGEST, REALITY (Redemptorist Communications) and THE BROOKLYN TABLET. He also contributes homiletic reflections to the parish resource CONNECT!, published by Liturgical Publications. In November 2009, he began serving a three-year term as a consultant to the Communications Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Deacon Greg grew up in Maryland (Go Terps!) but he and his wife today live in the beautiful borough of Queens, New York. You can contact Deacon Greg at

For those who have nothing better to do this long weekend: Monday night, at about 8:20 ET, Your Humble Blogger will be appearing on The Busted Halo Show, on Sirius Radio’s The Catholic Channel.  I appeared on the show a […]

I don’t think anybody expected this to move across the wire this morning:  In a stunning surprise, the Nobel Committee announced Friday that it had awarded its annual peace prize to President Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international […]

Wilmington’s retired Bishop Michael Saltarelli died yesterday after a battle with cancer, and the local paper has an affectionate appreciation of his life and legacy.  It helps to remind us what being a bishop is all about:  With a strong […]

In the Year for Priests, here’s a story that reminds us the impact a priest can have on just one life: Mickey Rourke has revealed that he was on the verge of suicide before he turned to the Catholic Church […]

When I saw this story and realized it had occurred at a secular, state university, I thought it was nothing less than remarkable: The melodic voices of 32 University of Northern Colorado students wafted through the predawn of Oct. 1 […]

This story from the Catholic Standard in Washington caught my eye, because the young priest now serves at the parish (and school) where I grew up.  He has some sound insight into vocations:      In second grade, right around […]

“Liberals are critical of [authority], although they’ll use it when they’re in power. Conservatives would tend to be less critical, but equally dependent upon it. Consequently, when you get into the church, you get the conservatives unhappy because bishops aren’t […]

From the “What Were They Thinking?” file…some curious musical news, courtesy the Los Angeles Times: In a surprise union of two quintessentially American composers from different eras, one the 1960s mastermind of “Good Vibrations,” the other the Jazz Age creator […]

Everywhere.  But there are a few places that seem to be especially successful at growing them.  The top greenhouses are written up right here.  Fascinating reading. 

A man who may be testing the waters for a 2012 run for the White House has a few thoughts on what he considers to be serious challenges facing Christians in general — and Catholics in particular. Here’s former Senator […]