Hot on the heels of this great video of a young man dancing his way around the world, my brother-in-law dropped me an email and said to go to YouTube and search “free hugs.” I’d never seen this before. It’s […]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot on the heels of this great video of a young man dancing his way around the world, my brother-in-law dropped me an email and said to go to YouTube and search “free hugs.” I’d never seen this before. It’s […]
Around the newsroom today, more than a few people have said, “You know, his last HBO special wasn’t that good. He was pretty angry and bitter at the end.” But to appreciate George Carlin and his talent, look no further […]
Those busy people at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life have released more details of their ongoing study of what we Americans believe. Seems that we believe what we know — but what we know may not be […]
Here in New York, you see the posters everywhere, and it’s jarring: people striking a pose, maybe dribbling a basketball or reading a book. But they don’t have any skin. And you can see their organs. It’s life, seen in […]
Stop everything and just watch. This is just plain wonderful and will make you smile and laugh and cry and want to get up out of your chair and dance. A big fat hat tip to The Anchoress for spreading […]
As more brides prepare to head down the aisle this month, let’s take a moment for a little Ave Maria, okay? The Guonod version, as sung by Kathleen Battle. This, I think, is bliss.
One of the topics tackled by the USCCB (when the bishops weren’t riding the teacups at Disney World) was how to woo back lapsed Catholics. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch talked to a few experts about that: In the St. Louis […]
A few days back, John Allen interviewed Baltimore’s Archbishop, who had some pretty stern words about the controversial Legionaries of Christ. I posted an item on it, and got some interesting responses. Allen has now published a follow-up in this […]
Much has been written, and debated, about the bewildering news that 17 teenage girls from Gloucester, Massachusetts evidently made a pact to get pregnant. This is a tragedy. But, as this post over at Beliefnet reminds us, it may also […]
An Irish Catholic gal from Long Island muses on an Irish Catholic guy from upstate New York. Here’s Peggy Noonan on Russert: One of the greatest statements, the most piercing, was something Chuck Todd said when he talked on a […]
If you didn’t see it yesterday, put down your coffee, shut the door, and click the image below. Luke Russert at his father’s memorial service. Just watch. This kid’s got it.
Now here’s an idea I can really get behind. It’s something referred to, only with a a little irreverence, as Baby Priest Camp. And it’s written about over at the blog “Gift and Mystery”, run by the newly ordained (okay, […]
Watching the Tim Russert memorial at the Kennedy Center this afternoon on MSNBC, I saw Bruce Springsteen pop up, and he sang this tribute to the newsman, his classic song “Thunder Road”: The screen door slams, Mary’s dress wavesLike a […]
A few weeks back, the Vatican decided to draw a line in the sand over the ordination of women as priests. Women who had been ordained illicitly and invalidly were to be automatically excommunicated. Now, Voice of the Faithful has […]
“It has all been said so eloquently in the tributes that have come from some of the highest authorities in our nation and even around the world. … All that remains is to say thank you to the good and […]
The invaluable James Martin over at America has reminded us of something easily overlooked: Tim Russert was “an honorary Jesuit” who was educated by Jesuits, and spoke often at Jesuit commencements: Russert seemed to embody a certain ideal of Jesuit […]
I heard that song the other day and it brought back happy memories of this delightful Pixar/Disney flick “A Bug’s Life.” The closing credits, with the out-takes and bloopers, are priceless. And the song is a Randy Newman gem. We […]
Anyone who’s flown lately knows that we have a lot to pray about. “Dear God, please don’t let them cancel my flight.” “Heavenly Father, I pray my bag does not have to be checked and that I don’t have to […]
Priests, deacons and seminarians got an earful recently at a conference called “You Will Receive Power!,” focusing on how to grow in holiness. Juding from this account, it touched not-so-subtly on the topic of preaching, too: “I think that the […]
This will make you smile: one memorable way to mark a crosswalk countdown. From Los Angeles, of course. H/T to Andrew Sullivan. Crosswalk Countdown – GuerilLA from Kelly Herrington on Vimeo. How cool is that?
One of the more interesting Princes of the Church is a also a journalist — and he’s fondly remembering another journalist (and a prince in his own way), Tim Russert. From CNS: U.S. Cardinal John P. Foley had lunch in […]
A clearly emotional Tom Brokaw spoke those words Friday afternoon. Our world, and the world of journalism, is poorer without Tim Russert in it. Brokaw said, in part: “Tim loved his family, his faith, his country, politics, the Buffalo Bills, […]
That’s the sentiment expressed below about a priest who was falsely accused of sexual misconduct — and has finally been cleared. I couldn’t agree more. I know this priest. He traveled with us to Italy on pilgrimage in 2004. I […]
Sifting through my “in” box, I found this very good piece by Fr. James Martin, picking up on a theme that was blazing hot when I left here: the notion of priests preaching politics from the pulpit. I don’t know […]
The Deacon’s Wife and I will be away from the Bench for a bit, taking a much-needed break. See below. Posting will be light, but I’ll be back soon. Tanned, rested and ready to blog!
Elsewhere, I posted about the priest who spoke at Barack Obama’s church last Sunday, and the furor that’s causing. But get a load of this: Msgr. Jim Lisante, former head of the Christophers, and a pastor in the Diocese of […]
For this feast of the Sacred Heart, you should check out this stirring homily, delivered the other night by James Douglas Conley, new auxiliary for Denver, whose episcopal ordination takes place this day. A grateful h/t to the always-alert Rocco […]
You have to see this to believe it. From the Chicago Sun Times, a video of Fr. Michael Pfleger preaching at Barack Obama’s church last Sunday. There’s a very good response to Pfleger’s fuming over the America blog, courtesy Jim […]
Late word today that he has died, at 81. You’ll find tons of clips on YouTube, but this, from Blazing Saddles, remains definitive. And just plain hilarious. Bless him. And just in case you missed it, there’s also this wonderful […]
Women who consider themselves ordained in the Catholic Church can now consider themselves not ordained — and not Catholic. Here’s how Reuters reports the news: The Vatican issued its most explicit decree so far against the ordination of women priests […]
If you’ve ever wondered just how they put together the obituary page, this little Q&A with a longtime editor at the LA Times, Jon Thurber, offers an answer or two — and some insight into how and when religion finds […]
Catholics are a distinct minority in Alabama, but a paper there reports on some of the efforts underway to find and bring back lapsed members of the flock: Churches grow and shrink. That’s something that has always happened in the […]
A very amusing, and very clever, dissection of a part of the mass that is often overlooked. A cheerful h/t to Bosco at The Naked Liturgist.
When was the last time you went to confession? This author, a college co-ed, has a confession of her own to make: it’s been a while: Gary Stern of the Journal News reported that in the wake of Pope Benedict’s […]
That was how George Clooney described him today, after learning of Pollack’s death yesterday at 73, from cancer. Everything Sydney Pollack did had intelligence and taste. And he was a terrific actor, as well as a gifted director. For my […]
Monday is the feast of St. Philip Neri, famous for his joyful spirit and sprightly sense of humor. “A joyful heart,” he said, “is more easily made perfect than a downcast one.” In tribute to his own unique spirituality, I […]
What his captain told Private James Ryan, of course, was contained in his dying words: “Earn this.” The beautiful conclusion of “Saving Private Ryan.” Lest we forget.
A number of people noticed that Pope Benedict distributed communion on the feast of Corpus Christi to faithful who were kneeling. Is something up? Catholic News Service says, no: The four dozen people who received Communion from Pope Benedict XVI […]
“We prostrate ourselves before a God who, like a Good Samaritan, was first to bow to mankind as a way to rescue and give him new life, who knelt before us to wash our dirty feet. Worshiping the Body of […]
Tragic news this morning about Steven Curtis Chapman, the popular Christian recording artist. His young adopted daughter was struck and killed by a car, apparently driven by Chapman’s son. Below is a song he wrote about his daughter a few […]
Because we all could use a laugh right about now (and the feast of that saintly cut-up Philip Neri is just a few days away: here’s Adolph Hitler, as you’ve never seen him before. Trust me: you will howl. God […]
Back on Ash Wednesday, I preached a little homily about penance, and suggested some things we might do during that penitential season of Lent besides simply giving up chocolate. I mentioned praying for strangers, praying for those we don’t even […]
How are vocations in your diocese? The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting on the very good news coming out of that archdiocese these days — a surge in priestly vocations, thanks in large part to the efforts of the archbishop: […]
I’m not entirely sure what to make of this story, out of Minnesota. I’m sure the priest must have very good reasons for choosing this course of action. But if I had to ask myself WWJD … well, I don’t […]
I stumbled on this awesome little movie trailer over at Happy Catholic — a big fat hat tip for this one, Jules! — and now I have to agree: this could be a wonderful movie. I’m hoping so, anyway. Take […]
Over at Beliefnet, Rod Dreher this weekend blogged about an ongoing conversation with an old friend of his, an ex-priest. Dreher himself is a convert to Catholicism, who left the Church after the scandals of ’02, and is now in […]
An alert reader sent me word that the great Randy Pauschwas featured this weekend at the graduation ceremony at Carnegie Mellon. The local press takes note: The crowd rained a second standing ovation warmly on Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon […]
I wish I had a dime for every e-mail I’ve received that has started with those six words. That’s usually followed by a request for more information. How long do you study? Can I keep my job? Do you get […]
My father-in-law sent this to me and it slays me every time. I don’t know what’s funnier: watching Tim Conway, or watching Harvey Korman’s reactions. Enjoy. And keep Kleenex handy. You’ll be in tears by the end.
Astonishing stories don’t get more astonishing than this one, from Rod Dreher’s column in the Dallas Morning News: On the afternoon of May 4, Jessica Johnson Palmer took her three children to a park to meet her former boyfriend. According […]
An astute writer over at the Washington Post’s On Faith blog has taken a hard look at the Catholic League, and the recent dust-up over John Hagee. The writer is, in a word, skeptical: The Catholic League is not the […]
Not long ago on EWTN, during Lent, they re-ran this spellbinding talk by one of their most popular preachers. I was wondering if there was a copy online, and sure enough, there’s a shortened version, about 10 minutes long, which […]
Well, here’s a different way of looking at the Church, from the Wall Street Journal: Is the U.S. Catholic Church in a state of crisis? The bond market says no. In fact, investors increasingly view the collection plate as a […]
And the long line of men in dalmatics continues. Bless ‘em all. This, from Long Island Catholic. (h/t to the blog A Long Island Catholic.) The scoop follows — and at the link, you can find pictures and bios of […]
If this doesn’t lift your spirits, nothing will. It’s short and sweet. Go ahead. Shut the door and turn up the speakers and enjoy.
That’s what this fellow says we are, and he makes a very good, and very funny, point. Click and enjoy. H/T Brutally Honest by way of The Anchoress.
After being dormant for a long time, the diocese of El Paso diaconate program is alive and kicking — and is about to ordain its first class of deacons in more than a quarter century: For the first time in […]
You can add Trenton to the list of dioceses that is busily ordaining deacons this season. The write up is right here: Eleven men, four from Mercer County and one from Burlington County, were ordained as deacons in the Roman […]
The day after Pentecost, there are increasing signs that the Spirit is at work. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Catholic Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh received an honorary doctorate from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe over the weekend, capping a week […]
Last year, the Washington Post ran a remarkable story about an unusual experiment in the Washington, DC subway. The reporter asked one of the most celebrated violinists of his age to play his fiddle — a priceless Stradivarius — on […]
Another diocese is making some hard choices about closing parishes — but seems to have found an innovative way of handling it that may keep most churches open: The number of parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse […]
We could all use a little Monty Python right about now, don’t you think? I stumbled on this funny bit: the pope arguing with Michelangelo about his “Last Supper.” Which may explain why it was eventually done by DaVinci. Enjoy.
The pope’s visit is just a happy memory now, but one writer, from Hawaii, has just published her delightful account of her visit to New York. (H/T to Rocco, who always seems to be in the right place at the […]
The Pope who has an iPod is getting into text messaging. (When is he going to start a blog, like one of his cardinals?) Here’s what is being planned for the World Youth Day gathering later this year: Pope Benedict […]
Ordination season is fast upon us — and there’s news of some deacons about to be ordained in St. Louis: Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will ordain 13 men to the Order of the Diaconate at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, […]
This is a wonderful video, sent in from a reader (thank you, Mary!) that celebrates the rosary. Watch — and break out the beads!
A nice blogger friend sent this my way last week, and I finally got around to reading it. Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput on politics, priests, laity and a lot of other important things. It’s just superb: Catholic leadership in the […]
A fellow deacon sent to me with five simple words: “A must for your blog.” He’s right. Watch this with a box of Kleenex handy. It’s incredible. And beautiful. And it will leave you utterly devastated.
The Archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl, has now joined Cardinal Egan in discussing the controversy over communion during the pope’s visit. From the Catholic Standard: A decision regarding the refusal of Holy Communion to an individual is one that should […]
This is pretty damn funny. I wasn’t wild about Lamott’s last book, Grace, Eventually, but her first spiritual memoir, Traveling Mercies is a wondrous and hopeful and often hilarious collection of essays about her search for salvation as a recovering […]
I’m sure there will be much buzzing about this in the blogosphere — it’s a slow news day, and people are getting tired of Jeremiah Wright, after all — but it seems one of the most mysterious (and eloquent) voices […]
Those who lump him together with the likes of Nancy Pelosi or Ted Kennedy may be mistaken. Or so suggests Elizabeth Scalia, at Inside Catholic: As a politician, Giuliani has never been a legislator or a judge; he has neither […]
That was what Dorothy Day once said, and I alluded to her in my homily for Ascension Thursday. To mark the 75th anniversary of the Catholic Worker, Dorothy Day’s diaries have just been published. And a documentary on her life […]
The controversy swirling around Rudy Giuliani receiving communion at St. Patrick’s just won’t stop. The latest to weigh in is Phil Lawler at CWN, who notes: In his public rebuke to Rudy Giuliani for improperly receiving Communion during Pope Benedict’s […]
“Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” — Katharine Hepburn
Well, this bit of news is interesting — and it will be even more interesting to see how it plays out over the next few days: Moments ago, Edward Cardinal Egan issued a statement saying he deeply regrets former mayor […]
What’s it like for someone who is not Catholic to be covering the Vicar of Christ for the media? Busted Halo’s radio show is produced by Robyn Gould, and she describes her experience working in the Catholic media and covering […]
A story out of West Virginia this weekend points to something a lot of us cradle Catholics don’t think about much– the powerful and important impact of converts on our faith: Roseann Sodaro French finds it hard to explain exactly […]
So much has already been written about Pope Benedict’s remarkable meeting with sex abuse victims — but this piece by John Allen tells the story behind the story. It’s just one more reason why Allen remains one of — if […]
Could an American deacon play a role in the eventual canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman? Yep. Looks that way. CNS has the details: The sainthood cause of a 19th-century English cardinal has taken a step forward after the Vatican’s […]
If you’re wondering what transpired between the pope and the victimsof sex abuse whom he met during his visit, check out this remarkable story: Olan Horne, 48, a survivor of clerical sex abuse, believes that Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to […]
Even non-Catholics can’t help but admit that this pope is impressive. Take this, for example, from a columnist in Chicago, wrestling with the Church’s stance on abortion: To believe in God’s autonomy over human life, however, is a hard sell. […]
MCPF Stephen Colbert turned to another CPF of Your Humble Blogger, Fr. James Martin, SJ last night for some analysis on the pope. And it was delightful. Click and watch and enjoy. These two should go on the road.
They’re name is Libera, and they performed as part of the pope’s warm up at Yankee Stadium. They’re really something. This is a song of theirs called “Far Away.” Enjoy.
Still hungry for pope stuff? Those who are curious can read my wrap-up of the papal mass over at the CBS Evening News blog, Couric & Co.
John Allen over at NCR confirms what I suspected after I spied Rudy Giuliani in the communion line at St. Patrick’s Cathedral: At least three times during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States, a prominent pro-choice Catholic politician […]
So let us lift our gaze upward! And with great humility and confidence, let us ask the Spirit to enable us each day to grow in the holiness that will make us living stones in the temple which he is […]
Watching the mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral this morning on EWTN, I got a glimpse of Rudolph Giuliani. In line. For communion. Maybe he just got a blessing. I dunno. He also popped up at the end of the mass […]
A car commercial to make you smile. Enjoy.
The excellent papal commentator and writer David Gibson has zeroed in on an important theme of Benedict’s visit thus far — one that, perhaps, has been overshadowed by all the headlines about the sex abuse crisis. From the Wall Street […]
“I don’t go to Mass, but today I went with my mother, and his sermon there and his apology about the sexual abuse blew me away, and I had tears in my eyes that I wasn’t ready to have. It […]
A beautifully produced video celebrating the Church. UPDATE: For some reason, the video has been pulled. Argh. You can still watch it by going to this link, scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on the video titled […]
All you have to do is read the lead in the Boston Globe’s exclusive to realize this is a Big Deal: Pope Benedict XVI, in a dramatic move likely to alter forever the image of his pontificate, met this afternoon […]
Anyone who saw the papal mass this morning in Washington heard a real melting pot of music and languages, and Catholic News Service has an overview: The liturgical celebration of Pope Benedict XVI’s April 17 Mass in Nationals Park reflected […]
The president is a fan. H/T to Fr. James Martin, SJ from The Good Word, the preaching and scripture blog of America magazine.
All poped out yet? Good. Here’s a pretty interesting nugget from today’s Washington Post on the pope and his music — or, rather, the music you will probably be hearing at the papal masses: Catholics don’t argue about abortion or […]
That’s Katie Couric’s cheeky nickname for the dashing and telegenic Fr. Thomas Williams, who played football for the University of Michigan before becoming a priest with the Legionairies of Christ. He’s now a Vatican analyst for CBS News. And here’s […]
Over at the New York Times, they have a running blog of various religious observers and experts, discussing the papal visit. Fascinating stuff. Some excerpts: From Fr. James Martin, SJ: “I am deeply ashamed,” Pope Benedict XVI said this morning, […]
In case you missed it earlier, here he is, stretching his legs at Andrews Air Force Base and saying howdy to the Bush family.
The ink is starting to flow, and the analysis of the papal visit is going to be thick (and probably inaccurate). But over at Pajamas Media, The Anchoress has placed Pope Benedict in an interesting context. Seems all those nervous […]
What do you give the man who has everything? Some Catholic schools came up with a wonderful idea for the pope’s birthday: Pope Benedict XVI turns 81 on Wednesday during his stop in Washington, D.C., and Catholic school students say […]
Everybody wants the Catholic vote, and now Barack Obama has even formed a Catholic advisory committee, according to the blog at America magazine: Here’s Obama’s Catholic Kitchen Cabinet: National Co-Chairs Senator Bob Casey; Representative Patrick Murphy (PA-08); Former Congressman Tim […]
It’s not often that you see the diaconate celebrated in the Catholic press, or celebrated by pastors. But — in a convergence that must be unprecedented — both those remarkable phenomena can be found in this week’s St. Louis Review: […]
The Vatican leaves nothing to chance. They’ve released all the prayers, readings, and even the hymns for the pope’s upcoming visit — and you can even download them. From CWN: The Missal covers each of the major public events on […]
A new report paints the clearest picture yet of what is happening in Catholic education — and what isn’t. USA Today has a snapshot: For years, parents at St. Joseph School, a tiny Catholic school in Petersburg, Va., have fretted […]
In its ongoing run-up to the pope’s visit, the Washington Post is taking a look at how some Catholics live, and has discovered — surprise surprise — that some of them really are Catholic: During an era when two-thirds of […]
I remember going to the Mall in Washington to see Pope John Paul II on his first trip to the United States, nearly 30 years ago. Vendors sold tee shirts saying “I Got A Peek At The Pope.” They’ve gotten […]
If anyone wants to know what’s wrong with our culture these days, here’s exhibit A. It’s a commentary from the Washington Post. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Read on: My husband and I are getting ready to do what many […]
Hot on the heels of the news out of Camden, another diocese — in fact, an archdiocese — is bracing for massive “restructuring,” i.e., parish closings and mergers. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune: Archbishop Alfred Hughes on Saturday began asking […]
It may have not made big headlines, but I have no doubt it stunned a good many people in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey: a massive restructuring of the diocese that will see fully half of the parishes shuttered. […]
This terrific video was produced by Roger Aguinaldo, one of our parish’s trustees, to plug our Parish Expo next weekend. It’s geared to the theme of stewardship, and the idea that “All is gift, all is given.” It’s a nifty […]
Up in Canada, one region that has never had permanent deacons is about to see that change. From the Western Catholic Reporter: Members of the Edmonton Archdiocese’s first class preparing for the permanent diaconate will be ordained July 4 at […]
What helps make kids happy? A Canadian study says it’s the same for them as it is for the rest of us — it’s all about what’s inside, not outside: Spirituality is a major contributor to a child’s overall happiness […]
On a good day, I can hammer a nail straight into a piece of wood. Most days, I might add, are not good days. I have no talent for carpentry. So I was both envious, and impressed, with this wonderful […]
What’s the most popular name for a Christian church? A reporter in Chicago conducted an informal survey of the Windy City and found some interesting answers: If church names are any indication, St. Paul is the most popular saint in […]
There aren’t many things these days that leave me utterly speechless. But this item did: That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, “Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah,” this morning will rock the walls of Toronto’s West Hill United […]
Here’s something a lot of us can relate to: being brand new on the job and approaching your first big challenge. In this case, the job is being newly ordained — and the challenge is a little something called Easter. […]
Warning: Crucifixion Bad For Your Health
There is a remarkable mini-industry that has sprung up on YouTube: home-made music videos crafted from Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” Clearly, this film has resonated with people, and moved them to create something deeply personal from that […]
A few readers have been wondering just what kicked up the kerfuffle in Belleville, and what exactly Bishop Braxton had done to incur such animosity among his priests. As usual, I turned to the definitive source on episcopal matters, and […]
Coming into the Church this Easter? New? Just browsing around? Pull up a chair and stay awhile. And if you have a few free moments, wander over to this terrific blog, Catholic Converts. I stumbled on it when it got […]
As we continue our journey through Holy Week, I got an e-mail from a reader, alerting me to a new and, I think, very interesting voice in the blogosphere. It is aimed at those suffering with cancer — both those […]
Our good friends over at Zenit have posted a little something on the Exultet, of which I wrote a at some length a few days ago. Seems someone was curious about where this chant originated — and why it’s sung […]
We should live in such a way that in our last hours we will not regret having loved too little. — Chiara Lubich, whose funeral mass was celebrated today in Rome, at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. I don’t think […]
The popular press is beginning to notice a not-too-insignificant anniversary this year: the 40th of Humanae Vitae. The Religion News Service takes note here: Asked about her church’s ban on artificial birth control, Emily Kunkel inhales deeply and pauses. “It’s […]
Just in time for Holy Week, here’s a fascinating dissection of something often overlooked: the Judaism of Jesus: Recently a popular blogger — let’s call him Rabbi Ben — zinged the scholarship of a man we shall call Rabbi Rob. […]
Shroud of Turin Accidentally Washed With Red Shirt.
After watching again his funky dance in “Weapon of Choice,” I couldn’t resist throwing this into the mix. Christopher Walken and John Travolta from “Hairspray.” One of the more bizarre, but oddly enchanting, duets in Hollywood history.
Social Encyclical Won’t Be Ready Before Summer Social Encyclical Due May 1?
Coming soon from Disney/Pixar. “Wall-E.” Take a peek. I dare you not to smile.
With all the news buzzing today about New York governor Eliot Spitzer, it’s perhaps useful to look at his recently proposed legislation on the issue of abortion. It’s set alarm bells ringing throughout the state. My parish is one of […]
As we continue the countdown to Easter — 10 days until the Vigil! — it’s heartening and inspiring to read about those who are making the journey toward that baptismal font. The St. Anthony Messenger has a great piece this […]
‘Tis the season. Awards season, that is. And you might want to wander over to the Bloggers Choice Awards to see who the contenders are in different categories. (Your Humble Blogger is listed in Best Religion Blog.) There are a […]
In New Jersey, a nominee for the state’s Superior Court happens to be a man training to become a Catholic deacon. And that may cause a conflict, according to this South Jersey paper: A judge in Middlesex County who is […]
As Catholic stories go, it sounded like a bombshell: the pope had added seven new deadly sins that could send a person to hell — and one of them was polluting the environment! I was assigned to write that story […]
As we prepare for Holy Week, our Jewish brothers and sisters are preparing for Passover. And that led me to this peculiar video (h/t Rod Dreher) which is — as Rod put it — “jerky.” I agree with him. Why […]
Bless her heart, the Anchoress has posted a terrific clip of Christopher Walken dancing in Pennies from Heaven. Most people forget he was a happy hoofer — taught by his mother, I believe — before he became one of the […]
Those nuns who taught you in elementary school are now teaching science a thing or two about alternative medicine. Check out this item, from the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal: Here at the Providence Rest nursing home, which […]
Some will remember the mid-20th century as the “brick-and-mortar” era of the American Church — parishes going up, vocations booming, schools clogged with children in uniforms. And nuns. Lots of ‘em. I can still see them: the starched habits, the […]
An astonishing bit of news from the Havana Desk: Cuba has invited the Catholic Church to open a new monastery on the island and a German Benedictine order said Wednesday it would send four monks to establish a “spiritual centre.”The […]
I have, of late, been in a rather funereal state of mind. It hurts to lose a friend. But when someone showed me the clip below — unaware of just what’s been going on in my life lately — I […]
That’s the serious, but provocative, question Rod Dreher posed in his blog this morning, springboarding off yesterday’s report from the Pew Forum: Why do you think people leave the Catholic Church? We tend to accept the explanation that suits what […]
Well, this piece of news left me shocked, simply shocked, from CNS: A prominent Polish priest said young priests are using the Internet to plagiarize homilies for Masses. “If a priest takes another person’s text and presents it as his […]
In case you missed it, here’s the lovely song that won the Oscar, “Falling Slowly,” from the movie “Once.” The performance here is from “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Take this sinking boat and point it home,We’ve still got […]
Grim news from the American northeast, where the number of priests continues its decline, and where dioceses are taking some radical but necessary steps. This, from the Sun Journal paper in Maine: The number of Catholic priests in the city […]
God of all compassion, Father of all goodness,to heal the wounds our sins and selfishness bring upon usyou bid us turn to fasting, prayer, and sharing with our brothers and sisters. We acknowledge our sinfulness, our guilt is ever before […]
A Catholic journalist in the Washington Post is asking the question that may be on a few Catholic minds these days: is voting for Barack Obama a sin? Like most Maryland Democrats, I voted for Sen. Barack Obama in the […]
A reader dropped me an e-mail, wondering if an ex-priest who was married could become a permanent deacon. I told him I’d never heard of such a thing happening, and thought it highly unlikely. Curious, I dragged down my copy […]
Some of my brother deacons were wondering about this when the issue arose last fall — and now it seems to have been answered. What about permanent deacons and the “extraordinary form” of the mass, or the Latin Rite? Here’s […]
Who cares about the Oscars? Oscars, schmoscars. I just got word that I’ve won the Blog of the Day Award. I’m flabbergasted. If you’re curious to read more about this wonderful honor, you can visit the BOTD link, or just […]
A commentator over at Bloomberg is suggesting that the real problem facing the poor of the Philippines is that they’re having too many babies. And he blames the Church. So, of course, he has a latex solution: “The most unprepossessing […]
That would be the Chesapeake Bay, in my beautiful home state of Maryland. And that happens to be the name of a wonderful little blog by a Redemptorist by the name of Fr. Andy Costello. A reader — another Redemptorist […]
As one of our correspondents at CBS likes to put it: “Everybody has a story.” And the story of this Protestant minister’s conversion to Catholicism, printed recently in the Catholic Explorer in Illinois, is well worth hearing: At the same […]
Here’s a surprising, and heartening, bit of journalism from, of all places, the Chicago Tribune, about a demographic shift in the diaconate: When Sergio Lopez’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and told she had only three months to live, […]
This is a remarkable piece of political theater: President Clinton blows up at a pro-life heckler at one of his wife’s rallies. You can read more details at this link, and there’s a brief MSNBC field report right here. h/t […]
That’s Indiana Jones talking, in yet another moment of peril. And, after nearly 20 years, no wonder. At long last, he’s about to come back in the fourth installment of the franchise, and if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, […]
Here’s an eye-opener from across the Atlantic, courtesy the Associated Press: After same-sex marriage and fast-track divorce, Spain’s social revolution has hit a roadblock — abortion. The abortion law, severely restrictive during Gen. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship of the predominantly Roman […]
A high-ranking Vatican official has put his finger on a big problem with the modern priesthood: The prefect of the Congregation for Religious has lamented that many Catholic priests are neglecting their duties under the pressure of conforming to secular […]
Up in Beantown, Cardinal Sean used his blog this week to throw a little attention on the diaconate community — and it sounds like it’s booming: I met with the permanent deacons’ community board, which meets six times annually. Deacon […]
This has been making the rounds on the internet, and it’s classic: MCPF Stephen Colbert has a little smackdown with someone who is both creepy and funny.
A blogger over at Commonweal asked the question, and explains: The woman I plan to marry converted to the Roman Catholic faith as an adult ten years ago. She seems to have had an experience quite similar to the experience […]
Remember Schoolhouse Rock? (If you don’t…well, nevermind. But the name of this new website hearkens back to that 1970’s classic.) A pal just sent this my way, and it looks terrific: a new website for vocations that specializes in the […]
Happy Valentine’s Day! As a footnote: I was pleased to find that this remarkable piece of TV history has been preserved on YouTube: I think it’s the last time they ever sang this together, on David Letterman several years back.
What happens when an unmarried teacher in a Catholic school finds herself pregnant? A paper in Minnesota explains: Emily Prigge was in her first year of teaching fifth grade at St. Felix School in Wabasha when she found out she’s […]
What are people thinking? It still surprises me that something like this is allowed to get this far, and actually take place: Archbishop Jose Gomez complained Wednesday about plans for a rally by Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, an abortion […]
An early Valentine’s Day offering: the brilliant (and too often overlooked) Fred and Ginger re-enactment from “Pennies From Heaven”. Starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters and movie magic. Enjoy.
The Holy Father had some warm words last week for permanent deacons — yes, you heard right: the pope actually chatted up the diaconate. It came during a Q&A with Roman clergy. Here’s the entire exchange, as reported by Zenit: […]
Just click here and watch what happens. Your computer screen will never be the same. H/T, I think, to the Happy Cat’lick.
The prayer below was offered by Pope John Paul II at the conclusion of the rosary, during his final pilgrimage to Lourdes in August, 2004: Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,Blessed by the Most High!Virgin of hope, dawn of a […]
This news is not exactly the sort of thing you want to read as you’re getting ready to head to mass on Sunday morning. But it’s happening more and more: Armed sheriff’s deputies removed the last man from the Catholic […]
Sunday, we’ll be marking World Marriage Day, sponsored by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter. Our parish will be hosting a special mass for the event, and Your Humble Blogger will be preaching for the occasion. (Homily to come!) In anticipation of […]
Still stumped about what you can give up for Lent? Check out these 25 suggestions, courtesy Busted Halo. Some highlights: 15) Make a commitment to “fast” from cruel comments about others. 16) As a part of your Lenten almsgiving, make […]
For the first Friday of Lent, when so many parishes will begin praying the Stations of the Cross, here’s a glimpse at one man’s vision of that seismic event — and a little piece of movie history, to boot. It’s […]
Now, for some news from my own backyard: word that the sainthood cause has been opened for the founder of Brooklyn’s first black parish. From CNS and Ed Wilkinson, editor of the Brooklyn Tablet: The process to declare a former […]
I write a lot about late vocations around here — most deacons, after all, become deacons later in life — but a post earlier this week about the diminishing number of nuns and monks prompted this e-mail from one woman: […]
Well, now this little posting is pretty interesting: fun facts about Lent and Easter that have always had me scratching my head, and that now make eminent sense. My favorite one is at the end, regarding the 40 days we […]
A deacon has performed a valuable service for his parish community, offering a workshop in Faithful Citizenship for those who will be voting in the Super Tuesday primary. This, from the Catholic Explorer in Illinois: With the Feb 5 primary […]
Weird — and wonderful. Take a look at what happens when a couple hundred creative souls decide to just STOP and FREEZE in position in Grand Central Station. A frozen h/t to The Anchoress.
Here’s a little news nugget that made me go “Huh?” And then “Wow.” From the Boston Globe, a story about evangelical Protestants who are embracing, of all things, monasticism: S.G. Preston is a Knight of Prayer. Each morning at his […]
…and in ways you’d never expect. This is just incredibly cool. The description on YouTube puts it thusly: This is a song about a church being moved hundreds of miles across the US on the back of a very big […]
Before the Big Game, another awesome ad. This is the classic commercial that introduced the Apple Mac to the world: And this is the inspired take-off from last year that, I think, has proved prescient.
One of my brother deacons, a classmate ordained with me last May, is seriously ill. Jim was taken to the ER earlier this week, and I finally was able to visit him in the ICU tonight. He’s hooked up to […]
A recent post about Catholic writers prompted a reader to ask: What exactly is a Catholic writer? I prefer “Christian writer” who happens to be Catholic -and who is espoused to catholic dogma. No? It’s a good question — and […]
From the AP: VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Rev. Marcial Maciel, a Mexican priest who founded the Legionaries of Christ religious order and was disciplined by Pope Benedict XVI after sex abuse allegations, has died in the United States, his […]
I’ve been told it’s a lost cause, but American Papist has a few ideas. Check ‘em out. And good luck. I know the Diocese of Brooklyn has been given a grand total of three (3) tickets per parish. My parish […]
Looking for a room for the Super Bowl? No problem. Really. There is a little heavenly help available, according to this item in the New York Daily News: Nuns at a Phoenix monastery are renting out 10 of their rooms […]
While doing a little search for more memorable Super Bowl moments, or at least some cool ads, I stumbled upon the one below. I didn’t see it when it first aired in 2002. But it is a stunner. Audacious, and […]
A reader in South Carolina sent this column along with a note: “This guy sounds like a great priest.” He sure does: There are people who stand by you. People who inspire you. People you imagine will always be there […]
That is exactly what the immigrant in this story is seeking — and for the time being, a Methodist church is willing to provide it: A Mexican woman says she is “picking up the torch” from another illegal resident who […]
Every now and then, we all need to be reminded. A classmate once told me about some advice he received from a priest on the subject of preaching: “Just remember,” the priest said, “to tell the people that God loves […]
The Anchoress just posted a lovely rendition of Ave Verum. Ironically, the version by Mozart was ringing in my ears yesterday morning: our choir sang it during communion at the 11:30 mass. Here’s a gorgeous recording I found on YouTube.
This is an interesting wrinkle in this election year — and I’m sure Massachusetts isn’t the only place confronting this issue: A Catholic church serving as a polling location won’t have to cover up religious images on election day. Officials […]
My favorite gal in a wimple has just notified me that I’ve been “meme’d”, which I think is a good thing. The meme is this: 1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).2. Open the book […]
A reader sent me a note today from — of all places — New Zealand. He runs a spirituality website that is now devoting some time and attention to that precious prayer of the church, the Liturgy of the Hours. […]
This one is slated to air during the 2008 Super Bowl, but it’s gaining a fast following on YouTube. Turn up the sound and enjoy.
Two of the great unsung heroes of the modern church are a couple programs designed to help marriages: Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille. My wife and I made a Marriage Encounter weekend several years ago, and found it immensely enriching. But […]
The following was sent to me, anonymously, from someone who spotted it on Craigslist. I can think of quite a few priests who might have written it. Take it for what it is: a colorful and frank (and, I think, […]
Well, here’s the latest on the controversy swirling around the St. Louis University basketball coach who is pro-Hillary, pro-abortion, and pro-embryonic stem cell research, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Surprised by the reaction to his pro-choice, pro-embryonic stem cell research […]
Here’s another great commercial from Super Bowls past: Anheuser Busch, from 2005. Grab a hanky and watch.
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this: Faced with growing competition from cheaper rivals, Starbucks Corp. is testing offering small cups of drip coffee for $1 with free refills in its hometown. That’s about 50 cents less […]
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posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »
One day more
posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »
Meet Montana's married priest
posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »
Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »
Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »