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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Links-R-Us Archives

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. […]

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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 […]

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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!

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Does anonymity breed contempt?

posted by jmcgee

Well, according to this item, yes. (Is anyone surprised?) From the New York Times: There you are, peacefully reading an article or watching a video on the Internet. You finish, find it thought-provoking, and scroll down to the comments section […]

Lest we forget: happy new year!

posted by jmcgee

From the poetic pen of the Concord Pastor comes this beautiful prayer for this first Monday of Advent. I can’t think of a better way to begin a new year, and a new week:  With Advent begins a new year […]

Starting a new year, moving the ribbons

posted by jmcgee

It’s something most of us aren’t even aware of, but it is done in countless churches around the world this time of year — and the Concord Pastor reflects on its meaning: This weekend I will observe a little ritual […]

‘Tis a gift

posted by jmcgee

“To be grateful is ultimately a gift to be be received from God. We ought to humbly ask for it. …Ultimately gratitude comes from a humble, contrite and transformed heart. Saying thank you is not a moralism. True gratitude is […]

The patron saint of Thanksgiving? Moses

posted by jmcgee

An interesting observation from author Bruce Feiler, to ponder as you’re preparing for tomorrow’s big feast: The real story of Thanksgiving has deep biblical roots. A few years ago, I set out on a 10,000-mile journey through the hidden symbols […]

Deacons today: “Please don’t call me Father…”

posted by jmcgee

U.S. Catholic has a nice, long look at the diaconate in its December issue — and a few familiar names pop up: Beverly Hills, California deacon and author Eric Stoltz often finds himself uttering the phrase, “Please don’t call me […]

On condoms: “Evolution, not revolution”

posted by jmcgee

That’s one reaction to the weekend’s headline-grabbing news. From the Christian Science Monitor: Vatican officials are insisting that Pope Benedict’s new remarks on condoms are not a change in church teaching on contraception. But initial reaction in Europe and among […]

On condoms, a lesson from Humanae Vitae

posted by jmcgee

“The Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from–provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever.” […]

Team spirit: a college rallies around its greatest fan

posted by jmcgee

Get a load of this wonderful story from ESPN, about Middlebury College’s biggest fan, and the team players who love him.  (Tip: keep a tissue handy for this one!)  H/T Concord Pastor.

I bet it was Standing Room Only

posted by jmcgee

H/T Jesus Creed

How holy is your hometown? Check out America’s most religious cities

posted by jmcgee

Men’s Health magazine has compiled a list of America’s holiest cities — and it has a few surprises: Our list of America’s Most Religious Cities shows there’s a lot of praying going on in the Bible Belt. No shocker there. […]

More on Dolan

posted by jmcgee

John Allen offers his two cents: In Dolan, the bishops have turned to their most gifted natural communicator, a leader with a demonstrated capacity to project a positive image for Catholicism in the public square. Rather than electing a behind-the-scenes […]

A deacon sticks his neck out …

posted by jmcgee

… on the topic of wearing the collar, after this post veered off the rails and became a debating exercise for deacons.  Snip: Should deacons wear clericals? In my opinion, this is a decision best left to the deacon in […]

A Catholic mother and “the current church”

posted by jmcgee

Andrew Sullivan has posted this letter from a Catholic mother: My husband and I are raising our sons in the Catholic Church. We are active in my church, I teach religious education, we perform corporeal works of mercy with our […]

“We get to carry each other, carry each other…”

posted by jmcgee

The always-resourceful Frank Weathers over at Why I Am Catholic just posted a couple great videos, dedicated to the martyrs in Iraq. Here’s Bono and U2: One love, one blood, one life, you got to do what you should.One life […]

Your tax dollars at work

posted by jmcgee

Read this and weep.

A prayer for Veterans Day

posted by jmcgee

God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation and have laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war, whose […]

Losing its Sheen: Peoria halts push for St. Fulton

posted by jmcgee

“Shocker” is how Rocco tweeted it, and that about sums it up: Nearly a year after Fulton Sheen was celebrated anew across the globe on the 30th anniversary of his death, the iconic prelate’s boyhood diocese has suddenly pulled out […]

So, how do you become an exorcist, anyway?

posted by jmcgee

Meet a man who knows — and whose story is about to become a major motion picture, starring Anthony Hopkins: Rare is the priest in the United States who holds the title of diocesan exorcist. Rarer still is the priest […]

How does your diocese stack up?

posted by jmcgee

Deacon Bill Ditewig poses some challenging ideas today about how to “do the diaconate right.” He picks five hallmarks of good formation: 1) Select only those applicants who have the gifts and abilities to be servant-leaders across the whole range […]

Justin Bieber: “I believe Jesus died on a cross for my sins”

posted by jmcgee

“Hollywood is … a scary place. There’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of bad things, but there’s also a lot of good things. I’m able to live my dream, I’m able to do a lot of good things. […]

“What if I told you Jesus was a black man?”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the provocative opener to a terrific essay by my Assistant News Director, Shu-Fy Pongnon, who riffs on the subject at Patheos: “What if I told you Jesus was a Black man?” How I came to ask Marie this entirely […]

There be drama in “There Be Dragons”

posted by jmcgee

Beliefnet’s Movie Mom Nell Minow is featuring at her blog a promotional clip for the upcoming movie, “There Be Dragons,” about Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei.   The movie is due out in the spring of 2011.  Take a […]

“I’m just like you”

posted by jmcgee

This new PSA from New York State says it all, charmingly.

How about “The Deacon’s Wench”?

posted by jmcgee

In the past, I’ve noted the curious habit in some dioceses of referring to deacons and their wives as “deacon couples”. Now, Deacon Bill Ditewig is tackling that subject — and some others involving spouses, terminology, and what it all […]

Artist plans to recreate Twin Towers “prayer rooms”

posted by jmcgee

The above rendering will evidently recreate the areas Muslims used for prayer in the World Trade Center. Details: In an interview with Art Threat, Las Vegas-based artist Paul-Felix Montez wants to create a downtown exhibit that addresses the experience of […]

F. Murray Abraham to star as John Henry Newman

posted by jmcgee

The award-winning star of “Amadeus” is scheduled to play the celebrated “blessed,” according to news reports: The first film about Blessed John Henry Newman is in the works. Italian director and screenwriter Liana Marabini, who specialises in directing films about […]

Catch the drift: the Church’s “crisis of attrition”

posted by jmcgee

This week’s Commonweal contains a must-read: Peter Steinfels’ long, hard, grieving look at the state of the American Catholic Church. It begins with this observation: It is not often that someone at a New York dinner party calls for a […]

Revealed: what makes a homily good

posted by jmcgee

“If anyone ever compliments me and says, ‘Gee, that was a good homily,’ I learned a long time ago never to ask them why because I get so depressed. I worked so hard on this and I expect them to […]

Habit-forming

posted by jmcgee

“We human beings need symbols to remind us that we are not made for this world but, as St. Elizabeth Seton used to say, we are ‘children of eternity.’ Each piece of the habit reminds the person wearing it that […]

Poland’s popular sex guru: a Catholic priest

posted by jmcgee

Believe it or not. Details: Father Ksawery Knotz doesn’t see himself as a sexpert. Dressed in a brown habit of the Capuchin friars, he certainly doesn’t look like one. Yet, since the celibate Catholic priest started publishing his online sex […]

Is organized religion just too conservative?

posted by jmcgee

This commentary in the Los Angeles Times suggests that young people are being turned off by churches that seem to embrace conservative politics: The most rapidly growing religious category today is composed of those Americans who say they have no […]

Did you see any kids?

posted by jmcgee

I got an email from a reader and blogger, D. Scott Miller, alerting me to this post of his. He’s involved with youth ministry, and in the course of his blogging, referenced a blog post of my own, about the […]

10 Lessons from 25 years in ministry

posted by jmcgee

These come from the Rev. Bill Shuler, at the Capital Life Church in Arlington, Virginia: 1. The goal is not to win a debate but to redeem the heart. 2. One’s public witness is only as authentic as one’s private […]

Who’s that woman? The story of a soul named Annie

posted by jmcgee

If you ever wonder about that ragged old stranger that you pass on the street every day — and usually go out of your way to avoid — the New York Times’ Dan Barry finds a poignant answer. He did […]

Let there be light!

posted by jmcgee

“We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all […]

“Is pre-marital sex always wrong?”

posted by jmcgee

A study from CARA asked that question of Catholics and Protestants — and the resulting answers may surprise you: In 1972, 39% of adult Catholics responded that premarital sex was “always wrong.” Among Catholics attending Mass at least once a […]

Diocese backs ban on wearing rosaries

posted by jmcgee

It’s a trend that’s sparking concern — and one Colorado diocese is taking a stand: Responding to a ban on the wearing of rosaries at a Colorado public school, the Diocese of Colorado Springs has said it does not oppose […]

Scariest chart of the day

posted by jmcgee

To get a clearer idea of what it means — and what can be done about it — check out Msgr. Charles Pope’s blog this morning.

The UK’s “Benedict bounce”

posted by jmcgee

Nearly a month later, spiritual uplift in the country continues to bounce along.  From a British writer at Patheos: Since the pope’s mid-September visit here, there is a definite sense of English Catholics suddenly rediscovering their confidence (the Scots have […]

Why do bad things happen to good people?

posted by jmcgee

The brilliant Dr. Peter Kreeft offers some provocative answers: First, who’s to say we are good people? The question should be not “Why do bad things happen to good people?” but “Why do good things happen to bad people?” If […]

Homophobia in the Church? Really?

posted by jmcgee

The opening paragraphs of this piece at Huffington Post by Michele Somerville certainly got my attention: I attended a Roman Catholic baptism about two weeks ago. A crowd of young parents and others of all ages stood in semi-circle around […]

Ann Coulter, Catholic

posted by jmcgee

I’ve wondered about that for a while, and now this curious piece in the New York Times — in the Fashion section, believe it or not — confirms it (though Coulter, it seems, is, um, un-comfirmed…literally): Ms. Coulter was born […]

CNN = The Jesuits?

posted by jmcgee

“The CNN culture is still very strange. You walk into that building, you think you’re the Jesuits and you’re protecting a certain legacy. They still look at Fox as a carnival–not Fox as a brilliant marketing entity. It’s weird. They’re […]

Foreign affairs: how they form deacons in Europe

posted by jmcgee

Over at Deacons Today, Bill Ditewig offers a fascinating glimpse at how deacons are formed in Europe: In Germany, anyone who wishes to pursue official ministry (whether as a lay person or a deacon) must FIRST complete either a degree […]

“The Last Lecture” wasn’t the last word

posted by jmcgee

Longtime readers of this blog will remember that I posted several items about the final months of Randy Pausch — I even preached about him one Sunday. Now comes word that his widow is writing a book about what it […]

A film critic sneers at Christians — and Roger Ebert takes offense

posted by jmcgee

Evidently, Andrew O’Hehir of Salon, in reviewing (unfavorably) “Secretariat,” took a few gratuitous swipes at director Randall Wallace. And now Chicago’s legendary Roger Ebert is calling him on it: O’Hehir mentions that Randall Wallace, who directed the film, “is one […]

Art criticism by crowbar

posted by jmcgee

There’s an update on that controversial art exhibit in Colorado: A Montana woman has been charged with criminal mischief after allegedly taking a crowbar to a controversial art museum display in Colorado that critics say portrays Jesus Christ receiving oral […]

Why wear the habit?

posted by jmcgee

I can think of no more compelling answer than this one. Take and read. It speaks volumes.

A dog who prays? St. Francis would approve.

posted by jmcgee

Just in time for the great saint’s feast, this charming video has popped up on YouTube. H/T Sullivan.

Why the Catholic Church is like Starbucks

posted by jmcgee

Well, this post (at a fine new blog I’ve just discovered, Catholic Phoenix) offers some smart answers. Of course, like Starbucks, the Church — being universal — comes in a variety of sizes and flavors, to suit any taste. I […]

The Bible in a minute

posted by jmcgee

This is a clever spin on scripture study — and fun, to boot. H/T Concord Pastor. Bible In A Minute – barats and beretaBarats and Bereta Productions | MySpace Video

You can’t say that in church: all about “Pulpit Freedom Sunday”

posted by jmcgee

If you wonder why churches cannot endorse political candidates, Chuck Colson explains — and explains what some preachers may be doing about it this Sunday: In 1954, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson was in the middle of a particularly bruising re-election battle. […]

Facebook for Catholics?

posted by jmcgee

Those savvy media types up in Boston are on the case: Want to get friended by Cardinal Sean? Or maybe LOL with your local parish priest over his latest tweet? First the Boston archdiocese joined Facebook. Now local Catholics have […]

“These were a terrible four days for anti-Catholicism…”

posted by jmcgee

That’s just one of the sharp insights from this analysis of the papal UK trip from the Catholic Herald, courtesy Whispers: In Hyde Park, the Pope literally exposed the heart of the Catholic faith to crowds of thousands and a […]

Someone should alert Cardinal Schonborn

posted by jmcgee

“As you know the Church takes great time and care before declaring that an apparition is worthy of belief, and even then it never says that a Catholic must accept the apparition as a matter of faith. We must avoid […]

Mistress of her domain?

posted by jmcgee

That seems to be the title Christine O’Donnell is going for (with a h/t to Seinfeld, of course).  Elizabeth Scalia takes note, and reminds us of what is taught in the catechism: Perpetual adolescents will demand that the masturbation quotes […]

The pope, and the greatest story never told

posted by jmcgee

One of the biggest surprises of Pope Benedict’s historic trip to the United Kingdom may be how few people realize that it was, in fact, historic. Sunday night, I was chatting by phone with my father-in-law in Maryland. I told […]

“Continuity has always been the papacy’s purpose…”

posted by jmcgee

This nails it: a sterling appreciation of the papal visit — and the papacy — from Ross Douthat: No doubt most of Britain’s five million Catholics do not believe exactly what Benedict believes and teaches. No doubt most of them […]

What do you put before God?

posted by jmcgee

Ask yourself that question after reading this item about Ramadan and Muslim NFL star Husain Abdullah (a grateful diaconal bow to Scott Dodge for this gem): NFL practices this time of year are designed for maximum sweat production. Coaches are […]

“Religion is not a problem for legislators to solve…”

posted by jmcgee

“Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is […]

“We remain a people of hope”

posted by jmcgee

“This journey is a pilgrimage, it is a penance and it is a chance to say hello to the Pope – to support him and to say that we are thinking of him in these difficult times. Compared to 30 […]

Tea for two: Benedict and Elizabeth, and the tide of history

posted by jmcgee

“Both Elizabeth and Benedict have seen war and its woeful aftermath, up close. They have watched totalitarian regimes advance and decline, and seen religion used as a justification for slaughter. They know what the rhetorical jackboot sounds like and how […]

Two kinds of Catholics: “Purpose-Driven” vs. “Retro”

posted by jmcgee

Over at the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog, Anthony Stevens-Arroyo has this take on two branches of Catholicism: I avoid writing about “liberal” and “conservative” Catholics. These terms are too easily politicized as Democrats v. Republicans. Moreover, the meanings of […]

Shattering the “servant myth” of deacons

posted by jmcgee

“The creative possibilities for diaconal ministry are opened for the Church when we move away from restrictive notions of the deacon as being primarily defined by service as the minister of charity or social justice. Deacons are primarily those who […]

“Catholics are seen as just another interest group”

posted by jmcgee

“These days, it seems, Americans are religious about everything except religion; and it’s a sign of Catholicism’s widening acceptance and waning influence that, instead of being feared as a monolithic bloc that unquestioningly follows the dictates of its leaders, Catholics […]

Sad but true

posted by jmcgee

Over at his blog, Andrew Sullivan shakes his head in disbelief at the events of the last 24 hours in Gainesville, and concludes: “We live in an era of religious fundamentalism and fanaticism, exploited, used and manipulated by politicians, for […]

Questions? Anyone?

posted by jmcgee

Now that his new blog is up and running, Deacon Doctor Ditewig is soliciting questions from his readers. Anything on your mind? Drop by and leave a question in the combox. I’m sure he’d love the company. 

Why burning the Quran is a sin

posted by jmcgee

The esteemed Msgr. Charles Pope from the Archdiocese of Washington sums it up well: Intentionally giving offense is wrong. I do not deny that there are problems in the Islamic world. But I also know that it is wrong to […]

More Catholics meet their match online

posted by jmcgee

Looking for love? Stay right where you are. It could be just a few keystrokes away. From Catholic San Francisco: The road single Catholics take in search of Mr. or Ms. Right can be a long and winding one indeed. […]

Quote of the day II

posted by jmcgee

“The Catholic Church remains convinced that to encourage peace and understanding between peoples and people, it is urgently necessary that religions and their symbols be respected and that believers not be the object of provocations that wound their outlook and […]

“Taking back your faith from the American Dream…”

posted by jmcgee

In the New York Times, David Brooks has taken aim at “the prosperity gospel,” and fires a few well-aimed shots: In the coming years of slow growth, people are bound to establish new norms and seek noneconomic ways to find […]

“Praying for what?”

posted by jmcgee

“Of the astonishing and flattering number of people who wrote to me when I fell so ill, very few failed to say one of two things. Either they assured me that they wouldn’t offend me by offering prayers or they […]

Archbishop Dolan to Muslims: let’s talk

posted by jmcgee

With the controversy still swirling over the Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero, New York’s Archbishop is suggesting regular meetings between faith leaders might help build bridges. From the Wall Street Journal: Archbishop Timothy Dolan said the church was […]

“The Church does not exist to affirm our ideological preferences”

posted by jmcgee

“Sorry, but the Church does not exist to affirm us in our ideological preferences. It exists to teach us (among other things) and challenge us with the truth of the gospel. Our posture is to be one of docility to […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“It’s hard to ignore the fact that Jesus chose to be born poor; he worked as what many scholars now say was not simply a carpenter, but what might be called a day laborer; he spent his days and nights […]

“My brother, the priest”

posted by jmcgee

From Denver comes this lovely tribute to one newly ordained man in particular — and to the Catholic priesthood in general. The author concludes: David left a medical career and a beautiful girlfriend behind to pursue a life of a […]

Does your bishop blog?

posted by jmcgee

The good folks at Aggie Catholics have just posted a list. See if someone you know is on it. Then drop by and see what he has to say.

Roamin’ Catholics: preachers who won’t stay put

posted by jmcgee

The always-interesting Fr. Z looks at a question from a reader about a priest who wanders around when he preaches: For centuries in the pre-Conciliar form of the Roman Rite the preacher is accompanied to the pulpit by the master […]

Mother Teresa: where it all began

posted by jmcgee

As millions around the world mark Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday, you might want to visit this link to see a compelling report by CNN’s Nic Robertson. He pays a visit to what used to be Albania, to Mother Teresa’s hometown, […]

“I feel privileged to represent the Catholic Church in a visible way…”

posted by jmcgee

“I feel privileged to represent the Catholic Church in a visible way, because it is an organization of sinners and sinners-turned-saints, emphatically alive, expanding, and responsive to the needs of the time, an organization that has been enormously effective in […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“Would it be an inviolate ignominy if my consubstantial oblation were suffused?” – Fr. Scott Hurd, on his Facebook page. Priceless. If you don’t get it, you will.  Eventually.  

Marriage, in three sentences

posted by jmcgee

The always-interesting blogger/priest (or priest/blogger?) from Washington, Msgr. Charles Pope, sums it up very succinctly. Read it and see if you don’t agree. Then share it with someone you love — or, maybe, someone who is planning to make that trip […]

Hebrew Catholics?

posted by jmcgee

Strange but true. Details: Three years ago, just before Easter, then-Archbishop Raymond Burke attended a Passover seder with about 25 people to commemorate God’s liberation of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. Guests wore yarmulkes–Burke brought his own fuchsia zucchetto worn […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote: ‘We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.’ There is a spirit arising from Ground Zero; it is an untethered ghost of American certainties and illusions […]

Of vocations — and vacations

posted by jmcgee

Your Humble Blogger is about to take a little down time — blogging will be light for a couple weeks — but before I go, here’s a nice picker-upper from The Anchoress: It’s that time of year again, when postulants […]

Are weddings a threat to marriage?

posted by jmcgee

A writer at the BBC is posing that question, and I can think of several members of the clergy who might agree: Are today’s weddings a danger to the couples getting all the attention on The Big Day? [Rev.] Giles […]

The Bench at “The Cafe”

posted by jmcgee

During my recent visit to Cincinnati, I spent a pleasant hour sipping coffee at “The Catholic Cafe,” the radio show hosted by Deacon Jeff Drzycimski. The program we taped is now online for those who’d like to hear Your Humble […]

Sounds a lot like deacons

posted by jmcgee

“In many ways, we are told to be separated…you are religious or you are practical. But why can’t we be one person? The seen and the unseen — we manifest both. Most indigenous shamans don’t give up their day job. […]

“Like the Magi, the Church has been traveling resolutely West…”

posted by jmcgee

The other day, I alerted you to the absorbing series on the Future of Catholicism that Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia has been shepherding over at Patheos. The kindly and humble Ms. A. is too modest to flaunt her own fabulousness […]

Yep. That about says it.

posted by jmcgee

” … All your dissatisfaction with the Church seems to me to come from an incomplete understanding of’ sin. … what you seem actually to demand is that the Church put the kingdom of heaven on earth right here now, […]

“Did Trouble Me”: Tom Jones finds his soul

posted by jmcgee

It’s not unusual to still be a pop icon at 70 — think Tony Bennett, among others — but it’s pretty remarkable to reinvent oneself, suddenly, as a soulful interpreter of gospel music. And it’s even more unusual to do […]

Future shock?

posted by jmcgee

Across the way, over at Patheos, their shiny new Catholic portal-keeper Elizabeth Scalia has launched an ambitious series on the “Future of Catholicism.” It’s part of a larger look at the future of religion, and Elizabeth has collected an impressive […]

“Being in the thick of things where the Lord is at work”

posted by jmcgee

Shortly before I was ordained, a priest friend gave me a wonderful book on homiletics: “Preaching Better” by Bishop Ken Untener. At NDICE this weekend, I stumbled upon a collection of the late bishop’s writings, “The Practical Prophet,” and found […]

“Oh, for crying out loud!”

posted by jmcgee

That’s how Elizabeth Scalia begins this desk-thumping screed against the Vatican PR team — and I couldn’t agree more. What were they thinking? Hello? As she notes: Honestly, do I have to go to Rome and storm the press office […]

Keeping the faith: visiting China’s largest Catholic village

posted by jmcgee

What is it like to be a Catholic in China today?  This essay from Ignatius Insight offers a surprising, and moving, glimpse of survival in the face of persecution: One of the most astounding Catholic success stories in China is […]

A crippling disease in the Church

posted by jmcgee

Mark Shea puts his finger on it right here. It’s clericalism.  And you see it rear its ugly head in some of the most divisive issues afflicting the Church, beginning with women’s ordination: What drives the push for women’s ordination […]

To life: defying death, and dancing at Auschwitz

posted by jmcgee

This just might be one of the most startling videos you’ll see. People either love it or hate it — there is no middle ground. And there shouldn’t be. As YouTube describes it: On a recent trip to Europe, a […]

Medjugorje seers may go to Vatican to testify

posted by jmcgee

More news brewing on the Medjugorje front, according to the website Petrus. This, from the blog Catholic Light: Vicka Ivanković, Mirijana Dragičević, Marija Pavlović, Ivan Dragičević, Ivanka Ivanković and Jakov Čolo, the famous pseudo-seers of Medjugorje, will have to report […]

Becoming a father to a Father

posted by jmcgee

Anyone who has ever had a son or daughter enter religious life will appreciate this heartfelt essay by Peter Finney, Jr., describing the emotions of watching his son grow up to become a priest: Look for me in the first […]

Just call me DG

posted by jmcgee

That seems to be the way things are headed, anyway: Note to the Village People: The lyrics in your biggest hit need an update. The organization previously known as the Y.M.C.A. is henceforth to be called “the Y.” One of […]

The picnic mass, translated

posted by jmcgee

A few days ago, I posted this bizarre video of an outdoor mass in Austria. I asked if anyone could translate, and one of my readers — a deacon in Washington, DC — generously obliged. His text: On the 29th […]

“I like my faith in purple…”

posted by jmcgee

It’s a question that people are asking more and more: with all the problems today, why stay Catholic?  Here’s part of one man’s long answer, from the Sunday magazine of the Boston Globe: I like my faith in purple – […]

Bristol Palin’s brilliant career move

posted by jmcgee

Thank you, Bristol Palin, for showing us how youthful mistakes and irresponsibility can turn into a financial windfall. Gail Collins puts it in context: Bristol… is currently the teen ambassador for the Candie’s Foundation to prevent teen pregnancy. She is […]

Jay Leno, bigot

posted by jmcgee

This item crossed over the wire this afternoon: On last night’s “Tonight Show,” Jay Leno said the following: “Oh, and a Catholic priest in Connecticut has been charged with stealing $1.3 million in church money and using the money for […]

Ministering to gay Catholics

posted by jmcgee

A couple weeks back, a parish in Manhattan drew a lot of attention — and criticism — for its involvement in New York’s annual “gay pride” parade. I posted an item on the controversy and it got some lively comment. […]

Is the Church finished?

posted by jmcgee

Ross Douthat has some thoughts on that question: The Church has been horrifyingly corrupt in previous eras and still survived. It’s been led by ecclesiastics who make Bernard Law’s hands look clean, and still survived. It’s faced fiercer enemies than […]

The long goodbye, cont’d…

posted by jmcgee

Last week, I posted this potent and wrenching video by a former CBS colleague Barry Petersen, recounting his wife’s steady decline into Alzheimer’s. It’s since popped up elsewhere around the blogosphere, and is generating some thoughtful response, including over at […]

Where are you taking Jesus…?

posted by jmcgee

Down the hall and into the bathroom? Huh? Read this, from OSV’s Mary DeTurris Poust, and shake your head in disbelief: This weekend at Mass we were sitting in the front pew, as we usually do. During Communion, my husband, […]

On homilies: “How can you plant seeds?”

posted by jmcgee

A bit fat h/t to Mike “Googling God” Hayes, who is pointing readers to this very good chin-scratcher about what makes for good preaching in the Catholic Church. From the Pray Tell blog: In the midst of all the bustle […]

Do you understand?

posted by jmcgee

I came across this terrific reflection by the Concord Pastor, who offers a probing examination of conscience keyed to the theme of understanding. It strikes me as particularly apt for those who spend time here in the blogosphere: Do I […]

Fr. Roger Ebert

posted by jmcgee

Well, that was what his mother had hoped and prayed for. It didn’t quite work out that way.  The celebrated film critic — now suffering from a ravenous form of cancer that has taken away much of his jaw — […]

What happened in Phoenix?

posted by jmcgee

That’s the question that Fr. Kevin O’Rourke, a bioethicist and canon lawyer, attempts to discern in this article from America magazine. It is, to my knowledge, the most comprehensive and detailed overview of the facts surrounding the controversial abortion performed […]

Another grim reminder that it’s not just a Catholic thing

posted by jmcgee

A sad story out of Tennessee, involving a volunteer at a Baptist church. God have mercy on us all.

How can you be a better, holier commenter?

posted by jmcgee

Well, for starters, check out Matthew Warner’s suggestions in the National Catholic Register. He makes some very good points.

New mass, new music

posted by jmcgee

It’s no secret that composers and music publishers are scrambling to create new musical settings for the new translation of the Roman Missal, due to take effect late next year. But we have a rare window into the process over […]

Why mass is like Disneyland

posted by jmcgee

It’s all about clothes. Below is a vintage photograph of guests at Disneyland in the 1950s. And below, from 2006. It’s not too great of a leap to compare the fashions at an amusement park to the clothes at church.  […]

Catholic, conservative, celibate…and gay

posted by jmcgee

Well, now. Here’s something you don’t see every day in the New York Times. Check it out: “I spent the summer before college reading Shakespeare and staring out the window and occasionally being a roadie for my friend’s band,” says […]

“Burger King spirituality”

posted by jmcgee

That’s how one author is describing the pick-and-choose, “have-it-your-way” spiritual life that is becoming increasingly popular — and it’s sparked some lively debate: “I’m spiritual but not religious.” It’s a trendy phrase people often use to describe their belief that […]

Praying for Nancy Pelosi, a woman under the influence?

posted by jmcgee

That influence, The Anchoress suggests, might well be the Holy Spirit: Mrs. Pelosi may seem confused to some; perhaps she is. I prefer to believe that her seeming inability to stop herself from conflating her religion and her politics is […]

Buckeye blessings: new deacons in Ohio

posted by jmcgee

A whopping 33 new permanent deacons — plus three transitional deacons — were ordained in Cincinnati last month, and this is the official class picture.  A full write up is right here. Congratulations! And, of course, ad multos annos!

The Banker and the Missionary

posted by jmcgee

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more unusual pair of brothers: one may be the most powerful banker in the United States, while the other is a missionary trying to change the world. Both are graduates of Brown University, where […]

Kiss the hand?

posted by jmcgee

Fr. Z. posted this anecdote from a reader. I’d be curious to hear if anybody has seen or experienced something similar: I’m a consultant manager at a department store and my job consists of walking around and assisting customers and […]

Are you a wuss?

posted by jmcgee

If so, stop reading now. The Anchoress looks at what is happening in the American workplace and links to this profane and hilarious piece by Larry McCoy. Larry McCoy is definitely not a wuss.  Believe me, I know.  (Ignore that […]

Let’s talk: comments return

posted by jmcgee

Alrighty. After two weeks of relative peace and quiet, I’m bringing back comments. The past several days have been both restful and instructive – and I’m profoundly grateful to the various bloggers and readers who have offered advice, counsel, support […]

Quote of the day: “Come on girls!”

posted by jmcgee

“Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it’s gotta be pretty bad. In fact, it’s precisely because of the sexy image I’ve […]

In New Orleans, praying for a miracle

posted by jmcgee

That’s exactly what many are doing in and around New Orleans, and Ron Thibodeaux looks at how faith and prayer are pulling people together in the face of what might be an unprecedented disaster: St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis […]

“What is love?”

posted by jmcgee

A conference in Rome later this month will try to answer that question — taking for its inspiration the legendary theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand. A press release notes: The conference will bring together philosophers, theologians, psychologists, physicians, scientists, and artists […]

In the mail: the sound of silence

posted by jmcgee

A longtime reader writes: The time in the ‘comment cloister’ has been a journey. It has caused me to consider my own quick-to-judge tendencies. Following the way I tend to see so many things – neither all good or all […]

Fr. Robert Barron: “How to build a better priest”

posted by jmcgee

“For too long we’ve had a preferential option for mediocrity in the priesthood. We almost embrace mediocrity as the norm. What’s the difference between a doctor and a priest? As someone once answered long ago, there really is no comparison: […]

What Bill Maher doesn’t understand about Christian love

posted by jmcgee

Well, there’s a lot he doesn’t get. And Tony Rossi points out a couple examples in this week’s National Catholic Register, and concludes: Of course, it’s true that some who call themselves Christian do reprehensible things and express no remorse. […]

“Men in dresses”

posted by jmcgee

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Charlotte Allen takes note of one particular way of describing priests that smacks of anti-Catholicism: “Men in dresses.” That’s who columnist Maureen Dowd blames for decay in “our religious kingdom.” Which men in dresses […]

Koch on O’Connor: “I loved him as I did my own brother…”

posted by jmcgee

New York’s legendary former mayor Ed Koch paid tribute to his city’s legendary former archbishop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Monday, on the 10th anniversary of the archbishop’s death. Koch’s words pay tribute to a warm and enduring friendship of kindred […]

The anti-me

posted by jmcgee

A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog sent him the e-mail below, and a friend of mine (the wife of a deacon) pointed out to me, “If more people thought this way, you could still have comments on your blog.” Sullivan’s […]

“Who can mock this church?”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the question that kicks off Nicholas Kristof’s column in the Times this morning, and it’s a must-read: The Vatican believes that this newspaper and other news organizations have been unfair and overzealous in excavating the church’s cover-ups of child […]

“Any idiot can have a blog…”

posted by jmcgee

Certainly, I’ve done my part to prove that, haven’t I? But don’t take my word for it: check out what my friend Mike Hayes says on the topic over at his fine blog Googling God: Since I started a media […]

What will tomorrow’s American church look like?

posted by jmcgee

Some fascinating possibilities, from John Allen, in NCR: First, the Catholic population of the future in the United States, like the country as a whole, will be older. The most rapidly growing demographic sub-segment of the American population is actually not […]

Hanging out with the pope

posted by jmcgee

If you haven’t seen it yet, drop by my Beliefnet blog neighbor Rabbi Shumley and read his account of meeting Pope Benedict: Gary introduced me to the Pope warmly with my formal titles. I gave the Pope a special gift […]

Commenting about comments

posted by jmcgee

After I made this announcement the other day, Jim Lackey over at the Catholic News Service took notice. He posted his own thoughts on the matter and is soliciting comments about comments. Check it out. There are some interesting observations […]

The astonishing memo that helped change the church

posted by jmcgee

It was addressed to “Wilton” — then-Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the USCCB — in early 2002 and was written by his chancellor.  It is only now seeing the light of day. First, the story behind it, from the St. […]

BA: Bloggers Anonymous

posted by jmcgee

Part of the problem that gave rise to this post may well be anonymity. In the blogosphere, you can be anyone, or no one, and get away with almost anything. No one needs to be accountable, or own up to […]

For priests: “God’s great works are accomplished in darkness”

posted by jmcgee

That is just one part of a remarkable and inspiring address delivered recently by Archbishop Emeritus John R. Quinn from San Francisco. You can read the whole thing at America magazine, but here’s one nugget among many: I was a […]

“Be proud that you are Catholic”

posted by jmcgee

Those words conclude this remarkable speech, delivered by a non-Catholic businessman in Ohio way back in 2003!   You’ll want to read it all, but here’s a sample: The Church today, and when I say the Church keep in mind […]

“I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace…”

posted by jmcgee

Could those familiar words of the Act of Contrition help the Church to heal itself? Over at the Huffington Post, Fr. James Martin goes on at great length on the subject of penance, finally concluding: What would a real penance […]

The lesson of trees

posted by jmcgee

A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying God. It “consents,” so to speak, to God’s creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in […]

“The old Vatican needs new blood”

posted by jmcgee

This week, in her Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan looks at all the men crowding the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and says, in effect, “Enough”: Once, leaders of the Vatican felt that silence would protect the church. But […]

The vocations shortage…in Medjugorje

posted by jmcgee

While many may debate the “fruits” of Medjugorje, it seems the place has not been especially productive when it comes to vocations among the seers. Catholic Light has a lengthy posting on the subject that is well worth reading for […]

Dershowitz: in defense of the Pope

posted by jmcgee

Some praise for the pontiff, from a surprising source, famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz: Nor is the Catholic Church the only institution that has faced problems of sexual abuse. Every hierarchical body, especially but not exclusively religious ones, has faced similar […]

Benedict’s birthplace vandalized

posted by jmcgee

Sad news but, unfortunately, not all that surprising: The house in which Pope Benedict XVI was born in the southern Bavarian village of Marktl am Inn was vandalized overnight with an “obscene” phrase spray- painted above the main door, police […]

Vatican on Beatles: Let’s let it be

posted by jmcgee

I’s impossible to know if The Man in White listens to the White Album, but someone at the Vatican clearly loves the Fab Four: The Vatican has finally made peace with the Beatles, saying their drug use, “dissolute” lives and […]

It all began with ‘Yes’

posted by jmcgee

“The story of redemption began with a heroic ‘Yes’ by a young girl named Mary, when, in the spirit of humility and obedience, she said to the angel’s message announcing that she would be the mother of Jesus: ‘May it […]

Catholic women oppressed? “Staggering nonsense”

posted by jmcgee

That’s how Elizabeth Scalia succinctly describes Newsweek’s latest screed about women and the church. Scalia notes: The fact is, for all of the talk about how oppressive the church has been for women, there has been no other institution in […]

Benedict’s bishops

posted by jmcgee

Buried inside his characteristically insightful piece about the man who will soon be leading Los Angeles, NCR’s John Allen offers this nugget: As things stand today, there are seven archdioceses in America where the archbishop is almost certain to become […]

On this wobbly rock…

posted by jmcgee

“From the beginning and throughout history, Peter has often been a wobbly rock, a source of scandal, corrupt, and yet this is the one – and his successors – whose task is to hold us together so that we may […]

“In the end, it’s not about them…”

posted by jmcgee

That’s how Melinda Henneberger concludes this heartfelt explanation of why she remains Catholic: Though Benedict has his admirers, I’ve not led any parades for him, and this is not my first or second rodeo with the rest of these cowboys, […]

Mahony on Gomez

posted by jmcgee

“I have known Archbishop Gomez since he became Auxiliary Bishop of Denver in 2001, and subsequently, the Archbishop of San Antonio in 2004. Over the years he has been a most effective leader working with priests serving the Spanish-speaking communities […]

Why remain Catholic?

posted by jmcgee

In case anyone missed it, Elizabeth Scalia has some powerful, soul-searing answers: The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“There are three great groups of victims in this story. The first and most obvious, the children who were abused, who trusted, were preyed upon and bear the burden through life. The second group is the good priests and good […]

Jesus, is that you?

posted by jmcgee

The History Channel has tried to give the most realistic depiction yet of the face of Christ, creating a 3-D image based on the Shroud of Turin. ABC News took a look, below.

A Protestant writes about “the Catholicism I cherish”

posted by jmcgee

A reader e-mailed me the following, with this note: “I have not seen much commentary on the current troubles in our church from faithful members of other ecclessial communities. No piling on by Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans etc. They are […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

I alluded to it here, but it’s worth its own post: “To be connected with the church is to be associated with scoundrels, warmongers, fakes, child-molesters, murderers, adulterers and hypocrites of every description. It also, at the same time, identifies […]

She lost me after the second sentence

posted by jmcgee

This is how Maureen Dowd begins her latest column: Yup, we need a Nope. A nun who is pope. If you want to read on, go right ahead. You can’t say you weren’t warned. 

Revealed: the spiritual side of Irish soda bread

posted by jmcgee

Here’s something I never knew: the spiritual seeds of Irish soda bread. According to this item from America Magazine, it has to do with the cross that is cut on top: It’s scientific, primarily, because it allows the heat to […]

Jesus gets panned

posted by jmcgee

Read all about it here.

Eat up: recipes for Lent

posted by jmcgee

Looking for some ideas for your Lenten menu? Some cooks in suburban Washington can help you out: Bighearted and proud of her Eastern European heritage, Daria Parrell is a woman who likes to count her blessings. Among them: her ability […]

Chaput: “Our schools are meant to be ‘partners in faith’ with parents”

posted by jmcgee

“The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are ‘bad,’ or that their children are less loved by God. Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is […]

A radical change on abortion?

posted by jmcgee

The Associated Press takes a look at abortion and health care reform this morning, and concludes that the legislation being considered would signal a change on abortion — but what that means is, evidently, debatable: President Barack Obama’s health care […]

Let’s get mystical…

posted by jmcgee

…because, judging from this assessment, we need it: Mysticism is dying, and taking true religion with it. Monasteries have dwindled. Contemplative orders have declined. Our religious leaders no longer preach the renunciation of the world; our culture scoffs at the […]

The Martin Chronicles

posted by jmcgee

That would be Fr. James Martin, Jesuit author, sage, TV personality and FOB (Friend of the Bench). The good padre has a new book coming out, “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything,” and he’s making the rounds to promote it. […]

The Keillor memorandum

posted by jmcgee

The celebrated humorist and radio host is scheduled to speak at a Catholic gathering next month — and it’s raising a few eyebrows: The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) has invited Garrison Keillor, a pro-abortion, pro-gay “marriage” Episcopalian, as a […]

What they don’t show you on TV

posted by jmcgee

Photo by Matt Labash / The Weekly Standard Images like this don’t pop up on the Evening News. In the above photo, Missionary Vern Conaway offers Hail Mary’s for a dead infant in the hospital morgue in Haiti. It comes […]

“Oh my God, I am heartily sorry…”

posted by jmcgee

So begins one of the most widely recited prayers in the Catholic Church, the penitential Act of Contrition, said at the conclusion of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Lent is a season for revisiting this sacrament, and for attempting to make […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Simple pleasures really ARE the best

posted by jmcgee

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

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 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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“The art of listening is the first step…”

posted by jmcgee

My pal Fran just posted this on her Facebook page, and it’s too good to pass up. It’s part of an interview with Jacob Needleman, an atheist who came to believe in God, and the author of a new book […]

Mahony, Part Deux

posted by jmcgee

The reports that Los Angeles’ Cardinal Roger Mahony is ready to retire have an interesting backstory: For the record, any claims of a selection already made cannot be confirmed and, as the lay of the land is looking at present, […]

A Trappist monastery plans to reinvent itself

posted by jmcgee

Longtime readers know of my affection for and devotion to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, the Trappist house outside Atlanta. Flannery O’Connor was a frequent visitor, and Dorothy Day was known to drop by when she was in the […]

Bible verses to be removed from weapons

posted by jmcgee

Earlier in the week, I posted the story about bible verses being engraved on some weapons used by the U.S. military. But now, that’s about to change: A Michigan military contractor said Thursday (Jan. 21) it will remove encoded scripture […]

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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