Last night, our diocese for the first time celebrated the Chrism Mass on a day other than Holy Thursday. (Evidently, this is not uncommon in other parts of the country.) It was a rich and rewarding liturgy, as always, but […]
Last night, our diocese for the first time celebrated the Chrism Mass on a day other than Holy Thursday. (Evidently, this is not uncommon in other parts of the country.) It was a rich and rewarding liturgy, as always, but […]
And how has your Lent been going? Mine, not so great. It went by too quickly. Too much frenzy, too many distractions, precious little time to be still, to ponder, to pray. I gave up swearing and eating meat, and […]
For those who are interested … We’ll be discussing the Notre Dame mess on “In the Arena” this weekend. You can watch a live stream of the channel right here. “In the Arena” airs Sunday night at 7:30 ET, with […]
How’s this for an April Fool? Those who have been waiting breathlessly for Your Humble Blogger to appear on camera — I know it’s all my wife can talk about (not) — can now see my debut right here. Just […]
Okay, well, not exactly. But on the NET series “City of Churches” last week, they visited and toured my old parish in Astoria, Queens, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The neighborhood has the greatest concentration of Greeks outside of Athens. […]
The latest episode of “In the Arena” is available online. This week’s topic: vocations. Guests include a seminarian, the Vocations Director for the Diocese of Brooklyn, a couple Little Sisters of the Poor, and, as always, the popular Elizabeth Scalia […]
Clicked on the computer this morning and found this lovely gift wrapped and waiting for me. Thank you, A! If you want to see what she’s talking about, just drop by for a visit. All are welcome!
Those who enjoyed her appearance last week (you know who you are!) can check out the latest installment right here.
I know she’ll hate that headline, but it’s my blog. Elizabeth Scalia, a.k.a. The Anchoress has announced to the world (and I’m happy to trumpet it as well) her recent appearance on my little TV show “In the Arena.” “In […]
…is having a chapel down the hall with a window like this: It was just installed yesterday, and depicts Christ on the seashore, calling to fishermen who are tending their nets — an apt image for a television channel called […]
Those of us who spend a fair amount of time floating through cyberspace — and if you’re reading this, you’re one of them — will appreciate this insight about finding faith in the age of Facebook: With a new media […]
I can’t believe it’s been a year. We miss you, brother. Deacon Jim HynesJuly 31, 1958 – February 26, 2008
A reader, trying to be helpful, suggested I join twitter. It would be a great way for people to keep up with your blog, he said. Okay. I did. But now whenever I visit my blog — or, very often, […]
Ah, memories … A former colleague from my days at CBS has penned this little reminiscence of life at the Eye Web. A snip: What had been the finest broadcast news organization has devolved into what employess there describe as […]
As Catholic Schools Week draws to a close, I was delighted to find this piece in the Catholic Standard about my alma mater, St. Vincent Pallotti High School, in bucolic Laurel, Maryland. The school has changed a lot in the […]
The pope offered a few words recently to a group of Catholic journalists, and they’re worth reading and pondering: Benedict XVI has sent a message to participants in the national congress of the Italian Catholic Press Union (UCSI). The congress, […]
Illustration by Dan Salamida Some doofus is babbling on in America magazine this week about blogging. But I do think the illustration is pretty hilarious, and bears an uncanny resemblance to the author. Oh: and if you’re really bored, you […]
Doesn’t this guy ever shut up?
…which was a big topic of discussion following this post, the deacons of the Diocese of Brooklyn received a letter this weekend from Bishop DiMarzio. It begins with this quote from the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life […]
Another icon from my youth has passed away: Bob May, who donned The Robot’s suit in the hit 1960s television show “Lost in Space,” has died. He was 69. May died Sunday of congestive heart failure at a hospital in […]
Because I just bought me one of these here fancy new-fangled telephone thingies. The good news is that my pastor doesn’t know how to use one. The bad news is that I’m afraid he may learn.
My grandparents emigrated to this country from Austria-Hungary (what became Czechoslovakia) in the early years of the 20th century, settling in a tiny coal mining town outside Scranton, where my grandfather spent much of his long and difficult life underground, […]
A deacon sent me this e-mail yesterday, which is challenging and thought-provoking — for me and, perhaps, for all deacons: I read your column (blog) regularly and enjoy it. It is obvious that you enjoy your ministry – especially your […]
This chump thinks he knows.
A few more shots of the new studio facility for NET in Brooklyn, then and now. (I know this fascinates you, doesn’t it?) There is still more work to do; the studio itself is an empty shell, awaiting lights and […]
My new office. If I behave, they may give me a chair. Actually, this was taken in our still-under-construction office space back around Thanksgiving. Things have improved since then. I now have a floor. We move into our new studio […]
In New York City today, they crowded into the Church of the Immaculate Conception to bid farewell to Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. One of the people there was Fr. Frank Mann, of the Diocese of Brooklyn — a friend and […]
Miss me? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I spent a blissful two-and-a-half days out at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, New York — the historic house of formation for the Dioceses of Rockville Centre and Brooklyn. It was my […]
I’m headed to Huntington, Long Island this afternoon for my annual diocesan deacon retreat. Things will be quiet on The Bench. But you will all be in my prayers, in one way or another. I’m taking my camera, and hope […]
Must be the post-holiday slump that leads to things like this. BTW: Patrick McNamara’s blog on church history is truly terrific reading. Check it out.
From the My Own Backyard Desk (on the Bishop Beat) … some startling news about a modern crime hitting very close to home. According to the New York Daily News: Thieves stooped to a new low over the Christmas holiday, […]
First, there was the chestnut stuffing at Thanksgiving. The pumpkin pie. Then the carrot cake at the office Christmas party. The chocolate mousse at Christmas. The plate of cookies Christmas night. Egg nog. The ziti and eggplant and tiramisu at […]
What do you get when you combine 1 grandmother + 1 Instamatic camera + 1 nine-year-old in a new sweater? This:
In the mail today, I got a membership card for this. I’m going to go lie down.
My mother used to love to tell this story: It was New Year’s Eve, 1948. The snow was falling, the wind was howling. And the man who would be my father showed up at her doorstep with a huge box […]
Your Humble Blogger, with Fr. Frank Passenant and my pastor, Msgr. Joe Funaro, just before Midnight mass.
The ad agency that created this devilish ad for NET is making news again. Check out Broadcasting & Cable, and the Hollywood Reporter. Meantime, tell Wolfgang to save me the usual table…
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The picture below was taken by a friend, a parishioner in my parish. This is a few blocks from my home in Forest Hills, in the beautiful borough of Queens.
You never know what you’ll find around the blogosphere, and one of my recent happy discoveries is a shiny new blog (with an appropriately Celtic green tinge) that belongs to Patrick McNamara, from (surprise!) the Diocese of Brooklyn. Patrick is […]
The wickedly good ad campaign for a Certain Religious TV Station (ahem) has just gotten a nice mention in the Gray Lady — along with a look at how churches are using marketing to get people in the pews: The […]
My brother-in-law sent me this e-mail tonight. He said, “If this story is one you wish to share, feel free.” I do: Greg, after reading your homily for tomorrow, I think back to my days living at Mom and Dad’s […]
To quote Samuel Johnson, in another context: it’s like a dog walking on its hind legs. It’s not done well, but you’re surprised to find it done at all. I survived. The evidence can be found here, or just click […]
Yes, we’re scraping the bottom of the media barrel here: someone has decided to put me on the radio. Those who enjoy train wrecks can tune at this link at 11 am ET. Saturday. It’s Catholic Radio 2.0 with the […]
At this link. Deacon of the gospel at this morning’s mass. Streaming from 5:30-6:30 PM ET.
It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas. And if you find yourself in Queens next weekend, you might want to stop by my parish to hear great, truly great, holiday music. It’s our 25th annual Christmas concert: the first […]
Well, ain’t this a kick in the head? I’m gobsmacked. And speechless. (But, of course: it was the feast of St. Nicholas. My stockings are now filled to overflowing.) Advent blessings, and heartfelt thanks, to one and all.
To quote James Earl Jones: “This is CNN”: Embedded video from CNN Video
Good grief. They’ll write about anyone these days. Or anything.
Evidently this item made it to Drudge. You can read more about it here. Click on the image above to enlarge.
Suddenly, for some reason, I feel like Don Draper, the dashing ad executive from Sterling Cooper on “Mad Men”. (A series whose absence from the air waves still fills me with ennui.) Anyway: the folks at Ad Age have now […]
Ever been to a papal audience? Amy Welborn has — and she posted this neat little account, with pictures, over at her blog. I’ve been to two of them — one in St. Peter’s Square, the other in the Paul […]
Here it is, a “Deacon’s Bench” exclusive: a first peek at the viral internet ad campaign for NET, the cable channel for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Want more? Visit StopGoodTV.com.
A couple days ago, I posted an amusing photograph from my parish’s Thanksgiving Day mass. To my amazement, it unleashed a tiny firestorm of comment and debate on the subject of girls serving on the altar. One veteran of my […]
A parishioner sent this to me: a snapshot from the Living Rosary that we prayed outside my church last month (the month of the rosary). The plates served as our “beads” — blue for the Hail Mary, white for the […]
As I mentioned several weeks ago, I’ve embarked on a new chapter of my professional life, as News Director for our diocesan cable channel. On December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, (and the feast day of our diocese) […]
A parishioner sent me the photo below, from our Thanksgiving Day mass. I’m one of the guys up behind the altar. I think the photo may have been snapped on a cell phone. I especially like that the photographer caught […]
I’ve been reminded by Julie over at Happy Catholic that it’s that time of year again. (No, not time to run and hide because it’s getting closer to Christmas.) It’s time for the annual Weblog Awards. There’s a category this […]
Wow. I’m humbled to be included in such esteemed company. Thanks, Dave!
…though I was hoping to be more like Kermit. You Are Scooter Brainy and knowledgeable, you are the perfect sidekick. You’re always willing to lend a helping hand. In any big event or party, you’re the one who keeps things […]
A friend of mine recently sent me an e-mail, asking if I was going to miss working this election night. I’d toiled into the wee hours for more election nights than I can remember and now, for the first time […]
Once, “Catholic media” meant just your parish bulletin and the diocesan paper. No more. Here’s a story that shows how much things have changed (and it happens to be right up my alley), about a growing Catholic television station that […]
The video below was produced for our parish stewardship drive, set to begin in early November. It’s artfully produced (by one of our trustees, Roger Aguinaldo) and gives a great look at the history of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. […]
At Thomas Merton’s hermitage, 2004 Words from the master, with a grateful h/t to Doug Souza: Take my life into Your hands, at last, and do whatever You want with it. I give myself to Your love and mean to […]
The good folks at Our Sunday Visitor have just published a special vocations section — and Your Humble Blogger is prominently featured on the front page. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.) The link will take you to the menu, where […]
A retired CBS News executive (and a Catholic), on learning of my career change, sent me the following e-mail: Hi Greg! Congratulations on this bold move. 26 years is PLENTY. I’m sure you can get the Church to fill in […]
Not long ago, I stumbled upon a letter from Thomas Merton, who offered this advice to a man who was thinking about a career change: I would say there is one basic idea that should be kept in mind in […]
After getting a lot of inquiries over the last few months — including one just today — I decided to add a new sidebar feature to the blog: Books About Deacons. It’s just a start, but I hope to add […]
Today, when nobody was looking, The Deacon’s Bench clocked visitor number 500,000. I did a little Googling and found that’s almost the population of Las Vegas. Wow. Thank you all for making that possible — and for keeping this little […]
…and some of you may have noticed that I’m now moderating comments. Some of you may also have noticed that your comments have been rejected by your moderator. If you want to know why, I direct your attention, once again, […]
The Anchoress dropped me a line a few minutes ago and said a reader was wondering why the New York Times refers to these women differently. I know the Times has a tradition of always using an honorific — Mr., […]
The legendary animator who helped bring this beautiful moment to life died today: Bill Melendez. Bless him. (I spoke about this particular Christmas memory during my Midnight Mass homily last year.)
A reader asked me if I was nominated in more than one category and, by golly, it looks like I am. How’d that happen?? You can click on the buttons below to cast your vote. (So far, that wily Fr. […]
Periodically, people ask me what my Sunday is like. It varies week to week, but most of the time it has this common theme: it’s not a day of rest. This weekend was a little different, because it was a […]
Like what you see here? Well, wander over to the 2008 Blogger’s Choice Awards and put in your two cents (or two clicks) and let them know. Your Humble Blogger is nominated in the category of Best Religion Blog. If […]
Some who have left comments here may have noticed that their comments have been deleted. I don’t like doing that, but I have to draw the line somewhere, and a few observations have crossed that line. I refer you to […]
Or, actually, a little better than that. One in 837,617. “The Deacon’s Bench” is the 837,617th most visited website in the world. Or so says Alexa.com. I have no idea if that’s good or not. Drop by the site and […]
It’s rare to find someone in the media talking candidly about their faith and spirituality. I was heartened, then, to discover this post about one of my CBS News colleagues, Kimberly Dozier: On Memorial Day 2006, CBS News correspondent Kimberly […]
Last night, my wife and I finally went to see “WALL-E”; everybody else on the planet was going to see “The Dark Knight,” so it was easy to get tickets. Two hours later, I staggered out of the theater, wiping […]
Actually, you can read those thousand words right here. This is a shot from my in-laws’ 50th anniversary celebration. I’m the one on the left. The fellow on the right is the celebrant, Msgr. Vincent Gatto, 82-years-young and a true […]
A couple weeks back, I blogged about my vacation at Disney World. I got some nice reaction to the piece, which I ended up re-publishing (in slightly altered form) in my parish bulletin. Imagine my surprise when I got an […]
With the pontiff’s recent decision on communion still freshly in our minds, a true story: One of our priests today came back into the sacristy after communion, tossed his stole on the counter and fumed, “Did you see that? Did […]
I was surprised and delighted to see a brief article in this morning’s New York Times about Cathedral Prep Seminary in Elmhurst, Queens. By day, it’s a high school for young men; by night, it is used by the diaconate […]
As I mentioned elsewhere, I was away for several days, visiting Disney World. Don’t laugh. This has become an annual ritual for me and my wife. We first went there in 1996, for a one-time vacation, to get it over […]
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 […]
Did you miss me? Ha. I didn’t think so. I hope to get up to speed in the next day or two and post some things. Meantime, to the left is a picture from our vacation. If you’re stumped — […]
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!
Twenty two years ago, on May 24, 1986, Siobhain Marie Meyer, throwing common sense aside, became my wife. Happy Anniversary, to the greatest partner, on the dance floor and in life.
Where were you on May 19, 2007? This is where I was: face down, on the floor of a basilica in Brooklyn. It was one year ago that I was ordained to the order of deacon. Congratulations and blessings to […]
Here’s a story that really hit home for me: the struggle of journalists to keep their faith. It comes from The Quill, the journal of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ): When Los Angeles Times reporter William Lobdell was given […]
A gal in my office was asked to suggest a name for Time magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People. She picked someone who is a hero of mine — and a fellow I’ve written about frequently on the blog […]
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.
I thought it might be interesting to just post a few pictures from today’s mass at Yankee Stadium, to give you a “Deacon’s Bench” glimpse of the day. My wife and I left Forest Hills, in Queens, about 9 a.m. […]
One of the better shots I took at Yankee Stadium, if I do say so myself: the Holy Father waving goodbye after the final blessing and preparing to start recessing into the dugout. For the curious: it’s a Pentax K100 […]
Here it is: proof that Your Humble Blogger was indeed at Yankee Stadium today for the big papal finale. The fellow on the left is yours truly, from approximately where we sat for the mass. I’ll post more after my […]
Your Humble Blogger has hardly been idle. I just posted a little something over at the CBS News blog “Couric & Co.”: Watching Pope Benedict step out of his limousine this morning and wave to the thousands cheering on the […]
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 […]
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 […]
Last time I checked, I still had a pulse. Over the last four days, there were times I wasn’t sure that would be the case. But at this late hour on Easter night, I can finally say, with certainty: I […]
After spending the last few weeks in the desert of Lent, suddenly we find ourselves in an oasis, clutching long leaves of palms. But like so many things you see after being in the desert, it’s a mirage. What we […]
‘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 […]
I’m humbled and delighted to report that I’ve been nominated in several categories for the Catholic Blog Awards. I’m in some very lofty company. Check the link to see the nominees and vote! There are a lot of categories, and […]
Not long ago, I posted about Deacon Jim, classmate and brother deacon and friend, who was diagnosed with cancer. Last night, Jim’s journey came to an end. Lord, who shall be admitted to your tentand dwell on your holy mountain? […]
Your Humble Blogger can be found in the pages of the current issue of the Jesuit magazine America (subscription required). The title: “The Joy of Transformation” The subject: the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
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 […]
Every Friday during Lent, parishes around the country – maybe around the world? – offer one of the most enduring devotions of our faith: the Stations of the Cross. We retrace the route to Calvary, praying at each station. We […]
I couldn’t help but notice that The Anchoress has pointed out that it’s time for the Catholic Blog Awards. They’re accepting nominations at the link. The Anchoress is high on my list of nominees — and so is the Happy […]
The picture below was sent to me by my friend and deacon classmate Bill McNamara, who got it from a woman he knows in Minnesota. It’s her youngest child at this week’s Ash Wednesday service. Deacon Bill thought I might […]
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 […]
Among other things, I write a weekly column for the bulletin at my parish in Queens, New York. From time to time, I’ll post it here, as well. Below is the column for this week. I confess: I’m a sucker […]
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 […]
I got a letter today from my friend, the Trappist priest and writer James Stephen Behrens (known to his pals as “Jeff.”) He enclosed with it, as he does with many letters, a short reflection. In this one, he wrote […]
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 parishioner sent these to me this week: snapshots of Your Humble Blogger, hard at work (or hardly working) at the sacrament of baptism earlier this month. We had three little girls, baptized on the feast of the Epiphany. As […]
I was delighted and humbled to see one of my pieces tagged at Busted Halo as part of their “Best of 2007.” The piece in question grew out of the homily I delivered at my Mass of Thanksgiving, on May […]
In early 2002, I got a phone call from CBS News executive producer Susan Zirinsky, asking me if I would be interested in helping her with a project she was trying to throw together in just a few weeks. I’ve […]
Sad news today that Dan Fogelberg has died of prostate cancer at 56. His song, “Same Old Lange Syne” for decades has been a perennial this time of year. But for me, his greatest legacy is “Longer,” which was the […]
Elsewhere, I’ve written about a particular FOB (friend of the blog), author and Jesuit celeb, James Martin. (He’s become quite the priest-about-town, even popping up on television to chat with MCPF Stephen Colbert. I expect to read about him in […]
When I was a lowly undergraduate at the University of Maryland (class of ’81 — barely), I’d sometimes attend mass at the beautiful campus chapel. Frankly, I wasn’t a big mass-goer in those days, and tended to spend my Sunday […]
One of my favorite places to visit and pray has been the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, in Conyers, Georgia — the Trappist house that was once home to Thomas Merton’s censor, and Flannery O’Connor’s peacocks. Alert readers will note […]
What American accent do you have? Your Result: The Midland “You have a Midland accent” is just another way of saying “you don’t have an accent.” You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, […]
When I was in high school, one of my teachers — a nun — loved this song. We thought she was incredibly hip. Now, according to press reports, it has even more meaning than any of us pimply teenagers imagined […]
A few people have wondered what I thought about the movie “Bella” (especially after I linked to Barbara Nicolosi’s less-than-enthusiastic post a couple weeks back). Well, frankly, my weekends have been nuts lately, and it’s been hard to find the […]
But I would like to thank all those who voted for me — which, at last tally, numbered one: my wife. Better luck next year. Meantime, you can read about those who rigged the election for Matt Damon, and others […]
November 19 marks my six-month anniversary as a deacon. I still can’t believe it. Anyway: I had asked a friend if she would sing Bernstein’s “A Simple Song” at my Mass of Thanksgiving the day after my ordination. She was […]
I get asked that question a lot. Below is the best answer I can provide. This has been making its way around the world on the web, and has caused quite a sensation here in Gotham, where New York magazine […]
Is the Latin mass the only solution to our mucked-up modern liturgy? A lot of people seem to think so, and Elizabeth Scalia over at Inside Catholic has weighed in, with her own vivid memories of growing up between the […]
You Belong in Brooklyn Down to earth and hard working, you’re a true New Yorker.And although you may be turning into a yuppie, you never forget your roots. Where Should Your Inner New Yorker Live?
When I was in formation, one of our texts was Avery Dulles’ Models of the Church, which posits that there are different intereptations for what we all know as “church.” The varying models include Church as Mystical Communion, Church as […]
I just cannot buy in to this, not at all. I got this from BFF The Anchoress, and she slipped this to me in home room, and of course Sister Steve caught us and we are so busted, and now […]
There are still a couple days left to vote! If you click on the logo above, you can add your vote to the Weblog Awards — and maybe give the ol’ Deacon’s Bench a boost. Operators are standing by to […]
Outside Rockefeller Center, New York City. November 5, 2007. Photo: by Stan Honda/Getty Images
I’m back. Regular readers – and I know there are one or two out there – may have noticed my absence last week. Tuesday morning, I finished throwing a few things into my Travelpro and dragged it out to a […]
Lo and behold, I return from a four-day retreat with Trappist monks — four days spent blissfully chanting the psalms at four in the morning, conversing with geese, napping at mid-day, and devouring brandy-laced fudge at dinner — when what […]
The following item appeared in my parish bulletin last weekend. It got a lot of reaction, so I thought I’d post it here. Enjoy. This weekend marks my five-month anniversary as an ordained member of the Catholic clergy. Time flies […]
A few people have asked me how my retreat went last weekend. Very well, thank you. It was probably the most restful 48 hours I’ve had since ordination — and the first time I’ve had two consecutive days off since […]
This blog is no longer active
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 »