A colleague at work described to me the scene at his polling place, in a mostly African American corner of Brooklyn. Long lines. A sizable crowd. And a cheerful mood. “There was singing,” he told me. Singing?, I said. What […]
A colleague at work described to me the scene at his polling place, in a mostly African American corner of Brooklyn. Long lines. A sizable crowd. And a cheerful mood. “There was singing,” he told me. Singing?, I said. What […]
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a Catholic agency being run by a Mormon. From the Utah Standard-Examiner: About once a week, Northern Utah Catholic Community Services sports an additional face among its employees. That face belongs to Brad […]
If you missed it, his hilarious appearance with Tina Fey last night on Saturday Night Live.
The woman who made the funniest and most famous deli order in movie history has died. She’s Estelle Reiner, who uttered just five words in “When Harry Met Sally,” but ended up practically stealing the picture. (She’s lurking in the […]
This story popped up in the Boston Globe a few days back, but it’s too good to pass up: In Rome recently, a parade of luminaries, starting with Pope Benedict XVI, spent the better part of a week reading the […]
A friend in Florida sent me this e-mail, from his diocese. Evidently, it’s being circulated to all the parish priests: The 2008 Election is only a few days away and parish parking lots offer an easy target for outside organizations […]
Is it possible to run the Catholic Church like a corporation? Take a look at what this author thinks. He’s Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz, co-founder and president of Catholic Radio International. He offered these thoughts in Business Week: Catholic bishops are […]
A reader sent me this link, to a fascinating interview with Matthew Weiner, the genius behind my latest obsession, “Mad Men”. (After last night’s pitch-perfect season finale, I can’t believe I now to have to wait nine months for the […]
A couple years ago, I had a strange experience while giving out communion at mass: one of the congregants came up wearing a tee shirt from Hooters. Some people, of course, will wear anything to church. Which brings me to […]
This is, in a word, brilliant. And hilarious. Happy Friday. Crank up the volume and boogie! h/t Rod Dreher. http://view.break.com/592648 – Watch more free videos
This is so funny and so true: Louis CK explains to Conan why nobody is happy. H/T to St. Jude RE & RCIA Director’s Blog. Enjoy.
A reader who was ordained a deacon in 1976 is wondering how many visitors to The Deacon’s Bench are “pioneers.” He asks: Can you elicit a survey of your readers to ascertain who are some of the ‘elders’? That is, […]
At a time of skyrocketing health costs and difficult end-of-life decisions, some lucky souls are living it up right up until the end. This odd slice-of-death story comes from the New York Times: Marie-Dennett McDill loved the Carlyle Hotel. Mrs. […]
Many people can tell you they’ve had a moving experience in church. Here’s a church that had one itself. Below are a couple pictures that show the remarkable relocation of part of a Catholic cathedral in China — where it […]
A gentle reminder to all of us: there are other reasons, besides the economy, for tightening your belt… Priest Loses Pants @ Yahoo! Video
That seems to be the advice of a travel writer at the New York Times, who today offers some sage advice for travelers trying to save a buck. In a word, pray: When Kathleen Mazzocco was researching places for an […]
If anybody missed the two hilarious bits Sarah Palin performed on SNL last night, you can find the story and the video right here. You betcha. BTW, re: SNL, The A has a roundup of reaction.
Seems somebody tried to sue the Almighty. But it didn’t work. Take a look: A judge has thrown out a Nebraska legislator’s lawsuit against God, saying the Almighty wasn’t properly served due to his unlisted home address. State Sen. Ernie […]
One of the more innovative and modern ideas to come out of the Synod of Bishops is one that at least one American bishop has already embraced: blogging. From Zenit: One of the auditors at the world Synod of Bishops […]
Ahem. But I have to admit, this doesn’t much surprise me… You Are Ketchup You are easy going and very measured in your approach to life. Popular and well liked, you get along with everyone. Seriously, everyone loves you! Your […]
Those of us who know Mother Angelica from her television ministry might be surprised to learn that her first forays into evangelism began just like the apostles: with fishing. A reader sent me the following, from Fishing for History: One […]
Some weeks back, I posted the dismaying news that a Saudi sheik considers Mickey Mouse “an agent of Satan.” Turns out it was all a terrible misunderstanding. (And, of course, it’s the media’s fault.) See the explanation below. And a […]
This flick is sneaking into movie theaters this weekend — and it looks like something well worth checking out. It’s “Billy: The Early Years,” a biographical drama about the life of America’s most famous preacher. The New York Times has […]
Worried about these perilous times? A brother deacon sent me the following financial tip: If you had purchased $1,000 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago, you would have $49 left. With Fannie Mae, you would have $2.50 left […]
A couple years ago, I worked on a commentary for a certain news anchor who took issue with describing older people as “cute.” Isn’t that a little condescending? Now, the New York Times looks at the quiet but persistent insults […]
Leave it to California: this weekend, they had the traditional Blessing of the Waves out in Orange County. It was totally gnarly, dude: About 400 people gathered at sunrise Sunday to thank God for a gnarly ocean and to hang […]
Some people might file this under the category of “Dog Bites Man” — not news, and not all that surprising. But it’s interesting that the subject of prayer and contemplation is generating some serious study. This comes from a Catholic […]
The trailer for “The Soloist.” It looks mighty impressive — and sustains Robert Downey, Jr.’s remarkable comeback that began this summer with “The Iron Man” and continued with “Tropic Thunder.” Take a look:
Well, now for something completely different. From Florida comes this unusual story about a priest who has his head in the clouds: There is a variation of a well-known proverb that reads: “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is […]
That phrase from Psalm 8 popped into my mind as I started to read this item. This story from the National Catholic Register fixes its gaze on the heavens — and on a side of Catholicism we rarely read about: […]
…or at least, its legendary former President, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh. The Wall Street Journal sat down for a chat with this 91-year-old icon recently. A snip: WSJ: In your day, the Church produced figures such as Bishop Sheen and Father […]
For some months now, The Anchoress has been extolling the virtues of Mystic Monk Coffee — she sent some to me for a birthday present, and I have to agree: it’s superb! — but now it looks like the monks […]
I don’t know about you, but between the headlines and the plummeting value of my 401 (k), I could use a smile right about now. Hit it, gang! Enjoy. And if that’s not enough, there’s this, from the British version […]
A reader mentioned in the comments that you can sing “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “House of the Rising Sun.” Well, I found what may be the definitive version of that, from the Blind Boys of Alabama. Give a […]
The morns are meeker than they were,The nuts are getting brown;The berry’s cheek is plumper,The rose is out of town.The maple wears a gayer scarf,The field a scarlet gown.Lest I should be old-fashioned,I’ll put a trinket on.— Emily Dickinson
Just in time for the start of the school year, a study reports that kids who attend church regularly get higher grades: In the nearly 24 years Carolyn Knight has been director of children’s ministries at the United Methodist Church […]
I need more warning about things like this.
H/T to American Papist.
Italy, the home of Romeo and Juliet, now offers another saga of star-crossed love — with a decidedly religious twist. From the London Telegraph: An Italian man whose girlfriend left him to become a nun is holding a vigil outside […]
Sad but true: one of the most famous voices in the world is no more. From the AP: Don LaFontaine, the man who popularized the catch phrase ”In a world where…” and lent his voice to thousands of movie trailers, […]
This is just too cool for words. Just click and enjoy. h/t to American Papist. How’d they do it? Check right here.
If you visit the NOW website, you can buy this charming souvenir. Oh, and there’s also this one, if you’re on a women’s ordination kick.
Karol Wojtyla, as a young factory worker in Poland. “I come from your midst. I come from the quarries of Zakrzowek, from the Solvay furnaces in Borek Falecki, and then from Nowa Huta. Through all these surroundings, through my own […]
I’ve searched in vain for any trace of Sister Catherine Pinkerton’s closing benediction last night at the Democratic National Convention, but no one seems to have it. Even the DNC website, which has all the speeches archived, hasn’t posted it. […]
An alert reader picked up this tidbit and wanted me to spread the word. The much-bally-hooed (and derided) “Miss Sister 2008″ contest has been called off. From Reuters: An Italian priest who had planned an online “pageant” for nuns has […]
Here’s something that may leave a few Catholics gasping. From the U.S. News & World Report: At a funeral service I recently attended, a minister burned incense near the casket of the deceased. When the pleasant odor reached my nostrils, […]
Over the last few days, the absence of Archbishop Charles Chaput from the Democratic Convention roster has gotten a lot of attention, but has a Catholic bishop ever been invited to speak or pray at a Democratic convention? Was Cardinal […]
If you aren’t already sitting down, I suggest you pull up a chair for this bit of news: An Italian priest and theologian said Sunday he is organizing an online beauty pageant for nuns to give them more visibility within […]
A lot has been written about “The Dark Knight” — finding nuances in the tale that shed light on our own troubled times. But now, for something completely different, comes this intriguing analysis by Margaret Stahl in America: I saw […]
While doing research for a project at work, I stumbled on this clip. Call me a sentimental sap, but it got to me. Watch and enjoy.
Watching this again, it almost looks like ancient history. Were we ever that carefree? But it’s a nice summer spritzer that actually echoes a familiar theme of the gospels: “Be not afraid.” (I’m not sure this is quite what Pope […]
I’m sure this is a nice idea. A thoughtful and civic-minded notion, really. But aren’t there more important things the Church should be worrying about, above and beyond the “pastoral care of roadways”? From Catholic News Agency: The Secretary of […]
While the world watches in fascination the Olympics in Beijing, Asia News has taken a moment to remind us of the original Chinese champion, who gained fame more recently from the movie “Chariots of Fire.” (Okay now: everyone start humming […]
It’s Opus. While The Anchoress is leading her little retreat, here’s another happy reminder of why we all need to take a breath — and take a break. God bless Opus. Dare I say…Opus Dei?
I saw this item a week or so ago and kept meaning to post it, but other things intruded. It’s heartfelt, and hopeful, and sweetly romantic. Anyway: I’ll let the story speak for itself: World Youth Day 2008 will always […]
Last week, it seems, a certain television anchorwoman misidentified the location of next month’s GOP convention. And the other day, she issued an on-air apology — which is notable for (among other things) making a reference to the Apostle of […]
This is supposedly one of the most successful ads ever aired in Britain. It’s definitely different. H/T Andrew Sullivan, who thinks it has particular meaning in this election year.
This has nothing to do with religion — unless it provokes you to utter the Lord’s name in vain. (In which case, perhaps it has something to do with the Sacrament of Reconciliation…) But you can’t make this stuff up: […]
Anyone wondering how the Church is using new media to reach the masses might just want to download this unusual selection to their iPod: the rosary, set to contemporary music. From the AP, via a newspaper in Salt Lake City: […]
With so much attention over the last few days being directed at the anniversary of Humanae Vitae a certain amount of attention should also go to the woman pictured on the left. She is Mrs. Margaret Sanger, the founder of […]
As many of you may have heard, there was a Blogger/Google glitch — a “brain fart,” someone called it — which shut down my little blog (and, it seems, hundreds of others) for a couple days. It now appears to […]
Remember Joe Eszterhas? In the 1980s, he gained considerable notoriety for penning Hollywood pulp that included “Flashdance,” “Betrayed,” “Sliver,” “Basic Instinct,” and “Showgirls” (which won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay.) He battled throat cancer a few years back […]
Looking for Mr. (or Ms. or Miss) Right? Take a number and get in line. A lot of Catholics are looking, literally and figuratively, for their soul mate. Which makes this charming essay by John Zmirak all the more poignant […]
This news might raise an eyebrow or two: arguably the greatest rock band in the world was, in fact, Christian to the core. Here’s the story, from CNS, via the National Catholic Reporter: British radio has broadcast an interview with […]
Where is Shaggy when we need him? Scooby would feel right at home with this crowd. Enjoy. A cheeerful h/t to The Journeyman Carpenter.
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 […]
A now, a lunchtime diversion that is a little bit of playful inspiration. Eat up!
Computer geeks — or even just ordinary PC users, which seems to be everyone these days — can lower the flag to half-staff and have a moment of silence for that beloved icon of an age: the mouse. The obit […]
If you’ve ever wondered just how they clean one of the largest churches in the world, a paper in Canada has kindly provided the answer: As the tomb of the first pope and the principal church of most of his […]
The news about the gangster meeting the pope reminded me of these great videos. Here is Coolio’s classic “Gangster’s Paradise,” from the movie Dangerous Minds. But to really appreciate it, you have to see “Weird Al” Yankovich’s inspired parody, “Amish […]
The man who made a name for himself by playing Christ is about to become a number. This, from Variety: AMC and ITV will remake Patrick McGoohan’s cult TV show “The Prisoner” as a six-part mini with Ian McKellen as […]
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 […]
Fans of the angel-voiced young singer will want to take note of this tidbit, from the British press: Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson had their “little angel” Ruby christened yesterday in a small family ceremony…followed by a massive knees-up in […]
…to which we should reply, I guess, “And also with you.” The tee shirt design above is part of a wry and at times irreverent gallery of spiritually-inspired designs on display over at Beliefnet — and it even includes a […]
I’ve heard of one or two priests who, for relaxation, like to knit. I kid you not. But this the first I’ve heard of a priest who likes to cross-stitch: Who would guess that a brawny, six-foot plus, motorcycle-riding guy […]
An alert reader sent this my way: the story of a pastor in the Archdiocese of New York who is standing up for his church — and walking: Got a problem? Walk it off! That’s what Monsignor John Budwick is […]
What to give the Vaticanista who has everything? Those sharp-eyed folks over at the Catholic News Service have stumbled on a new web site for buying souvenirs of the Swiss Guard. Everything from DVD’s to watches to caps. Personally, I’m […]
When was the last time you saw a physically fit Catholic priest? Jack LaLanne in a Roman collar? The Catholic News Service has taken notice and is offering some advice for the long weeks of Ordinary Time: With studies confirming […]
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 […]
News this morning that George Carlin has died, at the still-young age of 71. Carlin was brilliant at seeing the absurdity of life; very little of it, I think, truly made sense to him. “Why do they lock gas station […]
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.
“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 […]
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 […]
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?
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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.
To help mark the bicentennial of the Archdiocese of New York — or, more accurately, the Diocese — a museum in Gotham is about to open an exhibit that tells the fascinating, sometimes surprising history of Catholics in America’s largest […]
This is a wonderful video, sent in from a reader (thank you, Mary!) that celebrates the rosary. Watch — and break out the beads!
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 actor who became an international sensation by playing Jesus Christ is doing his level best to honestly and forthrightly live the gospel — and do an immeasurable amount of good. Check out this moving story: Jim Caviezel, the star […]
Die-hard Mel Gibson Catholic fans — you know who you are — might be interested in this item from Variety: Mel Gibson has committed to star in “Edge of Darkness,” marking his first starring role in a feature film since […]
“Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” — Katharine Hepburn
Anyone who thinks of World Youth Day as just a “Catholic Woodstock,” should read this inspiring account from the site of the next WYD, Australia: It was eight years ago in a crowded park on the outskirts of the Vatican […]
This is truly something to see: a massive Eucharistic procession held recently at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. It’s an annual event on campus. You can read more about it at the blog link, and see many more pictures, […]
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.
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 […]
This is the graphic appearing on the sides of buses in Washington, DC: h/t to The American Papist.
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 […]
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 […]
Sometimes, the most effective evangelists use unexpected tools. This fascinating piece from The Catholic Herald in Wisconsin profiles an actor who is turning his passion for theater into The Passion: Silence enveloped the audience at the Cathedral of St. John […]
The Christopher Awards are among the most meaningful prizes bestowed during the springtime awards season; they recognize not only achievement, but also values. (Department of Full Disclosure: Your Humble Blogger has one on his shelf, from 2002, for co-writing the […]
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 […]
Just before Easter, the writer Anne Rice, whose new novel on Christ has just been published, posted an item in the Washington Post’s On Faith section about her own faith journey. An excerpt: Why did faith come back to me? […]
One of the most influential and enduring Catholic writers in America remains Flannery O’Connor. Today is her birthday. And, over at Busted Halo, a writer has taken a pilgrimage to her fabled Georgia homestead Andalusia: You’ll find her along the […]
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 […]
One of Catholicism’s most insightful observers, John Allen, had some sage words for the faithful recently in Denver. He was invited to speak by his friend, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, and brought up an intriguing theme: mega-trends in the Catholic […]
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 […]
Shroud of Turin Accidentally Washed With Red Shirt.
Here’s a poem for Palm Sunday — perhaps the only one of its kind, marking our own entry into Holy Week. It’s”The Donkey,” by G.K. Chesterton: When fishes flew and forests walked And figs grew upon thorn, Some moment when […]
This remarkable story from the New York Times shows, beautifully, just what a melting pot New York City has become: Taja Garnett’s parents are from Belize, but her nickname is “Irish girl.” Ever since Taja, 10, joined the Keltic Dreams, […]
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.
Here’s a glimpse at a side of legendary quarterback Brett Favre that most may not know: his Catholicism. From the Catholic News Service and Catholic Online, courtesy the Green Bay diocesan paper, The Compass: While the sports world came to […]
Coming soon from Disney/Pixar. “Wall-E.” Take a peek. I dare you not to smile.
I’m sure you’ve been wondering: ‘Where on earth can I get my Hell’s Angels leather jacket repaired and find a nice rosary, too?” Look no further. There’s news about one in Colorado, from columnist Dan England: Four years after they […]
‘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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
And now, from our Psychedelic Desk, this bit of weirdness, which just crossed the wire: High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published […]
I stumbled on this sad and sobering testimony today in the America blog, In All Things, from a California undergraduate professor: While reaching for examples to explain 20th century interpretations of salvation as the movement from inauthentic to authentic existence, […]
Do you tithe? A don’t know many Catholics or do — or, at least, who admit to it. But it’s very big in some Protestant denominations. And the CBS News program Sunday Morning recently looked at this phenomenon: Pastor Marty […]
From Chicago comes this story about an exhibit on Catholicism — and our religion’s powerful impact on the Windy City culture. But the news about faith in the Second City is decidedly mixed: In John R. Powers’ Chicago of the […]
The pope’s upcoming trip now has an official souvenir. From a sidebar in USA Today: The first officially announced souvenir for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit is a tiny T-shirt for a teddy bear, says Archdiocese of Washington spokeswoman Susan Gibbs. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
For as long as I can remember — and I’m sure, well before that — little girls were receiving their first communion in white dresses. I thought that was a fairly standard tradition, with a distinct connection to both the […]
“Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, […]
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, […]
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 […]
My friend, the Trappist monk and writer Fr. James Stephen Behrens, sent this along the other day. It’s too good not to share: No one likes getting lost as a result of a wrong turn off any real or figurative […]
What could be a better Valentine’s Day gift than to get married? Earlier this year, I posted a story about a mass wedding in Georgia. Well, they had something similar, on a much smaller scale, in my own backyard just […]
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.
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.
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later: a singing nun has become a sensation on MySpace: She jams on an electric guitar and introduces herself on her hot-pink MySpace page as a straight, single Libra who loves to […]
Just click here and watch what happens. Your computer screen will never be the same. H/T, I think, to the Happy Cat’lick.
And I mean, a kick in the ashes. Sometimes, it’s hard to know where reality ends and satire begins. Evidently, this weird news isn’t satire: Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the “Christian Ramadan” in an attempt to […]
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 […]
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 anyone who’s ever wondered who really rings the bells at Notre-Dame, today’s New York Times has the answer: Stéphane Urbain stood leaning against a heavy wood frame high in the north tower of Notre-Dame, wrapped in a navy blue […]
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 […]
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 […]
If you’re looking for more reasons to give up something for Lent, a sociology professor is throwing in her two cents. And, speaking of money, it’s all about the economy, stupid: A University of New Hampshire professor claims that Lent […]
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 […]
Just in time for Mardi Gras, here’s a little holy mirth from the other side of the pond: The men and women in white face-paint and polka-dot bow-ties sang hymns and said prayers as one of their number rode a […]
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 […]
…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 […]
It seems Pope Benedict is also Pop Benedict. Soda pop, to be exact: Winston Churchill made no secret of his love of brandy and cigars; Margaret Thatcher was bereft without her handbag, and Pope Benedict XVI, I can reveal, has […]
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 […]
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 […]
Wonder why more people don’t go to church? A new survey, reported in the National Catholic Reporter, from the Religion News Service, finds some answers: Almost three-quarters of Americans who haven’t darkened the door of a church in the last […]
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 […]
Here’s an idea whose time has come: improv comedy for Catholics! No joke. And just in time for Lent, too! From the Catholic Herald: Perhaps there is no parish fund-raiser Catholics appreciate more than the Friday fish fry. For something […]
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.
Good writers are rare — good Catholic writers, even rarer. But now an author is giving us his insight into Catholic literature, from this interview with Zenit: Good Catholic writers need to be sustained and nourished by a rich culture, […]
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 […]
This is a little off the beaten path for me, but it’s just such a rich and fascinating interview, I thought it worth sharing. It comes to us from the Washington Post’s On Faith section (whose virtues I’ve extolled several […]
A cheerful tip of the earmuffs to The Ironic Catholic.
If anyone wonders why non-Catholics would want to send their kids to Catholic school, the Georgia Bulletin has a heartening explanation: Recommendations from other parents and a long-standing reputation as effective educators who also address a student’s moral development are […]
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, […]
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 […]
“Instead of choosing ‘great’ or impressive people in the eyes of the world, God uses the humble, the foolish, the weak and ‘those who count for nothing’ to accomplish his purposes. It is when we least expect it that the […]
Now for something completely different: “She’d been strangled with a rosary-not a run-of-the-mill rosary like you might get at a Catholic bookstore where Hail Marys are two for a quarter and indulgences are included on the back flap of the […]
Anyone of a certain age who’s been through Catholic school remembers the stern nuns, the hard desks, the sting of a ruler on your knuckles or the click of large rosary beads as Sister walked by. Don’t you? Well, a […]
No, we’re not having a Don Ho moment here at The Bench. The bubbles in question are found at an innovative new spiritual website called Other6. It seeks to feed people who are seeking spiritual food for the other six […]
Over at Inside Catholic, they’re offering this beautiful and heartfelt tribute to something so many of us have trouble with today: commitment. The ability stick to something — a marriage, a career, a vocation, a faith — is something that […]
Shortly before the holidays, I became smitten with the Christian quartet Point of Grace, whose music I stumbled on almost by accident while driving around Maryland over Thanksgiving. I was punching buttons on the radio, trying to find some decent […]
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 […]
That’s the theme of this delightful music video I just caught at Beliefnet. Think life is complicated? Relax, dude. This is a perfect chaser for a Friday. Enjoy.
The New Evangelization may have a new tool: YouTube. This item from a Canadian paper says that site and others on the Internet are being used increasingly to spread The Word, in a way Matthew, Mark, Luke and John could […]
Trying to clear up your clutter after the holidays? Have you resolved to Get Organized? Take a look at this breathtaking stop-animation ad for a storage company: And here, you can see how it was done:
Villanova has embarked on something unusual: an M.B.A. program in church management. The Wall Street Journal has the scoop: The reputations of many Roman Catholic parishes have been tarnished in recent years, both by the priest sex-abuse scandals and a […]
It’s not exactly the wedding season, but that didn’t stop a Catholic church in Georgia from hosting a mass marriage ceremony with a whopping 31 couples: More than 500 parishioners were in attendance at St. Joseph Church on Dec. 22 […]
Some savvy person decided that Natural Family Planning (NFP) needed a facelift. Or a makeover. Or something. And the Catholic Spirit newspaper is reporting on the results: For years, many of the engaged and newly-married couples receiving instruction in natural […]
Just when it seemed my life was getting a little too frenzied, my favorite blogger from a cloister sent this my way. Thanks. I needed this. (And I think a lot of us do.) It comes from a wonderful web […]
Surfing around, I found this wonderful little video that speaks beautifully to the idea of service. Each of us has something to give. What is yours?
With an eye toward today’s caucusing in Iowa, and an ear on the heightened religious rhetoric of the campaign, Andrew Greeley is offering a few thoughts — not all of them warm: I’m a Catholic. You got a problem with […]
You rarely read about so much attention being paid to high school architecture, which makes this story out of South Carolina so surprising — and hopeful: Tom Loosbrock, a former architect who serves on the planning committee for a proposed […]
Those clever people in Britain have devised a new way to encourage vocations: priestly pin-ups. Or, more accurately, clerical calendars: Twelve Catholic priests have swapped their pulpits for favourite pastimes in a calendar designed to try to recruit young men […]
One of my annual pleasures, on the last Sunday of the year, is sitting down and laughing until my sides hurt from reading Dave Barry’s annual round-up of the year-in-review. If anyone missed it this year, it’s at the link. […]
…I’d fit right in at the Vatican’s nativity scene. A couple weeks ago, I posted an item about the nativity scene going up in St. Peter’s Square, and noted that it would be very different, because it would be set […]
After months of waiting and wondering, last night I finally got to see the movie version of “Sweeney Todd.” I’d seen the stage production years ago, with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn, and knew to expect something different with Johnny […]
They are beautifully crafted, exquisitely designed — and people are dying to have them. They are Trappist caskets. And according to this item from CNS, business is booming: For the craftsmen and artisans at New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, a […]
This is a season for the ringing of bells — but for a group of Catholics in St. Petersburg, Florida, the peal will soon have a different appeal. They’ll be ringing bells for the pope: To most Catholics, having an […]
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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 »