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posted by jmcgee

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A reminder about comments

posted by jmcgee

People have been going a little bit nuts in the comments lately, so it seems a good time to refer newer readers to these guidelines, which I first posted after Easter. Please note: comments that are anti-Catholic — or, more broadly, anti-religion […]

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Did you hear the one about the funny deacon?

posted by jmcgee

Well, check out this item, about author and humorist Deacon Tom Sheridan: A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar. And the bartender says, “What is this, a joke?” Yes, it is just a joke — and […]

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“I grow old…”

posted by jmcgee

“I grow old… I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled…” — TS Eliot, “Lovesong of J.Alfred Prufrock” Yeah, I hear you, Alfred. The other day, I decided to try out a new barber shop.  A nice young Greek […]

It’s Friday. Don’t you want to dance?

posted by jmcgee

I know I do. Below, another of those “spontaneous” dance explosions that pop up from time to time in train stations or public thoroughfares. This one is from Ohio. H/T Concord Pastor. Don’t stop believing!     

A “common Communion table” with Lutherans?

posted by jmcgee

It could one day happen, if a German Lutheran bishop has anything to say about it. Take a look: A German Protestant bishop has urged Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches to draw up a joint declaration on their shared beliefs […]

In Poland, despite everything, faith endures

posted by jmcgee

Or so it seems, according to a new poll just released: Support for the Roman Catholic Church has risen in Poland, a survey showed on Tuesday, despite child sexual abuse scandals that have badly eroded its authority and reputation in […]

Gathering no moss: a Catholic life after the Rolling Stones

posted by jmcgee

The name Mandy Smith may not ring many bells these days — but her teenage fling (and subsequent marriage) to Rolling Stone Bill Wyman made headlines decades ago. Now she’s set her life on a decidedly different course: Many people […]

And now, Lutheran abuse victims speak out

posted by jmcgee

The sex abuse scandal in the Catholic world may be sending out ripples to other faiths, according to AFP: Publicity around paedophilia in the Catholic Church has prompted victims of sexual abuse in Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church to speak out, […]

“The Vatican is not the same as the Catholic Church”

posted by jmcgee

Over at the Times, Maureen Dowd is resting this sabbath, and so her colleague Nicholas Kristof picks up where she left off, with a litany of complaints about the all-male hierarchy. Then, near the end, he offers this tribute to […]

Benedict on “the shipwrecks of life”

posted by jmcgee

“Why this trip to Malta? There are many reasons. First, St. Paul. The Pauline Year for the universal church has ended, but Malta is celebrating 1,950 years since the shipwreck, and this occasion once presents us with the figure of […]

A life of ups and downs: inventor of trampoline dies

posted by jmcgee

We’ve seen it everywhere and taken it for granted, but yes: someone did invent that stretch of canvas you see at the circus. And word came this week that he has bounced to that Big Top in the sky: One […]

Quote of the day: “I walk by faith and not by fright”

posted by jmcgee

“I happen to think this is a great and important time to be Catholic. Really. No joke. How often do we get to be right smack in the middle of an opportunity for radical Christ-based, Holy Spirit-generated change – and […]

Gomez the progressive…and the conservative

posted by jmcgee

The local press is taking a closer look at Archbishop Jose Gomez — and everybody seems to be scratching their heads: Gomez, 58, who will succeed Cardinal Roger Mahony, is a reflection of the future of American Catholicism. Born in […]

Good Friday

posted by jmcgee

“The simple fact is: this can’t be a day like any other. Scripture tells us that on the day Christ died, the world – literally – cracked open. The earth quaked. To this day, we cannot help but remember what […]

Message to Bill Donohue: shut up

posted by jmcgee

Whatever your noble intentions may be, Mr. Donohue, it’s time for you to slip away and, frankly, shut up.  Please.  You are doing more harm than good, and making our church look idiotic. If you truly love our faith and […]

In God’s hands

posted by jmcgee

The striking and dramatic Stations of the Cross below were created by Deacon Bernard Deschler (another Brooklyn boy).  I really think that they’re something extraordinary, and that they ask us to look at Christ’s Passion in a new way.  Check […]

Goodbye, Good Friday?

posted by jmcgee

As one friend of mine noted, reading this item, “We live in interesting times…” : One week before the most solemn day in the Christian year, the city of Davenport, Iowa removed Good Friday from its municipal calendar, setting off […]

How could it happen?

posted by jmcgee

For some handy answers, James Martin, S.J. has pulled together a number of the conclusions drawn from the National Review Board that investigated the scandal in this country.   It shows how complicated the problem really is — and how it […]

The pope’s conversion

posted by jmcgee

John Allen has taken pen in hand and written an op-ed piece for the New York Times that puts the present crisis in a valuable context: Considerable skepticism surrounds the Vatican’s insistence that in 1980 the pope, then Archbishop Joseph […]

Report: Cardinal Brady to quit

posted by jmcgee

From across the pond, a report about a move many have been clamoring for: The Vatican will force the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, to quit if he refuses to resign over the growing […]

Irish pubs to open on Good Friday

posted by jmcgee

It’s always been a “dry” holy day in Ireland — but not this year: A Limerick judge ruled Thursday that the city’s 110 pubs can open April 2 because the city is hosting a major Irish rugby match attracting tens […]

Maureen Dowd’s sister act

posted by jmcgee

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has evidently been sharpening her stiletto, to take another stab at the Church, but the point is really pretty dull. In every sense. There is so much wrong with her latest column, I don’t […]

O’Malley on health care bill: “It’s very disturbing to see…”

posted by jmcgee

“Health care is such an important issue for the United States. It’s very disturbing to see that there seems to be a rush to push through legislation without carefully weighing all of the consequences. I think it’s unfortunate that some […]

What did Benedict really do?

posted by jmcgee

Andrew Sullivan just lobbed this grenade into the blogosphere: A priest is discovered to have been actively molesting children. His superior is notified in 1980. One of the things he is told of is the priest’s forcing an 11 year […]

Homily for March 14, 2010: 4th Sunday in Lent

posted by jmcgee

(This is for Cycle A, for the Second Scrutiny.  The scrutinies add time to the liturgy, and the gospel reading is quite long, so I kept the homily brief.  Last week’s mass was about an hour and 15 minutes!) Most […]

Blame it on celibacy

posted by jmcgee

This just in, from the Austria Desk: The Archbishop of Vienna today said priestly celibacy could be one of the causes of the sex abuse scandals to hit the Catholic church. In an article for Thema Kirche, his diocesan magazine, […]

Sex abuse: would women in power have made a difference?

posted by jmcgee

The Vatican newspaper thinks so. This little item should raise a few eyebrows — and blood pressures: A greater presence of women in decision-making roles in the church might have helped remove the “veil of masculine secrecy” that covered priestly […]

Obama’s “spiritual cabinet” includes a retired cardinal

posted by jmcgee

It’s impossible to tell how much influence these figures have, but it’s an interesting group: Near the end of a bumpy first year in office, President Obama readied for a Christmas vacation in Hawaii, but before he left, he called […]

The gospel according to Beck

posted by jmcgee

“I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising […]

“Extra small” condoms for boys?

posted by jmcgee

Yes. Incredible but true. They’re called the Hotshot, and they’ve just gone on sale in Switzerland: Family planning groups and the Swiss Aids Federation campaigned to have the Hotshot produced after a number of studies, including the government study researched […]

What’s on your wall?

posted by jmcgee

 The Divine Mercy painting of Jesus Christ hangs from a damaged house in Iloca, Chile.  Monday, March 1, 2010.  Photo from AP / Fernando Vergara

“It’s not torture”

posted by jmcgee

“There’s a standard of torture in civil law, which is severe mental pain and suffering. I also have a common-sense definition, which is, ‘If you’re willing to try it, it’s not torture.’” — Former Bush speechwriter (and Catholic) Marc Thiessen, […]

Remembering Jim

posted by jmcgee

Deacon Jim Hynes Friend, Classmate, BrotherJuly 31, 1958 – February 26, 2008 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there […]

Controversy over another Focus on the Family ad

posted by jmcgee

This time, it’s spot that appeared on the web. From the AP: Weeks after scoring a publicity coup with a 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, conservative Christian group Focus on the Family is at the […]

Making music for God: “I am an instrument”

posted by jmcgee

In a world known for divas and egos, the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony is something altogether different: a committed Catholic who considers his talent a gift. From the New York Times: Many works in the classical music canon […]

Deep snow, empty pews

posted by jmcgee

“Snowmageddon” had a big impact on America’s churches — not just in the parking lot, but also in the collection basket: Oh, the weather outside has been frightful, meaning that fewer Catholics have braved a trek to their churches during […]

“We Are the World” for Haiti

posted by jmcgee

Here it is: the star-studded remake of the landmark hit, this one to raise funds for Haiti.  How does it compare to the original, from 25 years ago?  Check it out.

And thousands of Border Collies observe a moment of silence

posted by jmcgee

This news left me feeling inexplicably saddened: Walter Fredrick Morrison, the man credited with inventing the Frisbee, has died. He was 90. Utah House Rep. Kay McIff, an attorney who represented Morrison in a royalties case, says Morrison died at […]

Pope John Paul’s Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

posted by jmcgee

 Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman, Blessed by the Most High! Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era, We join in your song of praise, to celebrate the Lord’s mercy, to proclaim the […]

Lent for Dummies

posted by jmcgee

And one of those dummies would have to include Your Humble Blogger — who had no idea until a couple years ago that, in fact, it’s not really 40 days.  (They don’t count Sundays.)  Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff […]

“There’s a little black spot on your head…”

posted by jmcgee

So goes the latest ditty by a Catholic comedian Nick Alexander — dubbed by the National Catholic Register the “Catholic Weird Al.” I confess this guy is new to me, but his work is clever and pretty funny. (You can […]

What’s Oprah’s take on nuns?

posted by jmcgee

The promo for her chat with the Dominicans, scheduled to air tomorrow.   Stay classy, O.  

Best ad of the night

posted by jmcgee

No, it wasn’t Tebow. It was this oh-my-gawd jaw dropper from CBS — arguably the biggest surprise of the night (or, at least, the biggest one that wasn’t on the football field.) UPDATE:You can read how it all came together […]

A prayer, and a plea, for life

posted by jmcgee

My blog sister Julie, over at Happy Catholic, posted this urgent request yesterday: For a young girl who is making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy. She wants to give the baby up for adoption but is being pressured to […]

“I want to tell them there is hope…”

posted by jmcgee

The words of remarkable young lady named Ashley Torrenti, a 6th grader at a Catholic school in Flushing, Queens. Her parents were going to throw her a big birthday party. But she decided, instead, to send the money to Haiti. […]

Pure genius: Tracey Ullman as…well, everyone

posted by jmcgee

This is something truly inspired, and will be a bracing tonic for anyone who has spent too much time watching cable TV.   God bless Tracey Ullman. Enjoy.

This just in: a news story

posted by jmcgee

If you don’t mind a quick f-bomb near the beginning, you’ll appreciate this pretty hilarious generic news story. I know I did. He nails it. See more funny videos and TBT Videos at Today’s Big Thing.

Mac attack: is this the future?

posted by jmcgee

A doctor, diagnosing the problem of countless Mac addicts tonight, might say: “Take two iTablets and call me in the morning.” Some elf posted this on YouTube last month — is the prophecy below about to be fulfilled? We’ll know […]

“I want everyone else to have the chance for life that I did”

posted by jmcgee

Those are the stirring words uttered by a smart 17-year old, who made her first bus trip down to Washington last Friday, to take part in the March for Life. Watch her story here.  And give thanks that there are […]

The pope must think, “Ah, those were the days…”

posted by jmcgee

Someone recently posted this charming picture of the former Cardinal Ratzinger enjoying a brewski. It made me think that he probably misses the days when he could hoist a stein and kick back with his pals and let forth with […]

“Who is a hero?”

posted by jmcgee

“Who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary.” — Miep Gies, the last survivor of those who helped hide Anne Frank and her family. Ms. Gies died today, in an Amsterdam nursing home, […]

The nun and the linebacker: the story of Mark Herzlich’s biggest fan

posted by jmcgee

A great story of friendship, faith and hope. Keep a hanky handy.

What Christmas is all about

posted by jmcgee

For those who need any reminding…

Throw another log on the fire

posted by jmcgee

Crank up the volume and enjoy this special treat. A blessed and Merry Christmas to you all, from Your Humble Blogger and the staff of The Bench!

What really happened on Christmas?

posted by jmcgee

What we think happened may be far from the truth — at least if we just use scripture as our guide. This clever cartoon explains the fact and the fiction of the Nativity:

How December 25th became Christmas

posted by jmcgee

You can find lots of intriguing history in this deciphering of the most famous holy day on the Christian calendar. A snip: Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the […]

Wisdom from a Christmas letter

posted by jmcgee

We send ’em. We get ’em. We love ’em. We hate ’em. Christmas letters. You know: the photocopied laundry list of Great Achievements that are folded inside Christmas cards and usually make most of us feel like abject failures. (“Kent […]

Do you see what I see? The Christmas story in sand

posted by jmcgee

Behold: a lovely display of sand art, telling the Christmas story in a thrilling new way.

A pro-choice Blessed Mother?

posted by jmcgee

That’s the opinion of the controversial Sr. Donna Quinn — who, you’ll recall, worked for some time as a volunteer escort at an abortion clinic.   From the Chicago Tribune: Despite a public reprimand from her religious order last month, Chicago’s […]

Know hope: Christ reigns

posted by jmcgee

This stunning image is from the Catholic Key blog shows the massive eucharistic procession of 22,000 high school students, following Christ through downtown Kansas City yesterday, for the National Catholic Youth Conference. Their motto this year — fittingly, for the […]

Want to see the world’s largest illustrated bible?

posted by jmcgee

Believe it or not, it’s made of Legos. Really. See below.     

R.I.P. David Lloyd: “A little song, a little dance…”

posted by jmcgee

Word today that the man who created one of the greatest television episodes (in a series that had many great ones) has passed on to the great writer’s room in the sky. David Lloyd, who wrote the classic “Chuckles Bites […]

The priest at Fort Hood: “I know why I came here…”

posted by jmcgee

A priest from Boston found himself serving in Texas — and serving, as well, the victims of last week’s tragedy at Fort Hood. From the Boston Globe: The Rev. Edward McCabe didn’t want to go to Fort Hood when the […]

“We are called to be heralds of hope”

posted by jmcgee

With those words, a Catholic bishop has called for mercy for a convicted killer sentenced to die: As Virginia prepared to execute convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad, Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington called for mercy and urged that Muhammad’s […]

First group of Anglicans accepts pope’s offer

posted by jmcgee

They’re making history, and they’re from across the pond: The Traditional Anglican Communion’s province in Great Britain has become the first to accept Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution for Anglicans.  All its members voted unanimously to come into communion with […]

U.S. bishops praise Maine vote against gay marriage

posted by jmcgee

After voters in Maine shot down a law allowing same-sex marriage yesterday, the USCCB has now offered a warm round of applause.   The bishops’ statement reads, in part: Yesterday on November 3rd, the people of Maine voted to uphold the […]

November 23, 1963 …

posted by jmcgee

Those of us who saw the riveting episode of “Mad Men” last night were reminded that, on the day after the Kennedy assassination, life went on — but barely.    In the episode, there were uncanny parallels to 9/11, in […]

Homily for November 1, 2009: All Saints Day

posted by jmcgee

[This weekend, I’m preaching a special children’s liturgy, which will include a belated commemoration of World Priest Day.  So for those looking for an All Saints homily, I’ve decided to dip into the vault: this is a re-post from my […]

A dab a day will do ya

posted by jmcgee

Looking for the snazziest haircut?  Look no further.    This explains how to get the “Mad Men” look. And to think: I was sporting it before it was cool (when every one else thought it was square…) 

Now it can be revealed: the order for admission to heaven

posted by jmcgee

I sharp-eyed reader sent this along, and it’s a hoot. Brian Doyle spills the beans in the current edition of Notre Dame magazine: To be admitted without review by committee: children under the age of 12, sixth-grade teachers, the mothers […]

Mother of 10, grandmother of 28 to be honored

posted by jmcgee

This sounds like one busy woman: A philanthropic mother of ten and grandmother of 28 will be honored for her work at the upcoming Tenth Annual Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership. The Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) will present the award […]

Rules for Catholics on the internet

posted by jmcgee

How should we behave in cyberspace? Eric Sammons has some very good suggestions.   They should be printed and taped to every computer workspace…  

Homily for October 25, 2009: World Priest Day

posted by jmcgee

[I’m not preaching this Sunday.  We’re showing a stewardship video at all the masses.  But, since it’s World Priest Day, I thought I’d re-post for reflection my homily for this occasion last year.] It happens more often than you may […]

“The largest gathering of Catholics in Texas”

posted by jmcgee

A remarkable Catholic ministry conference in Texas has gotten some attention not just for its focus, but for its size. From The Dallas Morning News: In its 2,000-year history, the Roman Catholic Church rarely has been accused of failing to […]

Sister act: nun works at abortion clinic

posted by jmcgee

Anyone who is still wondering why the Vatican is investigating women religious in the United States might want to ponder the implications of this story:  A Dominican nun has been seen frequenting an abortion facility in Illinois recently – but […]

Faith leaders condemn Holocaust comparisons

posted by jmcgee

This piece of news strikes me as sane and sensible — and long overdue:  Religious leaders are urging their colleagues and politicians to keep comparisons to Nazism and the Holocaust out out of American public policy debates. The Interfaith Alliance […]

What every blog reader needs to remember

posted by jmcgee

From today’s Liturgy of the Hours, and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:  “Guard against foul talk; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners, otherwise you will only be grieving […]

Burying the lede: the death of the Catholic press

posted by jmcgee

Is the Catholic media on its last legs?  A priest-editor in Asia has a few intriguing thoughts on the subject:  For another few decades (two to four?), Catholic journalism will rely to some decreasing extent upon the printing press to […]

“It’s the browning of the Catholic Church in the U.S.”

posted by jmcgee

If you want to know where the Catholic Church in the United States is headed, you might want to look south. The Latino presence is strong, and growing. And as part of its series on Latino America, CNN takes a […]

Alito on the Catholic court: “One of those questions that does not die”

posted by jmcgee

At least one member of the country’s highest court is a little miffed at all the attention being paid to the court’s Catholic majority. From the AP: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito voiced frustration Tuesday over what he called […]

A journalist in the pulpit?!

posted by jmcgee

A journalist friend and former colleague sent this to me with the note: “You’ve got some company.”  Indeed!  It’s the story of another journalist-turned-clergyman:   On the first Sunday morning of October, pastor Steve Scott looked far beyond the surroundings […]

Fr. Rutler reacts: “It is a dramatic put down of liberal Anglicanism”

posted by jmcgee

A producer in my office contacted well-known Anglican convert Fr. George Rutler to ask if he’d be interested in being interviewed on the big Anglican news.   He wasn’t available, but he e-mailed this statement, which he’s releasing to the […]

“In Due Season”

posted by jmcgee

Several months ago, I blogged about Paul Wilkes’ remarkable book “In Due Season.”  (I even preached about it in one of my homilies.)   Now I’m pleased to see that Beliefnet has posted an exclusive excerpt.  Take a look.  You […]

“It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men”

posted by jmcgee

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more heartening and hope-filled story for a Monday: the tale of a lawyer who traded in the courtroom for the school room:  “Pick your head up, buddy,” Tom Dunn said to Darius Nash, who […]

The North American martyrs: “We are afflicted in every way”

posted by jmcgee

Anyone who needs a reminder of the price some missionaries have paid need only read a brief summary of what happened to the North American martyrs, whose feast we celebrate today:  The first Jesuit missionaries arrived in Quebec in 1625. […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by jmcgee

The Archbishop of New York bumps into one of his flock.  Would you like fries with that?  H/T to Mayor McCheese, a.k.a. Rocco.  

Homily for October 18, 2009: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by jmcgee

Anyone who lives and works around Brooklyn knows Bishop Ford High School, right off the Prospect Expressway. It’s just a block from my office. And I imagine a lot of Catholics who live in the diocese know the story of […]

A mother’s nightmare, caught on tape

posted by jmcgee

If this doesn’t make you cringe, nothing will: a horrifying video of a commuter train running over a baby carriage. Miraculously, the child survived with just a minor injury.      

Answered prayers

posted by jmcgee

“There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.” — St. Teresa of Avila, whose feast is today.  The quote has inspired numerous people, including Truman Capote. 

Con man posing as deacon charged with abuse

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

An unusual abuse accusation out of Minneapolis: A man who alleges that he was sexually abused as a child by a con man posing as a Roman Catholic deacon went public Monday to challenge recent statements made about the case by […]

A first look at summer: a glimpse at “Toy Story 3″

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

With the leaves changing and the frost coming, here’s something to look forward to: a glimmer of warmth and sunshine, coming next June.   It’s the official trailer for “Toy Story 3.”  Enjoy.  

Resurrection: finding new uses for old churches

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What can you do when a parish closes and the church is all-but-abandoned? Some novel solutions, in Albany: Old church buildings never die. They’re just revived for other purposes, be it a new house of worship or an artists space. […]

But is she housebroken?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A friend sent this along, and I can’t help but think that a saint whom we recently celebrated —  Francis of Assisi — would approve.  Meet Jessica, the hippo who’s also a family pet:

Albania asks for Mother Teresa’s remains

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Could Mother Teresa soon be on the move?   From the AP:  Albania wants the remains of Nobel Peace laureate Mother Teresa and the only post-independence monarch to be returned to the country, the prime minister said Friday. Mother Teresa’s […]

Hawaiian church to be renamed for St. Damien

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some interesting news from the Pacific, as Hawaii prepares to celebrate its first saint:  The Catholic parish in Kaunakakai will be renamed St. Damien Church as soon as Pope Benedict XVI declares the sainthood of the missionary to Molokai. Signs […]

Gingrich on Catholicism: “This is the place that I belong”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“I don’t know that I wanted to become a Catholic so much as I became a Catholic. I don’t know that it was volitional in that sense. Having gone to the basilica (The Basilica of the National Shrine of the […]

The Vatican’s odd couple: Diaz and Benedict

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

How will the new U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican get along with the pontiff? NCR’s John Allen sat down for a chat with Miguel Diaz and came away with some interesting insights: In some ways, one could think of Díaz […]

Rhapsody in tan: a Beach Boy will finish some Gershwin songs

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

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

Where do bishops come from?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

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

Priest, chaplain, husband

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Dallas is mourning the death of a man who had three distinct callings: The Rev. Paul F. Gray had a ministry that spanned more than 40 years and included service as a chaplain for the armed forces, the Dallas Police […]

Read it and weep

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

One of the pleasures of the blogosphere is discovering new and refreshing voices. Many are gifted. A few are brilliant. And then there are those who defy any description. Every now and then, you encounter someone who just makes you […]

Bishops address suicide: “Life matters”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

On the day when we marked Respect Life Sunday in the United States, the good people of Ireland marked a Day for Life.  And the bishops there released a pastoral letter on a subject many would rather not talk about: […]

“Mountain” climbing with Thomas Merton

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It had completely escaped my attention, but Doc Mac notes that it was on this day in 1948 that one of the great autobiographies of the 20th century was released, Thomas Merton’s “The Seven Storey Mountain.”  The book had a […]

Just what the Year for Priests needed — a chorus line!

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is, um, interesting.  H/T Damien Thompson, who explains what’s going on here. “Mass” at Plobsheim, France, Pentecost 2009 from Donald Jenkins on Vimeo.

Can you hear me now? The problem of microphones in church

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Most of us are used to them these days, but that doesn’t mean we have to love microphones during mass.  The Catholic Register up in Canada gives this issue some amplification:   If every modern church has a box full […]

Princess Di’s ancestor may become a saint

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That intriguing tidbit comes from Doc Mac:  Born in 1799 to Second Earl Spencer (whose descendants include Princess Diana), George Spencer studied at Cambridge and was ordained an Anglican priest in 1824. As time went on he began to have […]

Where should you get married in a recession?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Why, right here, of course.  

On Medjugorje: “Let us not act as if these ‘apparitions’ were worthy of faith”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Again, Medjugorje is in the news.  And again, it’s about the local bishop warning the citizens not to believe in the alleged apparitions. From the Catholic News Service:  Confirming young people from the parish in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje, […]

A little Friday night lectio

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

From the Christ-haunted mind of The Anchoress: I dash all of my fury, all of my love, all of my passion against the cross of Christ, and settle beneath their shards and fragments as they rain down upon me, and […]

“So…you working?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That classic question was one of many highlights from this historic 1976 Labor Day reunion of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, after a long and much-publicized and gossiped-about breakup. I remember seeing this when it happened, back in the day […]

One final thought on Kennedy’s funeral

posted by deacon greg kandra

I posted some of the remarks below in the comment box. I’m putting them here for further thought, and prayer. And I place this here, mindful of the fact that several readers have written me personally, deeply distressed at the […]

Boston raises retirement age for priests

posted by deacon greg kandra

Any Beantown priests who are counting the days until they hit the retirement age of 70 should keep on counting. From the Boston Globe: The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, continuing to grapple with a shortage of clergy, is raising the […]

From the e-mailbag: more thoughts on busy clergy, and loneliness

posted by deacon greg kandra

A deacon sent this along, from a Presbyterian elder who works with him in ministry at an assisted living facility. “It’s from the ‘Church Wellness Report,’,” he wrote, “and I really think it ought to be read by every priest […]

Amen

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the right to execute judgment against […]

Psst…looking for a cheap vacation?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Mike “Googling God” Hayes, over at Busted Halo, is offering some helpful ideas for people who find themselves cash-strapped this summer. My personal favorite: retreats. Take a look: Retreats (findthedivine.org, charisretreats.org) are often great ways to get back in touch […]

Huh? — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

“We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature.” — Retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland,writing in his new book, “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church” UPDATE: The Anchoress has posted her […]

God bless “America”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Doc Mac reminds us that today is the Big Day for a venerable and enduring Catholic institution: Today marks the hundredth anniversary of America magazine. The founder was father John J. Wynne, the Jesuit who conceived the idea of the […]

“Seven Stanzas for Easter” by John Updike

posted by deacon greg kandra

Make no mistake: if He rose at allit was as His body;if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the moleculesreknit, the amino acids rekindle,the Church will fall. It was not as the flowers,each soft Spring recurrent;it was not as His […]

Sorry, but …

posted by deacon greg kandra

… the comments in the posts about Obama and Notre Dame, and Glendon and Notre Dame, have started to go off the deep end. They’ve been shut down before things get out of hand.

A death in the family

posted by deacon greg kandra

This news just has to stun every reader in the Catholic blogosphere. My prayers go out to Amy and her family at this terrible time.

Williamson: “Mea culpa”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some new developments in the still-unfolding SSPX melodrama: In the wake of the firestorm caused by his remarks on Swedish TV, Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has written a formal letter of apology to […]

“You are loving to everyone you have made”: a lesson for us all

posted by deacon greg kandra

Regarding the Rick Warren prayer, a reader dropped me an e-mail to point out that, in one short paragraph, the pastor managed to reference the three great monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Almighty God — our Father. (Christians) Everything […]

“I think I have an onogoing conversation with God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s Barack Obama, just after he had clinched the Democratic nomination for the Illinois Senate race 2004. He spoke those words in his most revealing and extensive interview to date on the subject of faith. The interviewer was Cathleen Falsani. […]

Two speeches, two crowds

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The world heard two remarkable addresses Tuesday night: John McCain’s gracious concession speech and Barack Obama’s soaring victory speech. But I was struck by this: when McCain mentioned his opponent, the crowd booed. That didn’t happen when Obama mentioned McCain.

Sunday morning food for thought

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will […]

Deacon tweakin': Atlanta evaluates its diaconate program

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Word from Atlanta this week that their diaconate program is being re-tooled — and the Georgia Bulletin explains why and how: The Archdiocese of Atlanta has taken a proactive, leadership role in implementing the U.S. bishops’ National Directory for the […]

More on Medjugorje

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Several days ago I posted the news about serious canonical troubles facing one of the leading early proponents of Medjugorje. Now, blogger Jimmy Akin has added his two cents, with a very detailed posting that contains links to several important […]

TGIF

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Just watch and enjoy. A cheerful wave-of-the-deacon-stole to Padre Vic. EepyBird’s Sticky Note experiment from Eepybird on Vimeo.

Canadian Archbishop: “Non, merci”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some weeks back, I linked to a story about a Canadian Catholic organization returning an honor, because a prominent abortion rights activist was about to receive the same honor. A trend seems to be developing. First, the U.S. bishops spoke […]

One last call

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“Melissa Doi, thirty two years old, called from the 83rd floor of the south tower. When the operator answered, Doi responded, ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God,’ and continued, ‘there’s no one here yet and the floor’s completely engulfed. We are […]

Priests and pro-life demonstrators arrested in Denver

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The video above has been making the rounds all day. It shows Catholic priests and pro-life demonstrators being arrested outside the Pepsi Center in Denver. The Denver Post describes what happened: Denver police arrested 13 anti-abortion protesters after they sat […]

Remembering Russert

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

One of the more interesting Princes of the Church is a also a journalist — and he’s fondly remembering another journalist (and a prince in his own way), Tim Russert. From CNS: U.S. Cardinal John P. Foley had lunch in […]

Are converts happier?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A blogger over at Commonweal asked the question, and explains: The woman I plan to marry converted to the Roman Catholic faith as an adult ten years ago. She seems to have had an experience quite similar to the experience […]

Stars of wonder

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Wall Street Journal today has a glimpse at an unusual business trend: branding the Bible. Specifically, “jazzing up” the Good Book with celebrities: A few years ago, Canongate issued the “Pocket Canons” — individual books of the Bible reprinted […]

But what about Lindsay Lohan?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Along with praying for peace, justice and loving your neighbor, a church in Kentucky now has another urgent cause to promote. I’m speaking, of course, of Britney Spears. From the AP: The congregation of Southland Christian Church is being asked […]

Last rights

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Vatican’s recent pronouncement about end-of-life issues has raised new questions, and posed new challenges, for a lot of Catholics. And Robert McClory has decided to take a hard look at them in the Chicago Tribune: For severely ill patients, […]

Homily for October 21, 2007: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by deacon greg kandra

That great Talmudic scholar, Woody Allen, once said that “90% of success is just showing up.” He probably didn’t realize it, but he could have been describing the message at the heart of this morning’s gospel. Because in the parable […]

Crossroads: ISO a spiritual director

posted by deacon greg kandra

Looking for a little spiritual direction? Someone who can unfold the mystical map and point the way? (Or, at least, make sure you don’t get lost in the woods…?) Elizabeth Tenety has been ISO (in search of) a spiritual director, […]

Gone prayin’

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’m headed for a weekend retreat with my brother deacons at this place. I’ll see you all again next week. Meantime, rest assured: you will all be with me in my prayers. Blessings to you all,+ Deacon Greg

O Death, where is thy sting?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those venerable words from St. Paul could well capture the sentiment of this author, writing about how funeral liturgies, and especially their homilies, have lost their force. The author is David Lewis Stokes Jr., an associate professor of theology at […]

Expelled from the garden

posted by deacon greg kandra

They’re fixtures in a lot of neighborhoods: small (sometimes kitschy) statues of the saints, or Mary, benevolently watching over the daisies and dandelions in the front yard. But one community in Long Island has, in effect, evicted them, according to […]

“Never underestimate the power of ‘Yes'”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That’s the heartfelt and hopeful message buried deep inside today’s latest (last??!!) posting at Whispers in the Loggia. I, for one, find it hard to believe Rocco might be signing off from the spot that has become required reading across […]

The Diocese of Orange County settles, and the victims step forward

posted by deacon greg kandra

Days after the Diocese of Orange County, California announced a multi-million dollar settlement to four female sex abuse victims, three of the four came forward to reveal their identities. Here’s the latest from the Orange County Register: Three women who […]

“Thanking Father Ted”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Notre Dame’s celebrated president, Theodore Hesburgh, is still alive and kicking –and collecting accolades on the occasion of his 90th birthday. The Chicago Tribune has this nice tribute, from some female admirers: Rev. Ted Hesburgh, University of Notre Dame’s legendary […]

NY Times review of Colbert’s book: further proof of media bias?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The New York Times’ Janet Maslin — one-time movie critic who now fancies herself a book critic — has taken a look at the new masterpiece, “I Am America, And So Can You,” by My Close Personal Friend Stephen Colbert. […]

What? No prize for blogs?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Nobel Prizes are being announced this week. Which means it’s time for the “Ig Nobel Prizes” — awarded every year to the ludicrous and the laughable, but otherwise extremely valuable scientific and artistic contributions to humanity. What would Alfred […]

For the love of Kyle: raising awareness about suicide

posted by deacon greg kandra

Catholics are known for being unabashedly pro-life. But a committed group of Catholics in Indiana is adding another dimension to that idea, by shedding light on one of the darkest corners of human life, and one many don’t like to […]

The good news about Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

Looking for a little good news? A U.S. sociologist who has been studying Catholics offered an encouraging word or two at a dinner recently in Washington: In an Oct. 3 talk at Georgetown University in Washington before receiving an award […]

One woman’s story after an abortion: “It was time to accept His mercy”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Today is “Respect Life” Sunday around the United States, when many priests and deacons will preach on the sanctity of life and the need to pray for an end to abortion. But no homily, I think, could be more meaningful […]

Vinny Rottino: a faith that’s out of the ballpark

posted by deacon greg kandra

Milwaukee is known for much more than beer: these days, it’s also brewing a star Catholic baseball player named Vinny Rottino. He’s living his faith and proclaiming it — most recently, in the pages of the Milwaukee Catholic newspaper: Kathie […]

San Diego asks priests, parishioners to fund sex settlements

posted by deacon greg kandra

In an unusual move, the bishop of San Diego is asking for help in paying a huge settlement to sex abuse victims in his diocese — and he’s asking his priests to chip in. From the San Diego Union: Priests […]

Elevating the body: the unique ministry of funeral directors

posted by deacon greg kandra

Funeral directors have a knack for helping people work their way through sudden, often tragic loss — and for Catholics in the profession, this truly is a “ministry of consolation.” Our Sunday Visitor explores this special vocation: In his poem, […]

Raymond vs. Rudy, Round Two

posted by deacon greg kandra

After Archbishop Raymond Burke threw down the gauntlet a few days back, more or less daring Rudy Giuliani to approach the communion rail, the GOP candidate has responded: Republican Rudy Giuliani on Thursday brushed aside criticism from Roman Catholic Archbishop […]

Just in time for Halloween…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Julie at Happy Catholic has posted the long-awaited movie trailer for the even longer-awaited movie version of Sondheim’s Grand Guignol masterpiece, Sweeney Todd. (There is a tiny Catholic connection, since this near-opera contains the giddy and macabre Act I finale […]

What do young Americans think of Christianity? Not much.

posted by deacon greg kandra

Are we losing a generation of Christians? That may be one conclusion you can draw from this troubling survey from the Barna Group. It indicates that a surprising number of young people do not have a favorable view of Christianity: […]

Bless the beasts. And the teddy bears.

posted by deacon greg kandra

Blessing the animals for the feast of St. Francis of Assisi is a nice tradition. But a Dutch priest is taking things to extremes: A canary, a goldfish, a guinea pig, a handful of cats and more than two dozen […]

How’s your portfolio doing?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A potent new ad: Visit this link for more. Hat tip to J-Walking’s David Kuo at Beliefnet.

Altar men? Altar women?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a trend I hadn’t heard about before: altar servers who are long past the age of puberty. By decades, in fact. They look nothing like the picture on the left. This, from a paper in New Jersey: As a […]

Baker speaks of angels and blogs

posted by deacon greg kandra

Coverage of the installation of the new bishop of Birmingham has been mysteriously scarce — in the general media and in the blogosphere (as one of my readers noted). But Whispers in the Loggia has corrected that injustice with a […]

The robe

posted by deacon greg kandra

To appreciate one of the most beloved of Catholic saints, it helps to look at his robe. In the basement of a basilica in the Italian village of Assisi, you will find it: a patchwork of brown cloth and thread, […]

Maybe God needs a good jingle writer

posted by deacon greg kandra

As a kind of publicity stunt, the promoters of a new movie on the 10 Commandments hired a company to conduct a poll — and the results could give you gas: Quick. Name each of the Ten Commandments. OK. Now […]

Maryland, my Maryland

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those words, the title of Maryland’s state song, were echoing in my ears as I read over the installation homily of the new Archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin O’Brien. God bless Rocco, who has posted the text in full. Among other […]

Chico and The Man

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is what happens when you have a pope who loves cats. One of them goes and writes a tell-all: Chico the cat describes the life of his “best friend”, Pope Benedict, in an authorised biography for children released this […]

Local boy makes good; hometown plans celebration

posted by deacon greg kandra

That local boy would be St. Paul, and his hometown of Tarsus evidently plans to get into the act for the recently-announced Year of St. Paul: Pope Benedict has declared 2008 the year of Saint Paul and so preparations gained […]

Raymond vs. Rudy

posted by deacon greg kandra

St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke is wading into the ’08 presidential campaign, and he’s already stirring the waters: As the 2008 presidential campaign revs up, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke is reprising his role from 2004. And the blogs are […]

Rudy: turning off Catholics?

posted by deacon greg kandra

This piece in the current National Catholic Register has some interesting voices on the subject of Rudy Giuliani and Catholicism. I’m not persuaded that a majority of Catholics are “turned off” by a candidate who is pro-abortion, even one who […]

The Amish, one year later: forgiving the unforgivable

posted by deacon greg kandra

It was a year ago today, October 2, 2006, that tragedy was visited upon the Amish people of rural Pennsylvania. USA Today has an insightful interview with someone who understands their culture very well, and who tries to explain one […]

One man’s simple creed: no one dies alone

posted by deacon greg kandra

Up in Alaska, there’s a report from the local diocesan paper about a man who has launched a remarkable and inspiring ministry to those who are facing their final hours: Ed Iwata thoughtfully sipped a latte while talking about his […]

Catholic Charities will have to pay for contraception

posted by deacon greg kandra

Our Catholic-dominated Supreme Court surprised some observers yesterday, deciding not to rule in a case involving Catholics and artificial birth control: The court issued a list of cases it would not hear this year. No explanation was given for the […]

Study of nuns and priests: doing the right thing helps your brain

posted by deacon greg kandra

Turns out a lot of priests, nuns and religious are doing something right — and it’s going to their heads. Or, at least, their brains. Here’s how U.S. News and World Report describes it: People who are conscientious and prone […]

Catholic clergy ordered to not get involved in Myanmar

posted by deacon greg kandra

As the world watches what’s unfolding in Myanmar, and the pope offers his prayers for the people there, the Catholic clergy are being told not to get involved. This, from the Associated Press: While thousands of Buddhist monks have marched […]

“An instrument of grace”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Rod Dreher has a terrific column in yesterday’s Dallas Morning News, describing a fraud and con artist, in the guise of a monk peddling a fake icon, who managed, nonetheless, to touch Rod’s life with grace. It was through that […]

Mother’s other miracle?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The timing could be coincidence — or it could be miraculous. But an Indian priest is crediting Blessed Mother Teresa with a cure that, if verified, could tip her over the top to official sainthood: The sainthood cause of Blessed […]

Zesty Zubik: the homily

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A kind and attentive reader has sent along this link, which has the video of Bishop Zubik’s homily at his installation Friday. (Hat tip to Whispers at the Loggia, btw, which is always ahead of the curve!)

Seeing red

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s the First Monday in October, which means that yesterday was the occasion for celebrating the traditional Red Mass in various cathedrals around the country — including St. Matthew’s, in Washington. The Supremes were there — or some of them, […]

The businessman and the nun

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is one of my favorite stories from the writings of Thomas Merton. In The Waters of Siloe, he tells the true story of a businessman checking into a hotel in Paris in the days following World War II and, […]

The “long, painful journey” of Rosa DeLauro

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s rare to find serious discussion of religion and public life in the mainstream media — particularly when the religion involved is Catholic. So it was all the more surprising to stumble across this lengthy profile of a Catholic congresswoman […]

Here’s one saint you probably won’t find on a car dashboard

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Catholic Church doesn’t lack for saints — both those named and unnamed. We wear medals, collect holy cards, light candles, pray chaplets and adorn our mantles with statues and icons, pictures and prayers. But it seems there’s one Latino […]

From Russia, with blog

posted by deacon greg kandra

Cardinal Sean O’Malley is continuing his little travel-blog of his pilgrimage to Rome, Turkey and Russia. He’s seeing everything, and the pictures — as you can tell below — really capture the wonder of his journey. Visit the good cardinal’s […]

Zubik: “I dare you to be excited about our faith”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pittsburgh got her new bishop yesterday, and the local paper has the scoop: In an address infused with humor, gratitude and Scripture, Pittsburgh’s new Roman Catholic bishop spurred members of his flock to “get excited” about living and sharing their […]

Randy Pausch update: more interviews

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The interview with Randy Pausch that I mentioned on Thursday appeared on the CBS Evenng News with Katie Couric Friday night. It features a visit to his childhood home and a chat with his mom, too. You can watch it […]

“Stop killing monks”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The words on this sign, from a protest in Bangkok in support of the people of Myanmar, say it all. The prayer below, composed by an American with great affection and respect for Buddhist monks, was written while he was […]

Rudy on religion

posted by deacon greg kandra

Rudy Giuliani opened up Friday about religion, the Bible, adultery and casting the first stone. According to one wire report: Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani compared the scrutiny of his personal life marked by three marriages to the biblical story […]

Headline of the week

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“Blessed Trinity Extends Winning Streak”

“God’s house band”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That’s what someone over at Beliefnet called this rare gem of a U2 video. I won’t disagree. A shout-out to David Kuo, who posted it there the other day. Whatever you call it, it’s a spectacular piece of video art. […]

“To let all speak, and to fear no one”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The nimble pen of Peggy Noonan today addresses one of the more incendiary stories of the last few days: free speech and, in particular, the especially repugnant speech of the President of Iran. Here, in part, is what she had […]

“Indiscriminate love is how God loves us”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Hot on the heels of one of the most popular and enthusiastically embraced papal encyclicals in the modern era, an American bishop is continuing to spread the news that – in effect – all you need is love. This time, […]

To Plan B or not Plan B, that is the question

posted by deacon greg kandra

And now Connecticut’s bishops have an answer — and one that will undoubtedly have jaws dropping all over the place. They’ve given approval for Catholic hospitals to dispense a drug that prevents pregnancy in cases of rape. From the AP: […]

The world responds to the “lecture of a lifetime”

posted by deacon greg kandra

You may remember Randy Pausch’s incredible “last lecture” that I posted last week. His story was subsequently picked up by Good Morning America and other news outlets. I preached about his message last Sunday in my homily, and later mentioned […]

In my father’s house are many dwelling places…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…but one of them won’t be this little place on the left. The soon-to-be bishop of Pittsburgh is continuing an episcopal trend begun in Boston and, as announced in this press report, is forgoing the lavish lodgings of his predecessors: […]

Verizon rejects pro-abortion text messages

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, who’d have thought? One of America’s leading communications companies has turned its back on a powerful abortion rights group over what it describes as “controversial or unsavory” content. From the New York Times: Saying it had the right to […]

God and Hillary

posted by deacon greg kandra

Former Bush speechwriter, and now Washington Post columnist, Michael Gerson has some thoughts this week on the person who has been called “the most religious Democrat since Jimmy Carter.” That would be Hillary Clinton. Consider this: During a question-and-answer session […]

“The demands of holiness apply to every one of us. No exceptions.”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Words for the day: We hear people all the time saying they’re upset with “the Church.” Or that “the Church” has let them down. Or that “the Church” has distorted Christ’s message and needs to be reformed. I agree with […]

In case anybody missed it …

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

…the good people at Commonweal have linked to the Parade profile of My Close Personal Friend Stephen Colbert. Take and read.

The “feminine genius” running things in Rome

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some might be surprised to learn that one of the highest ranking men in the curia…is a woman. They might be even more surprised to learn that Pope Benedict has affirmed that, and seems intent on doing more of the […]

Episcopal Church will “exercise restraint” on gay bishops

posted by deacon greg kandra

After months of increased tension, and weeks of internal debate, the Episcopal Church has cleared its throat and made a statement regarding gay ordinations and marriages: Episcopal leaders, who are struggling to hold together their increasingly divided church and maintain […]

“I felt the call and just knew I had to do this”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Hot on the heels of Newsweek’s controversial interview with Jessica Rowley, the San Jose Mercury News has another curious article, about a woman celebrating her wedding anniversary by celebrating a special mass: Like many devout Catholics, Juanita and Don Cordero […]

“This is a mighty, mighty awesome group of priests”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pittsburgh’s new bishop-designate is getting to know his priests — and they are all aware that, like so many dioceses around the country, they have a lot of challenges ahead of them. Most urgently, the shortage of priests. The local […]

Catholic and cohabitating

posted by deacon greg kandra

How should the Catholic Church deal with couples who are living together and want to get married in the Church? Tough question. As recently as a generation ago, those cases were the exception. Now, they’re the rule. And a conference […]

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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