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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Uncategorized Archives

And remember to leave room for dessert

posted by deacon greg kandra

I can’t believe it took an academic study to figure it out, but here it is: eating together as a family makes for healthier, happier kids. Read on: Social scientists at New York’s Columbia University have discovered certain phrases that […]

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Reclaiming fatherhood: men and abortion

posted by deacon greg kandra

With all the attention that the Church focuses on abortion and its aftermath, here is one group often overlooked: the fathers. A California conference later this fall will seek to change that, according to this item from the Catholic News […]

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Cardinal Egan to media: “Grow up”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Cardinal Archbishop of New York was not in a mood to banter with reporters yesterday morning: Edward Cardinal Egan bypassed protesters yesterday and curtly dismissed questions about a shuttered East Harlem church – telling reporters to “grow up.” “You […]

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A pause for poetry

posted by deacon greg kandra

A friend just e-mailed me a short note about autumn, and I realized that yesterday, the 23rd, was the first day of fall. A little Emily Dickinson seems in order: The morns are meeker than they were,The nuts are getting […]

A Marian apparition debunked

posted by deacon greg kandra

A woman who says she’s been having visions of the Blessed Mother has been told, in effect, “Uh, no, you’re not”: The Vatican has dismissed the claims of a woman in England who says Mary has visited her outside her […]

America, September 2007

posted by deacon greg kandra

A hat tip to Rod Dreher at Beliefnet for bringing the picture below to my attention: The shot comes from this flickr album, belonging to cjdavis, whoever that may be. It was taken at the Detroit airport four days ago.

“If your family is in trouble, you step up to the plate”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A priest friend of mine likes to say “There are really two Catholic Churches. The Church of the hierarchy. And the Church of the people.” It’s the former, I think, that causes the most problems for the latter. Now, in […]

A Father to twins: one pastor, two parishes, lots of driving

posted by deacon greg kandra

At one time it would have been unthinkable. But now it’s a reality for more and more priests: they are serving as pastors for two parishes. In Los Angeles, it’s known as “twinning,” and the local paper, The Tidings, takes […]

Another Episcopal bishop decides to convert

posted by deacon greg kandra

For the third time this year, an Episcopal bishop is leaving his flock to join the Catholic Church. The following comes from The Living Church Foundation, which serves the Episcopalian church: The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey N. Steenson, Bishop of the […]

When in Rome…

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Blogging Eminence, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, is on the road again, with Catholic and Orthodox pilgrims, visiting Rome and Constantinople. His lovely little blog has the first installment of the trip, and it’s something to see. Week after week, […]

Will God have to swear on a Bible?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Now this case is getting interesting. Earlier in the week, a man filed a suit against God. Now God has lawyered up: Eric Perkins, an attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas, said Friday he filed a response to the lawsuit from […]

“The American Church lost sight of its men”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Has the Catholic Church gone soft? That seems to be the argument in this column from The Pilot, the Catholic paper for the Archdiocese of Boston. The piece was written by Kevin and Marilyn Ryan, editors of “Why I Am […]

In the fields of the Lord

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s getting to be harvest time, and some priests and deacons are rolling up their sleeves and bestowing a blessing or two on God’s land: The arches above the altar were not marble or painted wood, but rather the branches […]

What happens in Vegas…

posted by deacon greg kandra

A bizarre story of priestly criminality crossed the wires this afternoon from, of all places, Las Vegas: A Roman Catholic priest who smashed a wine bottle over the head of a woman in church pleaded guilty to felony battery with […]

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Been to confession lately? Seems more and more people can answer “Yes” to that question. And the sacrament of reconciliation is enjoying so much of a resurgence, even the Wall Street Journal is taking note: Sin never goes out of […]

Welcome to a bouncing new blog by a deacon

posted by deacon greg kandra

I received an e-mail earlier today from my brother deacon Eric Stoltz, in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, alerting me to a new project he’s launched, with photographer Francesco Cura, called “Cathedrals of California.” As he described it: We’re setting […]

Taking it to the streets

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s an old Shakespearean axiom that revenge begets revenge. That’s as true today as it was 500 years ago. And the parishioners at one Chicago parish have decided to do something about it: Violence can happen anywhere. But when Israel […]

The lecture of a lifetime

posted by deacon greg kandra

An e-mailer passed along this beautiful and inspiring story with just one word: Wow. I can’t put it any better than that. Read on: Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, was about to give a lecture Tuesday afternoon, […]

Making a joyful noise? Or something else?

posted by deacon greg kandra

For as long as I can remember, the Church has told us that the one who sings “prays twice.” But is it any good? That’s what the National Association of Pastoral Musicians would like to know: The National Association of […]

Tarnished silver

posted by deacon greg kandra

I can remember when my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary — I was a pimply and obnoxious 15-year-old at the time — and I’m a little awed to realize I’ll be celebrating my own silver anniversary in just another […]

Stephen Colbert: “If you’re laughing, I defy you to be afraid”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The hard-working team of blogging professionals over at The Word, Catholic Colbert, have directed my attention to this terrific piece on My Close Personal Friend Stephen Colbert, from Parade. Among the highlights: Colbert was the youngest of 11 children growing […]

Can a pro-choice president end abortion?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The provocative answer to that question, from Elizabeth Scalia at InsideCatholic (the online offshoot of Crisis) is: yes. Her take: President George W. Bush is perhaps the most pro-life president we have ever seen, and even when his party held […]

“When the moon hits your eye…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Like a big pizza pie, that’s amore… And if Dean Martin singing, while you munch a cannoli on the streets of Little Italy, is your idea of the San Gennaro Festival, Deacon Tony is setting the record straight about where […]

Let there be “Light”

posted by deacon greg kandra

How time flies. It was five years ago next month that Pope John Paul added the Luminous Mysteries, or Mysteries of Light, to one of the Church’s most enduring devotions, the rosary. And Our Sunday Visitor has taken note of […]

D’oh!

posted by deacon greg kandra

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a deacon candidate, directing me to a website he’s set up all about the diaconate. I promised him that I’d post on it. But then, life being what it is, I […]

Tony, Tony, look around…

posted by deacon greg kandra

Tony Blair continues to stand on the shore, gazing at the water and casually testing the water with his toe. But is he finally ready to dive in and swim the Tiber? Rocco over at Whispers points us to this […]

A New York City Catholic school with just two students

posted by deacon greg kandra

This news comes right from my own backyard, New York City, where the Archdiocese is running one Catholic school in Greenwich Village with a surprising number of students. Two. From WCBS-TV: When school is dismissed at the end of the […]

Jailed nun: “Being imprisoned was a special gift from God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A Pennsylvania nun who spent time in a federal prison learned a lot from the experience — including, she says, what it is like to live in a “state of uncertainty.” This, from the Catholic Exponent, in nearby Youngstown, Ohio: […]

Is “Do Unto Others” part of our DNA?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s an interesting take on morality from, of all places, the New York Times. It’s weekly Science Times section today looks at whether or not we are hard-wired to be good. Is doing unto others part of our evolution? Read […]

Netherlands Dominicans in dutch with their superiors

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, I’m sure some people in the Netherlands thought it sounded like a good idea at the time. But, not surprisingly, the Dominicans who run their order disagreed and decided — as the Church teaches — that only validly ordained […]

My favorite Pope John Paul moment. Ever.

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Rocco over at Whispers in the Loggia has taken the trouble to remind us that this marks the 20-year anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s monumental and memorable trip to the United States, an 11-day visit that left an indelible […]

A land dispute to sink your teeth into

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s not exactly the Hatfields and McCoys, but a similar long-standing feud is heating up between Catholics and Orthodox in, of all places, Transylvania: When Dumitru Butuza’s wife died earlier this year, the Transylvanian farmer went to his village priest […]

Pope’s last words were ” an act of very high prayer”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A doctor who treated the ailing Pope John Paul in his final days has put to rest a recurring rumor about the pontiff’s treatment: Doctors assisting Pope John Paul II in his final days never suspended medical treatment and the […]

Oh, the places you’ll go: a Catholic volunteer who blogs from Latin America

posted by deacon greg kandra

What’s it like to drop everything and leave the world you know to live as a volunteer in Latin America for two years? Patrick Furlong is eager to let you know, and his blog, Oh The Places You’ll Go, is […]

Singer Danielle Rose becomes a “Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ”

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s always heartening to hear of someone entering religious life. But this news is especially interesting, concerning as it does a young woman who had achieved considerable success in the field of Catholic music. The following is the release put […]

Divorced and Catholic: a ministry to help the healing

posted by deacon greg kandra

Divorced Catholics face unique challenges — and often stigmas — coping with their new status. And the Catholic Review in Baltimore just published news about a remarkable ministry that has been there to help them over the hurdles: When Claire […]

Now available: John Paul II relics

posted by deacon greg kandra

Looking for a unique Christmas gift? Or perhaps just a meaningful memento for yourself or someone you love? Zenit reports the following: People who want to receive a relic “ex indumentis” — from the clothing — or a holy card […]

Keyes jumps in

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pro-life voters now have another choice for president — and a Catholic, at that. But, given his track record, on a hunch, I’d say his chances are slim-to-none. It’s Alan Keyes: Alan Keyes, a Marylander who ran unsuccessfully for the […]

Cardinal Sean, hanging with deacons

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of my favorite bloggers (and favorite prelates) is Cardinal Sean O’Malley up in Boston. Every Friday, he updates his self-titled blog, detailing all his comings and goings around Beantown. This week’s post was notable for the prominent mention of […]

Not everyone is singing aves for Ave Maria

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, the shiny new Catholic town of Ave Maria in Florida is up and running, and the university bearing its name is also open for business. But according to local reports, not everybody is thrilled with any of this: The […]

Hang on a sec, God is on the other line…

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s nothing quite like a good vocation story. Sometimes, when you least expect it, your spiritual cell phone rings and you’re astonished to find that God is on the line. He can call when you least expect it. Case in […]

Wanted: Hispanic priests

posted by deacon greg kandra

In another sign of the Church’s growing Hispanic population in the United States, more and more dioceses are looking for vocations south of the border. The AP reports: They’re in a new country, working a new job and living a […]

Good art and bad theology? Or vice versa?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The picture below was posted at David Kuo’s Beliefnet blog, J-Walking. Overlooking its artistic merits (or lack thereof), I was curious to see what others thought. I can appreciate the point it makes, but I have misgivings about the theology […]

Googling God

posted by deacon greg kandra

A few weeks ago, I attended a Theology on Tap by Mike Hayes, of the Paulist online magazine Busted Halo, where he offered a preview of his upcoming book, Googling God, all about Generation X and faith. I’d been raving […]

Why I love having a blog

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It’s because I get to post stuff like this. I was delighted to learn that My Close Personal Friend Stephen Colbert had a chat last night on his show with another friend of mine, Fr. James Martin. The interview, about […]

When that other person running the parish isn’t a priest

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s something relatively new that I suspect we’ll be hearing about more and more: men and women who are not priests who are assigned to work as pastoral associates at a parish. The Tidings in Los Angeles more: “God is […]

Jane Wyman: buried in a habit

posted by deacon greg kandra

News reports of Jane Wyman’s funeral have mentioned her devout Cathoicism — and a detail that may surprise some people: she was buried in a habit. This, from a local TV station: Adopted son Michael Reagan attended the service with […]

Kathy Mattea: “When I am the most vulnerable, I am the most teachable”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This piece ran nearly a month ago on a little blog run by Tony Rossi, The Intersection, but it’s too good to pass up. It’s a compelling and actually inspiring interview with singer-songwriter Kathy Mattea, who talks about her Catholic […]

“You are my light”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The always-reliable and alert Amy Welborn, over at Charlotte Was Both, has reminded us that today is the feast of St. John Chrysostom — his last name meaning “golden mouth,” celebrated for his gift for preaching. She quotes from today’s […]

Woman looks forward to being “first pregnant Catholic priest”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In what it bills as a “Web Exclusive,” Newsweek has just posted an interview with a 25-year-old woman named Jessica Rowley, who last week was “ordained” a priest in Missouri. At one point, she emphasizes that she did all the […]

From Bush to Bono

posted by deacon greg kandra

The other day, I posted the item from the Washington Post about the implicit (or even explicit) Catholicism of rock and roll. Now, as kind of a sideways addendum, there’s this interesting piece of news about one of the people […]

Headline of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Offers Of Help Overwhelm Santa Barbara Nuns

Jane Wyman, Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

A lot of us who remember her most vividly from the Reagan-era soap opera Falcon Crest didn’t know that the first Mrs. Reagan, Jane Wyman, was Catholic. Now we do, thanks to some recent obituaries: Oscar-winning actress Jane Wyman, once […]

Who knew? Homily hints from the rabbis

posted by deacon greg kandra

Priests and deacons who feel the pressure of preaching weekly (or sometimes more often) may be interested in seeing what our Jewish counterparts have to go through during the high holy days. In a word: oy. The Philadelphia Inquirer today […]

The old L.A. cathedral gets a new lease on life — and a new top

posted by deacon greg kandra

You may have been wondering (as I have) whatever became of the old Los Angeles Cathedral, St. Vibiana’s? I had heard mutterings that it was being restored, but didn’t know much more, so I googled and, behold, up popped this […]

One high school, eight deaths: how faith helps kids cope

posted by deacon greg kandra

It is difficult enough for teenagers to cope with death. But the teens at one high school in New York have faced death eight times in the past few months — and found solace and support in religion: In the […]

Cardinal: no more Fatima secrets. Really.

posted by deacon greg kandra

There are people who who are convinced Elvis is alive, George Bush planned 9/11 and the moon landing was filmed on a Hollywood soundstage. And then there are those who believe the Church is hiding some dark secret about the […]

“Into the Fire” by Bruce Springsteen

posted by deacon greg kandra

The sky was falling and streaked with bloodI heard you calling me then you disappeared into the dustUp the stairs, into the fireUp the stairs, into the fireI need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higherSomewhere up […]

“You can’t survive hate. You have to survive by doing something good.”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader sent me this story, from the Morris County Daily Record in New Jersey, about how families are transforming the heartbreak of 9/11 into a force for healing: Matt Sellitto was driving home from Florida when he heard a […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

From the Pope’s General Audience on September 12, 2001

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Brothers and Sisters, in great dismay, before the horror of destructive violence, but strong in the faith that has always guided our fathers, we turn to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, salvation of his people, and with the […]

Sisters of Bethany: readers react

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I got a couple of e-mails earlier from readers who took issue with the story I posted from the Los Angeles Times, about the Sisters of Bethany being evicted to help the Archdiocese of Los Angeles pay its massive sex […]

And don’t forget to dig out any spare change from the sofa cushions

posted by deacon greg kandra

Every now and then I stumble across a story that just leaves me speechless. This is one of them, from the Los Angeles Times: For 43 years, Sister Angela Escalera has lived and often worked out of her order’s small […]

“And we call this liturgical color, ‘Kiwi'”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another creative choice in liturgical fashion, from Austria.

Out of Africa: “Our seminary is full”

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s no secret the Church in Africa is cranking out vocations like crazy. The item below, from the Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), just underscores the point. The rector of Uganda’s seminary also offers some interesting […]

On this rock: from the Beatles to Benedict and beyond

posted by deacon greg kandra

I can think of a few people who might disagree, but writer Mark Judge, in the Washington Post, makes a compelling argument that rock and roll is a distinctly Catholic form of art: You don’t need to work at MTV […]

“Ooooh! What color! That looks like something I would wear!”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That was what my wife said when I showed her the picture below. Our snazzy pontiff continues to turn heads.

St. Gwen? An Ohio man works for his late wife’s canonization

posted by deacon greg kandra

A common complaint I hear from some lay Catholics is that most of the saints are priests, nuns or religious. What about ordinary people raising families and having jobs? Can’t they be saints, too? Well, look no further than this […]

Heading to class before walking down the aisle

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Church is always looking for ways to strengthen marriages — and, according to the Catholic News Service, one diocese is taking it very seriously, even before marriage begins: Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond has approved a new diocesanwide […]

Music, and controversy, swirl around Pavarotti funeral

posted by deacon greg kandra

They gave the maestro a final sendoff today in his hometown of Modena, at a full Catholic funeral presided over by the bishop and celebrated in the city’s 1,000-year old cathedral. The AP has the details, including praise from the […]

The ultimate, perhaps definitive Mother Teresa post

posted by deacon greg kandra

And I’m not saying that just because she mentions me. No, The Anchoress, with her usual laser-beam insight, has summed up beautifully what it means to believe, and to doubt: For those who have given it all, have allowed themselves […]

San Diego settles

posted by deacon greg kandra

News broke earlier this afternoon that the Diocese of San Diego has reached a settlement in the claims of sexual abuse — and, not surprisingly, it’s huge: The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said Friday it has agreed to […]

Katie Couric and the language of Jesus

posted by deacon greg kandra

I suspect some viewers (including this one) never expected to hear Katie Couric reciting the Our Father on the CBS Evening News. But last night, that’s what happened, when the program (originating this week from Iraq and Syria) broadcast something […]

“We’re all in this together”: saving the world through YouTube

posted by deacon greg kandra

That ingratiating anthem of “High School Musical” serves as the backdrop for the video below, which was just written up in the Denver Catholic Register. The story was picked up by Catholic Online: Timothy Reidy is an average all-American college […]

Discover this: a priest blogs about science

posted by deacon greg kandra

A new blog has popped up in the ‘sphere — and it’s safe to say there’s nothing quite like it out there right now. It’s a blog about science, written by a Catholic priest, Fr. Michael K. Holleran. And he […]

Which presidential candidates aren’t very religious?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, here’s a hint: one is Catholic. According to a new survey, the American public views the nominal front-runners right now as the least religious candidates in the race: People view Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani as the least […]

“I know, there’s only one like you…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Ladies and gentlemen, the obligatory Pavarotti YouTube post. Here, a duet with Mr. Barry White! Yay!

A cathedral funeral planned for Pavarotti

posted by deacon greg kandra

While news of Luciano Pavarotti’s death has swept around the world, we’ve started getting a few details about his last hours — and the funeral plans: Hailed by many as the greatest tenor of his generation, Pavarotti passed away during […]

Meanwhile, back at the Island of Dr. Moreau…

posted by deacon greg kandra

The news out of London the other day was pretty shocking, and I’m surprised it didn’t get more play: Plans to allow British scientists to create human-animal embryos are expected to be approved tomorrow by the government’s fertility regulator. The […]

Is this really St. Francis’s robe?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some now aren’t so sure. Carbon dating is casting doubts on just how old this famous robe might be: Friars from two churches of the Franciscan order founded by the saint asked a laboratory specializing in dating artwork to examine […]

Nine years after a miracle, woman is angry at Mother Teresa’s nuns

posted by deacon greg kandra

The timing of this, I’m sure, isn’t coincidental, but news has trickled out from AFP about the woman who received the first miracle attributed to the intercession of Mother Teresa — and the news isn’t good: A woman whose claimed […]

Well, I’m surprised it isn’t worse

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

71%How Addicted to Blogging Are You? Mingle2 – Dating Site Click the image above to take the quiz for yourself. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Jim McGreevey, Episcopal seminarian

posted by deacon greg kandra

From the “Too Weird To Ignore File,” the latest on “Gay American” and former New Jersey governor (and one time Catholic altar boy) Jim McGreevey: Former Gov. James E. McGreevey has started the process to become a priest in his […]

Catholic works of Hart

posted by deacon greg kandra

Several days ago, a reader dropped me an e-mail about an upcoming art exhibit in Louisville, Kentucky. This looks like something truly special: an exhibit of the work of Frederick Hart, whose contributions to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the […]

“The appalling strangeness of the mercy of God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Michael Gerson is a former Bush speechwriter responsible for some of the most elegant and eloquent words spoken after 9/11, including the still-potent speech the president delivered at the National Cathedral on 9/14. Gerson is now a columnist for the […]

“Grace finds beauty in everything”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This beautiful video sums up Mother Teresa better than anything else I’ve seen, and does it with just one word: grace. Music by U2.

The world remembers the saint of the gutters

posted by deacon greg kandra

I can still remember the shock from 10 years ago: just days after the death of another world icon, Princess Diana, the world lost a living saint. Mother Teresa, of course, is back in the news again, with the publication […]

Bless this house, oh Lord, we pray

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Hey,” I said to the couple sitting across from me in the rectory office, “you guys live in the building next to mine.” They had arrived a few minutes earlier to schedule their newborn’s baptism, and I was going over […]

“What the … ?!”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Can’t you guys get anything right?” I hear that a lot from people who are unhappy with the way we in the mainstream media cover the Church. And it’s not just Catholicism the press gets wrong. It’s almost all religions […]

Mary, is that you?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Lately, it seems the Mother of God is making more public appearances, in more unexpected places, than Angelina Jolie. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised at this item in a paper from Reading, Pennsylvania: They came — to an […]

A motivational poster for today

posted by deacon greg kandra

Catholic teacher who lost job over annullment speaks out

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last month, I posted the story of a Catholic school teacher who lost his job because he remarried without an annullment. That wasn’t the end of the story. According to the Des Moines Register, he’s fighting back: Tom and Molly […]

The business of being Catholic: a new website takes off

posted by deacon greg kandra

From California — where trends like to begin — comes word of a new website devoted to Catholic business professionals: the Catholic Business Journal. According to the California Daily Catholic: CBJ’s inaugural press release announced its ambitious August public launch, […]

Coming to America: foreign-born priests settle in

posted by deacon greg kandra

We’ve heard of student exchange programs, for high school and college students. Now comes word of a priest exchange program, being tried in Kentucky, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader: Record hot temperatures in recent weeks haven’t phased the Rev. Shijo […]

Clicking on God

posted by deacon greg kandra

Increasingly, churches and universities are using 21st century technology to spread the first century gospel. The latest trend: online bible study. The Dallas Morning News reports: When Catherine Kuehler of Dallas moved to Australia this summer, she didn’t want to […]

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Confession isn’t quite what it used to be. These days, it’s more apt to be known as “reconciliation,” and the long lines of penitents on a Saturday evening have dwindled to only the most devout (or, some priests will tell […]

God takes center stage

posted by deacon greg kandra

Is the Holy Spirit up to something? Just days after I posted this little item on Fr. James Martin’s new book, “A Jesuit Off-Broadway,” comes word that a new theater company in St. Louis is planning to stage dramas about […]

Windy City monastery may get a second wind

posted by deacon greg kandra

A group of seminarians from a variety of faiths has banded together to try and buy a former Carmelite monastery in Chicago’s New Hyde Park section. If that’s not ambitious enough, their plans including using the building as an interfaith […]

God in a box: the people who bring mass to your living room

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some of us of a certain age know it as the “mass for shut-ins.” But tens of thousands see it pop up early Sunday morning on TV: a 30-minutes mass taped in a small studio that can give the viewer […]

Haunted…and healed: a story of Fr. Sudac

posted by deacon greg kandra

Shortly after I posted the news item about the priest pedophile Msgr. Othmar Schroeder, I wandered over to Rod Dreher’s blog and noticed he’d linked to the same story. But then, Rod added his own footnote, remembering a friend he […]

Haunted by the dead

posted by deacon greg kandra

The ongoing sex abuse scandals of the Church are even reaching beyond the grave. The New York Times reports the unusual story of a small town in Indiana coping with one beloved priest’s decidedly mixed legacy: Msgr. Othmar Schroeder was […]

A Texas-sized problem in Galveston-Houston: 1 priest per 2,000 Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

Almost every diocese is feeling the pinch from the priest shortage — but parts of Texas, with an enormous influx of Latino immigrants, may be feeling it more sharply. A local TV affiliate decided to take a look: An alarming […]

“It is another gift, perhaps, from Mother Teresa…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at “Couric & Co.,” I’ve just posted another perspective on the Mother Teresa story, from our (Jewish) legal analyst, Andrew Cohen: Forget law, politics, diplomacy and war. Forget about creepy astronaut lovers and vicious athletes. Is there a more […]

Sacred security threat?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Most of us have gotten used to the gauntlet of security checks at airports: the metal detectors, the wands, the shoes-in-plastic-crates. But now terrorism experts have pinpointed another hazard: holy water from Lourdes. Yes, that’s right. Reuters has the story: […]

“The Boy Scouts of America is not a safe place for your boy”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Since the sex abuse scandal surfaced in the Church in 2002, some observers have taken pains to point out that the Catholic Church isn’t the only offender when it comes to pedophilia. Now, another revered institution which entrusts boys into […]

On eagle’s wings (or, at least, a 737’s)

posted by deacon greg kandra

Around the Vatican, angels aren’t the only ones with wings these days. The Holy See has just inaugurated its very own airline, to fly pilgrims to favorite destinations (Lourdes et al.) The New York Times has a write up on […]

Catholic teacher fired for in vitro fertilization settles case

posted by deacon greg kandra

A curious case in Wisconsin seems to have drawn to a close: it involves a complaint filed by a former teacher at a Catholic school, who claims she was fired illegally because she had in vitro fertilization. Evidently, there’s been […]

Do you see what I see?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Lone Star state may have a new star in its galaxy: Jesus. According to reports from Laredo: The Rev. Jose Maria Weyne had an unusual question for his congregation to open Wednesday’s morning Mass. “Who saw something out of […]

“All are called to struggle…with the slums of our hearts”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A lot of ink has already been spilled about Mother Teresa, and another flood will pour forth when her book of letters is officially published next week. The commentary has ranged from the Catholic reverential to the atheistic scornful. But […]

Church of England reconsiders the role of the deacon

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s another sign that the role of the deacon is becoming increasingly important, not just in the Catholic Church, but in our close cousin, the Church of England, too. This article suggests that the Church of England is beginning to […]

All’s fair: going to mass near the midway

posted by deacon greg kandra

No one can accuse the Catholic Church of being stodgy. Not when it’s happy to have mass celebrated just down the road from the champion heifers, and a stone’s throw from the ferris wheel and the Tilt-A-Whirl. According to a […]

All the Good News that’s fit to print

posted by deacon greg kandra

The secular media catches a lot of flak for the way it covers the Church — but perhaps the answer isn’t flak, but flacks. In other words, hiring someone to do a little PR for the Catholic Church. Zenit has […]

Sing a new song unto the Lord — in Latin

posted by deacon greg kandra

From the Church Music Associaton comes word that they will be offering a seminar for priests in how to sing the “extraordinary rite,” that is, the Latin mass. According to their press release: The sung Mass remains the normative form […]

Gird your loins: headline of the week

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“Church Deacon, OU Fan Tears Scrotum Of UT Fan In Bar Fight”

Biden: “My idea of self comes straight from my religion”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This election cycle, Rudy Giuliani is the Catholic who’s been getting the most attention — and the most heat. But there are other Catholics running for president. The Christian Science Monitor in its Monday edition has a fascinating profile of […]

One church, six generations of brides

posted by deacon greg kandra

Now, here’s something you don’t hear about every day: six generations of brides being married walking down the same aisle, in the same Catholic church, over nearly 150 years. This has all the makings of a made-for-TV movie on Lifetime. […]

Zubik: “I want people to be excited about God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

After too-long a time, the Diocese of Pittsburgh is getting ready to welcome a new bishop. Hometown boy David Zubik is to be installed at the end of September, and he’s already making the rounds of the local media. Here’s […]

Reaching America’s second-largest denomination

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s one of the most vexing problems facing the Church: how to woo back sheep who have strayed, Catholics who are no longer practicing. An Arizona newspaper has a profile of some people who are trying to reach this particular […]

“Circling My Mother,” and circling faith

posted by deacon greg kandra

Novelist Mary Gordon has just published a new book, with memories of her mother and her Catholic upbringing in the middle of the last century. For anyone who wonders what it was like to come of age during that particular […]

Resurrection

posted by deacon greg kandra

What happens to a church after it’s closed? Here in New York City, I know of a couple places that have become condos (with awesomely high ceilings and stunning stained glass windows in the master bedroom.) But a reporter at […]

“I will follow Him”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Continuing the “Sister Act” theme I began on the feast of the Queenship of Mary, here’s one for a Friday afternoon. I imagine — even in the bleakest moments of her doubt — that Blessed Mother Teresa could have understood […]

Now playing: Jesus, Judas, and a Jesuit

posted by deacon greg kandra

Jesuit Father James Martin wears many hats — editor, essayist, raconteur, priest — and is probably most familiar to American Catholics as the author of the instant classic “My Life With The Saints” (coming in paperback in October.) Now he’s […]

Here comes Father. And his family.

posted by deacon greg kandra

A parish in Arkansas is facing something it never expected: a new pastor. And his wife and kids: Students returning to St. Joseph School will have something different this fall: They’ll be joined by the son of the parish’s new […]

Evangelicals seeking tradition beat a path to the Orthodox Church

posted by deacon greg kandra

What’s an unhappy evangelical Christian to do? In growing numbers, members of various Protestant denominations have decided they’ve had enough, and are converting. And more often than not, they’re joining the Orthodox Church. According to The New Republic: While it’s […]

St. Teresa of Calcutta?

posted by deacon greg kandra

With the 10th anniversary of her death approaching, Blessed Mother Teresa is very much in the news. A collection of her letters, in which she details her spiritual struggles and doubts, is about to be published. Instead of throwing cold […]

Sister Fact: more young women joining the convent

posted by deacon greg kandra

Every now and then, we get a happy reminder that the Holy Spirit is running the Church, gently correcting all the screw-ups we humans can manage. Here is one good bit of news: increasing reports of more young women deciding […]

Trampling through the vintage…but blessing it first

posted by deacon greg kandra

In October, on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, it’s not uncommon to find churches blessing animals. At the start of fox hunting season, people routinely celebrate the blessing of the hounds. So it shouldn’t seem all that unusual […]

A shrine is born

posted by deacon greg kandra

Sometimes, faith creates shrines in surprising places. That seems to be what has happened in Delaware, where a statue of the Blessed Mother has become a destination for hundreds: When Joseph Tighe stopped to visit the Our Lady Queen of […]

Another Nazareth, in Egypt

posted by deacon greg kandra

Charles de Foucauld wrote lovingly of Jesus’ hometown, and thought that, as he put it, “Nazareth…the place of the hidden life, of family life, of ordinary life (is) where most people lead their lives.” So this item caught my eye: […]

Fr. Groeschel on “a mindless stupid reptile called the media”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Father Benedict Groeschel will never be called a shy wallflower of a man, afraid to speak his mind. That much was clear from a talk he gave in Arlington, Virginia recently on the media: In a modern society where “truth […]

Ad against Catholic candidate: “A scurrilous smear”?

posted by deacon greg kandra

You would think that making an issue of a candidate’s Catholicism is just so 20th century. Didn’t we get over that in 1960? But no. In the governor’s race in Louisiana, the spectre of anti-Catholicism has now reared its ugly […]

The Denver Broncos get some spirited new cheerleaders

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Denver Broncos know a good thing when they see it. And a devoted group of nuns who happen to be football fans is a very good thing: “Quiet please. Let’s go again.” In the chapel at Exempla St. Joseph […]

Widower, father, colonel. And now, priest.

posted by deacon greg kandra

While some wring their hands over prep seminaries closing, and the fact that younger men are choosing not to enter religious life, there is this silver lining: more older men are deciding they look better in black, and becoming priests. […]

Triumph, all ye cherubim! Sing with us, ye seraphim!

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

To celebrate Wednesday’s feast, the Queenship of Mary, a singular rendition of a hymn we all know, from “Sister Act.” Crank up the speakers and sing with us, ye seraphim!

A stunt that bombed?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A billboard for storage space in Manhattan has been generating a lot of buzz — most of it negative. After the Catholic League criticized the display, others starting arguing about it and taking a closer look. The consensus now? If […]

A Catholic school with a money-back guarantee

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last week, I posted about the grade school offering discounts if families actually go to church. Now, here’s another novel idea — and one that should attract a lot of curiosity: Our Lady of La Salette Catholic School in the […]

Yeah, but who has the best football team?

posted by deacon greg kandra

With the new Ave Maria University up and running down in Florida, the inevitable comparisons to another Catholic university to the north — specifically, the one in South Bend, Indiana — have started to crop up. This report from South […]

McCarrick helps launch a seminary for Serbs

posted by deacon greg kandra

Washington’s retired Archbishop, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, hasn’t been idle. This month found him in, of all places, Serbia, where he managed to make a little history: The foundation stone has been laid for the first Catholic seminary for Serbia. Cardinal […]

Taking a different road to God…on two wheels

posted by deacon greg kandra

An old joke asks: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Answer: “Practice.” This story asks: “How do you get to a monastery?” Answer: “Peddle.” There are many ways to discern a religious vocation, and the woman in this item […]

Dealing with Fathers who are fathers

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you think priests in this country have problems, consider the situation in the Philippines where, according to this wire report, they’re dealing with a number of Fathers who are fathers: The head of the Philippine church’s marriage-appeals court disapproves […]

Taught by an angel?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The more we read about troubles facing various world monarchs, the more grateful I am that we don’t have any here. The latest tidbit comes from Norway, via AFP: A school newly created by Norway’s Princess Maertha Louise for students […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Jesus is the king, not me.” — Elvis Presley, to fans at a concert, according to this report.

Moses supposes: another “Ten Commandments” is coming

posted by deacon greg kandra

We’ve had a few too many versions of “The Ten Commandments” for my taste — including the Dreamworks animated version, “Prince of Egypt,” and a low-rent TV adaptation a couple years ago — but that hasn’t stopped another Hollywood studio […]

Playing on God’s team

posted by deacon greg kandra

Countless Catholics are familiar with CYO, the Catholic Youth Organization sports program that has flourished for decades around the country. Now there is an effort to underline the “C” part of “CYO,” and emphasize the spirituality of sports, as the […]

“A Catholic education on steroids”

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you don’t recognize what’s happening in the picture on the left, you aren’t alone. Catholic education isn’t what it used to be. But with so many Catholic schools struggling — and fighting to stay open — an experiment in […]

The Rice Stuff: For Hillary, Against Abortion?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at her self-named website, popular novelist Anne Rice (“Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt,” amnong others) has posted her own political manifesto. Rice has undergone quite a conversion (as she described in her last book, and in many interviews […]

Is his name Quasimodo?

posted by deacon greg kandra

From the Netherlands comes this story of a priest who likes to give his villagers an early wake-up call: A Dutch priest has been fined 5,000 euros ($6,800) for ringing his church bells too loudly in the morning. The Catholic […]

The paper chase leads to the priesthood

posted by deacon greg kandra

You never know where a vocation will come from. And this item from an Indianapolis newspaper tells of one vocation that took root and grew at an Ivy League school: Christopher Roberts was seemingly on track. Taking classes at Harvard […]

A chants encounter: spiritual retreats for business executives

posted by deacon greg kandra

We’ve known for a long time that monastic retreats are good for the soul — and the head. Now Protestants are getting in on the act, and a new industry is beginning to boom in, of all places, Germany — […]

Milwaukee becomes the Emerald City

posted by deacon greg kandra

Surely some Irish eyes were smiling in Wisconsin today, when the Prime of Ireland popped by a local Irish Fest to offer some encouraging words on how the faith is doing back on the Emerald Isle: Archbishop Sean Brady of […]

Jesus saves … on your tuition bill

posted by deacon greg kandra

A parish in Wisconsin has come up with a novel — and somewhat unnevering — method of getting people to go to church…tuition discounts: Parents whose children attend St. Jerome Parish School here can save $1,400 off the annual tuition […]

“Attention must be paid”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those are among the last words of Arthur Miller’s greatest work, “Death of a Salesman”, but they could also serve as a sorrowful footnote to his life, a life that was evidently more complicated than we realized. Word is now […]

A deacon walks with others on the road to Emmaus

posted by deacon greg kandra

From Christianity Today comes this inspiring story of a deacon giving hope to the hopeless: men who have turned to prostitution to stay alive. The deacon, John Green (seen on the left with his wife and children), founded Emmaus Ministries […]

The obligatory Elvis post

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, where were you 30 years ago today? I don’t remember myself. I was preparing to begin my freshman year at the University of Maryland, and I had a lot on my mind. But countless Elvis fans, I’m sure, do […]

“You’re there to listen”

posted by deacon greg kandra

What does a deacon do when he’s not at church? More than you may think. Check out this piece, from a paper in greater St. Louis, describing the life of police chaplains — including one who is a Catholic deacon: […]

How’d they do that?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Where are vocations coming from? Among other places, the hills of California, where a small college is producing seminarians the way Fresno produces raisins: Five alumni of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula were ordained to the priesthood this year, […]

Merv Griffin’s Hollywood funeral

posted by deacon greg kandra

The man who gave the world, among other things, “Jeopardy” (and its insistent theme song) and Vanna White will be buried tomorrow from one of the most celebrated Catholic churches in Tinsletown: Merv Griffin’s funeral will be held tomorrow at […]

“You have to start with the youth”

posted by deacon greg kandra

There is money to be made from faith and belief, and nowhere was that more evident, it seems, than at a recent religious marketing expo in Cleveland: “As far as T-shirts go, you can’t beat Pope John Paul,” said Dominic […]

Stephen on Stephen

posted by deacon greg kandra

Today marks a special holiday for My Close Personal Friend Stephen Colbert. Although he was, of course, named for the patron saint of deacons, he feels some misguided attachment to that other St. Stephen, whose feast is today, August 16. […]

A shepherd steps away from his flock

posted by deacon greg kandra

While all the attention in Louisville the last couple days has been on the shiny new archbishop, the folks at the local paper decided to give the departing shepherd his due. Retiring Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly talked with the paper […]

Three brothers concelebrate mass

posted by deacon greg kandra

Remember “My Three Sons,” with Fred MacMurray? Well, consider this an episode of “My Three Priest Sons.” This remarkable event occured near Pittsburgh a few days ago: three brothers, all ordained as priests, concelebrated mass: When the Geinzer boys were […]

Taste and see

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Eucharist began with a supper, so it makes perfect sense for a priest to put out a spiritual cookbook. Doesn’t it? Anyway, that’s what one priest has done — and the way things are going, he could be TV’s […]

Faith on the front lines

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Air Force has just released a stirring story of a Catholic chaplain working in one of America’s war zones — in many ways, the “forgotten war zone,” Afghanistan: “I’ve been deployed to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey, amongst others,” […]

Grace is in the air — and on it

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just in time for the Solemnity of the Assumption, news crackled over the wire of a radio program devoted to — who else? — Mary. According to the press release: Mary’s Touch, a program of stories from people who have […]

Okay. But shouldn’t they have to call Allah “God”?

posted by deacon greg kandra

From the Dutch, who gave us chocolate and tulips, comes another interesting diversion, courtesy one of their bishops: Bishop Martinus Muskens (seen on the left) of Breda, Netherlands, suggested in an interview with Radio Netherlands that Christians should refer to […]

Forever plaid

posted by deacon greg kandra

‘Tis the season: time to go uniform-shopping. Those of us who went through Catholic school remember it well — and remember the dreaded, terrible same-ness of what everyone wore. Which, of course, is part of the point of having school […]

A little bit of Merton on Mary

posted by deacon greg kandra

This morning, I Goggled and found this gorgeous poem by Thomas Merton: a reflection on the Visitation — which, of course, is the subject of today’s gospel. Enjoy. The Evening of the Visitation – Written in 1947 Go, roads, to […]

A glorious mystery

posted by deacon greg kandra

Department of Shameless Self-Promotion: the folks at Busted Halo have just posted a reflection by Your Humble Blogger, with a thought or two on a familiar form of Catholic prayer: The other day, while I was unfolding my New York […]

Coffee? Tea? Absolution?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Imagine running a parish with 50,000 members and 20 masses a week. That about sums up life for the chaplains working at some of America’s busiest airports. They worry less about security than about salvation: Can you find holiness at […]

Well, a certain grilled cheese sandwich that I know will not be impressed

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That grilled cheese would be this gal, who pointed me to this little nugget. Now I’m hungry. You Are a Ham Sandwich You are quiet, understated, and a great comfort to all of your friends. Over time, you have proven […]

“…But only God can make a tree.”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Vatican is making big plans for Benedict’s visit to Vienna next month, and those plans are already drawing fire from environmentalists: Four stately lime trees ceremoniously planted near a popular Roman Catholic shrine in 1983 for a visit to […]

Does this Baker have a recipe for success in Birmingham?

posted by deacon greg kandra

As Whispers in the Loggia hinted, and as I speculated yesterday, the soon-to-be-bishop of Birmingham is a fella named Baker: Robert Baker of Charleston. Rocco once again has the scoop: As bishop of Charleston, Baker has presided over rapid growth; […]

Commuting with God

posted by deacon greg kandra

Careful observers know that you don’t find God only in church on Sunday morning. And now, thanks to the Washington Post’s excellent On Faith section (available online), we have more insight on God’s omnipresence, from a Jesuit who encounters Him […]

Watch this. Now.

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This five-minute-long film has popped up in several places on the internet, and I found it first at this blog. If you wonder what it is like to be Catholic in China, this shows you. Watch this. Now. And then, […]

Dred Scott’s author: “He was regarded as a very good Catholic”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A little piece of Catholic history from my home state of Maryland may soon be removed from a place of honor — and I can’t say I’m unhappy about it. It’s a bust of the first Catholic Chief Justice of […]

“Dear Deacons…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, just days after I took him to task for not having information about deacons on his website, the fellow behind this blog has posted something lovely on this particular vocation. Here’s part of what he posted: a letter from […]

The pope picks up his pen. Again.

posted by deacon greg kandra

Our prolific pontiff is at it again. With one bestseller under his cincture, and another on the way, and with a widely praised encyclical still stirring the hearts of the faithful around the world, he’s now set to work on […]

And for his encore, how about a duet of “Heart and Soul” with the pope?

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s vacation time at the pope’s summer residence, and that means it’s time to tickle the ivories: Pope Benedict XVI was so impressed with the piano skills of Brazil’s Vatican representative that he invited the apostolic nuncio to give him […]

Cardinal-watching

posted by deacon greg kandra

Rumblings out of Rome indicate a consistory is coming — and, with it, the usual flurry of new red hats: The Vatican has not officially announced plans for a consistory, but rumors about the appointment of new cardinals have circulated […]

Bruce Almighty: Springsteen’s spirituality

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’re looking for some potent spiritual writing, look no further than the lyrics of…Bruce Springsteen. Really. Some months back, during Lent, I prepared a Good Friday reflection on the Seven Last Words of Christ that quoted from Springsteen’s “The […]

Sing of Mary, in Missouri

posted by deacon greg kandra

On Wednesday of this week, Mary will be the focus, as the Church celebrates one of the great mysteries of our faith, The Feast of the Assumption. But celebrations of the Blessed Mother are already underway in the midwest, with […]

Church says it can’t fire teacher in “civil partnership”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Several days ago, I posted an item here about a Catholic school teacher in Iowa who lost his job because he wasn’t living according to Church teachings. Now, from across the pond, we have a story about another Catholic school […]

Birmingham’s next bishop?

posted by deacon greg kandra

No, it’s not Mother Angelica — though, to many, she is the unofficial religious leader for the region (if not the world.) But we have a few hints today, courtesy the fellow behind this stellar blog. Rocco Palmo has been […]

Fractured communion: “It’s like two different religions”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Out in California, where Mel Gibson and Roger Mahony manage somehow to breathe the same air, a paper has done a profile of a “breakaway” Catholic parish that has tripled in size over the last 20 years. The members are […]

Vaya con Dios

posted by deacon greg kandra

This morning’s Dallas Morning News has an informative Q&A about Hispanics and religion, with Dr. David Maldonado Jr., director of the Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. He echoes a lot […]

A saint for television

posted by deacon greg kandra

For reasons both miraculous and mysterious, St. Clare is the official patroness of television. (It’s said that she could sometimes see mass being celebrated, in a vision, as if projected on her wall. The first wide-screen HDTV??) But she may […]

Crossing the Tiber

posted by deacon greg kandra

This morning, I stumbled across this good piece from a Tyler, Texas newspaper, about the conversion phenomenon commonly known as “Crossing the Tiber” — when Protestants become Catholic. With some prominent Americans — including a presidential candidate — among those […]

“The way he accessorizes is infallible”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

My favorite Catholic comedian and close personal friend Stephen Colbert offered up this tip of the hat to our Holy Father last night, for making Esquire’s best-dressed list. It’s Friday. Kick back and enjoy.

Seminarians take the midnight train to Georgia

posted by deacon greg kandra

Below the Mason-Dixon Line, they like to say that the South will rise again — and, sure enough, it’s happening. At least, when it comes to vocations. Atlanta — land of the free and home of the Braves, not to […]

Headline of the week

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“I Know What I Did Was Wrong,” Says Priest Who Jogged Naked

“I was born Jewish…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

They buried France’s beloved Cardinal Lustiger today, and Rocco has the scoop on the funeral. France’s president was there, and the former First Lady Bernadette Chirac, and Lech Walesa, among others. His piece concludes with this haunting quote, from the […]

What we believe: Hoge’s “American Catholics Today”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A new study is out on the American Catholic Church — or, more specifically, Catholics who are American — and Andrew Greeley has donned his sociologist cap to ruminate on it in the current issue of America. The study is […]

But will it bring me the blessing of better mileage?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some of us can remember the controversy that ensued when the Church removed St. Christopher from the calendar many years ago — more or less saying “We’re not sure if he existed, so we’re not calling him a saint anymore.” […]

Picturing St. Lawrence, Deacon

posted by deacon greg kandra

My brother deacon and classmate, Deacon Tony, has a great post up about one of the patrons of deacons, St. Lawrence. Check it out and then ponder the portrait below, one of my favorite images of this remarkable saint: The […]

All are welcome: bringing back inactive Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you want a glimpse at what the New Evangelization might mean, take a gander at this intriguing piece from a Catholic newspaper in Texas. The advice it contains seems both practical and prayerful — and sounds like plain old […]

Kaddish and psalms for Cardinal Lustiger

posted by deacon greg kandra

The funeral for Cardinal Lustiger tomorrow will reportedly be rife with symbolism and rich with meaning — as befits a man who survived the Holocaust and went on to become a leading figure in the Catholic Church: Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, […]

Tony Snow: “We can let love change everything”

posted by deacon greg kandra

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was profiled the other night on — ahem — some TV network. He spoke movingly about his battle with cancer. But it turns out he also wrote about it a few weeks ago, in […]

Signs of the times

posted by deacon greg kandra

Catholics don’t “do” church signs very much — it’s pretty much a Protestant phenomenon. But now someone has collected a few of the more memorable (and photogenic) ones in a book, The Great American Book of Church Signs. The good […]

Nunsense

posted by deacon greg kandra

Over at Deacon Tony’s, the good deacon has some interesting thoughts on nuns. He writes about the recent gathering of religious sisters in Kansas City, where one member noted: “We have tired of the condescension and we have opted for […]

Bulletin announcements I’d like to see

posted by deacon greg kandra

How is the etiquette at your church? Over at Happy Catholic, Julie has posted a wry list of do’s and don’ts from her parish. That list reminds me of a column I once did for my parish bulletin. I reprint […]

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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