The Deacon's Bench
August 2007 Archives

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 …Read More

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 …Read More

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 …Read More

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 …Read More

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 …Read More

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 …Read More

Another new book to add to my sagging and overcrowded shelf: A City Upon A Hill: How Sermons Changed the Course of American History by Larry Witham. According to the description at The Puritan founder John Winthrop preached about …Read More

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 …Read More

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 …Read More

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: …Read More