The Deacon's Bench
December 2008 Archives

A Catholic school teacher in Texas has just lost her job — and is now considering suing the school. The issue: an annulment. Or lack thereof. The local paper has the story: Less than a week before Marquis LaFortune was …Read More

The Church’s recent document Dignitas Personae is posing a lot of challenges to some people — including the couple profiled in this story by CNS: As committed Catholics, Timothy and Dawn Smith respect Vatican pronouncements, but recent statements about frozen …Read More

About a century ago, the Jesuit poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote a poem that begins: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” It’s a beautiful statement of the miraculous – and it’s more surprising because Hopkins …Read More

A friend sent me this link to a fascinating story about a small group of Vietnamese Trappist monks who have made themselves a home in the California desert: Long before dawn in the remote desert south of Barstow, the only …Read More

In the mail today, I got a membership card for this. I’m going to go lie down.

This happens so rarely, you can’t help but sit up and take notice. A government official in Australia was denied communion on Christmas Eve. And, it seems, it was all a big mistake. From the local press: Attorney-General Rob Hulls …Read More

“My call to religious life, like that of many others, did not come in isolation. It arose as one among several good opportunities from which I could choose. I was not grasping at this choice as a last chance because …Read More

If anyone missed it, here’s Dave Barry’s typically brilliant year-in-review. The good news: it’s a riot. The bad news: we have to wait another year for the next one.

My mother used to love to tell this story: It was New Year’s Eve, 1948. The snow was falling, the wind was howling. And the man who would be my father showed up at her doorstep with a huge box …Read More

The New York Times concludes its series on foreign priests in America by traveling to the other side of the world, India. In Tuesday’s installment, we find that one of the world’s leading exporters of priests is having second thoughts: …Read More