The Deacon's Bench

A Roman Catholic deacon serving the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, Greg Kandra is News Director for the diocese's cable channel, NET (New Evangelization Television.) Prior to that, Deacon Greg worked for 26 years as a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to "The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric," "60 Minutes II," "48 Hours," (Emmy Award, Writers Guild of America Award) and "Sunday Morning." He was co-writer for the acclaimed documentary "9/11," hosted by Robert DeNiro. (Emmy Award, Christopher Award, Peabody Award, Writers Guild of America Award.) His radio essays were featured in the bestselling book "Deadlines and Datelines" by Dan Rather. He's also a two-time winner of the Catholic Press Association Award. Other places you may find him: AMERICA, U.S. CATHOLIC, CATHOLIC DIGEST, REALITY (Redemptorist Communications) and THE BROOKLYN TABLET. He also contributes homiletic reflections to the parish resource CONNECT!, published by Liturgical Publications. In November 2009, he began serving a three-year term as a consultant to the Communications Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Deacon Greg grew up in Maryland (Go Terps!) but he and his wife today live in the beautiful borough of Queens, New York. You can contact Deacon Greg at

Benedict will become only the second pope to visit the synagogue — and the timing is more than mere coincidence:  Pope Benedict will make his first visit to Rome’s Jewish synagogue in January, the Vatican said Tuesday. Benedict, leader of the world’s 1.1 …Read More

The pope has appointed a married couple — who admit they almost got divorced — to a high-ranking Vatican council.  Their unusual and inspiring story, from CNA: A married couple recently appointed by Pope Benedict to be consultors for the …Read More

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 …Read More

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.  

From our Utah Desk…a curious news report out of Salt Lake City indicates that one of the men canonized a saint this past weekend has also been embraced by the Mormons.  And that’s not all: Father Damien, the Roman Catholic …Read More

Check out this little film of a bird learning to fly, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself moved to tears.  This is all of us, isn’ t it?   Learn To Fly from Christian Letruria on Vimeo.

Just a reminder: Your Humble Blogger will be on satellite radio’s The Catholic Channel tonight, at about 8:20 ET, appearing on The Busted Halo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer. You can catch it on Sirius Radio’s channel 159. Or XM’s …Read More

These days, with efforts underway to elevate to sainthood contemporary figures like John Paul, Fulton Sheen and Mother Teresa, we tend to forget that a little more than a century ago, there was a great effort to canonize Christopher Columbus. …Read More

And now, a little head-scratcher for a Monday morning.  A leading scholar claims that a botched translation has been misleading us for thousands of years: Professor Ellen van Wolde, a respected Old Testament scholar and author, claims the first sentence …Read More

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. …Read More