Will NBC’s “Believe” and ABC’s “Resurrection” Convey Emotional and Spiritual Truths?

With titles like “Believe” and “Resurrection,” you might think that two new TV series include a religious, or at least supernatural, dimension. But do they really? “Believe” premieres on NBC Monday March 11 at 10pm, and stems from an impressive pedigree, with executive producers that include J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Fringe”) and Academy Award winner Alfonso [Read More…]

St. Jude Children’s Hospital Gets $1.5 Million Because of Ellen’s Oscar Selfie

The tweet shared ’round the world – a.k.a. Ellen Degeneres’s Oscar selfie with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and more – has turned into a boon for Ellen’s two favorite charities: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Humane Society. Samsung, who made the phone that took the picture [Read More…]

VIDEO: Father Jonathan Morris Issues a Lenten Challenge

People don’t always look forward to Lent because it involves a sacrifice, like giving up a favorite food or drink. But there’s a greater spiritual good behind the Church’s call to us during this holy season – and Father Jonathan Morris explains that in the video below. In addition, he issues a lenten challenge designed [Read More…]

TV That’s Changing Lives: A Look at “Bulloch Family Ranch: Season Two”

If Julie and Rusty Bulloch were innkeepers in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, they would have found an indoor room for Mary and Joseph, and maybe even redecorated it to make it more homey. That life-affirming spirit is evident in season two of their UP TV reality show “Bulloch Family Ranch,” in which they invite an [Read More…]

Finding God, Laughs & Poignancy at the 2014 Oscars

The 2014 Oscars were my favorite in quite a few years despite running a half-hour long. Ellen DeGeneres proved a funny and classy host, the acceptance speeches were, by and large, interesting as opposed to just a list of names, and God even received a couple of shout outs. It all began with DeGeneres who, [Read More…]

Giving the Shirt Off Your Back to a Woman Giving Birth

The big feel-good story making the rounds here in New York City this week is that of Polly McCourt, who went into labor on the corner of a busy Manhattan street right outside her 68th Street and 3rd Avenue apartment building. Her doorman Anton and other strangers rushed to help her as she gave birth [Read More…]

The Road to Mercy Leads to a Life of Adventure for Author Kerry Weber

Kerry Weber insists that the Jesuit-run “America” magazine office, where she serves as managing editor, does not have a batphone connected directly to Pope Francis’ office at the Vatican, and that the mercy-focused pontiff is not actually doing P.R. for her new book, “Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to [Read More…]

Harry Connick Jr. Kicks Into ‘Dad Mode’ Again After Contestant’s Sexually Suggestive Song

Since I’ve been watching the Olympics for the past two weeks, my “American Idol” viewing fell a little behind before catching up on the DVR this weekend. One of the most interesting moments of Tuesday’s performances by the girls was seeing Harry Connick Jr. kick into ‘Dad mode’ again. As my fellow Patheos blogger, Catholic [Read More…]

Bronze is as Good as Gold for Olympic Ice Skater Carolina Kostner

When an ice skater falls down three times during an Olympic performance with the world watching, it can feel almost impossible to move forward with any vision for a brighter future in the sport. That was certainly the case for Italy’s Carolina Kostner after the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. In addition, she had skated poorly four [Read More…]

A New Musical About Bernadette of Lourdes

Frequent “Christopher Closeup” guest, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sarah Hart, has co-written a new musical theater production called “Bernadette of Lourdes” that will debut at the Pope John Paul II High School Library in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on Thursday March 6, 2014, with a cast of both high school students and adults. It’s an introduction to a production [Read More…]

Dr. Kevin Hunt and Nicole Schreiner Bring Medicine & Compassion to Uganda’s Poor

Several pregnant women about to give birth lay on a cold cement floor, shivering due to fever and malaria. That sight prompted Chicago doctor Kevin Hunt to add an unexpected new direction to his life. As I wrote about in a blog post last year, Dr. Hunt traveled to Northern Uganda in 2007 at the [Read More…]

Her Family’s Love Makes Noelle Pikus-Pace’s Pursuit of Olympic Medal Sweeter Than Ever

The focus during the Olympics is always on the medal winners, and that’s understandable. It is, after all, a competition. But when I watch the games, I’m also interested in the character of the athletes and how much heart they put into their performances. Consider Noelle Pikus-Pace, who is competing in the women’s skeleton competition [Read More…]


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