Where were you on New Year’s Eve 1977?

I was here: A friend sent me this shot. I was a freshman in college, attending the wedding of some classmates from high school. If you can’t pick me out, I’m the one who looks like he’s going for a job interview. Yes, those are bell bottoms. And yes, that’s a massive leather band on [Read More...]

Raise a glass tonight to the men who invented champagne: monks!

From my blog neighbor Frank Weathers:  Let me just skip you straight to the Wikipedia citation for champagne, complete with footnotes for you to follow up on: Contrary to legend and popular belief, Dom Pérignon did not invent sparkling wine, but he did make important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine.[6][7] The oldest recorded sparkling [Read More...]

Former Anglican celebrates his first Christmas as a Catholic priest

From the Catholic Review in Baltimore: This Christmas was particularly joyous for Father Albert Scharbach, who celebrated its liturgies just a few weeks after his ordination as a Catholic priest for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Photo: Tom McCarthy/Catholic Review “I feel like myself again, but much more,” Father Scharbach said [Read More...]

“The rest is still unwritten”: a homily for January 1, 2014, Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

From the vault: my homily for tomorrow’s feast, from 2008… +++ Years ago, my wife and I decided, just once, to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square. We weren’t brave enough to stand outside in the cold with noisemakers and funny hats. Instead, we got a package at the Marriott, and had dinner in [Read More...]

After way too many Christmas cookies, I begin my exercise regimen for the New Year

Yeah, I’m sure I’ll look like that eventually. Meantime…there’s this: [Read more...]

Meet a Muslim living with Mormons and attending a Catholic high school

Photo: Bob Brawdy/Tri-City Herald Details from the Tri-City Herald in Washington state: A Muslim exchange student lives with a Mormon family and attends a small private Catholic high school. It’s not a sitcom script. It’s a real-life cultural immersion experience for 16-year-old Muhammad Janjua. Janjua, who goes by Umer, is living, learning and forging new [Read More...]

Esquire names Pope Francis “Best Dressed Man of the Year”

From HuffPo:  Pope Francis has picked up yet another year-end honor which may be his most surprising yet! Esquire named him “The Best Dressed Man of 2013,” chiefly for the symbolism of his papal style choices. Pope Francis has largely avoided splendor, and is most commonly seen in a plain white robe and skullcap. He chose the simplest papal [Read More...]

My favorite church

It’s where my wife and I were married 27 years ago: the chapel at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockville, Md. We paid a visit today, before heading back to New York, and had the privilege of praying during Adoration and sharing in the celebration of the mid-day Mass. There were about 70 or 80 [Read More...]

Grace under pressure: reporter passes out on air, finishes live shot anyway

Give this gal an Emmy, stet. From KUTV in Salt Lake City:  KUTV Reporter Brooke Graham works six days a week and is one of our hardest workers. She is doing fine following this instance and has given us permission to post the video on her behalf. She later tweeted:  I just passed out in [Read More...]

Do you know a couple who got engaged over Christmas? Show this to them.

Some great insight from Tyler Ward in Relevant magazine: I used to think I had my stuff together. Then I got married. Marriage is great—but it rocked everything I knew. I quickly realized my basic goal in life, prior to getting married, was to simply remain undisturbed. This “disruption” came suddenly and was disguised as [Read More...]