Here’s something they probably don’t include in your church’s nativity scene…

A friend mentioned this in a Facebook post, and it turns out to be true: A Caganer (Catalan pronunciation: [kəɣəˈne], Western Catalan: [kaɣaˈne]) is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighbouring areas with Catalan culture such as Andorra, Valencia, Northern Catalonia (in southern France) and the Balearic Islands. [Read More...]

Man + tomato + tin cup + tea pot = genius

The fiendishly clever, and relentlessly inventive illusionist Yann Frisch is seen here doing some wondrous slight of hand.  Enjoy. Feel free to oooh, aaah and cheer. Clapping optional. [Read more...]

If they become the New Orleans Pelicans, this basketball team will be the first named for a Eucharistic symbol

I suspect most fans won’t be aware of this—and it’s probably not the sort of thing franchise owners would publicize—but the folks changing the name of the New Orleans Hornets to the New Orleans Pelicans are giving the team a profoundly Catholic, even Eucharistic, name. I first posted on this over the summer, referring to [Read More...]

Homily for December 9, 2012: 2nd Sunday of Advent

[Click here for readings.] Last week, the music world lost a giant: jazz legend Dave Brubeck.  He died Wednesday, the day before his 92nd birthday.  He was the first jazz artist to sell a million records; he was only the second one, after Louis Armstrong, to make the cover of TIME magazine. He was also [Read More...]

Something cool: an app for Catholic baby names

It’s just been released from OSV: Most expectant parents spend many hours discussing possible names for their newest family member. Trying to hone in on a name that is both personal and unique can exacerbate the process. Now Our Sunday Visitor has an app for this. Saint Names for Your Baby is a handy iPhone [Read More...]

World’s oldest woman: 115-year-old Catholic in Iowa

CNS uncovered this just posted on its blog: The Gerontology Research Group announced this week that 115-year-old Dina Manfredini is the oldest person in the world. She is Catholic and a longtime parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in West Des Moines, Iowa. She inherited the title when 116-year-old Besse Cooper of Georgia died Dec. 4. [Read More...]

Homily for December 8, 2012: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

[Click here for readings.] In his new book about the infancy of Jesus, Pope Benedict mentions one powerful detail in the gospel we just heard—and it’s something that I have to agree is striking. It is Mary’s aloneness. The pope wrote: “I consider it important to focus on the final sentence of Luke’s Annunciation narrative: [Read More...]

Just in time for Hanukkah…

…comes this awesome video. Thanks, Bosco! [Read more...]

The theologian as evangelist

Deacon James Keating dropped me a note about this upcoming gathering and said: Greg, this is big news. In the midst of tensions between bishops and theologians, the CTS has designated it annual meeting as a place for theologians to think about their role as EVANGELISTS! In my college years at three Catholic universities, no [Read More...]

You had me at “flash mob”

And clinched the deal with “Les Miserables.” Tony Rossi has a winning video of a wedding flash mob performing “One Day More.”  Not exactly my first choice for a sentimental wedding song (“One day more to revolution, we will nip it in the bud…”) but, boy, it’s done with gusto and a lot of good [Read More...]