Biden campaign video: “As a practicing Catholic, like many of you…”

The mind boggles. Keep practicing, Joe. Practice makes perfect. [Read more...]

Before and after

An astonishing comparison of lower Manhattan after Sandy hit, and before.  The caption: This combination of photos shows above, lower Manhattan dark after the hybrid storm Sandy on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, and below a fully lit skyline on Jan. 6, 2012, both seen from the Brooklyn borough of New York. In an attempt to [Read More...]

On Hurricane Sandy: “God sent the whirlwind. Thank God for righteous judgment”

We could see this coming, couldn’t we? Details: Hurricane Sandy continues to pummel the coastal Atlantic region as the historic “superstorm” makes its way up the East Coast. The death toll has risen to at least 65, and the damage may cost as much as $55 billion, but the Westboro Baptist Church is thanking God [Read More...]

How Dan Rather helped invent modern hurricane coverage on TV in 1961

We’ve gotten used to seeing endless hurricane coverage these days, but the real trailblazer in this kind of reporting, the first television correspondent to wade into the water and report from the center of a storm, was Dan Rather, covering Hurricane Carla in Houston in 1961. Here’s a fascinating glimpse back at how that coverage [Read More...]

Ordination update: 22 new deacons in Seattle

The web page for Seattle’s cathedral has some wonderful pictures of the event.  Some higlights below. I’m told a story will be appearing in the diocesan newspaper in a few days. I hope to post more then. Meantime, the new deacons are: Salvador Ardon Sanchez, Bruno Bahk, John Bergford, Jose Blakeley, Carl Chilo, Jose’ DeLeon, [Read More...]

Most Americans say they believe in miracles

Details: A new study finds that the number of Americans who definitely believe in religious miracles increased 22 percent in the past two decades, with 55 percent now certain of this supernatural phenomenon. Overall, some four in five Americans believe miracles definitely or probably occur, researcher Robert Martin of Pennsylvania State University reported at the [Read More...]

“When October goes…”

While we wait for the storm here at The Bench, a little seasonal music — to my mind, the best thing Barry Manilow ever wrote, to accompany a gorgeously melancholy lyric by the late Johnny Mercer. Here’s Rosemary Clooney, with the Glenn Miller orchestra, performing “When October Goes” in 1988. [Read more...]

Canadian priest’s unorthodox evangelization drawing people to the pews

Details, from the Catholic Register: A financial analyst turned priest, Fr. Mario Salvadori is marketing an unorthodox and unapologetic formula of evangelization — and youth are flocking to it. Salvadori, the only priest at Thornhill’s St. Joseph the Worker parish, jokes that he has “more degrees than a thermometer.” He has a bachelor’s degree in [Read More...]

The coming storm didn’t worry me until I saw this

Tape on the windows in the lobby of our building. From James Martin, S.J. at America: God of the Universe, at the dawn of creation, your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. You created the oceans and rivers, and all that dwell within them, and at your word the [Read More...]

Horror: suicide bomber strikes at Catholic church in Nigeria

Details: A suicide bomber drove a jeep full of explosives into a Catholic church during morning mass in northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least eight people, wounding more than 100 and triggering reprisal attacks that killed at least two more. There was no claim of responsibility but Islamist sect Boko Haram has bombed several [Read More...]