Surprise hit of the new TV season? “American Bible Challenge”

The unique new game show has struck a chord with viewers, according to Catholic News Service: The “American Bible Challenge” has been watched by more than 2 million people in the United States every Thursday night since its debut Aug. 23, making it the most successful show in Game Show Network in history. And to [Read More...]

A prayer for the New Orleans Saints

Will this help? Here is part of the prayer composed for NOLA.com and the New Orleans Saints by Fr. Tony Ricard Director of Campus Ministry, St. Augustine High School, and New Orleans Saints Catholic team chaplain: God of All Grace, on this sacred day, the Who Dat Nation comes before you giving all honor and [Read More...]

Lifelines: the police who work to save jumpers in New York

It has to be one of the toughest jobs in the world—and for some souls, what these police do is literally a Godsend. A rare look into the work of the men who try to rescue suicide jumpers, from the New York Times: On a concrete ledge off the upper deck of the George Washington [Read More...]

Russian Orthodox demand Apple change its famous logo to a cross

Good luck with that. Details, from the Christian Post: Christians from Russia’s Orthodox community are demanding that the country’s Apple division remove the famous half-bitten apple logo from its products and replace it with a cross, because they find the apple image offensive to their beliefs. In popular culture, an apple is often used to [Read More...]

Congressman on science committee calls evolution a “lie straight from the pit of hell”

Details from the Associated Press: Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell” meant to convince people that they do not need a savior. The Republican lawmaker made those comments during a speech Sept. 27 at a sportsman’s banquet at [Read More...]

Respect Life: Homily for October 7, 2012, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings] This Sunday is Respect Life Sunday, beginning Respect Life month. If you want to know what that really means, meet the Hudson family of Wauconda, Illinois, just outside Chicago. The Hudsons are a huge Catholic family – and I do mean huge. Lena and Tom Hudson have eight children, with a [Read More...]

Verdict: guilty

From the Los Angeles Times: A Vatican court Saturday found former papal butler Paolo Gabriele guilty of aggravated theft in the pilfering and leaking of private internal documents in a scandal that brought extraordinary attention to the heart of the Roman Catholic Church. The three-judge panel senteced Gabriele to three years in prison, reduced to one and a half, because they said [Read More...]

The preachin’ deacon

A lot of regular visitors to The Bench probably know Deacon Doctor Bill Ditewig (“Triple D”), who makes frequent appearances here and in the comboxes.  One of his parishioners alerted me to the very impressive website for his parish, which includes its own YouTube page and an archive of homilies, including several by Bill. If [Read More...]

“Remembering Steve”

Those who clicked on the Apple home page today saw this lovely, poignant tribute to the company’s founder, who died one year ago today. [Read more...]

Who we are: the latest statistics on U.S. Catholics

The USCCB has just posted the latest figures. Details: How many Catholics are there in the United States? What was the total enrollment of Catholic elementary and high schools in the United States last year? How many people are served by Catholic hospitals annually? The answers to these questions (77.7 million, 2 million and 88.5 [Read More...]


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