The last thing you’d expect to hear on “America’s Got Talent”

But it’s just great. Did the audience have any idea what they were hearing? Just watch. [Read more…]

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A groom on the morning of his wedding: “It will all be a gift”

This guy understands that finding the love of your life is an answer to a prayer:   So I’m getting married today. It’s about 1:00am and, as I imagine most soon-to-be grooms experience, I’m having trouble sleeping. In about thirteen hours, Jackie Francois will be walking down the aisle towards me—me, a bum from Florida. [Read More…]

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Bishop Lynch: “I am convinced that many so called Pro-Life groups are not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion”

Remarkable to read words like this coming from a Catholic bishop in the United States. Here’s Bishop Robert Lynch, from St. Petersburg: I am convinced that many so called Pro-Life groups are not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion. We heard nothing from the heavy hitters in the prolife movement in the last week when Florida last [Read More…]

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That “aha” moment: God, spirituality and the science of 12-step programs

An interesting glimpse inside the science of the recovery movement, and some insight into conversion, too, from National Geographic: Established treatment facilities like Sierra Tucson offer everything from traditional medicine to such alternative approaches as equine therapy and healing circles. According to Nia Sipp, staff psychiatrist with Sierra Tucson, the goal is not just removing the substance [Read More…]

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Homily for August 11, 2013: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for readings.] Years ago, a song asked the romantic question: “What are you doing the rest of your life?” Last week, an item in the New York Times put that into sharp focus.  It was a story about a website called “DeathClock.com.”  At the site, you enter your birth date, your general personality [Read More…]

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Prayer to St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr

Today marks the great saint’s feast, so once again (in what is becoming a Bench tradition) I’m pleased to post this icon of St. Lawrence, created by Deacon Lawrence Klimecki.  Prayer to St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr O Generous patron of the Church’s poor, St. Lawrence, pray to the One God, Father, Son and Holy [Read More…]

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Newly ordained married priest: “My new journey is just beginning”

Father George Sanders blesses his wife and children after his ordination. (photo: Bob Ocken, Arkansas Catholic) From Arkansas Catholic:  On his ordination day Aug. 3, Father George Sanders reflected on his journey that got him to Christ the King Church in Little Rock kneeling before Bishop Anthony B. Taylor. As the bishop laid hands on [Read More…]

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New app helps track best times to conceive

NFP on your smartphone? Sounds like it:  Glow, the fertility tracking iOS app co-founded by Max Levchin, is making its debut in the app store today. The app was first introduced earlier this summer by Levchin to a surprised audience at the D11 conference, where the crowd was likely not expecting to hear the co-founder of PayPal and [Read More…]

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Man steals computer from church, gets caught after trying to have porn block removed

You can’t make this stuff up. From KRMG Radio in Oklahoma: Police say an employee at the Owasso First Assembly of God called officers about the stolen computer.  He tipped off officers it had to be somebody familiar with the church because there were no signs of a break in and nothing else was touched. [Read More…]

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Thomas Merton’s love life to be made into a movie

Longtime readers of the blog know that I’m a Thomas Merton fanboy.  His life and work were instrumental in my own vocation, and I once spent a memorable afternoon in his Kentucky hermitage, thinking “I can’t believe I’m HERE.” So I’ve got some mixed feelings about this news, which if handled clumsily could turn the [Read More…]

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