“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...]

How one newspaper decided to endorse Romney

It raised some eyebrows when the Des Moines Register announced its endorsement for president this weekend and for the first time in 40 years picked a Republican.  What got less attention, however, is an accompanying story in the paper, which I found especially interesting and useful.  In a remarkable act of transparency, the paper’s editors [Read More...]

“All people have a right to know Jesus Christ and his Gospel…”

From the Holy Father’s homily today, marking the close of the Synod on the New Evangelization: The new evangelization applies to the whole of the Church’s life. It applies, in the first instance, to the ordinary pastoral ministry that must be more animated by the fire of the Spirit, so as to inflame the hearts [Read More...]

Just when you thought ads couldn’t get more offensive…

…along comes this one, promoting a bar in New Zealand. [Read more...]

Patheos peeps!

Blogging has been light the last couple days, but not because I’m battening down the hatches for Stormageddon or Frankenstorm or whatever they’re calling this year’s meteorological catastrophe (though drawing the curtains and breaking out the rosary might be a good idea).  No.  I’ve been away from the keyboard because I took part in a [Read More...]

Scaring the sin out of you: the Christian “haunted house” industry

Huffington Post takes a peek inside the Halloween phenomenon and introduces readers to the man behind it. Keenan Roberts didn’t invent the idea of scaring Christian youth into salvation, but he has done more than anyone else to turn it into an industry. For $299—and with the Denver-based pastor’s approval—you can build your own “Hell [Read More...]

Deacon and future deacon

Well, look who I ran into at the conference of Catholic Social Scientists this weekend: the National Catholic Register’s ace film critic Steven Greydanus, who is also in the first year of his formation for the diaconate in the Archdiocese of Newark. He promised to invite me to his ordination. [Read more...]


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