A former atheist gets it

It’s our own Leah Libresco, writing about priests and vestments: When an actor puts on costuming and grease- paint, she does it to become someone else, both to the audience and to herself. A director I worked with once told me to start working on a show by getting different shoes, or, failing that, by [Read More...]

Roma Downey producing mini series of “The Dovekeepers,” the story of Masada

From the press release: Roma Downey, executive producer and star of the Emmy® nominated, THE BIBLE series and her production company LightWorkers Media, announced today that it has acquired all rights to Alice Hoffman’s thrilling saga, and New York Times bestselling novel The Dovekeepers. The mesmerizing story, set in ancient Israel in the year 70 [Read More...]

“Bergoglio’s List”: new book details future pope’s secret effort to protect suspected dissidents

From Catholic News Service:  While a military-backed dictatorship in Argentina was conducting a clandestine war on suspected dissidents, then-Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future pope, masterminded a secret strategy to save those being targeted, according to a new book. Titled “Bergoglio’s List: Those Saved by Pope Francis; Stories Never Told,” also includes the transcript of [Read More...]

How life in the slums changed the Pope

A friend passed along a recent issue of The Tablet, the weekly magazine from the UK. It includes an excerpt from a new book on Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis: Untying the Knots by Paul Vallely. Unfortunately, it’s only available online to subscribers. (You can visit the link here). But the excerpt charts the transformation [Read More...]

Quote of the day

From Catholic comedian Jim Gaffigan:  “I watch the faces of single people in their twenties after I bring up that I ‘have children.’ I imagine them taking a small step backward as if to avoid contagion, with a look of ‘Sorry to hear that’ on their face. Like I naively volunteered to contract leprosy, forever [Read More...]

Here’s a Different Protagonist for a Thriller: a Deacon

Details:  He has worked all over the world, from foreign relations assignments to speech pathology to motivational speaking, but another career path has embroiled Redlands resident Roger Burgraff in murder, blackmail, and the darker side of the human soul. That career is in fiction, fortunately: In May, Burgraff published a thriller, “Deacon’s Winter,” about a [Read More...]

What Are Kids Reading in School?

You might be surprised. From NPR:  “Last year, we had more than 8.6 million students from across the country who read a total of 283 million books,” says Eric Stickney, the educational research director for Renaissance Learning. Students participate in the Accelerated Reader program through their schools. When they read a book, they take a [Read More...]

A Visit to “The Great Gatsby’s” Valley of Ashes Today

Anyone who’s seen the newest incarnation of “The Great Gatsby” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, or read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book, remembers that ominous “valley of ashes,” a desolate corner of Queens that Gatsby and his entourage pass through on the way to Manhattan—and the setting for a critical twist in the plot. A few years [Read More...]

Jim Gaffigan, hipster Catholic

From Michelle Boorstein in the Washington Post comes this profile of funnyman Jim Gaffigan: Gaffigan seems to effortlessly embody the idea the Catholic Church and other denominations are desperately promoting: You can be a devout member of mainstream American life. You don’t have to leave God in order to live in the regular world. With [Read More...]

My American Idol

It’s a weird thing to do, but I have to start this post on the evil of idols by talking about my idol. Her name is Elizabeth Scalia. She’ll hate that. She can’t stand it when people make a fuss over her. And she’ll be the first to tell you she’s a miserable, worthless, slobbering [Read More...]


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