On Friday night, 50 teenagers gathered to pray…

This morning, I got an e-mail from the young man who oversees our parish youth group and altar servers. He’s a graduate student at Fordham, working on his doctorate, and arranged an Advent Prayer Service for the  teenagers. He wanted to tell me what happened: We had placed candles around that table and placed in [Read More...]

“Landfill Harmonic”: making music from what others throw away

This video is beginning to make the rounds: a glimpse at how some are making beautiful music in Paraguay from, literally, garbage. It’s a teaser for a documentary called “Landfill Harmonic:” Cateura, Paraguay is a town essentially built on top of a landfill. Garbage collectors browse the trash for sellable goods, and children are often [Read More...]

What to say—and not—to someone who is grieving

I found this interesting, and helpful: a brief blog post at Huffington by grief expert Gloria Horsley, on how to help those struggling with grief.  We’ve all been there, and a lot of us find ourselves ministering to those in mourning. What to do: • Show up. - I used to send a card. Now, I [Read More...]

See this and smile: some kind words on a public street

In a culture too willing to snipe, backstab, gossip, bitch, whine, snark and kvetch, it’s nice to hear a good word every now and then or get a  reassuring pat on the back.  The charming experiment below fits the bill. They set up a booth on a street corner and invited people to give and [Read More...]

Kidnapped aid worker says Catholic faith helped him survive

From the Catholic Herald:  A Catholic aid worker who was kidnapped for three months in Sudan has told The Catholic Herald that his faith kept him going and that he refused to convert to Islam. Patrick Noonan, a 48-year-old former soldier from Bradford, was kidnapped by anti-government rebels in South Darfur on March 6 and [Read More...]

The story behind the statue of Mary that survived the storm

It may be the iconic image of Hurricane Sandy — some have compared it to the “cross at Ground Zero” — and today’s New York Times has the story behind it:  At the corner of Oceanside Avenue and Gotham Walk, the house inherited by the elderly McNultys’ niece Regina after the couple died, is a [Read More...]

God bless New York

  The young man above is from the Trinity Baptist Church in New York City. I met him on my walk to work today. He set up a folding table and coffee urn beside a busy bus stop on Second Ave. this morning and was passing out free cups of coffee to people who were [Read More...]

“Within our darkest nights, you kindle a fire that never dies away…”

A priest friend who works at a college on Long Island posted this on his Facebook page this morning: It’s another cloudy day here on Long Island. It’s dark with out power and hard to get around with so many trees down. Dark, no energy and cut off. For many it seems bleak. What lies [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...]

How much does God love us? This much.

This video of dog being rescued in LA just got to me. God tries to reach us the way the rescuers worked to reach this wounded pup: with patience, tenderness and trust.  And, yes, treats, too. Add in a little grace and the occasional minor miracle (cheeseburgers optional) and the next thing you know, we [Read More...]