Love lessons: watch this teacher set his class on fire

I’ll be perfectly honest here: I just love this story. Take 12 minutes and watch this beautiful video about a remarkable teacher in Louisville, Kentucky, Jeffrey Wright.   Then read more about him in the New York Times.   I can’t think of anything more inspiring to encounter during the Feast of the Holy Family.  Here [Read More...]

The Christmas message from Newtown’s pastor

Msgr. Robert Weiss published the following in his parish bulletin this week: Dear Parishioners, Had I written my Christmas message a couple of weeks ago as I had planned, it would have had a far different tone than this message. We have not only witnessed one of the greatest tragedies in the world, but we [Read More...]

After Newtown: answering the question of “Why, God?”

Maureen Dowd asked a priest friend to reflect on the tragedy in Newtown, and the result is a beautiful meditation on the mystery of faith:  I remember visiting a dear friend hours before her death and reminding her that death is not the end, that we believe in the Resurrection. I asked her, “Are you [Read More...]

Believe in possibility: check out this amazing one-handed basketball player

Prepare to be awed and inspired. From HuffPo:  Zach Hodskins, the 6’2″ junior guard of Milton High School’s basketball team, has competed — and won — against some of the top high school players in the country. The Georgia teen is a skilled player, despite the fact that he only has one arm. Hodskins has [Read More...]

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...]