Taking a vacation from vitriol

With the summer season on us, we all need a break — a change of scenery or, at least, a change in atmosphere.  I could really use a trip to Walley World right about now. However, since I can’t do that, I’m going to do something else.  For the foreseeable future, I’m closing comments.  Maybe [Read More...]

My Pentecost: tongues of flame, and the heat of a minor crucible

So, how was your Pentecost?  Here’s a window into the world of a deacon — or at least, this particular deacon. Last Sunday, my pastor and I agreed that he would preach the “high” Mass on Pentecost, since at that Mass he was going to be doing the confirmations for about a dozen adults.  (My [Read More...]

Happy blog-o-versary

Last Saturday marked the five-year anniversary of my ordination; this week marks the five-year anniversary of “The Deacon’s Bench.” Flipping through the archived scrapbook of memories, I found this warm appreciation of the diaconate by Rocco Palmo, who was an early booster of the blog.  Others began dropping by and mentioning The Bench — people [Read More...]

May 19, 2007

Prayer of the Ordained Heavenly Father, You who ordered the universe Have also ordained the universe. You have ordained that the stars follow their course, That the seasons follow Your plan That the oceans and tides obey Your rhythms. And now you have ordained us in Your service, as Deacons. Make of us instruments of [Read More...]

RIP, Michael Rosenbaum

As I said on a Facebook page devoted to him, “If you look up mensch in any dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Michael.” A great colleague, journalist, producer and, yes, mensch has died far too young, at 64, from a brain tumor.  It was my good fortune to have the office next to his [Read More...]

Hey JC, you’re alright by me…

Today the seminarian who spent his pastoral year at my parish packs his bags and heads for Creighton University, where he’ll spend the summer studying at their Institute for Priestly Formation. It’s been great having young Jeremy Canna (or, as I like to call him, JC ) around the rectory, and in the parish.  The [Read More...]

My pastor, the bishop

Two weeks ago, the Pope named two new auxiliary bishops for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Now, we’ve learned, one of them will be the new pastor at my parish. He’s Msgr. Paul Sanchez — shown above, concelebrating Mass with Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. From his biography: The Most Reverend Paul Sanchez was born November 26, [Read More...]

Venerable Fulton Sheen?

I have a confession to make. Every Sunday, before I preach, I pray for help and guidance from three heavenly intercessors: the Virgin Mary, St. Stephen and…Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I know people are looking for miracles to have Fulton Sheen declared a saint; the fact that I am able to do what I do every [Read More...]

“A reporter’s job is such a joy!”

That’s Mike Wallace, getting the last word (as he should) in this superbly produced piece from yesterday’s “Face the Nation.”  Kudos to editor Warren Lustig and Morley Safer for capturing the man so perfectly. [Read more...]

“This is the night…”

My parish, Saturday night.  Easter Vigil.  Photos by Niranjan Fernando. [Read more...]


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