Out of Egypt: a woman reporter speaks

This month, ONE has a revealing and unsettling look at what it’s like to be a Coptic woman in Egypt (hint: it ain’t easy.)   The reporter, Sarah Topol, sat down for a brief video interview, below, where she explains some of the challenges involved in being a woman journalist in that corner of the [Read More...]

"Glad to meet you — and I'm a fan of your blog!"

That’s what I said to the guy below: Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who dropped by our offices today to say hello. He seemed flattered.  But for some reason, he didn’t mention “The Deacon’s Bench.” Photo by Erin Edwards, CNEWA Speaking of the good Cardinal’s blog: his latest installment includes a nice photo gallery of the [Read More...]

Ten years later

Patheos is publishing a number of essays to mark the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Mine begins on the morning after: On the morning of September 12, 2001, I awoke to the sound of sirens. My first thought, in bleary half-sleep:“Where am I?” And then I knew. I looked around at the pale walls of a [Read More...]

"Would you dress like that to meet the Queen of England?"

“We have reached the point that just about anything goes. We keep making appeals to our people, but it doesn’t seem that anyone is paying much attention. … Some of the ladies, well, you just have to wonder if they looked in a mirror before coming to church.  I often ask people this question: ‘Would [Read More...]

After Irene

New York City, 29 August 2011, 1 pm.  Went for a walk during lunch, and snapped this with my cell phone about two blocks from my office. [Read more...]

Sign of the times

Which turns out to be no sign at all. Bracing for Irene, and expected high winds, a movie theater near our apartment removed the letters from its marquee. Not only that: for the first time in memory, the multiplex was completely shut down Saturday night. It was still closed Sunday afternoon. Things here are more [Read More...]

Irene's devastation: no Starbucks!

Let the rioting in the streets begin. Irene was less than we expected, or feared, and that’s very good news. To those who have sent e-mails and tweets, wondering how I’m doing here, I’m pleased to report: just fine. Thank you all for your many prayers! We still have power, flooding in my neighborhood appears [Read More...]

Do you still have to attend Mass during a hurricane? — UPDATE

A friend from my parish called, wondering if there was any policy about Mass and bad weather, or if any of the three dioceses in our region had issued a statement on Hurricane Irene. Here’s what I found. All three have  statements on their websites from their respective bishops. From Nicholas DiMarzio in Brooklyn: “In [Read More...]

Earth, your hurricane is showing

In space, no one can hear you scream. The pictures below, from our friends at NASA.  You can see more shots of Irene here. I stopped by Walgreens to get some odds and ends this afternoon, which turned out to be a terrible idea. (You can never have too much dental floss or deodorant!) My [Read More...]

"Let's get out there and scratch that surface!"

When I first joined CBS News in 1982, typing and answering phones in the Washington bureau, one of the first calls I picked up was from New York, from a producer who said his name was “Elaine Benardos.”  Well, it was my first day on the job, and that was my first big blunder.   It [Read More...]


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