Check it out: FAQ about deacons

Look at my tab bar.  Are you looking?  Right under the black-and-white church image with the words “The Deacon’s Bench”?  I’ve added a new tab: “FAQ ABOUT DEACONS.”  It’s pulled from the USCCB website, and offers some basic information about who deacons are and what they do.  I thought it might be helpful for anyone [Read More...]

Behold, the Orthodox deacons of Ethiopia

Do you have vestments like these? Over at our CNEWA blog, ONE-TO-ONE, there’s an interesting look at the clergy in that part of the world: Traditionally, a priest’s primary duty is the celebration of the Qeddase — in Ethiopia, typically five priests concelebrate — and other liturgical rites, particularly burials. Liturgical festivals feature rhythmic dancing, [Read More...]

Homily for November 18, 2012: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[This Sunday, my parish is celebrating the closing of its centennial. Bishop DiMarzio will be on hand, along with several priests who have close associations with the parish, for a massive concelebrated Mass at 12:30.  Also in the mix: a horde of altar servers, plus drums, timpani and a full choir.  According to the program, [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...]

My Catholic school: at the center of it all was Jesus

My parish is celebrating its centenary this year.  As part of the festivities, this weekend we had a special Mass at 1 p.m. honoring the school and its alumni.  Two of those alumni, Msgr. John McGuirl and Msgr. Ned Ryan, concelebrated.  Below is the homily I delivered for that event.  It’s a little rough; I [Read More...]

"Godspell" gets born again

With “Godspell,” as with so many things, you never forget your first time. Mine was in the spring of 1973, on an 8th grade class trip that took us down to Ford’s Theater in Washington to see that “hippie musical about Jesus,” as one of the nuns in the school disdainfully called it (though to [Read More...]

Ordination update: 27 new deacons in Brooklyn

Think I could overlook Brooklyn?  Fuggedaboutit. From the In My Backyard Desk: the ordinations happened this morning, and will surely mark a Memorial Day weekend these men and their families will never forget. The sacrament was celebrated at Our Lady of Angels Church in Brooklyn — one of the largest in the diocese, and a [Read More...]

Me and my Kindle

When it comes to reading electronic books, or e-books, I was an agnostic. All that changed over the holidays. Now, I’m a believer.  I have seen the light.  It emanates from a little grey pad of plastic called a Kindle. My in-laws gave me a Kindle (Amazon’s version of an e-reader) for Christmas.  Minutes after [Read More...]

I'm homeward bound

Regular blogging should resume Wednesday. Until then, for all travelers on this week of jaw-dropping snow and headache-inducing delays…a musical interlude from two boys from Forest Hills, Queens. Traveling mercies! [Read more...]

Christmas in Queens

From the nativity scene outside my parish. Blessed Christmas, everyone! [Read more...]


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