The speakin’ deacon: thanks to divine Providence

Spent a wonderful 24 hours in scenic, snowy Providence, Rhode Island Friday and Saturday, speaking to the convocation of deacons at the elegant Radisson Hotel at the airport. About 100 deacons and their wives attended to hear my talk on “Evangelization in the Digital Age.” I received a gracious welcome from Deacon James Walsh and his crew. [Read More...]

Working wonders together

Of all the remarkable things that take place in this gospel passage, the most significant may be that none of the apostles do it on their own. “Jesus summoned the Twelve,” Mark wrote, “and began to send them out two by two.” After that, all bets are off. The apostles expel demons and cure the [Read More...]

That blizzard? “It’s a bust”

That was the three-word assessment from our doorman this morning when I went outside to take a look. While places further east and north got more, we were lucky in Queens; we didn’t get as much as they predicted. I’ve seen worse. We may end up with a foot or so, but not much more. (It’s [Read More...]

In praise of Pio

We just completed the annual novena at my parish in honor of St. Pio—more popularly known as Padre Pio. Our church includes a life-sized statue of the saint, which is an object of great devotion and affection. So as we prayed for Pio’s intervention over the last few days, I was reminded of this piece [Read More...]

Let there be Christmas lights!

While visiting family in Maryland for the holidays, we decided to stop by a place that’s gotten a lot of attention in the local media: the Kentlands Christmas Lights in Gaithersburg. From Patch.com:  If you happen to be out for a drive in Gaithersburg, be sure to stop at this home where Mike Draghici has programmed [Read More...]

This year’s best Christmas gift

Back in the early days of the last century, my wife’s great-grandmother Agnes Meyer and her husband set out to raise a large family in a far-flung corner of Iowa. They had eight children; she was pregnant with her ninth when her husband went out to work in the fields one morning and collapsed from [Read More...]

Christmas in Forest Hills

Shortly before Midnight Mass—which actually took place at midnight!— from my parish, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Forest Hills, NY. The liturgy was breathtaking: 40 altar servers, five priests, one deacon, full choir, a trumpet, and an eloquent homiletic meditation on “O Holy Night” by our pastor, Bishop Paul Sanchez—who reflected on the phrase [Read More...]

Ladies and gentlemen: Baby Jesus

Scenes from our parish Christmas pageant, held during tonight’s 5 p.m. Mass. Kudos to little Madison James, who portrayed the Baby Jesus with subtlety, nuance, humility and panache—and no crying. [Read more...]

Hitting the road: The Bench and CNEWA visit Long Island

The past couple of days I found myself on a rare weekend away from my home parish, giving talks at Curé of Ars Catholic Church in Merrick, New York.  I was there with two of my colleagues from CNEWA, Norma Intriago and Chris Kennedy, to raise awareness about the plight of persecuted Christians and enlist support [Read More...]

Hello, Long Island

If you’re in the neighborhood this weekend: I’ll be visiting Curé of Ars Catholic Church in Merrick, Long Island and preaching at all the Masses. The topic: persecuted Christians. Four months after ISIS began its purge, so many Iraqis are still homeless and in need of basic necessities. I’ll be there on behalf of CNEWA, along with [Read More...]


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