Hallmark pulls wrapping paper over complaint about “swastika pattern”

The Kansas City Star reports: A Walgreen’s customer in California saw a blue and silver roll of gift wrap that at first glance looked like Hannukah paper. At second glance, she saw a swastika in the design. Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards Inc., which licensed the wrapping paper rolls, heard about the problem Sunday night and [Read More...]

The ups and downs of real estate: using a roller coaster to sell a house

I want one. Now. Details:  Buying a new home can often be a roller coaster ride. And now potential purchasers can experience that nervous thrill before they even commit to splashing out their hard-earned cash. That’s because a real estate broker in Ermelo, Netherlands, has installed a miniature version of the popular fairground attraction inside [Read More...]

Dear NBC…THIS should be your next musical

You can count me among those who were underwhelmed by last year’s “The Sound of Music” and bored by Thursday night’s “Peter Pan.” But if NBC wants to atone for its sins, here’s my humble suggestion: Reba McEntire in “Annie Get Your Gun.” Back in 2002, she replaced Bernadette Peters in a revival on Broadway. My wife has loved [Read More...]

Wife kept man’s corpse for months while praying for his resurrection

Bizarre:  A Canadian family lived with a corpse in their upstairs bedroom for six months because they believed the deceased man would be resurrected if they prayed, but the body was discovered when the family was evicted for not paying the mortgage. Kaling Wald, 50, pleaded guilty to failing to notify police that her husband [Read More...]

Utah group sets record for world’s largest living Nativity scene

Details:  As the sun was getting ready to set Monday in northeast Provo, hundreds of people dressed in white were bathed in its glow. Oh, and add in a camel, donkey and a couple of sheep. It broke a Guinness World Record for the most living figures in a Nativity scene. Officially, there were 1,039 [Read More...]

Britain’s vanishing nativity play: “It reflects a nation too embarrassed to face up to its Christian heritage”

In Great Britain, a longstanding tradition is becoming utterly unrecognizable. From The BBC: The traditional school nativity play is under pressure to modernize the story and remove religious figures, according to users of a parenting website. Parents on Netmums have given examples of characters such as spacemen, Elvis Presley and footballers being introduced to the nativity [Read More...]

Winnie-the-Pooh, pervert

From The Independent:  Winnie the Pooh has been banned from a Polish playground because of his “dubious sexuality” and “inappropriate” dress. The much-loved animated bear was suggested at a local council meeting to decide which famous character should become the face of the play area in the small town of Tuszyn. But the idea soon [Read More...]

Canadian actress plans a “poetic, probing and playful” version of the Mass

Details: Halifax poet, musician and actor Tanya Davis is turning to the Catholic Church for her next project. On Saturday night, Davis will perform what she is calling a “poetic, probing and playful” rendition of the liturgy. Davis grew up in the Catholic Church, but left it long ago. “What stayed with me is this [Read More...]

What happens when deacons stand on a street with a sign offering “Free Blessings”?

Seminarian Connor Danstrom, from Mundelein Seminary, did that in downtown Chicago a few days ago and wrote about it over at Word on Fire: “Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give.” My phone told me it was three degrees when I woke up at 7 A.M. This was the gospel reading [Read More...]

“Apologetics: I’m Not Really Sorry”: new online course for priests and deacons

FOB (Friend of the Bench) Patrick Madrid dropped me a line this morning and asked if I’d alert deacons and priests to his online course for continuing formation that’s about to get underway. It’s happening through the Sacred Heart Institute, a cooperative effort between the Archdiocese of New York and two neighboring dioceses, Rockville Centre [Read More...]


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