Roma Downey producing mini series of “The Dovekeepers,” the story of Masada

From the press release: Roma Downey, executive producer and star of the Emmy® nominated, THE BIBLE series and her production company LightWorkers Media, announced today that it has acquired all rights to Alice Hoffman’s thrilling saga, and New York Times bestselling novel The Dovekeepers. The mesmerizing story, set in ancient Israel in the year 70 [Read More…]

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The power of prayer? Syria announces support of plan to surrender chemical weapons

It’s not a done deal yet, but this sounds promising.  From CNN:  The Syrian government supports a proposal to put its chemical weapons under international control as a way to avert a Western military strike, Syria’s prime minister said Tuesday. The Russian plan “aims to stop the Syrian bloodshed and prevent a war,” Wael Nader [Read More…]

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Schedule published for Saturday’s prayer vigil at the Vatican

People attending a candlelight vigil in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 11, 2012 marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring) From CNS:  Here is a breakdown of what will be happening and when: 5:45 pm (Rome time) — About 50 priests will begin hearing confession in [Read More…]

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Catholic university cancels appearance by Geraldo Rivera, son of a “lay deacon”

From Politico: Geraldo Rivera has been uninvited to speak at Duquesne University after posting a revealing picture of himself on Twitter, according to a report, in a manner the radio and television personality called “incredibly rude” to POLITICO. Rivera had been scheduled to appear in October on a panel at the school in Pittsburgh on [Read More…]

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Deacon at work…at work

Here’s a glimpse of my other life, where sometimes church is a corporate office and the altar is a meeting table. This morning, CNEWA president Msgr. John E. Kozar celebrated Mass for the intentions of our donors in the board room of our headquarters in Manhattan. [Read more…]

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Here comes the Son

At the edge of the property where I’m on retreat, just before the beach, there’s a stunning outdoor altar and crucifix.  I took a few snapshots last night before dinner. This morning, I got up early to see if I could catch the sunrise over the Atlantic. Here’s what I saw. [Read more…]

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Farewell

Well, it’s over. Msgr. Joseph Funaro, my pastor emeritus, has been to sent to his rest. The funeral Mass this morning was beautiful. On a glorious summer Saturday, the church in Forest Hills was packed: two bishops, a couple dozen priests, throngs of friends and family, a small army of altar servers.  Music ranged from [Read More…]

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A Widowed Michigan Priest—and a REALLY Late Vocation

From the Detroit Free Press, here’s an interesting profile of a pastor who was just ordained six years ago—when he was in his mid-70s—after raising a family. Snip:  [Rev. William] Spencer, 81, is pastor of Holy Name of Mary Parish, which is composed of two churches that recently merged — Our Lady of Lake Huron [Read More…]

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Why Men Shouldn’t Be Ordained—UPDATE

Remarkably, this little satire has become one of the most popular posts at The Bench, ever.  (Its appeal may be more universal than I ever imagined. It was recently picked up by a Buddhist blog, which thought it had humorous applications to Buddhist monks.) For some reason, the post is getting renewed attention and traffic [Read More…]

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Japanese Commuters Join Together to Push 32-ton Train Off Trapped Woman

There’s a great homily in this story:  Japanese commuters teamed up to heave a 32-ton train carriage away from the platform to free a woman who had fallen between the train and the platform at rush hour. In a nightmarish scenario, the woman, who is in her 30s, slipped and fell into the eight-inch gap [Read More…]

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