“I thought about Paul”: the compassionate courage of the pastor in Newtown

A colleague at work noted today, “It’s at moments like this that the Church as at Her best.” As evidence, here’s a great profile of a great priest, from the Washington Post:  As if it were any normal day, Monsignor Robert Weiss had his usual breakfast at the Sandy Hook Diner — a short stack [Read More...]

Need a smile? This should do it.

God bless Tom McDonald for digging up this wonderful picture, which came along at a moment I really needed it.  After the last few days, it gives us all something we sorely need:  Santa Pope!  :-) [Read more...]

At Newtown parish, “faith in action”

A beautiful testimony to the power of prayer, and the power of presence, from the National Catholic Register:  Nothing seemed different about the well-traveled two-lane route leading into this Connecticut community on Saturday. Newtown looked for all purposes like the typical scenic, small New England town — the way it always did. The turn at the [Read More...]

VIDEO: During Monday’s Angelus, pope prays for Newtown victims

The video, from CNS: [Read more...]

Is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” anti-Semitic?

At the beginning of Advent, I quoted the first line of that timeless chant in my homily, and after Mass a parishioner took me to task.  “Deacon Greg,” she said, “you know you said something anti-Semitic in your homily?”  I was taken aback.  She explained, “That first line in ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’?  Where [Read More...]

The story behind one iconic image of the Newtown shootings

Photo: Shannon Hicks/Newtown Bee This picture was one of the first images to circulate widely, just after the story broke, and it remains arguably the defining image of this tragedy. A writer with Poynter Institute, Julie Moos, explores how a small weekly paper is covering a story of global interest and national significance, and she [Read More...]

“With the angels, let us sing…”—UPDATED

For those who missed it, here’s the lovely, unexpectedly moving cold open to “Saturday Night Live” last night. Access Hollywood noted: “Saturday Night Live” strayed from the comedic path for their cold open on this week’s show, opting instead for a somber performance of “Silent Night” by the New York City Children’s Chorus in light [Read More...]

Priest’s “horrible” job in Newtown: telling the parents

From ABC News: A Newtown, Conn., priest had the “horrible” job of informing families this morning that their children had been killed in the elementary school massacre. There were 20 children among the 27 people brutally killed the day Adam Lanza, 20, invaded Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire on staff and students. Lanza [Read More...]

Homily for December 16, 2012: 3rd Sunday of Advent

As some of you know, my office is located in the Catholic Center in Manhattan, on First Avenue.  On Friday they were decorating the lobby for Christmas – trimming trees and hanging lights and assembling a small wooden stable, the Nativity scene. As I was leaving work, I stopped to take a look. This Nativity [Read More...]

The deacon who preaches in glass

Meet stained glass artist, Deacon Bob Markert in the Louisville Courier-Journal:  The pounding of a mallet and the ratcheting of a ladder echoed through the front atrium of Brescia Hall on the Ursuline Campus on a crisp November morning. Bob Markert and Peter Eichhorn were busy installing stained-glass windows designed decades ago by Markert, filled [Read More...]

Catholic priests rush to scene of Newtown school tragedy

photo: Cloe Poisson, Hartford Courant From Catholic News Agency:  Several priests of the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport responded quickly to the mass murder of adults and schoolchildren at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, rushing to the scene to comfort victims and their relatives. Brian Wallace, the diocese’s director of communications, said that priests from St. [Read More...]

Horror: 18 children dead in Connecticut school shooting

Eleven days before Christmas, a nightmare.  From Associated Press:  A gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school Friday in a shooting that left 27 people dead, including 18 children, an official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. The shooting appeared to be the nation’s second-deadliest [Read More...]

Believe in possibility: check out this amazing one-handed basketball player

Prepare to be awed and inspired. From HuffPo:  Zach Hodskins, the 6’2″ junior guard of Milton High School’s basketball team, has competed — and won — against some of the top high school players in the country. The Georgia teen is a skilled player, despite the fact that he only has one arm. Hodskins has [Read More...]

Bobby Jindal: sell birth control over the counter

The Catholic governor of Louisiana made his recommendation in an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. Details:  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, has a solution for the GOP’s birth control problem: Make it over the counter. “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced its support last [Read More...]

Catholic AG in Virginia calls church “the largest special group interest in America”

Details: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Roman Catholic, had some stinging words for church leaders in a recent speech where he said bishops have “helped create a culture of dependency on government, not God.” The 2013 Republican gubernatorial candidate offered that assessment during a wide-ranging Sept. 29 speech to the Cherish Life Ministries Christian Life [Read More...]

Do microphones muffle good preaching?

Writer Leroy Huizenga thinks so.  From First Things: I think microphones might very well injure preaching, for in preaching the microphone functions as both obstacle and crutch. The microphone is an obstacle, one more piece of complexity that can go wrong. It makes preachers tentative; the microphone is like a snake that might bite if [Read More...]

India produces a movie about Jesus: Passion of the (Hindu) Christ?

Now for something completely different. Details: Christaayan, the first Hindi production about Jesus, has been presented to the public. Situated in India, it is inspired by the country’s traditional culture. The six-hour epic was produced by Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra in Indore for the Divine Verb Society and will be broadcast nation-wide as a TV series. [Read More...]

Who is Dorothy Day?

Yesterday, I posted Part I of CNS’s profile of this future saint. Part II is below. Kudos to all concerned! [Read more...]