Are baby boomers headed back to church?

Maybe:  Based on the premise that people become more religious as they age, Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport predicts that religion will have a more prominent place in American society as a new generation of seniors hits retirement age over the next 20 years. Newport makes the case in his new book, “God is Alive and [Read More…]

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New Year’s resolutions for the New Evangelization

Some great ideas from the blogging bishop, Christopher Coyne: As the new year begins, we often make resolutions and so, I offer the following possible new year’s resolutions to consider if one is going to be serious about being an evangelizer. I offer them for myself as well as for those readers who chose to [Read More…]

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A feminist who is miserable about “Les Miserables”

Author Stacy Wolf looks at “Les Mis” through a feminist lens in the Washington Post, and isn’t impressed: In 1987, when “Les Miz” opened on Broadway, it was part of a cultural moment that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi labeled the “anti-feminist backlash.” Its popularity at the time wasn’t surprising: The late 1980s weren’t kind [Read More…]

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“Today is where your book begins; the rest is still unwritten”

I’m not scheduled to preach on Tuesday, but here’s a little something from the vault. Below, my first homily for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, delivered on January 1, 2008.  The readings can be found here.  Happy New Year! DGK.  + Years ago, my wife and I decided, just [Read More…]

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Here it is: Dave Barry’s Year in Review for 2012

The wait is over.  Barry is back.  He begins:  It was a cruel, cruel year — a year that kept raising our hopes, only to squash them flatter than a dead possum on the interstate. Example: This year the “reality” show “Jersey Shore,” which for six hideous seasons has been a compelling argument in favor [Read More…]

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Wholly family: celebrating wonder on this feast day

Two of my Patheos neighbors have reminded me today about the meaning of family, and it couldn’t be more timely. Elizabeth Scalia on Facebook directed folks to a post she put up a couple years ago about her two grown boys:  I love my kids, but they could not be more different. They’re both “certified [Read More…]

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Photographer sends out family Christmas card—and he plays every member of the family

I guess someone at the Wall Street Journal got one: Like many of us, Gary He, 28, struggled to choose just one representative portrait of himself for his holiday card. So he used 14. He, a Brooklyn-based photographer, always puts a lot of thought, effort and money into his holiday card. Last year, he riffed [Read More…]

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“I have saved your soul for God”: say, isn’t the bishop in “Les Mis” wearing a dalmatic?

The part is played by the great Colm Wilkinson, who originated the role of Jean Valjean in London in 1985.  In the film, the bishop is a character around which much of the plot pivots. A sharp-eyed reader writes: I’m not too much up on my pre-V2 vestments (and neither it would seem was the [Read More…]

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Love lessons: watch this teacher set his class on fire

I’ll be perfectly honest here: I just love this story. Take 12 minutes and watch this beautiful video about a remarkable teacher in Louisville, Kentucky, Jeffrey Wright.   Then read more about him in the New York Times.   I can’t think of anything more inspiring to encounter during the Feast of the Holy Family.  Here [Read More…]

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A Christmas classic: the nativity scene of Mr. Bean

‘Tis the season for playing with your creche! Back by popular demand: a Christmas favorite of The Bench, and one that never fails to make me smile. Enjoy. [Read more…]

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Homily for December 30, 2012: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

[Click here for readings] I’m struck every year by the timing of this feast, celebrating the Holy Family. It comes on the first Sunday following Christmas, when a lot of us have started to overdose on family.  In fact, after the parties and cooking and visiting and obligations and expectations and disappointments, some of us [Read More…]

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A tale of four priests

Their names are Mahony, Brown, Niederauer and Levada, and they were all in seminary together.  Whatever happened to them? Read on, from the Salt Lake Tribune: Whether by accident, serendipity or divine design, four future heavyweights of American Catholicism found themselves in the Class of 1962 at St. John’s Seminary on a lush hillside 60 [Read More…]

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Great moments in journalism: Let is snow!

God bless ’em: Read all about it. Or maybe…red all about is? [Read more…]

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Victor Hugo: miserable Catholic?

As I mentioned, the movie of “Les Miserables” is teeming with Catholic references.  It lead me to wonder about the background of the novel’s author, Victor Hugo. From Wikipedia:  Hugo’s religious views changed radically over the course of his life. In his youth, he identified himself as a Catholic and professed respect for Church hierarchy [Read More…]

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A Christmas carol about mass murder?

Yes. It traditionally commemorates today’s feast and has a tragic resonance right now: The “Coventry Carol” is a Christmas carol dating from the 16th century. The carol was performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play calledThe Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew. The carol refers to the Massacre of the [Read More…]

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6 things that struck me about “Les Miserables”

At long last, I saw the movie version of “Les Miserables” tonight, tears dribbling off my cheeks and into my popcorn.  I have long been smitten by the score, the story, the unabashed emotion of the piece, and the movie does justice to all of that.  In fact, one of the things that struck me [Read More…]

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Maryland company closes wedding business rather than serve same-sex couples

Details, from the Baltimore Sun:  An Annapolis company whose old-fashioned trolleys are iconic in the city’s wedding scene has abandoned the nuptial industry rather than serve same-sex couples. The owner of Discover Annapolis Tours said he decided to walk away from $50,000 in annual revenue instead of compromising his Christian convictions when same-sex marriages become legal in [Read More…]

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Beyond stigma: a deacon who ministers to the mentally ill

A reminder of how we are called to serve all who hunger — and that hunger can take many forms:  When Deacon Tom Lambert’s wife was hospitalized for open heart surgery, friends brought unsolicited meals to the family’s door. “For three or four weeks, every day at 6 o’clock, the bell would ring and a different [Read More…]

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