“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

If this doesn’t put your life in perspective, nothing will. Behold: kids on the hemoncology floor of Seattle Children’s Hospital perform “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. Watch and be awed.  (Warning: Kleenex may be needed.) [Read more…]

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Bishops to congress: “The proposed cuts to programs…fail a basic moral test.”

“The Catholic bishops of the United States recognize the serious deficits our country faces, and we acknowledge that Congress must make difficult decisions about how to allocate burdens and sacrifices and balance resources and needs. However, deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility efforts must protect and not undermine the needs of poor and vulnerable people. The proposed cuts to programs [Read More…]

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“If you can dream it, you can do it”: one kid shows us how

Having a case of the Tuesday blahs?  Looking for a little inspiration? How about this: a 14-year-old Little Leaguer with one fully-formed arm pitches a no-hitter.  Read more here. And watch him in action below. [Read more…]

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Why we vote that way: an anthropologist dissects faith and politics

Here’s an interesting take, from T.M. Luhrmann: If you want to understand how evangelicals conceive of their political life, you need to understand how they think about God. I am an anthropologist, and for the last 10 years I have been doing research on charismatic evangelical spirituality — the kind of Christianity in which people [Read More…]

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Quote of the day

“Let the wild rumpus start!” — Maurice Sendak, “Where the Wild Things Are” The celebrated author died today after a stroke.  He was 83.  RIP. [Read more…]

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What makes Pope Benedict smile?

Seminarians!  Lots of ’em!  Read on: Bishop James D. Conley of Denver said the news of rising seminarian numbers across the United States has delighted Pope Benedict XVI. “He was very happy to receive that information,” Bishop Conley told CNA on May 4 after meeting the Pope at the Vatican. “He said he had heard that vocations [Read More…]

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Boston Globe: Growing demand for spiritual directors

It seems that the ancient art of spiritual direction is going mainstream. (H/T Concord Pastor) Details: Natalie Weaver, a 25-year-old musician who lives in Roxbury, does not go to church. But every three weeks or so, she visits a white vinyl-sided building on Dorchester Avenue, a former convent, to meet with her spiritual director. For [Read More…]

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Worth a thousand words

From a friend’s Facebook page. [Read more…]

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Creating an Arctic bible: how do the Eskimos say “desert”?

Here’s something the original authors of sacred scripture never had to think about: Later this spring, an entire Bible in Inuktitut, the language of Inuit people and the most widely spoken aboriginal tongue in Canada’s Arctic, will be dedicated at an igloo-shaped church in Nunavut, an autonomous region carved out of the Northwest Territories in 1999. [Read More…]

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“A stunning change”

That’s how the local paper characterizes the shifting religious landscape in what was once a staunch Catholic stronghold, Buffalo, New York. Details: Nearly half the residents in the Buffalo Niagara region are considered “unclaimed” by a religious group — a stunning change from just a decade ago, when the percentage of the population affiliated with [Read More…]

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Australian church says women are “too choosy,” should wed earlier

Some provocative insight on the state of marriage from the church in Australia: Women should marry earlier and not be too picky to avoid an Aussie man drought, the Catholic Church has warned. Australia is experiencing a huge decline in the number of available men, with the church telling women they should also forget about [Read More…]

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Pope John XXIII: “My desk is piling up…what’s really necessary is a council”

And the rest is history. Check out this intriguing video from CNS, featuring an interview with the blessed pope’s secretary. [Read more…]

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Georgetown, the pope would like a word with you

He addressed a timely issue during today’s remarks to American bishops: Pope Benedict XVI called on America’s Catholic colleges and universities to reaffirm their Catholic identity by ensuring orthodoxy in theological studies and accepting the oversight of bishops. The pope made his remarks May 5 to U.S. bishops from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Wyoming, [Read More…]

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Just when you think you can’t take another “flash mob,” along comes something wonderful

Surely, the classiest and most elegant flash mob ever.  A thing of surprising joy and wonder, too. This happened on a train in Copenhagen. And I just loved it.  I think you will, too. [Read more…]

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Pontiff of note: Benedict to attend first public concert

Our piano-playing, music-loving pontiff will soon be hitting the road — specifically, heading to Milan: Pope Benedict XVI will attend a concert at the La Scala opera house of Beethoven’s Ninth symphony conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The June 1 concert is part of the pope’s Milan visit for the World Encounter of Families, which deals [Read More…]

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Homily for May 6, 2012: 5th Sunday of Easter

[Click here for readings.] To hear audio of this homily, click the green arrow below. [audio:http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/deaconsbench/files/2012/05/HOMILY050612.mp3|titles=HOMILY050612] This past week, I had a chance to preside at a wedding here at the parish.  As many couples do, the bride and groom selected for one of their readings the famous letter from St. Paul to the Corinthians [Read More…]

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Seriously? I thought this must be a headline from The Onion.

But no.  This headline is real: Georgetown Chooses Sebelius for Commencement Details, from the university: This afternoon, Georgetown announced the speakers for each school’s commencement address. Here is the list: David Simon, creator of the critically acclaimed television dramas “The Wire” and “Treme” will be speaking to the College. Dr. Mark Green, senior director of the [Read More…]

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What happens at a deacon ordination?

Glad you asked. Deacon Bill Ditewig has a terrific podcast that answers that very question, and more. Click here to listen. They’re ordaining 13 new deacons on the Diocese of Monterey on Saturday.  Keep them in your prayers!  I hope to have more after the big event. [Read more…]

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