Memorial Day: Worth a thousand words

Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day 2007. The story behind it, from photographer John Moore via LIFE.com: ‘One Memorial Day weekend, in 2007, I took my family to Arlington,’ photographer John Moore told LIFE.com, talking about this almost unbearable picture. ‘I went to photograph, but also just to visit, having covered so much war over the [Read More...]

Best version of "American Pie." Ever. Really. You gotta see this.

In a fit of incredible civic pride, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan got 5,000 residents to record this amazing video — a “lip dub” that itself has been dubbed “The Greatest Music Video Ever Made.” I don’t know about that, but it’s a big 9-minute-long grin.  And it may go down in video history [Read More...]

On Memorial Day: remembering the "Four Chaplains"

A reader alerted me to this item in the Huffington Post, recalling the so-called “Immortal Chaplains” who went down with the USAT Dorchester in 1943. As Wikipedia notes: The “Immortal Chaplains” were four United States Army chaplains who gave their lives to save other civilian and military personnel during the sinking of the troop ship [Read More...]

Congratulations on giving birth to your…whatever

This evidently kicked up a storm (pun intended) last week: news about a Canadian couple that has decided to keep their new baby’s gender a secret. Details: When Kathy Witterick gave birth to her third child in January, friends and family knew not to send blue or pink balloons. The Toronto Star reports that, following [Read More...]

Why guys love Hot Wheels

I had these when I was a kid, and now I remember why I loved them so much. Get a load of the video below: a life-sized Hot Wheels car, driven by  Top Gear‘s Tanner Foust, nails a world record-setting 332-foot jump in a modified Pro 2 truck. Cool.  Way cool.  Maybe next time he [Read More...]

Did they sing "God Bless America" at your church this weekend?

With Memorial Day tomorrow, we marked the occasion today with a rousing verse of “America the Beautiful,” segueing into “God Bless America” after the final announcements, and before the final blessing.  The flag was also dragged out from its place in the corner, and planted prominently beside the pulpit.  (Despite that, we heard grumblings about [Read More...]

Meet the priest who's "one of the most dangerous people in town"

And he’s been called that because of ardently pro-Catholic letters he writes for the hometown newspaper in Minnesota. From the Duluth News Tribune: Every 30 days or so he and his opinions are published in the letters to the editor section of the News Tribune. He’d be in more often if we let him, no [Read More...]

Homily for May 29, 2011: 6th Sunday of Easter

Back in the 1940s, a father found himself spending one too many Saturday afternoons at a California amusement park with his two young daughters.  He’d spend a couple hours on a park bench, reading the paper or watching the skies for signs of rain, mostly feeling bored.  And he would look around and see dozens [Read More...]

Ordination update: 27 new deacons in Brooklyn

Think I could overlook Brooklyn?  Fuggedaboutit. From the In My Backyard Desk: the ordinations happened this morning, and will surely mark a Memorial Day weekend these men and their families will never forget. The sacrament was celebrated at Our Lady of Angels Church in Brooklyn — one of the largest in the diocese, and a [Read More...]

Coming next: Extraordinary Minister of the iPhone

Tuesday, my wife and I marked our 25th wedding anniversary with a special mass in Orlando, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe. (A big hat tip to my friend, blog reader, and hard-working Disney employee Fernando Martinez, who made it all possible — and provided cupcakes after!  His [Read More...]

Miracle dog: "We are honored to be a part of his recovery…"

If you want to know the meaning of loyalty, and the depths that drive one to seek a place called home…take a look at this story, about a dog who miraculously survived a tornado. [Read more...]

The short, troubled life of Jeff Conaway

The star of “Taxi” and “Grease” died today at 60, after a lengthy battle with drugs. Details: The actor was taken off life support Thursday and died Friday morning at Encino Tarzana Medical Center, according to one of his managers, Kathryn Boole. “It’s sad that people remember his struggle with drugs. … He has touched [Read More...]

Shock: bishop never read letter warning him about predator priest

The more you read about this case, the more it defies credulity. First, the headline yesterday from the National Catholic Reporter: Diocese warned of priest’s aberrant behavior one year before arrest. Details: The principal of a Catholic elementary school warned the Kansas City-St. Joseph chancery office that a local priest “fit the profile of a [Read More...]

RIP, Joe Feuerherd

Sad news from the world of Catholic media: Joseph A. Feuerherd, whose journalism career began as a college intern in the Washington Bureau of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) and concluded with his service as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of that award-winning publication, died Thursday morning (May 26) at Casey House, a hospice facility in Rockville, [Read More...]

Ordination update: 10 new deacons for Camden

From the New Jersey Turnpike bureau comes this heartening report:   On Saturday, May 21, in Glassboro, 10 men in the Camden Diocese were ordained as deacons, after completing six years of formation and readying themselves to be of service to God and the Catholic community. Bishop Joseph A. Galante performed the Rite of Ordination [Read More...]

Quote of the day

“Our call is truly to service of God’s people, and our presence on the altar represents the service of the whole parish community. We have one foot on the altar and one in the pew…We [deacons] have this special ability to talk about the Gospel from the view of parents, husbands, managers, home-buyers and workers [Read More...]

Pope receives papers for cause of Fulton Sheen — and reveals that he worked with him

A small but significant step forward for the cause of the man who (I hope) will one day be the patron saint of television (alongside St. Claire, of course). Details: When Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., presented Pope Benedict XVI with two thick volumes about the life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the [Read More...]

Lay off it

Dear media writer/religion reporter/journalist… I know you have a busy life.  I know you are under deadline.  I know it’s easy to stumble and make mistakes.  Believe me, I’ve been there.    But please, try to avoid making the  blunder that this writer made, in an otherwise fine piece:  referring to Catholic deacons as “lay deacons.” [Read More...]


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