The brilliance of Steve Martin: "Atheists don't have no songs"

We loved him with “King Tut,” and he’s gone and done it again, with this inspired Bluegrass tune, accompanied by the Steep Canyon Rangers.    (In a related vein, Heather King ruminates on the idea that “atheists have no story…”) [Read more...]

A flash mob like no other: dancing in the Beirut airport?!

This is pretty terrific. [Read more...]

Mel Gibson's comeback?

A first look at his new movie, “The Beaver,” coming out in May… The Hollywood Reporter gave it a rave review. [Read more...]

Best. Soda bread. Ever.

You can find the recipe right here. I had the good fortune to sample this very stuff a couple St. Paddy’s Days ago, when The Anchoress stopped by my TV studio for a taping.  Frankly, it’s less like bread, more like cake — and sublime.  Not crumbly.  Moist.  Flavorsome.  Addictive. I want some.  Now. And [Read More...]

Bishop: give up sex for Lent

And you thought giving up chocolate was tough. Try this idea, from a bishop in the Philippines: Proving that Catholic and Islam also have some commonality, a Roman Catholic prelate said abstinence from sex during the Lenten Season is also something that they are encouraging couples to do. But according to Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, [Read More...]

Ethicist: let's only keep most intelligent embryos

And, of course, destroy all the rest. Details: Human embryos should be screened for their potential intelligence and only the smartest allowed to live, an Oxford University ethicist has argued. In shocking remarks, Prof Julian Savulescu says embryos that do not pass the intelligence test should be destroyed for the good of society. The Australian [Read More...]

"Down in adoration falling…"

So begins the English translation of one of the most beloved and popular Catholic hymns, “Tantum Ergo,” the great song of praise sung at Eucharistic Adoration. We have Exposition and Adoration at my parish every Thursday — concluding with Benediction (sometimes celebrated by the deacon) at 7:30.  We also offer Benediction at the conclusion of [Read More...]

The reluctant penitent: my journey back to confession

Been to confession lately?  Lent is a good time to do that — and I talk about my own experience as a reluctant penitent in this week’s column, “All Things New”: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” I spoke the words clearly, firmly, just as I had been taught by Sister St. Margaret. This [Read More...]

The Fukushima 50

While the world watches the misery continue to unfold in Japan, I can’t help but be moved by the actions of a brave band of workers, all anonymous, struggling to keep one corner of Asia and the Pacific from nuclear disaster — and doing so at enormous personal cost. From the New York Times: A [Read More...]

The buzz on the new "Exultet": here come the bees!

With Easter rapidly approaching, deacons everywhere will be clearing their throats and getting ready to give voice to the great hymn of the Paschal Proclamation — also known as “The Exultet,” a seven-minute a capaella chant that fittingly, as the lyric proclaims, “humbles earthly pride.”    It is the Mother of All Chants, an epic [Read More...]

Mom blows nose! Baby freaks out!

Another adorable baby video, for your Tuesday consumption … H/T New Advent [Read more...]

When a nun dies

Over at NCR, Sister Rose Pacatte has a beautiful reflection on what happens when a sister dies — and shares the life and legacy of one nun in particular, Sr. Cecilia Livingston, who recently passed away: My hunch is that only a few of you knew Sr. Cecilia, but I would like you to. She [Read More...]

Life is a song — everybody join in!

This just cracked me up.  I’m still grinning.  Enjoy this great Beatles tune, in what has to be one of the longest hallways anywhere. Happy Ides of March! [Read more...]

Just in time for Easter, James Frey's new book about an alcoholic Messiah — UPDATED

He strikes again, with a book being released on Good Friday that seems designed to provoke and enrage: Controversial author James Frey is set to ignite another firestorm with his new book, “The Final Testament of the Holy Bible,” in which the second coming of Christ takes place in The Bronx projects — but the [Read More...]

"I wanted to start feeding my soul instead of my wallet…"

From Canada, comes this great story about a deacon who gave up a high-paying executive position to work with the homeless as the chaplain of the Ottawa Mission. Details: We come upon the official chaplain, Tom Donohue, a Catholic deacon since 2003. He has an office right by the front door on Waller Street, where [Read More...]

"He can help us from heaven": Quebec missionary priest killed in quake

Here is just one story, out of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, that are emerging from the devastated rubble of Japan. From CTV in Canada: A Catholic priest from Quebec has been found among the dead in Japan after an earthquake and tsunami rocked the country. Father Andre Lachapelle, a 76-year-old missionary from Saint-Jacques-de-Montcalm, near [Read More...]

In search of "the lost sacrament"

That would be confession, or the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  With Lent now upon us, many places are offering it more frequently, with some dioceses even publicizing it.  But are people buying what the Church is selling? The Catholic Anchor in Alaska takes a look: Like lancing a boil or going to the dentist, the thought [Read More...]

A song for the desert: "My Lord Did Trouble Me"

I first posted this a few months back, but it’s worth a second hearing.  Here’s a rich performance of a great song by Tom Jones — and the video below includes the arid landscape of the desert, as well as a clutch of rosary beads. It’s a perfect anthem for Lent. [Read more...]


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