“The war on Christmas is over. Jesus won.”

That’s the eye-catching headline of this item in The Washington Post, summarizing a new report from those folks at Pew: A new Pew Research Center survey finds nearly three-quarters of Americans — 73 percent — believe that Jesus was literally born to a virgin. This is especially surprising when you consider that only one third of Americans say that [Read More...]

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Christmas music: Do you hear what I hear? Again and again and again?

From Nate Silver’s website comes this interesting look at the music we keep hearing during this time of year:  Radio’s wall-to-wall holiday format is a recent development. Of course, stations in the past played some Christmas music on Dec. 24 and 25, but the vast majority of soft-rock stations began switching to all-holiday soundtracks in [Read More...]

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“Grossly offensive” Satanic holiday display approved for Florida Capitol

From The Orlando Sentinel:  Unlike last year, a Satanic Temple display will be officially welcome inside Florida’s Capitol during the holiday season. And Festivus, a non-commercial festival “for the rest of us,” will be back as a 6-foot stack of empty beer cans. Also expected are a pair of nativity scenes. The Florida Department of [Read More...]

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Brooklyn launches hip new ad campaign for Christmas

From the In My Backyard Desk … Hot on the heels of last year’s buzz-worthy campaign, my diocese has done it again this year for Christmas. The press release:  On Dec. 2, the Diocese of Brooklyn launched a new advertising campaign encouraging people to return to Mass. The campaign showcases different messages inviting people of [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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“Do not be afraid”: a Christmas homily

From Midnight Mass, 2007, here’s my first Christmas homily.  While the references are dated, I hope the message still resonates.  For so many this year, the central theme —Do not be afraid—is more urgent now than ever.  – Dcn. G. + Like a lot of people of a certain age, I remember well the first [Read More...]

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Homily for January 1, 2012: Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God

[Click here for readings] A lot of us had our travel interrupted over the holidays – flight delays, cancellations, weather problems.  But none, I think, can compare with the story of Msgr. Steve Rossetti. Msgr. Rossetti is a priest from the Diocese of Syracuse.  He teaches at Catholic University but every couple years, he goes [Read More...]

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God rest ye, merry gentle friends

Visiting a parish in Maryland this weekend, I was surprised that the recessional hymn at today’s mass wasn’t altered for political correctness. But no: to my amazed ears, they actually sang “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” The reason this surprised me was because the entrance hymn, on the other hand, was changed from “Good Christian [Read More...]

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Christmas in Queens

From the nativity scene outside my parish. Blessed Christmas, everyone! [Read more...]

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Homily for Midnight Mass

Note: I won’t be preaching this Christmas, or this weekend.  But I’m re-posting this year my first Christmas homily, from Midnight Mass in 2007.   A few of the references are a bit dated, but the message, I hope, still comes through. Blessed Christmas, everyone!  Dcn. G. Like a lot of people of a certain age, [Read More...]

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