“Les Miserables”: timeless—and timely

Tony Rossi offers his review of this year’s must-see movie musical: The Christmas debut is appropriate since it’s the most profoundly Christian story for mainstream audiences that’s been produced in years. Far from being a niche movie just designed for religious viewers, this is a big budget drama whose universal values will appeal to anyone yearning for [Read More...]

Need a smile? This should do it.

God bless Tom McDonald for digging up this wonderful picture, which came along at a moment I really needed it.  After the last few days, it gives us all something we sorely need:  Santa Pope!  :-) [Read more...]

Is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” anti-Semitic?

At the beginning of Advent, I quoted the first line of that timeless chant in my homily, and after Mass a parishioner took me to task.  “Deacon Greg,” she said, “you know you said something anti-Semitic in your homily?”  I was taken aback.  She explained, “That first line in ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’?  Where [Read More...]

“With the angels, let us sing…”—UPDATED

For those who missed it, here’s the lovely, unexpectedly moving cold open to “Saturday Night Live” last night. Access Hollywood noted: “Saturday Night Live” strayed from the comedic path for their cold open on this week’s show, opting instead for a somber performance of “Silent Night” by the New York City Children’s Chorus in light [Read More...]

Atheists erect anti-Christian billboard in Times Square

The Catholic League notes: Hanukkah is currently being celebrated, but fortunately for Jews they are not being attacked by David Silverman. No, like other haters in the atheist community, the president of American Atheists saves his vitriol for Christians. Silverman’s latest assault is a huge billboard in New York’s Times Square. The decision by Silverman [Read More...]

Did Obama remove Christmas from the White House Christmas cards?

Given items like this one, you would think so. But it turns out the word “Christmas” hasn’t appeared in a White House Christmas card for years. A website devoted to White House Christmas cards has some context: During their first year in the executive mansion, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama’s selection of their [Read More...]

Rhode Island church recasts the Nativity with Jose, Maura…and a girl named Hope?

Photo by Bob Plain Kathy Schiffer found this curiosity: The babe in the manger is a girl named Hope.  Joseph (er, “Jose”) is an illegal immigrant looking for a job in the U.S.  Mary (“Maura”) is a teenage runaway who fled her Connecticut home after her parents became upset upon discovering her pregnancy.  The Angel [Read More...]

A creche course: the Nativity as seen around the world

Over at HuffPo, Jesuit Mark Bosco looks at the lively and often creative tradition of the Christmas creche, and illustrates it with examples from the James and Emilia Govan Creche Collection at the Loyola Museum of Art.   (Shown above: the Lincoln Memorial as a Nativity setting, featuring an eagle as angel, and an elephant and [Read More...]

A deacon’s dazzling Christmas light display

A California deacon is making a splash, and spreading a lot of light: More than 30,000 people are expected to visit Deacon Dave’s “Casa del Pomba” Christmas lights display in Livermore. This year’s theme is “Elfland,” and features 345,300 Christmas lights, making it one of the largest displays in the Bay Area. Casa del Pomba [Read More...]

Here’s something they probably don’t include in your church’s nativity scene…

A friend mentioned this in a Facebook post, and it turns out to be true: A Caganer (Catalan pronunciation: [kəɣəˈne], Western Catalan: [kaɣaˈne]) is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighbouring areas with Catalan culture such as Andorra, Valencia, Northern Catalonia (in southern France) and the Balearic Islands. [Read More...]