The Beatitudes & Sargent Shriver

Deacon Greg Kandra has had a very impressive career; as a writer and producer with CBS News, he won Peabody Awards and Emmy Awards, and Writer's Guild Awards - and then he went to the Diocese of Brooklyn and helped establish Currents, the first daily Catholic news broadcast in the country, at New Evangelization Television. He has a gift for zeroing in on the human center of a story, and extending it in a way that brings all the peripheral loose ends together into a cohesive and marvelous … [Read more...]

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Pope, Condom, TSA & Crucifix – UPDATED

With a title like that, what else could I be talking about but my Tuesday column:I had been driven to the crucifix because I had become overwhelmed with the media/internet cacophony that had followed L’Osservatore Romano’s weekend revelation of Pope Benedict XVI’s thoughts on the use of condoms in certain situations, and by the uproar over newly put-in-place TSA regulations on pre-flight searches and pat-downs.In both cases, reactions were swift, and they varied according to agendas but fe … [Read more...]

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Christ the King; Here comes Emmanuel!

"Who do you say that I Am?"SourceLet's prepare ourselves for the end of the liturgical year, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King:God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom . . . The law was to be Israel's king, and through the law, God himself . . . God yielded to Israel's obstinacy and so devised a new kidn of kingship for them. The King is Jesus; in him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself. This is the usual form of the divine activity in relation to … [Read more...]

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The Heroic Ordination at Dachau – UPDATED

Deacon Greg brings us a look at a secret ordination that took place at Dachau:Leisner was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and in Dachau his condition began to deteriorate. Fearing that the great dream of his life -- to be a priest -- would never be realized, he and the priests in his cellblock secretly sent a petition to a local cardinal (aided here, and in so many areas, by a heroic nun known as the "Angel of Dachau," Sister Imma Mack.) The cardinal granted permission for a French bishop … [Read more...]

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Dolan New USCCB Prez – UPDATED

For American Catholics who pay attention, today's big news is the surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.Dolan counts himself among the surprised (Photo: CNS/Nancy Wiechec)Personally, I think this is a terrific selection. Dolan is a very pastoral, humble and joyful presence. He is faithful, but for the most part he does not come down like a hammer (his parlays with the NY Times notwithstanding).Our bishops are … [Read more...]

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"Blood and Forgiveness"

When Deacon Greg Kandra showed me his homily for yesterday, I wrote to him that he had written "the best piece I have yet seen on the slaughter of Iraqi Christians; it rounds out what is missing in the secular coverage."One of the [Iraqi] parishioners put it so simply, and so beautifully. He said that he returned because the week before he hadn't finished his prayers. I need to finish them, he said. A woman with a bandage around her knee told a reporter, "We forgive them. We're not afraid. … [Read more...]

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Out of Iraq: the Gospel Message Writ Large – UPDATED

Our Lady of Salvation Church, IraqIn the gospels, Our Lord made it very clear that to claim His salvation and his Name was to put oneself at odds with the world. His cross is a sign of contradiction, and our lives are meant to be, as well. In truth, Christians should be happy, not angry, when the world despises them; it despised Him, first. If the world loved Christians, or loved the church, it would indicate that the church (or the Christian) has become too much "of the world."And where … [Read more...]

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Fr. Barron on Eucharistic Adoration

It takes a genuine bigot to suggest that Eucharistic Adoration is a practice reserved to the stupid and the uneducated. Another sort of elitism. … [Read more...]

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"We had Cancer & Christ in Common

"Friendship" by PicassoIt's breast cancer awareness month, and Pat Gohn has permitted me to reprint an affecting piece she wrote a couple of years ago, about her own breast cancer, and the a deep and faith-filled friendship that came like a balm and gift to counter the medical chaos:Sometimes friendships blossom where we least expect them -- like in foxholes. That echoes my relationship with Judi. I was in a battle, but lacked experience. As a cancer veteran, Judi helped me adjust my armor … [Read more...]

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The Employment Rosary; on Currents

Last week, I had a chance to speak with Currents' Nathalia Ortiz about the idea of using the mysteries of the Rosary as a consolation and meditation for all of those who are seeking employment, or their family members who are anxiously watching them.The prayers and meditations are fleshed out in this little publication by Our Sunday Visitor, which I have written more about here.The great folks at NET-NY produce Currents (the only nightly Catholic newscast in the nation) have excerpted the … [Read more...]

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