Challenges, Rewards of Teaching Deaf Children

Catechist extraordinaire Lisa Mladinich, whose weekly column "Be an Amazing Catechist" has become a first-stop resource for RCIA facilitators and CCD teachers, has for the last two weeks been focusing on the challenges and rewards of serving the Deaf community of faith. Last week, she looked at the great needs within the church - what they are, and how well we are addressing them:In November 2009, Pope Benedict met with 400 deaf and hearing Catholic clergy and lay people, from sixty-five … [Read more...]

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Deacon Greg Kandra, Columnist

As if he doesn't have enough to do, Deacon Greg has decided to take on a weekly column, and today we launch him - check out All Things New:In a movie chock full of startling moments, this was one of the most startling of all.Toward the end of The Passion of the Christ, Jesus—bloodied, battered, defiled Jesus, struggling under the weight of his cross as he slouches toward Calvary—this Jesus stumbles, falls, and recovers, and then looks up to see the anguished face of his mother.And he man … [Read more...]

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Departures & the Lord of Our Trys

The other day, I posted a bit of gorgeous music from a film soundtrack.I'd been turned on to the music by Joseph Susanka, the excellent writer who also blogs at Inside Catholic (see his moving post about Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez and a suffering little boy here).Joseph--the young father of six little boys--also writes a weekly column, Through a Lens Darkly, where he finds the dark side of grace, even in lighter films, and also manages to find the light of grace in "darker" films. This … [Read more...]

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Surrender unto Surrender for Peace – UPDATED

I admit, my Tuesday column requires some patience. If you jump too quickly you're going to think I'm saying Christians should never defend themselves.Jesus surely didn’t preach that; he didn't preach a crusade either. He taught us to turn the other cheek.Our instincts tell us that turning the other cheek is stupid, but this is what Christ preached. He did not teach that we were meant to conquer others—be they radical Islamists, or gay activists, or evangelical atheists—but that we were to co … [Read more...]

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"Are you a woman of God?" UPDATED

That's the question Sr. Lisa Doty got from a kid in trouble:“Yes, I am,” I responded, “is there something I can do for you?”Looking down at his feet, he stammered, hardly audible, “I’m not sure what you can do, but I really could use your prayers.” He went on to explain how he had gotten into a lot of trouble at school, and as a result of it, he was expelled. Naturally, his folks are angry, and they worry he won’t be able to go on to college. “I’ve ruined everything! I have no future now!” Te … [Read more...]

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"Movin' On Up;" the Background!

Deacon Greg Kandra--who is due to move The Deacon's Bench over to Patheos on December 13--is busy hanging up bookshelves and making the place ready. As evidence of his excitement he's posted the greatest TV-Theme song ever written.An interesting background story on that memorable song. If you remember the series Good Times, you may recall Ja'net Dubois being cast as Florida's friend and neighbor, Willona.What most don't realize is that Dubois, was an dis an accomplished musician and singer. … [Read more...]

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Paving Over Grace & Preparing a Place

Two must-reads for you, over at Patheos--well, three, actually!If you are a fan of books and movies, and I know you are, check out Joseph Susanka's excellent take on Paved Over Grace; The Road to Perdition, and how Hollywood deviated from the book in ways large and small, to essentially eliminate all the grace-notes, but manage to focus (with perhaps too much emphasis) on the message of "non-violence." Including both, says Susanka, would be better:The film’s final lines, delivered by the y … [Read more...]

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"A Word in Season"

Ever have one of those moments, as you go through life, when someone comes along and says just the right word at the right time? It's usually when we needed it most!Or did you ever have a song play on the radio, or in the shuffle of the iTunes library, and you just knew that somehow that song was meant just for you?A moment of inspiration can make all the difference, for it contains a small blessing.Tucked deep in the Revised Standard Version translation of the Old Testament book of … [Read more...]

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St. Leo the Great, Attila & Children of Men

One of my favorite saints and favorite popes, today we remember Pope St. Leo the Great, whose homily excerpts in the Divine Office never fail to stir me:For there are two loves from which proceed all wishes, as different in quality as they are different in their sources. For the reasonable soul, which cannot exist without love, is the lover either of God or the world. In the love of God there is no excess, but in the love of the world all is hurtful. And therefore we must cling inseparably to … [Read more...]

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Sociology doesn't "get" Hope or Holy Spirit or Work

Forgive me for this, but I really must direct your attention to three excellent pieces, all arising from the blog Summa This, Summa That:The first is by Pat Gohn (yes, that Pat Gohn and that Pat Gohn; she's going to be a star!) who writes about simple hope, in all of its paradoxical complexities:The author of the book of Hebrews puts it this way:“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23.)”That says a whole lot more abo … [Read more...]

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