Social Justice and Mercy: “Two Threads of the Same Helix”

All it takes to sustain a culture war is a few select voices shouting in ideological indignation and people who are willing to label themselves “left” or “right” and then fall in line. In the 21st Century, this uncompromising mindset is creating economic and political stagnation and a socio-political distrust that is destroying us.It doesn’t have to be this way. With Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World, author Brandon Vogt dares to suggest that our world might be saved f … [Read more...]

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Interviewing Brandon Vogt on Catholicism: New Evangelization

When, in 2011, Father Robert Barron's Word on Fire Ministries released the first part of its "Catholicism Project", the book-and-video series Catholicism, a Journey to the Heart of Faith, I called it "a course in revolution". Major blocs of the beautifully-wrought video were picked up and aired by PBS and the book is a stand-alone modern classic that I still frequently give as a gift because it is such a readable and thoughtful overview of the faith.The second part of the Catholicism … [Read more...]

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Talking “Strange Gods” with Brandon Vogt

One of my favorite people on the planet is Brandon Vogt, a young man of considerable energy and imagination, but also great faith and astounding generosity. No one could have faulted him, had he sought to profit from his first book, The Church and New Media, but Brandon donated 100% of the book's proceeds to establish school computer labs throughout the Archdiocese of Mombasa, Kenya.Kathy Schiffer has mentioned meeting Brandon in Rome in 2011, for the beatification of Pope John Paul II and … [Read more...]

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Digital Field of the Lord: Hoeing the Rows, for the Seeds

In my my first reaction to Benedict's announcement yesterday, I wrote:Listening to some of the inanities coming out of the mouths of cable news anchors, and noting the way they are quickly, predictably, focusing on the "negative narratives" -- one voice on cable anchor is making it sound like the church has just endured 32 years of misery and she imagines "great joy" among "progressive" Catholics and "confusion" among "conservative" ones -- how grateful I am that, thanks to Benedict's … [Read more...]

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“Minor Revisions” Reality TV goes Young and Catholic

Alright, I have to say it: I am not a fan of reality tv shows -- all that splicing, all that talking to the camera while driving. Last night I stumbled into the den where the kids were watching some reality show about the Amish and my eyes glazed over almost instantly.But when Jennifer Fulwiler told me that she and her family were doing a 3-part reality show for NETNY.Net (Brooklyn Diocese), I was intrigued. She wondered, "why would it be interesting to the Brooklyn Diocese?" But after … [Read more...]

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Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?

So, two days ago the Vatican announced the Pope's new Twitter handle and relative hashtags. Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has amassed about half a million English-speaking followers (he will tweet in 8 Languages) and there are innumerable (and sometimes irreverent, often downright hateful) questions awaiting him at the #AskPontifex feed. The pope is not at a loss for reaction or, for that matter, advice. Our friend Brandon Vogt offers His Holiness Five Suggestions as he becomes a Tweeting … [Read more...]

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Lisa Hendey, making me look good

August and September were unusually busy months -- they flew by in a blur -- and for that reason I wasn't able to really clue in to what Brandon Vogt had in mind when he started a generous project meant to identify and promote Catholic speakers. See, I'm telling you that I was too busy to focus and get it, because I'd rather say that than simply admit, "I am dim."Vanity, vanity!The second part of the project was an interview process (print and video) and since no one else wanted me, … [Read more...]

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The Appeal of Fulton Sheen

I like Pat McNamara's look into the background of Ven. Fulton Sheen:Growing up on an Illinois farm, a neighbor had told his father: "Newt, that oldest boy of yours, Fulton, will never be worth a damn. He's always got his nose in a book." Born May 8th, 1895, he was named Peter but called Fulton (his mother's maiden name) throughout his life. From childhood, he knew two things: he hated farm life and he wanted to be a priest.At St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, he joined the debating … [Read more...]

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