February 15, 2011

I knew Lara Logan during my time at CBS News, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more tenacious, eager, committed reporter. She was someone who could have gotten by on just her looks, but didn’t.  She rolled up her sleeves and went into some of the most dangerous places on earth, to get the story, because that’s what mattered. So this news is more than a shock.  It’s just horrific: On Friday February 11, the day Egyptian president Hosni… Read more

February 15, 2011

Longtime readers will know that I have great affection for Thomas Merton and have spent some memorable, meaningful hours at the place he called home for half of his life, the Abbey of Gethsamani, in Kentucky.  Below is a favorite shot, from several years ago: Your Humble Blogger on the front porch of Merton’s hermitage. While Merton’s presence at Gethsemani changed the place radically — and his royalties have given it a steady revenue stream for decades — less well-known… Read more

February 15, 2011

That was what they used to call her, that barely five-foot tall bundle of life and laughter, the warm and winsome wonder whom I knew better as just “Aunt Agnes.” She was the wife of my dad’s oldest brother, Joe Kandra; that’s the two of them, above, a decade or so ago, shortly before he died.  Over the weekend, Aggie finally went home, to join him.  She was 92. The obituaries put it plainly: Born in Taylor, Pa., Agnes was… Read more

February 15, 2011

While the Philadelphia Church reels from the latest grand jury report, a local columnist struggles to put the damning news in context: At a time when the traditional family is under assault, marriage is threatened with redefinition, and we have reached the grim milestone of 50 million abortions since 1973, our bishops have shredded their moral credibility and left us, the people in the pews and the good priests and nuns who minister to us, feeling shamed, humiliated, angry and… Read more

February 15, 2011

A reader writes: I was directed to your blog, The Deacon’s Bench, by a link on The Anchoress’ blog.  As I began reading the homily posted for World Marriage Day, I was shocked to recognize it… because my own pastor had preached this homily almost verbatim during Mass on Sunday (and on Saturday evening also according to my husband).  He even attributed your wife’s quote about praying together and separately to his mother. It bothers me IMMENSELY that your words… Read more

February 14, 2011

Paging Dr. Doolittle… Read more

February 14, 2011

Let there be light!  It will be the first church in North America to use this particular kind of solar energy. Details: A different kind of trinity is emerging at Saskatoon’s newest cathedral, where the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is combining art, technology and faith in a stunning and environmentally-friendly project. The Holy Family Catholic Church, a $28.5-million cathedral under construction in Saskatoon’s northeast, has solar cells embedded in the large stained glass windows that will be installed this… Read more

February 14, 2011

What an amazing story. Meet Deacon Frank Bice, from the Diocese of Rockville Centre, a former seminarian who suffered a debilitating football injury in college but has turned it into an opportunity to minister to people around the world, via the web. Newsday profiles him (subscription required), and notes: “I’m really incredibly lucky,” said Bice, 51. “I really had a pretty good attitude” after the accident. “I really didn’t want to waste time hoping that this didn’t happen or wishing… Read more

February 14, 2011

Paging Dr. Doolittle… Read more

February 14, 2011

Smile and say “Jesus!” A grateful diaconal bow to Deacon Steve Swope of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, who sent along the picture below: Atlanta’s 16 new deacons, ordained on February 5. The Georgia Bulletin offered a preview of the rite (but as yet hasn’t posted online a followup.)  Congratulations and welcome, brothers!  Ad multos annos! Read more

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