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391 article(s)

December 8th, 2008
Feast of the Immaculate Conception

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Surprising others this Christmas……
Susan Harrison is living proof that attitude, perspective and determination can change a life.
Abandoned by her mother to a relative, Susan was raised in a home with little love and much abuse. Enduring physical and psychological pain, Susan focused on good grades and sports. “I kept trying,” she says. “I kept thinking that there has to be something better.” Without role models, Susan floundered. Just a few years out of high school, she became pregnant.
“I was working full-time in security while I was carrying my baby, but the company decreased my hours,” says Susan. “It just wasn’t

December 7th, 2008
That's the Way It Was... One Christmas Eve

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Advent Quotable
During the Vietnam War, after a holiday cease-fire had been announced, veteran news anchor Walter Cronkite signed off the evening news broadcast by saying:
Goodnight, it’s Christmas Eve. It’s seven o’clock and there’s peace in the world. We don’t know if there’ll be peace in the world tomorrow night but we know, tonight, Christmas Eve, there’s peace in the world.

Today’s Prize is: Halo Store Grab Bag — Choose any book, DVD, or CD from our Halo Store (May include: Googling God, Mary and Me, Beautiful Mess (Bill McGarvey CD), Yoga Prayer DVD, or Isaac Hecker: An American Saint or Magnificat… Christmas Season

December 6th, 2008
St. Nicholas

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Advent Fast Fact…
Saint Nicholas of Myra, a Greek Christian bishop of the fourth century, is the primary inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was famous for his generosity to the poor. In the most famous story, he gave an impoverished faithful Christian man dowries for his three daughters, so they would not have to become prostitutes. A more legendary version of the story has St. Nicholas throwing a gold bar through the window when each daughter needed her dowry. With the last daughter, the window was closed, and rather than break the glass, he climbed to the roof and threw the gold bar down the chimney.

Today’s Prize is: a Sirius-XM Hat and Knapsack.
This day’s contest

December 5th, 2008
"Visions of Sugar-Plums?"

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Advent Eating……

"…While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads" — from "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (better known as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas)

What the heck are “sugar-plums” anyway?
Sugarplums are simply dried, sugared plums. In the Victorian era, they were most popular as a Christmas treat, but were also served year-round. The technique of creating sugarplums is very time-consuming, but not too hard.
Summer, when plums are ripe but firm, is the best time to make your own. Many gourmet stores carry sugarplums—but, according to food expert Arthur Schwartz, it is better to buy them from Europe.

December 4th, 2008
American Elites and Their Response to Torture

Panel 2, part 1 (see part 2 and Further Reflections below)…
The photographs that revealed the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib shocked the world. American military personnel and civilian contractors are seen engaged in practices prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, the Army Field Manual, and U.S. and international law. Further revelations about CIA rendition policies, deaths in custody, Guantanamo detainees, and government secrecy raise critical questions about U.S. culture and the practices and conditions that have fostered the resort to torture.
This Headline Forum, sponsored by the Fordham Center for Religion and Culture examined two issues:

What in U.S. culture predisposes us

December 4th, 2008
Who created manger scenes?

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Advent Fast Fact…
St. Francis often gets credit for creating the Nativity scene. However, his scenes were live ones—with real animals, real straw and a real trough. Modest Nativity scenes include, at minimum, a manger—sometimes known as a crèche or crib—which was a feeding trough for animals. (Some say this is so because Jesus came to offer himself as food for all creation.) Home nativity scenes usually have little figurines and can fit on a mantelpiece with relative ease. Some people choose to put them under their Christmas tree to symbolize God’s gift to all of us in the birth of Jesus.
Amazingly, many pet owners report that, each Christmas, their dog always sits right near

December 3rd, 2008
Ho, Ho, Ho, Ay?

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Advent Fast Fact…
Canada Post, tired of seeing too many letters addressed to Santa end up in the dead letter files, came up with an ingenious solution.
Postal codes in Canada consist of six characters, alternating letter-number. For example, an address in Toronto might have a postal code of M6G 2M1.
The good folks at Canada Post assigned Santa his own postal code: H0H 0H0.
Since 1982, over one million letters per year mailed using that code have received an answer from one of 11,000 retired or current Canada post employees.

Today’s Prize is: a Sirius-XM Hat and Knapsack.
This day’s contest is over. The winner was: Carol R. of Lacey, WA
If you enter our drawing using the form

December 2nd, 2008
Popular Culture, Graphic Representations of Torture and Violence

Panel 1, part 1 (see parts 2 and 3 below)…
The photographs that revealed the torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib shocked the world. American military personnel and civilian contractors are seen engaged in practices prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, the Army Field Manual, and U.S. and international law. Further revelations about CIA rendition policies, deaths in custody, Guantanamo detainees, and government secrecy raise critical questions about U.S. culture and the practices and conditions that have fostered the resort to torture.
This Headline Forum, sponsored by the Fordham Center for Religion and Culture examined two issues:

What in U.S. culture predisposes us to torture or to a tolerance

December 2nd, 2008
Surprising others this Christmas...

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While we are all warm and snuggly around a family fireplace, men and women are serving our country in the war-torn Middle East.  
BustedHalo is asking their readers to send phone cards to soldiers this year so they can call their loved ones at home on Christmas.
There are two different ways that you can send phone cards to troops:

If there is a soldier that you know, and you have their full name and address:

You can order a card through AAFES. AAFES is the Army Air Force Exchange Services, basically a store on base that also has an online catalogue. Their link is: https://thor.aafes.com/scs/default.aspx.
You can also send a card through a non-profit organization. (Military branches…

December 1st, 2008
Sartre

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Advent Quotable
While serving in the French army in 1940, Jean-Paul Sartre, the existentialist philosopher and playwright, was captured by Germans and placed in a prisoner of war camp. Before Christmas, a fellow-prisoner named Paul Feller who was a Jesuit, persuaded Sartre to write a Christmas play for the Christians imprisoned with them. By 1940, Sartre—who had been baptized a Catholic—was a declared atheist, but he agreed to the request out of a sense of solidarity with the other prisoners. The following is a brief excerpt from the resulting play, called “Bar-Jona,” in which Sartre offers a moving reflection on the Virgin Mother and her newborn son, Jesus.…

November 30th, 2008
Where does the idea for an Advent wreath come from?

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Advent Fast Fact…
The Advent wreath actually has pre-Christian Germanic origins. During the shortest day of the year (the winter solstice) people used wreathes with lit candles as a sign of hope that the warmth of the sun and extended-sunlight days would soon return. In Scandinavia during winter, lighted candles were added to a wheel. Prayers were then offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth.

Today’s Prize is: a Sirius-XM Hat and Knapsack.
This day’s contest is over. The winner was: Mari A. of Philadelphia, PA
If you enter our drawing using the form below, your entry will

November 25th, 2008
Surprising Info and Prizes on EACH DAY of Advent

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The Grand Prize drawing in our Advent Surprise Calendar contest — a Sirius Sportster 5 Satellite Radio with car and home installation kits plus a free six-month subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio (a value of over $200) — will be conducted Friday night / Saturday morning at 3 a.m. EST. Enter in today’s calendar posting.
Remember, all valid entries for a daily prize received between November 30 and 3 a.m. EST December 20th will be eligible to win our random drawing for the grand prize. There is no limit to the number of times you can enter (each entry however must be accompanied by the…

September 17th, 2008
Busted Halo® Contributors Sound Off On What They're Reading On The Web Right Now

Busted Halo’s® contributors are an eclectic bunch of media-lovers who spend a good deal of their time checking out what is going on all over the web—from blogs and videos to what’s being covered in the mainstream press. If you like the content, approach and tone of Busted Halo, this new department will give you an opportunity to see what the people behind the Halo are reading out there in the cybersphere, blogosphere…and anything-else-sphere they might come across. It’s also a chance for us to highlight other great sites, writers etc that we love but don’t have the chance tell you about most of the time. We’ll be updating “We’re Reading…” often…

April 23rd, 2008
Paulist Productions launch their first web-based series

The Paulist Fathers, who founded and continue to sponsor BustedHalo® have a long and distinguished reputation for being at the forefront of the convergence of faith, media and technology. Paulist Press, whose founding dates back to 1888, became one of the leading publisher of hardcover and paperback books. While in 1960, the late Father Ellwood “Bud” Kieser founded Paulist Productions in Los Angeles that went on to produce award-winning television series and feature-length films.
The distinctions between “new” media—the internet—and more traditional forms are, of course, quickly disappearing. (BustedHalo® is continuing to work more with video and has also partnered with…

April 22nd, 2008
Spirituality for the Sleep-Deprived

Lately I feel like my brain is on holiday. I find myself wandering the supermarket unable to remember exactly what I’m supposed to be shopping for, reaching the end of a newspaper article and having no idea what I’ve just read.
It has to be the sleep deprivation. A few happy, isolated incidents aside, I haven’t had more than five hours of uninterrupted shut-eye since my daughter was born six months ago. Maybe once she gets the hang of not waking me up at three in the morning I’ll get back to some good, serious thinking. For now my brain’s stuck on diaper rash remedies, dirty laundry, the absolute adorableness of little baby toes.
My previous multisyllabic lifeI used to be a lot deeper.…

December 23rd, 2006

Paulist Father Dave Dwyer, CSP will be the host and on-air commentator for this year’s Midnight Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Dwyer, who is the publisher of BustedHalo.com, also hosts a daily radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio weekdays 7-9pm EST. The Mass is being broadcast by WPIX, Ch 11 in NYC, but it will also be carried by selected affiliates throughout the country.
Check your local listings.…

July 8th, 2004
Where Everybody Knew Your Name

Sometimes my parish priest starts mass by asking us to look around and introduce ourselves to one or two people we don’t know. The exchanges that follow are awkward and brief—a little forced, like when you went to the family reunion as a kid and your mom made you kiss some old auntie you’d never seen before.
But someone has to help us get to know one another. We aren’t doing a great job of it on our own. I’ve been to a few churches like this now, where people hurry out the door as soon as the last song ends, where the people you see every Sunday remain strangers.
The tavern at ten
It’s nice to have real friends at church. I used to have some—friends whose homes I visited, who brought me flowers…

December 1st, 2003
My Love-Hate Affair with the Winter

I am standing at my kitchen sink, gazing out the window as the afternoon sun dissolves into the sky. I am supposed to be peeling potatoes for supper but I can’t stop watching the sunset—or the way there is no sunset, really, but only a dreary washing out of color, daylight fading into grayness. So why am I transfixed?
It seems it’s been this way for months, dark at five p.m., the ground covered in a tired layer of snow, though it’s only November.
F.S.C.S.—Future Snowbirds of Canada SocietyI have no patience for winter anymore. I’m so tired of slipping on sidewalks, of bundling kids into parkas and listening to weather forecasters go on about how exposed skin will freeze in thirty seconds.…

August 17th, 2003
The Muddy Emotions Watching a Toddler in the Terrible Twos

Did you see that kid in the Wal-Mart a while back, the two-year-old flailing about red-faced and sobbing in the shopping buggy?
He might have belonged to me.
PDA’s—public displays of agitationA few months ago we reached a point where we couldn’t step foot in any public place without my son going through some degree of meltdown. He found endless things worth getting hysterical about—not being allowed to play in the clothing racks, the strange smell wafting through the public restroom. I reacted uselessly, hissing hushed warnings, threatening immediate trips home.
It was just so embarrassing, the public display of it all, the other shoppers’ dirty looks.
Much worse, I was growing uneasy…

July 28th, 2003
A Young Mother Confronting the Hordes of Baby Products

I’ve never really been one for shopping, but after I learned I was pregnant with my first child, I started looking forward to all the impending trips to the malls and department stores. What fun hubby and I would have browsing for crib bedding and tiny little clothes.
The big yellow bookI bought myself a big yellow book to guide me through the process. It described all the products we would need to make our home fit for baby’s arrival, beginning with the array of options available for diapering and moving without pause through the cradles, car seats, strollers, high chairs, change tables, bottles, bottle warmers; things for swinging, toting, bouncing, cleaning, and rocking baby; things that would…

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