Busted Halo
author archive
Fr. Tom Gibbons :
98 article(s)

Since 2009, Tom Gibbons, CSP, has shared insights on faith, pop culture, and seminary life in the Kicking and Screaming blog here at Busted Halo. On May 19, 2012, Tom was ordained a Paulist priest at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City. He will begin serving St. Peter's Catholic Church in Toronto, Canada beginning in July 2012.
January 6th, 2010

With a pork burrito in my hand, a song in my heart, and Fudgie the Whale back in my life, I am feeling generous, so I agree to partake in the survey. The first question: why did I leave USAA?

December 31st, 2009
(1923 - 2009)

During that third week of June when we lost King of Pop and the Queen of Pinup on the same day, it was easy for the death of someone who spent most of his life as a sidekick to be brushed aside. It was easy for the shock of losing two people Generation X once considered dynamic role models to overshadow the loss of someone who was considered, in his own way, a great uncle.
If you have ever watched Conan O’Brien and wondered why he has Andy Richter sitting next to him night after night, Ed McMahon is the reason why. From all accounts, it’s a very difficult thing to be a stand-up comedian, putting yourself out there in front of millions of people each night… even Jerry Seinfeld confesses to getting nervous before…

December 30th, 2009

The following is a continued account of my first year in seminary with the Paulist Fathers.
Holy Thursday 2006 was spent in a bar. The screen writing class I had been taking finished its six week run and we all decided to go out for a beer. After the evening was through, the instructor of the class (Jim) and I were walking to our cars. He had graduated film school a few years ago and was working during the day for a wine store while working on some projects, one of which he was in the midst of finishing for a producer in Hollywood.  As it happened, I was heading down to DC to visit American University Film Program in the morning, and I wanted to pick his brain about graduate school possibilities.
The conversation started at “career”

December 29th, 2009

On the day I was to serve as an acolyte for the first time, I was nervous. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the acolyte is essentially an altar server. But I was nervous because while I believe I have been given many gifts in life, hand and foot coordination has not traditionally been one of them; to this day small beads of sweat roll down my forehead whenever I’m at a wedding and the DJ busts out “The Electric Slide.” Granted, assisting the presiding priest during Mass is a little different from taking a step forward, taking a step back, wiggling your tush, and turning to the side… but from what I’ve seen from the pews, it’s not different by much.
Fortunately the priest who would be presiding that…

December 27th, 2009

Where I grew up, there really was a danger of grandma getting run over by a reindeer.

December 26th, 2009

Fifteen years ago I was living in Phoenix Arizona and my mother—someone who was born in Brooklyn New York and has only thee times in her life crossed the Mississippi River—wanted to know what “IT” would be like.
“IT” was, of course, Christmas… and I knew exactly what she was talking about. The ninety-degree December in Arizona did not square with holiday landscapes created by the Frosty The Snowman, Jingle Bells, and Marshmallow World. Rather, the countryside described by Bing Crosby in White Christmas closely resembled the small New Jersey town I knew as a child. Where I grew up, there really was a danger of grandma getting run over by a reindeer. And if that wasn’t enough, the place where all…

December 14th, 2009

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.”
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Almost Famous
After the road trip ended in September 2006 and we arrived back at St. Paul’s College in Washington, DC, I began to see what one of my bigger struggles would be during my time here: my Inner Fonzie.
My Inner Fonzie is that part of myself that should have been left behind when I accepted my High School diploma. But just when I think of myself as a mature adult, there’s the Fonz, hanging around my psyche like toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t all bad – he makes sure I stay up to date on the latest Bon Jovi albums

December 14th, 2009

This continues a series of entries that describes the time when I first entered seminary in the Fall of 2006.…
Leaving Chicago, I am in a bit of a mood. Learning that Fr. John left the community served as a reminder that my reasons for resisting priesthood all of these years extended well beyond prohibitions against kissing Marie again, let alone anyone else. This is a hard time to become a priest; the ten years I spent in putting off this decision give testimony that I am all too aware of this fact. I had been able to put the issue of declining vocation numbers out of my head after a few days of this trip, but hearing about some of the stretchers being carried off the same battlefield I am about to march onto has brought those concerns

December 9th, 2009

Today I am going to do something out of the ordinary and talk about a Gospel Reading that we didn’t read today.  In the gospel of Luke, we read:  And to another [Jesus] said, ‘Follow me.’  But [the man] replied, ‘(Lord,) let me go first and bury my father.’  But [Jesus} answered him, ‘Let the dead bury their dead.  But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’… I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a light burden to me.
When this is the daily reading the person in my position has to—at some point—get up here and say that we shouldn’t take Jesus literally.  And I have to confess, whenever I’ve been the person sitting in the pews and I’ve heard, “No, Jesus didn’t mean it that

December 5th, 2009

This continues a series of entries that describes the time when I first entered seminary in the Fall of 2006. …
I’m thinking that my earlier college analogy doesn’t feel quite right; this time of my life feels more reminiscent of the years I spent after college as a full time volunteer. The adventure of meeting new people, having a fairly open schedule, being able to do work that directly matters, and seeing new places… for some reason, the times in my life when I have had the least amount of money have also been the times when I have seen more of the world; this new chapter in my life is proving to be no exception.
I do feel more “plugged in” than I have felt for, well, nine years. When I moved back to Baltimore

November 30th, 2009

There are many days when I lament celibacy.  Valentine’s Day is one of those days.  The release of the SI Swimsuit Issue is another day.  But while watching holiday movies Thanksgiving night and being subjected to commercial after commercial about husbands and boyfriends buying their significant others jewelry that’s ON SALE for $5,000, a deep wave of satisfaction covers my being.  On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful to be single.
Seriously, what family sits sits around the dinner table and comments “He went to Jareds!”  Dude, if you ever visit your woman’s family and they know what jewelry store you went to, saw that ring off of her finger and get out while you can.  If…

November 27th, 2009

In the interests of being topic, this post describes one of the first Thanksgivings I spent with the Paulists and the very special day that came after it.…
I’m kind of a four trick pony in the kitchen. As it happens, three of those tricks revolve around Thanksgiving Day, so I volunteered to cook again this year for the big Thanksgiving feast along with another student. We were the same duo that cooked the feast last year and we compliment each other well. I make the turkey, sweet potato casserole, and homemade cornbread stuffing; he makes the greens, mac and cheese, oatmeal cookies, corn pudding, and spiral ham. If you have been taking notes, you will notice that all of the food items listed are brown; even the inconvenient

November 26th, 2009

Sorry it has been so long in between posts – the pastor at the church in which I am currently stationed passed away suddenly this week.  Please keep the soul of Fr. Jim Wiesner in your prayers.
This continues a series of entries that describes the time when I first entered seminary in the Fall of 2006. …
From Oak Ridge, NJ we head for Columbus, Ohio on the second part of our Northeast Road Trip. This is my first time to Ohio – looks about the same as Pennsylvania. We did drive alongside a big pile of coal along side Route 80 outside of Youngstown. As a tribute, I put on the Bruce Springsteen song “Youngstown” about the miners who lived there—man, Bruce just travels everywhere.  We are now driving under a road

November 17th, 2009

This continues a series of entries that describes the time when I first entered seminary in the Fall of 2006. …

I know that this is going to sound dumb to some, but one of the things I had an issue with when I went to seminary is that I would be going back to a twin bed.  I’m 34 years old and downgrading to a twin bed – it might be YEARS before I ever sleep in at least a full size mattress again, to live again like that group of people commonly referred to as “grown-ups.”
There may be some people out there thinking, “Why would YOU need a double bed? (heh heh heh)”  Well, I know people who have no hope of scoring in this decade and yet have at least a full size bed, so shut up.
After I finished my years of volunteering out west

November 15th, 2009

This continues a series of entries that describes the time when I first entered seminary in the Fall of 2006. …
It’s probably appropriate that when I crawled downstairs during the early morning hours of Good Friday in April 2006, Jerry MacGuire was on.  I’ve never known how quite to describe preceding two hours; some people might call it “metanoia” (a word I had never even heard before until recently), others just a straight conversion experience.  For me, the only language I have been able to come up with to describe what was going on within me is taking the decision of Tom Cruise’s character to write a mission statement, Kevin Costner’s hearing of a voice in the cornfield, and then pressing

November 12th, 2009

This is the first in a series of entries that describes the time when I first entered seminary in September of 2006.
“Now I know that rose trees never grow in New York City…”
I find myself standing in front of the Carousel in Central Park in part because of a sleepless night six months ago; it was a sleepless night in which I heard THE VOICE OF GOD telling me that it was (finally) time to enter seminary. I know, I know; some of you might be asking how I knew that it really was THE VOICE OF GOD telling me that it was time to quit my job as a web developer, sell my house, and eventually have a very complicated conversation with Marie. Even if the fact that this night happened on Holy Thursday is merely a coincidence, I just ask you

November 11th, 2009

From time to time, I will be including homilies I am currently giving at my pastoral assignment in Austin.  Below is the one I gave today to commemorate the Feast Day of Martin of Tours as well as Veterans Day.
91 years ago in 1918, on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month,” a cessation of hostilities was signed between the Allies of the Western front and Germany, thus ending World War One. The War at the time, was known as the “War to end All Wars” because it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history… it was so bad that the citizens of the world said at the time that war was such an atrocity that it could not ever be allowed to happen again.
Perhaps coincidentally, November 11 is also

November 9th, 2009

I have never technically been a New Yorker.  Even though my parents both grew up in Brooklyn and I grew up in Northern New Jersey—the half of the Garden State that roots for the Yankees and knew Al Roker long before he moved downstairs to the Today Show—full membership into the Big Apple was always for me a distant beacon that loomed past the horizon… much like Karl Rahner’s description of the experience of God.  For me, it was not until I would be required to memorize subway routes in order to plan a regular morning commute could ever I hope to become a part of the club that understood Seinfeld on a deeper level.
But on a sunny morning this past May, I woke up to car horns and the magical smells of the breakfast cart

Page 5 of 512345
powered by the Paulists