Busted Halo

Whether it’s a refresher course or an introduction, each of the “Sacraments 101″ videos gives you the basics about some aspect of one of the sacraments of the Catholic Church — in just a few minutes!

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November 15th, 2011

Why, exactly, do Catholics have the practice of baptizing infants?
What is the purpose of baptism and who can celebrate the sacrament of Baptism?
Do the godparents of our child need to be married to each other?
These are questions and more are answered in this edition of “Sacraments 101,” a web video series geared for those who’d like an introduction or refresher course on these important, tangible Catholic experiences of God.
Baptism is the beginning of the sacramental life of the Church. So, let’s begin…
To download this video go here and click the download arrow or choose save or download.…

November 2nd, 2011
Honoring the dead in the land of the living

I’ve never celebrated Día de los Muertos. I’ve never heard La Lupe speak of celebrating it, either. But I’ll get back to that in a minute.

A lot of people wrongly think that Día de los Muertos is celebrated on Halloween but it is, in fact, celebrated on November 1 — All Saints Day — for babies and November 2 — All Souls Day — for everyone else that has passed away. People mark the day with huge parties/parades and faces painted to look like skeletons. They make elaborate paper maché skeletons or skeleton puppets and dance all through the night. Families set up ofrendas dedicated to deceased loved ones with pictures, flowers, skulls, and food. What is especially touching about the day is that many families go to gravesites of their loved ones and sometimes eat the person’s favorite meal over their grave as a way of breaking bread with them once again.

October 13th, 2011

If your dog is a service dog and you or another member of your wedding party depend on it in order to participate in the liturgy, then you should be able to include the dog. You can even put a bow on its collar if Fido will tolerate it! But you can’t have a pet in your wedding for any other purpose. Liturgy, by definition, is the work of the people – it is the way that we come together to celebrate who we are and glimpse who we are called to become as the people of God. Even though pets are increasingly accepted in public places in the United States and some people think of their animals as members of their families, pets are not, in fact, people. Animals are a beautiful part of God’s creation, to be sure, but only humans are made…

October 5th, 2011

I am a perfectionist and a micromanager and am easily overwhelmed. There really is no combination that would result in a more tightly wound person. So it’s safe to say that sometimes I can get really hung up on a problem, and I can take life a little too seriously.
This is usually when something happens that is so random that it just has to be a sign for me to lighten up.
A professor once told us about a time that he was in New York City and was running late to catch a flight. A cab finally pulled over and they proceeded to La Guardia. This professor is a friendly guy. It was going to be a long drive so he tried to strike up conversation about the yoga book that was in the passenger seat, but the cab driver barely spoke English. He saw…

September 20th, 2011

This week was one of those weeks when I was so exhausted I didn’t have the energy to filter. Truth – in the sense that it was exactly what I was thinking — was just coming out because I didn’t have the brain cells necessary to stop it. Out of that came one of the most correct observations I think I’ve ever made — deciding to be a teacher is like deciding to be a priest. You avoid it for as long as possible because it’s just so darn hard but, eventually, you have to give in because it’s all that really makes sense.
Deciding to be a teacher, and a good one at that, is a decision that is just as unnerving and avoided as is the call to the priesthood. For all the vocation stories I have heard, most include a period…

September 6th, 2011

My last La Lupe blog post generated some comments about what people believe leads to so many abortions. You know why I think there are so many abortions? Society no longer associates sex with babies.
If we really stop and think about the most natural things about our bodies, sex creating babies is right up there with being hungry and eating. Sex resulting in pregnancy is the natural order. When we’re hungry we eat. When we are tired, we sleep. When we have sex, we sometimes get pregnant.
But we don’t hear this message anywhere in society. Everything in society tells us that sex is for pleasure. Sex is for fun. Sex is for getting closer to another person. Sex is no big thing. Sex has nothing to do with babies. And this attitude…

August 31st, 2011

Lisbon, as a city, is the perfect metaphor for the plight of the modern young Catholic. There is every opportunity for devotion, reflection and prayer throughout Portugal’s capital, yet there is something else worldly and tempting to be found here, calling out and distracting, swaying one away from those other things.
The town is steeped with a rich, beautiful and old… Catholic tradition. There are statues of saints scattered throughout its winding streets and churches just around every corner, available for viewing, attending, and prayer. However, most of these are in some state of decay, seem a bit lifeless, and (if my experience stumbling into St. Paul’s across the street for Mass on Sunday

August 24th, 2011

The other day I read one of the most horrific, truly mind-boggling statistics I’ve ever read. But I will get to that in a second. First I want to establish a few points. I am pro-life. Obviously. Hopefully that is clear from my writing. But sometimes I am so embarrassed by the 1% of pro-life people that believe they are furthering the cause when really they are just giving others ammunition against us.
A few months ago I read this post on pro-life euphemisms. The author very articulately scolds pro-life advocates that put their energy into not-so-important hair-splitting instead of something useful. She talks about people who correct mothers that use the phrase “welcome into the world” at their child’s…

August 23rd, 2011

As I sit in the Madrid airport and wait for my flight to America, I can’t help but to reflect on this week. It feels like a dream that I have yet to wake up from. I experienced things I never would have imagined and accomplished numerous feats that pushed me way out of my comfort zone.
There are a few young pilgrims waiting to board in front of me, which instantly reminds me of the New Jersey Carmelite United group I met my first day here. From their trek on the Camino with Joe to experiencing every aspect World Youth Day had to offer, though I only met them for a short while, they inspired me more than they know. Many were headed off to college and reminded me of my life back then. At that time, I know I was not as brave as they are…

August 17th, 2011

This town is absolutely beautiful, amazing and (as my new friend, Bill Angresano, says,) “outta control.”
Even as I write this post at a café near the big church, a raucous drumming interrupts the regular music and ambiance of the street, and a procession of “St. James” followed by various signs of death and witches passes by — (see video below.)
Today, the sixth and final day of our hike on the Camino, we finally reached our destination, the giant cathedral of St. James within the city of Santiago de Compostela — the scallop shells along the path leading us right to the very steps of the magnificent Cathedral de Santiago.
We had already had five long days preceding us, and this 20km day was no easier. Midway…

August 17th, 2011

As my summer draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on my feelings of starting a new year of seminary.
In order to answer the question, “Am I looking forward to going back to seminary?”… it’s probably best to relay a conversation that I recently had with one of the Paulist priests. It was a simple conversation that happened a few weeks ago; I bumped into this Paulist with whom I am friends in DC while I was staying in Boston for the summer. He asked me if I was looking forward to my upcoming ordination. I replied that I was. Very much so. Because then I wouldn’t have to be in seminary any more.
My answer was not that I would finally get to serve the people. My answer was not that I could shine the love

August 16th, 2011

This summer, we were lucky enough to spend a week in El Paso. Apart from the obvious great things that come with being in El Paso — La Lupe, La Lupe’s food, La Lupe’s hospitality, the descendants of La Lupe — one of the things I look forward to the most is going to Mass.

Whenever we are in El Paso we attend Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. When we lived in El Paso we were so loyal to this church that I actually thought it was the only church in all of El Paso until I was about 9.

August 12th, 2011

Last August, I moved in with my two Jewish roommates and we started writing about our interfaith living situation for the Busted Halo blog, Girls Meet God. Truthfully, I’ve never been one to talk openly about religion and while I was raised Catholic I never really knew the exact answers of why I believe the things that I do. Often, it was just a reflection of what I experienced as a child.
Why do I give up chocolate for Lent? Does going to church every Sunday really make you a better Catholic? Are there coincidences in life, or is it all a part of God’s bigger plan? I’m hoping to find the beginnings of these answers while in Madrid for World Youth Day, but also to discover why the Catholic faith is so important to some and…

August 9th, 2011

Despite the popular sentiment found in Office Space, the 8-hour workday was a huge victory for laborers burdened with 12-16-hour workdays. 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours sleep seems very reasonable and makes sense. But after I moved to Austin to live in the same city as Brandon, I started to get the feeling that an 8-hour workday didn’t really work for me.
Before I moved to Austin, I never had a real 9-to-5 job. In college, I worked in the dean’s office with other people that lived in my dorm, and I had at least some classes with my roommates. After college I worked at a Catholic Worker house where I lived and worked with the same people. I liked life like this. Home and work were kind of one in the same.
Brandon…

August 6th, 2011

Unfamiliar with the week long international Catholic spectacle known as World Youth Day? Take a quick look at our 2 minute video telling you all you need to know and find out what Busted Halo will be up to in Madrid this August for WYD 2011.
You can download this video here. (Depending on your browser, clicking this link might save the video to your default downloads location or open the video in a new window. You can probably right-click or control-click the link and specify where to save it.)…

August 5th, 2011

When 10,000 Maniacs visited Loyola College in Maryland in 1990, I did not go. As a college freshman who was only a few months removed from the “Hair Metal” culture that then dominated Northern New Jersey, I was not able to comprehend a band whose female lead singer used dramatically less “Aqua Net” than the male lead singers I had been listening to. But lately, I have found myself nostalgic for music that I did not listen to “back in the day,” music that never found it’s way into my own stereo but was playing in the background in the rooms of those with more progressive musical tastes. Perhaps it’s because the music of Natalie Merchant, R.E.M., and the Sundays never had the opportunity to be overplayed…

August 2nd, 2011

Before coming to write at Busted Halo™ I was already a fan. At that time I was a high school theology teacher so I LOVED how real and relatable everything was on the website. I showed quite a few of the Busted Halo™ videos to my classes, and they loved them. They appreciated that a ministry of the Church was vibrant and modern and tech-y. They ate it up. They were especially impressed with the video explaining the Church’s stance on evolution.
By a completely fortuitous string of events, I submitted my first La Lupe post (after asking permission to write about her), and since then I have really come to value being part of the Busted Halo™ family.
I think that being a young adult is hard but being a faithful…

July 27th, 2011

What do the phrases “God’s Will” and “God’s plan” really mean? Is it God’s Will when someone suffers? Is it against God’s Will if we decide a possible calling isn’t right for us? A caller question on the Busted Halo radio show about whether the use of medical technology interferes with God’s plan leads Fr. Dave, Robyn and Brett into an interesting conversation about our ability to intervene in, or even define, God’s will for our lives — spanning topics of medical care, callings, the movie The Adjustment Bureau, genetic engineering and the anthropomorphizing of God.
The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on Sirius/XM Satellite…

July 26th, 2011

Before I met Brandon, whenever I heard of the Knights of Columbus, I pictured a bunch of old, crotchety, white men sitting around selling chicken or pancakes after Mass. I think we’ve probably all had the experience of being at a church event and instructed to do something by a surly old man in a Knights polo that acts as if he is running the show. Needless to say, my impression of the group was negative and I have met a lot of people who are not shy about voicing this same opinion.

Being a Knight, Brandon is always telling me stories about them. He told me how the Knights were actually founded during a time of rampant Catholic discrimination.  The Knights of Columbus wanted to give men a strong Catholic community to help support their family values and maintain their faith during a time of persecution.  Brandon has also told me about how much good they do. It really is amazing. Just a couple of neat facts about them: Every year they give away about $150 million to charitable causes. All the members combined work 70 million volunteer hours a year. After Hurricane Katrina they gave New Orleans $10 million to get the schools back up and running. Every year they give the Pope $1.6 million to use for whatever charitable causes he sees fit. But on a smaller scale, the parish and its members can always count on the Knights for whatever they need. Here in Brandon’s council they helped a widow who was recently confined to her wheelchair. Along with building her a ramp, they raised her flowerbeds and added a walkway in her backyard for her wheelchair so she could still get out there and do gardening from her wheelchair.

I’ve never really encountered or witnessed the Knights in action until a couple of weeks ago. We went to a wedding in a small town outside of Austin. It was for the son of one of Brandon’s fellow Knights. I’ve honestly never been so impressed with a group of people as I was with the Knights that day. The council in that town is H-U-G-E and they have their own hall, which is where the reception was held. The reception had about 600 people at it and the Knights ran everything. Along with setting up all the tables and chairs and decorations, they cooked all the food – good barbecue will all the fixings – and served it, and did clean up. I heard they smoked 420 pounds of brisket that day. It was such a community effort. And during the reception, lots of people who knew Brandon came up and introduced themselves to me and asked if I needed anything. With so many Knights around I always had a full cup, I never got up to throw anything away because they did it for me, and I was never standing around awkwardly without anyone to talk to. They immediately made me feel like family. It was overwhelming hospitality. I seriously did not have to do one thing. I felt so welcomed and taken care of. It was such a show of community.

Within the church, there are a lot of groups that are easy to stereotype negatively and while they all have their gruff and pushy members there are definitely more good members than bad. The Knights, along with many of the other church groups, are a good vehicle to help put one’s faith into action.  Helping the world is a big task; being part of one of these church groups helps us better facilitate how we want to live out our faith in service to others. As a whole, these groups are a force of good. And if they can also cook a mean fish fry, then more power to them.

July 25th, 2011

A church building is a special place calling for special behavior. While the church is our home and we should feel comfortable there – indeed, the church (small “c”) is a gathering place for the Church, the people of God (capital “C”) – that doesn’t mean that anything goes. Your actions in church show respect for God and for the community that gathers there. If you are stopping by the church to pray, even just for a moment, your actions should respect the place and its purpose.
Spit out your gum, turn off your cell phone, check that you’re appropriately dressed and make the most of the precious opportunity to step away from the ordinary and into a sacred space and time. If you are in the church for mass and…

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