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Facts of Faith

Little known Catholic facts, knowledge and trivia

Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, and Fr. Larry Rice, CSP, discuss facts of Catholicism not widely known, including everything from historical facts to modern pop culture references about the Church.

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April 2nd, 2013

Easter is more than just a single day — it’s 50! Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, and Fr. Larry Rice, CSP, discuss the difference between the Easter season and Lent. Because this Church season is longer than Lent it shows the emphasis in our faith on the great goodness and mercy of God, new life and resurrection. The Season of Resurrection calls us into the deeper mystery of God and all God is doing in the world today. Happy Easter Season!
 
Originally Published on April 9, 2012…

April 1st, 2013

Habemus wallpaper!
We have a new pope and wanted to show him off in our latest wallpaper. Use this for your laptop, desktop or mobile device to stay up-to-date with all the feast days of April.
The wallpaper is available in sizes that will fit both widescreen and full screen monitors, as well as mobile devices. Download the files directly below, mark your calendar, and enjoy this easy way to stay aware of important feasts and holy days heading your way.
Download:
16:9 [2560 x 1440] · 16:10 [2560 x 1600] · 4:3 [2400 x 1800] · mobile [640 x 1136]…

March 26th, 2013

I was sitting on a train heading to New York City as the sun gently rose on an eager Boston morning. My eyelids were drooping, yawns were frequent, yet I was happy as a clam; reading my book in the quiet car, excited for three and a half hours of peace. A few minutes into the trip, we made our first stop and a nice woman sat next to me. I describe her as “nice” for a few reasons: 1) she smiles and nods as she asks to sit next to me; and 2) she is wearing a hat. I have found in life that a great majority of adult female hat wearers are warm and friendly. So, quite unscientifically, I was pleased to be sharing my morning travels to New York with a smiling patron of haberdasheries.
As I began to crease the binding of my book once…

March 21st, 2013

Washington is in the midst of Cherry Blossom season. In the next few weeks, more than one million tourists and locals alike will flock to the area along the National Mall, especially around the tidal basin near the Jefferson Memorial, to take in a view of the white and pink blossoms that appear on thousands of trees each spring. In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo presented 3,000 cherry trees to the people of the United States as a symbol of peace and friendship between the two nations. Today, there is a 16-day festival complete with a 10-mile road race, elaborate parties, photo classes and allergies. Oh, the allergies.

March 20th, 2013

There he was again, up ahead of me on the trail, walking his bicycle, his backpack fastened to its seat. I had seen him a few times over the last week but never once did I see him actually riding that bicycle.

March 19th, 2013

I want to talk about fathers. I want to talk about fathers because — despite what one might garner from nearly every aspect of popular culture — they matter. They matter profoundly. I want to talk about fathers today because it is the Feast of St. Joseph and the day in which our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, will celebrate his installation.

March 16th, 2013

We have a new pope and Fr. Jack Collins, CSP, hits the streets to find out what people know of the new pontiff, asking about his name and origins as well as their hopes and advice for the new head of the Church.…

March 12th, 2013

With all the excitement surrounding the conclave to elect Pope Benedict XVI’s successor, I was reminded of a certain fictional depiction of a papal conclave: Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, specifically the 2009 film version directed by Ron Howard.
In Angels & Demons, Brown’s Robert Langdon (who is also the protagonist of The Da Vinci Code) finds himself once again embroiled in controversy regarding the Catholic Church, this time in connection with the death of the pope and a bomb threat against the conclave and Vatican City.
Although Brown has been criticized for misrepresenting the Church, when recently re-watching Angels & Demons,… I actually found that he isn’t that far off in regard

March 6th, 2013

Visit our Facebook page to view all the results of Papal Madness…
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Habemus falsum papam!
We have a fake pope!
Though voting was tight most of yesterday between the final two Papal Madness competitors, Stephen Colbert ultimately triumphed over His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan by approximately 50 votes, making him the winner of this bracket and naming him Pope Stephen XI (a.k.a. Pope Suburban I, as coined by Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, in a recent Colbert Report… appearance.) Now, we won’t get into the specifics of whether Colbert is actually the 10th or 11th pope to be named Stephen, we’ll just congratulate him on his win and wish the Cardinals as much success in their conclave as we’ve

March 6th, 2013

Having just won two Oscars for Best Original Song and Best Sound Editing (and recently out on DVD, the James Bond film Skyfall is certainly in the midst of some media spotlight at the moment. But there’s another reason that Skyfall is particularly relevant right now — the way its themes coincide with the season of Lent.

March 5th, 2013

It’s the last day of Papal Madness and your last chance to participate. Vote now!

March 4th, 2013

This year I’m not fasting during Lent. Period. Not because I’ve given up on the concept of fasting as spiritually edifying. Not because I’m the worst faster in the long and storied history of fasting (which, by the way, I am). Not because I have a tendency to be rebellious, defiant, and stubborn (me, me, and — let’s face it — me).

March 4th, 2013

Visit our Facebook page and vote on who you want to see go head-to-head in the last round of Papal Madness…
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It’s Day 5 of Papal Madness and we’re perplexed: Do people really like Mark Wahlberg this much, or are Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney just not as popular as we believed? Meanwhile, the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Dolan, took Busted Halo‘s® very own Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, to the cleaners; Stephen Colbert triumphed over Conan O’Brien; and Martin Sheen made quick work out of Jim Caviezel.
If you haven’t already, go to our Facebook page and vote on today’s matchups.…
Well, we’ve arrived at the Faithful Four. In the top part of the bracket

March 1st, 2013

Visit our Facebook page right now and scroll down to vote on who will be in the Final Four of Papal Madness…
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Stephen Colbert absolutely obliterated MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during yesterday’s “Spiritual Sixteen,” with Matthews only getting 4.3% of the total vote — the biggest deficit Papal Madness has seen to date. Upsets of the day included actor Jim Caviezel prevailing over director Martin Scorsese, and the surprising win of Mark Wahlberg over Bruce Springsteen. (How did that happen?!!!) Jesuit fans out there will be sad to say goodbye to Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, who lost to none other than His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan.
If you haven’t already,…

February 28th, 2013

If you’re interested in a fun and creative way of selecting the next pope, go vote in Day 3 of our Papal Madness bracket.

February 28th, 2013

As Congress struggles with how to create a national budget, and with hundreds of billions of dollars of cuts to the military, federal agencies, and social service programs looming, a group of religious leaders released a letter this week reminding elected officials of their duty to the poor and marginalized.

February 27th, 2013

(Go to our Facebook page and scroll down to keep voting in our Papal Madness bracket…)
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Papal Madness got off to a terrific start yesterday in Day 1 of our contest. We had some exciting matchups, even though they had some fairly predictable outcomes: top seed Stephen Colbert trounced fellow pundit Bill O’Reilly, Bruce Springsteen destroyed Morrissey, and Sir Paul McCartney routed Eddie Van Halen. It’s been a big week for Canada, first with Ben Affleck’s name drop during his Oscar acceptance speech, and now in Papal Madness… with Canadian crooner, Michael Bublé, overcoming the very talented, Jack White. (We’ll see how well Bublé fairs tomorrow against fellow

February 26th, 2013

(Go to our Facebook page to begin voting in our Papal Madness bracket right now…)
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Well, it’s that time of the century, where the election of a new pope coincides with March’s NCAA basketball tournament. The cardinals will soon gather for the papal conclave in Rome, most likely to choose someone from within their own ranks to succeed Pope Benedict XVI. However, there’s always the remote chance they look outside of the College of Cardinals for a successor — because technically you don’t have to be a cardinal, bishop or even a priest to be elected pope. Any baptized, single, male Catholic can be chosen, who would then need to be ordained a priest and then ordained a bishop in

February 22nd, 2013

Daniel Day-LewisDaniel Day-Lewis has long been one of my favorite actors, and I’m not alone. This year he’s sweeping the awards circuit and taking home every best actor prize (and will most likely take home the Oscar this Sunday) for his portrayal of the 16th president of the United States in Lincoln.

Day-Lewis becomes Abraham Lincoln on screen. We aren’t that familiar with what Lincoln was actually like because he wasn’t president in the era of the 24-hour news cycle. Reporters didn’t blog about him, replay or even play sound bites from his speeches. He was the first president (along with the first family) to be widely photographed, though it was nothing like the White House Flickr page.

February 20th, 2013

What happens when a bookworm sees a novel-inspired movie? Personally, I get very nervous. I don’t like to see my favorite books exploited by Hollywood to attract large crowds to the box office. Many times directors lose sight of important aspects of the book and focus on sensational visual effects. Having read the novel by Yann Matel, I think Life of Pi was a perfect balance of effects and the original story. The movie was also able to capture the spiritual and religious significance of the book — what to me made Life of Pi a moving read.
Simply put, Life of Pi is a story about a boy who really just wants to love God. We learn that Pi was first introduced to God through Hinduism; however, he yearns to understand many…

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