Busted Halo
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March 17th, 2007

The excerpt below is from an article written by BustedHalo editor-in-chief, Bill McGarvey for the March 17 edition of The Tablet a venerable London-based magazine of “progressive, but responsible Catholic thinking.”
“Judas!” the voice cried out from somewhere in the darkened seating area of Free Trade Hall in Manchester. It was 17 May, 1966, and on stage, Bob Dylan was coming to the end of another concert on a turbulent tour. Audiences that had hailed him as a genius just a year earlier now chastised him for daring to go “electric” with a full band, and for moving beyond the topical protest songs that had made him the great young hope of the folk scene. It had been this way throughout…

March 16th, 2007
… and 12 completely unnecessary facts about the day celebrated in his honor

The Man……

March 17th marks St. Patrick’s Day, the Catholic feast day for the patron saint of Ireland, who died on that day in the 5th century.

Patrick was not Irish but was born in Wales in about AD 385 and for much of his youth did not practice the Catholic faith. He considered himself a pagan until the age of 16 when he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village and brought to Ireland. During his 6 year captivity, he became closer to God.

He did not remain in Ireland but instead escaped to Gaul (France) where he studied for the priesthood. In a dream he saw “all the children of Ireland from their mothers’ wombs stretching out their hands” to him. He understood

March 14th, 2007
Robert Siegel's All Will Be Revealed

Robert Anthony Siegel’s new novel All Will Be Revealed combines an engrossing plot with intricately drawn characters and a rich historical setting to create a book that is both entertaining and artistic in a way that literary novels so rarely are.
The book tells the story of Augustus Auerbach, a successful, wheelchair-bound pornographer living in late nineteenth century New York City and Verena Swann, a renowned spiritual medium and the widow of adventurer Captain Theodore Swann. The two meet when one of Auerbach’s models forces him to attend a séance at Swann’s home. At first skeptical, Auerbach becomes entranced by Swann who is able to summon her failing powers to channel Auerbach’s…

March 13th, 2007
Catholics in the Blogosphere

Saint Joseph’s University’s Office of Mission & Identity present the next installment in their Catholic Intellectual Series
Ecclesia Virtualis: Catholics in the Blogosphere
For the First Time Anywhere…
Join us for a panel discussion on how the internet and blogs affect both the discourse on and the practice of Catholicism in America. Our panel features some of the leading voices on the Catholic Church in the blogosphere:
Amy Welborn
Author of the blog “Open Book“
Rocco Palmo
Author of the blog “Whispers in the Loggia“
Grant Gallicho
Associate Editor, Commonweal

Panel Host:
Bill McGarvey
of BustedHalo.com
*While we are not yet certain if the event will…

March 13th, 2007

In this secular society, what place does religion have in our public education system?
Compiled by Marc Adams reporting from the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress …

March 6th, 2007
An exclusive excerpt from the soon-to-be-released novel, ALL WILL BE REVEALED, by a BustedHalo contributing editor

Verena Swann sat in her carriage, peeking through the curtain at the crowd of mourners filling the avenue. Derbies, bonnets, slick black umbrellas, here and there a pale, wet face like a camellia—pointed straight at her. They were waiting for her to open the door and get out, to become theirs—waiting for a woman who loved her husband so much she would not let him go, even in death.

Leopold, her brother-in-law, peered over her shoulder. “Look at this,” he whispered. “Thousands standing in the rain, for you.”

“For him,” she corrected. It was uncomfortable hearing the thought aloud. This was Theodore’s funeral, after all. They were here to honor him, to…

February 22nd, 2007

Does the fact that there is a Black History month say something about the way in which Black history is covered in the American Education System? If so what and why?…

February 15th, 2007

Have you ever been to a protest or political rally? If so, what was that like? What issues would cause you to protest?…

February 12th, 2007
Happy Valentine's Day! Is Love Dead?

You can feel it in the air—the mad rush on Tiffany’s, restaurants booked-up for prix fixe dinners, store shelves cleared of teddy bears, chocolate and flowers. (And if you’re waiting until now to pick up any of these, good luck.)
Valentine’s Day—”Lovers’ Day,” as it’s called in the Romance languages—is right around the corner. It’s been celebrated for centuries, but these days, for my generation, I can’t help but wonder sometimes what February 14th means to us… and what it doesn’t.
Not-So-Inner
My inner amateur sociologist has long maintained a particular curiosity about relationships, partly because mine…

February 6th, 2007

Do you like talking with people of different religious or political beliefs than you have? Have you ever had a conversation with someone of different views in which your own view changed as a result?…

January 30th, 2007

Do you consider yourself to be a trusting person? When do you find it most difficult to trust and with whom?…

January 26th, 2007
Siblings Clare and Mary Byrne combine music and dance into something sacred

As the children of two academics who met while studying theology, growing up in the Byrne clan meant that religion was always about more than simply going to church on Sunday.
It still is. Now adults, Mary Byrne, a rock guitarist and Clare Byrne, a modern dancer, say Catholicism, the search for God and a sense of enacting holy rituals infuses their art. The rest of the family is similarly engaged with faith. One sister is a writer and comedian, their brother—who is also a musician—and father are starting an organic farm and intentional community in North Carolina. The oldest sister is the chair of Catholic Studies at Hofstra University.
Sense of Celebration
“We definitely grew up with a lot of…

January 5th, 2007
Battling for the heart of Jewish mysticism, Hollywood and the Hasidim offer different paths

One rabbi who studied it grew crazy, one died and another became so bewildered that he lost his faith. According to Jewish tradition, the study of the Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism is not only powerful but also downright dangerous.
“Woe to the person who says that the Torah shares with us plain stories and mundane matters,” says the Zohar (Radiance), the traditional text of the Kabbalah, “…. rather all the matters in the Torah are supernal matters and supernal secrets.”
For centuries the study of the Kabbalah was forbidden, reserved only for Jewish males over 40, who were well-versed in Torah, but since its recent adoption by Hollywood celebrities, there has been a battle raging…

December 30th, 2006
The Only American Woman Invited to Participate at Vatican II

On August 24, in the motherhouse of the Sisters of Loretto, in Nerinx, Kentucky, one of the towering leaders of the Catholic church died. She was 98. Though Mary Luke Tobin, S.L., led a life described by superlatives, she may best be remembered as one of only 15 women, and the only American woman, to be invited to participate in the Second Vatican Council.
In article published in the Nov. 1, 1986 issue of America, the Catholic weekly, Sister Tobin noted that at the close of the second session of Vatican II, Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens of Belgium pointedly asked his fellow bishops this question: “Why are we even discussing the reality of the church when half the church is not even represented here?”
That query,…

December 30th, 2006
The Secular Prophet of American Cities

When Jane Jacobs, the 20th Century urban activist and pro-city theorist died in May at the age of 89, we lost a secular prophet. Reading Jacobs’ landmark resistance to modern city planning methods, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, was one of the seminal experiences of my college years. It was an academic experience, but also a spiritual one.
Jacobs’ work trumpeted the city not as a problem to be solved but as a life-affirming manifestation of creativity. A city allowed to function properly has a soul, she argued. Her work resonated with me, a bookish suburbanite transformed into an urban studies major at Fordham University in the Bronx. The book put into words that awe the living city ignited…

December 19th, 2006
A Sad Day in Bedrock: From The Bedrock Times Obituary section

BEDROCK, Dec. 19, 2006
Celebrities and dignitaries streamed into the memorial service for JOSEPH BARBERA at Bedrock Memorial Chapel today. Yogi Bear, Booboo, Fred Flintstone and Shaggy offer emotional, stirring eulogies for their creator, mentor and guide…
You’ll have a yabba-dabba-doo time …
My first history lesson as a kid was something about pre-history: Brontosaurus burgers could be ordered at the drive-in way-back-then. My history teacher was Joseph Barbera and, along with my favorite family, The Flintstones, he would prove to be one of the most influential people in my young life—though I didn’t know him.
Joseph Barbera’s name will forever be connected with that of his partner, William

December 14th, 2006

What is something you would like to give or receive this holiday season that does not have a price tag and cannot be bought in any store? What is the greatest gift you have ever received that you would consider priceless?…

December 13th, 2006
Ten Tips for finally Making the Holidays Happy

The catalogs and television commercials are full of smiling families greeting each other with holiday joy- gleeful reunions full of peace and goodwill. What they don’t show is the screaming match that took place in the kitchen just before the guests arrived or the eye rolling during dinner when dad launches into his favorite diatribe. They don’t have any pictures of your drunken uncle passed out on the couch or your backbiting sister-in-law picking fights. If your family is more “Dealing with Difficult People” than “It’s a Wonderful Life” read on. Here are ten tips for keeping your own sanity this holiday season, even if you’re surrounded by nuts.

THEY WON’T…

December 12th, 2006
Aimee Mann's new Christmas album is an exception to the rule

More often than not, when an artist records a Christmas album it is an apocalyptic sign that their career is rapidly spiraling downward and they are looking to capture some semblance of escaping relevance. Aimee Mann is an exception to that rule. Her latest release, One More Drifter in the Snow, is Christmas music for a new generation.
Mann has included plenty of familiar holiday classics like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “White Christmas” but the arrangements re-imagine their emotional core from an angle all her own. In this way, Mann works like a good theologian—wiping the rust off of a relevant core message and re-interpreting…

December 7th, 2006
All I want for Christmas

I don’t really know what I want for Christmas.
Sure, I want to have my Christmas cards done by my traditional (but never-heeded) deadline of December 10th. I’d like to be able to wave my hand and find my bedroom and office— which, as always, look as if they’ve been bomb-struck—looking somewhat sane. And, of course, a bit more security in terms of my professional situation would be nice…
But that’s not what I’m talking about.
They say this time of year is blessed and special but the older we get it becomes harder to see that amidst our frenzied gift-buying, the drama, or the pain of loss or loneliness that the holidays often bring hauntingly back. These days, with…

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