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July 18th, 2014
How volunteering provided clarity for my career

Stacking mountains of canned goods might be considered more of a backbreaking activity than a life-changing one. I was not looking for “life-changing” when I volunteered at my parish food pantry in Chicago a few years ago. I had prayed that getting lost in the canned goods would provide some distraction while I figured out my career path.
I signed on for a four-hour volunteer commitment each week. The first day I arrived at the pantry, I was not sure what to expect. Volunteering in a food pantry or a homeless shelter is not an activity I did with my youth group or even as an undergrad in college. Social justice work was what other people did while I was busy pursuing a career in journalism. Through all of my 20s, I was…

July 17th, 2014
A guide for building a culture of encounter

Have you spent time volunteering or on a service trip? Did the experience excite, affirm or even challenge you? Use our virtual retreat to help you reflect on your experience and take some next steps toward building a better world. Whether you volunteered on your own or with a group, this retreat is for you. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of additional resources to get you motivated to volunteer again.

Click either image to open or download the 2-page PDF.

Click either image to open or download the 2-page PDF.…

Getting Motivated
Listen to real stories that contribute to a “culture of encounter”:

StoryCorps: “If you need me to hold your hand, I’m there”
StoryCorps: “I guess it’s my turn

July 16th, 2014

The summer entering my sophomore year of high school was a bittersweet one. I was transferring from my public high school to the Catholic one in the area. I was mad, but wanted to cherish the summer with my neighborhood friends. In order to graduate from St. Thomas, I had to complete 60 hours of community service, and I decided to get it out of the way that summer.
There was a farm down the street from my house which I started volunteering at three days a week. It was a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm — this means that through funding and volunteer work from the community, we were able to enjoy fresh veggies all growing season. I thought, and still think, that this is a spectacular concept. CSAs teach us the importance…

July 15th, 2014

I applied to become the leader of my school’s Global Outreach (GO!) project to Quito, Ecuador, on a whim — a whim that took into account neither the fact that I would be responsible for the lives of nine other people in a foreign country, nor any concern that I had never even traveled outside of the state without parental assistance. This whim, however, was connected to an intense desire to serve. The added bonus being the opportunity to help the people in whose culture I had been raised.
As I would later share with my guinea pigs (the endearing title I gave to my team), though I was not born there, Ecuador had always been my motherland. I grew up with the my mother’s stories of living with papito Nicanor in the farmlands…

July 14th, 2014

It’s summertime! That means beaches,
barbecues,
long-awaited vacations and …
volunteering?
We already know all the things that make summer so wonderful, but this year, why not add something new to that list?
Don’t know where to start?
 
Here are five easy ways to find your volunteering niche this summer:

Clean House and Take Action

Go through your pantry and fill a box with nonperishable goods that you could do without. Summer is actually the time of year when food pantry activity is at its highest, since children don’t have access to school lunch and breakfast programs. Now, instead of just dropping the box off at your local food pantry, schedule time to volunteer. There are plenty…

July 10th, 2014
A reflection on Peter denying Jesus and the modern-day dilemma of identifying as a Catholic

I’m Italian. When this fact comes up, and people respond, “Ohhhh, you’re Italian?” I’m never quite sure what will follow. But usually, it’s something like, “Your mom must be a great cook!” What can I say? It’s true. She makes hundreds of meatballs on her meatball-making day, and they are a-mazing. Generally, the reactions I get to being Italian are favorable, a far cry from what Italian immigrants faced in the past, during times wrought with ethnic discrimination.
However, there are also parts of my identity that are important to me, but not always seen favorably by others. This has been my experience as a Catholic.
I’ve had a complicated relationship with Catholicism, I’ll admit. I grew…

July 9th, 2014

This is a hard article for me to write. It’s about one of the worst things I’ve ever done, or not done, actually. In advance, I want to tell the mother in the story that I’m sorry for being too scared. I’m sorry for being too selfish. I’m sorry for who you lost.
When I was in high school, often I was afraid to rock the boat. I didn’t want to make waves or make anyone mad. So when I heard a girl in one of my classes quietly saying that she was pregnant, I was caught. I knew what I should do, but that didn’t make it appealing.
I am pro-life, in theory at least. But like many people, when I have to sacrifice for my convictions, often I turn away. I was unsure what to say because I hadn’t…

July 2nd, 2014
Snap a #BHsummerphoto, upload it to Instagram, win a prize!

Busted Halo® is having a Summer Photo Challenge. Spend the month of July on a photo journey for the heart and mind. Plus, when you share your pictures of summer fun, you’ll have a chance to win a weekly prize — a Busted Halo® tote bag full of goodies!
How do you participate?

Download and save the schedule of themes (below). Right-click or control-click here to download the schedule.
Share our 2014 Summer Photo Challenge image (below) on Instagram so we know you are participating! Right-click or control-click here to download the Instagram image.
Take a pic following our theme of the day and post it to Instagram, tagging #BHsummerphoto and @bustedhalophoto on all your posts!
If you’re not on Instagram,…

July 1st, 2014

July 4 is headed our way, but instead of taking the typical route of fireworks or American flags, we decided to put St. Kateri Tekakwitha front and center on our wallpaper this month. Not only is it her feast day on the 14th, but she is the first Native American saint to be canonized (back in 2012 by Pope Benedict).
Download the July 2014 Wallpaper:
16:9 [2560 x 1440] · 16:10 [2560 x 1600] · 4:3 [2400 x 1800] · Mobile · Facebook
The wallpaper is available in sizes that will fit both widescreen and full screen monitors, mobile devices and a Facebook cover photo. Download the files directly above and enjoy this easy way to stay aware of important feasts and holy days heading your way.…

June 30th, 2014

A few weeks ago, I attended Lectio Divina led by an elderly Jesuit and scripture scholar. One of his remarks really impressed me. He said that the thing that the Jewish professors with whom he works in Israel cannot understand is that Christians still consider a man who died 2,000 years ago to be useful to them. I think that we Christians can ask ourselves, Is Jesus useful to us? If so, how is he useful? Do we really believe in Jesus? Or do we believe in Jesus like we believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?
John wrote his Gospel for all of us who grapple with this reality: “But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in…

June 25th, 2014

Fr. Larry explains what has happened to St. Paul’s remains after he was martyred in Rome.  He and Fr. Dave also discuss St. Paul’s Basilica — one of the four main basilicas in Rome — and a kooky superstition associated with it.…

June 20th, 2014
How to pick your team for World Cup 2014

Having trouble picking a team to root for in this year’s World Cup? As the competition heats up, here’s a guide (broken down by World Cup groups) to some of the teams’ Catholic roots.
BRAZIL (Group A)…
Not only is Brazil the host country of World Cup 2014, but for centuries Catholicism has been the biggest religion in the country. Brazilians threw one heck of a party for Pope Francis on Copacabana beach last summer during World Youth Day, and that might be enough reason to give them your support. The team has a player named Hulk who gives them a clear edge. He was recently injured and is muddling through the tournament. But you can’t keep a Hulk down for too long. By the way, there’s a huge statue of Jesus in Rio de

June 17th, 2014
Two years in a row huge crowds have descended upon Rio de Janeiro to celebrate faith (2013) and soccer (now). Can you tell the difference?

It is happening again. Nearly a year after Rio de Janeiro hosted World Youth Day, millions of screaming, face-painted, flag-waving fanatics have flocked to Brazil to fill up the streets and stadiums and make some noise. But this time it’s not the Catholic faith or Pope Francis inciting these pilgrims, but rather their love of a sport and the likes of Ronaldo, Suarez and Messi motivating them as they journey to worship at the altar of soccer, or as they call it all over the rest of the world, football, for the World Cup 2014. Noting the similarities in dress code and nationalistic pride between the two groups of pilgrims (or disciples, zealots, or supporters, depending on which vernacular you prefer…

June 11th, 2014

I had never really been a soccer fan. Growing up in the 80s, I played peewee soccer like everyone else in Southern California, but I wasn’t very good. Then the 1994 World Cup came to the United States and soccer mania broke loose. Still, I kept soccer at a healthy distance. As an Italian American I’m sure my relatives across the pond were disappointed and lamented the loss of an opportunity to bond with their American cousin. But I was just not ready for soccer. That would all change in 2002.
Aha Moment #1: Every team has a story…
My brother was studying abroad in Florence, and I went to visit during winter break. While there, I was inundated with soccer memorabilia and fandom. There were soccer jerseys everywhere! Scarves

June 10th, 2014

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.

June 9th, 2014
How walking across Spain for two weeks changed my life

There is a saying amongst pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, Spain’s ancient pilgrimage path: “The real Camino doesn’t begin until you arrive back home.”
The place where we grew up is typically “home.” It’s an anchor, and we can always return to that physical location. But the thought of returning also brings up a sense of apprehension because home is usually, in some way, dysfunctional. It can be difficult to leave home and return when older, as a different person.
Starting at a young age, I emotionally ran away from the arguing and fighting dysfunction in my family. When college rolled around, I physically ran away from my hometown of Portland, Oregon, to Spokane, Washington, hoping to escape…

May 30th, 2014

GOOAALL!!!

It’s time once again for that big event we look forward to every four years…No, not Pentecost in June (though that coincides as well), it’s obviously time to get ready for soccer as the World Cup begins this month on June 12, hosted by Brazil…

May 29th, 2014
Class is in session! We’re answering questions about faith in the workplace, saints,
sacraments, and much more!

Over the next four weeks Busted Halo is headed into the classroom for a session of summer school. In the tradition of the Busted Halo Question Box, we’ll answer questions about the Sacraments, Catholic beliefs, Church teaching as it relates to modern living, and much more. You’ll be learning, doing a little homework (don’t worry — it won’t be too difficult), and digging deeper into your faith. This will probably lead to more questions!

Each day, that day’s link in the Summer School calendar will start working, leading to a question of faith and its answer. There’s also a form to submit your own question of faith, and each week during Summer School we will give away an Amazon Kindle to the person who submits the best question of faith, as determined by the Busted Halo staff.

May 28th, 2014

I don’t remember the first time I made someone laugh, but I must have liked it. As a boy growing up in suburban Chicago, I watched David Letterman nightly with a devotion bordering on obsession. Sleep, school and grades were all sacrificed at the altar of Stupid Pet Tricks and Top Ten lists. The world of late night television seemed to be so contrary to the grim, hyper-organized world of school, which dominated my life with its obligations, tasks and duties. Late night was a world of irreverent pranks, loud music and fun conversation. This was a world I wanted to be a part of. Little did I know.
Before becoming a Jesuit, I spent the better part of my 20s as a struggling comedian, and I can tell you right now that a life…

May 27th, 2014

Recently someone came up to me and asked, “Andy, do you remember me?” Then it happened again a couple weeks later. My memory had to be jogged briefly on both occasions, but each person had remembered me from my time spent at two Jesuit universities in the last few years. I hadn’t seen these people in a while so it was nice to have the chance to chat and catch up. The joy, though, in each encounter was in being remembered.
The act of being remembered makes you feel appreciated and worthy. It’s the same as when someone tells you they were thinking about you the other day or that you came up in conversation. Consider the feeling you get when some past relationship or brief encounter that was sitting…

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