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September 25th, 2014
Natural ways to enjoy pumpkin and other fall flavors

As the air gets chilly and the leaves turn shades of orange, all we want to do is snuggle up on the couch with a good book and a steaming bowl of soup or hot mug of cider. Fall is comfort food season and a great excuse to cook with fall flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and Panera Bread pumpkin muffins, it’s tempting to simply buy already-prepared pumpkin foods. But many times, these items (specifically the two mentioned above) are high in calories and artificial sugars/flavorings. This fall, don’t be intimidated in the kitchen. Try some of these autumn-inspired recipes and enjoy these warm dishes with delectable flavors on your own and in a more natural way.
Put …

September 25th, 2014
As ISIS/ISIL terrorizes the Middle East, we’re called to dialogue, and to work with people of other faiths for peace

The recent 9/11 anniversary of the 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda on the Twin Towers in Manhattan and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., also brought with it, especially in light of the present actions of ISIS/ISIL, memories of the backlash against Muslim and even Sikh communities on our own continent. Those memories underline the importance of building relationships with people of other faiths — in our efforts to help those who are the victims of such violence, and in seeking together the common goal of peace.
The Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said as much when it reasserted its commitment to dialogue with other religions, and Muslims in particular,…

September 24th, 2014
The long, and sometimes difficult, road from seeing their struggles to seeing our struggles

When I was 21, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to get my doctorate in theology and become a renowned theologian of sexual ethics. When I approached my mentor for letters of recommendation, she said something that stopped me in my tracks: “You should really consider taking a year off. Maybe you should do a year of service.”
I cried for a week. I don’t like a change in plans. In theory, I could have stayed the course, but I respected and admired her too much not to consider what she had to say.
The following fall, I started what would become two years of service at a Catholic service organization in Chicago. My chosen assignment was teaching English at an all-girls Catholic high school on Chicago’s…

September 23rd, 2014

Remember family television? The Brady Bunch, The Cosby Show, Family Matters, George Lopez, and Everybody Hates Chris? It seems that lately, the idea of the family comedy has all but disappeared, save for Modern Family.
These shows have been replaced with competitive cooking shows, reality television and talent competitions. Finding a single show which will keep every age range in the family entertained and satisfied has grown increasingly difficult.
But ABC is revamping family television and here are three shows to watch:

Black-ish — series premiere Wednesday, September 24 at 9:30/8:30 Central
The new fall comedy Black-ish follows a black family living in a predominantly white upper-middle class…

September 11th, 2014

Try Busted Halo’s® Virtual Transitions Retreat and spend some time reflecting on the spiritual meaning of transitions in our lives. Download the retreat (if you print it — print on both sides of the paper!) by clicking the image below. Take a few minutes out of your day — at your desk, on your lunch break, between classes — and grow a deeper appreciation that God is with us in the midst of change.
Click image below to open or download the 3-page PDF.

Click an image to open or download the 3-page PDF.

Click an image to open or download the 3-page PDF.…

September 11th, 2014
How to add a dose of honesty and truthfulness to your dating life

Dating and relationships are hard work. And trying to remain true to your values while dating can be even harder.
The media, and everyone around us, say to live by the “pleasure principle” — I want what I want, when I want it, because I want it. No regrets; no boundaries. And when I’m done wanting it, I can walk away. We might find some pleasure, but, sadly, very little fulfillment in that.
Here are some tips for living out your values and finding integrity in your dating life.

Define Your Values
Your values define what is most important to you and form your guardrails for life. They make up who you are, and what your relationship will embody. Your values are made up of many aspects of your life, including religious…

September 10th, 2014

Ok, I give in. Everybody I know under the age of 40 seems to have invested in these tiny, expensive Fitbits, which you snap on your wrist or clip on your shorts. They measure your steps, the flights of stairs you’ve climbed, general exercise, and calories expended. They talk to you. In cheery, shrill little voices very early in the morning.
“Hi, Annie!”
“Good luck!” (Did it say “sweetie” or did I just imagine that?)
“UcandoitAnn”
My take on this whole “I-am-going-to-monitor-every-activity-of-my-day stuff” is that, sure, it can make sense. It may help you get more control over your eating and exercise. But, really? I need to know all of this?
I have a proposal. A fine one, I think. Let’s invent…

September 9th, 2014
Why young women are "lacing up" at Mass

The topic of women covering their heads (or not covering their heads) at Mass has made a big splash among twentysomething and thirtysomething Catholic bloggers across continents and cultures.
I have to admit that this practice has a certain appeal to me as well. Why are Catholic women bringing back this practice?
Here are some good reasons:

It’s countercultural.
Let’s face it, we live in a culture with profoundly warped ideas of female empowerment. Modern American culture would have us believe that a powerful woman is one who uses her sexuality in an exhibitionistic, amoral fashion. Her power is in her ability to incite lust — to exploit her own sexuality and the sexuality of others. The Catholic tradition…

September 3rd, 2014

This month I’m passing a few milestones: 50 years since my mother gave birth to me; 20 years since I entered the Paulist Fathers’ community; and 10 years since I took the reins as director of Busted Halo ministries. For all these I am immeasurably grateful: grateful to my family and friends for making me the person I am today; grateful to my brother Paulists for their support in mission and common life; and grateful to God for our being able to reach out and reconnect unchurched young adults through Busted Halo in so many effective ways. So, as this is a birthday where the gifts in my life and ministry are so numerous already, I could only ask any of you tempted to give a present to please give to our “50 at 50”…

September 1st, 2014

It’s that time of year again — back to school! You might be (or know) a college freshman, junior, or grad student. Even if you don’t fall into one of those categories, you might be experiencing your own moments of back-to-school stress and transition. Busted Halo® has compiled a care package of resources just for you! Who doesn’t love receiving a care package? Explore what’s inside by clicking the icons below. We hope you can put these items to good use. And happy back-to-school season!

 
Featured in Busted Halo’s Dorm Room Care Package:
 
“Foods to Fight Back-to-School Stress” by Alexandra Horne
“Back to College: What To Pack and What Not TO Pack”…

September 1st, 2014

It’s September, summer is coming to a close, school is beginning and fall is right around the corner. Don’t forget to check out our Dorm Room Care Package for yourself or anyone you know that is heading to college this year. If you missed our article about honoring the sacredness of Labor Day, check it out here. And don’t forget, September is the celebration of Saint Gennaro.
Also, beginning on September 15, we’re running a new Catholic Mascotology bracket contest featuring some of the most interesting college mascots from various Catholic schools going head-to-head. So check back here on the 15th to vote for you favorites.
Oh, and our own Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, has a big birthday coming…

August 29th, 2014

Earlier this summer, Pope Francis released his “Top 10 Secrets to Happiness.” Along with “live and let live” and “be giving of yourself to others” was a reminder for young people of the sacredness of work. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people, he said.
We need to be creative with young people … It’s not enough to give them food. Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home [from your own labor].
The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops beautifully describes the connection between work and human dignity, stating: “Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected,…

August 29th, 2014
What the U.S. Open has taught me about my faith

With summer winding down, it can only mean one thing for the tennis fan. It’s U.S. Open time!
The tournament makes me think about the important role that tennis has played in my own life, including my spiritual journey.
My daily life is guided by sacred principles that are often reinforced by seemingly mundane experiences, particularly sports. Tennis, in particular, has taught me several important lessons about faith and spirituality.

Connecting the physical and spiritual
There is nothing better than having a place to express my joys and gifts. For me that place is the tennis court. An innocent excitement comes over me each time I walk out on the court. It’s that feeling of anticipation so familiar to a child…

August 28th, 2014
Organizations put solidarity into action at the U.S.-Mexico border

The U.S.-Mexico border has always been a hub for immigration and a point of political contention. Most recently, an explosion in the number of children fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the United States has sparked more debate. While politicians, advocates and policy analysts continue to address the root causes of migration, there are humanitarian and relief organizations — many of them with religious roots — that are focused on meeting the needs of migrants at the border. This is just a short list of the many groups that work tirelessly to show compassion, listen to migrants’ stories, and help meet their immediate needs. All of these organizations encourage volunteers,…

August 27th, 2014

You’ve heard of love at first sight, but what about marriage at first sight?
Would you marry a complete stranger if they were technically your perfect match?
Would you watch a show about people in their twenties and thirties doing it?
The FYI television network is banking on you doing just that. Its new reality show, Married At First Sight, is about arranged marriages, and how they play out in modern society. Based on analysis, online exams and physical attraction tests, a panel of experts, including a sexologist, a spiritual advisor, a sociologist and a psychologist, choose the contestants.
Contestants agree that once the match is made, they will marry a complete and total stranger, never having seen them or…

August 27th, 2014

When I recently learned from a Huffington Post headline that Mary’s Gourmet Diner, a North Carolina restaurant, offers customers a 15 percent discount for praying before meals, my reaction was a tough-to-contain internal eye roll. From my perspective, public displays of religion tend toward showy obnoxiousness, usually having more to do with glorifying one’s own sense of goodness and piety than with glorifying God.
Doubling down on my judgment, I considered that praying for financial gain sort of flies in the face of Jesus’ “you cannot serve both God and money” warning.
And what about Matthew 6:5-6?
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues…

August 26th, 2014

August means going back to school, which means Labor Day weekend, which means barbecue! Having family and friends over for an end-of-summer picnic is an excuse to eat lots of great food. But sometimes the menu — burgers, hot dogs, mayonnaise-filled potato salad and Ruffles potato chips — can be on the unhealthy side. Putting these types of food into our bodies every once in a while isn’t too harmful, but consuming healthy food means a healthy and happy soul. I’ve gathered some recipes that will be sure to please all types of eaters at your Labor Day picnic, while remaining incredibly nutritious.
Wet your whistle
First, keep your guests’ thirst in check with things other than soda and sugary drinks.…

August 22nd, 2014
Why racism and police brutality are right to life issues

Does black life matter? Once again our country is at a crossroads with its “unfinished business” of race relations. Within the past few months, headlines have described the stories of several unarmed black men killed by police. Either through blog comments, or in regular discussions, the opinions of who was at fault, usually differs depending on the race of the individual speaking. Now, I don’t want to put everyone into general categories, because not all black people think the same way and not all white people think the same way, either, but for the sake of brevity in this article, I will use generalities.
I’m writing through the lens of a young adult black male from New Orleans, Louisiana. My city’s…

August 21st, 2014

FXX begins running a marathon of every Simpsons episode ever today for the next 12 days, prepping us all for Simpsons World in October (an exhaustive app/portal allowing users the ability to watch all 552 episodes from all 25 seasons of the show whenever they want). We decided to take this opportunity to rewatch, remember and list below our favorite spiritual (mmm…sacrilicious…) moments of our favorite animated series. Please feel free to add your own favorite Springfield spiritual moments in the comments below.

#10 – Bar & Church People Switch Places During The Apocalypse (The Simpsons Movie)…
The Simpsons has long poked fun at religious types and end-of-the-world scenarios, so nothing

August 13th, 2014
A reflection on Robin Williams' suicide and the disease of clinical depression

Robin Williams made the whole world laugh, and he died of sadness, how can that be true? I mean, he was the psychologist who healed Good Will Hunting. He was Patch Adams,… the doctor who brought laughter to sick beds. He brought humanity to Vietnam. How could he, of all people, take his own life? This is the unspoken irony beneath all the tributes pouring out at the sad news of the death of this unique, talented, and gifted man who inspired so many.
Robin Williams talked and joked about his struggles with addictions, with sobriety, with heart disease, and with his depression. We hoped that he was victorious over them all. If the report of his suicide is to be believed, apparently that was not true. I am a clinical psychologist

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