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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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July 2nd, 2010

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.…

July 1st, 2010
After more than a decade in the Holy Land, Fr. Michael McGarry returns to the U.S. as president of the Paulist Fathers

Fr. McGarry discusses his years in the Holy Land and his extensive work on Jewish-Christian relations. The Los Angeles native also touches on the divisions he sees in both American politics and the Catholic Church in this country and how the fundamental question that drew him to the Paulists back in 1965, “Can a Priest be a Modern Man?” is still as relevant today as it was 45 years ago.

June 29th, 2010
Behind the Scenes -- Tips for Summer Spirituality

Learn more about what Busted Halo® does, the how and why behind our ministry, and watch as bustedhalo.com editor-in-chief Bill McGarvey interviews Fr. James Martin, SJ about Tips for Summer Spirituality. All live from the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City!…

June 27th, 2010
A discussion with the co-founder of The King's Men

In the July/August issue of The Atlantic, Hanna Rosin asks if “The End of Men” is upon us. She argues women — with increasingly greater levels of education and more resilient jobs in this economic recession — are going to take charge, making men the second sex. Our quest for gender equality has led to women zooming ahead, leaving men in the dust. Is that true?
I’ve blogged about my thoughts on this article — and various other pieces that encourage misandry and diminish the role of men — but back in April, I met Damian Wargo, co-founder and director of The King’s Men, a men’s ministry group based in Philadelphia, who is an expert on these issues.
He and I met in…

June 25th, 2010
No matter how far you live from NYC, there's no reason you can't attend our June 29 event

When we created the Facebook invite for our first ever Busted Halo® Behind the Scenes event — an interview with Fr. James Martin, SJ about Tips for Summer Spirituality — we got a great response. Lots of you wanted to get an exclusive look into how we create the content that enables us to keep bustedhalo.com full of new features every weekday. Unfortunately, lots of you don’t live in the NYC region.
We’re never one to let a physical divide stop us from connecting with our community, so we decided to find a way for all Busted Halo® fans, near and far, to participate. So, Tuesday, June 29th at 6:30pm ET, join us here on bustedhalo.com for our first ever live-streaming broadcast of a Busted…

June 24th, 2010
"questioning immigration"

In this video, Irving, a Mexican immigrant who has been living in NYC since age 4, talks about his struggles being undocumented and interviews a coworker about her thoughts on immigration.…

June 22nd, 2010
Seeking the sacred in soccer

For me, the World Cup intimates something of what God is and can be for us. The principle guiding our getting together and enjoying life. The meaning of our days. The joy of our victories and our consoler in defeat. If, as St. Ignatius taught, we should seek God in all things and God wants to be with the people of earth, then He has to be at the World Cup in South Africa this summer. Look for Him there.
It was 1982. I was teaching an English class of fifty primeros (high school freshmen) at Colegio San Mateo, the Jesuit school in Osorno, Chile, deep in the South of that beautiful country. Class was rolling along. The Chilean kids were always respectful and well behaved. Suddenly, they all just started standing up and walking…

June 21st, 2010
Deepening your personal relationship with God through conversational prayer

I had always been fine with the “God is everything” and “There is that of God in each of us” kinds of conceptions of God, but I was finding it hard to turn my will and my life over to a concept or The Universe; and I was being told that it would really help if I could learn to relate to God in a more personal way. I’d always struggled with the idea of a God personal to me. I’d always rejected anthropomorphizations as childish.

Then a wise spiritual friend I admired, Shana, made a suggestion. She came from a rural area where people drive everywhere, and she told me how, when she was learning this herself, she’d buckle the passenger seat of the car and talk to God as if he was sitting there. Though I lived in the city without a car, I’d spent plenty of years in car culture and this visual helped me with imagining how to approach praying in a conversational way.

And praying conversationally changed my conception of God. They fed each other. As I prayed “as if” God was a person in the room with me, I found it easier to feel comforted by God’s presence. As I felt comforted by God’s presence, it became easier to relate to God any time, anywhere — to just stop in the midst of a situation and have a few words with God.

Of course, Christians have always had the person of Jesus to pray to, but I wasn’t raised with any teaching in this area, so that idea was foreign to me. It may be easier to imagine for some. But even if you can easily relate to the idea of praying to God as a person, praying conversationally, and out loud, can still seem strange or silly.

June 17th, 2010
"no ID"

In this video, Siby, from Mauritania in West Africa, discusses how he was caught by the authorities when trying to travel back to Mali to visit his sick parent.
In video one, Siby talks about why he left home to come to the United States…

June 15th, 2010

After briefly discussing seeing food or beverage products with Catholic names, Fr. Larry explains the history of the monks of Le Trappe, who brewed and sold ales to provide an income source for their monastery. Today, Trappist monks from Belgium and the Netherlands sell ales in the U.S. Look for a Chimay or Rochefort in a store near you!…

June 15th, 2010
Help us help you

BustedHalo.com® is a resource developed to help you grow, share and explore the intersection between faith and everyday life — it’s important for us to know where we are succeeding and where we can improve. That’s where this survey comes in — we need you to tell us how we’re doing. Busted Halo® is here for you and because of you, so it’s important for us to know how this site personally impacts your life and how we can better serve you, our community.
 
This survey will only take a few minutes of your time, but it will have a huge impact on our ability to better serve you and grow our community for the future. So please take a few minutes and let us know how we’re doing, we’ll be so grateful…

June 15th, 2010
USA Today asks Busted Halo about her new video... what do you think?

With the release last week of Lady Gaga’s controversial new video “Alejandro,” USA Today called upon BH’s editor-in-chief Bill McGarvey to offer his opinion on whether the video’s treatment of Catholicism was offensive. Read his response here.
Take a look at the video yourself right now and let us know your opinion by clicking here and taking our survey:…

June 14th, 2010
Our Pure Sex, Pure Love columnist on her new blog

Vice and sin are sexy.
Character and virtue… not so much.
But where’s the line between them? What exactly is a virtue? Can it be taught? Are good, and bad, behavior hard-wired in us?
Loyal Busted Halo readers know me as the author of the Pure Sex, Pure Love dating and relationships column. And while researching trends in mate preferences and marriage is still a big focus of me, I’ve always had another academic love: self-improvement, character and the quest for a virtuous, fulfilled life.
And would you believe… there’s a big, venerable foundation devoted to the study of just those things? The John Templeton Foundation is devoted to studying “big questions” of human…

June 11th, 2010
Two writers present two different sides

The People vs. Helen Thomas…
by Rabbi Simcha Weinstein
The overnight implosion of her sixty-year career is a metaphor for the changing media landscape.
Reporter Helen Thomas had been a fixture of the White House Press Corps since the Eisenhower administration, making the diminutive 89-year-old journalist a feminist pioneer.
In recent years, however, Thomas was also derided by her colleagues as a hostile and distracting presence in the briefing room; “They think I’m intrusive and they think that I shouldn’t have my opinions and so forth,” she acknowledged in a 2008 interview. “Well, that’s their problem.”
Fellow reporters resented the fact that Thomas was

June 10th, 2010
"the deportee's wife"

In this video, Giselle sets out across the country for her one woman play, The Deportee’s Wife, and shares her various thoughts and insights into immigration issues in the United States.

June 8th, 2010
Mourning the anonymous homeless and indigent in NYC

There is an island in the East River, within view of the glittering Manhattan skyline, where the homeless and indigent are buried: an island of the dead. There, amid tall grasses and the calls of seagulls, the poorest New Yorkers — those who had families that couldn’t afford to bury them or who had no family, those who died anonymous and homeless on city streets, and those whose bodies were never claimed from the city morgue — find their final repose.
While some of the people buried on Hart Island are nameless, they are not forgotten. Every second month a knot of people gathers on a windy pier on City Island in the Bronx and boards a ferry to the island. There they say prayers for the dead and stand in silence…

June 7th, 2010
Protect the silence in your day and consider a silent retreat this summer

“Words are very
Unnecessary.”
— Depeche Mode

There is not enough silence in the world. More than ever before, daily life consists of a near-constant bombardment of noise and messaging.

When I am introducing people to Centering Prayer meditation, the first challenge for many is the simple weirdness for them of being silent and in silence, “alone” with their thoughts, for more than a few minutes. Between cell phones, iPods, the radio on at work or in the car, and the TV flipped on the moment they walk in their door, they manage to keep background noise going all day.

The paradox with meditation and other forms of silent prayer, and especially with silent retreats, is that even though they are formless and goalless, they achieve something wonderful — something potentially transformative: they create space, physical and mental space, to become more open.

That space, made most apparent by silence, can be an uncomfortable place to be. Why is this? Why is the weirdness threatening for some? One answer is that offered by Fr. Jim Martin in his latest book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Anything:

We may fear silence because we fear what we might hear from the deepest parts of ourselves. We may be afraid to hear that ‘still small’ voice. What might it say?

Might it ask us to change?

This is the great power and the great challenge of silence: it can reveal truth. Or more accurately, it takes away our ability to run from Truth.

June 4th, 2010
Dr. Christine Whelan and Nathalia Ortiz discuss SATC's success

When Sex and the City 2 arrived in theaters last Friday, women across the country were eagerly anticipating its release with all the excitement of a Harry Potter-phile awaiting a Daniel Radcliffe appearance. So why does the Sex and the City franchise continue to appeal to people (mostly women), six television seasons and two movies later? The answer may, ironically, have nothing to do with the sex or the city, and more to do with its very real representation of the feelings, conversations and experiences women have, juxtaposed with the exaggerated characters and lives that don’t reflect most women’s reality at all.

In this “Thinking Out Loud,” Dr. Christine Whelan and I compare thoughts on SATC and how it relates to our own adventures in dating, friendship, married life and even our faith lives.

June 3rd, 2010
"reunion"

In this video, Giselle reunites with her husband, Roberto, and interviews him about growing up in Mexico and how and why he came to live in the United States.
In video one, Giselle discusses the incident that forced her to look at the immigration issue.
In video two, Giselle prepares for her departure to Mexico where she will reunite with her husband and continue to video blog about their life together and strive to break down stereotypes about illegal immigrants and their families.…

June 1st, 2010
Some social scientists argue that it is

Today, the median age of marriage is 26 for women and 28 for men. Is that too old?
An increasingly vocal group of social commentators are concerned that by delaying marriage until our mid-to-late-20s or early 30s, we’re encouraging behaviors like premarital sex and cohabitation that are undermining the success of our unions. In a provocative piece in the September issue of U.S. Catholic, John Van Epp, PhD, president of LoveThinks, LLC, and author of How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk…, argues that young adults should stop delaying — and start searching for a spouse sooner rather than later.
In principle, I agree. Being proactive about the search for a spouse is a good thing. I’m thrilled to celebrate

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