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April 19th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 3

Episode #3 Why Can’t We Get Married On The Beach?”
(Please note: due to some technical issues encountered while recording,
portions of Fr. Eric’s video and audio are slightly distorted.) 

Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP is the pastor of Blessed John XXIII parish, which serves as the Catholic campus ministry for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Prior to entering the priesthood, he worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of television productions.

April 16th, 2009
Meeting the incorruptible saints whose bodies seem to defy decay

One evening last month, while surfing YouTube, I stumbled across a five-part slideshow on the incorrupt bodies of saints. Having once been a soul mate to television’s ghoulish Wednesday Addams, I launched “Part One,” expecting to get halfway through before my maturing tastes demanded I resume searching for the clip where Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, humiliates the geeks at the Star Wars premier.
To my surprise, the spectacle held me in thrall. In every dead face, sanctity intersected with human nature in some unique and memorable way. St. Jean-Marie Vianney’s fine features hinted at a painful sensitivity. With her mouth half open, St. Veronica Giuliani looked as though she were…

April 14th, 2009
A BustedHalo video feature

Faith, spirituality and religion are too often looked upon as the province of “experts” who spend all their time in places of worship. At BustedHalo.com… we frequently hear from readers who desperately want to explore their spiritual questions but feel alienated from traditional faith communities. The fact is that our experience of sacredness is as unique and personal as our fingerprints, but we sometimes fail to recognize these moments as God’s way of speaking to us in our everyday lives.
“Where’s God?” chronicles the countless different ways people experience transcendence. In episode #2 Ph.D. student Tara Good describes her experience of God outside the walls

April 13th, 2009
Our Pure Sex, Pure Love columnist offers some background on her new web video series The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding

Thinking about getting married? Engaged? Welcome aboard the emotional rollercoaster: Planning a wedding and anticipating a marriage is a joyful time of preparations — but also a highly charged period of decisions, debates and family pressures.
And, as usual, BustedHalo® is here to help. Recently, I joined forces via the wonders of iChat technology with Father Eric Andrews, a Paulist priest who has over 15 years of wedding experience. Fr. Eric and I answer questions from brides and grooms preparing to be married in the Catholic Church. Why can’t you get married on the beach? Why is the priest being such a jerk? Why do we have to talk about sex during pre-Cana?
In our video series, The Princess, The Priest…

April 13th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 2

Episode #2 “The Jerky Priest!”

Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP is the pastor of Blessed John XXIII parish, which serves as the Catholic campus ministry for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Prior to entering the priesthood, he worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of television productions.

April 12th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Easter
John 20:1-9
On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not…

April 11th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil
We celebrate the Easter Vigil after sundown on Holy Saturday. We start with the church in darkness, and then slowly the introduction of light makes its way into our presence by lighting candles from the great Easter candle (Paschal candle), and as Jesus’ resurrection grows stronger, more light opens into the congregation.
The evening is also marked by the Baptism of the elect, those who have been preparing to enter into the church. Those of us not being baptized are called to renew our own baptismal promises as well.

Fast from impatience.
Pray… for the patience to accept Christ’s coming into your life. (If that seems too abstract to you, pray for

April 9th, 2009
The challenge of Good Friday

I love rocking chairs. Whenever I go on retreat, as I did last week, I hope that they have a rocking chair at the retreat house. Generally, when I am rocking away I do not have a care in the world. But during my recent retreat my soothing rocking chair experience was ruined when I began contemplating Good Friday.
Quite frankly, I hate Good Friday. It’s dreary and dark. There’s the cross and the blood and the whipping and the people calling for Jesus to die. There’s the lance through Jesus’ side and the falling on the road and the Pietà, where Jesus’ body is handed over to his mother, Mary — what torture for any mother to see her son like that!
No, Good Friday is not a comfortable…

April 9th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Good Friday
We’re letting you see Good Friday early, so you can be prepared to observe what we’re asking of you.
“Were you there, when they crucified my Lord?”
The haunting sounds of this old spiritual tell you all you need to know about Good Friday. This is the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. Jesus was nailed and hung on a cross and left for dead with common criminals on either side of him. There is no Mass celebrated on Good Friday. The Blessed Sacrament is removed from the tabernacle and moved to an alternate location in the church.
The day is marked by an interactive reading of the Passion narrative. The congregation usually reads the lines in the story…

April 9th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Holy Thursday
Two things are central to Holy Thursday. First, we are reminded of the Last Supper and the final period of time that Jesus shared with his disciples.
In three of the four gospels we hear about how Jesus took bread and broke it and blessed a cup of wine saying “this is my body; this is my blood. Do this to remember me.” In the Gospel of John however, the central moment of Jesus’ final evening with his disciples is not the Eucharistic meal (which in fact is not even mentioned) but rather, the washing of the disciples’ feet. This moment get re-enacted at Mass after the homily and also reminds us of the second thing that gets emphasized on Holy Thursday: the…

April 8th, 2009
Without eating your weight in Peeps

My freshman year of college I was irate. After twelve years of Catholic school I expected some sort of vacation at Easter. My secular college however had no intention of living up to that expectation. It was eye opening that first year to realize that, not only was there no vacation, no one even acknowledged that Easter was on its way.
In high school, Easter had always been a time to celebrate. (If nothing else, to celebrate the end of Friday fish fry lunches.) On Easter morning, following a huge post-church family brunch, I remember gorging on chocolate bunnies (especially their ears), Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, PEEPs and other assorted sweets, usually giving myself a stomach ache as I cast off the forty-some…

April 8th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Lenten Fact
Passover is the first of three major festivals that have historical and agricultural significance. It is the beginning of the harvest season in Israel although nobody really pays any mind to this. The Hebrew word Pesach means to pass through or exempt. The Passover recalls the biblical story from the book of Exodus. God passed over the houses of the Jews that were marked with the blood of the lamb when he was slaying all the first born sons in Egypt.
Jews remove all leavened bread from their homes for Passover to symbolize that they were once nomadic and always in a hurry — so much so that they couldn’t let their bread rise.
On the first night of Passover, there is a special…

April 7th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Lent Quotable

There is a place where thou canst touch the eyes
Of blinded men to instant, perfect sight;
There is a place where thou canst say, “Arise”
To dying captives, bound in chains of night;
There is a place where thou canst reach the store
Of hoarded gold and free it for the Lord;
There is a place — upon some distant shore —
Where thou canst send the worker and the Word.
Where is that secret place — dost thou ask, “Where?”
O soul, it is the secret place of prayer!— Alfred Lord Tennyson

Fast from ignorance. Read a book.
Pray for people who lack a proper education.
Give… used books to a library or a literacy organization.
Slipped up? Don’t

April 6th, 2009
Part 2 - Children Saving Children

There are more slaves today than at any other point in human history.
— E. Benjamin Skinner, A Crime So Monstrous…
For most of us, it’s difficult to imagine that in 2009 there are more than 27 million people, most of them women and children, being held against their will. Many are abused or carried across international borders and exploited as servants, forced prostitutes or laborers. Many of them never make it out. If they do, it’s not unusual that they no longer possess their sense of humanness or the will to continue living.
Busted Halo’s three-part series on modern-day slavery and human trafficking aims not only to raise consciousness and concern about these two incredibly important human

April 6th, 2009
Some highlights from our columnist's visit to CBS TV's Early Show

This morning, I appeared live on “The Early Show” on CBS to discuss dating and relationship strategies during an economic downturn. Watch the show here and read below for more advice.
When is the appropriate time to bring up finances in a relationship — and is it something you should really be asking about early on? …
Money is one of those subjects that’s off limits on the first date — but if you’ve just been laid off from your job there’s no avoiding the discussion. Get to know someone for who they are, not what they can buy for you: Is she proactive about finding a new job? Is he brainstorming about other career paths? Ambition and perseverance are what’s going to pay

April 6th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Lenten Fact
Hot cross buns are a British Catholic tradition. Despite an attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to squash this papist pastry in the 1500s, it has survived down through the centuries.
The ironic thing about its perceived Catholicity is that the hot cross bun started as a pagan offering. When the Saxons settled in England in the 6th Century, they brought their Germanic gods with them from Holstein. Eostre was their goddess of light, whose festival occurred at the beginning of Spring. Eostre herself likely derives from the Vedic deity Ushas, the pre-Hindu Indian goddess of dawn, which welcomed the birds and drove off evil spirits. Ushas is further developed in the vedas as the medium…

April 5th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Today we celebrate Passion (Palm) Sunday. We receive palms at Mass in memory of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem where he was hailed by the people with palm branches.
As he enters Jerusalem, Jesus moves closer to his death on the cross. So these palms symbolically point us toward not merely Christ’s death but also His resurrection.
Another lesser-known reference to palm branches is in the book of Revelation, where it speaks of the saints in heaven “wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)
The palms suggest that they too are triumphant over death and have come to live in a new life with God. The white robes also remind us of our…

April 4th, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Lent Quotable
It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.— Albert Einstein

Fast from excessive electricity consumption.
Pray for people in the world who don’t have the infrastructure to have electricity.
Give $2 to your FastPrayGive Bowl. (Your FastPrayGive Bowl is a container you’ve set aside to hold the money saved from various fasting challenges, to be used for whatever charity you choose at the end of Lent.)

Slipped up? Don’t give up. Start again and share yourstruggles at our “Slip Support Station” on Facebook.

Today’s Prize is: Halo Store Grab bag…
To see a list

April 3rd, 2009
Given up? Why not start over for Holy Week?

You’ve made it this far — only another week to go.  As a matter of fact, it’s the Holiest Week of the year.
So even if you’ve completely messed up all throughout Lent, here’s a good opportunity to try again and get into the spirit of Holy Week.  Remember this is unflunkable — with each day that passes you get one more chance to learn more about yourself and grow closer to God.  So join us down the homestretch for your last chances to fast, pray and give one day at a time.
 
We aren’t announcing when… we will be doing our FastPrayGive Lent Incentive Grand Prize Drawing, but we will clue you in: we’ll do it in time to get the iPod Nano Easter Basket to the winner for Easter

April 3rd, 2009

Return to the Lent calendar.

Lent Quotable
If we’re not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn’t settle for junk food.— Sally Edwards

Fast from any food that is cooked or processed (e.g. french fries, rice, bread, cooked vegetables).
Pray for the well-being of our environment.
Give… the money you would’ve spent on processed foods to your your FastPrayGive Bowl. (Your FastPrayGive Bowl is a container you’ve set aside to hold the money saved from various fasting challenges, to be used for whatever charity you choose at the end of Lent.)
Slipped up? Don’t give up. Start again and share yourstruggles at our “Slip Support Station” on Facebook.

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