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February 11th, 2009
...on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

On February 11, 1858, Saint Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes ( January 7, 1844 – April 16, 1879) was gathering firewood when she had a vision of the Virgin Mary in a grotto near town. This was her first of 18 visions.
The miraculous healing power of Lourdes water, from a spring in the grotto, led to its and Bernadette’s recognition. Lourdes has become a place of mass pilgrimage for Catholics — with an estimated 200 million visitors to the shrine since 1860.
To commemorate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes we are offering readers this clip on St. Bernadette featuring commentary from James Martin, SJ.  The video is courtesy of Loyola Productions taken from their new DVD “Who Cares about the Saints?”…

February 10th, 2009
Recession friendly ideas for love without money

Just because Valentine’s Day is traditionally one of the more tawdry holidays, that doesn’t meant that we can’t redefine it and genuinely celebrate the relationships and love we share, whether or not we have a significant other. So, I asked some of my friends for suggestions of ways to celebrate the relationships in our lives — without spending too much money, or turning to the trashy — and they came up with five great ideas that will make any Valentine’s Day wonderful.

February 9th, 2009
Inside a "voudou" village in South Carolina

He should have honored their ways.
When a county health inspector threatened to press charges against the members of Oyotunji African Village in South Carolina for scarring themselves in a tribal ritual, members of the village performed an ebo, or animal sacrifice, to one of their deities, asking for help. “The following week,” says Bale Oyewole, 63, one of the founders of the village, “the health inspector died of a heart attack; since then we’ve been left alone.”
It’s Voudou
Oyewole says they don’t call it voodoo in Oyotunji; they call it orisha voudou. The word voudou comes from the West African word for religion and the word orisha… means deities or spirits. The

February 9th, 2009
We’re turning the tables and asking our readers for advice

Calling all Pure Sex, Pure Love readers: I’m teaming up with one of the most famous priests in America to bring you the best dating and relationship advice. Want a piece of the action? Here’s the story:
Last summer Maureen Dowd wrote a column titled “An Ideal Husband,” featuring love advice from Fr. Pat Connor, a 79-year-old Catholic priest based in Bordentown, N.J., who has spent his celibate life mulling what it takes to achieve marital bliss.
The next day, Fr. Pat charmed the world with more advice for young adults (who you should and shouldn’t marry, why you can’t change a man, etc.) on the Today Show. (Watch the segment here.) And in the spring of next year, his book Whom …

February 5th, 2009
What to do with a husband who "isn't anything"

I had to explain it to the priest as I stood fidgeting with my cell phone antenna. No, my fiancee isn’t Catholic or Jewish, and he wasn’t baptized. I resisted the urge to holler, “YES, I am marrying a FILTHY heathen neener neener!” The priest told me curtly that he could not perform the marriage ceremony since my betrothed hadn’t been baptized. The job of blessing our union was passed to the deacon.
Husband isn’t…anything, really, religiously speaking. He is wickedly funny, always there to lend a hand when anybody needs it, he’s sweet and compassionate and very generous. What happens when a twenty-nine-year old Southern Catholic girl with Evangelical parents…

February 3rd, 2009
What is it & how to do it (even if it's been a long time)

Busted Halo® looks at the Sacrament of Reconciliation from the perspective of the seeker who has been thinking about confession.

In part one, we cover initial reservations about confession and how best to approach it, along with detailing the two types of sins of which to be mindful.

 
Download this PDF, How To Go To Confession, and take it with you… it’s okay, really.

 
Another helpful PDF, Some Common Catholic Prayers.

February 2nd, 2009
The growing trend to tattoo your faith on your sleeve

Eyes of friends and strangers alike immediately fall to the arm, the shoulder, the back, or perhaps even to the unnaturally elongated earlobe – sometimes a question follows, sometimes it doesn’t.
The tattooed and the pierced have signed up for it all, deeming a stamp of meaning or originality worth the cost, the pain, the permanence and the perpetual need to cover their artwork for job interviews. As tattoo shops spring up in suburbia and as tattoos become standard fare in offices, researchers and industry professionals are finding many willing to go under the needle do so in the name of some god. In many other instances, they do so in the name of their own personal philosophy of faith.
“Anecdotally,…

January 29th, 2009
Boston students try to start a dialogue at the inauguration and the March for Life

When a group of Catholic high school students traveled to Washington, D.C. last week, their itinerary included what many would have previously considered to be irreconcilable goals: to celebrate Obama’s election during the inauguration, and then to attend the March for Life two days later to show their opposition to abortion. This group of 16 students, mostly juniors and seniors at Xaverian High School in the suburbs of Boston, represents what could be called a new wave in the pro-life movement. Their trip, with visits to a variety of landmarks and individuals promoting viewpoints that contribute to a consistent ethic of life, is an example of how the landscape of the pro-life movement is shifting, starting…

January 28th, 2009
The SNL alum talks about her new movie with Renée Zellweger and how her faith influences the roles she takes

Whether it’s been in blockbusters like Men In Black and Forrest Gump, or indie films such as Dancer in the Dark and Dogville, Siobhan Fallon is a character actress whose face is memorable even if her name might not be.
In the romantic comedy, New in Town…, starring Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr., Fallon, a Saturday Night Live alum plays Blanche Gunderson, a Minnesota woman who befriends her new boss, Zellweger, when she arrives to take over the local factory.
Fallon, a devout Catholic, discusses the new film and why her faith and a desire to set a good example for her young daughters has meant turning down a number of lucrative acting opportunities.

BustedHalo: You’ve told me in the past

January 26th, 2009
The fourth installment of Marc Adams' inaugural vlog

In the fourth installment of his video blog from Washington D.C., contributing editor Marc Adams checks in a week after the inauguration, with an important reminder that the work is not over; it has just begun.…

January 26th, 2009
An excerpt from Anne Rice's memoir on her spiritual journey back to faith

I came out of childhood with no sense of being a particular gender, and no sense of being handicapped by being a woman because I didn’t believe I was a woman or a man.
Let me say briefly, because it’s too painful to relate in any detail, that I learned all about gender in adolescence, even as I moved against gender distinctions and refused to accept gender limitations.
Plunged into a coeducational high school at fourteen, I soon caught on that there were tremendous liabilities to being a girl. There was no such thing as gender equality. No one had yet spoken the word “feminism,” and my view of life soon involved negotiating my way through a minefield in which “good girls” could…

January 25th, 2009
Is the single life a vocation or just a test of patience...

Erin recently broke up with her boyfriend of two years. They were serious and considering marriage, but he didn’t want children and Erin, 27, very much wants a family. She knows she made the right choice but she’s still heartbroken, she told me recently in an email.
Erin, a longtime reader of this column, feels called to the vocation of Catholic married life — and is frustrated that she hasn’t yet met the partner with whom she can live out that call.
Here’s what she wrote to me:
“How does one live a single life with this vocation? It’s very confusing — not to mention painful and rather unhealthy — when I find myself sizing up all the men in my life as potentials, even friends…

January 22nd, 2009
A brief, mixed-media biography of Christianity's Great Communicator

On June 28, 2007 at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, Pope Benedict XVI announced officially that a special Jubilee Year dedicated to the Apostle Paul would take place from June 28, 2008 to June 29, 2009, on the occasion of the bimillenium of Paul’s birth, which historians have placed between the years 7 and 10 A.D.
As the Paulist Fathers—who sponsor Busted Halo—prepare to celebrate once again the feast of the Conversion of Paul on January 25, it is worthwhile recalling who this man was and why there is a year dedicated in his honor? First, Paul is responsible for a large part of the New Testament. The letters ascribed to him are about a quarter of the whole, and if you add the 17 chapters of Acts…

January 19th, 2009
Marc Adams speaks to his parents, an interracial couple, in the third installment of his Washington D.C. video blog

In this third installment of his video blog from Washington D.C., contributing editor Marc Adams speaks to his parents, Mary and Roland Adams about why they decided to travel 3,000 miles from Southern California to attend the Inauguration of Barack Obama. As an interracial couple who have been together for over 30 years, the Adamses offer some very personal insights and experiences on race, history and opportunity in the United States.…

January 17th, 2009
Marc Adams' second installment in his Washington DC video blog

In this second installment of his video blog from Washington DC during inauguration festivities, contributing editor Marc Adams visits the Inauguration Superstore.…

January 15th, 2009
Junior Priest, Glorified Altar Boy or...?

Have you ever looked up at the altar at church and wondered who the adult male was on the altar with a diagonal stole that made him look like Star Trek’s Lt. Worf?
This person is what the Catholic Church calls a Deacon. At the Second Vatican Council, the Church decided to restore the ministerial role of Deacon to the Catholic tradition. In ancient times, deacons served as servants. They ministered to the needs of all in the early church communities. But few people know more than a little about deacons.
Most deacons are married men with families of their own. They are called into the ministry to serve communities in a variety of ways alongside their role of assisting at mass and preaching the gospel. Deacons are called…

January 15th, 2009
My Motown lesson in Martin Luther King, Jr.

[EDITOR'S NOTE — While MLK Day is celebrated next Monday, January 15 is Dr. King's birthday. He would have been 80 today. This article was originally published in Busted Halo on January 15, 2007.]…
The record spins. The needle hits the vinyl. A rhythmic tune bursts out from the speakers and penetrates my soul. At the same time, the emotional lyrics capture my young imagination. As I stare at the record sleeve, I’m transported to a time I have never known, a place far from home, and a struggle of monstrous proportions. While most kids today learn about the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in their elementary school classes, I first heard about this great champion of civil rights from a Motown record. And from

January 14th, 2009
Shameful exploitation or simply capitalism at work?

In the run-up to the inauguration, residents of the District of Columbia and surrounding areas are clamoring to capitalize on the flood of people who are expected to descend on the city in just a few days. Some people are hoping to make quick cash by renting their homes for astronomical sums (in some cases thousands of dollars for only a few nights stay). In this first installment of his video blog about life in DC leading up to the inauguration, Marc Adams explores the morality behind hitting visitors who want to share in the historical moment with exorbitant prices. Should people feel a sense of guilt or is it simply capitalism at work? Two people in a DC neighborhood give their take.…

January 14th, 2009
XXXChurch is not a sex site (kinda)

A family member of mine recently said, “Shellie, I’ve accepted that you are working in the sex industry.”
My thought? “It’s about time.”

When I look at my life, even I must admit that it is really sex filled. I am a teen-mom coordinator for a local Nashville nonprofit. That pretty much consists of trying to encourage 13 to 19-year-old “grown-way-too-soon” young women to use biblical insights, my advice based on experience (I myself am a sex abuse survivor with a history of promiscuity) and a little common sense when it comes to making sexual choices. I speak pretty frequently on a book that I wrote in 2004, Inside of Me: Lessons of Lust, Love and Redemption …. (I

January 12th, 2009
Reflections and resources concerning the War in Gaza

There has been constant discussion in our news media about the continuing conflict between Israel and Palestinians in the tiny strip of land on the Mediterranean known as the Gaza Strip. In an earnest effort to both understand better and take action, Marc Adams, a contributing editor at Busted Halo, began an online conversation with a group of former Jesuit volunteers, friends and family. His initial questions regarding how to deal with the crisis have generated a rich dialogue about what we, here in the US, can and should do about the situation in Gaza.
Much of the email correspondence centered on how to understand the facts on the ground — including our media’s portrayal of the state of affairs versus…

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