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May 1st, 2008
A twenty-six year old reflects on Bruce Springsteen's continued magic

A memory: I am three years old, watching MTV. A man on a stage wearing tight jeans and a white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up dances and sings into a microphone with his band in the background. He sways his shoulders and spins as the camera follows him, and toward the end of the song he pulls a young woman onto the stage to dance with him. I remember loving the music, and even the video, in a three-year-old sort of way.
The man is Bruce Springsteen; the song is “Dancing in the Dark.” The year is 1984.
I saw the video again recently for the first time since childhood; it has not aged well. I wonder if, even in the Eighties, it ever really impressed anyone who was old enough to dress himself. Springsteen,…

May 1st, 2008
Discovering the soul of environmental justice

At a local environmental action meeting I attended not long ago, I was surprised and encouraged by the diverse grassroots efforts at stewardship taking place all around me. There was a ten-year old boy at the podium who spoke of his passion for rescuing animals and caring for their welfare, while his mom on the same dais spoke of how their family decided to live without air conditioning in their Upper West Side Manhattan apartment as part of an effort to cut down on energy consumption—they went so far as to remove their radiators, take down walls, and renounce take out food for home cooked, healthy local meals that they ate together. None of the topics spoken about that day, however, fascinated me as much as the fact…

April 30th, 2008
Benedict XVI in America

In the days leading up to the arrival of Pope Benedict in the United States, a number of media outlets contacted BustedHalo.com to get “our take” on the papal visit. During the interviews I did, I discovered a few themes developing that generally went something like: “Why isn’t Pope Benedict’s pending trip to America not a bigger deal?” or “Don’t the statistics about Catholic practice among young adults in the United States indicate that the pope is out of touch with the reality of American life?” There seemed to be some real skepticism about just how relevant Pope Benedict was and how much his trip to the United States truly mattered.
In an age where media…

April 28th, 2008
The Catholic Guide to Blind Dates

It only has to work once.
That’s what I told myself after every bad date in my 20s.
If we fell head over heels in love with everyone we met for coffee or dinner, we’d get ourselves into heaps of trouble. Being picky (up to a point) is a good thing. And this means that there are going to be some terrible dates.
Which is why I’ve always thought it’s interesting that blind dates—when your friend, coworker, family member or random neighbor down the block sets you up with someone you’ve never met before—strike such fear in our hearts. (And BustedHalo… readers had a lot to say on this topic!)
But let’s be brutally honest: Your success rate hasn’t been all that stellar,

April 28th, 2008
A new approach to New Year's resolutions

Did you make some New Year’s resolutions this year?
If so, you’re in the minority: A 2005 study found that only 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.
Did you make New Year’s resolutions last year—and did you keep them?
If so, you are really in the minority. Only 8 percent of Americans achieve their resolution goals, according to “Living on the Up Beat,” a publisher of self-help books. What’s more discouraging is that 22% of all New Year’s resolutions are broken in the first week, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology.…
With that in mind, here’s a new twist on
the New Year’s resolution racket:
1. Start small This year, a friend

April 25th, 2008
An up-close and personal experience of Pope Benedict's visit from a Jewish woman's perspective

In the eighteen months since the launch of Sirius Satellite Radio’s Catholic Channel, Robyn Gould has certainly seen the Catholic Church from more angles than most people ever will in their lifetimes. As the producer of “The BustedHalo Show” with Paulist Father Dave Dwyer, Gould is in charge of booking guests and planning a three hour show (7-10PM EST) every Monday to Friday night.
During her tenure, the thirty-something has dealt with guests ranging from Deepak Chopra to Cardinals visiting from the Vatican. In addition to her behind-the-scenes duties, Gould plays a major on-air role as a sidekick to Fr. Dave, bringing her perspective as a Jewish woman to the show’s lively discussion…

April 23rd, 2008
Paulist Productions launch their first web-based series

The Paulist Fathers, who founded and continue to sponsor BustedHalo® have a long and distinguished reputation for being at the forefront of the convergence of faith, media and technology. Paulist Press, whose founding dates back to 1888, became one of the leading publisher of hardcover and paperback books. While in 1960, the late Father Ellwood “Bud” Kieser founded Paulist Productions in Los Angeles that went on to produce award-winning television series and feature-length films.
The distinctions between “new” media—the internet—and more traditional forms are, of course, quickly disappearing. (BustedHalo® is continuing to work more with video and has also partnered with…

April 22nd, 2008
Spirituality for the Sleep-Deprived

Lately I feel like my brain is on holiday. I find myself wandering the supermarket unable to remember exactly what I’m supposed to be shopping for, reaching the end of a newspaper article and having no idea what I’ve just read.
It has to be the sleep deprivation. A few happy, isolated incidents aside, I haven’t had more than five hours of uninterrupted shut-eye since my daughter was born six months ago. Maybe once she gets the hang of not waking me up at three in the morning I’ll get back to some good, serious thinking. For now my brain’s stuck on diaper rash remedies, dirty laundry, the absolute adorableness of little baby toes.
My previous multisyllabic lifeI used to be a lot deeper.…

April 17th, 2008
Covering Pope Benedict's visit to the United States

Yankee Pope …
Constantly Alert
“Praying fervently for the coming of the Kingdom also means being constantly alert for the signs of its presence, and working for its growth in every sector of society. It means facing the challenges of present and future with confidence in Christ’s victory and a commitment to extending his reign. It means not losing heart in the face of resistance, adversity and scandal. It means overcoming every separation between faith and life, and countering false gospels of freedom and happiness. It also means rejecting a false dichotomy between faith and political life, since, as the Second Vatican Council put it, “there is no human activity – even in secular affairs

April 15th, 2008
Blind Date!

Those two words strike fear in the hearts of singles everywhere. And if you’re single past your early 20s, odds are, you’ve been on one.

Blind Dates…
TAKE THIS SURVEY!!
To Answer the Questionnaire, click here
Name (fake name is fine)
Age
Gender
I would be willing to go on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
How many blind dates have you been on?
a) 0
b) 1-3
c) 4-6
d) 6-10
e) more than 10
My mother or father has set me up on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
I would insist upon seeing a photo before I agree to go out on a blind date with someone.
a) true
b) false
I would ask about the person’s religious background before I agree to go out on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
Women are more likely to agree to going on a blind date than men.

April 14th, 2008

“What are your thoughts and feelings about Pope Benedict XVI visiting the United States?”…

April 11th, 2008
Seekers find salvation in New Age capital of America

Yvonne Draper came to Sedona to kill herself. With a ruptured disc in her back, a hip that slid out of the socket, knees and ankles that constantly went out, Draper was in chronic pain. Also burdened by personal and financial setbacks, Draper was ready to give it up in the place voted by USA Weekend as the most beautiful in America.
“But then,” she says, “something got in the way—Sedona.” Draper said when she arrived in Sedona in 2002 she was seduced by it natural beauty: towering red monoliths, wind-chiseled canyons and breathtaking crimson vistas.
Yet, it wasn’t Sedona’s scenic charm alone that saved her, but it’s spiritual energy. “The vortexes helped…

April 9th, 2008
Singer, songwriter, seeker, activist

It is the most standard of questions in any interview with a musician: ‘Who are your influences?’ So standard (and cliched) in fact that readers will often breeze right past it to get to the juicier parts “Beatles…blah, blah, blah….Dylan…blah, blah, blah… Stones…blah, blah…Did I mention that Brad and Angelina will be starring in my next video?”
But when a singer/songwriter like Carrie Newcomer includes the names of theologians, religious leaders and famous authors among her influences, clearly the traditional categories no longer apply. On her 11th studio album, The Geography of Light… Newcomer is not destroying old categories as much

April 4th, 2008
The former Master General of the Dominican Order worldwide discusses freedom, truth, sexuality and healing a polarized Church

As he bounds off the stage in his white friar’s habit into the large audience in an Anaheim Convention Center ballroom, Timothy Radcliffe, OP seems to have the energy of a man half his 63 years. He is away from the stage only momentarily to listen to a question from an audience member before he turns and moves quickly back to reclaim the microphone on the dais and offer his response. In person, Radcliffe gives the impression —at least to American eyes — of a delightfully eccentric and irrepressible British academic who wouldn’t be out of place as a visiting professor at Harry Potter…‘s Hogwarts Academy (as one of the “good guys” of course).
That impression is not entirely

March 31st, 2008
with Bill McGarvey of BustedHalo

In late 2005, novelist Anne Rice stopped by BustedHalo‘s® offices in New York to promote her book Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt, the first installment in her planned four-part “autobiography” of Jesus. What was supposed to be a brief interview with the legendary author—who has sold more than 100 million books worldwide—turned into a wide-ranging, hour-long discussion of her career and her re-discovered Catholic faith.
Her second book in the series Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana, picks up Jesus’ life in Nazareth at age 30 just before he begins his public ministry. Like its predecessor, The Road to Cana eschews the lush style that marked Rice’s Vampire Chronicles… series

March 30th, 2008
Controversial Catholic youth minister Justin Fatica is tough and bruised, but soft-hearted, and few dispute he has a knack for reaching troubled kids

The children who show up for Kids ALIVE in Burlington’s Old North End number between 40 and 50, and most range in age from about 8 to 16. Many live nearby, in poverty. On a grey, snowy Saturday morning in February, they trudge in from the cold, filling a small, blue-and-white room in an old building on Elmwood Avenue, and shed their coats, hats and snow boots. The younger kids are shepherded to an adjacent playroom; the rest linger and chatter until a pastor, who oversees the weekly, nondenominational outreach program, leads them in some opening music. They sing: “Jesus loves me, this I know…”
The crowd is larger than usual today, and the reason for this is a young man named Justin Fatica, who…

March 27th, 2008

A fourteen-year-old girl—
on tip-toe in the attic—
saw the huge horse-chestnut,
Westerkerk tower, and the random
flight of gulls. “Our tree
is in full blossom . . . even
more beautiful than last year,”
she wrote, on May 13th,
1944.
A nightingale once built
her nest beside the house
of a poet. He was ill.
He sat beneath a plum
one day, and when he returned,
his hands were filled with the scraps
of stanzas. Here is the plum:
I know I shouldn’t, but
I pluck one leaf, I crush it,
place it beneath my tongue,
releasing its bitter mint.
Praise to the angel’s wordless
gaze—her angled cut,
the balm of moss—who coaxes
the root, who stakes the shoot
of the chestnut and the plum.…

March 25th, 2008
A pilgrimage to Flannery O’Connor's Georgia home

You’ll find her along the fence line of Memory Hill Cemetery, to the left. The grave sits in a family plot. There are Treanors and Clines—relations of her mother’s—and then, finally at the edge, O’Connors. A low, flat, plain marble gravestone, next to two just like it belonging to her parents. The etching, too, is plain: a cross, trimmed with “IHS,” and beneath it her full Christian name, Mary Flannery O’Connor, the day she died (August 3, 1964), and the day, only 39 years earlier, when she was born: March 25, 1925.
It was tempting, when I was a pilgrim in Flannery O’Connor’s hometown, to think of what might have been for her. And it is tempting now,…

March 24th, 2008
Is lying a way of life for women?

For three months I lied to my husband. I snuck around behind his back and I emailed and talked on the phone with first one—then up to a dozen—different men. I had more than 200 emails secreted away in a folder. When my husband would come into the room, I’d snap my computer shut, or click on a different screen quickly, so he wouldn’t see what I was doing. By the end, nearly every other sentence I uttered was a lie. And even though I was so nervous and jittery, my husband didn’t suspect a thing.
Are you horrified? You should be. Except…
All this was part of the planning for my husband’s surprise 30th birthday party in Las Vegas last month: When we walked into a Vegas nightclub, 10…

March 21st, 2008
Dark, noisy and nearly forgotten, a 20-something makes a case for reviving Tenebrae

It is the great peculiarity of the Church of Rome, that it presents to its worshipers an extraordinary variety of services, each of which has a special significance and fitness for the period of the year in which it is celebrated. Among the most beautiful of these offices are those which are celebrated during Holy Week, and which are called Tenebrae.
The notice above entitled “Tenebrae Services in the Roman Catholic Church” and published in the New York Times…, on March 27th, 1872, sounds a little antiquated (when was the last time anybody said “Church of Rome?”), but it none the less rings true for me. Though it might be an odd choice, Tenebrae has long been my favorite service of the liturgical

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