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July 1st, 2008
U2-themed liturgies offer a sacred spin on the music of the world's biggest band

Until recently, I believed the most heavenly experience I would ever have through music happened at a U2 concert in 1997 when I had an OMG moment as Bono blew a kiss my way while he sang “Mysterious Ways.” Fans of the band will recall that same song—from their 1991 album Achtung Baby…—featured a very sensual belly dancer shimmying through the video and live concerts from that period; but the Reverend Paige Blair, rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in York Harbor, Maine, urges listeners to consider the music from the Dublin quartet in a completely different light.
“The belly dancer is great,” she says. “But listen to the wonderful intertwining of how God

June 30th, 2008
WALL-E's a winner

Even by Hollywood standards the story idea pitched to movie executives for Pixar’s WALL-E… must have sounded hallucinogenic: “So we’ve got this robot, but it’s a really lonely robot, see, because all the humans have left Earth a complete wasteland and this poor little guy has to pick up their trash—forever! Yeah! He’ll be busy picking up their trash for like, 700 years, and he’ll only have one friend…um…a cockroach. And then let’s say he falls in love with another robot and ultimately makes the planet safe for all the humans again! Oh, oh, and people will leave the movie wanting to save the Earth.”
When word first spread about Pixar’s

June 27th, 2008
Our readers respond

My last column, "Wives, obey your husbands?" was intentionally provocative… and it worked!
Over the years, as I attended different parishes during college and beyond, I noticed something odd: Depending on the priest, we’d hear different versions of readings from Colossians and Ephesians about how a man and a woman should love and honor each other.
The full text of this New Testament letter from Paul includes this advice: "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it behoveth in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter towards them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they…

June 25th, 2008
Searching for spiritual explanations for ghosts in America’s most haunted city

Young lovers hear inhuman growls when they stroll past it. Passing tourists feel tugs at their shopping bags, but when they whirl around, nothing is there. Teenage thrill-seekers take photos of it and delight in the beast-like faces that show up in empty windows.
The abandoned Gothic mansion at 432 Abercorn in Savannah, Georgia is haunted, but it’s not the city’s only ghost-ridden structure. “Up to 80% of homes and buildings in the historic district of Savannah are haunted,” says Scott Warner, a ghost tour guide for Ghost Talk Ghost Walk in Savannah.
Shannon Scott, a local paranormal investigator, says that the American Institute for Parapsychology (AIP) recently designated Savannah,…

June 24th, 2008
After the flood

“I pray that the community spirit stays strong in all these communities, and that the floods can’t drown the love we feel for our neighbors in times of need.”

June 23rd, 2008

Earlier this month, a Catholic watchdog group protested a student art exhibition that displayed certain religious symbols in a sexually explicit manner. Have you ever been offended by a piece of art?…

June 19th, 2008
The Gift of Friendship Across Faith Lines

Ever since re-engaging with my faith a few years back, I’ve found myself hanging out with a growing number of other Catholics. They support me in my spiritual growth; they understand my obscure Catholic jokes. There’s comfort in this.
But I’ve always had many non-Catholic friends too, with whom I’ve shared interests and struggles and laughs. And they too, have made invaluable contributions to my faith journey.

They’ve given me a more balanced picture of Christ. My best childhood friend Jenny, whose family belonged to a non-denominational Bible church, had a picture on her bedroom wall. It showed a smiling Jesus sitting in the grass, surrounded by kids in modern clothes. Contrast…

June 18th, 2008
A renowned New York artist adds a modern twist to ancient Jewish law in creating a painting of Biblical proportions

“Each painting lays out in black, white, purple and magenta just how present G-D is in all aspects of life.”

June 14th, 2008
Tim Russert (1950-2008)

“When he saw those values reflected back to him in the people he came across like the Jesuit priests who taught him, his dad’s drinking buddies or Senator Moynihan who he once worked for, Russert drew a clear line tracing it all back to his father’s living room in Buffalo.”

June 12th, 2008
“Wives, obey your husbands?”

As someone who studies the family and relationships, I usually look forward to the discussion of these big, important issues in the liturgy. At one church I attended during childhood summers, fathers would be recognized on Father’s Day by standing up and receiving applause. At another church, I remember mothers receiving a special blessing on Mother’s Day. And on the feast of the Holy Family, usually the Sunday after Christmas, the readings always caught my attention.
But over the years, as I attended different parishes during college and beyond, I noticed something odd: Depending on the priest, we’d hear different versions of readings from Colossians and Ephesians about how a man and…

June 9th, 2008

“Do you think Barack Obama should choose Hillary Clinton to be his running mate?”…

June 6th, 2008

June 5, 2008. Memorial of Saint Boniface, bishop and martyr. Father Dave asks us to look to the martyrs for inspiration and strength to carry burdens of all kinds for one another.St. Malachy’s Church, Broadway and 49th, Times Square, New York City. Thursday, June 6, 2008, 12:15pm Mass.…

June 6th, 2008
Prince Caspian struggles to recapture the magic of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

It’s not easy being a villain in Narnia. Twice now, in the two movies based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved series, the bad guys begin with the whole world in their hands, only to be thwarted—like some mythic, British take on Scooby Doo—by a band of meddling kids.
Narnia can be a pretty brutal place for filmmakers as well. Lewis’ books have spawned millions of passionate, highly defensive devotees across three generations. Meaning that anybody who dares to put their beloved tales on screen does so at their own peril. They also risks the scorn of movie critics, who are as notoriously finicky as any Narnia fans, and perhaps even less rational.
No surprise, then, that director Andrew Adamson has come out of Prince Caspian…

June 6th, 2008

In this episode of Mass Class Wednesday on The Busted Halo Show, Father Dave handles some call-in questions about some parishioners’ fear of germs and the sign of peace, whether or not the GIRM dictates a particular sign of peace, and how to go about starting a young adult ministry. (Originally aired: 05/28/08) The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 159, Monday through Friday, 7:00pm to 10:00pm EST. Give us a call: 1-888-3-CATHOLIC. Go to www.sirius.com to get subscription information.…

May 29th, 2008
The personal computing pioneer on philanthropy and “Life After Apple”

He was a Cal-Berkeley dropout who sought to impress his friends in a local computer and electronics hobby club with a slick, new invention that in turn ended up selling incredibly well and starting a revolution in the computer industry.
Stephen Gary “Woz” Wozniak, is best known as the co-founder of Apple Computer and the inventor of the first two personal computers, the Apple I and Apple II, in the mid-1970s. Since leaving Apple in 1985 he has directed most of his efforts toward philanthropy. In 2007, MTV Real World… Alumn, Joe Patane, now, a social worker and close friend of Woz, asked for his collaboration in forming a new camping experience focused on creativity and technology alongside living in

May 29th, 2008
The Obama campaign in the South is working overtime to correct the rumor that their candidate is a Muslim

A recent telephone call illustrates the problem.
Deb Geissler of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is working the phone bank for Barack Obama headquarters in her home state, when she reaches a man who bristles at the mention of her candidate’s name.
“Obama?” he asks, sounding offended. “Isn’t he the Muslim one?”
“No, sir” answers Geissler. “He’s a Christian.”
“Well, I heard he’s Muslim.”
Faith in Barack…
 
Geissler recounts this story to me on an unseasonably cold, gloomy Friday in Aiken, South Carolina. It’s the day before the South Carolina Democratic primary, and Geissler—a middle-aged nurse with piercing blue-grey

May 22nd, 2008
Some Navajo Indians mix Christianity with the old ways

Raymond Lewis, a retired mechanic living in the Navajo Nation in Arizona, tucks away his rosary and rises from kneeling and praying in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary in his living room, “Tonight, I take peyote and maybe see the Mother Mary,” he says.
Lewis, a 67-year-old full-blooded Navajo, who preferred not to use his real name, says he’s not unlike many Native Americans who practice their Catholic faith alongside their native religion. “There’s no contradiction. Both religions speak of being kind and living in harmony with one another, the Creator and nature,” Lewis says as he straightens a picture of a Navajo goddess, hanging behind the statue of Mary.
The Peyote… Way
Lewis says

May 21st, 2008
Expelled manages to lose Ben Stein’s funny

Since his first, monotone date with cinematic history in 1986’s Ferris Bueller, Ben Stein has carved a public career out of slight, but reliably charming variations on a single character: himself. Stein has been a supporting player in TV series and movies, a commercial pitchman (remember those Clear Eyes ads?), the host of the late, great Comedy Central quiz show Win Ben Stein’s Money…, and, more earnestly, a news pundit on CBS. His wardrobe—always a drab-colored suit, always a pair of canvas sneakers laced up with immaculately white shoestrings—seems the perfect extension of his persona. Bookish, phlegmatic and self-deprecatingly funny, he looks at once like the smartest and

May 20th, 2008

“In what way are you affected by the news of natural disasters abroad?”…

May 19th, 2008
Catholic Theologian John Haught Speaks with BustedHalo about Ecology, Religious Education and its Influences on Young People

Dr. John F. Haught has spent nearly 40 years as an educational innovator in creating an understanding of religion combined with educational facets of cosmology, biology and ecology. In 2002 he was the winner of the Owen Garrigan Award in Science and Religion which honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the fields of science and religion.
Haught was recognized in 2004 with the Sophia Award for Theological Excellence. The Sophia Award is given annually in several categories by the Washington Theological Union, recognizing leaders in religious education and ministry.
Aside from leading the Theology department at Georgetown University, Dr. Haught was the only theologian to testify…

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