Busted Halo
January 9th, 2007
The real-life team chaplain remembers the tragedy depicted in the film We Are Marshall

In 1970, Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, faced a tragedy of epic proportions when it lost its entire football squad, along with coaching staff, boosters and family members in a plane crash. The recently released film, We Are Marshall tells the story of how this tiny steel town coped with the loss of loved ones, and how Jack Lengyel (played by Matthew McConaughey) took the coaching reigns and tried not only to rebuild an athletic team, but also a community.
Paulist Father Bob Scott—who was the campus minister and chaplain for Marshall University’s football team at the time—would’ve perished along with everyone else had he not stayed behind to work on campus that weekend.…

January 8th, 2007
10 New Years Tips for Meeting that Special Someone in 2007

You’ve made your New Year’s Resolution list. Perhaps you’ve resolved to go to the gym more often or to call your parents and grandparents regularly. Maybe you’ve decided this is the year that you are going to switch jobs or apply to grad school. We all want to improve something about ourselves, and we love the chance to start afresh to make it happen. But as I’ve spoken with young-adults about their New Year’s Resolutions list, I noticed something interesting:
Very few of us will say explicitly that we hope this is the year that we meet our life partners, that this is the year that God brings that special person into our lives. Yet to meet the right person and begin to build a life…

January 5th, 2007
Battling for the heart of Jewish mysticism, Hollywood and the Hasidim offer different paths

One rabbi who studied it grew crazy, one died and another became so bewildered that he lost his faith. According to Jewish tradition, the study of the Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism is not only powerful but also downright dangerous.
“Woe to the person who says that the Torah shares with us plain stories and mundane matters,” says the Zohar (Radiance), the traditional text of the Kabbalah, “…. rather all the matters in the Torah are supernal matters and supernal secrets.”
For centuries the study of the Kabbalah was forbidden, reserved only for Jewish males over 40, who were well-versed in Torah, but since its recent adoption by Hollywood celebrities, there has been a battle raging…

January 3rd, 2007
Once sentenced to 20 years in prison for soliciting her husband's murder, a Chicago woman now helps former female inmates start over

Edith Hoskins knows exactly the point in her life when she turned to drugs.
From the age of eight until she was 11, she watched her stepfather beat her mother and brothers “time after time.” When she was 11, she finally confronted the man and threatened to kill him if he didn’t stop the beatings. Instead of being grateful for her daughter’s defense, Hoskins’ mother responded by turning her over to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Once in the DCFS system, Hoskins bounced from family to family and at 15, she saw her mother for the last time.
“When my mom turned me over to DCFS, that was my beginning for using drugs. I started with marijuana, then went to crack…

December 30th, 2006
The Only American Woman Invited to Participate at Vatican II

On August 24, in the motherhouse of the Sisters of Loretto, in Nerinx, Kentucky, one of the towering leaders of the Catholic church died. She was 98. Though Mary Luke Tobin, S.L., led a life described by superlatives, she may best be remembered as one of only 15 women, and the only American woman, to be invited to participate in the Second Vatican Council.
In article published in the Nov. 1, 1986 issue of America, the Catholic weekly, Sister Tobin noted that at the close of the second session of Vatican II, Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens of Belgium pointedly asked his fellow bishops this question: “Why are we even discussing the reality of the church when half the church is not even represented here?”
That query,…

December 30th, 2006
The Secular Prophet of American Cities

When Jane Jacobs, the 20th Century urban activist and pro-city theorist died in May at the age of 89, we lost a secular prophet. Reading Jacobs’ landmark resistance to modern city planning methods, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, was one of the seminal experiences of my college years. It was an academic experience, but also a spiritual one.
Jacobs’ work trumpeted the city not as a problem to be solved but as a life-affirming manifestation of creativity. A city allowed to function properly has a soul, she argued. Her work resonated with me, a bookish suburbanite transformed into an urban studies major at Fordham University in the Bronx. The book put into words that awe the living city ignited…

December 23rd, 2006

Paulist Father Dave Dwyer, CSP will be the host and on-air commentator for this year’s Midnight Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Dwyer, who is the publisher of BustedHalo.com, also hosts a daily radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio weekdays 7-9pm EST. The Mass is being broadcast by WPIX, Ch 11 in NYC, but it will also be carried by selected affiliates throughout the country.
Check your local listings.…

December 22nd, 2006

Dana Reeve, the epitome of grace and class under pressure, is probably most known for the tragic events that surrounded her husband Christopher Reeve and his paralyzing accident. Dana remained by her husband’s side and her comforting words “you’re still you” provided him with the resolve that he needed for his remaining days to be an activist for people with spinal chord injuries. Tragically, Dana died from lung cancer (despite the fact that she never smoked) less than two years after her husband passed away.
I met Dana briefly after she was interviewed on a talk show I produced at WOR Radio in New York. About a month before that, I was asked to review a play she was starring in called “Good…

December 22nd, 2006
Comic Book Artist

Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus—to fans of the recent X-Men movie trilogy, these names are very familiar. Before bursting into action on the big screen, however, these super heroes were ideas in the mind of comic book artist Dave Cockrum. Cockrum created these characters and a number of others in the mid-Seventies, and breathed new life into a struggling series for Marvel Comics. He died in November of complications from diabetes at the age of 63.
In the early 80′s, Dave Cockrum and writer Chris Claremont were the dynamic creative duo working on Uncanny X-Men. I hold them personally responsible for my hard-earned paper route money going into the coffers of the local comic store every month. Cockrum’s…

December 19th, 2006
Five gifts that will always be remembered, never be returned and won't cost you a dime

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Classic big-ticket items like cars, jewelry, or expensive electronics might be hard to top but I’d be willing to wager that most of us can vividly recall a seemingly insignificant gift or small gesture from someone that touched us much more deeply. When I moved to a new house, my sisters each gave me perennials from their gardens to put in the bare patch of ground in front of my new digs. It didn’t cost them anything but every spring when the hardy geraniums come up I think of Jeanne and in the summer when the deep pink bee balm blooms I smile when I think of Karen uprooting them from her garden to transfer to mine. If there’s a key to gift giving, maybe…

December 19th, 2006
A Sad Day in Bedrock: From The Bedrock Times Obituary section

BEDROCK, Dec. 19, 2006
Celebrities and dignitaries streamed into the memorial service for JOSEPH BARBERA at Bedrock Memorial Chapel today. Yogi Bear, Booboo, Fred Flintstone and Shaggy offer emotional, stirring eulogies for their creator, mentor and guide…
You’ll have a yabba-dabba-doo time …
My first history lesson as a kid was something about pre-history: Brontosaurus burgers could be ordered at the drive-in way-back-then. My history teacher was Joseph Barbera and, along with my favorite family, The Flintstones, he would prove to be one of the most influential people in my young life—though I didn’t know him.
Joseph Barbera’s name will forever be connected with that of his partner, William

December 19th, 2006
The Arizona Cardinals QB is no fair-weather follower

Perhaps best-known as the man with the Cinderella story who catapulted the St. Louis Rams to a win in Super Bowl XXXIV, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner is also noted for wearing his faith on his jersey sleeve. But it’s not the kind of display we often see, like players pointing to the heavens or kneeling in prayer in the end zone after winning a game. These rituals have become so much a part of the show in professional sports that at times the gestures seem like odd forms of spiritual showboating.
Warner’s Christian faith manifests itself in a different way on the field. Since winning the Super Bowl and being a two-time league MVP very early on in his career, Warner has struggled since 2003 to get…

December 18th, 2006
Home for the Holidays... Seven Survival Tips for Couples

“Hi, I’m Christine,” I said, nervously announcing the obvious as I stepped into my fiancé’s aunt’s living room for Thanksgiving last month. Peter and I had gotten engaged over the summer and I was on center stage in this first meeting with his aunts, uncles and cousins. Was I dressed correctly? Should I hug or shake hands? Were there topics I shouldn’t talk about? Would they like me?
Joining to your significant other’s family can be fraught with all sorts of dramas. Here are some tips that I’ve compiled through my research and interviews—use it as a guide to navigating the pitfalls of the “home for the holidays” season.
1. Will you…

December 14th, 2006
How I learned to love Hanukkah by celebrating Christmas

My family has a problem with presents. They make us nervous. Because of some inexplicable guilt or money-related anxiety, receiving gifts makes us feel uncomfortable and ashamed. Ask a Parker what they want for any gift-related holiday and we draw a blank, we have no idea. The holiday season is especially difficult as all of us have to know what we want all at once. To add another layer of problems: my mother doesn’t like to shop in stores that are crowded or drive in parking lots that are full. When we were little, she used to ask my sister and me what we wanted for Hanukkah in September and then would buy it and hide it until December. When you’re six, you don’t know in September what you’re going…

December 14th, 2006

What is something you would like to give or receive this holiday season that does not have a price tag and cannot be bought in any store? What is the greatest gift you have ever received that you would consider priceless?…

December 13th, 2006
Ten Tips for finally Making the Holidays Happy

The catalogs and television commercials are full of smiling families greeting each other with holiday joy- gleeful reunions full of peace and goodwill. What they don’t show is the screaming match that took place in the kitchen just before the guests arrived or the eye rolling during dinner when dad launches into his favorite diatribe. They don’t have any pictures of your drunken uncle passed out on the couch or your backbiting sister-in-law picking fights. If your family is more “Dealing with Difficult People” than “It’s a Wonderful Life” read on. Here are ten tips for keeping your own sanity this holiday season, even if you’re surrounded by nuts.


December 12th, 2006
Aimee Mann's new Christmas album is an exception to the rule

More often than not, when an artist records a Christmas album it is an apocalyptic sign that their career is rapidly spiraling downward and they are looking to capture some semblance of escaping relevance. Aimee Mann is an exception to that rule. Her latest release, One More Drifter in the Snow, is Christmas music for a new generation.
Mann has included plenty of familiar holiday classics like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “White Christmas” but the arrangements re-imagine their emotional core from an angle all her own. In this way, Mann works like a good theologian—wiping the rust off of a relevant core message and re-interpreting…

December 11th, 2006
A young journalist's reflections on a nation of contrasts and contradictions

As Cambodians visited temples and gave alms on their ancient day of the dead in September 2004, I was holding a diaperless newborn.
I had been working for a newspaper in the county’s capital Phnom Penh for nearly all of 2004, when a colleague, Kuch Naren, invited me to her hometown for a weekend. The child was thrust into my arms by its grinning mother—Naren’s cousin—almost as soon as we entered the woman’s hut.
Before moving to Phnom Penh, all I knew of Cambodia was from the film, The Killing Fields, which depicted the country’s genocide under the communist Khmer Rouge regime in the mid 1970s. This fall, a United Nations war crimes tribunal finally began investigating the…

December 7th, 2006
All I want for Christmas

I don’t really know what I want for Christmas.
Sure, I want to have my Christmas cards done by my traditional (but never-heeded) deadline of December 10th. I’d like to be able to wave my hand and find my bedroom and office— which, as always, look as if they’ve been bomb-struck—looking somewhat sane. And, of course, a bit more security in terms of my professional situation would be nice…
But that’s not what I’m talking about.
They say this time of year is blessed and special but the older we get it becomes harder to see that amidst our frenzied gift-buying, the drama, or the pain of loss or loneliness that the holidays often bring hauntingly back. These days, with…

December 5th, 2006
Rest in Pieces : Rock n Roll's Church of Lost Souls

CBGBs closed for good this year. Despite financial help from its famous friends, the legendary New York nightclub finally lost a long legal battle with its landlord, the Bowery Residents Committee (a non-profit homeless advocacy group).
CBGB spawned the likes of the Ramones, Television, the Talking Heads, Blondie and many others in the 70s, the stage a veritable pulpit for famous and infamous, including Joey Ramone, often called a “prophet from Queens.” Much of my teenage life was spent at the all-ages hardcore matinees of the 80s. My friends and I drove the four hours up from DC many Sundays, where we gathered in the graffiti-and-sticker-covered space to sing at the feet of our saviors—bands whose names…

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