Busted Halo
May 10th, 2004
The Comics on Busted Halo

One thing leads to another… Seems like that’s always how these things happen.

May 10th, 2004
The Comics on Busted Halo

My divorce is now several months behind me and the Diocese is considering the case for annulment.

May 10th, 2004
The Comics on Busted Halo

“Stop worring.” Jesus says, “about what to eat or drink.” And people like Francis of Assisi, Dorothy Day, and Mother Teresa actually lived like that.

May 10th, 2004
A Grad Student's Spiritual Adventure in Brussels

A Grad Student’s Spiritual Adventure in Brusselsby Jessica M. AlampayLeaving homeSt. Mark’s University Parish in Santa Barbara was like my second home. During my time there, I invited and welcomed people to parish activities as if it actually were my own home.
I estimate eating one-third of my dinners at St. Mark’s during my sophomore year of college.
Six months ago I left St. Mark’s and California for Brussels, Belgium. I came to Brussels to complete a one-year M.A. program in International Conflict Analysis, to experience life in Europe, and to get some work experience here.
Different tableauI knew that my experience in Belgium would be different and it certainly has been. The people…

May 10th, 2004
A young mother struggles with the desire to acquire.

Prior to college, I had never heard the phrase “simple living.” Ask most people today about the term, and they’ll probably mention Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s highly-rated reality show in which two overindulged children of wealth become tourists in the world of the less fortunate. I spent much of my sophomore year of college pretending I knew what my service-oriented, socially conscious roommate meant when she spoke idealistically of simple living. When I finally admitted I had no idea what she was talking about, she gave me a lengthy discourse on Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement–a group that truly lives out the Sermon on the Mount, giving up material wealth in favor…

May 10th, 2004
Celibacy as Spiritual Practice

You may not envision being called into relationship with God through a classified ad.
Nevertheless, perhaps God is calling you to live the vocation of singlehood—that is, the vocation of celibacy, of intimate union with the Divine.
‘This is celibacy calling, will you accept the charges?’
Single male (at least in portraits) seeks committed relationship with a beloved. Likes music, long walks on the beach. Seeking friends first, maybe more? You: Single, young Catholic, playful, sense of humor, open to adventure.
As young Catholics we hear about the “calling”to religious life and the “calling” to marriage, but rarely do we hear about the calling to be single, or celibacy.…

May 9th, 2004
A Schizophrenic Experiments in Reality Filmmaking

Schizophrenia has often been popularly misconstrued
as split or multiple personality disorder along the lines of what was shown in the 1976 television movie Sybil, the true story of a woman who has 16 different personalities including two males. “People Say I’m Crazy,” John Cadigan’s autobiographical documentary chronicling how he has coped with this mysterious and debilitating disease over the past twelve years, is an astonishingly personal reminder that schizophrenia is actually better defined as a “break with reality.” His unflinching account of the struggle to understand and live with his sickness has the unintentionally ironic consequence of exposing…

May 9th, 2004
Mudslinging is not a Gospel Value

There’s been yet another casualty in the culture wars that have raged in the United States over the past decade. On August 18, 2004, Deal Hudson, publisher of the conservative Catholic journal, Crisis , resigned his position with the Bush campaign as an adviser on how to court the Catholic vote. The scandal surrounding Hudson stems from an accusation of sexual misconduct with a female student approximately ten years ago at Fordham University where he was a tenured philosophy professor.
This might not even merit a mention, considering the lurid personal tales that the American public has been treated to over the past few years (Bill Clinton, William Bennett, and James McGreevey come to mind), but Hudson’s…

May 6th, 2004
Between Living Simply and Living Poor

I live on a red stripe dividing poverty and fame in Nashville, Tennessee.
My bedroom window frames an intricately twisted metal mass resembling a power station in front of rows and rows of brick buildings that most everyone calls ‘the projects.’ From this government-subsidised housing complex, I hear gun shots, angry voices, emergency sirens, and big-bass-booming low riders.
In contrast, my back deck peers over the roofs of the world-famous Music Row, where music stars record their platinum albums and Nashville Star produces its USA network television series.
Goodbye to simplicity auto-pilotMy decision to live here on 15th Avenue reflects
a personal attempt to live simply . I spent most…

May 4th, 2004
Does turning on the net turn you on?

In the first part of this series, we explored what sexual addiction is and examined how easy access to pornography on the internet poses a problem for those who struggle with sexual compulsivity.
This second installment explores in greater detail how the internet creates problems for those who are prone to sexual addiction. To do so, we need to look at what Patrick Cairnes author of In the Shadows of the Net… calls the arousal templates.
Cairnes cites three primary emotion systems that make up our arousal templates:

a sex drive, commonly called lust, which motivates us to
mate and continue our species.
Attraction or infatuation, which helps us choose a mate.
And Attachment which helps people sustain relationships

May 4th, 2004
BustedHalo looks at Sexual Addiction and Internet Pornography

There can be little doubt that the technological revolution that brought the power of the internet to the average consumer over the past decade has opened up enormous possibilities for sharing and disseminating information and has changed our lives for the better in countless ways. Similarly, there is also little doubt that the loftiest creations of our finest minds are often manipulated for the basest purposes. Despite the obvious virtues of the internet, there is also a shadow side.
According to Nielsen Net Ratings in 2003, 32 million unique individuals visited a porn
site in September alone in the United States . Of those 32 million, 22 million viewers were male. On any given day in cyberspace, 260 million…

May 4th, 2004
A Chicago Play Captures Boston Clergy Sex Scandal As Tragedy

The scandal of Catholic clergy sexual abuse of children is, after two years, still on the front pages of the nation’s papers. But playwright Michael Murphy, director David Zak, and the actors of Chicago’s Bailiwick Repertory Theatre have managed to give the story the feel of a classical tragedy.
SIN—A Cardinal Deposed is a two act drama distilled from transcripts of (now resigned) Boston archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law’s depositions taken between August 2002 and February 2003 in civil actions against priests of the Archdiocese of Boston. The Cardinal is portrayed (with remarkable fidelity to Law’s real-life mannerisms) by actor Jim Sherman.
SIN casts Law as a man of remarkable…

May 3rd, 2004
True tales from the pews #2

Fr. Jim Martin’s recent article recounting the worst homilies ever heard sent an all-too-familiar chill through my born and bred Catholic bones. Unfortunately, I’ve also sat in the pews many times thinking that I’d rather eat paste with kindergarten children than listen to another second of a preacher’s mindless drivel.
While I try to support my parish community as much as I can, I do so under certain conditions. I’ve determined that my family can afford to give $20 a week as our offering. (I’m a lay minister and my wife’s a teacher—you do the math.) But after sitting through countless bad sermons I decided to take matters into my own hands. Let’s face facts,…

May 3rd, 2004
Does the Almighty Bend an Ear to Prayers for Smarty Jones?

With a victory in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 5, 2004, Smarty Jones will have captured horseracing’s most elusive prize—the Triple Crown. No horse has done it since 1978.
Certainly a prayer or two is in order. So maybe it’s not surprising that Smarty was recently blessed by a Philadelphia priest.
“I asked the Lord to give Smarty Jones good health, I asked Him to protect Smarty during the Belmont Stakes, and I asked Him to give Smarty the special gift of the Triple Crown,” said Father Thomas Homa. (Smarty probably thought, “Who are you, and why aren’t you feeding me anything?”)
Is this… necessary?
Haunted hoofprintsWell, it is the track—an inherently…

May 3rd, 2004
Confessing to Not Being in Your ‘Right' Mind

My biggest sin
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I last confessed on retreat a few weeks ago, but I unfortunately forgot one horrendous sin. I guess I didn’t realize how deeply in sin I was at the time (isn’t that always the case?)
I’m a Democrat.
Whew. It feels good to get this off my chest. I mean, I can deal with the fact that I often ignore the homeless on my way to work, and I’m glad the church isn’t thinking of refusing to give me communion because I think they’re dirty stinky people and I often don’t value their life as much as my own. But this Democrat thing….well I don’t quite know how I can ever expect God to forgive me of that.
How can I ever be worthy to receive…

May 1st, 2004
The Best Catholic Writing 2004

Robert Barron, a young priest and theologian, recently coined the phrase “beige Catholicism,” lamenting that Catholicism, in its effort to blend seamlessly into the fabric of American life is in danger of being stripped of its uniqueness, its color, and its vibrancy. Perhaps Barron is right. Maybe we are becoming kind of bland and beige, with all of our public image issues, our myopic family t?te-?-t?tes over scandals, church closings, and Communion politics. If in fact we are plagued by beige-ness, then the writers whose work is featured in The Best Catholic Writing 2004 (Loyola Press, 228 pages, $14.95), an anthology edited by University of Portland alumni magazine editor Brian Doyle, are…

April 19th, 2004
Do We Want That Instant, Antisocial High to Be Legal?

You lookin’ for common ground between the political Left and Right? Go to your local pot dealer.
You’ll find there the profit motive Republicans drool over, as well as the sybaritic pleasures Democrats long to embrace. You’ll also find a virtually untapped source of tax money to make both parties jitter.
Among my acquaintances, most people—regardless of political affiliation—tend to approve of marijuana’s legalization. The actual possibility of its legalization depends in large part on whether people find it morally or socially acceptable. Law follows culture.
If Prohibition didn’t work…People who favor legalization generally rely on the argument that marijuana…

April 18th, 2004
Home Real and Imagined

My job interview was less than a week away, and I needed shoes. Not only did I need shoes that would make me look responsible, adult, and employable, I also needed shoes that would cover the tattoo on my right foot.
I needed Leighann.
Leighann is one of my best friends, and we moved to New York at the same time. She supported me through such trials as my search for a “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirt, or last year’s Easter dress hunt that ended in us buying the exact same skirt (though vowing not to wear them at the same time). I knew Leighann would find a solution.
Unfortunately, Leighann now
lives 400 miles away. All I could do was call her for advice on where to look and ask her to pray for me.
It was a cold, rainy…

April 17th, 2004
Living with the Tensions of Unemployment

As my wedding day approaches, and looming responsibilities begin to appear on the horizon, I have become more aware of the fact that I need a real job.
Identity crisisThe idea of equating work with identity is so entrenched in the male psyche I find it hard to be content until I can answer the question, ‘So, what do you do?’ at parties without feeling the need to hang my head out of embarrassment.
I say I need a real job because I actually do have a job, working for a temp agency as a part time banquet server. I call Monday morning to get assignments for the week and get just enough hours to cover my rent and bills.
The dirt on meA few people have asked me recently what I ‘do’, and I tell them the truth: I clear dirty…

April 16th, 2004

“All of us had suffered greatly to get to this moment�I had eaten little and slept not at all since leaving Camp 2, two days earlier. Every time I coughed, the pain from my torn thoracic cartilidge felt like someone was jabbing a knife beneath my ribs and brought tears to my eyes. But if I wanted a crack at the summit, I knew that I had to ignore my infirmities and climb.”
-From Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer
These are the words of the reporter who went on an expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on earth at more than 29,000 feet! To many, this mountain is affectionately called “the roof of the world.” To hear Krakauer’s account, where several people paid thousands…

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