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November 27th, 2012
Accompanying each other through grief

Young adulthood is often a season full of firsts: first move out of student housing; first time buying a car; first real dining room table; first full-time paycheck; first health insurance apart from parents’.
It is also a season of celebrations, as nearly every other weekend, April to September, is the wedding of a childhood, college or graduate school friend. There are passed-the-Bar-exam parties, medical school coat ceremonies, first promotions, and Saturdays spent helping friends move and celebrate their first home. There is a spattering of baby showers and adoption parties as friends begin to start families of their own.
Amid the excitement and right-of-passage firsts, young adulthood is also…

November 26th, 2012

Although we rarely slow down to consider it, most of the time we live as voyagers moving about solely for the sake of discovering the next temporary provision. Our lives will certainly look a lot like that over the next few weeks as the Christmas shopping frenzy commences. We will scurry about, our fingers freshly stained with Black Friday advertisements, participating in the mad rush for that perfect gift.
I was on my own Yuletide expedition when I happened upon a nativity scene at the local “Stuff Mart” the other day and noticed the bearded travelers sitting before a baby with gifts in hand. The figurines left me meditating about these nomads of the Bible. They’ve been called astronomers, priests, and even…

November 21st, 2012

The following is an excerpt from What’s So Funny about Faith: A Memoir from the Intersection of Holy and Hilarious by Jake Martin, SJ (Loyola Press 2012).…
Since the age of four, when I would sneak downstairs, way past my bedtime, to the family den hoping to catch a glimpse of NBC’s cutting-edge sketch-comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” I had dreamed of going to New York and becoming a comedian. This was followed by years of classes, shows, and auditions; of waiting tables and answering phones to pay the rent; of going to sleep hungry and watching my friends pass me by while I bided my time in Chicago, hoping to catch that one break that would finally bring me to New York, with all its attached fame and glory.

November 20th, 2012

In kindergarten, I vividly remember my teacher dividing our class into two groups at Thanksgiving: the pilgrims and the Native Americans. I was a Native American, and in the days leading up to our Thanksgiving feast, I meticulously colored my headband (which had feathers attached) and a paper grocery bag that would be the papoose I carried on my back.
Our school Thanksgiving feast was served on mint green Styrofoam trays that squeaked when they moved. We dined on sodium-saturated green beans, dry macaroni and cheese, rubbery sliced turkey, a buttery yeast roll dripping with honey, and stuffing topped with cranberry sauce and breadcrumbs.
My classmates and I sat at a long table facing one another and ate together.…

November 15th, 2012

Recently, I stumbled across something called The Happiness Project. I discovered it as I poked around Heather King’s blog “Shirt of Flame” one day. Heather is a Catholic convert (like me), former “barfly” (unlike me), and a contemplative who is passionate about her faith and writing. Gretchen, the woman who wrote The Happiness Project…, discovered Heather’s blog, was fascinated, and shot some questions to her about happiness.
I began to feel uncomfortable as I read further, muttering things like, “White people’s problems,” and other critical labels. Suddenly I remembered one of Woody Allen’s early films when he is making love to some woman

November 14th, 2012

A few weeks ago I had the chance to walk through two cemeteries within a week’s time. As I strolled through the beautifully landscaped grounds and in between the headstones I looked at the names and family relationships that were etched onto the stones: mother, father, husband, wife, baby. I began to wonder what kind of lives these people led, what they did for work, how their families were. Some dates reached back into the early 1800s. “Two hundred years from now, will I be remembered?” I wondered. To me they were fading shadows of lives long ago, but back then they were important to someone. Someone grieved their deaths.
We all know that losing someone is hard. Loss comes with feelings we may never have experienced…

November 13th, 2012

Question: So, why is the Catholic Church so hung up on (or down on) sex? If two people love each other and are in a committed, monogamous relationship, what’s the big deal?
Answer:… It certainly can seem like the Church is “hung up on” sex. That’s only if you only listen to the sound bites. “Don’t do this. Can’t do that.” But the truth about the Church’s teaching on sex is intimately tied to the truth about love, the foundation of the Gospel message. The Catholic Church believes sex is designed by our Creator to strengthen our marriages and bring new life into the world. So what’s with the bad rap?
In general, people don’t like rules that feel like restrictions. But God’s “rules” are simply

November 12th, 2012

The Ten Commandments have been drilled into me since I was young. Whether it was Vacation Bible School, religious education or other church-related activity, these 10 “ways of being a good follower of God” have always been part of my life. Unfortunately the fifth commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” seems to have been forgotten.
“NOLA For Life”
I live in New Orleans where violence has been out of control for some time. And the lack of respect for life can be seen on all levels of society — all the way from violent criminals to elected officials who take an oath to serve the community. In my own personal life, I have lost too many family, friends, church members and even youth to violence. I…

November 8th, 2012

The liturgical season can often seem out of sync with the rest of popular society. With insane hurricanes and contentious political theater unraveling across the world, it is hard to believe time right now is merely just “ordinary.” Current events aside, pretty much any time after Columbus Day, as the hours grow darker and the air has a certain nip in it — becomes “extended Advent.”  This preparation for the “the coming” or “arrival” of Christmas is heralded by radio stations, marketers and commerce across the country with pomp, fanfare, coupons, propaganda, jingles, jangles, and seasonally appropriate beer and ice cream — Christmas is near, and we just have to leap the hurdles…

November 7th, 2012
November -- A month for remembering those who have gone before us

Since becoming Catholic, I must confess that I look forward to November — the month when we commemorate the dead. It’s a time to remember those who have gone before us and upon whose shoulders we now stand. It is a month when we give thanks for the legacies of our departed wisdom figures and reconcile ourselves to our fallen adversaries. We lament perished innocents, lost victims, and slain heroes who remind us of life’s challenges that we still must face.

November 6th, 2012

Thanks to everyone for your entries into #Haloween2012 — the Busted Halo-ween Costume Contest!
Here are the contest winners:
You can see more entries on our Twitter page: www.twitter.com/bustedhalo.…

November 5th, 2012

Voting is important. And when elections roll around, there’s always a lot for voters to consider. Different issues are important to different people. However, the Church has never advocated its members to vote for a particular candidate or vote solely on one issue. In fact, Catholics are never single-issue voters. As Catholics our faith helps us sort out the many complicated issues facing us during election years and leads us to an informed decision about which candidate to vote for.
This Busted Halo original video looks at the U.S. Bishops’ guide to Faithful Citizenship – teachings on issues that are important to the Church. As a people of faith, it’s important that we remember…

November 5th, 2012

It is an unseasonably warm morning in Northeastern Ohio. The pickles Kim (shorthand for the three little people who live at our house) are running wild in a choppy sea of motley leaves. (Raking is on the list. The list is long.) I ask our 4-year-old — the one loping around with a Tyrannosaurus Rex strapped across his torso in a self-styled Baby Bjorn whilst brandishing a stick/pirate sword — what I should write about voting. Without stopping, without so much as lowering his wooden scabbard he yells, “Tell everyone about how you love God.”

October 31st, 2012

Hello, Northeast. How are you?
It’s okay, you don’t have to answer that question. Can we buy you a drink? Let us buy you a drink.
We know. This sucks. And we wish we could tell you the nightmare will be over soon, but the fact is this is going to suck for a long time yet. Even after the waters recede, there’s still the matter of piecing your lives back together. There’s paperwork, lots and lots of paperwork. You’ll have to dig through all of your waterlogged belongings and make wrenching decisions about what’s salvageable, and you’ll have to make those decisions faster than you’d like. Some of you will lose what’s irreplaceable: your children’s baby pictures, your grandmother’s wedding dress.…

October 31st, 2012
Busted Halo-ween Costume Contest!

Are you dressing up as one of the Avengers this year? Do you make the scariest Dracula or spooky saint on the block? Are your kids the cutest pumpkins at school? Break out your best costume for the first ever Busted Halo-ween Costume Contest!
The tradition of wearing costumes on All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween) has its earliest origins in 19th century Scotland. Children went door to door in guises on that day offering entertainment in exchange for various gifts (similar to our custom of trick-or-treating today). Show us how you celebrate this tradition by sending us photos of your best Halloween costumes!
Here’s what you do:
#1 Tweet us @BustedHalo… with a photo of you, friends, or family members (this includes pets!)

October 30th, 2012

What do Adele, January Jones and Snooki have in common? If you answered “Absolutely nothing,” I wouldn’t blame you. But these three celebrities, along with countless others, are part of a growing trend of women having children out of wedlock.
Everyone knows that a child is a gift from God (and arguable the cutest… gift we can receive) but why does it seem like Christmas is coming early for so many single women? The statistics surrounding out-of-wedlock birthrates are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2010 40.8 percent of all birth mothers were unmarried, a rise from 38 percent in 2002 and 11 percent in 1970.
What’s with this steady increase

October 26th, 2012
What does All Saints Day have to do with Halloween?

Father James Martin, SJ, author of My Life with the Saints, talks about the connection between Halloween (October 31) and All Saints Day (November 1). Fr. Martin answers FAQs such as:

  • How saints get made?
  • What is a patron saint?
  • Is praying to the saints considered idolatry?

In addition he discusses the lives of three of his favorite saints, Francis of Assisi, Therese of Liseaux and Isaac Jogues.

October 23rd, 2012
Rituals to mark transitions that enrich your everyday life

I have always had a hard time with change. My family moved a lot throughout my childhood, and since then, change has me frightened more than excited. While I love to watch the changing seasons, especially from summer to fall, I am always a little wary of the transition. Whether I’ve had a full-time job, or been a student, as I am now, I’m always excited and nervous. Excited to apple pick, leaf peep, and to curl up with a blanket, a book, and tea. I’m especially nervous because I’m graduating this coming spring and thus am anticipating the pressure of a job search in addition to the usual stress that schoolwork brings. I know that I will find peace as fall settles upon me. In the meantime, I’m…

October 17th, 2012

It was 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and I had spent the last seven hours with three older ladies: Marilyn, Kathy and Irene, who descended from the Irish, Slovak and Polish people respectively. I was learning to make pierogi, which, for the uninitiated, is a Slavic sort of ravioli. At the soup kitchen where I have worked for almost a year, my supervisor Monsignor Joseph Kelly had sent me to his older sister Marilyn that I might learn to cook from her Polish friend, Irene. “Be sure,” he added, “to ask Irene about the trip she took to Ireland.”
“They were all Irish like Marilyn,” Irene said, laughing, “I was the only Polish girl on that whole trip, and I was the only one…

October 16th, 2012

Fall has long been my favorite season, but this year I enter it with a different set of experiences and thoughts that have changed my perspective. I come to this season with the recent loss of my mother weighing on my heart.
There’s new meaning in the leaves falling and the trees mourning their coverings. Do they know they will be full of life and leaves once again? Do they know the God who created them has plans for their fullness of life and will return them to the splendor of green they are for the spring and summer?
I find myself asking these same questions. Will I feel full of life again after this season of mourning? Will God bring me through the darkness and help me transition into a spring way of life? I look to others…

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