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June 8th, 2010
Mourning the anonymous homeless and indigent in NYC

There is an island in the East River, within view of the glittering Manhattan skyline, where the homeless and indigent are buried: an island of the dead. There, amid tall grasses and the calls of seagulls, the poorest New Yorkers — those who had families that couldn’t afford to bury them or who had no family, those who died anonymous and homeless on city streets, and those whose bodies were never claimed from the city morgue — find their final repose.
While some of the people buried on Hart Island are nameless, they are not forgotten. Every second month a knot of people gathers on a windy pier on City Island in the Bronx and boards a ferry to the island. There they say prayers for the dead and stand in silence…

June 7th, 2010
Protect the silence in your day and consider a silent retreat this summer

“Words are very
Unnecessary.”
— Depeche Mode

There is not enough silence in the world. More than ever before, daily life consists of a near-constant bombardment of noise and messaging.

When I am introducing people to Centering Prayer meditation, the first challenge for many is the simple weirdness for them of being silent and in silence, “alone” with their thoughts, for more than a few minutes. Between cell phones, iPods, the radio on at work or in the car, and the TV flipped on the moment they walk in their door, they manage to keep background noise going all day.

The paradox with meditation and other forms of silent prayer, and especially with silent retreats, is that even though they are formless and goalless, they achieve something wonderful — something potentially transformative: they create space, physical and mental space, to become more open.

That space, made most apparent by silence, can be an uncomfortable place to be. Why is this? Why is the weirdness threatening for some? One answer is that offered by Fr. Jim Martin in his latest book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Anything:

We may fear silence because we fear what we might hear from the deepest parts of ourselves. We may be afraid to hear that ‘still small’ voice. What might it say?

Might it ask us to change?

This is the great power and the great challenge of silence: it can reveal truth. Or more accurately, it takes away our ability to run from Truth.

June 4th, 2010
Dr. Christine Whelan and Nathalia Ortiz discuss SATC's success

When Sex and the City 2 arrived in theaters last Friday, women across the country were eagerly anticipating its release with all the excitement of a Harry Potter-phile awaiting a Daniel Radcliffe appearance. So why does the Sex and the City franchise continue to appeal to people (mostly women), six television seasons and two movies later? The answer may, ironically, have nothing to do with the sex or the city, and more to do with its very real representation of the feelings, conversations and experiences women have, juxtaposed with the exaggerated characters and lives that don’t reflect most women’s reality at all.

In this “Thinking Out Loud,” Dr. Christine Whelan and I compare thoughts on SATC and how it relates to our own adventures in dating, friendship, married life and even our faith lives.

June 3rd, 2010
"reunion"

In this video, Giselle reunites with her husband, Roberto, and interviews him about growing up in Mexico and how and why he came to live in the United States.
In video one, Giselle discusses the incident that forced her to look at the immigration issue.
In video two, Giselle prepares for her departure to Mexico where she will reunite with her husband and continue to video blog about their life together and strive to break down stereotypes about illegal immigrants and their families.…

June 1st, 2010
Some social scientists argue that it is

Today, the median age of marriage is 26 for women and 28 for men. Is that too old?
An increasingly vocal group of social commentators are concerned that by delaying marriage until our mid-to-late-20s or early 30s, we’re encouraging behaviors like premarital sex and cohabitation that are undermining the success of our unions. In a provocative piece in the September issue of U.S. Catholic, John Van Epp, PhD, president of LoveThinks, LLC, and author of How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk…, argues that young adults should stop delaying — and start searching for a spouse sooner rather than later.
In principle, I agree. Being proactive about the search for a spouse is a good thing. I’m thrilled to celebrate

May 26th, 2010
"Blowing up stereotypes"

In this video, Giselle prepares for her departure to Mexico where she will reunite with her husband and continue to video blog about their life together and strive to break down stereotypes about illegal immigrants and their families.
In video one, Giselle discusses the incident that forced her to look at the immigration issue.…

May 21st, 2010
Busted Halo voted Best-in-Class
 Religious Website or E-zine
 by the Associated Church Press!

Recently the Associated Church Press (ACP), the oldest interdenominational religious press association in North America, held their Best in the Christian Press annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Busted Halo® walked away with top awards in all three of the ACP’s online divisions. BustedHalo.com was named Best In Class for Independent Website and E-Zine, Best in Class Blog and Best Re-Design for a Website.
The judges described BustedHalo.com as:
“Visual dynamite and generally informative”
“It is just plain fun as well as inspiring”
“The content is in the right categories for the target audience: young adults / spiritual seekers”
“A Catholic-sponsored

May 19th, 2010
Making Lemonade

In this video, Benita shares some of the skills she has acquired while trying to support herself as an undocumented worker. 
In episode one, Benita discusses her background and the difficulties she faced growing up.
In episode two, Benita describes how a routine traffic stop has turned her life upside down.
In episode three, Benita talks about the story of Esther and God’s plan.
In episode four, Benita talks about her hopes and dreams for attending law school.…

May 18th, 2010
Busted Halo newest podcast presents anything and everything you ever wanted to know about Catholicism

Interested in learning about the Vatican secret archives? Want to know a little bit more about Catholic superheroes? Never knew what “Diet of Worms” really referred to? Then you won’t want to miss Busted Halo’s latest addition to its podcast lineup — Facts of Faith.
Facts of Faith — available every Tuesday and Thursday, both on our homepage and through iTunes — is the fourth separate podcast we offer each week to Busted Halo visitors, joining the Busted Halo Cast, excerpts from the Sirius XM Radio Show and Fr. Dave’s Homilies.
Facts of Faith episodes are short (five to ten minute) discussions between Fr. Dave Dwyer and Fr. Larry Rice about everything and anything…

May 17th, 2010
What exactly is it? What is the perception of the frequency? What is the reality?

What is a hook up?
As a not-that-old, not-that-out-of-touch college professor who teaches classes on the sociology of marriage, family and gender, this is one of my favorite questions to ask a class of undergraduates for three reasons: It wakes ‘em up; everyone is interested in the answer; and it stirs up quite a debate.
But in the three years I’ve been asking this question, there’s never been a class consensus. Some students tell me it’s sexual intercourse, with a zero-to-sex pick-up speed, within hours (and many beers) of a first meeting. Others tell me hooking up means making out or kissing, and might not happen until two people have hung out together in a group of friends for a while.…

May 14th, 2010
Defending the right to offend us

On April 14, Comedy Central’s “South Park” celebrated its 200th episode of “take no prisoners” animated comedy by dressing up the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit. (It’s a long story…)
Unlike most of their show business rivals, when South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone say everyone is fair game for ridicule, they mean it. The religiously themed episode targeted Moses, Jesus, Mormon patriarch Joseph Smith and the Buddha.
Then, parodying the disputed Islamic dictum that forbids the depiction of its holiest prophet, Stone and Parker showed Muhammad dressed in a bear costume. (Perhaps this was a nod to the British teacher working abroad who was sentenced…

May 13th, 2010
"Why I had to leave"

Meet Siby from Mauritania in West Africa. In this, his first video, Mirlande Jean-Louis finds out why Siby left home to come to the United States.
Stay tuned for his next installment when he’ll talk about what it has been like living undocumented.…

May 12th, 2010
...or how I lost my war with the Holy Days of Obligation

There’s a great scene from The Simpsons… that sums up my childhood view of church perfectly. Bart, Lisa and Homer all run out of church triumphantly on a Sunday after services have finished, shouting — and I paraphrase — Hurray! It’s the time of the week that is the longest time before we have to go to church again!
And that’s how I felt when I was younger. Once Mass was over on Sunday, that was it. I was done. I was no longer a prisoner of the Liturgy and Eucharist, tradition and ritual, dressing up and sitting up. For an entire week I had nothing to look forward to but no church.
And then a Holy Day of Obligation would roll around in the middle of the week, ruining everything.
As a kid, not only

May 10th, 2010
A father's challenge to the head of the US Bishops over the sex abuse scandal continues to resonate

When I met David Spotanski at a conference on leadership in the Catholic Church in 2007, my first impression of the Belleville, Ill., native was that he was like so many of the Midwesterners whom I’ve known and worked with over the years: friendly, approachable, and not in the habit of taking himself too seriously. The fact that, as a layman, Spotanski also happened to be the chancellor for the Belleville diocese — just outside of St. Louis — for all matters except canonical issues requiring a priest seemed a little unusual. But after a number of conversations over the course of the gathering it became clear to me that if this married father of three was indicative of the sort of leadership in the Catholic…

May 6th, 2010
A video interview with Fr. Dave Dwyer on The Busted Halo Show

One of the strongest proponents for comprehensive immigration reform in the Catholic Church over the last quarter century has been Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Archbishop of Los Angeles.  Busted Halo’s Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, had the chance to speak with Cardinal Mahony while The Busted Halo Show… on Sirius XM radio was broadcasting on location in L.A. in March 2010.

As archbishop of the largest Catholic diocese in the U.S. for 25 years, Cardinal Mahony has presided over some very significant milestones, and has also seen his fair share of controversy. And yet, his work with and for migrants has become the hallmark of Cardinal Mahony’s time as bishop. It was this topic that he was most passionate about

May 6th, 2010
My Identity, My Culture, My Faith

I guess I wasn’t all that different from most college freshman who get swept off their feet. Every year, scores of first-year collegians return home for Christmas break itching to try out all of their newfound wisdom on the folks back home: psychology majors suddenly become experts in diagnosing their families’ dysfunction, philosophy majors proselytize about existentialism with a new convert’s zeal. 
After finishing my first semester as a theology major at Notre Dame I returned home to my Mexican-American family in El Paso, Texas, poised and ready to judge the religiosity and spirituality of any relative I came into contact with.  Armed with words like hermeneutics, eschatology and praxis,…

May 4th, 2010
In search of the humanity behind the immigration debate

Recent passage of new legislation in Arizona has brought the divisive issue of immigration to the forefront of the national consciousness once again. This latest salvo comes on the one-year anniversary of the debut of our Busted Borders video series, in which BustedHalo.com — along with the help of a grant from the Carnegie Corporation — began covering the issue of immigration in a unique way.
Busted Borders is an attempt to use the web’s unfiltered nature to move the immigration debate away from abstractions and statistics to reveal the deeply human dimension of the issue. Instead of contributing to the glut of coverage about immigration, Busted Halo decided to feature stories by immigrants…

May 3rd, 2010
More on deciphering the meaning of who pays on dates

If a woman insists on paying for her $3 coffee when she’s on a first date with a guy, does that mean she’s probably not that into him? Longtime Busted Halo reader, Phil, wrote in with that question a few weeks back — read the original piece here — and you replied with some great comments:
“The reciprocity heuristic is pretty hard-wired into most people… [and] for a dating female, the stakes are higher,” counsels Karen. “I pay my own way, and find ways to get to know you to see how I like you. By the way, I work to stay even on a gesture-for-gesture basis, not strictly dollar-for-dollar. So: you get the movie tickets, I’ll get the popcorn and soda. Please, please do not be…

April 30th, 2010

Now you can have fresh customized daily content for your website or blog by including one of our BustedHalo® widgets on your site. Every day new stories, essays, columnists, video features, bloggers, the Googling God question of the day and our Daily Jolt can be yours to offer your readers. Your site will have something new for your visitors to come back for that will challenge, intrigue, inform and inspire them whenever they visit. Click through to the widget page to find out more……

April 28th, 2010
"Clinging to hope"

In this episode, Benita talks about her hopes and dreams for attending law school.
In episode one, Benita discusses her background and the difficulties she faced growing up.
In episode two, Benita describes how a routine traffic stop has turned her life upside down.
In episode three, Benita talks about the story of Esther and God’s plan.…

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