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March 16th, 2009
The BustedHalo Show broadcasts live from the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral

Father Dave Dwyer CSP will host a special daytime edition of his nightly talk show, The Busted Halo® Show, live from noon to 3 p.m. EDT on Tuesday March 17. Catch Father Dave live from the steps of historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral as the parade files by on Fifth Avenue. The Catholic Channel is available to listeners nationwide exclusively on SIRIUS channel 159 and XM channel 117. Don’t have Sirius XM? You’re in luck… you can get a 3-day online trial absolutely free by going to Sirius.com.…
Once you complete your free online registration, go to the Catholic Channel (Sirius channel 159 or XM channel 117) and listen in for all the live details. You get all the action from the parade route and

March 15th, 2009
Going green never felt so good

As the son of an Irish immigrant, I always found it odd that my American mother looked forward to the big holiday more than my Irish father did.
“St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal now … in Ireland,” he told me on the phone recently, “but it never used to be anything to write home about in the old days. It was mostly a religious holiday and we treated it as a solemn day, as opposed to a day to get snockered.”
Now I don’t begrudge anyone a nice pint o’ Guinness, but shouldn’t St. Patrick’s Day be about more than simply getting drunk in a random pub? Instead of heading to some insanely crowded bar why not have a few friends over for one or more of the following Irish cultural

March 12th, 2009
A mixed-media guide to the afterlife

“None of us are perfect but all of us are on a journey toward God” is one of the ways we use to explain what the name Busted Halo® means. Given our name it is no surprise that people often ask us:

“Since I’m not perfect, how can I get into heaven?”

Heaven is defined by the Catholic Church as “a perfect life with the Holy Trinity” and “ultimate end and fulfillment of our deepest human longings.”

But most of us feel we fall short of deserving to be in full union with God. While all of us sin, though, most of us don’t sin in such a grave way that we cut ourselves off completely from God. And even if we do commit grave sins, many of us seek reconciliation with God throughout our lives.

So, if heaven is this state of perfection… and one dies while being far from perfect… how can one enter heaven? The answer, Father James Martin, SJ, tells us, is purgatory. So just what the hell is purgatory?…

March 12th, 2009
Checking in with our readers on their FastPrayGive progress

You spoke, we listened. The response to FastPrayGive has been overwhelming. We couldn’t be happier that you tackled our challenge head on to make the Lenten season truly unique. This year, Busted Halo tried to do something different for Lent. Instead of asking our readers to give up something simple for 40 days like chocolate or soda, we challenged them to approach each day in a unique way, and each FastPrayGive challenge reflects this.
We’ve compiled the best comments from the first two weeks — to share the growth, struggle, confusion and laughter of our readers. Please keep up the good work and remember: You can’t flunk this …, so don’t give up. It’s never too late to start again,

March 12th, 2009
The creator of NBC's new series Kings discusses how he's brought a modern aesthetic to the Old Testament story of King David

Interview and introduction by Bill McGarvey …
Since breaking into television writing back in 1998, Michael Green has worked on a number of network and cable television shows, including Sex and the City and Smallville. Most recently, he was a writer and co-executive producer on NBC’s Emmy-nominated Heroes. NBC’s new drama series, Kings (two-hour premiere on Sunday March 15 at 8pm on NBC), marks Green’s first opportunity to work on a series he created himself. The modern retelling of the Biblical story of King David stars Golden Globe winner Ian McShane (Deadwood) as King Silas Benjamin who worries that David Shepherd (played by Chris Egan) will supplant him as king of the fictional kingdom

March 11th, 2009
Our inaugural What Works column tackles the toughest question some people ever face

“Am I an alcoholic?” “Am I an addict?” At some point, many of us look back on our drinking or using and question it: question whether it’s sustainable; question whether it’s getting in the way of our life; question whether we’re becoming who we want to be. This happened for me at 23. I’d made quite a mess already in ten years. Some come to these questions even younger. Whenever it happens, we become spiritual seekers. We open to deeper questions of meaning that had been obscured. I’ve met countless others over the years who have come up against this or some other crisis and found that, rather than the end, it was the beginning of their journey.
In this new column,…

March 8th, 2009
Recent comments in the Vatican newspaper raise questions

There’s a new study out from the Vatican: Seems men and women confess to different sins. The most commonly confessed sin for women is pride, while for men, lust and gluttony rule the confessional. Men’s desire for food is surpassed only by the urge for sex.
This analysis is based on a study of confessions carried out by Father Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar, and backed up by Vatican theologian, Dominican Father Wojciech Giertych. Recently, Monsignor Giertych told reporters for the Vatican newspaper (and, subsequently, the world) that men were more inclined than women to pursue pleasure.
“Often the most difficult [sin] men face is lust, and then comes gluttony, sloth, wrath,…

March 6th, 2009
BH on NPR...SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS!

Our Fast, Pray, Give calendar is getting some big time attention! National Public Radio’s website, npr.org, asked BustdHalo’s editor-in-chief Bill McGarvey to write a commentary on alternative Lenten fasting practices. They’ve asked us our readers to visit their site and add their comments. The more comments/discussion the piece generates the greater the chance it has of being picked up for NPR radio’s All Things Considered. So click through to here and leave a comment…remember, keep it clean!…
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First it was chocolate. Then came foul language. And, finally, there was the earnest commitment to abstain from any “off-color” humor. The litany

March 4th, 2009
Check it out! And if you slipped away, just come on back.

Did you get our message that Lent isn’t about giving up chocolate? Maybe this helps: We’re giving away our own Busted Halo chocolate… — M&Ms with our logo on them. Aren’t they gorgeous?!
If you’re not doing our FastPrayGive challenge every day here’s what your missing besides our chocolate giveaway: Swedish Fish on Fridays; a chance to win an iPod nano; and saving your soul… OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But trust us, you should check it out. And if you slipped away, just come on back… it’s completely unflunkable, entirely relevant and totally inspiring. Every day is a new challenge. And our Facebook Slip Support Station is there

March 4th, 2009
A Jesuit priest dares soon-to-be graduates to consider service

Unlike any time in recent history, college seniors are being forced to think long and hard about what’s next. Though some no doubt are struggling mightily to ignore that question for another few weeks, with the current economic crisis deepening and unemployment rising it’s understandable that young adults would have a lot of anxiety about it. For those who might feel paralyzed, I’d like to offer one suggestion: Be of service to others.
Look, you’re young, free and able to take a year and do something great for those who could really use your talents and energy. The Obama administration is encouraging more young people to consider some form of service. Grad schools look more closely at…

March 3rd, 2009
How a college senior and her classmates are dealing with the stress of graduating during the biggest economic downturn in decades

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February 26th, 2009
...and we love you for it

We asked for your ash shots and you didn’t disappoint!
We may not have the sophisticated technology necessary to determine our readership demographics as precisely as we’d like, but at least we know you love your ash. Among the pics we received — the best of which are posted here — we found big ashes, small ashes, cockeyed ashes and perfect ashes. We got first time ash recipients and people who hadn’t received ashes in decades. Thanks to all those who hauled their ashes online and sent in their pics.
And the response to our Fast Pray Give Lent Calendar has been tremendous! The first few days have broken single day traffic records for Busted Halo and people seem to be telling their friends…

February 24th, 2009
Busted Halo's Ash Wednesday Challenge

It’s an experience that any Catholic will understand. You decide that you’d like to stop by church on Ash Wednesday to get the obligatory ashes on your forehead and you get in line with everyone else who has had the same idea. While waiting, your mind begins to wander and you’re oblivious to all the people passing you by as they return from the altar. Eventually you get to be second or third in line and notice that the people just ahead of you are sporting ashes the size of billboards on their foreheads. Enormous, indeterminate blobs of soot now decorate their once spotless noggins as they return to their pews. Your heart begins to sink as you realize that you’re going to be forced to return to…

February 24th, 2009
besides giving up chocolate

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of preparation for the Easter season when Christians are called to renew their commitments to spiritual practices like Fasting, Prayer, and Almsgiving…. The season is intended as a time for personal conversion leading up to Easter. The belief is that our consistent participation in these practices — like exercise we do for our physical health — is a form of purification that improves our spiritual well-being by stripping away all that is unnecessary and by becoming more mindful of our ultimate dependence on God in our lives. Lent is an annual opportunity to grow in our faith, which means it’s about much more than giving up unhealthy foods

February 22nd, 2009
New statistics show that what men and women want in a mate has changed drastically in the past 70 years

It’s the perennial question: What do men and women want in a spouse?
Men are increasingly interested in an educated woman who is a good financial prospect, and less interested in chastity. Women are increasingly interested in a man who wants a family, and less picky about whether he’s always Mr. Nice Guy.
That’s according to a study by that I conducted with Christie Boxer, a graduate student here at the University of Iowa. We analyzed results from a 2008 survey of more than 1,100 undergraduates of all religious backgrounds at the UI, the University of Washington, the University of Virginia and Penn State University, comparing the results to past mate-preference studies.
Since the 1930s, researchers…

February 17th, 2009
Busted Halo vs. America Magazine..."and the WINNER is"

As if last’s year’s drubbing on their Oscar podcast wasn’t enough, America magazine—the national Catholic weekly run by the Jesuits—asked to go head to head once again with BustedHalo.com’s editor-in-chief Bill McGarvey on this year’s Oscar race. America‘s resident Oscar snot-noses, Fr. Jim Martin SJ and associate editor Tim Reidy, tried valiantly to keep up with McGarvey in their discussion of this year’s Best Picture nominees: Milk, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, and Slumdog Millionaire….
It should come as no surprise, however, that the twerps from 56th Street and Carnegie Hall were no match for the boy genius from Hell’s

February 17th, 2009
Legendary lead vocalist from The Staple Singers on Dr. King, Barack Obama and being wrapped up in the Lord's arms

Lost among the hoopla of the Inauguration of Barack Obama — among the celebrity sightings, the musical guests, and the soaring rhetoric — was the conspicuous absence of one civil rights icon. Where was Mavis Staples, the woman whose soulful baritone led the legendary Staple Singers? With her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples and her siblings, Mavis had marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, and had provided the musical rallying cry for the movement that paved the way for Obama’s election. She had performed at the inaugurations of Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton, too, so she knew the routine. She was even from Chicago, same as the new President. But as the afternoon wore on, it became apparent…

February 16th, 2009
Christians grapple with the messages in this teen generation's defining book

“He grinned his crooked smile at me, stopping my breath and my heart. I couldn’t imagine how an angel could be any more glorious.”
Bella never had a chance. The protagonist of the breakout bestselling young adult novel Twilight falls in love under the gray, rain-soaked skies of Washington State unthinkingly and unerringly.
It’s just too bad her love is a 108-year-old vampire.
Twilight… is the first of a four-part series by Stephanie Meyer and has spawned a blockbuster movie and millions of swooning fans; the movie grossed over $35 million its first day in the theaters and more than $300 million worldwide over the course of its run. Much to the delight of fans, producers are currently casting

February 11th, 2009
...on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

On February 11, 1858, Saint Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes ( January 7, 1844 – April 16, 1879) was gathering firewood when she had a vision of the Virgin Mary in a grotto near town. This was her first of 18 visions.
The miraculous healing power of Lourdes water, from a spring in the grotto, led to its and Bernadette’s recognition. Lourdes has become a place of mass pilgrimage for Catholics — with an estimated 200 million visitors to the shrine since 1860.
To commemorate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes we are offering readers this clip on St. Bernadette featuring commentary from James Martin, SJ.  The video is courtesy of Loyola Productions taken from their new DVD “Who Cares about the Saints?”…

February 10th, 2009
Recession friendly ideas for love without money

Just because Valentine’s Day is traditionally one of the more tawdry holidays, that doesn’t meant that we can’t redefine it and genuinely celebrate the relationships and love we share, whether or not we have a significant other. So, I asked some of my friends for suggestions of ways to celebrate the relationships in our lives — without spending too much money, or turning to the trashy — and they came up with five great ideas that will make any Valentine’s Day wonderful.

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