Busted Halo
Features
 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
December 31st, 2013

Crush-worthy actors are everywhere to be seen in Southern California, where I live and work in the entertainment industry. Let’s be real: The guys out here with “boy next door” good looks tend to be much more attractive than most people’s next-door neighbors! That was certainly true of the late Paul Walker, best known for starring in the Fast & Furious films.
Don’t forget he also played a succession of studs in fan faves like The Young and the Restless, Pleasantville, Varsity Blues and Joy Ride. Walker’s classic movie-idol perfection came complete with surfer blond hair, cerulean blue eyes, and a gregarious smile that conveyed both sexiness and likability. Before he died, the 40-year-old…

December 30th, 2013

As we look back over 2013, we’re reminded of all of the great stories, columns, blog posts, podcasts, brackets, and videos we’ve published.
Here are the editors’ picks for “Best of 2013.”
What was your favorite Busted Halo feature in 2013?

“Francis Is a Rock Star” by Michael O’Loughlin
Well, it’s official. Pope Francis is a hit. Esquire magazine, not exactly an outlet that praises the Catholic Church on a regular basis, highlighted some of the reasons why Francis is so “awesome”: “He has said that he believes priests should be ‘shepherds with the smell of the sheep’ and he is living that way.” (continue reading here)

“Living the Questions: A Twentysomething’s Battle…

December 27th, 2013

“Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”… (Mark 10:15)
It is often said that children are closest to God; that through their wonder at the world, care for others and genuine joy, we are reminded of the way God wants us to view His creation and treat each other. For many of us, the movies and television we watched when we were little can be a powerful gateway back to our own childhood — things like Sesame Street and The Muppets in particular have the power to bring us back to the way we saw the world back then. Muppets of all kinds are more than pervasive in my home— from summer trips to Sesame Place with my 7-year-old little sister (and my 14-year-old little

December 27th, 2013

Many figures in pop culture are simply blips on our radar — people we acknowledge for a moment and then forget about. A select few, however, rise above the rest and take on the status of heroes. For me, Roger Ebert is in the latter category.
I discovered Ebert as an impressionable 10-year-old, already dazzled by the magic of the movies. Watching him debate the merits of new films with his partner, Richard Roeper, on “Ebert & Roeper,” I gained a deeper understanding of how movies were made and how to think critically about them.
With the advent of YouTube, I was able to watch classic clips of Ebert and his original foil, Gene Siskel, discussing the movies of the 1980s and 1990s. This enabled me to discover…

December 26th, 2013

As the year draws to a close let’s take a look back over the events of 2013 and remember the things that we have lost over the past 12 months (some for the better). Whether they left us cheering or jeering, here are 13 “endings” from 2013. What would you add to the list?
Breaking Bad — After five seasons watching the exploits (and tragic downward spiral) of chemistry teacher turned meth dealer Walter White, fans of AMC’s Breaking Bad finally got to see how the story ends. Though we had to bid Walter White and Jesse Pinkman goodbye when the final episode aired September 29, there is some good news for Breaking Bad addicts: AMC is moving forward with a spin-off series, Better Call Saul, based on lawyer Saul Goodman…

December 24th, 2013
What to do when you feel more "Bah! Humbug!" than "Holly Jolly" this Christmas

It goes without saying that the holiday season is stressful. Holidays may be especially stressful for young adults, as going over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s isn’t quite as simple as it once was. Young adults reside in the land of “already, but not yet” in terms of career, relationships and financial stability, and navigating through that land during the holidays can make one want to have pizza delivered and bypass all things holly jolly.
For example, John landed his ideal medical residency program, which means he doesn’t have time to travel for holidays. His family is proud of him, but does not understand why he’s not spending a week with them like his graduate…

December 23rd, 2013

Busted Halo’s® Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, gives you a preview of “A New York Christmas To Remember.” Three choirs, a 30-piece orchestra, Henson puppets, Regis Philbin, and more come together at The Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City for “A New York Christmas To Remember, which will air on CBS Christmas Eve at 11:35 p.m. Eastern. Tune in for a Christmas Eve service featuring beautiful music, personal reflections from church members, the reading of the Christmas Story by Regis Philbin, and the puppetry of Jane Henson. This is a joint production of The Church of Saint Paul the Apostle, Paulist Productions, and Scott Mirkin Productions. Be sure to tune in Christmas Eve!
Home page carousel image:…

December 20th, 2013
Tips for navigating the holidays when you’re single

The holidays are a time of joy, worship, and general holiday cheer — at least in the movies. We experience those things, but sometimes we also experience the pain of being single. One Christmas, I was the only single adult at my large family gathering, except if you counted my 80-year-old grandmother (who, as a widow, likely didn’t consider herself single). Here are some strategies to help you stay in the true spirit of the season.
Strategy One: Connect With Your Tribe…
Your tribe is the people closest to your heart. Sometimes it’s family members, but many times it’s made of friends. Make special plans with your tribe, beyond the “normal” plans of going out or hanging in. You can organize a Christmas

December 20th, 2013
How a baby brought us back to the Church

During this season of Advent, we recall the lyrics of Glenn Rudolph’s contemporary choral work, “The Dream Isaiah Saw,” and pray that a “little Child whose bed is straw” might soon “take new lodgings” in our hearts. Yet we marvel that a few short years ago, one of us indifferent toward our faith and the other skeptical about religion, we lacked fondness for the babe we now so hopefully await. This season of longing before Christmas is perhaps the most appropriate time to explain what brought us back to the Church, and how we began to view the world through an Incarnational lens, centered on the radical truth of the Christ Child.
We both grew up as “cradle Catholics.” We attended Catholic schools,…

December 19th, 2013

While we’re on the subject of Christmas music, let me recommend two short musical dramas with Christmas themes.
Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors,… the first opera ever composed specifically for television, centers around Amahl, a handicapped shepherd boy with a tendency to make up stories. Amahl’s widowed mother, already driven to distraction by desperate poverty, doesn’t know how to cope with her son’s overactive imagination. One cold winter night, three kings arrive at their door, needing hospitality from the destitute shepherds. Amahl underlines this irony with some telling questions:
AMAHL: Are you a real king?
BALTHAZAR: Yes.
AMAHL: Have you regal blood?
BALTHAZAR: Yes.

December 18th, 2013

As a singer, I realize the natural bias that comes with the following statements:

Music is the universal language crossing all lines of ethnicity, economic background and experience.
Music communicates beyond the words sung or the notes played and can evoke moving emotions of the human spirit.

That being said, I find Christmas carols and songs to be a genre of music that inspires a joy and happiness that really sneaks up on you. Christmas music starts playing like clockwork in my parents’ home. The day after Thanksgiving, before we put up the Christmas tree and set up the decorations outside, we turn to our favorite Christmas songs to get us into the spirit. The Christmas season is one full of preparation, excitement…

December 18th, 2013

“We might as well be moving to Russia!” I wailed at my mother as I threw my Han Solo action figure into the packing box with the rest of my toys. The reality was we were moving from the North Side of Chicago to the South Side, but to a 7-year-old whose entire existence had been made up of a few city blocks, there was nothing more terrifying than leaving the comforting northern den of my beloved Cubs, for the thorny lair of the hated White Sox.
My mother had just remarried after my father’s death the year before. Added on to the indignity of leaving the only neighborhood I had ever known — where all my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents resided as well — was the fact that I would be changing…

December 17th, 2013

Mary, the mother of Jesus, has inspired me to be countercultural this Christmas. I can’t stop humming “Gabriel’s Message,” a traditional Basque carol that recalls the archangel’s famous visit to the Holy Virgin. (Speaking of angelic voices, you can listen to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles perform it right here!) This catchy carol briefly, but beautifully, sums up Mary’s unusual predicament in Luke 1:26-38:
The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
most highly favored lady,” Gloria!
“For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be,
all generations…

December 16th, 2013

As children, my little sister and I took pleasure in watching seasonal movies in anticipation of Christmas. Among our favorites was a stop-motion animation feature based on “The Little Drummer Boy.” I have fond memories of watching Kara imitate the cartoon boy in the film, playing “pa rum pa pum pum” on her own little plastic drum. As children, I saw things so simply — a little boy played the drums for baby Jesus! As an adult, I see profound meanings in the lyrics. So, allow me to be an adult for the moment while I analyze the heck out of this song.
“Come they told me…”
In the song, the birth of a new King brings a quiet curiosity to Bethlehem. At the time of Jesus’…

December 13th, 2013

Advent is more than halfway over. Christmas is just around the corner. It’s Gaudete (“Rejoice”) Sunday in the Church. “Rejoice in the Lord always” are the words that gather us for prayer. “The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom, they will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song,” Isaiah proclaims. The Third Sunday of Advent provides us with the opportunity to experience the joy possessed by those who have encountered Christ, the one who comes to save us.
But how many of us can relate more to John the Baptist in Sunday’s Gospel reading? He is imprisoned because he has lived his life searching for the one…

December 12th, 2013
Remembering the hungry during seasons of plenty

It’s difficult to write about hunger. First, hunger isn’t a pleasant topic. It challenges us to ask hard questions about how we meet everyone’s basic human needs. Second, I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said. I could talk about the obscene number of children who go to bed hungry each night. I could talk about the proposed cuts to SNAP benefits (aka food stamps). I could talk about food deserts and lack of access to nutritious foods. I could talk about how healthy food is more expensive than junk food, and many who can’t afford it face health problems like obesity and diabetes. I could talk about how people with disabilities and people who are elderly have disproportionately…

December 11th, 2013
Holidays with family can be stressful — Here's how to survive

The holidays are fast approaching; don’t wait until it’s too late. No, I’m not talking about shopping. I’m talking about dealing with family and friends (especially family) during what has often been dubbed “the most wonderful time of the year.”
How will you know it’s too late? You’ll know it’s too late when you’re beaned in the middle of the forehead by a brown-and-serve biscuit while guzzling down your third glass of Merlot during Christmas dinner. Believe me, I’ve been there.
The holidays change a lot when you become an adult. Gone are the days of childhood, when Christmas’ sole worth was based entirely on what was under the tree:…

December 10th, 2013

“Good things come to those who wait,” is a consistent piece of advice given to those who suffer from extreme impatience. That is why I have heard it repeatedly these past 20 years. As a child, Christmas was one of those unique events that came regardless of whether I waited or not. For that reason, I never let Christmas come to me. Instead, I pursued Christmas with an unbridled haste. I began listening to Christmas music November 1; I had a Christmas wish list prepared at least three months in advance with all proper citations and references; and all pre-snow angel bodybuilding began long before the first snowfall. I chased Christmas as if, at any second, it might disappear. Of course it never did. But that…

December 6th, 2013

Advent is a precious time in the Christian calendar. The four weeks leading up to December 25 are meant to be a period of expectant waiting, as we prepare ourselves for the miraculous arrival of our Savior and his gifts of love, hope, joy, and peace.

The reality for most of us, though, is that these are anxious weeks of shopping and holiday planning leading up to a hectic Christmas Day. In the bustle of the holiday season, it’s hard to remember what we’re waiting for. Busted Halo’s 2013 Advent Surprise Calendar is here to help with that…

December 6th, 2013

Think you know what the Immaculate Conception is all about? Think again. Most people and even most Catholics tend to get this one wrong. Watch Fr. Jack Collins, CSP, hit the streets to talk to parents and their children about what is and what is not the Immaculate Conception.

powered by the Paulists