Busted Halo
Features : Religion & Spirituality
September 25th, 2015

Pope Francis arrived in New York City yesterday afternoon, and Busted Halo was on hand to welcome the pontiff to the city we call home! We continued our pope week experience with a visit to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where Pope Francis led Vespers, otherwise known as evening prayer. Enjoy some of the behind-the-scenes photos of this beautiful event.
The newly-restored Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, set to welcome Pope Francis, against the clear blue sky. This marks the fifth time a pope has visited the cathedral.

The empty cathedral before guests arrive.

The Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Choir and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Orchestra filled the halls with song.

The cathedral begins to fill up as ticketed…

September 14th, 2015

Try Busted Halo’s® Virtual Transitions Retreat and spend some time reflecting on the spiritual meaning of transitions in our lives. Download the retreat (if you print it — print on both sides of the paper!) by clicking the image below. Take a few minutes out of your day — at your desk, on your lunch break, between classes — and grow a deeper appreciation that God is with us in the midst of change.
Click image below to open or download the 3-page PDF.

Click an image to open or download the 3-page PDF.

Click an image to open or download the 3-page PDF.…

September 11th, 2015
Three young adults share how Pope Francis has inspired them to deepen their faith

In honor of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States, we’re revisiting this piece from March 2014, which features the stories of three young adults who cite Pope Francis as their reason for coming back to the Catholic Church.…

Marcee Treadway Hinds
Mobile, Alabama

I actually met with my parish priest about entering RCIA classes and having my daughter baptized just weeks after Pope Francis was elected. As someone who longed to fully enter the Church, in a way I feel like I was called back at an amazing time.
Pope Francis has, for me, been a guiding light in this journey. Every morning on my way to work I listen to the Catholic Channel’s broadcast of daily Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New

August 12th, 2015
A closer look at how nature helps us understand our relationship with God

Whose summer to-do list doesn’t include a hike or trip to the beach or a walk in the park? (And if yours doesn’t — you should add one NOW!) Take this Busted Halo® Virtual Outdoor Retreat with you on your next great nature adventure. Examine how nature is a way for us to understand our relationship with God and also understand God’s call to care for all creation. We’ve divided the retreat into three parts — you can break up your hike, activities at the beach, or other outing to fit the timing of the retreat. No Internet connection in the great outdoors? Click on the image below to download and print the PDF. Take a copy of the retreat (and sunscreen and bug spray) with you and your friends on your next hike…

July 22nd, 2015
How to add a dose of spirituality to your daily life

Holiness … kind of an intimidating word, right? Did you know the Church teaches that we are all called to holiness? What does holiness mean, anyway? According to my oldest child (a very opinionated and precocious first grader who likes to give his expert opinion on everything), holiness is being best friends with God. How do we befriend God?
Use these five unintimidating spiritual practices to get started:

The Heart Diet
No, it has nothing to do with cutting down on your cholesterol (she types as she devours her morning bagel smothered in cream cheese). This is thinking about how what we consume with our eyes and ears affects our spiritual well-being. Does the music blasting from your headphones on your morning…

June 26th, 2015

Question: After the recent storm, I haven’t been the same. I feel like everything is crashing down on me, and I am feeling a lack of faith. Any suggestions?
It sounds like you’ve been jolted or shaken by a recent event. Whether it’s a storm driven by the weather or other life events, I totally understand your feelings of losing faith. Stress, anxiety, and the emotions that accompany crisis are often described as feeling like giant waves crashing around you. Here are five steps for praying when you feel overwhelmed by life’s storms.

Click image to open or download the 2-page PDF.

Click image to open or download the 2-page PDF.…

June 25th, 2015

This summer, take advantage of the longs days and warm temperatures to refresh both your body and spirit with the practice of active prayer. Step away from your desk, escape into nature, and go on a spiritual adventure to reconnect with your Creator. Even if you can’t leave the city, you can still find pockets of natural beauty where you can get outside, get active, and get praying.

Rejoice: Sunrise, Sunset
“But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing in praise of his name…” — Psalm 68:3-4…
Few things are more glorious than a sunrise or sunset at the top of a mountain after a breath-catching hike to chase the pink and orange rays of light.

June 18th, 2015
A retreat for fathers and children to celebrate relationships that continue to influence us as young adults

Father’s Day is this weekend and it’s time to honor dear old Dad. Fathers share helpful advice and wisdom throughout our lives (or at least they try to.) Even if we’re too busy or stubborn to listen, dads are giving us tips on how to make our lives the best they can be. This virtual retreat helps young adults and their fathers connect with those wisdom moments and one another. You can do this retreat on your own or with your dad! Live far away? Email Dad the link and get on the phone, Facetime, or Skype. So, in addition to a card or gift (don’t forget!) celebrate Father’s Day with your father in a unique way.

Click either image to open or download the 2-page PDF.

Click image to open or download…

June 16th, 2015

My son is only a few months old, and he’s already teaching me how I can find quiet moments in my day.
“Quiet” is not a word that many people associate with infants, and that’s true to a certain extent. There are toy tigers that light up and sing, the click and clack of snap-together furniture and, of course, our son’s enthusiasm for telling us how he feels at 3 a.m.
But while life with our son can be noisy, it’s not like my life was a quiet cave of solitude and reflection before parenthood. For years, I’ve structured my day so that the moments between audiovisual stimulation are scarce, starting with earbuds in during my commute and moving onto the screens that dominate my work and evening time.
This doesn’t…

June 10th, 2015
A guide for building a culture of encounter

Have you spent time volunteering or on a service trip? Did the experience excite, affirm or even challenge you? Use our virtual retreat to help you reflect on your experience and take some next steps toward building a better world. Whether you volunteered on your own or with a group, this retreat is for you. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of additional resources to get you motivated to volunteer again.

Click either image to open or download the 2-page PDF.

Click either image to open or download the 2-page PDF.…

Getting Motivated
Listen to real stories that contribute to a “culture of encounter”:

StoryCorps: “If you need me to hold your hand, I’m there”
StoryCorps: “I guess it’s my turn

May 21st, 2015
Remembering those we have lost in the service of country and community

This weekend we dust off the grill, break out lawn chairs, and head to the first parades of the year. But Memorial Day isn’t just the unofficial start of summer. It’s a day to remember those who’ve made an extraordinary sacrifice.

May 13th, 2015
Was a labyrinth a medieval path or a New Agey maze? With labyrinths mysterious but surprisingly common, I had to find out.

The sign was so coy; I’d walked past dozens of times without once registering it. “Labyrinth,” it whispered next to a small arrow along a busy sidewalk between a church and a bank.
This was on my own neighborhood’s commercial street of stores and restaurants. I walked this strip at least three times a week. Not only did I never notice the labyrinth sign, I also didn’t know quite what the word meant. It sounded mysterious and somehow both medieval and New Agey at once.
Then my husband pointed out that there was something as exotic as a labyrinth just a few blocks from us — and I wanted to learn what it was all about. Immediately, I hit a wall: Our local labyrinth beside the Unitarian Universalist Church was…

May 7th, 2015
A retreat for young adults and their mothers to celebrate the relationship that continues to nurture us

This Sunday is Mother’s Day — a day dedicated to honoring our mothers. This virtual retreat focuses on our changing relationships with our mothers. Do this retreat on your own or with your mom!

April 22nd, 2015
A personal retreat for Earth Day in appreciation of creation

Looking for a way to celebrate >Earth Day this year? Try Busted Halo’s Virtual Earth Day Retreat and spend some time reflecting on the spiritual meaning of creation in our lives. Download the retreat (if you print it — print on both sides of the paper!) by clicking the image below. Take a few minutes out of your day — at your desk, on your lunch break, between classes — and grow an even deeper appreciation for all God’s creation. Happy Earth Day!

April 10th, 2015
Animated .gifs for the first 8 days of Easter

Easter is more than one day — it’s an entire season of the Church year that begins with the Easter Octave. The gospel readings during the Octave include some of the most beautiful passages of scripture from the time after Jesus’ resurrection and his first encounters with his friends and disciples. These readings remind us of the importance of Jesus’ resurrection and the power of his ministry here on earth. Jesus appeared to his friends & disciples that they might continue to share the Good News in word and deed with everyone they would meet.…

April 3rd, 2015
Presenting the traditional devotion in a virtual way to help you reflect on the mystery of Jesus’ death and what it still means to us today

Busted Halo has created a series of virtual stations designed for personal devotion. They relate to Jesus’ teachings about the Kingdom of God and the reason it led to his death. Find a quiet place to watch, and be open to how God is speaking to you through the Stations of the Cross.

April 1st, 2015
Taking you step-by-step through the three-day celebration of the Church

The Triduum (TRIH-du-um) is the time of the Church year when we celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This three-day celebration begins with the Holy Thursday Mass and continues on Good Friday with the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion. At the end of this liturgy, we leave the church in silence, waiting to celebrate the glory of our Lord’s resurrection. Then, on Saturday at sun down, the Church re-gathers to celebrate the final, and most grand, moment of the Triduum: the Resurrection of our Lord.
The Triduum is somewhat like a three-day prayer marathon, and if you are a novice there may be some rituals that are unfamiliar to you. This guide will help you walk and pray through the liturgies…

March 16th, 2015
How does it feel to play tourist at a grand old church in your own city?

With four minutes to Mass time, St. Casimir’s was jammed. The grand Byzantine church was so large, it would pass for a cathedral in most cities. A barrel-vaulted ceiling led to a huge dome over the altar. Earthy brick offset paintings of angels rejoicing in blue-lit skies.
We looked up in wonder, but back on the ground, we needed to jostle for a pew. A gray-haired couple smiled, giving us the okay to squeeze into theirs. And then the choir sang out in Polish. “Bóg sie rodzi,” the pink song sheet said: “God is born.”
This was our first Mass mob. We’d heard about this trend, named for the quick dance-and-disperse flash mobs that started in 2003. In the Catholic version, organizers put out the word through social…

March 5th, 2015
All kinds of Christians "church shop," but there's more to finding a church than going to a service and deciding whether you like the sermon that day

Americans shop for everything — so why not churches? I’ll admit I’ve never liked the phrase. It reduces believers to consumers, and it implies that there’s this perfect-for-me church everyone can find, just like the right outfit. Ideally, our connection to a community of faith goes deeper, especially because there can be big differences in the teachings between even Christian denominations.
As a practical matter, though, most of us move at least once in our lives. My hubby and I recently made the jump to upstate New York. Being Catholic, we had the denomination nailed down, but we still had to choose a new parish. Where to start?
Based on our experience, I’ll share these tips:

Gather recommendations…

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