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Date: Saturday, 24 Oct 2009 13:48
You can find it over here.

It's a re-post of my talk from 2008.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Homilies"
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Date: Saturday, 17 Oct 2009 11:15
For World Mission Sunday.

You can find it over here at Beliefnet.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Homilies"
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Date: Saturday, 10 Oct 2009 13:13
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Homilies"
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Date: Friday, 09 Oct 2009 21:19
Hey! I've moved! Hop on over to this link.

Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)"
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Date: Saturday, 03 Oct 2009 10:35
Looking for it?

It's right here.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Homilies"
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Date: Thursday, 01 Oct 2009 20:40
Those who are looking for "The Deacon's Bench" can now find it at Beliefnet, the large (and growing) spiritual website.

Change your bookmarks!

My new URL: http://blog.beliefnet.com/deaconsbench/

Come by and visit!
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Links-R-Us, My World"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Sep 2009 12:43
We're moving right along ...

Head over to my new address, and there's a button on the upper right corner for an RSS feed, so you can easily keep up with The Bench.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Links-R-Us, My World"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Sep 2009 00:38
Forget "Praise to the Lord" or even "Gather Us In." You know the song I'm talking about.

Crank up the volume and join in.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Links-R-Us, The People in the Pews"
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Date: Sunday, 27 Sep 2009 20:35
Can you believe it's been 30 years since Pope John Paul celebrated mass in that cornfield in Iowa? (How's that for a "Field of Dreams"?)

People who were there are still talking about it. Read more here.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Links-R-Us"
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Date: Saturday, 26 Sep 2009 23:21
Last year, Indianapolis ordained its very first class of deacons. And you can find out how they're doing right here.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Deacons, Links-R-Us, Vocations"
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Date: Saturday, 26 Sep 2009 16:35
Amazing, indeed. Check out more here.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Deacons, Liturgy, This And That"
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Date: Saturday, 26 Sep 2009 14:50
The story, and pictures, here.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Deacons"
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Date: Saturday, 26 Sep 2009 13:14
I did a house blessing this morning, and it seemed like an opportune time to offer a blessing for my own new home, too.

Take a look.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Links-R-Us, My World"
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Date: Friday, 25 Sep 2009 16:26
This weekend, I will start blogging at my new address.

You'll find me at this link.

The URL:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/deaconsbench/

I expect Beliefnet will forward people automatically, but it might be a good idea to change your bookmarks.

So...come by and visit! I'll look forward to seeing you there. Meantime, happy trails. And Happy Friday.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Links-R-Us, My World"
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Date: Friday, 25 Sep 2009 10:39
If you still haven't seen those stunning pictures of Jesus taken by fashion photographer Michael Belk, here's a preview, from the interview with him that we did on "Currents" earlier this week.

Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Media, My World, NET"
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Date: Friday, 25 Sep 2009 10:30
We periodically hear about athletes and their faith -- but here's a sport that rarely gets mentioned: horse racing.

The Tidings in Los Angeles has a look at champion jockey Martin Pedroza, who talks about how prayer has sustained him:
The jockey says prayer has been the one constant in his life. After graduating from the famed Panama Jockey School with alums the likes of Laffit Pincay, Manuel Ycaza and Alex Solis, he still did not have a winner in four months. When he went to his mother, Luz, and said he wanted to return to high school, she said to pray to his recently deceased father, Aureleo, and also to God.

"The next day I won a race," he recalled, grinning. "It was a miracle: 99-to-1. The name of the horse was Laclave. If he was 6-to-5, I wouldn't have thought it was a miracle. But 99-to-1!"

In 1982, he came to the United States with the encouragement of his older brother, Marcelino, who had established himself as a jockey here. Veteran riders Eddie Delahoussey and Bill Shoemaker helped calm the younger hothead Pedroza down and got him to stop pressing when he went into a temporary slump. And the following year, the 17-year-old was the leading apprentice at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita and also at Los Alamitos.

But he really gained notice on the local racing circuit in 1989, when he won the Santa Anita Handicap (the "Big Cap") aboard 50-to-1 shot Martial Law. And at age 40, he won his first major title at Hollywood Park's 2005 fall meet by riding 31 winners.

"I pray all the time, just like my mama told me," he said. "All the time I pray in the jock's room. I pray before I get on the horse. I pray at home. I pray in church. All the time."

One thing he prayed for this year were the relatives of two horse owners he rode for - James and Charles Ortega. They were members of the extended Covina family who were allegedly shot and killed by a recently divorced husband dressed in a Santa outfit at a Christmas Eve party. A week after the horrific tragedy sent shock waves through the San Gabriel Valley, Pedroza rode their horse for the last time under the Ortegas' name.

"I really got chills going into the [starting] gate," Pedroza recalled. "It almost felt like an angel was on my back, you know, riding with me. And when we won, I was all emotional, just very, very happy. Nothing was going to make it better for that family, I knew that, but at least it was a moment of relief and happiness for them.

"And the horse's name was 'Return of the King,'" he said, shaking his head in disbelief even after eight months. "So just everything was going together. It was wonderful."
Visit The Tidings to read the rest.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Inspiration"
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Date: Friday, 25 Sep 2009 10:01
"You know, the church is the one who dreams, the church is the one who constantly has the vision, the church is the one that’s constantly saying ‘Yes!’ to everything that life and love and sexuality and marriage and belief and freedom and human dignity—everything that that stands for, the church is giving one big resounding ‘Yes!’ The church founded the universities, the church was the patron of the arts, the scientists were all committed Catholics. And that’s what we have to recapture: the kind of exhilarating, freeing aspect. I mean, it wasn’t Ronald Reagan who brought down the Berlin Wall. It was Karol Wojtyła. I didn’t make that up: Mikhail Gorbachev said that...I guess one of the things that frustrates me pastorally is that there’s this caricature of the church—of being this oppressive, patriarchal, medieval, out-of-touch naysayer—where the opposite is true.”

-- Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in this profile in New York Magazine.

H/T to The A.

PHOTO: by Mary Ellen Mark
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "quote of the day"
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Date: Friday, 25 Sep 2009 08:18
That's the stirring advice of a leading catechist in Washington, who took his message to the Sunshine State last week:
At the 14th annual diocesan Faith Formation Day Sept. 19, keynote speaker Msgr. Ray East addressed about 900 catechists on the theme of “Catechesis and the Proclamation of the Word.”

“Claim it, aim it and proclaim it,” is the three-step process Msgr. East advocated to catechists from around the Diocese of Orlando gathered at Bishop Moore Catholic High School here. He encouraged them to claim the stories of salvation revealed in Scripture and when they proclaim God’s saving word, to aim the saving message especially to those who are in most need. “Evangelization and catechesis are wedded together,” he said.

Msgr. East is pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in the southeastern quadrant of Washington, D.C., and vicar for evangelization of the Archdiocese of Washington. He also serves as the executive director of the Office of Black Catholics there.
Carolyn Ziarno, center, director of religious education and Tamara Yntema, right, of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Melbourne sing the opening song at Faith Formation Day Sept. 19. The song, entitled “Proclaim the Word” was especially composed for the Orlando Diocese by John Burland, an internationally acclaimed musician from Australia.

Carolyn Ziarno, center, director of religious education and Tamara Yntema, right, of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Melbourne sing the opening song at Faith Formation Day Sept. 19. The song, entitled “Proclaim the Word” was especially composed for the Orlando Diocese by John Burland, an internationally acclaimed musician from Australia.

He made a special request of attendees: Come back next year with five young adults – a crucial and underrepresented demographic for faith formation in the Catholic Church nationwide. “Let’s get some intergenerational faith formation. There’s a hole in our whole community catechesis,” he said.

After the keynote speech, Msgr. East explained there is much to be learned from Jewish, Muslim and Protestant traditions regarding evangelization and faith formation. “We should focus on our common faith in Abraham and Sarah,” he said. “Not only are we all serving the same God, but the goal is the same.”

Prior to Msgr. East’s address, Dr. Nicholas Wolsonovich, secretary of faith formation and superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Orlando, noted that only 40 percent of the baptized children in the Diocese of Orlando receive some kind of faith formation through Catholic schools or religious education at their parish. “Pray about reaching out to those kids who have not been touched by faith formation here in Orlando,” Wolsonovich said.

Event organizer Sister of Divine Providence Linda Gaupin, senior director of religious education for the diocese, welcomed the opportunity to have Msgr. East and 28 other workshop speakers make presentations to catechists at all levels. “Faith formation really pertains to any ministry that works with handing on the faith,” she said. “The workshops we have help (the participants) to get firsthand information in their particular area to prepare them better for their ministry.”
There's more at the Florida Catholic link.

PHOTO: Msgr. Ray East delivers the keynote address to approximately 900 people at the 14th annual diocesan Faith Formation Day, Sept. 19, in Orlando. Photo by Valeta Orlando / Florida Catholic.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Links-R-Us"
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Date: Friday, 25 Sep 2009 07:23
It turns out the man taking over Ted Kennedy's Senate seat is himself part of a Massachusetts Catholic dynasty, according to Michael Paulson of the Boston Globe:
A dispatch from the Boston-is-a-really-small-town department: Paul G. Kirk Jr., who was named today as the interim US Senator from Massachusetts, is the grand-nephew of Cardinal William H. O'Connell, one of the most powerful figures in local church history, who served as archbishop of Boston from 1907 until his death in 1944. Kirk, 71, is one of five children of Josephine O'Connell, whose father, Edward J. O'Connell, was an older brother of Cardinal O'Connell.

The connection ties Kirk to one of the odder stories now unfolding in town, as the Archdiocese of Boston seeks to disinter the cardinal's remains and remove them from land that the church sold to Boston College to raise money to pay off victims of clergy sexual abuse. The saga of the cardinal's tomb, which has been playing out for five years now, last week moved to Suffolk Probate and Family Court, where Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, joined by the trustees of Boston College, are suing 30 of O'Connell's living relatives, including Kirk, for the right to relocate the remains.

I last spoke with Kirk about his famous great-uncle about a year and a half ago. Kirk was born in 1938, and the cardinal died in 1944, so they didn't spend a lot of time together, and the memories have faded, but Kirk told me he remembered, as a little boy, visiting Cardinal O'Connell at his grand residence in Brighton (also now the property of BC), and that his most distinct memory was of reciting the pledge of allegiance for his great-uncle. At the time of our interview last year, Kirk was opposed to relocating the cardinal's remains, saying, "I think I speak for the majority of the cardinal's next of kin in saying that we would like him to remain at his chosen resting place.''
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Links-R-Us, Politics And Politicians"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Sep 2009 22:25
A fella by the name of David Dawson dropped me a note with a link a short time ago. He's the creator of a podcast and website called "The Everyday Catholic." His latest installment is all about the diaconate.

Give a listen.
Author: "Deacon Greg Kandra (noreply@blogger.com)" Tags: "Deacons, Media"
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