Jul 28, 2006

Notre Dame Folk Choir

As a Fordham grad, I'm often irked by how rah-rah Notre Dame all of their graduates often are. At a symposium there once, I remember a Campus Minister cordially thanking an Archbishop for joining them for mass and then added: "And of course we want to thank THE NOTRE DAME FOLK CHOIR!!!)

Choir 1
Archbishop 0

However, all that being said, today's National Catholic Reporter has a cover article on said Folk Choir by my esteemed colleague and Notre Dame Folk Choir alumna, Renee LaReau. A great read and a truer story of young adult faith cannot be found anywhere else.

Jul 21, 2006

What does my Ipod know about me?

Mark Mossa over at You Duped Me, Lord and Sr. Christine Wicox over at Sister Christer did this experiment awhile back. You take your ipod (or mp3 player, or itunes) and put it on shuffle. Ask the questions in order below and hit play after each one to receive an answer. When you finish the lot of questions - it play again and see what song comes up and then write your own question for that song.

My results are below

How does the world see you?
If I had a Million Dollars - Barenaked Ladies

Will I have a happy life?
Say Goodnight, Not Goodbye -Beth Nielsen Chapman

What do my friends really think of me?
Falling for the First Time - Barenaked Ladies

What do people secretly think of me?
What do you do with a BA in English? - Avenue Q Soundtrack (I actually HAVE a BA in English)

How can I make myself happy?
Send Out Your Spirit - Jessie Manibusan (Very true)

What should I do with my life?

Will I ever have children?
Shopping - Barenaked ladies (Interesting since we're adopting)

What is some good advice for me?
Break Your Heart - Barenaked ladies (True--have learned something every time I've been vulnerable)

How will I be remembered?
We are One In the Spirit - The Path (COOL!)

What is my signature dancing song?
Everyone's a Little Bit Racist - Avenue Q Soundtrack (Yeouch--I hope not! Although this is the kind of a song I like to sing--a Broadway showtune--and I'm not gay-I swear!)

What do I think my current theme song is?
RoadRunner- Barenaked Ladies (We just moved--so that's pretty good!)

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Magic - Ben Folds Five

What song will play at my funeral?
Shout to the Lord - Lincoln Brewster (probably true!)

What type of men/women do you like?
Adlib - Barenaked Ladies (them telling jokes, etc on a live album)

What is my day going to be like?
BustedHalo Cast - Episode #45 (we are taping today!)

Where Am I?
One Week - Barenaked Ladies (Listen to the lyrics and everybody who's married will get this one)

And the next song was:
Concerto for 2 Violins in A Major - Vivaldi II
So the question I wrote is: How do I unwind?

Jul 20, 2006

Stem Cells: Bush vetoes

The stem cell debate sure is interesting, isn't it. It's even divided the Republicans--who do a darn good job of sticking together most of the time, unlike my fellow democrats.

Some thoughts:

As an adoptive parent to be--I think the President's alternative to have the frozen embryos adopted is somewhat misguided. With adoption laws being rather cumbersome in the United States (and rightfully so--you can't just be giving kids out to any schmoe who comes along), the chances that these embryos can be adopted quickly is probably unlikely. Secondly, the numbers we are talking about are obscurred in the argument. There are many attractive options for people seeking adoption and many of those consist of not carrying and embryo to term (although that would be the preferable option obviously for most people). Is there any guarantee that our President offers to guarantee that he can get all of these embryos adopted?

My guess is no...and it's probably not even close. Perhaps there is a compromise and here's where a slippery slope comes in. I wonder if "embryos slated for disposal due to lack of viable adoption" could be considered for stem cell research instead? We could make every attempt to get the embryos off for adoption and if they fail to be adopted after a viable time--then can they be given for research?

While certainly far less than ideal...it at least offers a compromise and an alternative to the straight disposal of the embryos. It's certainly far from an argument that the church would accept--but perhaps those in the political sphere would listen to this compromise.

As we all know, Governing is choosing and someone always gets screwed. Unfortunately, any way you slice this one--it's always going to be the unborn who lose. With the veto, people in need of the research also get screwed. Everyone loses.

As always there are no easy answers. I'd probably prefer not to do the research on the embryos, because I don't hear from the scientific community any guarantees of success with the procedure. Naturally, I also believe that the most vulnerable need our protection as well. However, if others who don't share our views have the legal right to dispose of these lives--what are we to do?

Jul 19, 2006

Why the Church considers Homosexuality disordered

Over at the Spiritual Smackdown on BustedHalo.com, one of the more interesting debates is on Homosexuality. It should be noted that the American Psychological Association has not classified homosexuality as a disorder since the early 70's. Certainly there are psycholgists worldwide who dissent from that viewpoint, even if the majority hold this view.

While to the average viewer, the church and psychology seem at odds in talking with one another, but actually, the church is taking a more defensible position than one would think at first glance. Perhaps even a more charitable one.

In defense of the church, she indeed knows her science well. The church's position is that until something is definitively held by all scientists the church will not opine or teach anything contrary to that view.

As a quick example, Galileo taught heliocentrism (the sun is the center of the universe). Many scientists thought he was wrong--and they believed that the earth was the center. The church also believed biblically speaking, that the latter was the case.

Today NOBODY believes that the earth is the center of the universe and there isn't a scientist that would assent to that position either. Until recently, the same could be said about evolution--until all the creationists found their way to raising points about their viewpoints.

While many, maybe even most, psychologists believe that homosexuality is not a disordered orientation or act...there certainly is not scientific consensus on that point. And that is where the church is always going to take her cue in changing a piece of Catholic teaching.

Will homosexuality ever be accepted in the scientific community as readily as heliocentrism? Probably not. Or at least nobody has come up with an indisputable argument that makes the homosexual act one that is properly ordered..that convinces all scientists to hold this view.

In short, if 4 out of five shrinks think that homosexuality is peachy keen, the church will stand pat until that other shrink comes around to the side of the others.

My thought: Good luck in getting that to happen anytime soon.

Brown Outs

Ugh. Came home last night to a low power brown out which means sleeping without the air conditioner. I guess this is a foretaste to what awaits in Nicaragua.

I awoke this morning to NO power in some places in my house--most importantly the kitchen--which means I had to remove all the perishables from my fridge and bring them into work where the nuns who work in my building (Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Priest) were gracious enough to store it for me in their fridge.

On a positive note...we raised an effortless $400 last night at our fund raiser for Nicaragua. Thanks to the good folks at Local on 53rd and 2nd in Manhattan who graciously offered their place for the shindig.

Jul 17, 2006

Amtrak--you've got to be kidding

So our Paulist Seminarian/intern was coming back from the DC area last night and wanted to catch a 10PM train. He pre-bought the ticket on the internet but when he arrived at the New Carrollton train station the doors were locked.

Now you can't ride the train without a ticket--nor can you get onto the track.

One would think that they would have a ticket kiosk outside the station so one could retrieve a ticket and board quickly.

But alas, no. The kiosk is INSIDE THE LOCKED DOORS.

Needless to say, he missed his train and opted for the next morning's train.

Long Island Pool Party

Had fun yesterday at a pool party given by Marion's cousins, (Joe and Jennifer Cavaliere and their adorable children - Danielle, Anthony, and Nicole). Her other cousins and their kids (Nigel and Marie and their children also joined us).

Nothing like a pool on a 95 degree day. Joe is also an expert griller--so we had great hot dogs, hamburgers, and sausage.

It gives me pause hanging out with people who are parents. It gives me a glimpse of how much these children are such an important part of their lives and how much of a priority they are as well. It seems overwhelming at times but I don't know many people who are seemingly as happy as Joe and Jennifer look with their kids...even in crazy and hectic times.

I also have to say that these kids were all very well behaved (and I'm not just saying that). Good parenting was certainly on exhibition and I learned a lot about what being a good mom and dad entails from Joe and Jen.

In short, a good time had by one and all.

Jul 15, 2006


You really know you love someone when you move with them.

My wife and I are presently moving into our new home and unpacking boxes. We are getting on each other's last nerve.

She's cute when she's angry...so it's hard not to laugh when she's pissed at me.

Oh well...it'll be over soon.

I'm just thankful I have a diswasher now.

Jul 14, 2006

Ken Lay is not James Byrd

From various wire sources:

At Ken Lay's funeral, his minister the Reverend Lawson likened Lay to James Byrd, a black man who was dragged to death in a racially motivated murder near Jasper eight years ago.

"Ken Lay was neither black nor poor, as James Byrd was, but I'm angry because Ken was the victim of a lynching," said Lawson.

He later said that history will be kind to Lay eventually.

His comments, met by hearty applause, referred to Lay's recent federal trial on fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from Enron's unraveling in 2001 and four charges of bank fraud. Lay had planned to appeal his conviction and was awaiting sentencing when he died.

Now I'm all for comforting Lay's family at the moment of his death and not making him out to be an ogre. But this is a complete farce.

Ken Lay openly cheated, nay, SCREWED an entire company. People lost their life savings because of him. He falsified so much evidence that it was obvious that he would soon be headed for prison for a very long time.

If anything the fact that he underwent so much stress during the last few months could be taken as a sure sign of his guilt and perhaps even (and hopefully so) his repentence.

May God have mercy on Ken Lay, forgiveness holds no bounds with God--and it shouldn't with us. But even with the most merciful judge, Ken Lay will never be James Byrd.

Jul 12, 2006

Podcast Awards

One of our loyal listeners nominated the BustedHalo Cast for the 2006 Podcast Awards in the Religion/Spirituality section.

You can too...simply by clicking below and filling out the form.

Jul 10, 2006

I'm a home owner

This morning Marion and I closed on a co-op apartment. Yay!

I'm not sure if I should be happy or insensed that I'm now the owner of a hefty mortgage.

We'll be moving to my old neighborhood of Woodside in a few days.

But for now, we'll celebrate with a nice steak dinner with our good friend and moving-helper Steven Bell, CSP.


Just back from a retreat that I ran this weekend. Lots of great folks who inspired me with their many thoughts and open hearts for God and one another. Great weather was the icing on the cake.

I was very impressed with Paulist seminarian Steven Bell who is one of the more pastoral people I know. I really think the world of him and enjoy his company in general but this weekend showed me that he's going to be one heck of a priest. Many praised his good pastoral sense as well.

As the director it's sometimes hard for me to get into the flow of the weekend and this weekend proved to be the same. Because I worry about much that is going on--whether people are connecting, those who seek direction from me, the food being prepared correctly, the team leader's talks, etc... I don't get much of a chance to relax myself.

I felt good about the reconciliation service I led with Jenene Francis my collegue who runs retreats for the Jesuits in Chicago. We recreated the washing of the feet and I think many were moved by it.

One challenge for me is often managing others on the weekend. I do a poor job sometimes with being firm with people and giving direct orders. Probably because I like being liked and hate controversy. I had an unhappy cook this weekend--who I love like a sister but who irks my last nerve sometimes. Coupling her with my wife's attempts to be helpful in the kitchen made for some fireworks...some legitimate complaints on the cook's part and some short-sightedness on everyone's part, puts me in a no-win situation. Fortunately for me my priest buddy stepped in and mediated.

Jul 3, 2006

They ruined a good book

So I don't make a habit out of reading "chick-lit" as my friend, Brooke likes to call it. But a friend suggested that I read The Devil Wears Prada about a year ago and I absolutely loved it. I mean, it ain't War and Peace, but it told a good page-turning story.

So I took my wife to see the film the other night.

Good film...but different from the book.


They left out the best character in the book which is the security guard who constantly locks Lauren out of the building's revolving stantions while she's rushing to get coffee to her complete bitch of a boss. He hysterically makes her sing songs in order to get access to the building. (one scene has her singing Tiffany's "I think we're alone now." Absent from the fim--what were they thinking.

If memory also serves, Nigel is a large flamboyantly gay, black man in the book. Stanley Tucci at last glance was not black, nor very large nor very gay. But I did like him in the movie.

They were far too sympathetic to her boss in the movie...and Andy doesn't even call her a bitch in the movie as she does in the book...which attains her a legendary status among all people familiar with her boss (like the entire world).

Supposedly, the author worked at Vanity Fair. I haven't read the second book, Everybody Worth Knowing yet.

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