Showing posts from June, 2007

St. Peter, St. Paul and.... the iPhone

Today we celebrate the great feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the dynamic duo of the Catholic Church, the veritable Batman and Robin of Christianity! It just so happens that today is also the debut of the infamous iPhone, a stunning piece of technology that's now available all over the known universe.

So.... two great saints and one incredible gadget. On the same day.... Coincidence? Nope. I think this is an opportunity for some serious imagining-ation.

So let's just imagine that these two pillars of the Church had the chance to spread the gospel with the help of the infamous iPhone....

I think St. Peter, bold, often impetuous and quick-tempered, might have picked it up with his callous fisherman fingers and.... dropped it into the sea. End of story.

St. Paul? Here's a different story. Passionate, highly educated, leader of the pack of the Pharisees in his day, slightly neurotic perhaps? He would have LOVED this device. He'd have bookmarked all of the best biblical websites…

Goofin' Off with the Family

Just goofing off today with the family, down from New York. The kids LOVE the new Mac's "Photo Booth" program. I kinda dig it myself, can you tell? It has a bunch of wacky features that distort your face and take a snapshot, right from the monitor. (I have yet to blog about my conversion to the Mac from a PC. Yes, it was mainly those hilarious commercials that won me over. It was a little funky in the beginning with no right click or thumbnail views but I've since discovered the shortcuts. The Mac is.... awesome! Just for podcasting alone! I've tossed a few up at this link. Please let me know what you think. For now, I've simply read a few blogs from last year, but I think God has big plans! I'm excited. You can search for "The Heart of Things" or Bill Donaghy through iTunes and subscribe to them, or just go to the link here and subscribe. They'll slip right into your iPod or computer media player justa lika 'dat. More on this later!)

So …

Which Way Do I Go?

I will never forget February 28, 1998. That's the day I got in my old Chevy Eurosport wagon with the sweet rims and starting driving, without a clue as to where I was going...

I had just spent 4 years in the seminary; steeped in the Church's rich liturgy, intoxicated by the beauty of prayer, captivated by the teachings of the Catholic Church, discovering brothers in the spirit I never knew I had, from Allentown to Peoria, Alabama to Nebraska, and it was a period of the deepest peace for my restless spirit. I had just earned a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, and was at the half way point, still a couple years from ordination, when suddenly the bells of peace stopped peeling, and the certainty of seminary life dissipated like incense at evening prayer.

I had always believed that I was in the right place at the right time; that God had surely led me to this place of discernment, and that like Peter on the mountaintop I could say it was truly "good for me to be here."…

Bed, Bath and Beyond My Expectations

So I'm "off" from teaching for the summer, and this of course creates "time" for me to.... "do things." So on top of the list was our need/desire to purchase a new showerhead. Our previous showerhead was installed by the previous owner, in 1946.

We love our previous owner. She lives out west now. Our Lansdowne domicile was her home (and previously the home of her mother) dating back to the 1920's! When we came on board, there were still rotary phones in here (weighing in at about 53 pounds each). If I wanted to I could have called Commissioner Gordonanytime I wanted to. I think rotary phones are going to come back on the scene. They just have to! Our phones are too small today. They're as thin as a stick of Juicy Fruit! It's like talking into a toothpick.

There was a story in the paper about a teenager who was talking on her cell phone and it slipped right into her ear canal! (Now she just has to think about sending a text message and pow! o…

Evan Almighty: A Review

Ah, the movies! We gorge ourselves on them just as we do on the popcorn, skittles, and soft drinks that go with them. Sometimes we swallow the most unhealthy of snacks without thinking; so also we can swallow whatever the silver screen throws at us. And then we go home... and think nothing of it.

"Ya see that movie, "Blah Blah: Revenge of the Whatever?""Yeah, we saw it. It was pretty good."

But deep down we thought it stunk. We know Hollywood could do better. Heck, WE could do better! How can we take our kids to stuff like this?

Enter "Evan Almighty"....

Tagged as "a comedy of biblical proportions", I got to see a private screening last night, along with about 300 of my closest friends from all over the tri-state area. Now to be honest, I was ready for cheese. I saw the trailers. I thought the insta-beard thing was weird, and the animals crawling from behind every bush was just a wee bit.... outlandish. I figured this was just another attempt…

Our Trip to the Canadian Rockies

Well, thanks to .Mac we have our trip pictures loaded (at least 96 out of 490 pics!). You can check out the website by clicking here. We saw so much in such a short span of time! Enjoy!

Let the earth bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever. Mountains and hills, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. You springs, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. Seas and rivers, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. All you birds of the air, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. You sons of men, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.

- Daniel 3:74-82


On our way through Jasper, surrounded by ridiculous amounts of natural beauty, these three Bighorn Sheep suddenly bounced down into the road from the craggy cliffs above. I wish we had this kind of "gaper delay" in Philly!

Just a Teaser!

Here's a glimpse of the Canadian Rockies from the top of Mt. Whistler!
Hope to have a web album posted by the weekend.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.- Bilbo Baggins, Lord of the Rings

Oh Canada!

Just waiting in the Edmonton International Airport now, ready to head south and home again!

We've had an amazing time up here in the Great White North. Friday and Saturday we spent in Edmonton, Alberta, at the National Symposium for COLF, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family here in Canada. (Check out the work of COLF for the New Evangelization here: There was a good turnout; wonderful people, young and old, men and women, from across the provinces, and even some from the States. Teens and teachers, married and religious, bishops and priests, and the curious as well. Enthusiasm for the Theology of the Body is strong here, and those who heard the late Pope John Paul II's reflections on marriage, sexuality, and the meaning of life were genuinely inspired! We got a good dose of "northern hospitality" and the talk I gave on Friday seemed to be well received!

On Saturday we made our way west to the Canadian Rockies. Jasper National Park was a treasure…

Three Thoughts That Have Changed My Life

This Thursday, Rebecca and I are flying up to Western Canada and I'll be giving an all day seminar on the Theology of the Body (please pray for us!). We can't wait to share this message with our brothers and sisters "up north" .... (and seeing the Canadian Rockies is a wee bit exciting, I'm not gonna lie!)

I was asked not long ago to share what I thought might be the three most powerful thoughts to come from a study of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body(a series of biblical reflections written by the late Pope John Paul II, called "one of the boldest reconfigurations of Catholic theology in centuries." It addresses some of the most fundamental and important questions of human existence!)

Well, here are the three things that continually fill me with wonder and awe, and are daily becoming the tripod on which I stand to view God, Life and Everything in Between...

1. The body is holy.
2. Marriage is an appetizer.
3. God is a Lover.



Tuesday's Radio Show - The Crusades Revisited: A Cause for Shame or Fame? What's a Catholic to Think?

"The crusades are quite possibly the most misunderstood event in European history. Ask a random American about them and you are likely to see a face wrinkle in disgust, or just the blank stare that is usually evoked by events older than six weeks. After all, weren't the crusaders just a bunch of religious nuts carrying fire and sword to the land of the Prince of Peace?"
- Thomas Madden

Hmmm.... or is there more to this piece of history than meets the eye? This week I'll be interviewing Thomas F. Madden, associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Saint Louis University on the timely topic of the Crusades, a controversial era in history that is getting more and more focus in these days with the War on Terror and radical Islamist groups calling for jihad.

Madden is the author of numerous works, including A Concise History of the Crusades, and co-author, with Donald Queller, of The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople. Visit his website at www.…

"God, Who are You?" - Part Three

Click for Part One
Click for Part Two

"For without the Creator the creature would disappear....
When God is forgotten... the creature itself grows unintelligible."
- Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II

It can get pretty dark when we stay inside our own heads and try to figure out why we're here and where we came from. These questions that we humans have, this seeking out the truth of our origins, it has to be a seeking that is beyond us, above us, bigger than just us. As cozy as it is sometimes to just stay inside, we have to go outside, beyond ourselves to see how Life came about, and where it's headed. And we have to go heedless of the consequences, for truth is the goal and there's no time to stay stuck in our own fabrications.

These questions are scary, beautiful, wonderful, and often disturbing. Inside every question is a quest.... an adventure that we are made to embark upon. This is the road that goes on and on, like the road Bilbo Baggins sang about at the beginning of…

The Two Greatest Questions

(This is a follow up on last Thursday's post "The Building No One Built")

According to St. Augustine, the two greatest questions we can ask our whole lives long and never get to the bottom of are these:

1. Who am I?
2. God, Who are You?

Now because each of these questions is about a person and not a thing, each question is like a bottomless well or an infinite sky. So to answer the first question, "Who am I?", we have to come to terms with the fact that we can never fully answer it. Hmm.... are we OK with this?

See, we can't spread a person's parts out on the floor and say, "Oh, I get it!" (Besides, that would be nasty. Wordsworth comes to mind "We murder to dissect.") We can take apart a thing, like a lawn mower or a vacuum and spread it out and say "OK, I see how it works." But we can't do this with persons. The animating principle that makes he or she animated is just that.... anemos from the greek for wind, breath, spir…

Baseball and Believing: Champions of Faith on This Tuesday's Radio Show

Tune in Tuesday, June 5 from 5pm to 6pm ET for The Heart of Things Radio Show, live @ 800AM or log in live at 5 @
My guests this week are Tom Allen, Executive Producer and Director of Champions of Faith, and Mike Piazza, designated hitter for the Oakland Athletics and future hall of famer.

"The Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition on DVD is a groundbreaking film that showcases the intersection of sports and faith in Major League Baseball by profiling many of the most accomplished and devout figures in the game both on and off the field. Major League baseball champions Mike Piazza, David Eckstein, Jeff Suppan, Mike Sweeney, Jack McKeon and Rich Donnelly lead an All-Star line-up in this moving and uplifting sports special that tells the story of faith in baseball like no other film ever made."

Mike's impressive bio can be found at the link below. (He was born in Norristown, PA and grew up in Phoenixville, PA. A local her…

Modern Day Martyrs

This from Zenit News:

Priest and 3 Deacons Slain in Mosul

MOSUL, Iraq, JUNE 3, 2007 ( A Chaldean priest and three deacons were shot and killed after Sunday Mass in front of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul. identified the priest as Father Ragheed Ganni, 34, the pastor of Holy Spirit, located in the Nur district of the northern Iraqi city.

Sources told AsiaNews that the bodies lay abandoned on the street today because no one dared to go and recover them, given the tension of the situation.

The news agency reported that attempts on Father Ragheed's life have been made before, and that the Church of the Holy Spirit had been attacked and bombed in previous years, and again a few months ago.

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