Recently in Amusements Category

57-380-thickbox.jpgHave yourself a minimalist Christmas
with a set of blocks
each a single color and an oblong box

Have yourself a geometric Christmas
It's a tidy plan
As if they were painted like a Mondrian

Bet you knew
that our Lady's blue
while Saint Joseph's all in brown
Deeper shades from the Orient
tell you Magi are in town.

Soon it will be copied by IKEA
Yuletide can be blah:
Angels without mouths can't sing a Gloria.
But have yourself a minimalist Christmas, brah.

On that night
Was our Savior white?
Was the shepherd grubby gray?
In that box
there's no lamb or ox
but the Pope says that's okay

If your kids see this on Christmas morning
sure they're gonna cry
look at you in tears and ask you, Daddy, why?
So let's just kiss this minimalist Christmas 'bye

A ditty for St. Nicholas' day

| 1 Comment

The other day, "Curt Jester" Jeff Miller read Taylor Marshall's account of how Saint Nicholas of Myra confronted the heretic Arius at the Council of Nicaea (and rearranged his dental work). Well, Jeff wished that there were a Christmas song about the event, so I obliged him:

I saw Santa punching Arius,
in Nicaea where the council met last night;
the bishops were aghast, and the bruise is gonna last:
he seized him with his left hand and then slapped him with the right;
Now the Emperor's pursuing Nicholas,
and wants to put him in a prison cell;
Probably neither will repent 'til their wrath is fully spent
and the heresy's condemned to hell.

The noted Latinist (and noted quirky personality) Fr. Reginald Foster, O.C.D., appeared in his regular feature on Vatican Radio (podcast link) Friday. Since Pope Benedict is making a state visit to Germany soon, the interviewer Sr. Veronica asked Fr. Foster to describe a famous battle between the Germans and the Roman Empire.

After describing the results of the battle ("the Germans beat the pants off of them"), he went on with some funny remarks about the expressiveness of Latin:

"You can say everything marvelously: except this kind of jargon, this philosophical jargon that's going around, like how the politicians here in Italy talk, you know that kind of stuff -- ugh, that's terrible, I mean 'la realizzazione della programma... da questo piano di lavoro' - agh, shut up! ...

"If the encyclicals were written in Latin, ... you couldn't do this, because Latin doesn't allow you, y'know, just to blah blah blah, you just can't blah in Latin, which is what they're doing, you see, so they write it -- and the worst is in, well, French, Italian, you see -- and it just kind of dribbles on and on, and I'm supposed to put this dribble, dribble, and dribble into Latin! ...

"They say this crummy thing in Italian, and I said, I can say this infinitely better in Latin, and people would agree! ... At least your sentences are clear and concise, and solid as a rock, whereas these other people are dribbling, dribbling around, and blah blah blah blah -- you don't know what they're talking about.... If they would write in decent Latin, things would be different, but they refuse!"

Here's a clip with the interview.

(Hat tip to Fr. Sibley.)


The graphics department at EWTN stuck the "Gospa" of Medjugorje on their highlights flyer for the summer. Are they back to promoting the would-be apparition, or was it just an inadvertence?

Oh, well, it's no big deal: maybe they'll give it up if and when the Vatican finally rules the case false.

For now, I call this: putting the "Ew!" in EWTN. :-)

(h/t: semperficatholic)

Defect in form


A Vatican Secretariat of State press release came out over the weekend. It's a policy statement about a relatively minor matter: organizations named after Popes.


Recent years have witnessed a great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father. There has also been a desire to use the Pope's name in the title of universities, schools or cultural institutions, as well as associations, foundations and other groups.

In light of this fact, the Holy See hereby declares that it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and, therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church. Occasionally, in fact, attempts have been made to attribute credibility and authority to initiatives by using ecclesiastical or papal symbols and logos.

Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff (his name, his picture or his coat of arms), and/or the use of the title "Pontifical", must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See.

(emphasis added)

Here's what I find odd: that a statement from the Vatican is using a modern word such as "logo". I feel as if the word were invented practically yesterday. As it happens, "logo" only dates to 1937, which seems way too recent for an institution with 2000 years behind it.

Surely there should be some rule that the Vatican doesn't use words that aren't at least 100 years old.

New apparition news! :-)


Oh, man! Here's another one! Fortunately, America's Finest News Source is on hand to cover it.

Adamant refusal

| No Comments

No, dear advertisers of office equipment, despite your commercials on the radio, I am not going to "give the gift of productivity this Christmas".

Is there anything more contrary to the spirit of Christmas gift-giving than concerns about productivity?

Have an efficient Christmas, everybody! HO HO-- now, that's enough, get back to work.

Holy Typo, Batman

| No Comments

We sang Amazing Grace today.

In the program it was "Amazon Grace"

I think someone in the parish office has been spending too much time on the Internet...

Heard in the homily

| No Comments

During Wednesday's Mass, the homilist said, "Are you willing to put on God's gym shorts?"

I found that an arresting expression.

"Are you willing to train?" he went on.

Vote for the Incredibles


Okay, it's been a long time since I posted anything to Catholic Light. A really long time -- seven months, according to the blog software. I guess I got out of the blogging habit, and I've been rather disgusted with the state of affairs in the world. That's something that normally inspires me to write, but this time it's had the opposite effect. I do plan to write more frequently.

Even though I've been gone for a while, I have a request. A couple of offices in my building had a Halloween contest, and several of my colleagues and I dressed accordingly:

(click to enlarge)

Not to pat ourselves on the back, but it takes courage to dress in tights when you're working for the Nameless Entity. You can encourage this by voting in the American Apparel costume contest. Just go to the page here...

...then click the "Start Scoring" link in the upper right. You'll have to vote for a bunch of lame costumes before you get to ours. When you vote for ours, I don't want to tell you what to do -- just listen to your conscience. (Hint: your conscience wants to rate the costumes as a "5".)

The superheroes thank you for your support.

Flannery O'Connor, call your office

| No Comments

This item reminds me: if you haven't read her wickedly funny story "Good Country People", you now have an opportunity to enjoy it online.

Skewered news!

| 1 Comment

There's a fairly new site on the web called Agnus Daily offering it up -- I mean, offering up spoofy news "stories" about Church events. Sort of a Catholic counterpart to Scott Ott's satirical site Scrappleface. I particularly like the one about the apologist for agnosticism.

How could you not laugh along with a site that offers this as a headline:

Archdiocese of Los Angeles Voted "Best Performing Arts Venue"

By the way, there's an analogous site that pokes fun that the oddities of life in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, The Onion Dome, and for Evangelical culture, Lark News. It's good that we're catching up with the separated brethren here!

Seminary meets the Marines

| No Comments

Jeff Miller, the "Curt Jester", has a piece on some new church furniture you might want in your next reno.

it figures

Which Twentieth Century Pope Are You?

You are Pope Paul VI. You don't get no respect.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Sounds like fun!

| No Comments

We really have to try out some of these quaint Catholic customs from Latin America.

Bad church names

| 1 Comment

It's named after the northern Ontario community where it's located, but still....

Uh-oh, no Pluto

| No Comments

Wow: Pluto's downfall is probably the biggest diss issued in public since they pulled Saint Christopher from the calendar.

Jeff Miller's ready to become an Old Solarist, but I'm looking for the political angle. What are the Democrats going to do with this? Pluto is small and eccentric, so it might be a perfect new interest group to add to the Coalition. Maybe it needs anti-discrimination laws or subsidies.

One TV reporter put it perfectly: "So this means, if you're small and different, you're dead?" The Dems have to keep that front and center, and keep asking what kind of universe we want to live in. A whole planet just fell through the Republican safety net, and -- let's face it -- the fact that we lost Pluto on George Bush's watch can count for something with the voters.

Picture: St. Mary's Cow Chip Festival, June 24

Summer is nearly here, the time of slightly cuckoo rural festivals.

Seen in Brookfield, MA on Monday.

Catholic Light:
We find the oddities so you don't have to.


You heard it here first.

Best wishes for Passover

| No Comments

And just for fun, here's a musical salute to the staple food of the holy days.

Twenty minutes before the evening Mass:

Director: OK, you've got the psalm refrain there...

[The text is: "Lord, you have the words of everlasting life."]

Director: I want you to make a separation before "of". I don't want to hear any "word-zuv", but "words. of." And, uh, I think let's do the same for "ever-" too, OK?

Choir member: Couldn't we slur our words in honor of St. Patrick's Day?

Let us spray

| No Comments

Want to slip out of your obligations? Just apply some WWJD-40: details at the Curt Jester.

With tires as tall as she is

| 1 Comment

From the BBC car show Top Gear, a nun in a monster truck.

(from Greg Bruns, via Kathy Shaidle)

Storm Panic!


The snow has started here in Boston. I hope everybody was able to stock up on bread, milk, and muffins. On Saturday afternoon, the local bakery had only four flavors left: banana walnut, carrot, raspberry-blueberry, and orange almond (who wants that?). It may be tough for a while, but we'll get through.

Brad Christensen and the Pope

| No Comments

This guy Brad gets even with overseas senders of fraudulent e-mail scams in a delightful way: he plays dumb, spins tales, and strings them along, and even gets them to waste their time sending him photos, making elaborate and ridiculous business arrangements, and trying to meet up with him. In this example, he responds to a very hush-hush offer from someone calling himself "Benedictus XVI".

Now it's 1-800-BEAST-4-U

| No Comments

Here's an old news item: CNN tells how a Bible college in Kentucky pleaded with its phone company for months to get rid of their "666-" phone number.

"We're just elated that the number has been changed," said Rob Roy MacGregor, the college's vice president of business affairs. "It was like we had this Scarlet Letter attached to us."

Congratulations, folks.

Via Victor: the worst rendition of "O Holy Night" you've ever heard. Far worse than Cher's. I think the Army is gonna use this as a sonic crowd-control weapon: y'know, the sort of horrendous sound that turns strong men's viscera to water.

I gotta dig around and see if I can get a Leona Anderson album somewhere.

Just for fun


You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is the Holy Mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox






Classical Liberal




Reformed Evangelical


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Still gotta work on that seven percent!

(And in case you're not familiar with the term "neo-orthodox", it refers to a Protestant school of thought associated with the 20th-century theologian Karl Barth.)

Seek and ye shall find


St. Dismas has been on the job in Rome lately.

Arthur of the Angry Twins gives us the top ten coming changes. I like this one:

5) On close votes, the Justices will consult a statue of St. Thomas More. If the statue weeps, they affirm; if no tears, then they reverse.

Now rinse and spit, Holiness


Pope Benedict had to bump out a synod session today due to a prior commitment.

Another secret!


You've probably seen the news story Saturday about a cardinal's leaked conclave diary. Tim the Lapped Catholic has come across some more info!

It's more habitable than they realized

| 1 Comment

This ought to be on the disclosure forms you fill out when dealing with real estate: Is the property inhabited... by any ghosts or spirits? A restauranteur (a Chinese-American JW -- huh?) balks at moving into the building he leased because it's haunted. Is it his own fault for not getting a proper building inspection done?


| No Comments

I'm not worried about the price of gas; I'm going to use dollar-cost averaging.

"Let's Save Our Environment"


Perhaps the worst music video ever.

Another satirical blogger!

| No Comments

Wal-Mart to offer non-denom Sunday services, says blogger "Maureen Martin".

What have you done with Him?

| 1 Comment

Kudos to Tony, who has invented a new high-tech device.

Wait, where am I?


I spent the evening in the stands at Endicott College's new stadium cheering the teams on. Football? Nah, you know me: the only thing I ever liked about seeing a football game was a marching band in the half-time. That's what this was: an evening of band -- or more precisely, an eight-team competitive show of drum-and-bugle corps. The roster was pretty impressive too, with some Division I corps such as "The Crossmen" of Allentown and "The Magic of Orlando".

There's more to come in a few weeks when the national championships are held nearby in August, at the Pats' stadium in Foxborough.

At one point I was watching this group do its maneuvers on the field, with groups of musicians interleaving and all those Color Guard gals and guys waving colorful flags and ribbons and dressed in leotards, and I think I had a little flashback to the '80s. For a second, I was watching a liturgical dance offertory procession. It was triggered by the music too: something from Broadway, I don't know what.

But just as quickly the illusion passed, thank Heavens.

Less than 48 hours away


On Saturday at 3pm, my team will deliver our capstone project to an audience of frazzled MBA students, academics, and semi-luminaries of the DC-area business community. By 4pm, I'll have complete all the requirements for my degree.

I hope to catch up on the blogging once I'm done writing stuff about Porter's Five Forces (no Steve - "Cheese" is not one of Porter's Five Forces...), Libyan foreign investment regulations and cash flow projections...

The other CL excuses are:
RC - upgraded us to MT 3. Lots of work.
Eric - expecting baby #4.
Pete - he did the last post, so he's doing fine.
Bryan and Alex - probably trimming Chairman Meow so he maintains his lion cut for the summer...

Even a religious song can be the occasion of a mondegreen, a case of misheard lyrics. Gathering Goat Eggs has an example.

My Birthday Dinner




I arrived early for a Byzantine liturgy on Saturday night and joined the choir practice underway. A priest was explaining that during the first gospel reading, the line "He is not here! He is risen!" is read three times, with the server's bells rung each time. A hand went up: "Father, do you think we could all make our cell phones ring then?"

Another underappreciated ministry:

A couple dressed as doctors and wearing clown outfits arrive at the Gemelli hospital where Pope John Paul II is being treated in Rome, February 4, 2005. The pair told reporters that they were children's' doctors specializing in 'smile therapy' on the hospital's children's ward and had come to cheer up the Pope. The pair, Doctor Sara Filanti, known as Doctor Doughnut and her colleague Doctor White Cabbage, were taken away by police.

Normally, I think clowns should be taken away by the police, but these two, lacking the full face-paint treatment, were only mildly freaky.

The National Shrine of our Lady Queen of the Universe in East Boston is one of the oddest religious structures around: built into a hillside, it doesn't have a church on top, but an open plaza and outdoor chapel. When you enter the building, you go down two floors to the main church, a broad auditorium, and to the Shrine's function rooms. On the same floor as the church is this locked doorway:
When I was there, the Christorama wasn't open, but I'll be back. What other well-intentioned displays of tackiness can you think of at parishes and shrines?

Actually, I think we're related!

School 'Peanut Gallery' Raises Eyebrows

Schools are requiring students who bring peanut butter sandwiches for lunch to eat at their own table to protect children who have nut allergies.

Food allergists say peanut allergies among school-aged children have doubled to 400,000 over the last five years. They can't explain the spike but said it has caused more schools to creatively accommodate allergic students.

They can't explain it? I can. The Liturgical Reforms of Vatican II are the cause of rising nut allergies. Now is the time to act! Please download and post this sign on the doors to your Church sacristy, liturgy director's office, music practice room, and the closet where they store all the stuff the art committee has made. You know, the tapestries they hang up in the sanctuary for each liturgical season because there is no reredos? You don't have that? That's great! You can pray for those of us who do.


Click to download this as a PDF,
then print with impunity!

Fortunately, this hospital web site announcing male pregnancy experiments and a "genetic choice" clinic is a spoof, and an elaborate one, by a New York artist. I wish it were funny, but since people have advocated doing just that sort of bizarrerie, the effect is a bit creepy.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Amusements category.

Administration is the previous category.

Apparitions and Mystical Phenomena is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.