Pope Benedict on BBC & Other XMas News

by Michael Sean Winters

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Our friend Austen Iveriegh has a great post about the Pope's recording one of BBC's "Thought for the Day" broadcasts and the publicity it has generated.

As well, here in New England, we heard news reports about Cardinal Sean O'Malley's Christmas message on several radio channels and it made two of the three local newspapers here in Northeast Connecticut, which isn't even in the Province of Boston. The cardinal's own blog details some of his preparation for the great feast, such as visiting the state women's penitentiary and spending time with all of the women in solitary confinement. O'Malley is too conservative for some and too permissive for others, but there is no denying that he takes the gospel message to heart and spends his time bringing good news to the poor and liberation to those in captivity.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has a wonderful post over at Politico.com of all places. The good archbishop speaks about the need to put the poor at the center of our thoughts - and not just at this time of year but in our political thinking. No Tea-drinking going on at Madison Avenue!

Lastly, I had wanted to attend Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence last night where their extraordinary choir performs an hour-long concert before the Mass. A friend sings in the choir and we were set to go. But, my Dad missed the vigil Mass he wanted to attend and decided to go to Midnight Mass with us. He voted for the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich - closer to home and no big concert beforehand. At eighty-two, what Poppy wants, Poppy gets, so we headed down to Norwich. Bishop Michael Cote presided beautifully, the choir and organ were wonderful as always, and the cathedral in Norwich never ceases to impress with its beauty.

So, Merry Christmas to all from the hills of Connecticut. Off tomorrow and Monday, barring breaking news, but I hope to be back Tuesday with some posts through the week.

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