Author Archives: Mark Pattison

Remembering Florence Henderson

The year was 1994, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I had been in Anaheim, California, covering the National Catholic Educational Association’s annual convention for CNS. Since I was so close to Hollywood, management thought I could stay … Continue reading

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Poet and pope — or laureate and saint

So Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Some folks would have much preferred someone else had won. To others, it’s a welcome recognition of his lyric gifts. Nineteen years ago, Catholic New Service ran a guest … Continue reading

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I knew him when

It appears in high school yearbooks at some point — the grateful appreciation from a classmate who writes, “When you’re a (fill in the blank) I’ll be able to say ‘I knew him when…’” Now, I can say the same … Continue reading

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A look at each film of Kieslowski’s “Dekalog” masterpiece

All the films of the Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Dekalog” are set in contemporary Warsaw, Poland, a decade after the election of St. John Paul II as pope (he makes a cameo appearance in one installment via photographs), but still a communist-run … Continue reading

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A cinematic triumph returned and restored

It’s not often that something that made its debut on Polish television gets this kind of acclaim, but Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Dekalog”(“Decalogue” in English) merited precisely that acclaim — even now, 28 years after its debut. Kieslowski was commissioned by Polish … Continue reading

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The fallout from crime affects more than just victims

In matters of crime and punishment, there is no shortage of regret and sorrow on the part of both victim and offender. Why don’t more of us understand this? It could be because the few news stories that report on criminal … Continue reading

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Conjectures of a guilty stander

I figure that since Pope Francis mentioned Father Thomas Merton as an exemplar in his address to Congress, I could riff on the title of one of his more famous books to write about what I saw in the non-ticketed … Continue reading

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Protesters urge pope to approve women’s ordination

On Wednesday, at the end of the block from St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington — where reporters were waiting to be admitted four hours before the scheduled start of the midday prayer service with Pope Francis — were about 20 … Continue reading

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It’s not just the same old song

For midday prayer Sept. 23 at the St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, one might think the musical program would be fairly stuffed with Gregorian chant and the musical stylings of the Renaissance. But you would be wrong. It’s true that … Continue reading

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You’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning

At my parish in the Archdiocese of Washington — the name will be withheld to protect the “sinnocent” — the end-of-Mass announcements held special resonance for Pope Francis’ visit. Not everyone in the parish could win a ticket to the Sept. … Continue reading

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