Friday, March 23, 2012

Religious Freedom Rally in Atlanta

Here's a  report about the Stand Up Rally in Atlanta.

Let me apologize for the unclear footage of the second speaker. Something, perhaps the rain, got on the lens and made it blurry.

You'll hear from folks who attended the rally, their motivation for attending and other insights, along with photos in next March 29 edition of the Georgia Bulletin.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

'Pip' Moves with The Voice

"Pip" Arnold, who was recently the focus of a story in the Georgia Bulletin, made it past the battle round of The Voice. He worships at St. Joseph Church, Marietta, where he got his start singing for Life Teen and other  worship services.

Here's his latest appearance on the national hit show:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cathedral Organist Talks about Playing

As part of the day-in-the-life series at the Cathedral of Christ the King featured in this week's "Georgia Bulletin," I spent some time with Tim Wissler, the organist at the Cathedral of Christ the King. He plays for three Sunday liturgies and aims to practice three hours a day. And here's a little known trivia: the organ has 3,616 pipes. --Andrew

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cathedral of Christ the King: A Day In The Life

Forty-five years ago The Beatles released a song entitled “A Day In The Life.” The first line of the song starts out: I read the news today….

Well, I hope you read your Georgia Bulletin this week. The newspaper’s staff did a Day In The Life project at the Cathedral of Christ the King, a Peachtree Road landmark and an archdiocesan treasure. They are in the midst of celebrating their 75th anniversary.

On Friday, November 4, I spent the day going between the church and school trying to capture images of a typical day at the Buckhead parish. For someone who has photographed numerous Masses, ordinations and events at the cathedral over the years, the Day In The Life project gave me the opportunity to see that there is far more that goes on at the Cathedral of Christ the King beyond the normal things that happen on a given day. 

That day was the most gorgeous fall day a photographer could have ever asked for. I started with the school’s morning car pool that begins at 7:15 a.m., and I ended with evening Mass in the school’s D’Youville Chapel. I spent 11 hours there.

I took just over 300 photos. With the help of my editors, it was narrowed down to a final edit of 17 photos across four pages, which will appear in the March 15 issue of the paper. Staff writer Andrew Nelson provided the text to accompany the photos and our graphic designer Tom Shulte produced the layout.

On Thursday there will also be a slideshow of more images on our website (
Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What I See

At work, a wall was covered in a large mural of St. Peter Basilica, Rome. 
It's a dramatic scene walking out of the elevator. I suggested gelato and cappuccino be served to complete the atmosphere.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Read about Adults Joining the Church at the Rite of Election

The Rite of Election is such a great time in the Catholic Church as adults make a conscience choice to join the church. Speaking as a cradle Catholic, to see folks make that decision and hear their stories helps renew my faith.   

I interviewed a few folks about the experience. Our paper on March 1 couldn't hold all their great stories. Instead of leaving them on the editing room floor, I want to share them with our readers with this blog post: 

Cathy Zuniga, who attends St. Joseph Church, Marietta, is a 53-year-old housewife. Seeing faith put into action by women at a Marietta ministry served as a catalyst for exploration of the Catholic Church. She made meals at Marietta’s MUST Ministries for homeless people. It turned out that many of the women were Catholic. They didn’t talk about their faith, but lived it, she said. “They are the most amazing, generous, kind (women) and they truly strive to live their faith. They don’t just live the faith on Sunday.” In 2010, Zuniga’s teenaged son died in a car crash. At the time, she attended a church that she described as a “feel good church”. “There’s nothing wrong with it. For me, it was not enough,” she said.  In January 2011, she attended classes where the priest encouraged people to ask any question, no matter the topic. “The first meeting I was there, it was a done deal” to join, she said. Her husband, Mario, grew up in the church but had not been a church-goer for decades. He joined her in attending the church and was encouraged to see how it was different and more human than he remembered. “He is encouraging me. And I’m encouraging him. I will be a Catholic success story.” Now, she awaits the full membership with the Catholic Church. “I feel so good. I wish more people were not afraid of the Catholic Church. I’m not saying things are perfect. The church is a phenomenal place that does so much for a lot of people. I’m truly excited for the whole experience, whatever is going to come with it.” She said. 
Alice’N Harmon, who is 51 and works as executive administrator, said her faith journey has been “rocky, long overdue.” Harmon said her decision to join the church has become a central part of personal transformation she has been undertaking. “I knew that it would be important but I did not realize how much the experiences of the class of attending Mass would take center stage and share the rest of the journey,” she said.  She said a best friend is Catholic and in recent years he opened up about his faith. In 2011, she attended Mass with her friend’s mother and on the car ride to church ended up apologizing for knowing little about Catholicism.  “And then - WOW!” she said.  The stereotypes she held – a stern priest talking down to the congregation, everything was extremely serious, no singing except by a choir, a pretty scary place – disappeared. “Every church has been warm and welcoming. From that moment I wanted to be a part of that type of community and church to live and be a better self in order to live and have a better life in the service of God,” she wrote in an email. Looking ahead to her Lenten journey and Easter, Harmon said she is wrestling with ideas of how she’ll fit into the community. “Am I the type of person that the rest of the church want to be a part of there community? Is this truly God’s plan for me? I look forward to standing with my classmates to receive communion together but there is so much yet to learn and understand before that day comes. I want to be someone that they want to stand next to and I know I have a lot of work to do to get there.”  “Overall, I genuinely look forward to being a member of this community and of learning and growing with and within the community and to finding my place in God’s service.”