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Charles Paolino

Deacon Paolino spent 43 years in newspaper journalism and more than 30 years as an adjunct instructor of English at various universities and colleges. He is a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Metuchen, ministering in liturgy, preaching, and adult education at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Whitehouse Station. He also is a columnist for The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper and web site of the Diocese of Metuchen.


One of the hit songs around the time that I was finishing high school was “You Talk Too Much,” written by Reginald Hall and sung by Joe Jones on a record that made No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.   As was typical of the rock ‘n’ roll lyrics of that time, the […]

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I must admit that I felt a little presumptuous breaking the Ramadan fast when I hadn’t been fasting in the first place.   But my wife and I had been invited to attend a catered dinner in a firehouse banquet hall where the local Muslim community was gathering to break their fast.   The invitation […]

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I once overheard a man telling his companion that she was overreacting to whatever situation they were discussing.   “Ask yourself this,” he said. “A hundred years from now, who will know the difference?”   That advice immediately made me think of the same sentiment put in another way and in another language: “Quid hoc […]

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In one of his short stories—“The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether”—Edgar Allen Poe wrote, “Believe nothing you hear and only one half that you see.”   This statement, which has been altered in various ways and attributed to writers other than Poe, is nonetheless good advice if it means that one should not […]

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When I was a boy, my mother subscribed to six women’s magazines.   I was a compulsive reader even then, so I leafed through “McCall’s” and “Ladies Home Journal” and so forth as soon as they arrived.   One thing that caught my eye was a column written by Eleanor Roosevelt, who by then was […]

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When I was a member of St. Joseph’s parish in High Bridge, New Jersey, the church was so crowded at one Easter Sunday Mass that the pastor invited standees to take seats in the sanctuary.   The only people to accept the invitation were a woman and her teenaged daughter.   After Mass, the woman […]

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During one of our visits to my family in Italy, my cousin asked on a Thursday morning if we wanted to attend Mass that evening.   My relatives live in a tiny village that hasn’t changed appreciably since my grandparents left it more than a hundred years ago; in fact, the house the Paolinos live […]

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The king of Siam has been, in a way, a victim of his own success.   The king I have in mind is commonly known in the English-speaking world as Rama IV or Mongkut, who ruled the Asian nation now known as Thailand from 1851 to 1868.   The western world probably would be oblivious […]

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My second-floor office in Plainfield looks out on the front of a Catholic church.   When I arrive at work at 8 in the morning, the daily Mass is just beginning.   About a half hour later, I can see the congregation leaving—the same people every day.   They don’t all file out at once, […]

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September 25 is the feast day of Blessed Hermann of Reichenau.   People of a certain vintage will recall a time when after every “low” Mass we prayed the “Hail Mary” three times and then “Hail Holy Queen” — known in Latin as “Salve Regina.”   When I was a youngster I said those prayers […]

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