A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Archive for May, 2008

The State of Things

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

I will have the great, great pleasure on Monday, June 2, to talk with Frank Stasio, host  of The State of Things on WUNC-91.5 FM. The hour-long program airs at noon and again at 9 p.m. We will talk about family and journalism and a book called My Cousin the Saint. Our discussion will be archived on the station’s web site, too. I hope you can listen in.

Uncle Tony

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Uncle Tony, originally uploaded by mycousinthesaint.

Here I am with my Uncle Tony and Aunt Phyllis in NJ on May 23. Uncle Tony is one of the stars of Part I of my story. An American soldier during WWII in Sicily, Uncle Tony went AWOL one week to search for an aunt he had never met before. He told me later that finding her was “the first miracle” of Saint Gaetano Catanoso (who wasn’t even a saint at the time!). My brother Len Catanoso took this photo.

Raleigh and Winston-Salem

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Fine reporters and writers in Raleigh and Winston-Salem provide thoughtful coverage in today’s newspapers of My Cousin the Saint in the The News & Observer and the Winston-Salem Journal.

Pennsylvania book event

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Tomorrow evening at 7 p.m., I will speak about my book at St. Cornelius Church in Chadds Ford, Pa., just west of Philadelphia. I will be hosted by Monsignor Greg Parlante, who was kind enough to not only invite me, but will pick me up at the Philly airport and put me up for the night! The Barnes & Noble in Exton, Pa., will be on hand to do what they do.

UPDATE: The Thursday evening event was a wonderful experience. Five college friends from Penn State attended whom I haven’t seen in years, as did relatives from the Philly area and scores of others. The folks from the Exton Barnes & Noble said it was the most successful book signing they had staffed. A special thanks to everyone at St. Cornelius Church, especially Monsignor Greg Parlante and Monsignor Jim McDonough, for helping make the event possible. I hope to see you all again.

Not a saint?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008


Despite his enduring popularity, there are Catholics who would, if they could, deny sainthood to Pope John Paul II, the pope who approved all levels of veneration for Padre Gaetano Catanoso. The story is here.

UPDATE: This Austrailian blogger offers thoughtful commentary on the issue of canonization for Pope John Paul II.

UPDATE II: This photo was taken by Len Catanoso of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome during the canonization of St. Gaetano Catanoso on Oct. 23, 2005.

Online review

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Dr. Joseph Guarino reviews My Cousin the Saint.

Busted Halo on Sirius

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

I will be talking with Father Dave, host of Busted Halo, the popular Catholic channel on Sirius satellite radio (Channel 159) at 8:20 p.m. tonight. We’ll be live for about 15 minutes. I spoke with him earlier and he sounds like a great guy. Broadcasting from Rockefeller Center in NYC. Listen in!

UPDATE: Father Dave celebrated the eighth anniversary of his ordination today. He is an incredibly easy and skillful interviewer. We had a very enjoyable 15-minute discussion. Sirius subscribers, Catholic or not, should check him out some evening between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Beautiful day

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Justin and Judi

Sunday was a special day for me in Cape May County. I had a wonderful turnout for my first book signing. The stars of Part I — my father, and his brothers and sisters — came out. And so did scores of new and old friends. Jim Vanore, writer with The Herald of Cape May County, came with his wife, and posted this coverage of the event on his blog. Thank you, Jim.

UPDATE: My brother Len took this photo of me with Judi Salasin, a dear family friend who spent real valuable time with my brother Alan when he was sick in 2004.

Saints and infallibility

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

The highly topical question of naming saints and papal infallibility is asked and answered here.

Family reunion

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

connie and len

An enduring theme in my book is that of family. This Memorial Day weekend, I head north to Cape May County, New Jersey (from Greensboro, NC) to be with mine. My brother Lenny is hosting a book event and signing for me at his gorgeous retail village on Route 9 outside Avalon; my sister Marlene will be there, as will my dad and mom, who is baking cookies. I suspect there will be some aunts and uncles and cousins there, too, several of whom are featured in the book (though none of whom are saints!). It will be at Woodland Village and we’re getting started Sunday at 1 p.m.

If you’re visiting the Shore for the weekend, please stop by. We’d love to see you.

UPDATE: These are my parents, Connie and Len Catanoso