George P. Matysek Jr. has been a member of the Catholic Review staff since 1997, serving as a staff writer, senior staff writer, assistant managing editor and now web editor.

A graduate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Essex, George holds a bachelor's degree in history and writing from what is now Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and a master's degree in history from UMBC.

A winner of more than 50 regional, national and international journalism awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C Press Association, the Catholic Press Association, Associated Church Press and National Right to Life, George has reported from Guyana, Guatemala, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Happily married and living in Rodgers Forge, George is the proud father of two daughters. 

Reach George at gmatysek@CatholicReview.org and follow him on Twitter @ReviewMatysek

 

 

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I have know Sister Anthony and her family all of my life. Like Sr. Anthony, the whole family is truly God loving people. Happy 100 Sr. Anthony and may God continue to bless you. Love you. Pearl

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Happy birthday Sister Anthony from your great niece Lauren. The undated photo is Sr. Anthony with her mother and 9 of her siblings.

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The Narthex

Boy gives Vatican security the slip

In case you missed it, a Brazilian boy gave the Swiss Guard the slip at Pope Benedict XVI's Wednesday general audience in Rome.  It seems the youngster was looking for a hug and a blessing.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X6ppSJKqNQ]

February 04, 2011 09:38
By George Matysek


Send the pope a Christmas message

When you're sending your Christmas cards this year, don't forget the pope.

A website sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications has a link where users can write a Christmas message or share a photo with the Holy Father.  The greetings will also be shared at the Pope2You website.

What would you say to the pope this Christmas season?

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12/10/2010 - Update: Lots of folks are taking a look at this post!  Be sure to visit www.catholicreview.org/matysekblog for similar posts.

December 02, 2010 04:36
By George Matysek


Pontiff considers solar-powered popemobile

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the popemobile for Mass in Nationals Park April 17, 2008 in Washington. (Owen Sweeney III, Catholic Review)

Could Pope Benedict XVI soon be tooling around in a solar-powered popemobile?  A snip from the AP:

Anyone have a fast, solar-powered electric popemobile for his holiness?The Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI would gladly use one as another sign of his efforts to promote sustainable energy and take care of the planet, but one has yet to be offered.

Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, who runs the Vatican City state, said Wednesday Benedict would certainly prefer an electric popemobile to a traditional, petroleum-powered one given the priority he has given to making the Vatican a leader in green energy.

His comments came during a presentation of a book on the Vatican's ecological efforts: "The Energy of the Sun in the Vatican." The book documents the 2008 installation of photovoltaic cells on the roof of the Vatican's main auditorium and the 2009 installation of a solar cooling unit for its main cafeteria.

The technology has won awards and garnered Benedict a reputation as the "green pope."

The Germany-based firm SolarWorld, which provided the photovaltaic cells on the auditorium, said Wednesday it has discussed the idea of providing the pope with a solar-powered electric car.

SolarWorld marketing chief Milan Nitzschke said the main hurdle is to get the Vatican security apparatus to sign off on it, since some still have concerns — unfounded, he said — that electric cars don't accelerate as quickly as traditional ones.

"It's really no problem," he said, noting that electric cars can go from 0-100 kph in three seconds.

"This is something we have to discuss with the people who are in charge of the security aspect, but of course this is possible and it would be a very, very huge symbol."

December 01, 2010 09:44
By George Matysek


Why the pope wore that 'Santa hat'

Catholic News Service photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo

A few days before Christmas in the first year of his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI sported a red velvet cap trimmed with ermine.

Known as a "camauro," the old-fashioned headwear promptly earned the nickname "Santa hat" among some. Others questioned why the German pontiff seemed to be reviving a papal fashion not seen in many decades.

The pope answers the questions in his new book. 

Catholic News Service has the story:

"I wore it only once," (the pope said). "I was just cold, and I happen to have a sensitive head. And I said, since the camauro is there, let's put it on. But I was really just trying to fight off the cold," he said.

The pope's appearance in the cap caused a minor uproar in the media, which saw it as a kind of pre-Vatican II fashion statement. In the book, the pope said he hasn't put it on since that day, "in order to forestall over-interpretation."

November 26, 2010 12:24
By George Matysek