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

 

 

Archive

August 2016
July 2016
Go

Email Subscription

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Comments

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

VIEW POST

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

VIEW POST
The Narthex

VIDEO REPORT: Making a path to reconciliation

In this week's Catholic Review, you'll read about a group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy that has visited 18 U.S. cities to promote interfaith understanding and reconciliation. The "Caravan of Reconciliation" made a final stop at St. Katharine Drexel in Frederick Sept. 25, with Gov. Martin J. O'Malley giving the keynote address.

Here's a video report on the event.  You can read the story here.

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

September 27, 2011 12:55
By George Matysek


VIDEO REPORT: Archbishop O'Brien remembers 9/11

(CR photo illustration/April Hornbeck)

When terrorists attacked the United States 10 years ago this September, Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien was in Washington with 60 military chaplains.

The archbishop, then the head of the Archdiocese for U.S. Military Services, witnessed calls pour in from military commanders looking for their chaplains to minister to those in need. It was a sign of the indispensable role military chaplains play in providing support in times of crisis - offering a comforting presence, celebrating the sacraments and praying for the dead.

In this week's Catholic Review, Archbishop O'Brien looks back to 9/11 and reflects on how the nation changed after the terrorist attacks. You can read the story here. For more stories on how lives were impacted by the events of 9/11, click here. Below is the interview with Archbishop O'Brien on which the story is based.

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

September 07, 2011 04:28
By George Matysek


VIDEO REPORT: Archbishop O'Brien's press conference on his new appointment

Here's a Catholic Review video report on Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien's appointment as pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order (Knights) of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

For insights into the archbishop's unique sense of humor, click here.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv3p6ZudVng]

 

August 29, 2011 12:00
By George Matysek


Rocking out with Ray Herrmann and St. Alphonsus

Ray Herrmann waves at the end of an Aug. 14 concert in Baltimore. (CR Staff/George P. Matysek Jr.)

In this week's Catholic Review, you'll meet Ray Herrmann - a talented member of the rock group, 'Chicago,' and a devoted Catholic who is involved in quite a remarkable religious music project.

Over the last few years, Herrmann has produced three CDs of the musical works of St. Alphonsus Liguori. The great saint and founder of the Redemptorists was an accomplished composer, but his works have largely gone unnoticed and unheard since the 18th century.

Working with Redemptorists of the Denver Province, Herrmann put together a very moving collection of the saint's music and prayers. The collection is focused on the rosary, the Seven Sorrows of Mary and the Way of the Cross. The most recent CD also features Liam Neeson reading some of St. Alphonsus's prayers with the saint's music serving as an underscore. (Read the CR story about the St. Alphonsus project here).

Here's a sample of "To Jesus in His Passion," one of St. Alphonsus's compositions as arranged by Herrmann:

Herrmann is a multi-talented musician. I was fortunate to see him in concert and spend some time with him at an Aug. 14 Chicago performance at the Pier Six Concert Pavilion in Baltimore.

Check out this sax solo from that concert.  It's certainly different from anything St. Alphonsus would have played!

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

It's definitely worth buying Herrmann's collection of St. Alphonsus's works. It's inspired music and long overdue for production. All proceeds from the sales of the CDs go toward helping the Redemptorists in their South American and African mission work.

Check out Herrmann's producation company and purchasing information here. For more on the St. Alphonsus project, click here. Chicago's website is here.

In the meantime, here are some more shots of Herrmann in action...

Ray Herrmann plays the flute during an Aug. 14 concert with 'Chicago' at the Pier Six Concert Pavilion in Baltimore. (CR Staff/George P. Matysek Jr.)

Ray Herrmann plays a solo. The musician began playing the piano at 6 and clarinet at 7. He learned flute and sax in high school, earning a master's degree in music from the University of North Texas. (CR Staff/George P. Matysek Jr.)

'Chicago' performs Aug. 14 in Baltimore. (CR Staff/George P. Matysek Jr.)

August 19, 2011 01:07
By George Matysek


VIDEO REPORT: Stephen Colbert's Chaplain

Be sure to tune into Comedy Central tonight to watch  Jesuit Father James Martin make another of his hilarious appearances on the "Colbert Report." Father Martin, culture editor of America Magazine, has become known as the "chaplain" to the Colbert Report. His appearances on the popular program are always a lot of fun. Tonight's topic is God's "approval ratings."

During a Baltimore talk on faith and humor at the end of July, Father Martin took some questions from the audience.  As almost always happens, the first one was about what it's like to appear with Stephen Colbert on national television. Father Martin described how he was first invited onto the program. He outlined how his appearances on the popular show might be considered a form of evangelization. He also noted that Mr. Colbert is "very Catholic" - to the point of even wearing a scapular.

Check out Father Martin on Stephen Colbert in the following clip.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtyqLl9ZXoE]

For more from Father Martin's talk, click here.

August 10, 2011 06:37
By George Matysek


VIDEO REPORT: Parishioners say goodbye to St. Michael, Fells Point

It was a bittersweet day for parishioners of St. Michael in Fells Point July 31 as they gathered for their church's final Masses. Because of the exorbitant cost of maintaining the parish buildings, the church is closing and the community is relocating to Sacred Heart of Jesus in Highlandtown - a daughter parish of St. Michael.

St. Michael is one of the most beautiful churches in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and will be sorely missed.  Read about the last Masses here. You can also check out the following video report.

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

August 02, 2011 12:20
By George Matysek


VIDEO REPORT: Laughing with St. Ignatius

St. Ignatius of Loyola at prayer in Rome. (Father William Hart McNichols)

In honor of today's Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola - founder of the Jesuits - here's a video clip of Father James Martin, S.J. sharing some of his favorite Jesuit jokes. It's taken from the priest-author's July 29 talk at St. Ignatius in Baltimore. I know you'll enjoy it!

Also, the image of St. Ignatius shown on this blog is one of Father Martin's favorites. It shows the great saint at prayer in Rome - perfectly capturing his humanity. Father William Hart McNichols was the iconographer and you can learn more about his work here.

For more funny and insightful clips from Father Martin's lecture on humor and spirituality, click here.

Happy Feast Day to all my Jesuit friends from a proud graduate of Loyola University Maryland!  Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJv03ocdM9c]

 

July 31, 2011 07:26
By George Matysek


VIDEO REPORT: Colbert Report chaplain says God wants us to laugh

Father James Martin, S.J.

Being a faithful Catholic doesn't mean you have to be a joyless one.

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan knows that. When Archbishop Dolan was installed to his post in the Big Apple, an enterprising reporter asked the newcomer if there was anything he would like to condemn. Archbishop Dolan responded in the affirmative.

"I condemn instant mashed potatoes and light beer," he deadpanned.

A few years ago, when Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl visited a Catholic bookstore, the owner approached him and said, "Oh!  You're looking for a book, Father. You must be a Jesuit!"

"No," Cardinal Wuerl replied, "but I'm literate."

Back when Blessed Pope John XXIII enjoyed making surprise visits to Catholic institutions in Rome, he once stopped at a hospital run by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. The superior of the religious community ran up to the Holy Father and announced that she was "the superior of the Holy Spirit."

Without skipping a beat, the pope countered with: "Well, you outrank me. I'm only the vicar of Christ!"

Those were just a few of many stories of faith and good humor shared by Jesuit Father James Martin during last night's Ignatian Day Lecture at St. Ignatius in Baltimore. The Jesuit priest, a bestselling author and culture editor of America Magazine, spoke on the important role of humor in living a spiritual life.

Well-known for his amazingly funny appearances on Comedy Central's Colbert Report, Father Martin is traveling the country to spread a message that might be summed up in two words: "Lighten up."

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NJiEBwKn-U]

Along with Matt Palmer - my good friend and colleague at The Catholic Review, I had the honor of interviewing Father Martin at the end of his lecture.  The priest was very generous with his time and gave us a lot of good insights into evangelization.

We will be sharing some of what he had to say in the next few days.  I will also be posting some interesting observations from Father Martin on what it's like to be on the Colbert Report.

For now, take a look at some of these three video clips from last night.  Father Martin will have you laughing like you won't believe.  Stay tuned for much more to come and check out The Welcome Matt to see what Matt Palmer's posting about Father Martin's appearance last night.

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

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

7/31 UPDATE: Click here to hear Father Martin share some of his favorite Jesuit jokes.

July 30, 2011 12:57
By George Matysek


Let's go to the tapes

This week's Catholic Review will feature a special report on how the practice of the faith has developed in Poland since the collapse of Communism.  You can read the story online here. Below are some video reports I put together while I was in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in late May and early June. Check them out if you haven't already had a chance to watch them.

Pope John Paul II's home parish shows love for native son

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MadNhgq1D30]

 

Our Lady of Czestochowa draws pilgrims

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1PYwQjnxpc]

 

Trumpeter of Krakow

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9mbf9rDoa4]

 

Monument in Hungary safeguards against the plague

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9gmOIEeB7Y]

 

Infant of Prague inspires devotion

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W-nsedqS0A]

July 19, 2011 12:28
By George Matysek


VIDEO REPORT: Pope John Paul II's home parish shows love for native son

It's an understatement to say that the people of Poland - and especially the people of Blessed Pope John Paul II's hometown of Wadowice - love their Polish pope.  Check out this video report on how the late pope's home parish expresses that love.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MadNhgq1D30]

June 07, 2011 11:33
By George Matysek

« Older Entries