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About Matt Schneider

Matt is the Canon for Parish Life and Evangelism at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, AL, where he lives with his wife Hawley and two daughters.

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Author Archive

    O No, Captain! My Captain!: On the Suicide of Robin Williams

    In the film Dead Poets Society, Neil Perry, a young prep school boy, goes against his father’s wishes and performs in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The father blames the boy’s teacher, John Keating (played by Robin Williams) for Neil’s disobedience, demanding Mr. Keating stay out of the boy’s life. In reaction […]

    Subject: Fwd: And They Lived Realistically Ever After

    I usually roll my eyes at and delete email forwards. But I just received one worth passing on that had the subject “The endings of All the fairy tales……….” The email included about a dozen images of fairytale, cartoon, and superhero characters later in life with children on their hips, grey hair, beer bellies, and the like. Maybe you received this one back in 1999 or thereabouts, and I’ll admit that the quality degraded as I scrolled down, but the first couple are gems:


    Cinderella is divorced…

    Snow White

    Snow White has not been so lucky…

    The Drunken Downfall (and Death) of Thomas Kinkade

    Update: Given the level of interest and feeling this post has garnered since it was initially published, readers are encouraged to take a look at the two follow-up pieces. Click here for the first, and here for the second. To be honest, I didn’t even know Thomas Kinkade was dead. That was until I read […]

    Yours Truly, Passive Aggressive Prodigal Pig

    In our perennial pursuit of children’s books that address true-to-life issues, my wife and I recently stumbled across a gem at the library called Yours Truly, Louisa by Simon Puttock. The story explores a theme of passive aggression, which is not normally seen in children’s books, but it should be, given how pervasive an issue […]

    Andy Bernard to Give Graduation Speech at Cornell University … Ever Heard of It?

    It has been a Mockingbird tradition to highlight worthy graduation speeches amidst the vast sea of snoozers. As the spring commencement season approaches, I want to point out that Ed Helms, the actor who played Andy Bernard on The Office, will be giving a speech at Cornell University’s graduation on May 24. This is noteworthy […]

    The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Finds a Place in First Grade

    The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbcher Goes to School (by Laurie Halse Anderson) is a children’s picture book about a young girl who has  untamable red hair with a mind of its own. Zoe loves her hair, her parents love her hair, and last year, her free-spirited kindergarten teacher loved Zoe’s hair since it helped around the classroom, […]

    How the Pout-Pout fish Becomes the Kiss-Kiss Fish

    In my perennial search for great children’s books written by people other than the beloved Sally Lloyd-Jones (there are few), I recently came across the clearest illustration of the law (demand) and grace (love) paradigm in storybook form: The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen. The story is about sad Mr. Fish, and all the other fish of the […]

    Bono Talks Jesus on The Meaning of Life

    This is a clip from a longer interview on The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, an Irish program on RTÉ Television (ht, AP). Much of what Bono says here overlaps portions of the book Bono: In Conversation With Michka Assayas that we’ve highlighted in the past. Bono seems to be in something of a league of his own as such a huge rockstar who is so open with his (solid) Christian faith, and he is articulate about it to boot. Watch the whole interview here.

    By the way, did you happen to catch the amazing/dizzying U2 performance of “Invisible” on the roof of 30 Rock on the premier episode of The Tonight Show Staring Jimmy Fallon? Their acoustic set of “Ordinary Love” was pretty mesmerizing, too. Some worthy lyrics here:

    ‘Cause we can’t fall any further
    If we can’t feel ordinary love
    And we cannot reach any higher
    If we can’t deal with ordinary love

    Are we tough enough
    For ordinary love

    Sister-Ax Evangelizes The Voice: “God Doesn’t Take Anything Away from Us”

    To the surprise of so many who watched, last week an Italian nun dominated The Voice of Italy by signing Alicia Keys’ “No One” in English. The absolute highlight of her appearance (which you can see in the video below) is when J-Ax, a heavily tattooed Italian rapper and one of the voice coaches, reacts with pure delight to Sister Cristina, including shedding a few tears of joy. Another highlight is that she says she auditioned for the sake of evangelism—something she claims Pope Francis inspired her to do. We are all ears, Sister! I also love that some of her fellow sisters appeared on the show in support.

    Here are some highlights. Make sure you click “CC” on the video to get the English captions.

    Question: What brought you here to The Voice?
    Sister Cristina: I have a gift and I am giving it to you. Shouldn’t things be this way?

    J-Ax: If I had met you during the Mass, when I was a child, now I would be Pope! I would surely have attended all the functions.
    Sister Cristina: Well you have met me now.

    Question: What does the Vatican say about you auditioning at The Voice?
    Sister Cristina: Listen, I don’t really know. I am waiting for Pope Francesco to call me on the phone. He always says we should go out and evangelize telling God doesn’t take anything away from us but will give us more. I am here for this. [The audience erupts in applause, and J-Ax begins to cry.]

    P.S. Have you seen this? Aaaauuugghhh!!!!!

    Scripting Others: Stephen Covey on Imputation?

    Despite my instincts to steer clear of self help literature, I recently read Stephen R. Covey’s classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Can anything good come from the self help genre? To my surprise, yes, especially this excerpted section below on “Scripting Others” from Habit 7: Sharpening the Saw (basically, self care). In […]

    The Lion Shall Lie Down with the Zoologist

    On the viral video front, there is an incredible story circulating about Kevin Richardson, the so-call “Lion Whisperer,” a South African zoologist (not the Backstreet Boy) who playfully interacts with lions and hyenas on animal sanctuaries. While watching the video, I kept thinking to myself this guy is crazy and going to end up like the […]

    Groundhog Day: Metaphor for a Lot of Things

    Sunday was Groundhog Day. As is my tradition (and should be yours if it isn’t already), I watched Groundhog Day the film, again (BING!). I also watched the DVD extras, which include some fascinating commentary from director Harold Ramis, also of Stripes, Caddyshack, and (Egon in) Ghostbusters fame. Unfortunately, the DVD special features I want to share with you are not available online, but I found a very similar and short interview with Ramis below. In these interviews he explains why the film continues to be a timeless existential classic applicable to anyone’s life situation, or religion, capable of saying new things to them each time they watch it. By the way, if you haven’t seen Groundhog Day yet, it’s about time—don’t wait till next February. Buy it so you can watch the special features.

    Click here for an excerpt from another similar interview with Ramis.

    groundhog clock