Deacon Greg Kandra is the creator of “The Deacon’s Bench.” The blog has garnered over 20 million readers from around the world since its inception in 2007. Additionally, he serves as Senior Writer and Outreach Program Manager for Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a pontifical association founded by Pope Piux XI in 1926.
Before joining CNEWA, Deacon Greg spent nearly three decades in broadcast journalism, most of that time at CBS News, where he was a writer and producer for several programs including “48 Hours,” “60 Minutes II,” “Sunday Morning” and “The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.” He was also the founding editor of “Couric & Co.,” Katie Couric’s blog at CBSNews.com. In addition to his work with CBS News, from 2000 to 2004 he served as a writer and producer on the live finales of the hit reality series “Survivor.”
In 2002, he co-wrote the acclaimed CBS documentary “9/11,” hosted by Robert DeNiro, which told the story of firefighters on September 11, 2001. The film showed the only footage shot inside the World Trade Center that day, and featured the last images of Father Mychal Judge, moments before he became the first official fatality of the attacks.
In print, Deacon Greg’s radio essays were featured in Dan Rather’s best-selling book “Deadlines and Datelines.” His essays have been published in AMERICA, U.S. CATHOLIC, CATHOLIC DIGEST, REALITY and the BROOKLYN TABLET. He also contributes reflections to GIVE US THIS DAY, the monthly prayer periodical from Liturgical Press.
Deacon Greg has received every major award in broadcasting – including two Emmys, two Peabody Awards and four awards from the Writer’s Guild of America. His spiritual writing and essays have been honored multiple times with awards by the Catholic Press Association. He’s one of 76 New Yorkers—including Dorothy Day and Fulton Sheen—profiled in the 2014 book “New York Catholics.”
He also travels the country directing retreats and parish missions. In May 2016, at the invitation of the Vatican, Deacon Greg was one of the featured speakers at the international Jubilee for Deacons in Rome. In 2017, he became the first deacon to be honored as Clergy of the Year by the Catholic Guild at Our Lady of the Skies Chapel at John F. Kennedy Airport. He was one of the speakers at the 2018 diaconate Congress in New Orleans, marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order.
He is the author of two devotional books: “The Living Gospel: Advent Reflections for 2018” and “The Living Gospel: Daily Devotions for Lent 2020” (Ave Maria Press), plus two books of spiritual reflections, “The Busy Person’s Guide to Prayer” and “The Busy Person’s Guide to an Extraordinary Life” (Word Among Us Press).
A Maryland native, Deacon Greg graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English in 1982. He was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2007. He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York, where he serves at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish.