Culture: December 2012 Archives

Go to Mass on New Year's Day

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Festivus, a celebration?

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festivus1.jpgTODAY IS THE SOLEMNITY OF FESTIVUS! It is a Holy Day of Obligation. Be sure to go to Holy Mass!!! 

May I be the first to wish all of you a warm and happy and healthy and prosperous Festivus!

My friend Basil composed what would be an opening collect: 

O Lord, you have given us the great feast of Festivus to remind us that despite sending your only begotten and eternal son to redeem mankind, your people still prove to be a HUGE disappointment to just about everyone, including yourself I'm sure. We tell you this through our Lord Jesus Christ your son, who lives and reigns with you (because after 33 years down here, we ran him out of town) and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, Amen.

Another friend, Dominic composed following alternative:

Having received, O Lord, from your abundant kindness this annual memorial of Festivus, we humbly beseech you, that, mindful of the saving mission of your Only-Begotten Son for the redemption of mankind, even as we prove a disappointment to ourselves beyond due proportion, so also we do to you as well. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who etc.

Popularized by Seinfeld in 1997, Festivus is a another way for some to celebrate a season. Supposedly it rejects the commercialism of the season. It was invented in 1966 and includes feats of strength. You can make a donation to the Human Fund.

Happy festivus.
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Millions tweet, even the Pope

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Habemus Twitter.jpgWe now have a Pope that tweets. It's big news. Now there seems to be close to a million people following Pope Benedict's Twitter account @pontifex in a variety of languages.

Below the fold in today's USA Today Cathy Lynn Grossman wrote a story, "Papal faithful a-Twitter" looks at the phenomenon of papal twittering. Now we have papal cars, papal vestments, papal candidates, papal infallibility and now papal tweets. Among some incident things Ms. Grossman profiles Rachel Amiri who asked the Pope a really great question: 

"Holy Father, what is the best way to show others that God is Love in a world that thinks Christians only hate?"

Ms. Amiri hit the nail on the head. I hope her question gets chosen to be answered but if it doesn't we now have the benefit of asking ourselves how we would answer Amiri?

Following the Pope's lead I reactivated my Twitter account @paulzalonski because I thought he's right to engage in social media because it is consistent with the missionary impulse of Jesus and it's plain good sense to respond to those who are genuinely seeking God (cf. Saint Benedict & Saint John Bosco). We need to have their questions responded to. Want to effect change, want to inspire faith, want to show the beauty of the faith of the Church --you and me-- need to be present in the lives of people. 

The personal is the only way to evangelize but it's a little difficult with 1.3 billion Catholics in the world. To close the gap Twitter is one among many ways to attempt to be personal. Nothing replaces the personal presence of another; nothing is better that hearing another's voice and feeling their hand extended in friendship. That's the Divine lead we follow in the Incarnation: God so loved us that He sent His only Son. Let's face it, we all want to know that those who lead us are actually listening to and caring for us. Sadly, many of the bishops and priests aren't listening to faithful. Perhaps tweeting will yet again make the personal nature of the Incarnation known and love and followed. Perhaps the papal tweeting will help all of us see the face of Christ.

Will you follow the Pope, me?

Dave Brubeck, 91, RIP

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On his way to the cardiologist with his son, and one day before his 92nd birthday, jazz musician David Warren 'Dave' Brubeck died.

He was a resident of Wilton, CT.

Carl E. Olson has an obit of Dave and the NY Times obit.

May Dave's memory be eternal.

Tweeting. Are you? Join me.

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Since the Holy Father is tweeting, I thought I would re-activate my Twitter account. 

Hope to be a good Catholic presence in the digital world.

Follow me at @paulzalonski

You heard yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI is now tweeting. Terrific!

The Papal Twitter account is up and running: @Pontifex

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As of right now, the English page has 381K followers, the German has 9.5K, the Spanish 88K, the Italian has 36K, the French has 7k and the Arabic has 3,000.

The Press Office of the Holy See said the following about the Papal presence in the digital media.

The The Pope's presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena. This initiative is best understood in the context of his reflections on the importance of the cultural space that has been brought into being by the new technologies. In his Message for World Communications Day 2009, which was published on the same day as the Vatican's Youtube channel was opened, Pope Benedict spoke of the necessity of evangelizing the 'digital continent' and he invited young believers, in particular, to introduce into the culture of this new environment of communications and information technology the values on which you have built your lives.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Culture category from December 2012.

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