Category Archives: Culture

Dolan’s lifting off…to the conclave

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Charlotte’s Web still rocks

Charlotte's Web cover.jpgThis afternoon I watched an exceptional movie that I haven’t seen in years, “Charlotte’s Web,” based on the 1952 famed book by the same name by E.B. White.

The movie I saw was the 2006 version with a star cast of speakers. Do you remember the animal cast?
Charlotte – the spider
Wilbur – the pig
Templeton – the rat
Uncle – the rival pig in the county fair
Terrific, Radiant, Humble
I’ve always admired E.B. White’s novel for its portrayal of the beauty of friendship among those who ordinarily wouldn’t share friendship –the outcasts and the very unusuals, and I don’t mean among the animals. The animated friendship the animals exhibit is the real friendship we all desire to share among family and friends, especially those of the extend type, too. We are given each other for a purpose. The question is, do we have the capacity to expand our hearts to let others in? Have had an experience of an unexpected someone being a terrific, radiant and humble friend given by Christ for companionship?

Can working for the Church be a good thing?

Ideas bounce around my head about working for the Church if one is not a member of the clergy or a religious order. Some of my friends would say, “Why bother?” There’s some truth in this attitude. There’s a lot of problems with working in the Church these days and not all of it regarding pay. Let’s just say, working for the Church can be a great place to use your talent for Someone greater and for eternal consequences. Experience tells me that church-working need not be a sad, hostile, dysfunctional place to spend one’s life. BTW, what I say is not only for the laity because the clergy have the same issues.

I wonder if working for the Church could be:
  • a great place to work at; a fun place to work, a welcoming, loving & fulfilling culture
  • a place where a good use of technology possible for the Gospel (tech is hot these days)
  • a place to network with Catholics (Christians and “seekers”) to propose a new lens of life
  • time available to see how your work affects lots of people
  • a place that will teach you something new
  • pay and perks that strive to be competitive
  • a place where the employees are happy
  • have opportunities for spiritual development.
There’s a lot that’s wrong with the way the Church works in the world today. Many dioceses, indeed, the Holy See and the Vatican, have effectively disaffected people because a lack of humanity, courage, love, compassion and faith. What comes to mind, is that working for the Church ought to be a place where the glory of God is man and woman fully alive working for something Greater: salvation.
If business is working on these matters, why not the Church? The proclamation of the Gospel and a sacramental life ought to take on best practices of the business world. I pray for the grace of knowing my own need for conversion, fraternity, vocation and mission. We all need a place to exercise a God-given diakonia and martyria (service and witness).
Saint John, beloved friend of the Lord, pray for us.

Go to Mass on New Year’s Day

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Festivus, a celebration?

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:

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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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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