Category Archives: Culture

Big Bird looking for work, needs seed

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The government job is over. Can we help the Bird? 

Representing 126 Billion dollars

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Yahoo News published a story this morning published online a story, “Forbes Photographs ‘Titans of Philanthropy‘” noting the group which represents $126 Billion dollars. How many of those photographed can you name? Honestly… I can name a few but not the entire group without help. My prayer for these people is that they give their money to good causes that genuinely promote the common good influenced by virtue.

In the Forbes photo, left to right: Warren Buffett,
Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Peter Peterson, Leon Black, Jon Bon
Jovi, Marc Benioff, David Rubenstein, Steve Case, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen,
Marc Andreessen

9/11 – eternal memory


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Agimus tibi gratias, omnipotens Deus, pro universis beneficiis tuis, qui
vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei,
requiescant in pace. Amen.

Entertainment Weekly and the crass cliché of a slutty nun

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I am not a subscriber to
Entertainment Weekly but this week when I saw the magazine I had another reason
for not reading this rag.  The well-known actress Jessica Lange is on the
cover wearing a religious sister’s habit, a crucifix around her neck, brandishing
a cane and wearing fire-engine red lipstick and painted nails advocating “American Horror Story.” Hmmm, the
artists got the look of many women religious, right?  It doesn’t take a
brain surgeon to see the ugliness of this image viz. with conversation the
Church is having with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). 

While I am not a fan of what the LCWR stands for, or perhaps more accurately, what some members
of the LCWR stand for, there is no need perpetuate the crass cliché through
mocking portrayals of ruler-wielding nuns  who are seen as backwards and stupid. The vast
majority of religious sisters and nuns are not this way. One ought to ask, “What about the beautiful work of teaching children
Catechism, their work with the poor and the marginalized, all those women of prayer and
learning in hospitals, and schools?

I think EW has stooped way too low in publishing a cover with anti-Catholic stereotyping. One can’t claim
that some members of the media are not anti-Catholic when a prominent magazine puts silly things on the cover. Really, a terrifying nun to advance a fictional

What does one say when EW describes Sister Jude (Miss Lange’s
character) as a “scarily stern woman of faith…and a fan of corporal
punishment…who has a penchant for red lingerie and vivid fantasies about her
superior, Monsignor Timothy O’Hara.” Further, EW quotes Joseph Fiennes who
says, “Clearly she’s attracted to the monsignor for his grace and
religiousness.” Fiennes plays O’Hara, “the monsignor might play with that,
manipulate that.”  Slutty nun.  Manipulative priest.

The show’s
co-creator, Ryan Murphy says, “I’m scared of aliens and I’m scared of Nazis and
I’m scared of nuns.”

To posit that there is no anti-Catholicism, I would think you might want to revise your opinion given the presence of fact:  anti-Catholicism has a history,  it’s alive and well. Some Catholics are not bothered by dysfunctional nuns priests. Art, in this case, is claimed to be in the realm of opinion,
that is, subjective.  It is said that what is one person’s
good-natured ribbing is another person’s offensive stereotype. Do we
really think it is appropriate to hold this idea at all, never mind if we apply the whole issue to
those who hold Judiasm or Islam as their faith? Would the media think that
making fun of a rabbi, an iman or a Buddhist monk is a good thing? That doing so is good natured? Why do it
to Catholics?

EW’s incredibly sad portrayal of a Catholic sister as the
centerpiece of fictional show on TV is wrong, disrespectful, especially when
the reality is very different. The concept is ill-conceived.

Kellen Clemens is ‘Catholic by Blood’

Until I read this story in the National Catholic
Register (NCR) I didn’t know who Kellen Clemens was. Those who know me know
that I am not a follower of football, let alone any other sport for that
matter. I am not anti-sport, I am just not a sports-type-of-person. But, I fact
I fully advocate an integration of faith and morals in the world of sports;
something that many other sports-people could benefit from. What caught my eye
in the NCR were the words “Catholic” and “St Louis Rams.” Interest piqued. I am
glad it did. Until now one would think that Tim Teabow was the only man in
American football that had a faith life. As it turns out, Kellen Clemans also
believes in God, is a Catholic and a family man. Let’s pray that these virtues
remain solid for a very long time. The NCR story is not only a good human
interest piece but it emboldens the rest of us (I hope).

Read Trent Beattie’s
article “St. Louis Rams’ Quarterback Is ‘Catholic by Blood‘.” But one section
is worth quoting here (emphasis mine).

Did you grow up in a devout family?

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I’m a cradle
Catholic, with four sisters, and the faith was always an integral part of our
lives. I went to confession, received holy Communion and was confirmed. We were
taught the difference between right and wrong and enjoyed the stability that
brings. We also benefited from being so close to nature on our family’s cattle
ranch. That encourages you to be humble and also to respect and work with God’s

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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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