Category Archives: Culture

The Gremlin still prowls

Gremlin.jpgI’ve been walking past this AMC Gremlin for two years now. I am now taking a picture of it for the sake of culture, even if it’s a wrong side up. This car resides as it were on East 68th Street in NYC.

When I was kid my mother had a silver AMC Gremlin car. It was an interesting looking car but I remember a dreadful driving experience.

According to the stats the AMC Gremlin was manufactured for 8 years (1970-78) and with a production total of 671K. You can more about this car’s cultural relevance at the link above.

May it rest in peace.

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The matter is settled….

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Difficulty with beauty

I met a man this afternoon doing some business with us on marketing and the question of beauty came to the fore. He remarked on how we are among the few clients he has who have concern for beauty, simple sophistication, not foppishness. I recalled for him that beauty is a theological datum; it is such a principled piece of Catholicism that it is shameful of what passes for beauty.

Several years ago I came across a couple of lines of Cardinal Ratzinger’s that speaks of beauty as really, really important. He said, “A theologian who does not love art, poetry, music and nature can be dangerous. Blindness and deafness toward the beautiful are not incidental; they necessarily are reflected in his theology.” In other words, don’t trust a theologian who has no regard for beauty.

Then on FB I noted this quote and image on beauty.


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It is one of the notable sadnesses of our time that so many are incapable of fascination with the deeper levels of human beauty, especially those rooted in the spirit, levels that far transcend physical attractiveness.  Before lofty human traits some people are more or less apathetic, listless, unmoved, even hardened. And many seem to die as they live. 


Thomas Dubay. S.M., The Evidential Power of Beauty, p.64-65.

“The Sea Within”, a Kindly Light production

Catholic TV will premiere “The Sea Within” Friday, July 27 at 9:30pm and Saturday, July 28 at 1pm. “The Sea Within” explores the spirituality of surfing as shared by Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College. 

The project is based on his three books on the subject: I Surf Therefore I Am, If Einstein Had Been a Surfer, and The Sea Within.  It was produced by Kindly Light, the media division of the Dominican Fathers Province of Saint Joseph. Donations to Kindly Light are tax-deductible and your gift is one way to actively participate in our media projects for the new evangelization. 

Send a DVD to someone you know by ordering it here. 

“The main task for us all is that of a new evangelization aimed at helping younger generations to rediscover the true face of God, who is Love.” -Pope Benedict XVI.

Church thinking about social communication

How theologians might reflect on communication and information technologies and the new culture that they create formed the basis of a symposium sponsored by the Pontifical Council on Social Communication, held at the Jesuit-sponsored Santa Clara University in California (USA) in late June. The PCCS, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Communications and the University’s Communication Department, convened a gathering of 25 theologians to begin a process of sustained theological reflection. The group focused on three general areas: ecclesiology, approaches from historical theology, and a theological understanding of digital culture, in each area considering the challenges that contemporary communication poses to the church’s theological understanding.

Communication, whether the mass media or the Internet, has changed the environment in which people live, raising questions about church structure, personal identity, parish life, religious self-understanding, and religious formation and participation. For example, people take their identity from popular culture more than from the Church’s catechetics or even from the Gospel. The same mass media also promote a vertical model of the Church in which the local community, the parish, and the diocese disappear, so that only “the Catholic Church” headed by the Pope matters. Each of these poses a serious ecclesiological challenge, as each redefines the nature of the Church.


To read the whole article, see the text here.

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]yahoo.com.
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