Category Archives: Culture

Vatican becomes better tech friendly

For the 43rd World
Communications Day the Vatican has rolled out some new tech initiatives. The Pontifical Council for Social Communications has been working overtime these days to bring the Church into the 21st century via technology. 

See the

A story

Some resources for pastor

The Pope’s
address for the Communications Day on May 24th: “New
Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a culture of Respect, Dialogue and

Pope2You  (to be officially launched Thursday)

Plus there is

Vatican Radio

Vatican TV

The Vatican on YouTube

The Vatican on Facebook

iBreviary (available from iTunes for the iPhone for a $1.00, in English & Italian)

For your iPhone there is an application for a  Jewish Prayerbook

Reason, Fiction and Faith: a conference on Flannery O’Connor

An International Flannery O’Connor Conference

flannery o'connor.jpg

The April 20-22,
2009 conference
was sponsored by the Poetics & Christianity
which is “an international forum for studying the intersection of artistic
culture and expressions of religious faith, with a special emphasis on
narrative and dramatic arts. It offers a meeting place for scholars and artists
of diverse fields of expertise.”

The O’Connor Conference was the 4th gathering
of scholars and other interested parties matters pertaining to art and faith.
Since Flannery O’Connor is relatively unknown in Europe, Father Wauck felt it was time
to introduce the world to writer who lived her Catholic faith and wrote fiction
using Catholic sacramentality. Father Wauck said,

“Flannery O’Connor’s fiction offers an example of what
Catholic art can achieve when it’s fully informed by a sophisticated
theological understanding, a rigorous philosophical background, and also the
kind of dedication to craft, to the artistry of writing that she combined.”

A video clip on the conference can be seen here.

Glendon declines Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal

Mary Ann Glendon has declined the Laetare Medal given by the University of Notre Dame.

I believe this is the type of witness to Jesus Christ we hunger for from the depths of our heart.

Read her letter to Father Jenkins here.

Remembering the Bard, William Shakespeare

shakespeare.jpgToday marks William Shakespeare’s 445th birthday.

Today also marks the 393rd anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

Some note that there is a record of his baptism on April 26,1564. With many important figures such as Shakespeare, it is common to list the date of birth and death as the day when accurate records lack.

Whatever the case is, we honor the Bard today.

A gloomy Holy Saturday: the courseness of humanity

The gloominess of today’s weather leads to a gloomy feeling that all is not well in the world. Of course, it is Holy Saturday which in itself is a bittersweet experience: the Paschal Mystery is intense and the drama of the sacred Liturgy causes me to reflect more deeply on important matters: human desire, cooperation with truth, faithfulness, interior and exterior peace, love, salvation, God, Chris’t atonement, etc.

The spiritual intensity of the day has led me to think of how some cultural commentators are looking at life through the lens of Christian faith seeing a dismal experience of Christianity and the reduction of man and woman to the courseness of existence. I am beginning to see that we are living a dark period of history. Let me give three examples that depress me, all come from today’s edition of the New York Times: “Washington Churches Eye a Prize: The Obamas,” “In Another Recession Sign, an Uptick in Vasectomies” and “Spain Steps Into Battle With Itself on Abortion.” For me, these articles show to what extent that many people are willing to go to reduce the experience of faith to a commodity, life to a matter of “rights and progressivity” and the sexual intercourse to economy and self-centeredness. All three articles strike me as examples of desperation because know of them really demonstrate to me that following Christ (or any religious sensibility) means anything. Has truth, the dignity of human life and a healthy sexuality been totally replaced by radical subjectivity, nihilism and hedonism?

The Spanish interlocutors make the claim of trying to change the current abortion law as a matter of humanity suggesting that not to change the law is to live in a barbourous society. It’s quite the opposite: you’re humanity is diminished by acting selfishly and cruelly toward the unborn. How is killing the unborn giving a woman a dignified humanity when abortion is part of the matrix? The abortion proponents argue that they want a state that is “progressive,” like other Western nations except Ireland. To what are they progressing? Death? A culture where death is the hallmark and not life.

On Holy Saturday I have to say that our society is leaping toward madness and not to great freedom and certainly not toward communion with God and life with Him.

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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