Category Archives: Culture

Seeing Jesus next to you

Nose Picking.jpgWe’re in the middle of the annual Vacation Bible School. About 150 kids ranging in ages 4-11 are attending the week. Each day a member of the clergy (or the seminarian) gives an explanation of the day’s Scripture passage who then ends the 5 minute lesson with a prayer. Well…

Father Ignacio (our fearless new curate) told the assembled and burgeoning bible thumpers that they had to be attentive to Jesus, and that Jesus was especially present in the person next to him or her. Kids being kids, a teacher turned to the person next to her and saw a little man picking his nose. While it’s a nice idea to think Jesus is present in all people I thinking there are limits when someone, even a kid, is picking his nose. Don’t you think? OK, I am not a parent but ya know….

Moscow Patriarch said women are the stronger sex

OK, I laughed (to myself so as not to disturb the priests with whom I live) that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in May to a youth conference that he thinks women are the stronger sex and psychologically more sturdy than men. My mother and sister would agree; and if my grandmothers and Aunt Jeanne were alive, they’d agree with His All Holiness. I am happy that he said this because he confirmed something I always knew or was drilled into my noggin –and heard proclaimed by women’s organizations since I’ve been in seminary formation. While this is neither new news nor as the critical as the oxygen being sucked out of the news industry in the past 8 days (with Michael Jackson’s death) but now it’s “infallible” and we all know the truth. Really, I am not poking fun at the Russian Patriarch…I think it’s humorous that such a point was newsworthy of Interfax, a news agency. In part, Patriarch Kirill said:

We can do it.jpg

“Men happen to be frailer. The upheavals of 1990s
caused many of them to break down, but women had more vigor to endure the stress.”

Answering questions, it was said that sport
achievements required courage: “women win our country most
of Russia’s gold medals in sport.”

The Patriarch’s words received a
riveting ovation. “An individual comprises both spirit and body, and human
strength depends not only on its physical component. In this regard, women are
the stronger sex,” Patriarch Kirill said.

That he travels around Russia Patriarch Kirill noticed that “Almost every village has some kind of an
amateur talent group. Who sings in a choir? Women do, and sometimes they are
accompanied by a drunken accordionist.” The same is true for many village schools, libraries, post offices, local
administration where women have to play the lead, concluded Kirill.

Gerard Manley Hopkins: 120th anniversary of death

Today is the 120th anniversary of death of Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, the Jesuit poet.

GMH.jpeg

Peace

When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,

Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?

When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite

To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but

That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows

Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?

 

O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu

Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,

That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does
house

He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,

He comes to brood and sit.

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
following:

A story

Some resources for pastor
types

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

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.

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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