Utah’s Catholics are celebrating a 100 years of the Catholic cathedral’s presence in a state long known as a haven for Mormons. The mother church of the diocese, The Cathedral of the Madeleine, is 100 years old. While history shows us that Franciscan missionaries preached and celebrated Mass as early as 1776, this celebration concretizes a presence in a house of prayer that has celebrated the sacraments unto salvation.
We’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…
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:
“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.