Category Archives: Culture

Silence: a film on the 17th century Japanese martyrs

Japanese martyrs.jpgThe martyrdom of Japanese Christians in the 17th century is the subject of a film being produced by the Italian-American director Martin Scorsese. The film is based on the novel Chinmoku (“Silence”) written by Japanese Catholic writer Endo Shusaku [1923-1997]. He describes the persecution suffered by Japanese Christians during
Edo period, especially in the Nagasaki region. The novel, written in 1966, tells the story of a Jesuit Portuguese missionary in Japan in early 17th century, during the time of the anti-Christian persecution. The title, “Silence”, harkens back to the silence of God in front of Christ’s cross, and recounts the forced recantation of the faith by the missionary after enduring horrendous torture. The books of Endo Shusaku reflect his special research of Christianity in the oriental culture, and present his particular vision of human fragility, sin and grace. The announcement of the film comes shortly after the beatification of 188 Christian martyrs of that period. That event took place on the 24th of November 2008. According to Japanese bishops, this event represented a milestone for the history Japan where the Christian religion had been prohibited for centuries. Shooting will begin around the end of the year in New Zealand. (courtesy of the Jesuit Press)

Catholics on England’s throne?

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is supporting a change in law that would open the door to Catholics being a monarch. But this may also open the door to a Muslim or a Hindu being a King or Queen of England. Interesting. Read about it. But there’s criticism, too.

The Act of Settlement and the Protestant Succession

Presence in the blogosphere

Sometimes I get weary about blogging because of the time it takes and some days it seems so boring. So I ask questions like: is it useful, for whom am I writing, for what reason, is this just an ego-trip, etc. I came across a few lines of Pope John Paul II which gives me slight encouragement. He said:


The special challenge before you, is to find ways to ensure that the voice of the Church is not marginalized or silenced in the modern arena of the media. You have a role to play in ensuring that the Gospel is not confined to a strictly private world. No! Jesus Christ must be proclaimed to the whole world; and therefore the Church must enter the great forum of the media with courage and confidence.

I am the Great Sun

I am the Great Sun

(from a Normandy crucifix of 1632)


I am the great sun, but you do not see me,

I am your husband, but you turn away.

I am the captive, but you do not free me,

I am the captain you will not obey.


I am the truth, but you will not believe me,

I am the city where you will not stay.

I am your wife, your child, but you will leave me,

I am that God to whom you will not pray.


I am your counsel, but you do not hear me,

I am the lover whom you will betray.

I am the victor, but you will not cheer me,

I am the holy dove whom you will slay.


I am your life, but you will not name me,

Seal up your soul with tears, and never blame me.


Charles Causely


Charles Causley.jpgCharles Causley was born and has lived, apart from six years in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, in Launceston, Cornwall. In 1990 he was awarded the Ingersol/TS Eliot Award, given to authors “of abiding importance whose work affirms the moral principles of western civilization.” This poem appears in Collected Poems, published by Macmillan. Dr. Ron Thomas assistant professor of theology at Belmont Abbey College wrote the meditations for the Way of the Cross published this Spring (2009) and this poem is included therein.

Shouts in the Piazza

In case you’re hearing noises from THE piazza, or just from your computer’s speakers, you should know that the ever effervescent Father Guy Selvester has resumed his blog, Shouts in the Piazza. He took the last few months off from blogging.


GSelvester.JPGFather Selvester is a parish priest of the Diocese of Metuchen in New Jersey, an Oblate of Saint Benedict, an heraldic artist (an expert in coats of arms) and a friend. About two years ago we collaborated on some voice work when I was an editor at the Catholic Information Service at the Knights of Columbus; he lent his voice for the proclamation of the faith by reading the booklets on the faith for audio found on the CIS website.


He brings wit and wisdom to the often dowdy blogosphere. You will see on Shouts in the Piazza a lot about ecclesiastical heraldry, some stuff about Church life in general, his own thoughts, homilies, etc.

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]
coat of arms



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