Tag Archives: New York Encounter

“Reality holds a signature from God … we must seek to decipher”

The transcript for the talk on whether a scientist can be a believer that was given at a lecture hosted by the New York Encounter in January has just been released by the Crossroads Cultural Center. Faith and reason is being explored here. It is a great question to ask if a believer in Christ –or perhaps a Jew or Muslim adherent– can be credible, true to his or her being given a certain intellectual formation. Does belief in God forfeit our true search for the Divine? Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete’s portion of the discussion is the most interesting to me and it is noted below (emphasis mine). A believer sometime has to work overtime to convince him or herself that faith and science are compatible. The other day my attention was drawn to what a little girl said about Lent: her view of life and the simplicity by which we have to look everything realizing that we don’t make ourselves; everything is given. Albacete answers the question of the compatibility of faith and science: The answer, I propose, is not only yes he can, but, in fact, it is faith that will sustain his or her passion for investigating nature, and prevent the process itself and its results from becoming enslaved to political, economic, and religious ideology.Let me know what you think.

In such a case, is awe, wonder, and joy at scientific
discoveries possible? When I was thinking about this, a friend sent me the text
of a speech given by Msgr. Luigi Giussani about the “love of being” that is
remarkably appropriate to this reflection.  Giussani’s argument is that the truth of Christianity can be
verified by a proper consideration of the evidence
for it. Evidence, he says,
is the correct word, even if the evidence for the Christian claim is given to
us through signs
. Signs are things that can be touched, seen, and experienced. The Apostles had Jesus in front of them and this presence was a sign of His
victory over death, and therefore of His mysterious identity. But what about
us? What happens with the passage of time? What signs are there for us as
evidence of the truth of the Christian claim, of the reasonableness of the
Christian claim?

The interpretation of the signs available to us engages our
liberty, he says. In this drama, our liberty is a manifestation of our love for
being. Without this love for being we are not truly free and we will never
grasp the evidence of the signs given to us. At this point, as an example of
this love for being, Giussani invokes the Magi.

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Doing community service because Christ loves me

The reviews of the 2011 NY Encounter sponsored by Communion and Liberation in January continue to surface. A recent view by Sophie Lewis on ilsussidiario.net gave some things to think about in an article, “A Living Cathedral.” Lewis puts her finger on living a new way. Namely, that Jesus Christ has loved us before we were aware of that love.

Quoting a priest’s homily Lewis notes: “All of you are here because you were loved first, and that is what should be the purpose of your work here.” This COULD NOT BE TRUER! The priest continues: “You are not engaged in an altruistic community service project, but you are here because Someone else loves you and you are responding to that love.” Now, THIS is the perfect way of indicating our response to the invitation to meet God who works hard to meet us.

Sophie Lewis is 17 and approaching university life soon. Happy to see her digging into the beauty and work of Communion and Liberation!

New York Encounter 2011: a review

Last weekend the New York Encounter was “a success” for the second year in a row. Lots of people, friends and guests came together for a public meeting to hear presentations, to engage in discussion, to share friendly meals and to be caught up in beautiful music. Several significant speakers addressed the crowds. People like Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., Father Julián Carrón, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, John Garvey, Carla Hendra, Charles, Townes, Clara Gaymard and others. 

The Encounter is a faith and cultural festival in the heart of the New York City sponsored by Communion and Liberation and Crossroads Cultural Center and several other organizations.

Let me bring together several key events by providing essays in review:
Sharon Mollerus writes about the address given by the new President of the Catholic University of America John Garvey who spoke on freedom in the university context and what it means to be at a Catholic institution and the work of freedom. Nothing gets the “goat” of university professors, especially the pampered and self-appointed intellectuals, more than questions of freedom in university life. Mollerus’ essay “CUA President John Garvey Defends Freedom in the University.”
Dino D’Agata writes “Claudel’s ‘The Tidings Brought to Mary.'” Paul Claudel is estimated to the most significant poet of the 20th century and THE most quoted poet by Pope Benedict XVI. Dino D’Agata is a consecrated lay-member of Memores Domini teaching high school in Washignton, DC.
Fred Kaffenberger also reviews Claudel’s play in an essay, “A French House in New York City” where he reflects on what this play may say to a post-modern American audience.
Fred Kaffenberger also reviews the new English translation of the iconic Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi’s work, Canti by Jonathan Galassi in an essay, “Galassi’s Translation of Leopardi: Reviews.”
The New York Encounter is about being with others to see how I can face life differently. If we want change in life, to have a different way of living in society we to engage our own human flourishing with points of compassion, facing the situations presented to us in life with hope, courage, compassion, What do I believe? Who do I rely on for companionship, intellectual wonder and cultural fun?
Crossroads Cultural Center has a growing file for the New York Encounter that you may find useful.
Follow the New Encounter on Facebook where you can find photos and other useful info.

The New York Encounter: a Different Cultural Event

LAlbacete4 May 13 2010.jpgMonsignor Lorenzo Albacete, the ecclesial assistant for Communion and Liberation in the USA, published in the Italy-based online magazine, Il Sussidiario, an appreciative article on this coming weekend’s New York Encounter, a faith and culture festival.

The program: NY Encounter Program 2011.pdf

A few years ago, I accompanied Peter Beinart, then editor of The
New Republic
to the “Meeting for the Friendship Among Peoples” in Rimini,
Italy, the event inspired by the charisma of Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of
Communion and Liberation. The New Republic has been and is still the journal of
intelligent liberalism in the United States. As editor, Peter was, in a certain
way, the voice of American progressive thinking. After we returned to the
United States, I asked Peter to write down his impressions of the Meeting so we
could publish it in Traces. He agreed, and wrote a piece in which he concluded
that such an event was not possible in the United States because of the
cultural clashes taking place in our country.

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NYC’s Largest Catholic Festival January 14-17

New York Encounter
Crossroads invites you to New York Encounter, an annual

four-day public cultural festival that intends to offer to a large
audience opportunities for education, dialogue and friendship
through conferences, artistic performances, and exhibits.


Friday, January 14, 2011

7:00 pm | Education and Freedom in Contemporary America Opening key note speech by John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of Americafollowed by a live Jazz performance by the Xaverian Jazz Band

Saturday, January 16, 2011

3:15 pm | Jérôme Lejeune: a True Scientist The life and work of the great geneticist and doctor through the eyes of his daughter, Clara Gaymard

4:30 pm | How to Build a Human Economy for the Long Term in a (Post-?) Crisis Environment A discussion on the fundamental questions about work, economy, and finance with Clara Gaymard, VP of Government Strategy and Sales at GE International, and President and CEO of GE France, Carla Hendra, founding Chairman, Global Strategy & Innovation atOgilvy & Mather Worldwide, and William McGurn, Columnist with the Wall Street Journal
8:00 pm | The Tidings Brought to Mary The Blackfriars Repertory Theater and The Storm Theater present a special benefit performance of the play by Paul Claudel

Sunday, January 17, 2011

2:30 pm | Reality, Reason, Freedom: At the Root of the Religious Quest A discussion on The Religious Sense by Luigi Giussani with speakers Fr. Julián Carrón, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation Movement; H.Em. Sean Cardinal O’Malley,Archbishop of Boston; and moderator Michael Waldstein, Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University

5:30 pm | Can an Accomplished Scientist be a Genuine Believer Today? Exploring the boundaries of faith and science with panelists Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Theologian, and Author; Kenneth Miller, Professor of Biology, at Brown University; and Charles Townes, Nobel Prize winner in Physics

8:30 pm | A New York Night Images and voices from the heart of the city, presented by “Blue Lou” Marini

Monday, January 17, 2011

10:30 am | Giacomo Leopardi: Infinite Desire A homage to the Italian poet on the occasion of the publication of his poems in the U.S. with speakers Jonathan Galassi, President and Publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Davide Rondoni, Author and Poet; and Joseph Weiler, University Professor at NYU School of Law

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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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