Thursday, June 30, 2011

Priest Who Didn't Go Nuclear

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, an international Vatican agency, may be known more as a charity for the sake of Catholics far away and often of Eastern Churches, or where those churches have a presence. The CNEWA is a "papal agency for humanitarian and pastoral support." Its magazine colors fascinatingly rich details about lands in Eastern Europe, the Near East as well as Africa.

Msgr. Robert L. Stern, the outgoing head of the Vatican agency, offered personal remarks about the mission of the CNEWA, and about himself. He said
that when he was in college, the priesthood seemed like a "gloomy road" and he had his eyes instead on the brighter path of becoming a nuclear physicist.

"It was the 'in' thing at the time," he told Catholic News Service at CNEWA's central office at the Vatican.
Read the two-page, CNS story on the Boston Pilot Catholic News site.
Wiki-image of a symbol of Eastern Catholicism has been entered into the public domain.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul

The "foundations" of the Roman Catholic Church are celebrated together each year. The British Jesuit website, Thinking Faith, offers a reprise of its Year of St. Paul articles, beginning with Who Was St. Paul? (Links to other featured articles follow at the end.) Jesuit Fr. James Martin wrote about Peter's humanity.

The Church remembers that both Apostles were martyred in Rome. A basilica replaced the earlier church, which had been built atop the site of Peter's crucifixion--Basilica of St. Peter. St. Paul Outside the Walls was built atop the burial site of Paul after his beheading.

Their solemnity this year recalls that Pope Benedict launched with a tweet an electronic Vatican news service, (see yesterday's video-post below). Today's English-language site headlines that "historic tweet."
Wiki-image of Bernini's baldachino is in the public domain.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Pope and Twitter

Pope Benedict urged the Vatican to improve its electronic image and service to the world. The pope announced the new site via Twitter. Watch the video for more.

A CNS story of includes the Spanish developer and a word about the platform the service will use.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Papal Uncle and More

The annual solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul on 29 June is the time in Rome when newly named archbishop receive the symbol office, the pallium, a yoke of wool.

Mr. John L. Allen Jr. reminds us that the date also celebrates the ordination to priesthood of Pope Benedict and his brother Georg Ratzinger. They were ordained in the same ceremony.

Read some interesting particulars of their ordinations and also about an uncle of theirs.

Wiki-image of a pallium is used according to the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Prayer in a Blink

From the last week:
Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, and writer and Culture Editor of the Jesuit magazine America has produced two sets of Blink segments. They are based on his book, "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life". . . .

The first segments are called "Ways of Prayer" and has 10 parts looking at various forms of prayer. The second group has 9 parts and are called "Joy, Humor and Laughter" focusing on how these traits can be used in the spiritual life.

Read the entire post and watch the videos.

In his 15 May 2011 University of Pennsylvania Baccalaureate Address Fr. Martin also recommended humor to the graduates and their parents.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day and Thomas Merton

The two phrases of the title may sound surprising together. Yet, much about Thomas Merton continues to surprise. This post from BustedHalo is less about surprise and more about coming to peace with one's life.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friar Twins Remembered

Tucked in the early paragraphs of this New York Times article was this:
Think of it: eminent Franciscan scholars die with little notice, but the same-day passing of an identical and unassuming pair of Franciscan grunts attracts international attention.

Sister Margaret Carney, the university president and a Franciscan scholar, gave great thought to the why. Her conclusion: “The twins incarnate something that people have a hunger to know.”

Indeed, twins fascinate. This remembrance of the Reister friar-twins is touching also for the beautiful writing of NYT columnist, Dan Barry.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Grows as School Season

More districts in Michigan, anyway, are helping students continue to learn and improve their skills for the coming academic years.
Detroit Public Schools begins its six-week Summer School Academy on June 21. In Troy, summer school opens June 23 for high school students and June 27 for those in elementary and middle school. In Warren, the district is offering two three-week sessions for middle and high school students, starting June 27 and July 18.

While studying instead of sunning may sound dreary, summer school is becoming more the norm around Metro Detroit. Students are heading back to the classroom to avoid losing academic ground and get a leg up on their peers in the fall.

This Detroit News post leads with the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy and photo-features students and teacher, Jeffrey Bowling.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Water Foot Prints

Water rights. Water a right for all people.

"The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has hosted scientific study sessions on water, pointing out that 1 billion people lack access to adequate drinking water and that climate changes could aggravate the situation."

In Italy a political conflict over water--ought it to be privatized--has raged recently. The U.S. Catholic offers a usually clear, perceptive read, from which the above quote may be found.

Also, learn how much water people use yearly in the United States.

Wiki-image of impact of a drop of water is used according to the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Film Review

Jesuit James Martin reviewed another movie gem not long ago. Read his review of "The Tree of Life." It includes a link to this 2-minute trailer.