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For the Person Who Has Everything PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Saturday, 15 December 2007 16:04

...except flecks of gold in their (ahem) poop.

But that can change, thanks to Ju$t Another Rich Kid and Tobias Wong. For a mere $425, you can purchase a gold-dipped pill filled with gold flakes to increase your "self-worth."

I can't tell if this counts as conspicuous consumption, or conspicuously inconspicuous consumption. I mean, really, who's gonna know you took the pill?

Maybe it's just social commentary.

Hat tip: Anna Elias-Cesnik, who's pretty much 24K herself.
 
Soul Music PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Saturday, 15 December 2007 14:41

My friend, Pat, in Eugene, regularly sends me articles by Jon Carroll of the San Francisco Chronicle. They're often funny, and Carroll's quite secular, as he admits in the quote below (the entire text is linked in here). However, I found it touching - and worth noting - that the beauty of music and a darkened church environment touched him so powerfully. I've had similar responses to Scripture, music, poetry, and, most recently, memories of a trip to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

He attributes his reaction to beauty and nostalgia, but perhaps God, who is Beauty, Goodness and Truth, touched him on all three levels - in spite of his protestation to the contrary.

At halftime, as we say in Bach Choir circles, I thought: Well, that was a
nice thing. Once every decade or so I could do this.
So then came the second half. The church was plunged into darkness. From
each side, singers emerged from the large doors and walked up the side
aisles and then back down the middle aisles, singing as they went, candles
burning in a clever potable music-stand-cum-candleholder. They were
singing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel."

And I lost it. Tears were streaming down my cheeks. I was surprised by my
tears and uncertain how to turn them off. At one point I was sobbing like
someone who had just lost a relative.

It's a carol I know, so I guess some childhood nostalgia thing may have
been at play. But I am not religious and thus do not believe that Emmanuel
has come to ransom captive Israel - although I wish someone would ransom
captive Israel and soon too, before the world blows up. Just tell us where
to leave the money. I do not believe that the birth of Jesus of Nazareth
is a cause for rejoicing any more than I believe that the birth of Jesus
of Mexico City is a cause for rejoicing, except among Jesus' immediate
relatives.

And yet, and yet ... music is music. Good singing is good singing. And
candlelight is candlelight, and when you are surrounded by song in a
darkened room, something in your soul - in my soul - reaches out for the
ineffable.


Yes Jon, and your soul is reaching out constantly for that which is beyond this world with its pain, sadness, and ephemeral beauty. God works in ways mysterious to us, but undoubtedly when Emmanuel returns in glory (although he hasn't really left us orphans), those ways will be revealed as oh so constant, grace-filled, and beautiful.
 
The Saturday Morning Doctrine Club PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 15 December 2007 07:07
David Schultz of Melbourne (who we met when we were last there in 2004) has a similar idea of how to begin his Saturday.

Now I can sit down, have my breakfast, unwrap The Age AND read the latest infallible pronouncement... (W.G. Ward eat your heart out.)

David, while CDF notes are authoritative, they aren't infallible as such. But I do understand the spirit of David's comment.

David, of course, is referring to the old story of 19th century English convert W. G. Ward, who asserted that he wanted a papal bull beside his bacon & eggs in the morning.

It just gave me a grin - to envision a global network of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Catholics, sitting down this morning to a leisurely perusal of A Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization - in their respective languages - with their Saturday morning tea or brioche or rashers. Fellow searchers after truth - I salute you!

What Ward could only dream of - made possible by the internet.

PS. Anyone else disoriented by having to read what amounts to a crooked fax 24 hours after the document was released? Why the delay in publishing a more readable version?
 
More Notes on the Note - After My Morning Latte PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 15 December 2007 06:42
Several people kindly sent me e-mails, pointing me to the UK Bishop's page where the full 19 page text of the CDF Note on Evangelization is to be found. Thanks for the tip.

Alas, I really do work for a living - especially these days, with an intense winter schedule bearing down upon us. I was working pretty furiously with Fr. Mike, outlining those three Lenten missions that we are going to be offering together in February/March, until 9 pm last night. My early morning entries were all that I could give to the cause. I was surprised that the full text was out so much later than the summary - but I suppose that the summary was issued first for media purposes.

But today is different. I plan to read the full Note with my morning latte and watch the sunrise from my window. It is very cold here at the moment - a wind chill of -6 - but the clear winter skies should be beautiful.

I'll post my thoughts later today.
 
The Five Ps of Parenting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Saturday, 15 December 2007 06:18
The Barna Group continually tracks cultural changes, especially in relation to matters of faith, entertainment, lifestyles and values. A special analysis of thousands of interviews the company conducted during 2007 identifies several patterns that are significantly affecting the development of American culture. Those transformations were described as Americans’ unconditional self-love; nouveau Christianity; the five Ps of parenting; and designer faith with rootless values.

The article is interesting, but I'd like to look briefly at one section, which I've copied for you here:

The 5 Ps of Parenting

Most parents want to do a great job of raising their children. However, Barna studies conducted throughout the year among parents of children under 18 revealed that few parents have a strategy or plan for how they will accomplish that goal. There are, however, five primary outcomes that most parents have focused upon and serve as a de facto strategy. George Barna, author of the book Revolutionary Parenting, about parenting strategies, called them the "five P’s of parental hope."

1. Preparation. Millions of parents enroll their youngsters in numerous and varied activities in order to prepare their children for success. Most parents do not see themselves as the key to grooming a well-rounded child; they believe their role is to place their child in developmental environments and under the tutelage of those who can take their prodigies to the next level of proficiency.

2. Performing well. Parents look for measures of productivity that indicate how their child is doing on the path to success. Good grades in school, scoring in sports, and performing well in artistic endeavors are among the measures parents rely upon, as well as feedback from other parents, teachers, coaches, pastors and other experts.

3. Pressure management. Amidst significant parental expectations, stiff academic standards and peer pressure, many kids struggle to stay healthy and balanced. Parents who are cognizant of these mounting pressures attempt to help their offspring learn how to manage stress, competition and disappointments.

4. Protection. The age-old problem of bullies - still considered by kids, parents and teachers to be a significant issue - can be added to such parental fears as kidnapping, drugs, and sexualization, making the security of children one of the top priorities of parents.

5. Public perception. In a society where image is reality, and parents are as anxious about their image as a parent as they are about their child’s image in their peer group, influencing public perceptions is a major concern among parents. Like politicians, many parents hone their skills in spin control and positioning in order to place them and their children in the best possible light.

Barna’s surveys point out that most parents underestimate the influence they can exert on their children. Consequently, they often focus on the 5 Ps but neglect emphasis upon activities that would strengthen their relational bond with the children. Many parents, even those who are born again Christians, also overlook the need to foster deeper a connection between their children and God, or to enhance the child’s worldview as a critical component of their decision-making skills.


The article also mentioned that Americans, especially adults under 30, strive to be connected to lots of people, but have a nagging sense of isolation and loneliness. You'll see them congregating (the use of a quasi-religious word is intentional here, folks) at Starbucks, or feverishly text messaging or talking on cell phones, but the depth of relationship is not satisfying. It's hard to bear your soul using txt msgs 2 try 2 xprss ur hart - lol : )

We're setting our children up for more of the same if we're content to farm their formation out to "experts" like teachers, coaches, piano and jujitsu instructors, computer spelling games and whatever TV show has taken the place of Sesame Street. Parental interaction on a consistent basis is important and irreplaceable. Talking over thoughts, feelings, sharing activities together, and, most importantly, sharing one's relationship with Jesus and the saints teaches our children how to be in relationships that have depth, meaning and mutuality.

And that mutuality is important. Americans have a very high opinion of themselves. At least that's one of the mega-trends the Barna research uncovered. We are able to love unconditionally quite well - as long as the object of that love is ourselves! I remember one of the things one of my former student masters would say when he realized that he'd been talking about himself for awhile. He'd look a bit sheepish for a moment and then joke, "But enough about me - what do you think about me?"

Success in nurturing satisfying relationships require us to move beyond ourselves, and to allow another person to be the focus of our attention, allowing their concerns to move us, their thoughts to challenge our own, their heartache to break our own heart. This is part of what "dying to ourselves" entails. And from what I've observed, raising children well requires a lot of death on the part of the parents!
 
Too Close to Home PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Friday, 14 December 2007 12:28
Sometimes humor hits a little too close to home. Here's an example:

There were four country churches in a small Texas town. The Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church. Each church was overrun with pesky squirrels.

One day, the Presbyterian Church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration, they determined that the squirrels werre predestined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.

In the Baptist Church the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.

The Methodist Church members got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Three days later all the squirrels had returned.

But the Catholic Church came up with the best and most effective solution. They baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the Church. Now they only see the squirrels at Christmas and Easter.

Hat tip: the always gorgeous Patricia Armstrong
 
More Cellphone Saints PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Friday, 14 December 2007 11:48

The company that is producing cell phone wallpaper of saints now has an English webpage. If you have AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Virgin Mobile, you can download a saint's image to your cellphone for a small fee.

I was able to download the image of St. Catherine of Siena from our website to my computer, then send it to my phone for free via bluetooth technology. It's a little busy, but a good reminder to ask St. Catherine for her prayers on a regular basis.

Hat tip: Sue Gifford
 
Making Disciples: the Art of Evangelistic Dialogue PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 14 December 2007 08:51
If you are interested in the CDF Note, you'll be interested in Making Disciples.

Making Disciples is a four day seminar that will cover:

intentional discipleship as the normative source of spiritual life, and thus the ultimate end of all pastoral ministry.

·Understanding why initial discipleship precedes catechesis and how life-changing catechesis and formation builds on discipleship.


You will learn to engage in the sort of dialogue that is described in the CDF note, a dialogue that leads others to know and love Christ and his Church, including

·How to listen for and recognize pre-discipleship stages of spiritual growth.

·Learn how to facilitate the spiritual growth of those - whether baptized and “active” or not - who are not yet disciples.

·Learn how to articulate the basic kerygma that awakens initial faith in a gentle and non-threatening way.

·Learn how to use these skills in a wide variety of pastoral settings: RCIA/inquiry, adult faith formation, sacramental prep, spiritual direction, pastoral counseling, or gifts and vocational discernment.

·Have an opportunity to prayerfully reflect on your own journey toward discipleship.


The Catherine of Siena Institute will be offering Making Disciples three times next summer:

June 8 - 12 at St. Benedict's Abbey in Benet Lake, Wisconsin

July 27 - 31 at beautiful Mt. St. Francis retreat center in Colorado Springs, Colorado (7,000 feet high on the edge of the Pike National Forest)

August 10 - 14 at the Immaculate Heart Retreat Center in Spokane, Washington

You can download the color brochure here.

Get to know wonderful Catholic leaders from all over the country - and other countries - who care passionately about evangelization and want to wrestle with the implications of our mission for all aspects of our pastoral practice. We have been getting rave reviews like the following from attendees.

The concept of intentional discipleship is absolutely exciting!! The team did a great job presenting, explaining, equipping, motivating, modeling it. THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH! I will never forget this 5 day experience!!! It has changed my life."

"I have been changed forever. The people I have met and networked with are extraordinary. This is truly an amazing week."

"I cannot begin to tell you how much I have learned from all of the sections."

"The conference truly lived up to and surpassed my deepest expectations."

"It was great to hear about an intentional disciple. I have recognized this stage in others myself but have never been able to name it."

"As an individual, I've found these days very inspiring. Most of the contents have opened me to wonderful memories of witnessing to my faith and trust in God in a personal context, and has set a fire in me that I hope and pray stays enflamed. So help me God! Amen."

"This was a life-changing experience for me. I don't think I have ever gone through a program where I have taken back so much.

Cost of program: $ 5xx.xxx
Airfare: $ 4xx.xx
Taxis: $ 60.00

Program content: Priceless."


Come be a part this summer.
 
Notes on a Note: the CDF Note on Evangelization PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 14 December 2007 07:14
After much searching, I haven't been able to find the complete 19 page text of the New Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization. Here is the English summary released by the Vatican

DOCTRINAL NOTE ON SOME ASPECTS OF EVANGELIZATION

SUMMARY POINTS

I. Introduction

1. The Doctrinal Note is devoted principally to an exposition of the Catholic Church’s understanding of the Christian mission of evangelization, which is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the word "Gospel" translates "evangelion" in the Greek New Testament. "Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to proclaim the Gospel, calling all people to conversion and faith. ‘Go out into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature’ (Mk 16,15)." [n. 1]

2. The Doctrinal Note cites Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Letter "The Mission of the Redeemer" in recalling that "‘Every person has the right to hear the Good News [Gospel] of the God who reveals and gives himself in Christ, so that each one can live out in its fullness his or her proper calling.’ This right implies the corresponding duty to evangelize." [n. 2]

3. Today there is "a growing confusion" about the Church’s missionary mandate. Some think "that any attempt to convince others on religious matters is a limitation of their freedom," suggesting that it is enough to invite people "to act according to their consciences", or to "become more human or more faithful to their own religion", or "to build communities which strive for justice, freedom, peace and solidarity", without aiming at their conversion to Christ and to the Catholic faith.

Others have argued that conversion to Christ should not be promoted because it is possible for people to be saved without explicit faith in Christ or formal incorporation in the Church. Because "of these problems, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged it necessary to public the present Note." [n. 3]

II. Some Anthropological Implications

4. While some forms of agnosticism and relativism deny the human capacity for truth, in fact human freedom cannot be separated from its reference to truth. Human beings are given intellect and will by God that they might come to know and love what is true and good. The ultimate fulfillment of the vocation of the human person is found in accepting the revelation of God in Christ as proclaimed by the Church.

5. This search for truth cannot be accomplished entirely on one’s own, but inevitably involves help from others and trust in knowledge that one receives from others. Thus, teaching and entering into dialogue to lead someone in freedom to know and to love Christ is not inappropriate encroachment on human freedom, "but rather a legitimate endeavor and a service capable of making human relationships more fruitful." [n. 5]

6. The communication of truths so that they might be accepted by others is also in harmony with the natural human desire to have others share in one’s own goods, which for Catholics includes the gift of faith in Jesus Christ. Members of the Church naturally desire to share with others the faith that has been freely given to them.

7. Through evangelization, cultures are positively affected by the truth of the Gospel. Likewise, through evangelization, members of the Catholic Church open themselves to receiving the gifts of other traditions and cultures, for "Every encounter with another person or culture is capable of revealing potentialities of the Gospel which hitherto may not have been fully explicit and which will enrich the life of Christians and the Church." [n. 6]

8. Any approach to dialogue such as coercion or improper enticement that fails to respect the dignity and religious freedom of the partners in that dialogue has no place in Christian evangelization.

III. Some Ecclesiological Implications

9. "Since the day of Pentecost … the Gospel, in the power of the Holy Spirit, is proclaimed to all people so that they might believe and become disciples of Christ and members of his Church." "Conversion" is a "change in thinking and of acting," expressing our new life in Christ; it is an ongoing dimension of Christian life.

10. For Christian evangelization, "the incorporation of new members into the Church is not the expansion of a power-group, but rather entrance into the network of friendship with Christ which connects heaven and earth, different continents and ages." In this sense, then, "the Church is the bearer of the presence of God and thus the instrument of the true humanization of man and the world." (n. 9)

11. The Doctrinal Note cites the Second Vatican Council’s "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World" (Gaudium et Spes) to say that respect for religious freedom and its promotion "must not in any way make us indifferent towards truth and goodness. Indeed, love impels the followers of Christ to proclaim to all the truth which saves." [n.10] This mission of love must be accomplished by both proclamation of the word and witness of life. "Above all, the witness of holiness is necessary, if the light of truth is to reach all human beings. If the word is contradicted by behavior, its acceptance will be difficult." On the other hand, citing Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, the Note says that "even the finest witness will prove ineffective in the long run, if it is not explained, justified… and made explicit by a clear und unequivocal proclamation of the Lord Jesus." [n. 11]

IV. Some Ecumenical Implications

12. The CDF document points out the important role of ecumenism in the Church’s mission of evangelization. Christian divisions can seriously compromise the credibility of the Church’s evangelizing mission. The more ecumenism brings about greater unity among Christians, the more effective evangelization will be.

13. When Catholic evangelization takes place in a country where other Christians live, Catholics must take care to carry out their mission with "both true respect for the tradition and spiritual riches of such countries as well as a sincere spirit of cooperation." Evangelization proceeds by dialogue, not proselytism. With non-Catholic Christians, Catholics must enter into a respectful dialogue of charity and truth, a dialogue which is not only an exchange of ideals, but also of gifts, in order that the fullness of the means of salvation can be offered to one’s partners in dialogue. In this way, they are led to an ever deeper conversion to Christ.

"In this connection, it needs also to be recalled that if a non-Catholic Christian, for reasons of conscience and having been convinced of Catholic truth, asks to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church, this is to be respected as the work of the Holy Spirit and as an expression of freedom of conscience and of religion. In such a case, it would not be question of proselytism in the negative sense that has been attributed to this term." [n. 12]

V. Conclusion

14. The Doctrinal Note recalls that the missionary mandate belongs to the very nature of the Church. In this regard it cites Pope Benedict XVI: "The proclamation of and witness to the Gospel are the first service that Christians can render to every person and the entire human race, called as they are to communicate to all God’s love, which was fully manifested in Jesus Christ, the one Redeemer of the world." Its concluding sentence contains a quotation from Pope Benedict’s first Encyclical Letter "Deus caritas est": "The love which comes from God unites us to him and ‘makes us a we which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is all in all (1 Cor 15:28)’."


Sherry's comments: Great stuff. Several points that stand out:

1) ‘Every person has the right to hear the Good News [Gospel] of the God who reveals and gives himself in Christ." Freedom of information extends to the knowledge of Christ.

2) The fact that it is possible for people to be saved without explicit knowledge of Christ or formal incorporation into the Church is not a reason to stop proclaiming Christ.

3) I am struck by the phrase "the vocation of the human person" as in "The ultimate fulfillment of the vocation of the human person is found in accepting the revelation of God in Christ as proclaimed by the Church."

4) The search for truth cannot be conducted alone. "Thus, teaching and entering into dialogue to lead someone in freedom to know and to love Christ is not inappropriate encroachment on human freedom, "but rather a legitimate endeavor and a service capable of making human relationships more fruitful.".

Notice: dialogue leading someone to know and love Christ - which is very exciting since that is exactly what we are doing in our new seminar: Making Disciples. How to begin a conversation with post-moderns that stimulates curiosity about and movement toward Christ and his Church.

5) Catholic traditionalist purists will not like this:

"Likewise, through evangelization, members of the Catholic Church open themselves to receiving the gifts of other traditions and cultures, for "Every encounter with another person or culture is capable of revealing potentialities of the Gospel which hitherto may not have been fully explicit and which will enrich the life of Christians and the Church."

Notice: our encounter with non-Catholics enables us to turn back to the fullness of the Apostolic faith and see new "potentialities of the Gospel" which will "enrich the Church." It seems that the CDF thinks we can learn things from non-Catholics - even from evangelicals.

6. I simply love this: "
"entrance into the network of friendship with Christ which connects heaven and earth, different continents and ages." Would that it were more clearly experienced on the ground. As a close friend told me excitedly this week: "Guess what! We met a family of Catholics who are believers!"

7. Even the finest witness of life is not enough without verbal proclamation:

"even the finest witness will prove ineffective in the long run, if it is not explained, justified… and made explicit by a clear und unequivocal proclamation of the Lord Jesus." [n. 11]

8. Ecumenism among Christians is critical to evangelization and evangelization is done differently (not eliminated!) in countries with a local Christian tradition. " With non-Catholic Christians, Catholics must enter into a respectful dialogue of charity and truth, a dialogue which is not only an exchange of ideals, but also of gifts, in order that the fullness of the means of salvation can be offered to one’s partners in dialogue. In this way, they are led to an ever deeper conversion to Christ." Non-Catholic Christians have gifts to give us.

Which reminds me of Cardinal Avery Dulles' First Things "Saving Ecumenism From Itself" in which he writes "I have therefore been urging an ecumenism of mutual enrichment by means of testimony. This proposal corresponds closely, I believe, with John Paul II’s idea of seeking the fullness of truth by means of an “exchange of gifts.”

9. Non-Catholic Christians have the freedom to enter the Catholic Church as a free act of conscience without it being the result of proselytism. (Obviously this is aimed primarily at the Orthodox. It will be interesting to see their response)

None of this is new, of course. Just clear, high level, authoritative reaffirmations of points that are currently debated on several fronts.

"The proclamation of and witness to the Gospel are the first service that Christians can render to every person and the entire human race, called as they are to communicate to all God’s love, which was fully manifested in Jesus Christ, the one Redeemer of the world."


Absolutely. I look forward to reading the entire Note in depth.
 
Apostolic Oneupmanship PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 13 December 2007 09:39
When you've done something like 400 live events, you end up having conversations like this one from yesterday:

Fr. Mike: Who was sent to Fargo in mid-winter - more than once?

Me: Yea, but who drove across the high plains of Kansas and Nebraska eight times in winter?

Fr. Mike: Yeah, but who got to go five times to Hawaii . . .

Me:

Cause you know, in the "I've suffered more than you" wars, five - all expenses paid - trips to Hawaii leaves you pretty much unarmed . . .

Addendum:

It has just occurred to me. I could battle on . . .

Me: Who got dysentery in Jakarta?

FM: Who spent a month in a hospital in South Africa and nearly died?

Me: Yeah, but you were dying on your own time. . . I was dying on Institute time.
 
Mark Your Calendars PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 13 December 2007 07:33
Much going on . . .

Yesterday Fr. Mike and I had a fascinating conversation with an experienced travel agent about a possible "In the Footsteps of St. Catherine" tour of Rome and Tuscany in April of 2009. We may have to fiddle things a bit with Fr. Mike's schedule but it looks very doable. We'll let you know more as we know.

We are still wrestling with more requests for several more Called & Gifted workshops during Jan - March (we are already doing 21 C & G's in those three months) and Fr. Mike has got two more parish missions - ten in all this year so far = three of which I will be doing with him. (University of Indiana Newman Center and two here in Colorado Springs)

Here's the schedule for early January so ID readers can make plans to attend one near you:

Jan 4: A one day Called & Gifted for Catholic school teachers at St. Francis de Sales School in Houston.

Jan 4/5: Spanish language Called & Gifted, St. Isidore's Parish, Bloomingdale, IL

Jan 4/5: Called & Gifted workshop, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Pasco, WA

Jan 7 - 10: Fr. Mike and I will presenting a abridged version of Making Disciples for the Dominican pastors, pastoral staff and lay leaders of the Dominican parishes and Newman Centers of the west coast, Menlo Park, CA. This should be interesting for many reasons, including the fact that we'll have a chance to meet Mike Hayes of Googling God who will also be speaking there. (Alas, this one is not open to the general public)

Jan 11/12: Two Called & Gifted workshops in the Seattle area:

St. Stephen the Martyr, Renton
St. Brendan's, Bothell

and two workshops that same weekend in Jetmore, Kansas:

Jan 12: St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Jetmore

Jan 13: High School/teen Called & Gifted, Jetmore

Click here for our whole upcoming event schedule
 
A Test PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 21:02
This is a test - as recent posts and comments don't seem to be showing.
 
Amazing new resource for Scripture study PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 20:22

Written by the other Sherry

The Congregation for the Clergy has launched a new website with a fabulous resource for studying Scripture with the Church: Biblia Clerus.

From the website:

This program offers Sacred Scripture, its interpretation in light of Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Magisterium, with appropriate theological commentary and exegesis.

The downloadable version allows you to connect Sacred Scripture to the complete works of many Doctors of the Church, Councils, Encyclicals, teachings of the Popes, Catechisms, as well as commentaries from secular literature, etc.

The site is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

All of this is being made available at no charge. What a Christmas present!

This will be a wonderful resource for homilists; just look up the appointed text, and in the sidebar get immediate references to all sorts of magisterial commentary on it. I looked at the opening of the Gospel of John, and found references to 45 different sources, many of them with multiple citations.

Wow, indeed!

Hat tip: CatholicCulture.org
 
Christmas Greetings from Rail Europe PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 09:58
This was sent to me by my dear friend, Pat, in Eugene. She's stuck in her apartment due to illness and is forced to look out her window at a travel agency. For a woman who's cajoled her doting husband into moving some 50 times in the 53 years of their marriage, this is truly torture. So she travels via the internet, and this is her gift to you. Enjoy!

Sherry comment: Do watch this - it is an absolute hoot!
 
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