Monday, January 28
A cinder-block church, adorned with a cast-iron bell made in Ohio, is going up in the center of the mountainous village of Chex in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
The church symbolizes unity and reconstruction.
It was built with money earned by undocumented workers in factories and on farms in Northeast Ohio.
``It is a reminder that we care about our village, especially the little ones,'' said Santos, a 40-year-old Chex native living in Tuscarawas County. ``We started the project with money, but those in Guatemala gathered more money to finish the church, and they have done all of the work to build it.''
and Unholy Alliance.
Fuggi,Fuggi,Fuggi, a very winning Renaissance ditty performed by the New World Renaissance Band on an album put out by Nightwatch Recording, which we have on a free CD we got at the hospital called "Smart Symphonies," distributed by one of the Evil Formula Entities, Enfamil.
He also likes two cuts from the Three Mo' Tenors album:
Over the past nine months, all three of our mothers have passed away. Mine in April, Ed's in late summer, and Lucy's late last week. I'm going to quote from Ed's letter on the subject:
I have to believe that we have some control on when we leave this life. Our Mother's would never leave until they knew that we would be fine. All three were strong dames and (my experience at least), they were tired and ready,
and they knew that we had support and love to deal with this passage.
Your prayers for Lucy and her family...
Unfortunately, Catholic secondary schools are another matter. Buyer beware. Despite glossy PR materials crowing about "values" and "spirituality", Catholic schools are not always what they'd like you to think they are, and this is why. Catholic high schools are so expensive to run, there is the constantly-present temptation to please donors and influential parents. Way too often, this leads to a watering-down of academic standards or (depending on the type of school) an achievement-oriented elitism that is antithetical to the vision of true, wholistic, Catholic education that meets the needs of all, not just the highly-motivated and well-connected. In other words, Catholic high schools fall prey, way too often, to the ills that befall all private schools.
The other problem is teen culture. For teens, the culture produced by and sustained by peers, is a very important factor in development. In case you're not getting my drift, in general, teen culture is saturated in sex, substance abuse and a certain amount of cruelty. It takes really strong kids to survive this intact, and it's only possibly when they surround themselves with similarly-minded kids who are, in turn, supported by wise and strong adults. Too often in Catholic high schools, adults are indifferent to the negative power of teen culture, and don't do enough to build up the positive elements. When this happens, serious kids end up feeling ostracized just as much as if they were in a public school, and perhaps even more, given their hopes of finding a niche in what purports to be a Catholic school.
So. If you've found a great Catholic secondary school, good for you, and good for your kids. But if you're unsure of whether the Catholic high school in your area is really what it says it is, don't feel guilty. Good Catholic high schools are a blessing. Bad ones (and they do exist) do a lot more harm than good.
From Saturday's Boston Globe, on another priest perp.
From the Boston Herald, an article about a (lay) youth minister convicted of sex crimes and the institutional church's response to the pleas of a church secretary to take note of suspicious behavior. See if you can connect the dots and discern motivations.
The official Peter Rabbit site is quite nice.
Some interesting facts about Aquinas for those who'd like to know:
He was kidnapped by his family and held prisoner for (we think) about a year. Why? He wanted to join the Dominicans. They wanted him to stay with the Benedictines and continue to play the nobleman-cleric, rather than humiliate them by becoming one of those mendicant friars.
His work was radical for its time: integrating the ancient, yet newly-discovered thought of Aristotle with Christian theology. He was condemned by some, especially Franciscans, after his death, for this.
He was not, as some might have you believe, a cold rationalist. He had a strong mystical streak, evidenced by his hymns and prayers. A few months before his death, he experienced a particularly strong ecstasy during Mass, which moved him to set down his pen and write no more. In explanation, he wrote,
"I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be of little value.
Or, as it is popularly related, "it is all like straw."
As you might expect, there are many good online sources for information on St Thomas:Here's the Catholic Encyclopedia article. Here's the Open Directory collection of links. And Here's the full text of G.K. Chesterton's biography of St. Thomas.
Celebrate St. Thomas Aquinas today: Feed the intellect God gave you in a worthy way, and pray.
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