Thursday, October 3

If you're wondering about the fall fiction outlook, Amazon has a good page to get you started
From the WSJ, a look at Lauren Winner's upcoming book Girl Meets God.
Excellent piece on the blunt instrument of censorship wielded by the Christian Booksellers' Association

I have a fantasy in which I am sitting in my living room, drinking tea with the presidents of all the major CBA publishers. As if to prove that one man's heaven is another man's hell, they have to listen, and they can't interrupt. Gentlemen (I say in my dream), it's a little hard to accept your focus on the mite in my eye—my use of four letters, the simple humanity of sex—while you miss the log in your own by selling books by heretical televangelists and artists of dubious intentions. While I'm working through your obsession with purity—on the surface, perhaps, defensible—I'm stumbling over your sale of "music-enhanced" Bible studies, which, as we both know in our hearts, are nothing more than marketing schemes to boost cd sales among church youth groups. I would ask you whether putting a four-letter word in the mouth of a human being is worse than making royalties from what happened at Columbine or from the murder of JonBenet Ramsey—things I honestly hope I wouldn't do at the point of a gun.

Thanks to Relapsed Catholic for the link.

You've heard of Voice of the Faithful.

Now there's Voice of the Ordained.

You are one body.....

This is pretty weird.

After having promised Wednesday to respect a court injunction that forbade them from approaching students of the Montreal School Commission, Raelians approached students of one of the province's most respected schools, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montreal.Raelians approached students on sidewalks and at bus stops. They encouraged the children to renounce their Catholic religion....Raelians have demonstrated over the past few days in Montreal, Quebec City and Trois-Rivières. Their protests include the burning of crucifixes.

In case you've missed this, the Raelian religionis the UFO "religion" that's into cloning, too.

Usually 5-10 men enter seminary in Switzerland every year.

This year: Zero

But there is hope. In French-speaking Switzerland vocations are arising within the new ecclesial movements. One example is the recently formed Eucharistein community, founded in Switzerland by Nicholas Butteta, a former hermit. It already has two theology students at the University of Fribourg, and two are beginning their preparation for the priesthood. In Paris, meanwhile, two-thirds of the seminarians come from new movements. "The value of the priesthood is very strong in them," Father Fellay explained.

Here's the link to the Eucharistein community. It's in French.

Pope presents St. Bridget as a model for today's woman

Except for the getting married at 14 part, I guess.

Um. Okay.
Oh. I hadn't noticed all the comments on the VOTF post below. I guess I should read them...
An account of Archbishop Pell's testimony
Thanks to a rep from the Diocese of LaCrosse's Office of Justice and Peace for sharing further information on the CROP walk controversy:

As the local director for Catholic Relief Services (a benefitting agency of the CROP walk), I would like to add a few more facts to the article you have posted from the Stevens Point Journal "Bishop Burke Directs Parishes against CROP Walk."

Church World Service has not been forthright about their funding of contraception. Last year, when the Diocese of Rockford asked Rev. John McCullough, executive director of CWS if they funded contraception, he responded that CWS had "no history of ..distributing contraceptives."
Last August, when local organizers from La Crosse asked the CROP Walk office in Madison about contraception, they were told the same -- CWS had never funded contraception.

In private letters however, CWS officials have admitted to funding contraception. In fact, as early as 1965, CWS was importing contraceptive devices to the Dominican Republic "on a duty free basis by classifying them as religious education materials" (Area Handbook for the Dominican Republic, p.26, Foreign Area Studies, Amer. Univ).

CWS representatives such as Judy McDowell now seem to admit that they distribute contraception because this issue has been forced into thepublic light. Ecumenical collaboration however demands full disclosure and openness among its participants. CWS has not told a consistent story to Catholics about what they are funding.

While the article notes that La Crosse and Rockford My prediction is that the Dioceses of Rockford and La Crosse will not be the last Catholic dioceses that disassociate themselves with the CROP Walk and Church World Service. Catholics do not need either one to assist the poor in the Third World.

Dr. Arthur M. Hippler,Office of Justice and Peace, Diocese of La Crosse

The irony about the previous post is that this story ran in the paper on the memorial of Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin, a strong and untiring missionary sister who worked in these parts in the 19th century.

Mother Guerin was a French Sister of Providence who immigrated to the US in 1840 to minister here in Indiana. Her biography says that she founded a school here in Fort Wayne, but I don't know which one - the Perpetual Adoration chapel in our parish is named after her, but since our parish was founded in the 1930's, I don't think this was Mother Guerin's school.


Michael, Joseph and I paid a visit to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, founded by Mother Guerin in Terre Haute, summer before last. We were struck by the discomfort the modern sisters (at least those in charge of the chapel and grounds) obviously seem to feel about their foundress. She is buried in the church, but her place of burial isn't set off by any sort of barrier - you could walk right over the plate set into the floor, if you're not careful. The "shrine" is basically the narthex, or (in plain English) the vestibule of the chapel - there's a couple of chairs and a painting of Mother Guerin. It looks like the waiting room of a funeral parlor.

If these sisters seem ill at ease with the foundress of their college, one can only imagine what she'd say about them - despite the good work many continue to do, as pointed out by Ed in the comments. The schedule of retreats for the fall include programs on The Enneagram and Spirituality and Earth Spirituality. (These ladies are pretty down with Gaia all around - the college offers a graduate degree in "Earth Literacy.") There's also Zen meditation on Wednesday evenings.


"Mother,...the latest recruitment numbers are in."

"Yes, sister? How did we do last year?"

"Well....not so well, I suppose you'd say if you were looking at it from a worldly perspective. "

"What does that mean?"

"Well, we had two postulants, but one seems to have gone Unitarian on us and Crone Magdala has decided to go Wicca."

Pause.

"So? Who told them that meant they had to leave us?"

These musing brought to you by this morning's Fort Wayne paper (not Nancy's - she works for the afternoon joint) which carried this story about a place called Sophia's Portico - a gathering spot for women to (of course) explore their spirituality, with a gift shop for your extra special pleasure.

It was started by and run by three Franciscan sisters.

Here's the website. Enjoy. Explore. And wonder no more (if you still were) why religious orders for women have, for the most part, collapsed in this country and won't exist - except for the more traditional orders (Missionaries of Charity, Sisters of Life, etc...) and the few devotees of Sophia hanging out in their retirement homes - in two or three decades.

How one beleagured parish has coped with numerous scandalous revelations

(LATimes - LRR)

Wuerl named to bishops' abuse committee
The NYTimes looks at Escriva
Will the charter be rejected or accepted?
Vietnam government is shocked - shocked that it would be put on a list of countries restricting religious freedom

Hanoi has insisted it respects religious freedom. It recognises six religious groups but bans several others it regards as sects. Last month, Hanoi refused permission for a European Parliament team to visit a Buddhist monk held under house arrest. An outspoken Catholic priest, Nguyen Van Ly, was ordered jailed for 15 years in 2001 on charges of undermining national unity and disobeying probation rules.

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