Friday, October 25, 2013

The Rabbi Who Spoke to Rome

From the NY Post, a column about Pope Benedict's Creative Minority:

"Did you hear the one about the rabbi, the pope and the humanist?

You did if you were at the Union League Club Monday evening. The rabbi is Jonathan Sacks, the pope is Francis and the humanist is Erasmus. These names mingled Monday night in an address aimed mainly at Western Christians who find themselves outcasts in a civilization once dominated by Christian principles and Christian practices.

For these people, the first part of the rabbi’s message is bleak: The battle for power is over, and you lost.

The second half is more arresting: Don’t worry about it.

Precisely by losing power, the rabbi says, Christians might recover the prophetic voice our society desperately needs. By that he means a community of Christians who, by staying true to their faith without aiming to convert the larger society to their beliefs, become a leaven for society."

Ave Maria, Florida - a Catholic Town

Calah Alexander, blogger at the great Barefoot and Pregnant, is interviewed at Catholic Stand about what it is like to live in Ave Maria, the town founded by Thomas Monaghan.  It is fascinating because in listening to what she says about kids being able to play in the streets, borrowing from neighbors, and strangers introducing themselves to each other, I hear what Long Island used to be like to some extent years ago.  What was once normal for many parts of the US, is now considered strange enough that it has to be 'created'.  Ave Maria sounds like a nice experiment and I hope it works out well. 

"I think the overwhelming presence of children is the primary thing that makes Ave Maria remarkably different. Kids are welcome everywhere. No one expects you to leave kids at home, or if they do it’s clearly stated and childcare is usually provided. The town events are always family-oriented, there are high chairs in every restaurant, and no one freaks out at a breastfeeding mom or parent dragging a screaming toddler through the grocery store. That’s part of life. We’ve either been there, hope to be there, or wish we weren’t there. Sympathy and smiles all around."

Catholics Vs. Republican Vs. Democrat

This is a good take at Catholic Stand on how Catholics should avoid being too involved in particular political parties or ideologies.

"A recurring theme of my writing and speaking these past few years has been the need for Catholics to overcome allegiances to political movements, parties, and ideologies. We are called to shape our culture, or at least be a prophetic voice that is unattached to purely temporal causes. My assumption, based on my own journey, has been that there are many people who are serious Catholics with a real relationship with Jesus Christ but who simply have difficulty detaching themselves from the constant pressure of our polarized and politicized media culture.

I now believe that assumption is often wrong, and people like me are partly to blame. I have been reading Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples (truly, as Mark Shea says, the most important Catholic book of the decade) and contemplating with fresh eyes the hundreds of confrontations I’ve had online and in person with my fellow Catholics involving political disagreements. The problem is not too much politics. It is too little conversion and discipleship."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jesuits selling Manresa retreat house on Staten Island

From the incorrectly named National Catholic [sic] Reporter:

"Manresa's highest hills offer unparalleled views of New York Harbor, including the Statue of Liberty and the new One World Trade Center building.

With such stunning beauty and breathtaking vistas, there is little wonder that the New York Province of the Society of Jesus managed to sell all 15 acres for more than $15 million cash to a Staten Island-based development company called Savo Brothers.

The sale took place secretly just months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged much of the coastline near Manresa. The Jesuits did not notify local residents or the community board of the purchase and only revealed the name of the buyer in May in a joint press release with Savo Brothers."

The Jesuits are also selling Inisfada retreat house here on Long Island, while the Passionists have sold their St. Gabriel retreat house on Shelter Island.  The Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn sold their retreat house right across from the arboretum years ago.  This is all part of the downsizing of religious communities and the Church in the Northeast. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Another Long Island Dominican

The Marianist blog Into The Deep proudly points out one of their graduates has made her First Profession with the Nashville Dominicans:

"July 25, 2013 (Nashville, TN) –Twelve young women professed the simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation in Nashville, Tennessee on July 25, 2013. Among those who made their First Profession was Sister Ann Thomas (Caroline) Bamburek, O.P., a former parishioner of Saint Hyacinth Catholic Church in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.

Sister Ann Thomas is the daughter of the late Edward Bamburek and Mrs. Marlgorzata Bamburek, also a parishioner of Saint Hyacinth Catholic Church. Sister Ann Thomas is a graduate of Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale, New York and attended Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio before entering. She is currently studying at Aquinas College, Nashville, Tennessee in preparation for the teaching apostolate."


Fr. Pablo Straub

I used to see him on EWTN but never watched his programs, but I am shocked to learn he was a Long Islander -

Redemptorist Father Pablo Straub (1932-2013)

"CANCUN, Mexico — Father Pablo Straub, who regularly appeared on EWTN television and whose voice was heard on EWTN Radio, died Oct. 21 in a hospital in Cancun, Mexico.

A member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, colloquially known as the Redemptorists, and a priest for 55 years, Father Straub was easily recognized and well loved from the numerous series he hosted and the retreats he gave over the years.

“Father Pablo was a longtime host on EWTN and a friend to many of us here at the network,” noted Michael Warsaw, chairman and chief executive officer of the EWTN Global Catholic Network. “We feel a profound sense of loss at the news of his passing.”

It was easy to mistake Father Straub as having a Hispanic background. Born in May 1932 in East Rockaway, Long Island, at an early age he entered a Redemptorist seminary in the Hudson Valley in New York, and, while there, he learned Spanish from some classmates.

After he was ordained in 1958, he was assigned to missionary work, where he became proficient with his newly acquired language. His ministry serving the poorest of the poor took him to Puerto Rico for 20 years, then to the Philippines, the Andes Mountains of Peru and, finally, Mexico for more than 20 years.

Father Straub was active not only in Mexico, but also in the United States, giving missions and retreats frequently through his media outreach. He was a gifted speaker and was comfortable in front of a camera. Often, Father Straub would appear holding a large crucifix."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Death row diary offers a rare glimpse into a morbid world

CNN had an article on a death row inmate's blog, with posts by his sister.  I have a couple of problems with this blog - for one thing the top of the blog notes the man is on death row for a murder he did not commit.  This makes him sound innocent which he is not.  He was a career criminal who was involved in a robbery that left a man dead.  He claims he was not the one that pulled the trigger but does not deny being involved in the crime.  As a Christian I have some reservations about the death penalty but do not see a problem with it in limited circumstances.  When someone is a career criminal and commits a horrible murder with no question of their guilt and no extenuating circumstances I think the death penalty may be appropriate.  I am not sure if it is appropriate in this case, but I do have a real problem with this attitude:

"I understand there are usually about two dozen witnesses to these executions and I sometimes wonder about those who will be at mine, unknown, faceless men rooting for me to die, happy to see me breathe my last breath. I wonder about men who do not know me, have never met me, never broken bread with me and who know nothing about what's in my heart, who nonetheless are anxious, eager, happy to see me die.

It does not bother me, but I wonder if it will ever bother any of those men (and yes, it's almost always men, with their lust for blood; women seldom indulge in this), perhaps in their sunset years when they reflect back on their youth and wonder about their imperatives. I hope, for their sakes, that one day they will be ashamed -- or at least disappointed -- with their naked blood lust and will determine to henceforth set a better example for those following behind them."

First of all, the family of the victim certainly has the right to be eager to see him die, and he does mention that earlier.  But the reason so many are anxious to see a criminal die is because they usually care about justice and the victims.  For this criminal to try to take the high moral ground is extremely hypocritical - did he ever reflect back on his youth and his imperatives that lead directly to a man's death?  His sister is giving him a voice when his victim and his family has none.  She allows her brother to express publicly his reflections on dying that his victim never had the chance to do.  She makes her brother out to be a victim when he is not, but he did create and victim, and she is victimizing the family again.

The Church gets dotCatholic

At the blog God and the Machine, the implications of the domain .catholic going to the Vatican is discussed:

"It means that .catholic in all Latin and foreign characters (Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, etc) will be under the control of the PCCS, which will use them solely for official church institutions, diocese, and religious orders. That eliminates the problem of flying under the flag of the Good Ship Vatican without any oversight, but it does raise other questions.

The purpose of .catholic is to give the Church its own internet footprint. The effect of its official status, however, will be to convey a kind of de facto imprimatur on that site’s content. If .catholic is official, the thinking may go, then all that appears on a .catholic site may appear to be “approved.” I doubt the PCCS–or anybody–will be capable of drilling down through every potential .catholic site to make sure it’s clean of false material, which will likely limit the extent of .catholic. Will LCWR get a That could be … problematic"

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Solemn HIgh Mass (Extraordinary Form) in Glen Cove

Reminder:  The Canons Regular of St. Augustine will be offering a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Patrick's Church in honor of Blessed Karl of Austria.

Monday, October 21, 2013
7:30 PM
St. Patrick's Church
235 Glen St.
Glen Cove

I would love to attend this but I doubt I will be able to make it up there, so if anyone takes pictures please feel free to forward them for posting. 

Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching

Over at Catholic Answers, Christopher Kaczor explains Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.  Go to the link to read the whole article but I list the Seven here:
  1. Respect the Human Person
  2. Promote the Family
  3. Protect Property Rights
  4. Work for the Common Good
  5. Observe the Principle of Subsidiarity
  6. Respect Work and the Worker
  7. Pursue Peace and Care for the Poor