closing down

November 29, 2009

I started this blog in the first days of 2008, and these final days of 2009 seem to be a good place to close down shop.  I started a new job, in a new state, in late summer, and since then the time for the blogging and freelance writing has not crept back into my schedule.  I’ve worked hard to protect family time from the new job demands, and so far that’s gone well.  I don’t feel the need to put the same effort into protecting the blogging time.  I’m also going to let the website expire come mid-December.  I do hope the time for freelancing reappears, both because I enjoy it and it helps to pay the bills.  But family time, in these years while the kids are young, trumps all.

Thanks for stopping by.  It’s been a real pleasure. 

Oremus pro invicem.  Let us pray for one another.


Virtual Tour of St John Lateran Basilica in Rome

November 17, 2009

This is really cool.  It’s new at the Vatican website.  Do explore at your leisure.

(And peruse this and this for some very helpful context and background.)

Newman’s friend

November 13, 2009

Deacon Jack Sullivan, the man whose miraculous cure has been attributed to the intercession of Cardinal John Henry Newman, recently visited the Birmingham Oratory, the great (and soon to be beatified?) cardinal’s spiritual home.  Sullivan served as deacon and preached at a Mass celebrated at the Oratory.

Article with some great photos here.  Additional photos here.

New work in print

November 7, 2009

Just a note to point out that my article “Who is the Cure of Ars?” (on St. John Vianney) appears in the new issue (November/December 2009) of The Catholic Answer.  TCA is one of my favorite magazines.  Besides its excellent content, I’m always very impressed with the beautiful, eye-catching, and reader-friendly layout. 

Also, though I’m mentioning it a little late, my article on the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the modern liturgical movement, “The Birth of a Movement,” appeared in the September 20 issue of Our Sunday Visitor.

And actually, that’s it for my published work for a while.  I’ve almost always had something coming up in the pipeline for the past ten years or so.  I’ m always working on an assignment, or waiting for something I’ve turned in to be published.  But everything I’ve done is now published and I’m not working on any new assignments.  That’s because we recently moved and I started a new job, all of which has occupied all of my free time, so that I’ve little space for freelance work.  (You’ll notice blogging has been mostly light since summer, too.)  Hopefully I’ll get back on track soon, not because anyone would necessarily miss seeing my occasional byline (most folks, including me, usually overlook bylines), but just because I enjoy the work so much.

UPDATE: Come to think of it, there’s a little piece that I was asked to do by The Writer, on using anniversaries as hooks for articles, which is still waiting to be published.  It was scheduled for fall publication, but got mvoed due to a scheduling snafu on their end.  I think they said we’re looking at January now.

This little movie rocks

November 3, 2009

Doesn’t seem to be embeddable.  See it here.

(Thanks to The Anchoress for pointing it out.  If you don’t read her regularly, you should.)

John Paul II to be “beatified within months”?

November 2, 2009

That’s a grabber of a headline — at least for fans of the late, great Pope.  But it’s a real one and just up today, on the website of the London Telegraph.  I have to say, I’m a bit skeptical. 

The claim that JP2 will beatified “by 2010” was put forward recently by the Mayor of Rome, in public statements made while on a visit to Krakow. 

First of all, he is not exactly a high-ranking Vatican official … or a Vatican official of any kind, for that matter.  Secondly, we’re already into November, which means a beatification by 2010 would need to take place in the next 8 weeks or so.  And I have a feeling that when the beatification of John Paul II actually does happen, it will be an event of massive proporations that will take months, even a year, of planning and preparation.

This does raise the interesting question of where it will happen.  Almost all beatifications in the B16 pontificate have taken place in the homeland of the new blessed, presided over by the local bishop or the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.  Will JP2’s be in Poland?  On the other hand, he was the Bishop of Rome and “belonged” to the Universal Church for over a quarter of a century.  Does that, plus the added element of the level of global interest even outside the Church, mean it could be held in Rome? Presided over by the Pope himself?  Not difficult to imagine happening.

Brother Andre moves closer canonization

October 28, 2009

The theological commission for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted unanimously last week in favor of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Brother Andre Bessette.  The miracle still must be considered and officially approved by the bishops who make up the Congregation; when that happens, the next step would be to expect a date announced for Brother Andre’s canonization.

Helpful local coverage here.

(Thanks to Matt at Sacred Heart Radio for the tip.)

Amy masterfully answers the question,

October 15, 2009

“Why have children?”

It’s an All-Hallows Autumn!

October 12, 2009

Okay, so the big canonization weekend is over.  Five people have been added to the universal Church’s roster of saints.  Depressed about all the excitement being over and the prospect of a return to more mundane matters of life?  Don’t be!  This fall is packed with formal recognition of the holiness among us. 

Did you know that a series of beatification ceremonies began with one held in Germany just over a week ago, and will continue throughout the rest of the month and into November?  It’s true.  

October 4 marked the beatification of Eustachius Kugler (1867-1946) in Regensberg, Germany.  This consecrated religious of St John of God’s order cared for the sick and disabled at a time in when doing that in Germany meant going against the Nazi tide.  He was interrogated several times by the Nazis but always stood up to them.  

As if the people of Spain didn’t receive enough recognition of the holiness among them, what with Sunday’s canonization of Rafael Arnaiz Baron and Francisco Coll Guitart, on October 18, Ciriaco María Sancha Hervas (1833 – 1909) will be beatified in Toledo, Spain.  He was the Cardinal-Archbishop of Toledo, renowned for his holiness and pastoral love.  

On October 25, in Milan, Italy, Carlo Gnocchi (1902-1956), a priest of Milan, will be beatified.  He was a military chaplain who, in early 1940s, he did espionage work for the US government, was arrested by Fascist government, and was later released. He cared for sick and disabled young people and founded the Pro Juventute Foundation, which now has groups all over the world.  

On All Hallow’s Eve (the original name for the day before All Saints’ Day, from which “Halloween” is derived), October 31, Zoltán Meszlényi  (1892-1951), an auxiliary Bishop of Esztergom, Hungary, will be beatified in Budapest.   He was imprisoned and tortured by Stalin regime, just after the better-known Cardinal Mindszenty suffered a similar fate.  

Finally, a November 22 beatification will take place in Jesus’s hometown, Nazareth, Israel.  Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghaţţas (1843-1927) will be beatified.  This religious sister who was born in Jerusalem and lived and worked in Bethlehem experienced apparitions of Mary and founded a new religious order,  the Rosary Sisters, which are still around in many nations today. 

Wow, what a line-up.  If you’re like me, this only piques your curiosity, and you want to know more about this crew.  Well, I hope to be doing some investigating in the days and weeks ahead, so feel free to stop by from time to time, and I’ll report to you the results of my homework.

Our new St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron: “this young man of the twentieth century”

October 11, 2009

There is often an uptick in visits to this blog when canonizations or beatifications take place.  That’s been the case today, but interestingly, the majority of searchers found their way here not by searching for Damien of Molokai or Jeanne Jugan, but another of today’s new saints, Rafael Arnaiz Baron.  Welcome one and all.

Here’s an interesting note: The bishops of Spain have proposed making St. Rafael as a patron of the 2011 World Youth Day, which will take place in Madrid. They wrote, “We trust that Brother Raphael Arnaiz will accompany us as one of the ‘co-patrons’ of the meeting, so that all the young people of the world might become aware of God’s work in this young man of the 20th century.”

Below you’ll find a minute-long CNS video on St. Rafael (it’s also available in Spanish here) and then several helpful English resources on St. Rafael.

Bio on a Trappist website

Bio from the website of a Benedictine priest

A CNS article on last year’s approval of a miracle attributed to his intercession.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, God Alone: A Spiritual Biography of Blessed Rafael Arnaiz Baron looks like a worthwhile book.