Archive for 2012

The Grand Harmony

posted by Kaihsu Tai on September 12th, 2012

By chance, a copy of Lee Teng-hui’s The Road to Democracy: Taiwan’s Pursuit of Identity (1999; ISBN 4569606512) came into my possession. In the book, a great deal is made of the former president’s being a Christian. From the Afterword:

… I was able to embrace Christianity because it allowed me to deal with the inner contradictions I had previously struggled in vain to resolve. The moment that is addressed by Christianity is what one might call “reversal of the order of the self and the other.” The most important aspect of this teaching is embracing the God within each of us. By recognizing the inner spirit of God that forgives others through profound love, our tendency to self-centeredness dissipates, and the spirit of love and care to others flourishes.

While I can agree with him on this, I disagree with him on another point. As Lee’s 1996 electoral rival Peng Ming-min put it: Those who risked their lives to cross the Formosa Strait from the continent in earlier centuries … did not do it to extend the territory of China, but to find a new way of life.

Regardless of these disputes, this is really an excuse to post the following ancient Chinese socialist classic, with which Sun Yat-sen and the gentlemen mentioned above could perhaps all agree. It is a text which many of my schoolmates would know by heart. From the Book of Rites at the chapter on ceremonial usages, English translation by James Legge:


When the Grand course was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled all under the sky; they chose men of talents, virtue, and ability; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony. Thus men did not love their parents only, nor treat as children only their own sons. A competent provision was secured for the aged till their death, employment for the able-bodied, and the means of growing up to the young. They showed kindness and compassion to widows, orphans, childless men, and those who were disabled by disease, so that they were all sufficiently maintained. Males had their proper work, and females had their homes. (They accumulated) articles (of value), disliking that they should be thrown away upon the ground, but not wishing to keep them for their own gratification. (They laboured) with their strength, disliking that it should not be exerted, but not exerting it (only) with a view to their own advantage. In this way (selfish) schemings were repressed and found no development. Robbers, filchers, and rebellious traitors did not show themselves, and hence the outer doors remained open, and were not shut. This was (the period of) what we call the Grand Union.

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Books, Catechism, China, Hagiography | on September 12th, 2012 | Permanent Link to “The Grand Harmony” | Comments Off on The Grand Harmony

508 #200: Connect

posted by Mike on September 2nd, 2012

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s panel is Brendan Melican, Nicole Apostola, Dee Wells, Nat Needle, Matt Feinstein, Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, Gabe Rollins, Stephanie Richardson, and Asa Needle.

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.

Video: Download via BitTorrent or see more formats.

Subscribe with iTunes

Contact info.

You can watch 508 Fridays at 7pm on WCCA TV13.

[0:00] How can newcomers to the city meet people and make friends?

[8:18] Mini Sunshine Week update.

[9:30] Mike visited the Running Start co-working space.

[15:10] Whoop whoop.

[18:18] Nat sings.

[25:38] Gary Rosen t-shirts.

Mozarabic liturgy

posted by Kaihsu Tai on August 24th, 2012

Liturgia Mozárabe, Iglesia Catedral del Redentor, Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal (Comunión Anglicana), Madrid Thanks to the travel expert Rick Steves, I knew about the Mozarabic Rite when I visited the Toledo Cathedral near Madrid in 2003. There, the Mozarabic liturgy has been kept in use. Sadly, I was not there at the right time to observe the Mass.

In 2009, while walking around in the Lower East Side of New York, I spotted the Saint Isidoro and Saint Leandro Church, which seemed to belong to the Orthodox Synod of Milan. The church was closed when I visited, so again I was not able to experience the liturgy first hand. Indeed, the identity of the church required some further research on the web to ascertain.

Finally, last Easter (2011), I had another chance to visit Madrid, this time as an Anglican. So, I went to our church there, the Cathedral of the Redeemer. The Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal (in both the Anglican Communion and the Porvoo Communion) received the Mozarabic liturgy both through its own land and through the reimport via the Book of Common Prayer: Archbishop Cranmer referred to the Mozarabic liturgy while compiling the book.

So this ancient and rare liturgy is kept alive by three major traditions of the faith. I am glad to have discovered this over the last decade.

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Houses of Worship, Itinerant Communicant, Orthodoxy | on August 24th, 2012 | Permanent Link to “Mozarabic liturgy” | Comments Off on Mozarabic liturgy

508 #199: Vegan Daycare Co-op

posted by Mike on August 23rd, 2012

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, Kevin Ksen talks about fires in the Piedmont area, and Alfee Westgroves and Angela Mather-Keil talk about the Taking Turns Childcare Cooperative.

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.

Video: Download via BitTorrent or see more formats.

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You can watch 508 Fridays at 7pm on WCCA TV13.
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Worcester Catholic Worker community celebrates 25 years on Mason Street

posted by Mike on August 13th, 2012

Worcester Catholic Worker, 25th anniversary

Folks from far and wide packed the kitchen and every other nook and cranny downstairs at 52 Mason Street tonight for a mass marking the 25th anniversary of the Saints Francis and Thérèse Catholic Worker community relocating to the house in 1987. Mass was celebrated by retired Worcester Auxiliary Bishop George Rueger.

It was fantastic to see so many Central Massachusetts lay Catholic communities represented, as well as so many people from other communities of faith and action.

See also:

Founders of the Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker community
The founding members of the SS. Francis & Thérèse Catholic Worker. Back row: Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, Justin Duffy, Scott Schaeffer-Duffy. Front row: Carl Siciliano, Sarah Jeglosky, Dan Ethier.

Hiroshima Day 2012, Worcester

posted by Mike on August 6th, 2012


20 people gathered at Worcester City Hall today to repent, as Americans, for the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to call for nuclear disarmament.


Mason Street Musings

posted by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy on August 6th, 2012

From the September 2012 issue of The Catholic Radical. [PDF]. Illustration by Sarah Jeglosky, 1987.

“You are evil!” S. shouted only an hour after he called us “good people.”

In truth, I can’t really blame him. He has a bad temper, especially when he’s drinking, but he’s otherwise a decent person. He came by looking for specific help, which Claire agreed to give to him. While the details were being worked out, he talked at me, effectively slowing down my work on a garden shed behind our house. When I started losing patience, I thought, “S. is Jesus,” but that was a pretty big stretch under the hot sun. Then he told me that he had been writing letters to Jesus. I couldn’t resist asking, “Have you gotten any letters back yet?” Ignoring me, he went on to disparage his family and to praise the Catholic Worker. “They live in a house, but this is a home,” he repeated several times. I feared this was a prelude to a request to move in with us for what must be his ninth or tenth time in twenty years. Read the rest of this entry »

Worcester panhandling: outreach program begins

posted by Mike on July 30th, 2012

According to the Telegram & Gazette, today a full-time outreach worker will begin talking to Worcester’s panhandlers, as part of the city’s plan to reduce their numbers.

The only other part of this plan is “public education.” I haven’t noticed an ad campaign yet.

The manager said the outreach worker will document the needs of each person encountered and the types of intervention employed, and will have to give a report to the city’s transitional housing manager.

508 #198: Stone Soup Groundbreaking

posted by Mike on July 26th, 2012

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, Jen Burt takes us on a tour of the partially-rebuilt Stone Soup

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You can watch 508 Fridays at 7pm on WCCA TV13.
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Discussion Series: Catholic Social Teaching

posted by Mike on July 22nd, 2012

7-9pm, five consecutive Wednesdays starting September 12, 2012. At SS. Francis & Therese Catholic Worker, 52 Mason St, Worcester, Massachusetts.

This fall, the Worcester Catholic Worker community is offering a series of weekly round-table discussions on the rich and evolving tradition of Catholic social teaching. Catholic Worker academics Michael Boover and Marc Tumeinski will give an introductory presentation.

Schedule of Presentations

  • Sept. 12: General introduction to the social teachings, their origin and themes
  • Sept. 19: Dignity and the Common Good
  • Sept. 26: Family Life, Property ownership
  • October 3: (The Feast of the Transitus) Sr. Rena Mae Gagnon of the Little Franciscans of Mary will present on St. Francis as an example of a preferential option for the poor.
  • October 10: Colonialism/Economic Development/Disarmament

For more than 120 years, Catholic popes, bishops, and Church Councils have issued documents on the social and political challenges of our time, including economic justice, nuclear disarmament, and the right relationships between individuals, communities, and their governments. But these critiques, seldom preached from the pulpit, are unknown to many Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

For example, did you know that in 1967 a papal encyclical warned about the problems of multi-nationals, free trade, and the growing divide between rich and poor? Or that way back in 1891 a pope advocated a living wage for workers?

We will look at the major themes and principles of Catholic social teaching and their expression in social movements and the lives of the saints. There will be ample time for discussion following each presentation, and of course refreshments. All are invited.

So if you are feeling discouraged by election rhetoric and the silence of many church leaders on social justice, then join us in the upstairs kitchen of 52 Mason Street as we consider life-giving concepts like the common good, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the dignity of the human person.

For updates, call 508-753-3588.