House of Card(inal)s

posted by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy on May 20th, 2014

From the latest issue of the Catholic Radical. PDF here.
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posted by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy in The Papacy | on May 20th, 2014 | Permanent Link to “House of Card(inal)s” | No Comments »

Lent approaches

posted by Mike on March 4th, 2014

This year, it is back to basics. I am keeping things simple for Lent.

  • Fasting: Facebook still seems like the perfect thing to “give up.” As a vegan, I’ll be skipping an extra meal on Fridays rather than fasting from meat.
  • Prayer: Give Us This Day is still my go-to prayer book. Susan Stabile has a good roundup of other resources.
  • Almsgiving: MINE OWN BEESWAX again this year.

I hope everyone reading this has a powerful Lenten season. If you’re curious about Lent but not religious, I’ll point you to Jacob’s essay on the topic.

posted by Mike in Lent | on March 4th, 2014 | Permanent Link to “Lent approaches” | No Comments »

Ron Wehrle, 1936-2014, RIP

posted by Mike on February 28th, 2014

Ron Wehrle, beloved member of Worcester’s Catholic Worker community, passed away on Monday. His funeral was this morning.

For some classic shots of Ron brandishing his cigar, re-watch this lovely video about Worcester’s Catholic Workers:

A Life Worth Living from Doug Rogers on Vimeo.

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Transform Now Plowshares activists sentenced; and, the Worcester connection

posted by Mike on February 19th, 2014

Reuters, yesterday:

A U.S. judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun, Sister Megan Rice, on Tuesday to 35 months in prison for breaking into a Tennessee military facility used to store enriched uranium for nuclear bombs.

Two others accused in the case, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were sentenced to 62 months in prison. The three were convicted of cutting fences and entering the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in July 2012, embarrassing U.S. officials and prompting security changes.

Tom LewisA fourth “participant” in the breakin was Worcester’s own Tom Lewis, the late artist-activist. As the Washington Post reported in an amazing article about this act of protest last spring:

They spray painted the building’s north wall, which was designed to withstand the impact of aircraft but not the words of the Book of Proverbs. They poured and splashed blood that had once been in the veins of a painter-activist named Tom Lewis, one of the Catonsville Nine who, on Hiroshima Day 1987, hammered on the bomb racks of an anti-submarine plane at the South Weymouth Naval Air Station near Boston. In 2008, Lewis died in his sleep, and his blood was frozen so that he might one day participate in one last Plowshares action.

In bright red rivulets, the last of Tom Lewis streaked down the concrete.

There Is a Mid-Winter Festival Hidden in Plain Sight

posted by Mike on February 2nd, 2014

image

Groundhog Day, Candlemas, St. Brigid’s Day, and the old pagan festival of Imbolc are all mid-winter holidays that basically happen on the same day every year. By that day, midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, you know for sure that the days are getting longer. It’s still winter, but you know you’re going to make it. So you do things like bless all the candles you’ll need for the coming year (if you’re a Christian), or study the behavior of giant hibernating ground squirrels to predict the onset of spring (if you’re a Pennsylvanian). You might welcome Brigid (the saint or goddess) into your home (if you’re Irish). It’s a time of purification and light.

The mid-winter festival is a great day to consider how your New Year’s Resolutions are going, and if necessary toss them out to prepare your life for spring. Candlemas is when I officially start planning for Lent. That means starting to think about what I might want to give up, and asking my non-Christian friends if they’re observing Lent this year (many of them do!). It’s also a good day to start fantasizing about your garden (if you haven’t) and to do a little something to get started on your taxes.

This year, Chinese New Year and the Superbowl are both taking place on mid-winter weekend, resulting in an embarrassment of feastday riches.

Candlemas–now my favorite neglected holiday.

Hilda of Whitby

posted by Kaihsu Tai on November 10th, 2013

From a WATCH: Women and the Church prayer card.

Caring and reconciling, ruling over and advising,
educating and encouraging.
God our vision we pray with Hilda
for the unity of your Church.
As we prepare for the episcope of women
surprise us with your power, stir us with your energy
and fill us with your healing love.
– Nikki Arthy

Hilda was a great niece of King Edwin who ruled over Northumbria from 616. When Edwin decided to become a Christian, he was baptised in York. Hilda, then aged 13, was baptised at the same time. Later in the reign of Oswald, Aidan professed Hilda as a nun. She took charge of the monastery at Hartlepool and finally she ruled over monks and nuns in the double monastery of Whitby. Here she hosted the Synod of Whitby, which decided to follow the Roman way rather than the Celtic. She regretted this decision but obeyed it and ruled her monastery well, teaching and encouraging the monks, nuns and lay brothers to make the best use of their gifts. Five of her monks became bishops. She died on 17 November 680.

posted by Kaihsu Tai in ??????????, Prayer | on November 10th, 2013 | Permanent Link to “Hilda of Whitby” | Comments Off

Praying for Syria in the Diocese of Worcester

posted by Mike on September 5th, 2013

There will be a small prayer service downstairs at St. Peter’s Church (931 Main Street) in Worcester this Saturday at 3:30pm as part of the Church-wide day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria.

The Catholic Free Press reports on other Worcester-area events:

The bishop said he would ask those attending the Hispanic Marian celebration Saturday in Worcester to use the occasion to pray for peace. . . .

Father Tomasz J. Borkowski, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Whitinsville, said he is planning an ecumenical service there from 7-8 p.m. Saturday. . . .

Father Robert A. Grattaroti, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Charlton, extended an invitation to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow. . . .

Father Adam Reid, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Webster, said he plans to involve local Catholics in the call for prayer and fasting in a number of ways.

Presumably every mass in the diocese will have prayers for peace in Syria.

Assumption College, Worcester: “A group of students is organizing a Rosary for peace at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 12 midnight. All members of the community are invited to join in this prayer vigil and to visit the Chapel throughout the day on Saturday. ”

Pope Francis has asked all Catholics to pray and fast for peace in Syria this Saturday:

May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and be let themselves be led by the desire for peace.

To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.

On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.

Tony Homsy, SJ: A Prayer for Syria

Praying for Peace in Syria

posted by Mike on September 3rd, 2013

This afternoon, 16 people demonstrated in Worcester’s Lincoln Square against a US military strike in Syria. Some of them were praying; some not.

wpid-IMG_20130903_160808.jpg

Pope Francis has asked all Catholics to pray and fast for peace in Syria this Saturday:

May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and be let themselves be led by the desire for peace.

To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.

On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.

Related: Catholic Bishops’ Policy Chair Urges Secretary Kerry To Work For Ceasefire, Serious Negotiations In Syria, Bob Waldrop’s Getting Us Into Wars

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Telegram & Gazette photo

Mary Magdalene

posted by Kaihsu Tai on July 22nd, 2013

From a WATCH: Women and the Church prayer card.

Faithful friend of Jesus, apostle to the apostles,
misunderstood and wrongly accused.
Guide us, O God, as with Mary Magdalene,
we tread new paths in our passionate love for Christ.
May we be ambassadors of the good news to your Church
and let your people rejoice in the leadership of women.
– Nikki Arthy

(Alistair Kee’s book From Bad Faith to Good News ISBN 0-334-02489-7 explains why Mary Magdalene has been seriously “misunderstood and wrongly accused”.)

posted by Kaihsu Tai in ??????????, Prayer | on July 22nd, 2013 | Permanent Link to “Mary Magdalene” | Comments Off

Memorial mass for Tom Lewis and the Catonsville Nine

posted by Mike on May 17th, 2013

Mike Boover:

A Mass of Holy Remembrance for Tom Lewis will be celebrated tomorrow (Friday the 17th) at 7:15 PM at the Mustard Seed CW (93 Piedmont Street, Worcester) followed by the film, “Investigation of a Flame”…. and good conversaton following that! Please join us if the Spirit moves you!

Today is the anniversary of the Catonsville Nine action, when in 1968 nine Americans (including the late Tom Lewis) napalmed draft records.

Tom left us years ago, but he’s still in the news, most recently for his “role” last July in the “Transform Now Plowshares” action:

They poured and splashed blood that had once been in the veins of a painter-activist named Tom Lewis, one of the Catonsville Nine who, on Hiroshima Day 1987, hammered on the bomb racks of an anti-submarine plane at the South Weymouth Naval Air Station near Boston. In 2008, Lewis died in his sleep, and his blood was frozen so that he might one day participate in one last Plowshares action.

(The Transform Now activists currently await sentencing.)