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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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 on Hilda of Whitby

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 on Mary Magdalene

The Annunciation to Mary

posted by Kaihsu Tai on March 25th, 2013

From a WATCH: Women and the Church prayer card.

Request or command? Obedience or elated acceptance?
Surprise us, O God with your demands.
Inspire us with your grace.
With Mary, enable your Church to respond with
courage and joy, to new challenges and opportunities.
May the leadership of women as bearers of your Word
and nurturers of Christ’s body be welcomed amongst us.
– Nikki Arthy

posted by Kaihsu Tai in ??????????, Easter, Lent, Prayer | on March 25th, 2013 | Permanent Link to “The Annunciation to Mary” | Comments Off on The Annunciation to Mary

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:

大道之行也,天下為公。選賢與能,講信修睦,故人不獨親其親,不獨子其子,使老有所終,壯有所用,幼有所長,矜寡孤獨廢疾者,皆有所養。男有分,女有歸。貨惡其棄於地也,不必藏於己;力惡其不出於身也,不必為己。是故謀閉而不興,盜竊亂賊而不作,故外戶而不閉,是謂大同。

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 | on September 12th, 2012 | Permanent Link to “The Grand Harmony” | Comments Off on The Grand Harmony

Carl Paulson, RIP

posted by Mike on July 2nd, 2012

Carl Paulson, legendary stained glass artist and Catholic Worker, has died.

Carl Paulson
Carl Paulson and Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus at the 2008 Catholic Worker National Gathering in Worcester. Carl was recognized at the event as “the oldest Catholic Worker.”

The obituary below was sent in by Ken Paulson.
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Näin sanoi Minna Canth

posted by Kaihsu Tai on June 27th, 2012

Kuinkahan kauan ihmiset sokeudessa vaeltavat ja antavat kirkon ja pappisvallan sekoittaa pois totisen puhtaan uskonnon. Jospahan tulisi, jospahan tulisi toinen Kristus raikkaamaan maailmaa taas. Ja tällä kertaa se saisi olla nainen!

Just how long will people in their blindness roam and let the church and the clergy confound true, pure religion? What if, just what if another Christ were to come and revivify the world! And this time as a woman!

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posted by Kaihsu Tai in ??????????, Creative Resistance, Finland, Heresy | on June 27th, 2012 | Permanent Link to “Näin sanoi Minna Canth” | Comments Off on Näin sanoi Minna Canth

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

posted by Mike on March 17th, 2012

It’s an annual tradition here at Pie & Coffee to repost this video of “The Real Saint Patrick.”

In today’s Give Us This Day essay on St. Patrick, Robert Ellsberg writes:

Patrick’s thirty years as a wandering bishop are the stuff of legend. He is justly honored as the patron of Ireland. But it is well to remember that Patrick was the victim of Irish injustice before he became the symbol of Irish pride. His spiritual conquest of Ireland followed the prior victory of love over the anger and bitterness in his own heart.

Rocco Palmo covers the feast day in the Saint Patrick’s Day Capital of the World, New York City.

This week in Worcester Magazine, Scott Schaeffer-Duffy noted it’s the 15th (I think) anniversary of the local Catholic Workers being banned from the St. Patrick’s Day parade:

As a proud Irish-American, Worcesterite, and avid runner, I am delighted to see Worcester’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade grow with the addition of the Celtic 5K Road Race. As a member of the Saints Francis & Thérèse Catholic Worker community, I still do not understand why the Parade Committee banned us from carrying an icon of the saint with his words, “Killing cannot be with Christ.” That banner was carried in two parades prior to it being banned, and the Parade Committee gave us the Spirit of Peace trophy in 1994 and Book of Kells Award in 1995. The idea that excluding Saint Patrick’s call for nonviolence makes the parade, which includes many military units, more “fun,” as the current Committee Chair suggested in WoMag, is sad, especially in the context of Ireland’s long bloody struggle and our own wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Irish winner of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, joined many others in appealing unsuccessfully to the Worcester Parade Committee to welcome our banner. It still mystifies me why they do not.

(This banner is still held at the side of the parade, and various local dignitaries still stop by for a kind word. This St. Patrick’s Day politics is weird stuff.)

Also, here’s the only known audio of Catholic Worker co-founder Peter Maurin. He’s reading his essay “Makers of Europe,” also known as “When the Irish Were Irish.”

Cardinal Newman talk at Worcester Catholic Worker

posted by Mike on May 15th, 2011

The Significance of Cardinal Newman

Come see a slide presentation by Mike True on the recently beatified John Henry Cardinal Newman, Catholic convert, theologian, and extraordinary voice for conscience and faith.

Wednesday, May 18: 7:00 pm

SS. Francis and Therese Catholic Worker
52 Mason Street, Worcester, MA 508 753-3588
Refreshments to follow. Free and open to the public.

Mike True, a professor emeritus of English at Assumption College, is a devoted admirer and student of Newman.

Bernard E. Gilgun: Worcester’s Catholic Worker Priest

posted by Michael Boover on April 26th, 2011

Father Bernie Gilgun, at age 84, quietly breathed his earthly last in the company of family and friends at the Grenon ICU Center of the University of Massachusetts Hospital in Worcester in the early afternoon of Easter Monday, April 25, 2011. Father Gilgun was widely known for his holiness, his preaching, and his love of the poor. His loss is acutely felt by his followers who viewed him as wise priest, expert leader in prayer, and teacher.
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