Gerard L’Esperance, 1929-2020, RIP

posted by Mike on May 6th, 2020

Gerard L’Esperance, long-time member of the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker community, has died.

He was a very sweet person and will be missed.

Many years back I did a quick interview with him for this blog, which gives a sense of his gentleness.

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Franz Jägerstätter shirts

posted by Mike on December 6th, 2019

I’m collaborating on some t-shirts celebrating the martyr Franz Jägerstätter, a farmer from Sankt Radegund, Austria, who was beheaded for refusing to fight for the Nazis. Here’s the first version of the shirt.

Blessed Franz has long been an interest and celebrated on this blog down through the years.

The great Terrence Malick has a movie about him coming out next week. Till then, enjoy an Austrian TV movie on his life from the early 1970s:

Bob Waldrop, 1952-2019

posted by Mike on September 9th, 2019

Bob Waldrop“We will not damn our souls to hell to satisfy corrupt politicians.”

Legendary Oklahoma Catholic Worker (and friend of this blog) Bob Waldrop has died at 67.

The Oklahoman:

Bob was buried in his overalls.

Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church in Oklahoma City for the funeral Mass of Robert Max Augustine Waldrop, who served as the church’s director of music and liturgy, was a champion of the poor and started the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House.

Michael True, 1933-2019, RIP

posted by Mike on May 1st, 2019

Michael True, Worcester activist, writer, and educator, has died. His intelligence, diligence, generosity, and kindness will not be forgotten by those who knew him.

His funeral and burial will be in Minnesota. There will be a celebration of his life in Worcester June 1 at Mechanics Hall.
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Václav

posted by Kaihsu Tai on January 2nd, 2019

A recent sermon on the carol Good King Wenceslas reminded me of this text of mine six years ago:

Quando dou comida aos pobres, chamam-me de santo. Quando pergunto por que eles são pobres, chamam-me de comunista.

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.

Hélder Câmara

In the carol, King Wenceslas did everything right to be called a saint. The “poor” was “gathering winter fuel” on St Stephen’s. Who would collect the fuel otherwise? When else? – What other time? What’s wrong with collecting fuel? Even if it were wrong, the king’s response was not – “Let’s reorganize the system for energy in the neighbourhood around my palace” but to call his page. All right – a feast might be had by all on St Stephen’s if the entourage made it to yonder the poor’s.

But on the festival of St John the Evangelist, on the Day of the Holy Innocents, the King remains king, the page page, the poor still poor. Only that the King now sleeps sounder on the 27th of December and will not look out. He may then commission the carol writer later in the afternoon for his hagiography. The unnamed “poor man” does not stop collecting winter fuel – even come January.

(New Year’s Day 2013)

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Christmas, Hagiography, Heresy | on January 2nd, 2019 | Permanent Link to “Václav” | No Comments »

Sata vuotta sitten – one hundred years ago

posted by Kaihsu Tai on December 3rd, 2017

Pohjois-Haagan veljeshauta
My rough translation of a first-hand account of the Finnish Civil War, from a 1960 book. The citation and a link to the original text is at the end.

On the way to armed struggle

Dr J. A. Pärnänen had been the headmaster of the Workers’ Education Institute [in Tampere] since 1908. He made sure that the lecturers were not only academics with just master’s degrees or mere doctorates, but also professors from universities – occasionally also lawyers. As 1918 approached with all its tensions, he wanted a lawyer to come to explain to the youth about the new Acts on local elections, which were passed after much controversy. The job fell on the secretary of the city council, a young lawyer [the author himself]. Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Kaihsu Tai in Advent, Books, Finland, Hagiography, Weapons | on December 3rd, 2017 | Permanent Link to “Sata vuotta sitten – one hundred years ago” | Comments Off on Sata vuotta sitten – one hundred years ago

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 Hagiography, 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 Hagiography, 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, Hagiography, Lent, Prayer | on March 25th, 2013 | Permanent Link to “The Annunciation to Mary” | Comments Off on The Annunciation to Mary