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. We are told will be a celebration of his life in Worcester June 1 at Mechanics Hall, but no details yet.

Official obituary, Minneapolis Star Tribune

True, Michael Daniel: Lover of life, born in Oklahoma City, OK 11/8/1933 died at 85, on 4/28/2019 in St. Paul, MN. Michael was a prolific writer of books, essays and letters. He was a teacher and activist, loved good conversation, friends, food and music. He grew up in Lawton, OK with his 2 brothers and “Mother and Daddy” whom he cherished. He was a Sooner at Oklahoma University, received his MA in English at the University of Minnesota. Michael met his wife, Mary Pat Delaney, in St. Paul. They married in 1958 at St. Luke’s Parish. Mike went to Duke University for his Ph. D. He spent the majority of his life in his beloved city of Worcester, MA where he taught English, and later Peace Studies at Assumption College (1965-2000).

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Michael True, activist, poet, educator, mourned

Michael True believed in peace, the power of art and poetry, and the worth of his adopted hometown, the city of Worcester.

“But he didn’t just talk about ideas,” said his son, John True. “He implemented them. He was an activist.”

Mr. True, also a renowned author, poet and historian who taught at Assumption College and in classrooms around the world, passed away last week in Minneapolis at the age of 85. He is survived by his wife, Mary Pat, six children, 10 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Mr. True was a central figure in Worcester’s nonviolence community, taking part in protests big and small, for causes well-known and unsung. Those who knew him remembered a man committed to what he believed in, willing to risk health and reputation, and who, despite his illustrious resume, never looked down on anyone.

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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

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, Hagiography | 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, Hagiography, Heresy | on June 27th, 2012 | Permanent Link to “Näin sanoi Minna Canth” | Comments Off on Näin sanoi Minna Canth