Lenten update

So far, so good. Sticking with about 70% of my Lent plans, which is much better than most years.

One unexpected and helpful addition to my Lenten prayer schedule has been Susan Stabile’s series of daily meditations, with a weekly podcast of her remarks to students who are doing this “Lenten retreat in daily life” as well. Worth checking out if you need to jump-start your final week of Lenten prayers.

The best thing I’ve read about Lent this year is a brief essay by Jacob Berendes in his monthly newspaper Mothers News. It’s not at all religious, but it’s funny and a great piece of writing. In exchange for being able to quote me saying “The best thing I’ve read about Lent this year,” Jacob graciously agreed to let me reprint it, below.
Continue reading “Lenten update”

Kevin Ksen: sexiest of men

from Kevin Ksen Polka
(copyright 2008 Nat Needle)

Oh, lots of folks love soccer, they play it every day
But Kevin loves his soccer so, it carries him away
He butts his head, he kicks his legs, and if by chance he falls
The women rush the field so they can play with Kevin’s balls

Kevin Ksen, he’s the sexiest of men
Kevin Ksen, he’s the sexiest of men
Kevin Ksen, he’s the sexiest of men
And if you don’t believe him, he will tell you once again
And if you don’t believe him, he will tell you once again

(Happy birthday, Kevin!)

Dorothy Holds Forth

This interview, by Jeff Dietrich and Susan Pollack, was originally published in the December 1971 Catholic Agitator. You may want to compare this with the portrait drawn of her in Cardinal O’Connor’s application for her sainthood.

CATHOLIC AGITATOR: I’d like first to ask you, are you an anarchist? And what does that mean to you in terms of your daily action?

DOROTHY DAY: Do you want me to go back into history? When I came from college, I was a socialist. I had joined the socialist party in Urbana Illinois and I wasn’t much thrilled by it. I joined because I had read Jack London—his essays, The Iron Heel, and his description of the London slums. I also read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. All of these made a deep impression on me. So when I was sixteen years old and in my first year of college, I joined the Socialist Party. But I found most of them “petty bourgeois.” You know the kind. They were good people, butchers and bakers and candlestick makers—mostly of German descent—very settled family people. And it was very theoretical. It had no religious connotations, none of the religious enthusiasm for the poor that you’ve got shining through a great deal of radical literature.

Then there was the IWW moving in, which was the typically American movement. Eugene Debs was a man of Alsace-Lorraine background. A religious man, he received his inspiration from reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. That started him off because he could have been a well-to-do bourgeois, comfortable man. But, here you have this whole American movement. The IWW has this motto: “An injury to one is an injury to all.” That appealed to me tremendously because I felt that we were all one body. I had read scripture, but I don’t think I’d ever really recognized that teaching of the “Mystical Body”—that were are all one body, we are all one.
Continue reading “Dorothy Holds Forth”

Daniel Dick on Worcester’s water supply

Daniel Dick, past president of the Tatnuck Brook Watershed Association and creator of the Energy Studies curriculum at Worcester State College, talks about Worcester’s water supply. From the 2007 conference on Catholic Social Teaching at Anna Maria College, April 16, 2007.

More formats.

Catholic street church news

Here are some reader submissions. Thanks!

Tent city at St. Jude Catholic Church in Redmond, Washington:

St. Jude Catholic Church welcomed Tent City 4 to its Redmond location on February 10th. The city of Redmond, where a one bedroom apartment generally rents for $911 to $1188 a month, issued a permit, but then rescinded it, threatening to fine St. Jude up to $500.00 a day for occupying the space. The stay could end up costing the church more than $37,000, which it says it will pay with donations, not parish funds.

In March, I visited tent city and interviewed pastor David Rogerson and three residents of tent city.

Redmond tent city, Indymedia photo
Indymedia photo

Spanish archbishop shuts down parish with unorthodox priests:

The archbishop of Madrid has shut down a parish where priests said Mass in street clothes and handed out cookies as the holy communion, his office said Monday.

The parish of San Carlos Borromeo, in the working-class Vallecas district of Spain’s capital, was popular among poor people, former prisoners, recovering drug addicts and immigrants.

Misa 1 Abril
Parish of San Carlos Borromeo photo

Liturgical abuse bugs me, but there’s always so much going on in a situation like this, you never know the real story.

Spring in Worcester, and other items

Spring in Worcester, by Claire Schaeffer-DuffyAh, another Spring day in Worcester. The kids are out of school this week. Yesterday morning a bunch of men and little kids were playing baseball in Austin Street, pausing the game when a car approached.

Last week was the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Worcester native Abbie Hoffman.


When he appeared before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities — after his red, white and blue American flag shirt had been ripped from his back — Hoffman remarked: “I regret I have but one shirt to give for my country.”

WFMU: Abbie Hoffman Makes Gefilte Fish.

This weekend I got a letter from one of my elected officials with an interesting bit of information that I was asked to keep confidential. A similar thing happened last month, when someone I don’t know wrote an e-mail about an interesting project that I was asked to keep secret.

I love to be in the loop. I love to know secrets. But I think it’s best to check with the person first, to call or e-mail and say, “If I tell you something, could you keep it secret?” Otherwise, you’re coercing the other person.
Continue reading “Spring in Worcester, and other items”

Prayer on the cutting edge

Karen Marie wrote:

My favorite prayer tool is a little tabloid called “2006 Milwaukee Archdiocesan Directory”. Twenty five-column pages of a long list of names and places. I’ve been caught by others with it a few times, and tried to explain how a long list of names becomes prayer. Not very effectively.

She later clarified what she meant, but not before speculation ran wild.
Continue reading “Prayer on the cutting edge”

Ken Wilber explains it all

Via Worldchanging we learn that the Catholic Church in the Philipines has built a system whereby impoverished families with low-cost cell phones can use text messaging to haggle for food and goods–and for these folks, even a slightly cheaper price on the essentials makes a big difference.

The subtext of many items on Pie and Coffee is an “integral” philosophy, and this is a great example of that: the faith community has the infrastructure to build the trading system, and that system strengthens both individuals and the faith community.

Tying systems or ideas together makes them stronger and more effective.

Which brings us to Ken Wilber.
Continue reading “Ken Wilber explains it all”