Holy Week items

posted by Mike on April 3rd, 2010

On Palm Sunday many churchgoers hold palms during the service. I’m used to seeing people weave them into large crosses. Here are two smaller (East African?) designs that I saw for the first time.

“Song for Holy Saturday”
Following tradition, here’s a link to this poem by James K. Baxter.

“Enjoy the Silence: Triduum, sexual abuse, and the disappearance of the crucified”
Michael Iafrate:

It is truly difficult to hear the continued reports of children raped by priests and not be struck by the presence of the Crucified One there. But this presence is denied—“I do not know the man!”—each and every time church leaders and members alike remain silent or utter words of defensiveness that embarrassingly fill nearly every news story or ecclesial statement covering the abuse.

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posted by Mike in Items, Lent | on April 3rd, 2010 | Permanent Link to “Holy Week items” | No Comments »

Patty Angevine and other Thanksgiving items

posted by Mike on November 26th, 2009

Patty AngevineNice profile of local Catholic Worker and awesome person Patty Angevine in the Telegram and Gazette. Among other things, she co-founded the great soup kitchen at St. John’s. (Note that it’s rarer than you might think for Catholic Workers, like Patty, to work professionally in social services.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Michael Iafrate makes the case against Thanksgiving, then admits:

. . . I am not about to be so politically smug that I would simply refuse to participate in my own family’s traditions.

Me neither. I love celebrating a fall feast with family, and I love celebrating a utopia in which natives and immigrants could co-exist. I’d embrace a chance to have a more honest celebration without giving up the joy.

Don’t forget that the day after Thanksgiving is Buy Nothing Day. I’ll be doing my bit to “keep the Christ in Christmas” by keeping myself out of the mall. For a great example of a joyous Buy Nothing Day, see Mark Dixon’s 49 Hours at Wal-Mart.

Worcester Police on Twitter

The WPD’s Twitter feed makes me wonder when we’ll see our first Worcester crime blogger. Seems like anyone could gather quite a bit of info with a computer, police scanner, and telephone.

A Worcester janitors’ union, and other items

posted by Mike on July 8th, 2009

River Sims
Thanks to River Sims and Mike the intern for a wonderful, unexpected tour of San Francisco last week.

If you’re interested in the Catholic Worker movement in 2009, you might want to read about River’s ministry, read his blog, or follow him on Twitter.

Michael Spencer on the death of Michael Jackson
From the Internet Monk podcast:

We should remember how many people came to Christ because they had concluded that the gods of the old world were empty and meaningless. Our task is to keep Jesus from being one of the gods of the old world.


Bonus mp3 link: Stale Urine covers “Billie Jean”

Organizing a Janitor’s Union in Worcester: July 8, 7pm, 52 Mason St
A presentation at the SS. Francis & Therese Catholic Worker:

Chris Patterson, a community organizer with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 615, will speak about the campaign to expand membership in Worcester’s union of janitors. Discussions and refreshments to follow. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome. For more information, please call 508 753-3588.

“Pope Calls for New Economic Order”
Dave Griffith:

So, I know that the any headline that begins with “Pope” is going to be divisive–either you’re on the bus or off right away. But I think the new encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” ( “Charity in Truth”) should be of great interest to many, Catholic or not, because it calls for an end to capitalism as we know it.

Haven’t read this encyclical yet. Will revisit the topic when I do.

Do Catholic Workers go to church? and other items

posted by Mike on June 11th, 2009

Last week, a friend asked: Do Catholic Workers go to church? His impression was that the answer was No, and that “not going to church was part of the thing.”

I would say, by-and-large, the answer is Yes.

  • The Catholic Worker movement is decentralized, and there’s nobody in a position to enforce these things.
  • Many folks in Catholic Worker communities are not Catholic or not church-goers.
  • That said, based on visits to dozens of communities and meetings with hundreds of Catholic Workers, I think that most Catholic Workers are at least occasional churchgoers.
  • Some Catholic Workers make churchgoing a priority. Co-founder Dorothy Day attended mass every day. There are Catholic Workers who are priests, nuns, and deacons. On this website, we have archived many homilies from masses at the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker in Worcester. I think most of those who go to mass there on Fridays also attend at their own churches on Sundays.

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Brandon Darby and other items

posted by Mike on May 25th, 2009

This week’s This American Life has a great piece on activist Brandon Darby, who became an FBI informant whose work led to the conviction of 2 young RNC 2008 protesters.

I’d never heard of him before fellow RNC arrestee Drew Wilson told me about him; turns out several of my friends worked with him and admired him.

If you’ve listened to the radio piece, it’s worth reading Scott Crow’s critique. (Scroll past the first few comments to see it.)

Worcester Chopped Sea Clams
Holmes looks up trademarked items named after Worcester.

The Foundation of All Activism . . . Dental Floss
Erik Marcus makes a point about taking care of yourself.

Good Friday items

posted by Mike on April 9th, 2009

P&C’s Michael Paulukonis was part of the team behind Skipscreen, the red-hot “free Firefox add-on that lets you skip all the clicking and waiting on sites like RapidShare, Zshare, MegaUpload, and Sharebee.” 120,000 downloads this week–congrats!

Mozart: music pirate
Charming musical post about “Gregorio Allegri’s arrangement of Psalm 51” from Rocco Palmo, just in time for Holy Week.

Are protests effective?
Management prof Brayden King says yes. I’m eager to dig into the research to see if any strategies seem to be more effective than others.
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posted by Mike in Items | on April 9th, 2009 | Permanent Link to “Good Friday items” | No Comments »

A march to nowhere and other items

posted by Mike on March 25th, 2009

Linda LeTendre, in DC this week to join the 100 Days Campaign, reviews the recent antiwar march in DC, which I skipped:

There was a “standoff” between some demonstrators and some police officers, with the demonstrators taunting the officers. This was high idiocy for two reasons: (1) It did not promote peace, and (2) The officers were armed, the taunters were not. The officers were called to some other part of the event and as they left the taunters cheered as if they had won some great victory — further raising their level on the idiocy scale.

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Three items of interest: Church, Guantanamo, Action

posted by Mike on March 20th, 2009

“The coming evangelical collapse”
Michael Spencer:

Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

Michael Bell runs the numbers. As a New England Catholic, whose own church is in steep decline while local evangelical churches seem to be thriving, these articles were full of surprises for me.

During last summer’s Catholic Worker National Gathering it struck me that the Catholic Worker movement is one of the few things about my church that’s not either in decline or in a defensive mode–the CW communities are doing great, with a good mix of ages, marked by openness, faith, and courage. I wish I could say the CW is a good model for the “future of the Church,” but interest has waxed and waned over the decades, and most people number their association with the CW in years rather than decades, so I think we’ll have to look elsewhere for that.
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Items and gadgets

posted by Mike on February 12th, 2009

A personal note
The 100 Days is going great. Nice to be working so hard on something positive. Starting to think about what I should do (for money or for free) when I return to Worcester in May. Ideas? You know how to reach me.

I’ve been thinking about how we pick our causes, inspired by the following 2 articles about causes that have arguably not done well.

Save Darfur Can’t Save Darfur:

In all the activist rhetoric about genocide, one critical fact is lost – as bad as the situation is, it could be far worse. If you don’t understand this simple point, you don’t understand the stakes involved.

(See also Some Defend Save Darfur and The Janjaweed Speak, by the same author.)

Life For March:

At 36 years old, the pro-life movement is still energetic and indignant—and trapped. Every year of Republican rule has increased the suspicion that pro-lifers are the GOP’s useful idiots.

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posted by Mike in Items | on February 12th, 2009 | Permanent Link to “Items and gadgets” | 1 Comment »

Drew Wilson charges dropped and other items

posted by Mike on January 24th, 2009

Drew Wilson, Worcesterite and friend of this blog, was arrested September 1, 2008 in St. Paul in connection with the Republican National Convention. Yesterday, he and 6 others were the first RNC arrestees to get to the trial phase. The charges against him sounded pretty bogus, and sure enough they were dropped:

. . . Judge Michael Fetsch decided that no reasonable jury could find the defendants guilty even if all the testimony from police was accepted as true. The defendants did not have to present any defense and charges can not be re-filed in the future.


Let’s celebrate by listening to Drew’s account of the arrest, from 508 #57: click here to download the mp3.

(Also: Very short Star-Tribune article.)

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