Holy Women & Everyday Hero Priests -UPDATE

"The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine genius which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms that the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope, and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness (n. 31)."--- Blessed Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Mulieris DignitatemExciting … [Read more...]

Catholicism, Apps and New Media

Not to sound like an old lady, but I am quite taken with young Brandon Vogt, whose book, The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet will be released toward the end of summer. Brandon blogs at The Thin Veil, but he's also a crackerjack reporter who quickly filed some excellent-- really comprehensive -- pieces for OSV during the Vatican/Blogger meet-up last month, so it's not surprising that his book is a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute look at the … [Read more...]

Textbook-Free Campus; Fact-Free History, No Jobs

I have issues with textbook-free campuses, and so, it appears, does Jesse Jackson, Jr.And some of our issues are the same. I too have wondered what happens to all the publishing houses, all the paper producers, the raw-material-providers, all the book binders, all the designers, all the office-workers, all the shipping and trucking jobs that disappear if campuses become "textbook free."I am also concerned about what happens to our understanding of the past -- or even our present -- when … [Read more...]

Two Luscious Female Voices

Saying really smart things!That would be Pat Gohn in her latest Among Women Podcast, where she makes a very loving and learned exposition of of Mary's visit to Elizabeth and what it teaches us, and then brings in her fellow Patheos Columnist, Happy Catholic's Julie Davis -- herself a golden-voiced podcaster of tireless energies, to discuss Julie's terrific book (it's on my desk as I write this) Happy Catholic; Glimpses of God in Everyday Life .They have a lot of fun reading quotes from the … [Read more...]

Making Love in the Light

My column at First Things for the upcoming Feast of the Ascension:It is this onenes Father Barron describes when he writes of the “interacting and interpenetrating fields of force” that are heaven and earth, constantly commingling, and within the church embodying a true encounter between bridegroom and bride. That is considered archaic language, I know — Flannery O’ Connor called it “a metaphor that can be dispensed with” — but the brilliant Ms. O’ Connor was uncharacteristically off the mark i … [Read more...]

Class Tells – Video Update!

A few days ago on Facebook, Fr. James Martin mentioned attending the Christopher Awards, which honored his most recent book, along with The King's Speech, Toy Story 3 and many other great books, films and tv shows. He wrote,"Back from the Christopher Awards. The screenwriter and director of 'The King's Speech' accepted their awards in person: very classy. If I ever send a publicist to collect an award, punch me."I agree. If an organization is taking the trouble to recognize your work, have … [Read more...]

Bookclub: Sinners, Science & Faith

The Patheos Book Club is discussing Sinners: Jesus and His Earliest Followers by Greg Carey, and you are invited to read an excerpt, here.Because I've been waylaid, I missed the discussion on this book by Karl W. Giberson and Francis S. Collins, which I have only just received for review and looks very interesting, The Language of Science and Faith. Collins, of course is the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and a professed Christian, so this look to be particularly interesting … [Read more...]

Theology of Heart and Mind

Even though I occasionally download a novel to my iPad, this is why I will never give up on real, cardboard-paste-and-paper books: I got this in the mail yesterday, and it was so tantalizingly beautiful, so sweet to the hand - and then I opened it and the newness of the page and ink nearly made me dizzy with delight, and -- yes, I did it -- I took a great big sniff of my new, beautiful book.A bouquet of roses couldn't please me more.Tactile and sensory pleasures aside, I began reading Pope … [Read more...]

On the Craftsmen

Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 57 for April 10If there are craftsmen in the monastery, let them practice their crafts with all humility, provided the Abbot has given permission. But if any one of them becomes conceited over his skill in his craft, because he seems to be conferring a benefit on the monastery, let him be taken from his craft and no longer exercise it unless, after he has humbled himself, the Abbot again gives him permission. If any of the work of the craftsmen is to be … [Read more...]

Glimpses of God in the Everyday

"I don't feel like it's any of my business what people think of me." -- Jim CaviezelAs a faithful Catholic who is an actor, Jim Caviezel must have had to use that philosophy a lot to remain true to his faith. We all should take a lesson from his book and do likewise. I'm serious here. We really should.I just want to ask though, has anyone else tried to practice what Jim Caviezel preaches?I have. It is darned near impossible.It was excruciating It went completely against my nature. I … [Read more...]