Thinking Outside the Box on Catholic Religious Education – UPDATED


Joanne McPortland posted only two pieces in all of January, but they were both hum-dingers.Yesterday, she dared to ask "What is really wrong with Catholic Religious Education" and then answered her own question with: "just about everything". In fact, she says we're catechizing "the wrong damn people!". . .part of the reason the adult formation classes and workshops we do offer are so poorly attended—adult catechesis just not a part of our regular expectation and structure. And a … [Read more...]

The New School: Saving Education from Itself

reynolds new school

The Federal Reserve also found that those with student loan debt were less likely to purchase houses or cars than those without student loans. This isn't surprising. [Such debt] doesn't encourage people to live large. But with young people traditionally being a major source of demand in both the housing and auto markets, two areas deemed important to economic recovery and prosperity -- buying first houses and first cars and then moving up to something fancier every few years -- this burden is … [Read more...]

Two Extraordinary Moments Where a Single Hand Gesture Tells the Whole Story


Twice today I have been very moved to come across gloriously beautiful -- dare I say transcendent -- images, where the poignancy of the moment was movingly emphasized by the small unconscious movement of a single hand.First, thanks to Deacon Greg, I saw the La Stampa photo of Pope Francis kissing a man so seriously disfigured that most of us would likely find him difficult to look at, and would turn away.Everyone is looking at this picture, and it is, indeed, breath-taking.But … [Read more...]

“A Very Safe Place” in a world so thin of them…

blue mountain

The value of a musical education begun during the early years of childhood has been well-documented; students who are exposed to musical instruction while young tend to do better in math and language arts and -- more importantly -- they develop a musicality that will remain with them for as long as they choose to use it, and can always be re-gained. At a recent family event our sons brought out a guitar, a uke, a mandolin and (and a fiddle for a guest) and it was kind of delightful to have a … [Read more...]

I love this book!


I haven't read The Bible Tells Me So, yet; I never even heard about it until this week. But I love it, because Lisa Mladinich has written so entertainingly about it, and about the fellow behind it!It's the beginning of the catechetical year on a warm Wednesday evening in September, and a noisy crowd of raw recruits has just shuffled in and slumped into chairs, worn out from a long day at school.Before they can droop any further, he engages."Hey y'all, welcome to 6th grade … [Read more...]

Are sensitivity and tolerance one-way streets? – UPDATED


I read this story over at Deacon Greg's earlier today and it annoyed me but I was too busy to write about it. My first thought was, "so, you friends at Catholic high school have supported you as you came out and by your own admission, always been respectful, and the school was fine about your bringing a boyfriend to prom, and you're going to reward them by making commencement all about you? Why all the taking and no giving?"I think you do nothing to build goodwill when you say, "your … [Read more...]

2 Sexes, 60 Saints Each, 2 Questions – UPDATED

60 for girls

For reasons that are not worth going into-- at least not yet -- I have a question for the Catholic Moms and Dads out there -- particularly those of you who home-school, or take main responsibility for your child's religious formation or teach catechism, yourself.The question is, are you familiar with these out-of-print books?Sixty Saints for GirlsSixty Saints for BoysSecondly, if'n you are familiar with the books, do you like them? If so, why?If not, I'd really … [Read more...]

Ban the Divine Comedy? Really?


Oh, come on, now!It is a world-renowned work of literature and one of the foundation stones of the Italian language, but Dante's Divine Comedy has been condemned as racist, homophobic, anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic.The classic work should be removed from school curricula, according to Gherush 92, a human rights organisation which acts as a consultant to UN bodies on racism and discrimination.Dante's epic is "offensive and discriminatory" and has no place in a modern classroom, … [Read more...]

Haiti, Two Years Later

Haiti where we have church now

Currents, the daily Catholic news program produced by the Diocese of Brooklyn, observes the second anniversary of Haiti's devastating earthquake by interviewing Father Jean Moise Delva who, sadly, reports that not much has changed."It was very sad to see the atmosphere, and the way people are living," Father Delva says. Noting that 2.38 billion dollars have been spent he notes the difficulty in distributing aid. Haitians have seen almost no building connected to that expenditure. More than … [Read more...]

Don’t mess with Firefly!

Glenn Reynolds was struck by the same phrase that struck me too. He called it "Orwellian" and it is. But it's faster to just say "Fascist.""This is not an act of censorship; it's an act of sensitivity!"Yeah...the "shushing tyranny of 'be nice.'"Over-interpreting a thing or elasticizing its meaning into Utter Stupidityland (as was done in this case) is how fascists gain power and hold on to it in order to suppress the rest. No wonder bloggers and the internet are facing threats … [Read more...]