September 2015 Link RoundUp

Here’s some of my favorite online articles from this past month:

Dorothy Day on Abortion and Mercy
“The image of the seamless garment like the image of the Body of Christ, with Christ as the head, is a hierarchical image. Abortion, the willful termination of human life, is simply not the same moral act as capital punishment or even economic exploitation. Rather, such a vision requires the careful and precise distinction evident in Evangelii Gaudium, when Pope Francis explained why the protection of the unborn takes primacy of place in the Church’s teaching on human dignity.”

The Secret History of Father Maloney
“Lloyd explained to us that Father Moloney used his privilege as a white man and as a Catholic priest in a heavily Catholic area to break down barriers of injustice. He started a federal credit union to help blacks who couldn’t get loans from local banks. He started a bus service to take poor black workers to and from the Avondale Shipyards, 70 miles away, so they could get good industrial jobs, and not have to settle for low-paying farm jobs. And he worked to undermine the plantation system, which played on the ignorance of poor African Americans to cheat them.”

Glen Keane – Step into the Page

Why Can’t We Do Catholicism Well?
“I do my best to wrench my thoughts back to what matters most—to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—to the beauty in the church’s architecture, the priest’s vestments, the poetry of the liturgy, and these things are all very good. But there’s something to be said about the beautifully vested priest mumbling the prayers or the fact that the liturgical motions—themselves richly endowed with meaning—are performed haltingly, truncated.”

Fourteen Tips for New Catholic School Teachers
“4. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about the students. So learn how to spell the word ‘concupiscence’. Concupiscence is a tendency to put yourself first. Only divine grace enables us to rise above it.”

A Divine School of Solidarity: The Hours
“The gift of the Liturgy of the Hours as a daily practice is that the Christian is schooled in the fullness of the spiritual life as we meditate morning after morning, night after night upon the Psalms. And these Psalms are given to us. We do not get to choose which ones we pray. We do not simply praise God with timbrel and harp but must also acknowledge our deep woundedness, the injustice of the world, and the sorrow that comes with hearing only silence in the midst of our prayer to God.”

Roman Missal Workshops: Unexpected Success?

Our diocese had our fourth day of regional workshops on the Roman Missal, third edition yesterday. We offer an afternoon and an evening session, each 3-hours long, covering some basics of good liturgy, the reasons for and some examples of the changes we’ll see on the Firth Sunday of Advent, and a packet of resources for implementing the changes.

Our last two workshop are next Tuesday, and after they’re done I really want to sit and analyze what we did right with this workshop. The afternoon session is for Catholic school teachers — usually a very tough audience. But so far, with some minor exceptions, this is the most engaged I’ve seen the teachers on a catechetical topic.

I’m not sure why that’s so; part of it may be that we’re giving them materials they can take back and use in the classroom (something they’ve been asking for for years), but I think the fact that we’ve divided up the workshop into smaller subsections — none longer than 30 minutes, some as short as 5 minutes — helps to make the presentations feel snappier. We’ve also added a variety of short video clips (from ICEL’s Become One Body, One Spirit in Christ DVD, a great resource), multiple presenters (participants hear from 5 different people), and we purchased a portable PA system so that we don’t have to rely on spotty systems in gyms and parish halls.

I suspect that it’s a combination of all these factors that have made the workshops a success. Of course, the real proof will be how parishes use the materials and prepare people for the new language of the Mass we’ll be using in two months!

Upcoming Events — Councils, Discipleship, and Beer

UPDATED (January 25): The Spirituality and Discipleship for Catholic Teachers course has been canceled; instead I will be offering the Second Vatican Council at the same place and times.

I have a number of catechetical engagements coming up that you might be interested in:

  • The Second Vatican Council: Its History and Its Documents
    9a-2:30p, February 12 & 19, 2011 – Blessed Sacrament Parish (Quincy, Illinois)

    Bring your lunch as we explore the Second Vatican Council! This adult enrichment course, held on two consecutive Saturdays, looks at the events leading up to the council, the documents produced by the bishops, and the legacy of the council 40+ years after its conclusion. Materials for the course cost $15; contact Ann Gage at 217-222-2759 to register.
  • The Second Vatican Council: Its History and Its Documents
    3:30p-5:30p, March 2, 9, 16; April 6, 13, 2011 – St. Aloysius School (Springfield, Illinois)
    This catechist formation course for Catholic school teachers in the Springfield, IL, area looks at the events leading up to the council, the documents produced by the bishops, and the legacy of the council 40+ years after its conclusion. Materials for the course cost $15; contact Cindy Callan at 217-698-8500 to register.
  • Spirituality and Discipleship for Catholic Teachers
    3:30p-5:30p, March 2, 9, 16; April 6, 13, 2011 – St. Aloysius School (Springfield, Illinois)

    This 5-week catechist formation course for teachers in the Springfield area will help participants understand conversion and recognize challenges to conversion; reflect on the gifts and qualities of discipleship; and learn how involvement in education may be a means of conversion and transformation. Materials for the course cost $15; contact Cindy Callan at 217-698-8500 to register.
  • St. Boniface Young Adult Ministry’s Theology on Tap
    7p, March 31, 2011 – St. Boniface Church (Edwardsville, Illinois)

    I will be speaking on “How Young Catholics will Save the Church”: As the Baby Boomers prepare for retirement, Generation X and the Millennials are poised to take on new roles as leaders in the Church. What gifts do they bring? How will they continue the work of the Church to make disciples and serve the poor? And what pitfalls await them? Bring your head, your heart, and your own experience as a young “ or not so young “ Catholic!

I’ve also added a new page to this site; click on “Calendar” above for more information on public events or formation opportunities I will be participating in.

Scripture Resources for School Teachers

Today I concluded my five-week class on Sacred Scripture for Catholic school teachers in Springfield. I really enjoyed breaking open the Bible with this great group of catechists!

The following are a few of the resources I recommended to them:

Books:

Links:

Class Handouts (PDFs)

Tomie DePaola’s Book of Bible Stories