Monthly Archives: December 2009

Take My Dollars and Stay Home

It’s a slow week, but I like it this way. The Iowa winter so far seems undecided between dumping significant snow, or raining and thawing, or plunging below zero at night. I still have a crest of crusty snow on … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | 8 Comments

RCIA 257: Who Attends the Rites?

A liturgical suggestion: 257. For children of this age, at the rites during the process of initiation, it is generally preferable not to have the whole parish community present, but simply represented. Thus these rites should be celebrated with the … Continue reading

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Sainthood As Art

Neil is correct to press me for an affirmative response to the question, “What are saints for?” I cannot criticize in others the hermeneutic of subtraction without offering something positive from my own encounters with the saints. After some reflection … Continue reading

Posted in Art, spirituality | Leave a comment

A Christmas Wild and Sweet

  Christmas greetings to you readers from our household, humans and pets, to yours. May you all find God’s blessings, wild and sweet, in all the celebrations of faith and family in the season ahead. Let the songs be sung, … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

A Short Post on Dante

(This is Neil) I would like to wish a blessed Christmas to our readers. Let me post one more thing in 2009. I would like to direct your attention to three lectures just delivered by the Anglican priest Nicholas Sagovsky, … Continue reading

Posted in Neil | 1 Comment

Australia’s On Board

No doubt a few Catholic commentators were wondering what’s holding up the show. The USCCB has passed on all the Roman Missal it was allowed to read. So why aren’t we using it already? Apparently, it was because of the … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy | 2 Comments

RCIA 256: Timing the Children

Some important aspects of timing the reception of the sacraments. Section 256 in whole: 256. In regard to the time for the celebration of the steps of initiation, it is preferable that, if possible, the final period of preparation, begun … Continue reading

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Making A Saint

Thanks for the comments on the “Hero Worship” thread. It wasn’t my main intention to get into a debate on the merits of Pius XII’s stance with or aid to Jewish refugees in the 1940′s. It’s certainly not a surprise … Continue reading

Posted in spirituality | 10 Comments

Hero Worship

An interesting pair of popes progress down the lane of declared sanctity. One commentator somewhere remarked it was something of a balanced ticket. I didn’t get that. John Paul II from the beginning was a charismatic figure, inspiring people in … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, spirituality | 22 Comments

RCIA 255: Peer Group

The rite recommends putting child catechumens together whenever possible: 255. For the celebrations proper to this form of Christian initiation, it is advantageous, as circumstances allow, to form a group of several children who are in the same situation, in … Continue reading

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Kids’ Choices

I like working with kids. Always have. One of the most wonderful things to watch is to see them develop as musicians over the years. I’m also fascinated by their thought processes: what choices they make, how they judge options, … Continue reading

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Episcopal Reluctance

One Irish bishop out, but the others of the “Dublin Five” appear to be heading toward a showdown with a brother bishop, Diarmuid Martin. According to the news link, Archbishop Martin will petition Rome for the removal of these bishops … Continue reading

Posted in Church News | 7 Comments

The Armchair Liturgist: Cancelling Liturgical Christmas

During 8:30 Mass yesterday we had almost an inch deposited on our parked cars. The buzz at church during our brief whiteout in Story County was the incoming weather system due to hit later this week. I confess I’m glad … Continue reading

Posted in The Armchair Liturgist | 8 Comments

RCIA 254: Companions and Parents

254. The children’s progress in the formation they receive depends on the help and example of their companions and on the influence of their parents. Both these factors should be taken into account. As a parent,  I have to comment … Continue reading

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Pope: You Are The Tree, Tranfigured

An interesting reflection by the Holy Father on the lighting up of the thirty-meter Belgian fir tree at the Vatican. Taking the image of transfiguration a bit further, I often reflect on the plants cut and used for liturgy. Each … Continue reading

Posted in spirituality | 2 Comments