July 16, 2012, Volume VI, Number 29
FEAST OF BLESSED ANNE-MARIE JAVOUHEY
Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Pope Leo XIII – July 20, 2012
Question of the Week
For the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 22, 2012
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for a while.” How does this request
sound like a shepherd speaking to his flock? Do you accept this invitation on a daily basis? Do
you carve out a non-interrupted time for prayer at the beginning of each day? In the middle of
your work time? In the evening with your family and loved ones? Do you get enough rest each
night? How does this invitation relate to the commandment to Love the Lord’s Day as it is called
the Adult Catechism?
The theme for 2012 Catechetical Sunday is "Catechists and Teachers as Agents of the New
Evangelization." The Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis has prepared a variety of
materials to assist catechists and Catholic school teachers to better understand and embrace Pope
Benedict XVI's invitation to be evangelists. The resources will assist parishes in celebrating
Catechetical Sunday, not only in September, but also throughout the 2012-2013 year. These
materials are provided free of charge. These resources can be found at Catechetical Sunday
2012 Resources (http://tiny.cc/m10nfw).
We are featuring a Teaching Aid this week entitled Proselytism and
Evangelization: Important Distinctions for Catechists by Fr. Leo Walsh,
STD, Pastor, St. Benedict Parish, Diocese of Fairbanks. You can download
the PDF at http://tiny.cc/ftpchw or by simply clicking on the title above.
As in past years, NCCL will sell printed copies of prayer
cards, family commitment cards, posters, and certificates
in English and Spanish. Check the NCCL website
www.NCCL.org for more information on ordering your Catechetical Sunday
materials. This year’s reflection journal was written by Michele Harris and is entitled Open the
Door of Faith. Sample pages are available on the NCCL Homepage (www.NCCL.org). Help
your organization and order your materials from NCCL. In the meantime, check out the
Catechetical Sunday 2012 FREE Resources (http://tiny.cc/m10nfw) which include
Parish Resources (excellent parish bulletin inserts)
This week we would also like to highlight two additional resources.
Promoting Evangelization at Home and Abroad by Fr. Michael Montoya, MJ, DMin
Executive Director of United States Catholic Mission Association. You can download the PDF at
http://tiny.cc/e6pchw or by simply clicking on the title above.
Leadership Institute website: Track III - New Evangelization features ten webinars. You can
check out all of them at http://tiny.cc/aaiigw or by clicking on Track III above. This week we
are featuring a more in-depth presentation from the bulletin insert. It is entitled Identifying,
engaging and welcoming Inactive Catholics by Frank DeSiano. You can listen to the webinar
at http://tiny.cc/2xpchw or simply click on the title above.
The presentation by Fr. Frank describes the broad cultural issues behind people
who do not regularly practice their faith, and talks about three specific
segments--young adults, young married people, and older alienated Catholics--
giving ways to listen to their concerns, involve them, and build bridges between
them and the church. The presentation will help all nuance their ideas about
Year of Faith postings for NCCL Website
NCCL will be posting Year of Faith plans from parishes and
dioceses on the NCCL website. If your committee or Forun
has discussed the Year of Faith from an NCCL perspective, or
if someone on your committee has plans for the Year of Faith,
please email the information to NCCL Board member Joanie
McKeown at jmckNCCL@email.com. We'll post links to
websites, outlines of plans, introductory articles, worksheets,
etc., along with a byline crediting you (or your parish, diocese,
committee, etc) for the materials you are sharing. By allowing
others to see your plans you'll be helping other parish and
diocesan catechetical leaders as they develop their local plans
so that across the country, in parishes large and small, we'll
have vibrant celebrations of the Year of Faith.
Natural Family Planning Awareness Week Begins July 22 In U.S. Dioceses
Faithfully Yours" is the theme of Natural Family Planning
Awareness Week, July 22-28, a national educational campaign
of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on the
Catholic teaching on married love and the gift of human life.
The annual campaign, which began in 2002, promotes
awareness of Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods.
"NFP Awareness Week is an opportunity for married couples
and Catholics everywhere to better understand and embrace the
Church's uniquely positive and liberating message on the truth of married love," said Bishop
Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, chairman of the USCCB Committee on
Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. "The theme for 2012, 'Faithfully Yours,' highlights the
beauty of how husbands and wives are called to live out their total dedication to one another."
The dates of NFP Awareness Week overlap with the anniversary of the 1968 papal encyclical
Humanae Vitae, in which Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Church's teaching on human sexuality,
married love and responsible parenthood. Resources including a poster, prayers, homily notes,
bulletin inserts and ideas for celebrating and promoting NFP Awareness Week at the local level
can be found online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/natural-family-
planning/awareness-week/index.cfm. For more information, contact Natural Family Planning
Church in England Prepares for Olympics With Day Dedicated to Disability
Just weeks before the 2012 Games in London, the Catholic Church in
England and Wales has held an international conference and a national
day dedicated to disability to demonstrate and witness in the words of
John Paul II that "the body has the ability to manifest God’s deepest
whisper." The conference, titled Everybody has a Place, and the national
day called "Now is the time to be friends" set out to explore and celebrate
the gifts of all people while offering theory and practice in the context of
the topics of disability, theology and sport.
As the opening keynote speaker, Professor John Swinton of the University of Aberdeen spoke of
the need to provide people with a place of belonging. “Inclusion is no longer enough”, he said.
“To be true to the Gospel means ensuring that everyone has a place
where they belong and are not merely included, where they are welcome
at the heart of a community, where they are appreciated and deeply
missed when not present.” He spoke of the Church needing to own and
promote a new way of approaching the disabled person, rejecting the
traditional approach of piety that focuses on a person’s vulnerability.
Theologian Dr Pia Matthews broke open John Paul II’s Theology of the Body explaining its
relevance not only to the Paralympic experience but also to that of everyday ordinary people. She
mentioned two concerns expressed by the deceased Pope: “Modern people, the abled as much as
the disabled, no longer identify themselves subjectively with their bodies. It is as if the ‘hero’
self is imprisoned in matter and the body is the problem and so becomes an object to be
manipulated.” And secondly, “the human tendency is to make the other into an object for me,
forgetting or simply not seeing that the other is ‘an other’, a Christ. It seems that the profoundly
disabled are more likely to be seen as ‘an object’ on several accounts.” She went on to say that
“some build shells to protect themselves others. Others cannot mask their loneliness by strategies
and so either way there is loneliness that seeks companionship but runs the risk of added
loneliness when companionship does not materialize or when it ends up being another
Cristina Gangemi, disability consultant to the Catholic Church in England and Wales, called the
Paralympics a Christological event. "The Paralympics show us what Christ asks all of us to do,"
she said, "to see a person regardless of their human form in all its potential and placing that
person into a society in which the disability disappears. The Paralympics enact the Theology of
the Body written by John Paul II, who was himself a great sportsman. He was always in shape,
firmly disciplined, and allowed the Spirit to guide him in sport. He also demonstrated,
experiencing firsthand the physical disability, that there is continuity between health and illness
and that the body must be respected and honored at all stages."
The complete article can be found at
Testimony of 30 Living Vatican II Participants Said to Stir Wave of Emotions
The director of the Vatican press office commented on Benedict
XVI's trip to the house of the Verbites in Nemi, Italy, noting that
it was a chance for the Pope to visit the place where as a young
theologian he worked on documents of the Second Vatican
Young Joseph Ratzinger worked at the spot in 1965. "The
dynamic and prolific atmosphere of study, debate, and prayer
created the environment for the plenary meetings of the Council Fathers in Saint Peter’s," Father
Lombardi explained. The Vatican spokesman noted that Cardinal Roberto Tucci has recently
spoken about similar work that went on in Ariccia, Italy, with the involvement of young Bishop
Karol Wojtyla in preparation of "Gaudium et spes."
"About thirty of those who participated in the Second Vatican the Council are still living, among
them Council Fathers and experts, and their testimonies stir up a wave of emotions in those who,
like us (even though we were not directly involved), recall that extraordinary time of fervor,
enthusiasm, and hope," Father Lombardi said. "It is our wish that the 50th anniversary of the
Council, which we are preparing to celebrate in October, will be an opportunity to
enthusiastically reunite ourselves to that atmosphere of listening to the Holy Spirit, so that the
documents can be re-read today along the lines of the '"hermeneutic of reform," of renewal in the
continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which
increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying
People of God.” (Address to the Roman Curia, 22.12.2005). For this reason Joseph Ratzinger –
now Pope – wisely exhorts us, as a privileged and authoritative witness, and expert of the
New particle may unlock new discoveries, says Vatican astronomer
The discovery of a new sub-atomic particle -- the so-called Higgs
boson -- may help scientists discover how the hidden structure of all
matter in the universe works, a Vatican astronomer said. "It indicates
that reality is deeper and more rich and strange than our everyday life,"
said U.S. Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno. When people go about
their everyday business working or relaxing, they don't think about the
tiniest building blocks of physical matter, but "without these
underlying little things, we wouldn't be here," he said.
Physicists working with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the
Brother Consolmagno European Organization for Nuclear Research laboratory in Geneva,
(CNS/Paul Haring) announced July 4 that they were 99.999 percent certain they found
evidence of a new particle that might be key to the structure of the
universe and to understanding nature. British physicist Peter Higgs first hypothesized the
existence of the particle in the 1960s as the final missing element in a framework called the
Standard Model, which explains how sub-atomic particles and forces interact.
"Higgs, 50 years ago, worked out a model called the Standard Model, that would provide reasons
for attraction and why there is mass," the Jesuit said. Higgs predicted that if a particle that
produced the effect of mass existed, it should be "visible" after two atoms were smashed together
at high enough speeds. Experiments at CERN have revealed that "there is something that looks
something like the Higgs-boson," Brother Consolmagno said. The new data "will be used to test
the Standard Model and how sub-atomic particles work," he said.
The Higgs-boson had been nicknamed "the God particle" as "a joke" in an attempt to depict the
particle as "almost like a gift from God to help explain how reality works in the sub-atomic
world," he said. Because the particle is believed to be what gives mass to matter, it was assigned
the godlike status of being able to create something out of nothing.
But such "God of the gaps" conjectures are not only bad reasons to believe in God, they are also
bad science, Brother Consolmagno said. "You'll look foolish, in say 2050, when they discover
the real reason" for a phenomenon that was explained away earlier by the hand of God, he said.
However, another kind of faith and hope do exist in the scientific community, he said. "No one
would have built this enormous experiment," tapping the time and talents of thousands of
scientists around the world, "without faith they would find something," he said. "My belief in
God gives me the courage to look at the physical universe and to expect to find order and
beauty," he said. "It's my faith that inspires me to do science."
I read a piece in Newsweek and I still feel as if this Higgs boson infatuation
will get the better of me. However, I did come across an explanation that
tried to help me understand the complexity of it all. I encourage you to take
the time because the artist's comic sketches and the way quantum physics is
animated get me closer to understanding this phenomenon. Check out this
eight minute video at http://www.onbeing.org/blog/higgs-boson-god-
Mourning a Child and Robbed of Words to Express It
This is an extremely important article since it is not uncommon for catechetical leaders to be
confronted by these circumstances in their ministry. Here are a few paragraphs from the article
and I encourage you to read it in its entirety by going to http://www.zenit.org/article-
One of the traditional names given to the Blessed Virgin
Mary is "Our Lady of Sorrows," a title under which the
faithful reflect on the sorrowful events of her life, specifically
the traditional Seven Sorrows. …Because of the uniquely
strong bond between a mother and a child, added to the sense
of untimeliness when a person dies before his or her parents,
the effects of maternal bereavement have been a frequent
topic of study and concern for psychologists.
While the loss of a child is particularly devastating to the parents, it
is a grief shared by the larger community of those who knew the
child during his or her life. The loss of an unborn child, in contrast, is
a far more private tragedy, especially if the parents had not yet
shared the news of the pregnancy. Further complicating matters is
the ongoing worldwide debate over abortion rights, which has
resulted in fierce semantic and even legal battles over the treatment
of the unborn baby as a distinct person.
In recent years, one manifestation of this debate involved the decision
whether or not to issue birth certificates for stillborn babies (4). …the
squeamishness surrounding the abortion debate adds yet another layer
of trepidation, not only among well-meaning friends and caregivers,
but potentially to the mother herself, as evidenced by the account
given by a staunchly feminist author attempting to develop a
terminology to describe the grief following miscarriage without
undermining her pro-choice efforts:
"…after my miscarriages, my confidence in the terms embryo and
fetus began to slip away. Somehow these terms were starting to feel
too cold, too detached, to name and reference beings about which I
had been so excited and hopeful. I began to find the notion that I had
lost "babies" oddly comforting, in spite of worries that I was being
unwittingly swayed by the "other side" to which my pro-choice
politics had been so long positioned." (6)
…The loss of a son or daughter, whether
unborn, a child, or an adult is a deeply painful event, particularly for
the individual's parents. Surveys and studies of bereaved parents
demonstrate that, particularly within the first two years of the loss,
an intense grieving process occurs, and this process can be helped
by religious faith and practices, as well as participation in a
community of fellow believers.
…The loss of loved ones is a sad but unavoidable fact of our
mortality, but as Catholics we not only live in the hope of everlasting
life, but we can take comfort in the fact that our Lord Himself
grieved the loss of friends and family who died during His time on
Earth. As we reflect on the sorrows of Mary and the sufferings of
Christ, we can extend sympathy and understanding to all who are
bereaved, especially parents who have lost children, regardless of the
circumstances of their deaths, and take comfort in the knowledge
that, like Our Lady, those who mourn will one day be reunited with
their children in the life to come.
Our Misunderstandings About Suicide
Every year, Father Ron Rolhesier writes a column on suicide. This past
week Time magazine had a feature on suicides in the U.S. military. This
is a disease that touches many of us and so here are a few excerpts from
his column. If interested, you can read his whole column for July 8, 2012
When someone close to us dies by suicide we live with a pain that includes confusion
("Why?"), guilt ("What might we still have done?"), misunderstanding ("This is the
ultimate form of despair") and, if we are believers, deep religious anxiety as well ("How
does God treat such a person? What's to be his or her eternal destiny?")
What needs to be said about suicide? At the risk of repeating what I have been writing
year after year:
First, that it's a disease, something that in most cases takes a person out of life against his
or her will, the emotional equivalent of cancer, a stroke, or a heart attack. Second, that
we, the loved ones who remain, should not spend undue time and energy second-guessing
as to how we might have failed that person, what we should have noticed, and what we
might still have done to prevent the suicide. …Finally, we shouldn't worry too much
about how God meets our loved one on the other side. God's love, unlike ours, goes
through locked doors, descends into hell, and breathes out peace where we can't. Most
people who die by suicide will awake on the other side to find Christ standing inside their
locked doors, inside the heart of their chaos, breathing out peace and gently saying:
"Peace be with you!"
…there is huge distinction between falling victim to suicide and killing oneself. In
suicide, a person, through illness of whatever sort, is taken out of life against his or her
will. …The person who dies by suicide has cancerous problems precisely because he or
she is too sensitive, too wounded, too raw, and too bruised to possess the necessary
toughness needed to absorb life's many blows.
Killing yourself is something different. It's how some of the Hitlers pass out of this life.
Hitler, in fact, did kill himself. In such a case, the person is not too sensitive, too self-
effacing, and too bruised to touch others and be touched. The opposite. The person is too
proud to accept his or her place in a world that, at the end of the day, demands humility
of everyone. There is an infinite distance between an act done out of weakness and one
done out of strength. Likewise there is an absolute distinction between being too bruised
to continue to touch life and being too proud to continue to take one's place within it.
Running good for 'mind, body and spirit,' but also can promote a cause
Running a marathon is "very healthy for mind, body and spirit," but it is
also an excellent way to promote Catholicism, particularly vocations,
said Father Rick Nagel of the Indianapolis Archdiocese. Father Nagel is
director of the archdiocesan Office of Young Adult and College Campus
Ministry. His office and the archdiocesan Vocations Office sponsor the
annual Race for Vocations, which takes place within the Indianapolis
One America Festival Mini Marathon and 5K each May in downtown Indianapolis. With about
35,000 runners, it is the largest race in the nation, according to organizers. Catch a video by
seminarian Tyler Tenbarge at http://www.archindy.org/vocations/race-video.html
The Race for Vocations is an example of how Catholic organizations
across the country plug into secular marathons and other runs as well as
walks to promote worthy causes and raise money for them by gathering
pledges. For example, Catholic Charities agencies sponsor teams in a lot of
major races around the country including the ING New York City
Marathon, the Boston Marathon, the Chicago Marathon and the Race for
Hope Half Marathon in West Virginia. Charities participants raise funds
for the agencies' programs and services.
Group trains runners for marathons, spreads pro-life message at events
Founded in South Dakota by running partners Pat Castle and
Rich Reich, Life Runners has been promoting Catholicism and
the pro-life movement through marathons in some of the nation's
biggest cities since 2008. Castle said Life Runners came out of a
prayer group the two men co-founded in 2007 called Life Group
Devotions. They decided to create an "action arm" of their
"We started with devotions from the beginning and then it dawned on us. We are training and
running marathons, and we are looking for a pro-life 'action arm,'" said Castle. "There was none,
I mean zero, organized pro-life teams represented in marathons. There are 5Ks all around but not
at the major marathon level." Life Runners' goal is to participate in at least one marathon a year.
In 2008, it was the Chicago marathon; in 2009, St. Paul-Minneapolis; in 2010, Sioux Falls, S.D.;
and 2011, Kansas City, Mo.
Life Runners, now based in St. Louis, is made up of people who
pray, run and raise money for pregnancy help centers and build
awareness about the abortion issue. Once the location is decided,
a pro-life beneficiary is picked, and the organization's local
chapters spend the year fundraising for the designated pro-life
entity. "Every penny goes toward the beneficiaries," Castle noted.
The runners wear blue T-shirts with the scriptural quote
"REMEMBER The Unborn Jer 1:5" across the back. "We are
certainly pro-life missionaries," Castle said. "We are wearing a
jersey like a little mini-billboard, and we are running through the
streets of cities in secular races. We are bringing the pro-life message into the world. We don't
have to speak a word. We are representing Christ with that message on our back."
Planning for Life Runners' next big project is under way -- a cross-country race during 40 Days
for Life, a national campaign to end abortion. The run starts Feb 13, 2013. Headed by Life
Runner Jeff Grabosky, the race was inspired by his own run across America January to May
The Life Runners website is http://liferunners.org. Following the
organization on Facebook also grants access to information on
upcoming marathons, daily prayers and devotions. "Our motto is 'All In
Christ For Pro-Life,'" Castle said. "You become the essence of what
you are talking about. We have to have the courage to talk about it. We
need to plant the seed. We have to make people say, 'Hey, did you see
what's going on? I want to be part of that.'"
Curated Content - Catholic Christianity
Spirituality & Practice has searched and sorted
the content on its website so that you can now
access it by traditions. For Catholic Christianity,
they've also created a page of curated content,
pointing directly to recommended features,
articles, collections, and more. Look here for a sample of what’s available.
Don't Let E-mail Run Your Work Life
Bob Dorf founded seven companies before co-authoring The
Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building
a Great Company with long-time friend Steve Blank. He
lectures, consults, and also teaches entrepreneurship at Columbia
Business School. In this article he discusses the importance of
taking a break. “…today's 24-7 "always on" world of work
makes "switching off" even more vital than ever to maintain productivity, focus, and energy at
work -- and to preserve some form of a life with friends, pets, spouses -- and yourself.” Here are
several ideas he has regarding electronic communications.
My favorite and newest trick decouples brain from electronic communication devices for
a few hours at least once or more every single day -- a major life improvement -- just as
many did in our parents' generation, who decoupled simply by leaving the office in the
ancient pre-iPhonian era.
Ask yourself, "will anything bad really happen between 5pm and 6am if I turn my back
on my inboxes completely?"
Another trick: simply ask yourself "will anything bad really happen between 5pm and
6am if I turn my back on my inboxes completely?"
To save your own life, create your own list of "tricks" and of rules to impose on yourself.
Some of mine that work:
• Switch gears: When tired of "project A," switch to something else on the list -- easier,
different, faster-paced or (gasp) fun. Changing rhythm is restorative and you return to the
tougher project fresher in an amazingly short time.
• Change chairs and media -- draft that important thing in (gasp) longhand in a club chair
or on a sofa.
• I sequester all devices in my home office no later than 10pm each night, knowing that
friends, daughter, and business partner all know my home phone "just in case." But it
helps make the day actually end!
• All devices stay in the car when we visit or go out with friends. The break from each is
• "No device" mealtimes are de rigeur for wife Fran and I, but we're still working on
liberating our daughter and her husband. A glass of wine at dinner (not two) slows me
down just enough to return to the keyboard with fresh energy.
• A mid-afternoon cigar or swim. Those 15-20 minutes change all the energy and clear
the head, like pushing "restart" on a device.
• A 20-minute exercise break, ideally coupled with a five-minute shower (easiest for
A Spontaneous Opportunity to Truly Teach My Children About Generosity
Here is a story that you can use when talking with parents about
passing on the faith. It is reminiscent of Pope Paul VI’s famous line
about people wanting witnesses and the best teachers are witnesses.
It is also the best way for parents to be the foremost teaches of their
children. I found this at
My kids and I were heading into the superstore over the weekend. On the 1947
way, we spotted a man wrapped in a blanket and holding a sign that said,
"Lost my job. Family to Feed".
At this store, a sight like this is not a normal occurrence. It was obvious the man was
embarrassed, but desperate. My 10-year-old noticed him commented on how bad it
must be to have to stand outside in the cold wind.
While we were in the store, I asked each of the kids (I have seven :) to pick something
they thought our 'friend' outside would appreciate. They picked a couple apples, a
package of shrimp cocktail, a sandwich, some cheese and a bottle of juice.
Then my 17-year-old asked, "Can we get him a gift card?"
I thought about it. We were low on cash ourselves, but... well, sometimes giving from
our 'need' instead of our 'abundance' is just what we need to do!
We talked about the fact that we might have to do away with some of the things we
were going to buy if we bought a gift card. All the kids piped in.
"I'll eat oatmeal all this week!"
And on-and-on, each child declaring something they could do away with for the
In their eagerness, they said, "Hurry mom! Let's get out there to give him his stuff
before he gets too cold and leaves."
We quickly checked out, with the items he could eat at the moment, and a gift card
for the store. At the suggestion of my 16-year-old, we also grabbed a hot cup of
coffee, then drove to the end of the parking lot, where our 'friend' was holding his
We handed him the coffee and the bag of food. He lit up and thanked us with watery
eyes. When I handed him the gift card and said he could use it for whatever his
family might need, he burst into tears, obviously overwhelmed and grateful.
Though I wished we could have done more, I can't help but think about how this
experience has been such a wonderful opportunity for our family. The impact of how
it feels to help someone has rippled through them all-- they
cannot stop talking about it, and for four days now have been
'scouting' for others we can help!
Things would have played out so differently if I had simply
said, "No, we really don't have money to give more," or
something to that effect. Stepping out definitely not only helped a brother in need, it
also gave my kids the sweet taste of helping others.
Celebrating Hope, Heroism and Holiness on the Silver Screen
Mirabile Dictu, the International Catholic Film festival, held its third edition last week from July
2-5 in the Eternal City. The concept of a Catholic film festival was the brainchild of producer,
director and screenwriter Liana Marabini. The event opened with a conference on the role of film
in Christian society and film as Christian art. Speakers included Professor Antonio Paolucci,
director of the Vatican Museums, Marabini, French film director Roberto Hossein, who also
received a lifetime achievement award, and Giovanni Cardinal Ravasi the head of the Pontifical
Council for Culture.
Cardinal Ravasi spoke about what makes a Christian film, and in
particular the contributions made by film artists whether Catholic
or agnostic. He also pointed out to his listeners that Christian
film, like all Christian art, grows from the mystery of the
Incarnation, the Word made flesh, the invisible rendered visible.
The conference closed with the world premiere of Roberto
Hossein’s new film, “A Woman Named Mary,” fruit of his deep
love for Lourdes and the apparition of the Blessed Virgin to St.
Hossein is no stranger to epic cinematic events, he has brought Ben Hur and the
Life of Napoleon to the great sports stadium of Paris, but his decision to
orchestrate this event at Lourdes was fruit of a very personal experience. While
visiting Lourdes for the first time three years ago, the director was overtaken
with illness at the steps of the basilica. He fell to the ground for several minutes
and when he arose he was crying. In that moment he knew he had to stage
Inspired by the great mosaic cycle on the façade of the basilica of the Life of
Christ, but also by the Medieval tradition of the sacred spectacles put on in front
of the cathedrals, Hossein overcame objections and obstacles to put on his show on Aug. 13,
2011. His hope for the event was to launch an appeal for universal brotherhood saying, “if we do
not have the power to heal, we do have that to love, assist and share … before it is too late.”
The prize for best film went to a French work, “Churchmen,” by
Rodolphe Tissot. This young director, born in 1974, already has a
body of television work to show for his short career. Together
with a special prize given by a jury of youths to an up and coming
director, which was won by Jim Morlino for the “War of the
Vendè,” the festival seemed to be trying to encourage young
people to take their energetic faith to the silver screen.
Beloved American actor Andy Garcia won the best actor award,
although he was not present to receive it, much to the
disappointment of all the women present. His role in “For Greater
Glory, The True Story of Cristiada,” as the retired general
Enrique Gorostieta, whose struggle with faith is as violent as the
civil war in the film, well merited the award.
Best director went to a Spanish filmmaker, Immacolata Hoces for “A Song.”
This movie recounts the story of life lived not in history-making events, but
amid the challenges of the everyday world, where honesty and virtuous living
encounter as many obstacles as crusaders in hostile lands. The protagonist is
Mary, a lawyer, who believes in God’s justice and is thus unable to find work or
even a comfortable place in society.
Hope, heroism and holiness dominated the third annual film festival, and with a
bit of Divine Providence will filter through the silver screen into our daily lives.
Zombies Vs. Jesus
Just released on Friday the 13th from Outside da Box their July 2012
"Video of the Month" - ZOMBIES VS. JESUS. A young man awakens
on a Sunday morning to discover that his family
has turned into zombies. In a panic, he and a friend seek refuge in the one
place they believe they will be safe: the town's Catholic church. There
they discover the truth about what they have encountered. Check it out at
A Meditation on Humility
"We are not living in these times to play it small." We are ALL gifted
beings meant to cultivate and express our gifts for humanity. Humility
allows freedom from attachment to success. Express your gifts for the joy,
for the magic – the rest is not up to you. This five minute reflection leads
you to an inner landscape of peace, love and purity. Check it out at
http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=3100. Don’t forget that we give the Divine Energy of
the Universe the name God.
Pope John XXIII, Essential Writings
With the upcoming 50th anniversary of Vatican II, it seemed appropriate to
feature a book on the man who called the Council.
This is not a biography but rather a collection of his writings.
You can order Pope John XXIII: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual
Praying with Pope John XIII
I still use this book for personal prayer and meditation.
Art Zononi writes “This is a profoundly spiritual book that combines anecdotes
about the life of Pope John XXIII with his vision for the church and his hopes
for the Second Vatican Council. Written in a simple and at times poetic style
the book is a real page turner and a good resource for prayer and meditation.”
You can order Praying With Pope John Xxiii (Companions for the Journey).
Flashmob or Polished Ad on a Spanish Plaza, This Video Is a Feast
This is a commercial for Banco Sabadell. And, yes, it's a
majestic, highly orchestrated flashmob organized by one of
Spain's largest banking groups. But, it speaks to me of the
power of liturgy where everything is real – no butane candles,
no plastic flowers, no recorded music…it is all live and
celebrates the moment. And, if you read the comments on
YouTube, you'll see much more of the same sentiment being
On May 19th at six in the evening, what appeared to be a single,
tuxedoed street performer playing a bass for people strolling
around Plaça de Sant Roc in Sabadell, Spain (just north of
Barcelona) turned into a mass ensemble performing a movement
of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony — including more than 100
musicians and singers from the Orchestra Simfònica del Vallès,
Amics de l’Òpera de Sabadell, Coral Belles Arts, and Cor Lieder
The production is lovely and highly produced, but it's the fascination and pure joy of the
passersby that makes the moment quite magical. It is almost six minutes in length but what a
feast for your soul. Check it out at http://www.onbeing.org/blog/flashmob-or-polished-ad-
Bell Sound Meditation
This four-part, bell sound meditation is a short guided practice
led by Arthur Zajonc who was featured in November On Being
with Krista Tippett. This is part of their weekend exercise. You
are invited to take these ten minutes to try this contemplative
meditation. Then, reflect on your experience and if you are so
inclined, share your thoughts on these three questions.
1. How did the sound of the bell help you focus your
2. Did you find that paying close attention allowed you to
“let go” and be openly aware?
3. How did/didn’t the voice of a guide help you in this exercise?
At the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (http://www.contemplativemind.org/), you can
find other guided meditations and Zajonc’s five-minute introduction to the bell sound meditation
you heard above. Here, he describes this unfamiliar state of open awareness with a lyrical
passage from the Tao Te Ching (http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/taote-
“Do you have the patience to wait ‘til your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain
unmoving ‘til the right action arises by itself? The master doesn’t seek fulfillment. Not seeking,
not expecting, she is present and can welcome all things.” You can Download the bell sound
meditation here. (http://www.onbeing.org/blog/bell-sound-meditation/4317).
Praying with Lior
If you are looking for a film that is engrossing, wrenching and tender, then
check out the documentary film, PRAYING WITH LIOR. This film
introduces Lior Liebling, also called "the little rebbe." Lior has Down
syndrome, and has spent his entire life praying with utter abandon. Is he a
"spiritual genius" as many around him say? Or simply the vessel that
contains everyone's unfulfilled wishes and expectations? Lior -- whose name means "my light"
— lost his mother at age six, and her words and spirit hover over the film.
While everyone agrees Lior is closer to God, he's also a burden, a best
friend, an inspiration, and an embarrassment, depending on which family
member is speaking. As Lior approaches Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish coming-
of-age ceremony different characters provides a window into life spent
"praying with Lior." The movie poses difficult questions such as what is
"disability" and who really talks to God? Told with intimacy and humor,
PRAYING WITH LIOR is a family story, a triumph story, a grief story, a divinely-inspired
story. You can watch the trailer at
The Second Glance
It is the premise of The Elephant Man and also The
Hunchback of Notre Dame. I am reminded of a
quote by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross “People are like
stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine
when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light
Every Monday I receive a black/white film from Nic Askew entitled
Soul Biographies. It is something you could sign up for and it is free.
Here is the description of The Second Glance.
Have you ever cringed at the sight of a human being who is physically disfigured? David
Roche, who was born with a facial disfigurement, spent years trying to hide from himself.
At middle age, he discovered his inner beauty, his spirit and his strength, and he has
dedicated his life to helping all people find the inner beauty within themselves and in
You can watch this eight minute clip at http://soulbiographies.com/the-second-glance/.
SpiritClips Summer Animation Series: The Little Frog
Two frogs fall into a hole and surprise everyone in this SpiritClips
Original short film. The power of positive reinforcement and the will to
succeed can't be missed in this clever video. "They can because they
think they can." – Virgil. Check out this 2 ½ minute video at
Knowing Jesus and His Message – Conociendo a Jesus y su Mensaje
This is an excellent resource. Immediately
following the Learning Session on this
resources at the NCCL Conference and
Exposition in Atlanta, the NCCL
Bookstore sold over twenty (20) copies of
the book in English and Spanish.
Based on the protocol used to evaluate
elementary religion series, the book used
fifteen standards for Pre-K and K through
Grades 7 & 8. Included with the binder is a CD with all the materials available for duplication.
This is an ideal help for any elementary catechist regardless of the series you might be using.
Check out the following and use the Order Form.
PREFACE - Knowing Jesus and His Message (http://tiny.cc/nysql)
EXPLANATION - Knowing Jesus and His Message (http://tiny.cc/xuvw8)
Standards - Explained (http://tiny.cc/65wmc)
Normas y Fundamentos (http://tiny.cc/zfrg2)
ORDER FORM - Knowing Jesus and His Message (http://tiny.cc/9j0mb)
Looking For A Good Book?
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If you are an on-line shopper and you frequent Amazon.com, please enter through the
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an ideal way to support our ministry. Just go to our Home page (www.NCCL.org) and click
on the Store tab or click on http://astore.amazon.com/natioconfefor-20 and it will take you
directly to our bookstore. It doesn’t matter what you buy, as long as you enter through the
NCCL Amazon Bookstore, we get a percentage of your purchases.
We are just building our bookstore and adding titles every day, so if you have any suggestions
for books you believe should be available through our bookstore, please drop NCCL a note. All
books mentioned in CL Weekly are available at the NCCL Bookstore.
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