Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith

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Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Merton: 3 complicated Catholic writers

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Richard_AllevaMary Frances CoadyCommonweal film critic Richard Alleva has been fascinated with Graham Greene since childhood; he explores why loyalty and betrayal are recurring themes in Greene’s work. Mary Frances Coady, author of Merton & Waugh: A Monk, A Crusty Old Man & The Seven Storey Mountain, discusses Waugh’s and Merton’s longtime correspondence and why the friendship ultimately petered out.

A restored version of the 1949 film noir, The Third Man, based on a novel by Graham Greene, who also wrote the screenplay, stars Orson Welles and was directed by Carol Reed. It is is showing at Cinestudio, the theater at Trinity College in Hartford, through Thursday, 8-6-15.

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Finding the funny in a strict Catholic upbringing: Soup to Nutz cartoonist Rick Stromoski

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Rick in uniformAndrew

Rick Stromoski picSyndicated cartoonist Rick Stromoski, though no longer Catholic, makes good use of his familiarity with the faith as one of  of 12 a devout Catholic home.

Two words One is So...

Soup strip 1

Find more of Rick’s work at and access his entire 15-year ouvre at the Universal Syndicate’s and

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Part II: Following Jesus as a Secular Progressive

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Tony Kriz

Tom KrattenmakerMatt Croasmun

Christian author Tony Kriz, secularist author/columnist Tom Krattenmaker, and moderator Matt Croasmun, director of Research & Publication, Yale Center for Faith & Culture and pastor of Elm City Vineyard Church in New Haven, batted around how Jesus can inform and enrich the lives of even non-religious people.

The program, held at Yale in late April, was sponsored by the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, Yale Humanist Community, Elm City Vineyard Church, City Church, Rivendell InstituteYale Christian Fellowship, The Open PartyYale Graduate Student Christian Fellowship, and Yale Faith & Action.

See more at:

A video of the program can be found here:

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Following Jesus as a Secular Progressive: a believer and non-believer discuss

Tony KrizTom KrattenmakerClockwise from upper left: Christian author Tony Kriz of Portland, Ore.; secular author and USA Today Religion in Public Life columnist Tom Krattenmaker; moderator Matt Croasmun, director of Research & Publication, Yale Center for Faith & Culture and staff pastor of Elm City Vineyard Church; and Chris Stedman,  author and executive director of the Yale Humanist Community, who introduced the event.

Chris StedmanMatt Croasmun

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The event, held in a packed auditorium at Yale in late April, was hosted by the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, Yale Humanist Community, and Elm City Vineyard Church, among other organizations.
It was a compelling dialogue between two friends, secular author and USA Today Religion in Public Life columnist, Tom Krattenmaker, and Christian author and speaker, Tony Kriz. The questions on the table: Can a non-religious person follow Jesus? What would it look like to build a life around following Jesus?
The organizers’ stated aim was “to break down divisions that make Jesus the exclusive property of religious people and open up space for an ‘interfaith’ conversation about what it might look like to cultivate a flourishing life shaped by Jesus.”
Special thanks to moderator Matt Croasmun, Director of Research & Publication at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture and staff pastor of Elm City Vineyard Church for providing the audio, as well as photos. As you’ll hear, Matt played a big part in making the event as lively and thought-provoking as it was. One of his questions: “What does Jesus save us from and what does he save us for?”

The second half of the conversation will air on July 7.

See the video of the event:

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“Normalizing religion” at Wesleyan: a faith-sharing experiment

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Rev. Tracy Mehr-MuskaLydia OttavianoWesleyan Protestant Chaplain Rev. Tracy Mehr-Muska and Interfaith Council member Lydia Ottaviano, a Wesleyan junior. Both are leaders of a faith-sharing experiment on campus in which students attended the services and meetings of differing religious communities. The goal is not only to forge links among the various faiths, but to make it easier for believers to feel comfortable sharing that aspect of themselves on a campus that has more students identifying as “nones” — having no religion — than the national average.

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“My Gay Son’s Wedding” at the Episcopal Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford

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Jeffrey and SalPlaywright/Director Jeffrey Kagan-McCann, author of the romantic comedy “My Gay Son’s Wedding,” with one of the play’s lead actors Sal Uccello.

The Hartford premiere of the play runs June 10th through June 13th at Christ Church Cathedral 45 Church Street, Hartford, CT. Find info at


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Hartford Earth Festival update

Hi. Letting you know that the Connecticut Science Center has extended its special reduced admission price through May 27. Find ticket info below.

One other tweak to the information in yesterday’s “Reasonably Catholic” episode: Rev. Lennox Yearwood will not be participating in the CT Climate March, according to Father Sam Fuller, but instead will be on retreat with his organization “to discern a direction given all of the violence between police and African Americans.”

Connecticut Science Center

With 165 hands-on exhibits, a state-of-the-art 3D digital theater, four educational labs, plus daily programs and events, the Connecticut Science Center offers endless exploration for children, teens, and adults. From physics to forensics, geology to astronomy, visitors have the sciences at their fingertips.

The Connecticut Science Center is offering special promotional pricing for participants in the Hartford Earth Festival. Pre-purchase tickets online to take advantage of this special pricing. Also, come check out our brand new exhibit EXTREME DINOSAURS!.  In addition, The Arch Diocese of Hartford has prepared an interfaith guide for the exhibits.

Pre-purchase tickets to take advantage of the promotional price!

General Admission: $12 (Regular admission: $21.95/Adult and $14.95/Youth)
General Admission + Movie: $17 (Regular admission + movie: $28.95/Adult and $21.95/Youth)

To pay by check,  please contact Shawnee Baldwin 860-242-5573 ext. 2676 or at (All checks must be received by April 30, 2015.)

To order tickets online, please visit here for tickets until May 27, 2015:
Buy Your Tickets Online for the CT Science Center!

Pre-purchase your tickets by May 14, 2015 to receive the Hartford Earth Festival price!

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On St. Francis, Pope Francis, and being a Franciscan — one big, green story

Fr. SamCapuchin Friar Samuel Fuller, an organizer of the Hartford Earth Festival, which takes place on Sunday, May 31st, talks about longstanding Catholic social teaching on the environment and the urgency for action now. Fr. Sam is a priest at St. Piux X in Middletown, CT. Information about the Hartford Earth Festival and the Connecticut Climate March preceding it can be found at

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Reminding you that WESU’s spring pledge drive is in full swing and in need of your help. Please go to and donate whatever you can. Thanks for mentioning “Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith”!


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Toward women’s equality in the Catholic Church: beyond “complementary” roles

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Deb Rose-MilavecJust as spring is bursting out all around us, Deborah Rose-Milavec, executive director of FutureChurch, describes three hopeful moments for women in the Catholic Church, all of them thanks to a new atmosphere, created by Pope Francis, in which open discussion and disagreement are welcome:

* a meeting inside the Vatican walls at which an international panel — following the inspired lead of bishops of India — discussed the need to recognize women’s dignity and equality;

* a meeting in Ireland of priests and lay Catholic activists that was so moving, it brought several participants to tears;

* and Pope Francis’ decision to end the inquisition of American nuns.

Some good related links, courtesy of Deb: (part of homily by Archbishop Couto and Kerry Robinson’s remarks at Mass on March 8th Voices of Faith Event). (full transcript of Voices of Faith Event in Rome on March 8th) (Deb’s take on Limerick) (NunJustice statement on LCWR-CDF report) (good quotes on LCWR-CDF report) (great piece on the gender policy of the Catholic Church of India)


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