Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith


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In ‘Holy Envy,’ Spiritual Contrarian Barbara Brown Taylor Gets Some Distance on Christianity

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BBT photoPhoto by E. Lane Gresham

New York Times bestselling author Barbara Brown Taylor’s latest book, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others, is about the insights she gained while teaching a college course she designed, World Religions 101. Has “groupishness” overtaken the best teachings of Christianity? she asks. Are we, perhaps, “post-ecclesial” Christians?

An ordained Episcopal priest who finally had to leave her ministry to rediscover her faith, she is the author of many award-winning books. Among them are An Altar in the WorldLearning to Walk in the Dark,  and Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith.

 

 


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Sound, light, and sacred space: the challenge of future church design

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MichaelCrosbiePhoto by Imdat As

University of Hartford Professor of Architecture, Michael J. Crosbie is the editor and author of dozens of works on architecture (his entire oeuvre can be seen here). He received all of his degrees — BS, MArch, and PhD — from Catholic University. An Episcopalian, he is interested in sacred space and is the founder and editor of the quarterly journal on religious art and architecture Faith and Form.

CatherineOsbornePhoto by Barbara Johnston

Art historian Catherine Osborne is the author of American Catholics and the Church of Tomorrow: Building Churches for the Future, 1925-1975 

She holds a Ph.D in historical theology from Fordham University and has taught there, as well as at Franklin & Marshall College, the University of Notre Dame, and Loyola Marymount University. She is a member of the St. Peter Claver Catholic Worker community in South Bend, Ind. Among Prof. Osborne’s more unusual architectural interests has been the Cold War-era design of a chapel on the moon.


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‘There comes a time when you question,’ says the priest, and ‘it’s tempting to flee.’

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Bill MillsLosing My Religion cover

The Rev. William C. Mills, a priest of the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the author of Losing My Religion: A memoir of faith and finding, which recounts the crisis he faced when a segment of his North Carolina parish mutinied.

 


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Following the Son: two conversion stories

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Mike ThomasMike Thomas of Manchester, England, grew up Jewish, then discovered Catholicism when he started dating Elaine Giles, a Catholic girl who was a fellow fan of the Manchester United soccer team. By way of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, he became Catholic and is now president of his circle of a fraternal organization, The Catenians. He and Elaine founded the circle’s official internet radio station, which can be accessed at https://brooklands196.com/

deBiasi2

DeBiasi

The Rev. Richard DeBiasi grew up Catholic but, compelled by the Jewishness of Jesus, he eventually found his way to becoming a Messianic Jew, a Jew who believes in Jesus. He also is a licensed Christian minister. Information about his Messianic Jewish congregation, Elohim Mekomo, in Ledyard, CT, can be found at www.rabbijoe.com

 

 


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Not do-gooders but neighbors– the Hartford Catholic Worker at 25

chrisChristopher J. Doucot helped found the Hartford Catholic Worker on Clark Street in the north end of the city 25 years ago. He talks about how he and the effort have evolved, and also how charity can be ‘an occasion for sin.” Chris is the author, with Shannon Craigo-Snell, of No Innocent Bystanders: Becoming an Ally in the Struggle for Justice.

Learn about how you can be an ally at hartfordcatholicworker.org.

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‘Poetry starts with noticing’: a primer

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almost said coverRobert-Hudson

Robert Hudson talks about his latest book, The Art of the Almost Said: A Christian Writer’s Guide to Writing Poetry. Good poetry, he says, requires “intensity and toughness.” Lest the “Christian” of the subtitle give you the wrong idea, Bob’s favorite chapter is on “Love and Sex: A Brief, Comic Interlude.”

 

 


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On bringing one’s whole being to the movies: the making of a Catholic critic

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richard1Richard Alleva writes about film for the Catholic journal Commonweal‘s website commonwealmagazine.org. In our interview, he reads from his essay anthologized in a Best Movie Writing book edited by director Peter Bogdanovich. We also talk about, among other things, his formation as a critic; about why some films are so politically incorrect they should only be viewed in the privacy of one’s home; and about a recent film he was tempted to walk out of.

 


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Honoring the victims of the Easter Day bombings in Sri Lanka

sri pic1“A Day of Remembrance & Worship: Honoring the lives lost on Sri Lanka’s Easter Day Attacks,” an ecumenical service on May 18th at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison, included speakers of the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian faiths.

The music featured between the segments included in the episode was provided by William Doreza.

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The service opened with the service’s organizer, Dinushka DeSilva, ringing a bell eight times for each explosion, followed by a moment of silence for those attacked in St. Anthony’s Church, Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Kingsbury, St. Sebastion’s, Zion Church, a guesthouse in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, and a housing project in Dematagoda.

 

An Islamic Prayer for Peace, recited by Afthab Zainudeen

In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful: Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who created us and made us into tribes and nations that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline towarads peace, do thou also incline towards peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the one that hears and knows all things. And the servants of God Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility and when we address them we say “Peace.”

 

Buddhist Metta Bavana and reflection by Manage Nissanka

May no one deceive or look down on anyone anywhere, for any reason. Whether through feeling angry or through reacting to someone else, may no one want another to suffer. As strongly as a mother, perhaps risking her life, cherishes her child, her only child, develop an unlimited heart for all beings. Develop an unlimited heart of friendliness for the entire universe, sending metta above, below, and all around, beyond all narrowness, beyond all rivalry, beyond all hatred.

Whether you are staying in one place or traveling, sitting down or in bed, in all your waking hours rest in this mindfulness, which is known as like living in heaven right here and now!

In this ay, you will come to let go of views, be spontaneously ethical, and have perfect insight. And leaving behind craving for sense pleasures, from the rounds of rebirth you will finally be completely free!

May all sentient beings be happy, free of suffering, at peace, and live with ease. Transfer merits of this good deed to the victims of this massacre and your departed loved ones.

 

From the Hindu Upanishads, read by Kanaga Sena

Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the real. Lead us from darkness to light. Lead us from death to immortality. Peace, peace, and peace unto all.

Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace in celestial regions. May there be peace on earth. May the waters be appeasing. May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all. May all beneficent beings bring peace to us. May the Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world. May all things be a source of peace to us. And may thy peace itself bestow peace on all and may that peace come to me also.

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe. Peace, peace, peace.

 

Wisdom of Solomon, read by Dinushka DeSilva

But the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seem to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones, and he watches over his elect.

 

Hymn of Sri Lanka

O Father, Thou has promised
The isles shall wait for Thee,
The joyous isles of ocean,
The jewels of the sea.
Lo! We, this island’s watchmen
Would give and take no rest;
For thus has Thou commanded
Till our dear land is blessed.

Then bless her mighty Father
With blessings needed most,
In every verdant village,
By every palmy coast,
On every soaring mountain,
O’er every spreading plain,
May all her sons and daughters
Thy righteousness attain.

Give peace within her borders
Twixt man and man goodwill,
The love all unsuspicious,
The love that works no ill.
In loyal lowly service,
Let each from other learn,
The guardian and the guarde,
Till peace itself doth reign.

 

 

 

 


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‘This was all an inward journey’: the first in an occasional series about (kinda sorta) staying Catholic

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deb pic1Deb Hunt, a cradle Catholic, now belongs to a Protestant denomination but still considers herself Catholic.

This is the first in an occasional series about Catholics’ figuring out how to stay in a problematic institution.