Saturday, June 30, 2007

Father G and the Homeboys

That is the name of a new documentary movie about the work of Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ. According to the Los Angeles Archdiocesan newsbrief:
The new documentary movie, "Father G and the Homeboys," chronicles the work of Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J., and his many years working to keep people out of gangs, get them out of gangs, and give them skills to earn a living through his Homeboy Industries.
I had the opportunity to hear Fr. Boyle speak at UC Santa Barbara several years back. I was quite captivated hearing about his ministry with gangs and Homeboy Industries.
60 new deacons

Sixty new permanent deacons were recently ordained in the Santa Barbara pastoral region for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This is the culmination of a new diaconate prep program begun in the Santa Barbara region about five years ago.
The ordination of 60 men to the Permanent Diaconate at Santa Barbara City College's La Playa Stadium represented the largest single group of deacons ordained at one time in the history of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and possibly in the country. Held a week following the ordination of seven deacons in Los Angeles, the celebration also represented the successful efforts led by pastors of the Santa Barbara Region (Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties) to draw forth more men to ordained ministry in their local parish communities.

"This is one of the most glorious days of my 40 years of priesthood," declared Santa Barbara Region Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, who oversaw the formation process that began in 2002, and who delivered the homily at the ordination Mass. "Your presence is testimony to the good work of God that is present in all of you."

Referring to the day's second reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Peter's speech to the disciples), Bishop Curry reminded the deacons and the assembly of the Synod's first pastoral initiative, which "speaks to our call to evangelize, to testify to the power and goodness of the risen Lord. As deacons, believe that God has called you to continue the renewal of the Church by testifying to the faith and power of God manifested in you."
The Santa Barbara pastoral region is quite spread out and is a considerable distance from Los Angeles proper, so this type of program is beneficial. I was a little concerned, however, when I heard about a year ago that there were at least 60 candidates to serve roles in 28 of the 38 parishes in the region. That's a lot of deacons. Nonetheless, as Our Lord says, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few." And it is true, particularly in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I know three of the new deacons will be serving at our home parish in Santa Maria, making a total of six deacons there. Seven new deacons will be serving at the Jesuit parish of Our Lady of Sorrows in Santa Barbara. May God bless their ministry, that it might yield abundant fruit.

Friday, June 29, 2007

BBC Doctor Who, #3

For you Doctor Who fans, the third season of the relaunched BBC Doctor Who series begins a week from today on the SciFi channel. We continue to follow the misadventures of the tenth incarnation of the Doctor, played by David Tennant. This time, however, he has a new companion. I've been following the series on-and-off over the last year or two. I think I like this doctor better than the last one. According to Wikipedia, readers of Doctor Who magazine voted the Tenth Doctor to be "Best Doctor", even better than the more well-known and well-loved Fourth Doctor, which was played by Tom Baker. Jelly Baby?
My Blog Rating

Let's see what my blog's film rating is:

Online Dating

Hmm, no surprises... now, let's check out my wife's blog:

Online Dating

Hmm, is there something I don't know??

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

St. Josemaría and the Early Fathers

Mike Aquilina, of the Way of the Fathers blog, reflects in a recent post on St. Josemaría Escrivá and the patristic influence behind the spirituality of Opus Dei:
Today, June 26, is the memorial of St. Josemaria Escriva, the 20th-century priest who founded Opus Dei, a path to holiness through ordinary work, family life, friendship, and such — the stuff of everyday life. His is a decidedly modern spirit, but he conceived it as a retrieval of the way of the “early Christians” (his preferred term). Opus Dei was, he said, “as old as the Gospel and, like the Gospel, ever new.” He often cited the authority of the Church Fathers. A quick scan of his books online at EscrivaWorks yields many passages from Clement of Alexandria, Ignatius of Antioch, Tertullian, Ambrose, Justin Martyr, Origen, Cyril of Jerusalem, Cyril of Alexandria, Leo the Great, Jerome, lots and lots from John Chrysostom and Gregory the Great, and dozens from Augustine.

These early Christians were not mere ornaments on his pet project. His vocation was itself a return to the sources — the pre-Nicene sources of the life and labor of ordinary, faithful Christians. The journalist John L. Allen, in his book-length study of Opus Dei, described just how radical St. Josemaria’s vision was: “The idea of priests and laity, men and women, all part of one organic whole, sharing the same vocation and carrying out the same apostolic tasks, has not been part of the Catholic tradition, at least since the early centuries.”
Mike also links to a study by theologian Domingo Ramos-Lissón concerning St. Josemaría and his patristic influences. The article, entitled “The Example of the Early Christians in Blessed Josemaria’s Teachings,” is available online for free via the Opus Dei magazine Romana.
Time is a treasure that melts away

I wish all my readers a blessed feast of St. Josemaría Escrivá.
I'd like to remind you once more that we don't have much time left, tempus breve est, because life on earth is short, and also that, since we have the means, all that's needed is our good will to make use of the opportunities that God grants us. From the moment that Our Lord came into this world, 'the acceptable time, the day of salvation' commenced for us and for all men. May Our Father God never have to cast upon us the reproach he spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, 'the kite, circling in the air, knows its time; turtledove can guess, and swallow, and stork, when they should return; only for my people the divine appointment passes unobserved'.

There are no bad or inopportune days. All days are good, for serving God. Days become bad only when men spoil them with their lack of faith, their laziness and their indolence, which turns them away from working with God and for God. 'At all times I will bless the Lord.' Time is a treasure that melts away. It escapes from us, slipping through our fingers like water through the mountain rocks. Tomorrow will soon be another yesterday. Our lives are so very short. Yesterday has gone and today is passing by. But what a great deal can be done for the love of God in this short space of time!
-St. Josemaría Escrivá, from his sermon, Time is a Treasure.

Pray for us, and for all the faithful departed!

Monday, June 25, 2007

St. John the Baptist and Our Anniversary

We feel especially blessed that our wedding day fell on the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in 2006. Perhaps the most notable fact about the celebration of the Birth of St. John the Baptist [June 24th] is that it is set in a sort of opposition to the Birth of Jesus Christ [December 25th], which is at the other end of the liturgical year. Michael E. Lawrence of the New Liturgical Movement notes some of the special character of this special celebration:
there are two Christmases on the liturgical calendar, and the "Summer Christmas" was this past Sunday, the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

There are many theological connections between the births of St. John and of Our Lord... The birth of St. John marks the beginning of the shortening of days [summer solstice], and Christ's birth signals the beginning of the lengthening of days [winter solstice]. This relates quite profoundly to what John said about Christ the Light, "He must increase and I must decrease."
May our lives serve as a herald and witness of the Gospel, after the witness of John the Baptist, who leaped in his mother Elizabeth's womb in response to the Blessed Virgin's greeting -- this John who exclaimed, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

We were also blessed to have many of our family and friends in attendance at our wedding, and to have a nuptial mass nestled in a 15th century polyphonic mass setting, Guillaume Dufay's Missa Sine Nomine, complete with chanted Gregorian propers for the day, courtesy of renowned Dufay scholar, Prof. Alejandro Planchart -- a new experience for some of our guests, but an experience thoroughly appreciated by us.

Of course, music and other external elements aside, the experience of standing before God and His Church to state our intentions and profess our vows, together with the experience of receiving Holy Communion for the first time as man and wife, provided many profound moments of grace for us (but aren't all moments of grace profound?). And that is what it is about: grace, unto salvation, so that we might be God's handiwork, as St. Paul says to the Ephesians, "created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Prince of Peace, Moral Theology, and Scott Hahn

While visiting family and friends near to the city of Oceanside, CA, we made a couple of visits to the Prince of Peace Benedictine Abbey for daily mass and adventure. I had been there a few times in the past, but never for mass. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi there on June 7th with Abbot Charles Wright, OSB, presiding -- complete with mitre and crozier!

While at the abbey, I popped in to the used book shelf where I was able to snag a copy of the 34th edition of the Compendium Theologiae Moralis by Aloysius Sabetti, SJ (with added codex by Timothy Barrett, SJ), published in 1939, for only $10.

I also picked up a copy of one of Scott Hahn's latest books, Letter and Spirit, which I had desired to read, as it treats a subject very dear to my heart -- the formulation of the canon of scripture and its integral role within the Jewish and Christian liturgy. We tend to focus quite a bit on the who and the what involved in the formulation of the canon, but, in my experience, we tend to skim over the why, and thus we miss the point of the issue.

The scriptures were canonized precisely for the purpose of proclamation within the context of the liturgy. Liturgy is naturally the primary context through which Christians have always encountered the scriptures. And, of course, the liturgy would not be what it is without the scriptures. Because it is already so much a part of our worship, we sometimes take this for granted, but let us not lose sight of this treasure and its importance! The Second Vatican Council reaffirmed the importance of Scripture to the celebration of the liturgy in Sacrosanctum Concilium (24), which asserted, Sacred scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the liturgy... Thus to achieve the restoration, progress, and adaptation of the sacred liturgy, it is essential to promote that warm and living love for scripture to which the venerable tradition of both eastern and western rites gives testimony.


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