Sunday, August 28, 2005

Please Pray for New Orleans

I'm breaking silence briefly to ask your prayers for the people of New Orleans, my home until just recently. It looks like Hurricane Katrina could be the worst ever to hit New Orleans. Thank God, most of my brother Jesuits and Loyola's students have been able to evacuate. But there are many poor, as well as trapped tourists, with no place to go, and lots of water coming!

Please remember them all in your prayers!

I'll be praying with you.



Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Rest is Silence (At least for a week)

I had hoped to get up another Autobiography post before leaving for retreat today, but it's not going to happen. I got caught up with doing some work on my book, which is probably a good thing!

I will be incommunicado for the next week, as I will be making my 8-day silent retreat at Campion Center in Weston, MA. That means no blogging.

And just so you won't forget about me, I'll ask that you please remember in prayer, as I will all of you.

See you on the other side.



Spam-a-Less (I Hope)

I've added word verification to my comments, to hopefully get rid of most spam.

It will require an extra step from you--and you might even have to put on your glasses--but I hope you will continue to comment anyway!



Thanks to Kathryn for the heads up on this!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Shout Out to My College and University Friends

Having just finished two year teaching college, and now going back to studies again myself, I've been pleased to notice lots of visitors from colleges and universities in the past couple of months. From what information I have, there have been visits from the following universities:

University of Notre Dame
U Penn
Johns Hopkins
U Cincinnati
U of North Texas
Cal Berkeley
University of Central Florida
Cal Santa Barbara
Loyola, New Orleans
Loyola, Chicago
Boston College
U Minnesota
University of Dayton
Boston U
University of Utah
College of the Holy Cross

Welcome to all of you!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

New Blogs I'm Looking At

I've just added some new (or new to me) blogs to my blogroll:

British Jesuit Rob Marsh offers his thoughts on spirituality an other things at All Things Seen and Unseen.

Richard Beebe, who just entered the Jesuit novitiate in Detroit this week is Crying Out in the Wilderness.

Natala is writing some beautiful stuff at And That Has Made All the Difference (her husband also has some nice photography on-line).

More inspiring stuff by Jenn at Confessions of a Wayward Catholic

An anonymous Catholic High School teacher spins her classroom tales at Scrutinies.

Young Audrey from Malaysia is new to the Catholic blogosphere and offers her observations in My Journey.

Check them out!!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

(Insert Uncharitable Adjective Here) Spammers!



My comments box is being spammed.

Young Catholics Today

An interesting article on young adult Catholics:

It's not their parents' faith: Young adult Catholics find new paths

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Young adult Catholics might not be running parish bingo games or hosting sodality gatherings, but that does not mean they are not active in the church. Instead, they are doing things that older adult Catholics and the school-age set might not see: discussing theology at bars, volunteering at homeless shelters and food kitchens, getting together for eucharistic adoration or to discuss Catholic classics, attending retreats or simply hanging out together.

read the rest

One problem: In the Bishops' survey the article cites, only about half the dioceses bothered to respond.

Steve Bogner has a nice reflection on his own young adulthood.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Maybe This Explains Why I'm a Star Trek Fan?

August 19 Birthdays:

1631 - John Dryden, 1st poet laureate of England (All for Love)
1871 - Orville Wright, Dayton OH, aviator (Wright Brothers)
1902 - Ogden Nash, Rye NY, humorous poet (I'm a Stranger Here Myself)
1903 - James Gould Cozzens, US, novelist (1949 Pulitzer-Guard of Honor)
1915 - Ring Lardner, jr, writer
1919 - Malcolm Forbes, publisher (Forbes Magazine)
1921 - Gene Roddenberry, El Paso Texas, executive producer (Star Trek)
1931 - Willie Shoemaker, jockey (won 8,833 of 40,350 starts)
1940 - Jill St John, [Oppenheim], LA Calif, actress (Diamonds are Forever)
1942 - Fred Thompson, senator (R-Tenn)/actor (In the Line of Fire)
1945 - Ian Gillian, heavy metal rocker (Deep Purple-Knocking at Backdoor)
1946 - William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton, 42nd US Pres (D, 1993-01)
1947 - Gerald McRaney, Collins Miss, actor (Simon and Simon, Major Dad)
1948 - Tipper Gore, wife of vice president Al Gore (1993-01)
1952 - Jonathan Frakes, actor (Commander William T Riker-Star Trek Next Gen)
1955 - Peter Gallagher, Armonk NY, actor (Player, Summer Lovers, Dreamchild)
1956 - Adam Arkin, Bkln, actor (Busting Loose, Pearl, Northern Exposure)
1960 - Ron Darling, Hawaii, baseball pitcher (NY Mets)
1963 - John Stamos, Cypress Calif, actor (General Hospital, Full House)
1965 - Kevin Dillon, NY, actor (Heaven Help Us, Remote Control, Platoon)
1965 - Kyra Sedgwick, actress (Phenomenon, Singles, Julia-Another World)
1969 - Christian Slater, NYC, actor (Legend of Billie Jean)
1969 - Matthew Perry, Williamstown Mass, actor (Sydney, Chandler-Friends)
2335 - William T Riker, Valdez Alaska, character on Star Trek Next Generation

Add the subject of my Masters' thesis, Harold Frederic (1865),

and ME (1967)!

I wonder if Bill Clinton is a Star Trek Fan?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Those Darn Jesuits: Sci-fi Favorites

According to

The priest-scholar is one of science fiction's most common types of religious characters. Of all Catholic orders, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the most commonly used in science fiction. James Blish (author of the classic religious sf novel A Case of Conscience) wrote that the majority of all Christian science fiction features a Jesuit, or at least Catholic, viewpoint (Source: "The Issue at Hand", 1953, under the pseudonym William Atheling).

Thanks to Confessions of a Wayward Catholic for the link.

How About a Caption for This One?

also from World Youth Day

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

How About This For a Vocations Poster?

Given the lively debate about the Matrix and Gladiator vocations posters, how about putting this image on one?:

An image from World Youth Day 2005.

Jesuit Celebrations

I hope you'll excuse my absence. I was in Louisiana celebrating with my brother Jesuits the vows of five of our men, and the entrance of eleven new men. I was also being a bit nostalgic about the fact that it is now eight years since my own entrance day and six years since I pronounced my vows. Here they are:

Our five newly vowed Jesuit Scholastics (Shane, Kyle, Robert, Nathan and Kevin)

Our eleven new novices (the largest entering class in twelve years!)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

If You Build It, He Will Come?

No, this is not the interior of Ave Maria University's new oratory. It's a church made entirely of Legos. Seats about 1400 Lego people.

Let's not be Captious

In light of the last post, I thought today's word of the day rather fitting:

Word of the Day for Tuesday August 9, 2005

captious \KAP-shuhs\, adjective:
1. Marked by a disposition to find fault or raise objections.
2. Calculated to entrap or confuse, as in an argument.

The most common among those are captious individuals who can find nothing wrong with their own actions but everything wrong with the actions of everybody else.
--"In-Closet Hypocrites," Atlanta Inquirer, August 15, 1998

Mr Bowman had, I think, been keeping Christmas Eve, and was a little inclined to be captious: at least, he was not on foot very early, and to judge from what I could hear, neither men nor maids could do anything to please him.
--M. R. James, The Haunted Dolls' House and Other Stories

Most authors would prefer readers such as Roiphe over captious academic critics.
--Steven Moore, "Old Flames," Washington Post, November 26, 2000

With the imperturbablest bland clearness, he, for five hours long, keeps answering the incessant volley of fiery captious questions.
--Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution

Captious is derived from Latin captiosus, "sophistical, captious, insidious," from captio, "a taking, a fallacy, sophism," from capere, "to take, to seize." Entry and Pronunciation for captious

Copyright © 2005, Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Planned Parenthood Jus' Don't Understand

A while back I expressed my shock at Planned Parenthood's cadre of clergy supporters. Those supporters are touted on Planned Parenthood Golden Gate's website which features their new animated feature "A Superhero for Choice." This is nothing short of offensive, on so many levels, and should give those same clergy pause in their support of the organization. The first enemy to be thwarted by this superheroine is a Boris Badanoff/Snidely Whiplash like troll who is evilly promoting abstinence among young people. Then, it's on to take on a troop of zombie-like anti-abortion protesters who, she says are protected by the first amendment, but this doesn't stop her from killing them by encasing them in giant condoms which then promptly blow up. She then goes on to battle an evil senator who, among other things, is throwing out the constitution (but didn't she just do that?) and Roe v. Wade, of course. She describes him as Senator "I can do whatever I want" (which confused me for a minute because I thought that was what she was fighting for, not against). The contradictions are legion in this eight-minute animated video, but that's OK because as she says in the end, Planned Parenthood has been around for 89 years, so they must be doing something right. This, I must admit is less than convincing when you consider the video is a blatant attack on the Christian Church which has been around, ah, 2000 years!

If you can stomach going to the Planned Parenthood website, you might take a look at the video (and the other propoganda they're touting) and perhaps send a note of protest to them and those clergy that support them.

via The Peeping Thomists and The Dawn Patrol.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Consuming Visions

Check out my latest book review for America. It's on a very good book about the history of the Lourdes Shrine:

Defying Devotional Debasement

Consuming Visions: Mass Culture and the Lourdes Shrine
By Suzanne K. Kaufman
Cornell Univ. Press. 280p $34.95

One of the most enduring images I have of my visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City in 1999 is the proliferation of religious goods booths, selling every conceivable souvenir or item of devotion, which one must pass in order to reach the shrine itself. I remember being troubled at being subjected to this unabashed consumer spectacle as a forced final step in my religious pilgrimage. I wondered whether, if Jesus were there, he’d be angrily overturning the tables. . .

Read the rest.

Vocation Promotion

A great discussion arose in response to the post below. Check out the comments!

What's appropriate or inappropriate in promoting vocations?

How far is too far?

What images of priesthood should we be portraying or not portraying?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Vocatio Neo Maximus

As a major movie nut, I must say I enjoy these two vocations posters. I always said that Neo's outfit looked like a Jesuit cassock. If the posters leave you wanting to know more, check out these vocation pages: New Orleans Province Jesuits, Maryland & New York Jesuits, Chicago Province Jesuits, Wisconsin Province Jesuits, Detroit Province Jesuits, Missouri Province, California Jesuits, Oregon Province Jesuits, New England Province Jesuits, and some more general information. See also the Vision religious vocation guide. And if you have questions, you can always ask me.

The content of this site is the responsibility of its author and administrator, Mark Mossa, SJ, and does not necessarily represent the Society of Jesus