Tue

25

Mar

2014

The Three Books

by Kenneth J. Hughes, S.J.

 

Kenneth J. Hughes, S.J. is a visiting spiritual director at Boston College.

He is a member of the New England Province and resides in the St. Peter Faber Jesuit Community, Brighton.

 

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, back in the 12th century, spoke of three books which God has given us to read: The Book of Nature, The Book of Scripture, and The Book of Personal Experience. For each person these three books are always available and wonderfully timeless. How enriched we would be if we read from each book daily -- now reading from Nature, now reading from Scripture, now reflecting on our Experience! Here are a few comments on each book.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

The Privileged Poor

by Roberto Goizueta

 

Roberto S. Goizueta is the Margaret O’Brien Flatley Professor of Catholic Theology at Boston College, where he has taught since 1999.  Dr. Goizueta has served as President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States.  He has published and lectured extensively in the areas of U.S. Latino/a theology, liberation theology, and theological aesthetics.

 

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Faith in Action: Appalachia Volunteers

by Hannah Luke

 

There are times in our lives when we become overwhelmed with everything going on outside of us—schoolwork, social expectations, familial pressures, plans for the future—that our vision is clouded. For me, this happens more than I would like it to. There is just so much going on that it is difficult to see straight. But then, every once in a while, the sky clears, and we can see again. I find that my sky is the most beautiful whenever I’m on an Appa trip.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Saint of the Issue: Patrick

by Natalie Yuhas

 

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone once again this spring. Many people, whether they are Irish or not, celebrate this holiday in America, especially in Boston. People of all ages have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by wearing a plethora of green, decorating with shamrocks and leprechauns; attending parades in major cities, and of course, enjoying a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds. Although virtually everyone knows what St. Patrick’s Day is, very few actually know who St. Patrick is and why we celebrate him on March 17th.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Catholicism 101: The Easter Triduum

by Margo Borders

 

The Catholic celebration of the Easter Triduum starts with Holy Thursday. The traditional name for this day is “Maundy Thursday,” which comes from the phrase “a new command,” referring to Christ’s words: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34). The Holy Thursday Mass commemorates the institution of the Eucharist by Christ at the Last Supper as well as the institution of the priesthood. During the Mass, the priest traditionally washes the feet of a number of parishioners, usually 12, in order to imitate Christ when He washed the feet of His 12 apostles before the Last Supper in John’s Gospel. This act emphasizes the ideas of service and self-sacrifice that were exemplified by Christ in His Passion and death. In cathedrals, the bishop blesses the Oil of Chrism that will be used for future Baptism and Confirmation. Because no Mass will be celebrated until the Easter Vigil, the priest carries the consecrated Host in a procession to the altar of repose, where it will stay until the Good Friday service. Often, people will stay for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during the night.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Book Review: Papal Economics

by Stephanie Johnson

 

People often criticize capitalism as an economic system that drives corporations to act as sources of injustice in the world. As a student in the Carroll School of Management, I can attest to being frowned upon a few times for my desire to someday work for a large corporation. Many of my peers believe that corporations in a free market economy aim solely for profit and power. It may come as a surprise to some, but democratic capitalism is the economic system supported by the Catholic Church and the papacy. While capitalism has its imperfections, it remains the system that most accurately aligns with Catholic social teaching as long as it satisfies human needs, converges with human anthropology, and accents rationality, independence, and the social nature of the human being.

 

In Father Maciej Zięba’s book, Papal Economics: The Catholic Church on Democratic Capitalismfrom Rerum Novarum to Caritas in Veritate, he sets out to conquer the challenging task of explaining the reflections of the papacy on the economic and political order found in their social encyclicals. He guides his audience through the past century of social encyclicals. Gradually, throughout the course of the past century, the papacy has evolved from an initial hostility to democracy to endorsement of it by Pope John Paul II. Zięba argues that John Paul II’s encyclical, Centesimus Annus, assumed the role of the flagship of Catholic social doctrine by offering the most comprehensive teaching on democratic capitalism. Therefore, he chooses to devote the majority of his book to analyzing Centesimus Annus.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Simply Sinners

by Ethan Mack

 

Recently, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, died of poor health. Phelps' church, mostly comprised of members of his own family, became infamous over the last few years when they started picketing the funerals of dead soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan while holding signs with such condemnable phrases as "God Hates Fags." Within hours of news of his imminent death, a Facebook event group dedicated to picketing Phelps' upcoming funeral gained thousands of likes. I heard countless people talk about how Phelps was a "bad man" and that his upcoming death should be celebrated. I could write an entire separate post about whether these expressed sentiments are misguided (I think they are); however, for the present moment I'd like to discuss the idea of labeling a man as "bad."

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Archbishop Tobin Reflects on the Church as Communion

by Allison R. Shely

 

On Monday, March 24, the Church in the 21st Century Center hosted Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis in the Heights Room as part of its “Our Episcopal Visitor” series. This lecture series seeks to invite one or two bishops to campus each year for Boston College to share its way of living out its Jesuit mission and to learn from the bishops how it can be of greater service to the Church.

 

Archbishop Tobin, whose father played on the BC football team in the 1940s while a student here, met with Father Leahy and members of the theology department. His day concluded with this talk, entitled “Church-Communion: Roles in Relationship,” in keeping with C21’s spring theme of “Intimacy and Relationships.”

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Guidepost: Prayer of a Procrastinator

by Nikki Elliott

 

“Lazy people want and crave much but will get little, but those who are diligent and work hard will prosper and have something to show for their lives.”

- Proverbs 13:4

 

I am a master of procrastination. I have the hardest time getting started on things and as a result I am often scrambling at the last minute to meet due dates and deadlines. I seem to employ my greatest procrastination tactics when I have a writing assignment due. Instead of refocusing my efforts when I hit a writer’s block, I will waste time changing the font, reformatting the heading, or creating an unnecessary cover page. I know my writing assignment is in real trouble, though, when I leave my work altogether and procrastinate by baking, cleaning, or, my personal favorite, working out.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Bishop Issues Pastoral Letter on Pornography

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

On March 19, Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, VA released a new edition of his pastoral letter entitled Bought with a Price. On the same day, the bishop also published an article in First Things titled “Let the Battle for Purity Begin: Love vs. Pornography.” Both pieces of literature coincide with the Solemnity of St. Joseph, who is the patron saint of fathers. The pastoral letter’s title comes from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, where St. Paul adjures the members of the Church of Corinth to guard their bodies against unchastity, since, properly speaking, they are only the stewards of their own bodies, which were bought with a great price.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Kidnapped Syrian Nuns Released by Syrian Rebels

by Sofia Infante

 

One dozen Greek Orthodox nuns and three women, who had been kidnapped from their convent by the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebel organization Al-Nusra Front, have been returned to safety after being held in captivity in the nearby town of Yabrud for three months. They were brought through a rebel-held border crossing to Arsal, a Lebanese border town, and released to Lebanese officials. Then they were driven to Syria, where they were taken to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

by Natalie Yuhas

 

I may not remember much from first grade, but I certainly do remember the day we talked about careers. We gathered around on the floor, sitting “Pretzel Style,” eagerly listening to the story about different professions. Finally, the story finished, and the teacher closed the book and set it on her lap.

 

“So, who knows what they want to be when they grow up?” she asked. A few tiny hands bolted into the air. “Ballerina.” “Policeman.” “Doctor.” “Veterinarian.” “Chef.” My hand lingered in the air until finally my teacher called on me.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Protestant Perspective: Practicing Ecumenism

by Mark Hertenstein

 

The most common method of ecumenical work is to dialogue. These meetings and discussions take on doctrinal and theological issues. Some touch on practice, but mostly in the sense of differences in the theology that undergirds practices of a particular Christian group. The aim of such meetings, and the larger movement of ecumenism, is to try to rectify and clarify theological positions so that Churches will be able to worship together, recognize each other’s sacraments, and so forth.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Coming Clean for Lent

by Katie Rich

 

Lent is a season unlike any other. It’s a 40 day battle of will power. Even fallen away Catholics, Protestants, and non-Christians can find something enticing about sacrificing something we hold near and dear to our hearts for six weeks. The ambiguous “Lent” seems to be a forbidding character standing before us, its lips curling into a devilish smile, daring us to just try to give up that certain thing for 40 days. Just try. Its doubt in our capabilities infuriates us, and drives us to give up not only chocolate but all sweets. Take that, Lent. Who’s weak now?

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Time Passed and Passed

by Chris Canniff

 

I had lunch with a friend recently. I first met her in October of freshman year, and throughout that year and continuing into sophomore year, we became friends, getting together often with each other and with our many mutual friends. Then junior year came along and, as any upperclassman will affirm, you can often feel disconnected from your friends as a junior. A small portion live on campus, most live off campus, and many study abroad (some for both semesters). As for myself and this particular friend, I lived on campus, and she lived off campus; I was here for the entire year, and she went abroad in the spring. Now, senior year has been flying by as both of us have so many time-consuming commitments of all sorts, both academic and social. It was nice to be able to reconnect.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Bridging the Gap Between Faith and Reason

Boston College Professor Sarah Byers' book Perception, Sensitivity, and Moral Motivation in Augustine addresses the modern controversey about grace, free will, and the intellect
Boston College Professor Sarah Byers' book Perception, Sensitivity, and Moral Motivation in Augustine addresses the modern controversey about grace, free will, and the intellect

by Margaret Antonio

 

“My early education in Theology effectively came to a stop in 6th grade – after that, the classes just repeated that there are seven sacraments,” said Professor Sarah Byers. For many people, the seemingly routine memorization of prayers, rattling off the seven sacraments, and listing the three Persons of the Trinity in Sunday school result in their leaving the faith or partitioning it off in favor of “higher” intellectual pursuits. However, for Sarah Byers, a professor of philosophy at Boston College, studying philosophy helped her bridge this gap between faith and reason in her own life.

 

Studying Augustine “was the first time I realized there was such a thing as high-level intellectual Christianity,” said Byers. Professor Byers’ interest in philosophy began at a young age, when at the dinner table her father took part in her intellectual development by challenging her about political ideas or ethical issues in which she was interested. When Byers took a philosophy core class as a freshman at the Jesuit St. Joseph’s University, she realized that those conversations with her father were at the heart of “philosophy,” which she eventually declared as her undergraduate major. Later, during her graduate studies, Byers’ studies on Augustine presented her with “the idea that early Christian philosophy was asking interesting questions in ethics and metaphysics, and that it was a development from ancient philosophy.”

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Within the Confines of the Truth: Ex Corde Ecclesiae & the Future of Catholic Higher Education

by Margo Borders

 

On March 18th, Chris Canniff, A&S ’14 and editor-in-chief of The Torch, gave an address to the UGBC student assembly about Catholic higher education, presenting his ideas about how to stay committed to and promote the Catholic mission on the BC campus.

 

Canniff began by referencing the article by Nicholas Hahn that inspired his talk. Hahn talks about Pope Francis’ recent address to the Board of Trustees at Notre Dame. This address led Hahn to conclude that something is awry in Catholic higher education in the United States and that schools need to refocus on their commitment to educating with a Catholic mission.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Joy Moore: Positive Impact of Jesuit Ideals

by Erin Anderson

 

On Tuesday, March 18, Agape Latte hosted their monthly event, which featured Boston College alumnus Joy Moore. Moore, who graduated from the Lynch School of Education in 1981 and afterwards went on to be Head Interim for The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, has returned to Boston College and currently works in the alumni office as Director of stewardship and donor relations. It was during her time in LA when Moore received the opportunity to be deputy head of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which opened in January 2007. After going through a long and arduous interview process, she signed a six-month contract to go to South Africa. Once Moore accepted the job offer, she found herself three weeks later in Henley-on-Kip, South Africa. Located on a new continent she knew little about, Moore called upon her faith to help.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

On the Quest for God and the Good Life: Lonergan’s Theological Anthropology

by Alessandra Luedeking

 

On Wednesday, March 12, Mark Miller, Ph.D. graduate from Boston College’s former Theology MA program and current professor of theology at the University of San Francisco, delivered a lecture on the occasion of the publication of his new book, The Quest for God and the Good Life: Lonergan’s Theological Anthropology.

 

Miller’s work centers on the belief that “all statements are answers to questions, and all questions arise in a context. To understand the statement, you have to know and understand the question that answers and then the context in which it arose.” His book aims at exploring a collection of statements and the questions that preceded them.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Christian Duty in Secular Society, According to Luther and Bonhoeffer

by Tara Wengronowitz

 

On Friday, March 21, the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, and the BC Libraries hosted a presentation of senior theses. Approximately twenty BC seniors set up posters displaying sophisticated outlines of their in-progress theses. Theology and classics double major in the class of 2014, Mark Hertenstein, presented an outline of his thesis entitled, “The Cross and Social Ethics: Luther and Bonhoeffer.” Hertenstein discusses the issues of Luther’s social ethics and how 20th Century Lutheran pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, developed the beliefs further. The six specific sections of the thesis are: Luther’s Social Ethics, The Problem of Lutheran Social Ethics, Luther’s Theological Project, Bonhoeffer’s Social Ethics, Historical Problems and Bonhoeffer’s Context, and Bonhoeffer’s Theological Project. Hertenstein specifically discusses the complex issue of Christian activity in secular society.

 

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Pope Francis Invited to Address Joint Session of Congress

by Alex Cervone

 

On March 13, 2014, House Speaker John Boehner(R-Ohio), extended a formal, written invitation, with Nancy Pelosi(D-California), to Pope Francis to speak to a joint session of Congress. This would occur during his expected visit to the United States in 2015. Additionally, President Barack Obama is to visit the Vatican to meet with His Holiness on the March 27. Both indicate growing diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican. Provided the Pope accepts this open invitation, it will be a historic event. Never before has the Pope, or any religious leader serving as a head of state, addressed Congress. As for the motivation behind the invitation, according to a statement from Boehner’s office, his visit would be an “excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full.”

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

MA Bishops Push for a Just Minimum Wage Increase

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The Bishops of Massachusetts released a statement on March 19th that highlighted the necessity of the State legislature to carefully consider the struggles of workers who are earning minimum wage. This statement from the College of Bishops of Massachusetts comes at the same time that as many as three different pieces of legislation are being entertained by the State Government. The Senate recently passed a bill increasing the minimum wage to $11 by 2016 and another overhauling the unemployment insurance system. The House is introducing another piece of legislation that seeks to increase the minimum wage to $10.50 by 2016. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said on Thursday that he hopes the finalized House bill will take into consideration the increased burden that such a hike would take on business owners and argued that this measure could be passed only in conjunction with reform in the unemployment insurance sector and that he hoped to combine the two bills from the Senate into a single system.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Court Denies Notre Dame Exemption from HHS Mandate

by Alex Marsland

 

On February 21st the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling that denies Notre Dame University temporary legal protection from the federal contraception mandate.

 

The HHS mandate allows religious institutions to sign an authorization form that indicates their objections to providing contraceptive coverage and prompts a third party administrator to provide it instead. The case concerns whether the signing of the authorization form constitutes an infringement on the free exercise of religion.

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Tue

25

Mar

2014

Medical Experts Approve Ven. Archbishop Sheen Miracle

by Jay Chin

 

James Fulton Engstrom was delivered stillborn three years ago. There was little oxygen in his blood and his heart was not beating. James’s mother, Bonnie Engstrom, prayed for Venerable Fulton Sheen’s intercession for sixty-one minutes after which her son finally began to breathe. After three years of investigation, in March of 2014, a group made up of seven medical experts have claimed that there is no natural cause for James’s revival.

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