Thu

01

Nov

2018

University of Durham Researchers Speak on Robert Grosseteste

by Jonathan Gaworski

 

In an interdisciplinary event bridging science, philosophy, theology, and the humanities, Boston College played host to a pair of researchers from the University of Durham, who opened a window into the mind of the Medieval scholastic Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253). A polymath of far- ranging interests, Robert Grosseteste wrote celebrated works of astronomy, geometry, music, philosophy, and theology.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Martyrs, Confessors, and the Call to Sainthood

by Mathieu Ronayne

 

In his youth, when St. Maximilian Kolbe saw the Blessed Mother in a vision, she offered him two crowns: a white crown for heroic virtue, and a red crown for martyrdom. Willingly accepting both crowns, he went on to live a life of such deep devotion to God that St. Pope John Paul II named him “the patron saint of our difficult century.”

 

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Cornerstone: Icons or Idols?

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

From the earliest days of the Church, Christians have kept depictions of Christ and the saints. The Good Shepherd is depicted in the catacombs of Rome, and a Church in Dura-Europos contains depictions of Christ and Peter dating back to AD 235. As Christianity gained ground in the fourth century, such depictions became prominent, and were known as icons. They became widespread under the reign of Emperor Justinian in the sixth century, and Christ was even depicted on Byzantine coins in the seventh and eighth centuries.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Thomas Asks: Laying Down the Law

by Gerard DeAngelis

 

Today, when many people think of “the law,” they see it as, at best, a necessary evil to maintain order—or at worst, as a harmful imposition. This contrasts directly, however, with the Biblical notion of a law that is to be loved: “I love thy law / Seven times a day I praise thee / for thy righteous ordinances…The law of thy mouth is better to me / than thousands of gold and silver pieces…I delight in thy law” (Ps 119:163-164, 72, 70).

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Faculty Panel Addresses Clerical Abuse

by David O'Neill

 

On Monday October 15, the auditorium in McGuinn was filled for a panel titled “Catholic Belonging in a Time of Scandal.” The panel was co-sponsored by the Church in the 21st Century Center, the Jesuit Institute, and the Theology Department. This panel consisted of Boston College Professors Stephen Pope, Marina McCoy, Richard Gaillardetz, and Kerry Cronin.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

The (Church) Doctor Is In

St. Therese of Lisieux of Lisieux (left) and St. Teresa of Avila (right)
St. Therese of Lisieux of Lisieux (left) and St. Teresa of Avila (right)

by Patrick Stallwood

 

Earlier in October, the Church celebrated the feast days of two notable saints—St. Therese of Lisieux on October 1, and St. Teresa of Avila on October 15. These holy women share many similarities: both were Carmelite nuns who modeled lives of radical simplicity, and both provided significant insight to Christian spirituality. Their written works have contributed so much to theological understanding that these saints have been recognized as Doctors of the Church. This sounds like an important title, but what does it mean? How does one become a Doctor of the Church?

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Conversations in Contentious Times

by Marina McCoy

 

Marina McCoy is Associate Professor of Philosophy, specializing in ancient philosophy and literature with a particular emphasis on Plato, the sophists, and rhetoric. Her most recent book, Wounded Heroes: Vulnerability as a Virtue in Ancient Greek Literature and Philosophy (Oxford) was published in October 2013.

 

We live in politically contentious times. On the one hand, our society seems to be moving toward an increased insularity where we surround ourselves with like-minded people. On the other hand, we see in the news instances where words are combative, or physical violence takes the place of words. Thinkers within the Catholic tradition, however, provide us with some useful alternative way of proceeding, ones that neither wall us off from one another, nor insist on speech that only dominates agonistically.

 

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

A Response to Disability from the Book of Job

by Amanda Judah

 

On October 5, a wide array of spectators filled the Heights Room to hear the annual Pyne Lecture on Ministry with Disabilities. This lecture series has been offered since 1991, and covers a range of physical and mental illnesses, such as HIV, autism, and Alzheimer’s. This year’s presenter was Dr. Andrew Davis, a professor at the School of Theology and Ministry who specializes in the Old Testament. Dr. Davis closely analyzed the book of Job in order to examine their practices surrounding those with disabilities, in a discussion titled Disability and Advocacy in the Book of Job.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Talk Explores the Horizon of Faith Formation

by Justin Schnebelen

 

How, when the world is saying otherwise, are young, adolescent women and men to live in love?

 

At the Fourth Annual School of Theology and Ministry Religious Education Lecture on Thursday, October 18th, Theresa O’Keefe, Associate STM Professor, attempted to answer this question. She suggested that the answer is the key to actualizing a meaningful life in the Church’s adolescents.    

 

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Vatican, China Agree on Bishop Appointments

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On September 22, the Vatican announced that it had reached a provisional agreement with the Chinese government regarding the appointment of bishops. The agreement was the fruit of years of negotiation between the two countries on the role of governance of the Catholic Church in China.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Conference Reflects on the Role of Contemporary Music in Worship

Worship Band at 2015 Steubenville East Conference (photo courtesy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston via Flickr)
Worship Band at 2015 Steubenville East Conference (photo courtesy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston via Flickr)

by Olivia Colombo

 

On October 20, Catholic musicians from the Archdiocese of Boston and surrounding areas gathered for the first annual Catholic Conference on Contemporary Worship (CCCW) at St. Mary of the Assumption in Dedham. Put on by musicians from the forefront of Catholic praise and worship in New England, the full-day conference aimed to foster community amongst worship leaders. It also aimed to equip beginners and seasoned musicians with skills for using music to elevate the experiences of Adoration and Mass.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Catholic Church Responds to Synagogue Shooting

Police officers are seen after a gunman killed eleven people Oct. 27 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. (CNS photo/John Altdorfer, Reuters)
Police officers are seen after a gunman killed eleven people Oct. 27 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. (CNS photo/John Altdorfer, Reuters)

by Adriana Watkins

 

On Saturday, October 27, a shooter killed 11 people worshipping at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. The attack came as congregants were participating in Shabbat morning prayer services and a bris (or circumcision) ceremony. The shooter, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, was injured in the confrontation with police and taken into custody. He made his first court appearance the following Monday, and is being charged with 44 federal counts, most of them relating to malicious targeting of a religious group.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Repent & Submit: New CatholicTV Show to Engage Millennials

by Olivia Colombo

 

On October 1, The CatholicTV Network launched a new show called “Repent & Submit” which focuses on engaging millennial Catholics in new forms of media, inspired by the desires of the Catholic community present on Twitter. CatholicTV is an international television network based out of Watertown, MA, and the new show features Tommy Tighe (@theghissilent) and Steve the Missionary (@stevemissionary).

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

The Theology of the Great Pumpkin

Image: ABC
Image: ABC

by Ethan Starr

 

While many might not immediately realize a Christian component to the Peanuts series (featuring Charlie Brown, Lucy, and friends), religious themes can be found in unexpected places when watching their 1960’s television specials. Though Charles Schulz is well-recognized as the pioneer of common American phrases like “Good grief,” the Christian themes of the some of his creations have gone largely unnoticed.  

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Giving the Homily: A Priest's Perspective

by Adriana Watkins

 

A Catholic who goes to Mass every Sunday and holiday has, by age 18, heard nearly 1,000 homilies. That same Catholic has brainstormed, composed, and delivered about zero. For priests, of course, the practice is routine—and in a recent series of interviews, six clergy at Boston College illuminated some of the mysteries surrounding it.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Do You Trust Your Faith?

by Camila LoForte

 

An integral part of our identity as humans is that, when it comes to the future, we mostly just “don’t know.” We have plans and ideas and dreams about what we want to do, achieve, or become in our lives. Some people have meticulously-designed life plans and projects and roadmaps. Others at least have a general direction in which they foresee their lives evolving. And yet others are quite perplexed as they stare at the vast spectrum of possibilities before them and have no idea where to go next. In different moments in life, we have probably all been each of these three types of people. But, when it comes to certainty and really knowing what will happen or how our lives will turn out, we really simply “don’t know.”

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Euthanasia: Putting Value over Dignity

by Marcus Otte

 

 

In last month’s article, I noted what is so uniquely pernicious about arguments for euthanasia: these arguments openly justify the direct, intentional killing of innocent persons. This distinguishes the case for euthanasia from the case for war and for capital punishment, and even from the most influential arguments for abortion. Now I wish to discuss just what is so wrong with the direct killing of innocent persons, even if the killing is done to alleviate pain.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Wall of Lies

by Adriana Watkins

 

My family spends Sundays at a packed Catholic church, where the pews are full. In such close quarters, the voices of the congregation seem louder to me than at other churches—not least of all during the Kyrie and Confiteor, two confessions of guilt and pleas for mercy. After Mass, we leave the parish and drive past a nearby landmark. It’s a large plywood billboard that reads in colorful letters, “YOU ARE PERFECT.” I call it the Wall of Lies.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

On a New Stage in Faith

by Ejuma Adoga

 

When I returned to BC this fall, three months after graduation, everything had changed. Four years ago, I was a bright-eyed and eager freshman, experiencing a new sense of change and environment after moving 7 hours away from home. Everything, including my faith, felt new, vibrant, and fresh. I had several different choices when it came to Mass times, endless amounts of exposure to new people, and what seemed to be a million different clubs through which I could reinvent myself. Obviously (and this is the case for most people), college brings its own challenges, through which we eventually build endurance and find our stride.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

The Pillar of My Life

by Gerardo Martinez Cordeiro

 

Boston College has been my home for four years now. The statement may be deceivingly simple, but it is charged with paradoxes and contradictions that make it, just as anything else in life, beautiful.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Cultivating a Grateful Heart

by Amanda Judah

 

For the past year or so, God has placed the value of gratitude on my heart. In the fast-paced atmosphere of Boston College, it can be easy to feel dissatisfied or disappointed with the minutia of college life. Sometimes it can feel like a competition between students to declare who is the busiest and accomplishing the most. If we don’t get a leadership position in a club or the grade we want, it can feel like our future is creeping along at a snail’s pace, while everyone else is racing forward.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

“Faith of Our Fathers, Holy Faith”: The Possibility of Faith That Endures

by Tabi Arrey

 

F. W. Faber, the famous English, Anglican- turned-Catholic composer is responsible for the rich repertoire of hymns that have endured in both Catholic and Protestant traditions. His hymns, rich in theological detail and historical accuracy, highlight the specific elements of faith and culture that are intimately connected with the lives of English people of his time, and beyond. Some of his famous hymns include: “Sweet Savior, Bless Us ‘Ere We Go,” “O Purest of Creatures” (hymn to Mary), “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” and “Faith of our Fathers,” which is arguably the most famous and must-sing hymn of his entire composition and collection. The hymn first appeared in his book, Jesus and Mary: Catholic Hymns for Singing and Reading. This hymn acknowledges and recognizes, with great joy, the endurance of the English Martyrs who were persistent in their faith and constant in prayer even as they faced “dungeon,” “fire,” “sword,” and the relentless fury of Henry VIII.

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

“Love and Do What Thou Wilt”

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

St. Augustine wonderfully summarizes the Gospel in short sentences. “Love and do what you will,” he says to his parishioners when preaching on the First Letter of John. He says something very similar in On Christian Doctrine, where he points out that for the person who has mastered Faith, Hope, and Charity, the Scriptures provide no further use except for teaching others. Of course, he is not the first to make this point. Long before him, St. Paul pointed out, “Love is the fulfillment of the Law” (Rom. 13:10). That’s it. That is the whole of the Christian teaching; we can all go home now.

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Sat

20

Oct

2018

Overcoming Challenges for Youth and Bishops: An Interview with Archbishop Chaput

by The Torch Staff

 

Catholic Bishops from around the world convened beginning on Oct. 3 for the 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. One of the 6 bishops representing the United States is The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. On October 20th, Archbishop Chaput corresponded with The Torch to share his thoughts on the Synod so far.

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