Sat

02

Mar

2019

Professors Gareau Share Love Story at Agape Latte

by Tom Flanagan

 

On February 5, in an evening spent laughing down memory lane, Professors Brian and Tara Gareau sat down at Agape Latte to share their love story with a crowd of Boston College students. Prepared with a medley of photographs and anecdotes, the Gareau duo took turns reminiscing on their journey so far. Theirs was not an everyday love story, however, for as the audience quickly learned, the Gareaus are not your everyday couple.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Taking Steps Forward

by Gerardo Martinez Cordeiro

 

The last few weeks have been crucial for the Catholic Church. We have seen the congregation of bishops from across the world meet to address the abuse scandals rampant throughout the world; there is palpable intrigue and unhealthy competition in the College of Cardinals and among the body of bishops; and it seems that even priests are coming out to attack the Church and its leadership. In the midst of all these events, I believe it is only proper that we take a stand as Catholics to defend the Church that Christ entrusted to all of us, not just to the descendants of the throne of St. Peter.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Bishops Convene for Summit on Child Abuse

Pope Francis Leads the Summit in Prayer (Foto ©Vatican Media)
Pope Francis Leads the Summit in Prayer (Foto ©Vatican Media)

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On February 21-24, Catholics leaders from around the world meet at the Vatican to discuss the crisis of child sexual abuse in the Church. This meeting was called by Pope Francis after serious allegations of clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups rocked the Catholic world over the past months. In the United States, these include the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and the crimes of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. However, the past year has shown the worldwide scale of the issues. Chile, Germany, Australia, and several other nations have experienced new allegations of sex abuse within the Church. To address these problems, Pope Francis organized February's five-day conference with the heads of 130 national bishops' conferences.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Theatre and Theology: Performing the Passion

Crucifixion from the Passion Play at Oberammergau
Crucifixion from the Passion Play at Oberammergau

by Adriana Watkins

 

This time next year, in the spring of 2020, many men in the German village of Oberammergau will be in desperate need of a visit to the barber-shop. Their long hair and beards are, indeed, part of a fashion trend—one established over 400 years ago, when Oberammergau first began staging its famous Passion Play. The performance, which has occurred every 10 years since the 17th century, is the town’s lasting legacy of gratitude to God—and it’s part of a greater history of honoring the Easter mysteries with theatre.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

The Mystery of Our Lady at the Grotto

by Lourdes Macaspac

 

It is almost certain that when I meet someone, they will express their appreciation for the beauty of my name and will ask about its origin. My personal prayer is that many more will come to find beauty, admiration, and love for Our Lady of Lourdes, after whom I am named.

 

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is on February 11—this was the first day in 1858 when Our Lady appeared to a peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous, who was 14 years old at the time. Centuries before, the Grotto of Massabielle was a military base for France. However, in 1858, it was no longer a military base but a muddy grotto. On February 11, St. Bernadette, along with her sister and a friend, went to gather firewood for the family. When the three girls went out, Bernadette was told to stay on one side of the river, out of concern that her asthma would be triggered if she traveled through the freezing water.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Standing Fast in Prayer: Exploration of Posture in Prayer

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

“The body must be trained, so to speak, for the resurrection,” writes Pope Benedict (then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) in Spirit of the Liturgy. The essential element of our body is not something that can be ignored when it comes to the spiritual life, but rather it can contribute to the art of prayer. The different postures Christians assume during prayer, especially liturgical prayer, have a long history and important significance. This month I will examine the posture of standing for prayer.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Thomas Asks: Life in the Fast Lane

by Gerard DeAngelis

 

Every Ash Wednesday, the Gospel reminds us of how we should act when we perform some of the most fundamental Christian works—namely, almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. Jesus’ main lesson in this reading is to teach us to avoid hypocrisy by not even letting “your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Mt. 6:3). What I find most interesting about this Gospel, however, is not Jesus’ main message, but rather what He assumes of His audience. He says “when you pray,” “when you give alms,” and “when you fast.” It is clear that Jesus thinks the need for these practices is so obvious that He doesn’t even bother telling us we should do them!

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Increase in Student Desire for the Eucharist at Boston College

Adoration at Cushing Chapel Boston College
Adoration at Cushing Chapel

by Mathieu Ronayne

 

Boston College has witnessed an increase in opportunities to engage with the sacraments and develop personal prayer life this semester, and particularly over the month of February. Access to many of the Church’s foundational sacraments are already well-established on campus and nearby: daily Masses at St. Mary’s, Candlelight Mass at St. Joe’s, confession, Latin Mass organized by Una Voce, (Boston College's Latin Mass Society), and various other activities. Through primarily student-led initiatives, access to other forms of worship has grown through Adoration, Taize prayer, and other informal prayer groups.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

The Joy of Salvation

by Sr. Christina Miriam Wegendt, F.S.P.

 

Sister Christina Miriam Wegendt, FSP, has been a Daughter of St. Paul for sixteen years. She is an acquisitions editor for Pauline Books & Media, the publishing house of her religious community, and also serves as vocation director for the Daughters of St. Paul in Boston. Sr. Christina is currently pursuing a Master of Theological Studies through St. John’s Seminary, Boston, and is looking forward to graduating in the spring of 2019.

 

Lent is upon us, a time in which we prepare ourselves to celebrate the paschal mystery. We live the intense days of Holy Week, especially the Triduum, mysteriously accompanying the Lord in his suffering and death (and then, of course, his resurrection!). But even as these days may feel austere and penitential, they are also cause for joy. The events of Holy Week have become transformed for us from tragedy to salvation. And when Easter arrives, this salvation becomes our great reason for rejoicing!

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Another Response to WMSCOG: A Little Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

The Torch was recently contacted by a former member the World Mission Society Church of God, who gave us some more information on their beliefs and teachings. Having already written on the topic of the WMSCOG, I found this material particularly interesting and I will attempt to respond to it below. It should be noted that since my last column on the WMSCOG was over a year ago, I am still open to having an in-person discussion with members of this group. I would prefer to record it and publish it online, so that everyone could hear their views within the context of examination.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Hope in the Birdcage

by Adriana Watkins

 

It’s painful to say anything against Emily Dickinson. Arguing with that little woman is like picking a fight with Sylvester Stallone, where no one is rooting for you and you didn’t want to fight in the first place. I love Dickinson, and having said that, I have qualms with her on an issue that’s especially interesting to us as Catholics—hope, and our role in maintaining it.

 

When I was eight, my godparents gave me one of the first books of poetry I owned for myself. It was Catherine Kennedy’s A Family of Poems, an erratic sampler of works from the literary giants mixed in with limericks and haikus. Many of the poems were too complicated for a children’s collection, but all of them were paired with beautiful watercolor illustrations, so I went through the book many times.

 

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Findings from the Temple

by Noella D'Souza

 

Since they’re so few and far between, I like to indulge every opportunity I get to imagine Jesus as a rebellious teenager—probably because I can relate so well. Jesus ditching his family in the Finding in the Temple is one of the most tangible (and plausible) examples I can think of. Aside from imagining Jesus as a wild child, I frequently return to this Bible story because I find it so rich in practical wisdom regarding life as a person of faith.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Encountering a Natural God

The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands

by Amanda Judah

 

One of the benefits of travelling in Ecuador has been observing the amazing amount of natural diversity packed into such a small area. Within a few hours, you can be on the top of a mountain covered in snow, in the middle of a rainforest, or on the coast listening to the waves. It has been such a blessing to experience all of these different natural wonders, which have allowed me to catch a glimpse of the Divine.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Black History Month: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

by Ejuma Adoga

 

It is no coincidence that Black History Month and Valentine's Day share the same month. Valentine’s Day is commercially celebrated and advertised as a day celebrating romantic love—stores participate by selling heart-shaped chocolates, giant teddy bears, flowers, and everything in between. Black History Month highlights the achievements of black men and women in spite of the racism and discrimination that faced them, and which still faces black individuals all over the world. Valentine’s Day has always been a cheery, bright, and uplighting holiday—though not all partake in it—that puts it main emphasis on romantic love. But I believe that the connection between Valentine’s Day and Black History month goes much much deeper than this.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

by Christian Rodriguez

 

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

 

In between episodes of Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation on Netflix, I came across the Oscar-nominated documentary End Game. This production highlights the experience of individuals and their families as they come to terms with the reality of death. This deeply personal and spiritual film raises significant and inescapable questions about our relationship to its subject matter.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Pilgrim’s Progress: St. Francis Chapel

by Justin Schnebelen

 

Pilgrim's Progress is a new feature highlighting sites of interest for Catholics in the Boston Area.

 

Long before Pope Francis urged Catholics to engage and serve the “peripheries” of society, the late Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, took a very similar sentiment to heart. For one must travel to the heart of Boston to stumble upon the gloriously humble nook where the St. Francis Chapel is lodged. Flanked by Ben & Jerry’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, one could have trouble identifying the space as a likely home for the Church. But that’s exactly how it was intended to be: “the heart of Christ in the heart of Boston.” The church is immersed in the bustle of daily life, where convention attendees, lawyers, baristas, and priests share a common space.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

The Strangeness of Truth: A Book for the New Evangelization

by Olivia Colombo

 

On February 11, surrounded by tidy stacks of crisp books, Fr. Damian Ference sat, pen in hand, prepared to autograph books. Just far enough removed from the buzz of the Boston, the Pauline Books & Media store in Dedham was full of its regular Saturday morning customers and cheerful religious sisters. On break from his doctoral studies in Rome, the Cleveland priest Fr. Ference had come to share his new book with friends and visitors. As the morning sunlight filtered through the storefront, the room was filled with soft, intellectual chatter about Fr. Ference’s first book, The Strangeness of Truth: Vibrant Faith in a Dark World.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Gasson Lecture Highlights Pioneer of Modern Catholic Political Engagement

Henry Edward Cardinal Manning seen in his study from this 1893 illustration
Henry Edward Cardinal Manning seen in his study from this 1893 illustration

by Jonathan Gaworski

 

On Wednesday, February 13, Fr. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. delivered the Spring Gasson Lecture in the Heights Room of Corcoran Commons. Fr. von Arx focused his talk on the social and political engagement of 19th century British clergyman Henry Edward Cardinal Manning. Like his contemporary, John Henry Cardinal Newman, Cardinal Manning was a convert to the Catholic Church from Anglicanism. But unlike Newman, Manning made his mark on the Catholic Church through his ecclesiastical leadership, rather than through theological and intellectual prowess.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Massimo Faggioli and Rafael Luciani Discuss Global Catholic Church

by David O'Neill

 

On January 30, the Irish Room in Gasson Hall found itself with more guests than seats for a talk entitled “Global Catholicism.” The speakers were Dr. Massimo Faggioli and Dr. Rafael Luciani. The event was put on by the College Theology Society, and co-hosted by the School of Theology and Ministry and the Theology Department in the Morrissey College.

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Sun

24

Feb

2019

Upcoming “Sing It to the Heights” Will Benefit St. Columbkille School

Tickets for the event will benefit the St. Columbkille Partnership School, students of which are pictured here with Fr. Leahy
Tickets for the event will benefit the St. Columbkille Partnership School, students of which are pictured here with Fr. Leahy

by Adriana Watkins

 

For the last 15 years, Boston College students have faced off in a friendly singing competition, staged—literally—by the members of the Emerging Leader Program (ELP). All proceeds from “Sing It to the Heights,” which will take place this Thursday, will be donated to the musical arts program at Boston’s St. Columbkille Partnership School. Last year’s competition raised approximately $4,000, and as the day of the competition approaches, organizers and contestants alike are hoping for an even stronger turnout this week.

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Tue

19

Feb

2019

BC Video Premiere Explores Jean Vanier’s L’Arche Mission

by Adriana Watkins

 

Despite the hundreds of miles between Boston and Trosly-Breuil, France, philanthropist Jean Vanier was able to address a Boston College audience on February 13 through prerecorded interview. The audience gathered to hear Vanier speak about his mission in founding L’Arche, a network of homes for the intellectually disabled. The BC-exclusive debut of the video was sponsored by The Church in the 21st Center, which will release the content online during Lent.

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Tue

12

Feb

2019

Perspective: The Church and the Venezuelan Crisis

We Are Millions March in Venezuela, 2015. (Image in the public domain)
We Are Millions March in Venezuela, 2015. (Image in the public domain)

by Patrick Stallwood

            

Over the last five years, the news cycle has bent an eye on Venezuela’s intensified political and humanitarian crisis. The country’s administration has blamed many of its problems on economic sanctions levied against it by the United States since Hugo Chavez’s revolution. The United States, on the other hand, has blamed the crisis on a severe mismanagement of funds by the Venezuelan government. As living conditions worsen for many citizens in this majority-Catholic nation, it becomes increasingly important to consider the duties of the Church in the midst of the crisis.

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Tue

12

Feb

2019

Pope Francis Celebrates Historic Mass in the UAE

© Mazur|catholicnews.org.uk
© Mazur|catholicnews.org.uk

by Tess Daniels

 

Pope Francis visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 3-5 in a landmark trip that marked the first-ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam. 

 

The Pope’s visit was a remarkable step for the UAE, a country not ordinarily known for its religious freedom. Granted, the UAE is more tolerant of different religions than some of its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia. Though the UAE’s constitution establishes Islam as the country’s official religion, it also “guarantees freedom of worship as long as it does not conflict with public policy or morals,”according to a 2017 State Department report. The UAE has dedicated this year to “tolerance,” promoting openness to people and cultures from around the world. 

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Tue

12

Feb

2019

First New Catholic Church Since Communist Revolution Opens in Cuba

The Parish of the Sacred Heart while still under construction. (Photo courtesy of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Tampa)
The Parish of the Sacred Heart while still under construction. (Photo courtesy of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Tampa)

by Quentin Bet

 

January 26 was a rainy day in Sandino, Cuba, but the spirits of this small rural community were anything but dampened. On this day, the town opened a new Roman Catholic church—the nation’s first since its communist revolution 60 years ago. The bright yellow building, named the Parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, underwent 4 years of construction before opening its doors last month. To commemorate the inauguration, the parish held its first official Mass. Though the church was designed to seat 200 people, the Mass drew a crowd of 500.

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