Alex Wasilkoff

 

Managing Editor

 

Alex Wasilkoff is a sophomore who has been writing for The Torch since the beginning of his freshman year. At the beginning of this year, he became the editor of his favorite section: World News. During the day, Alex studies math and physics in order to fund his hymnal and slide rule collections.

Wed

27

Mar

2019

Congressional Chaplain Discusses Faith and Politics

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

A crowd of students gathered in Cushing Hall’s auditorium on March 20 to hear from Fr. Pat Conroy, S.J, the chaplain to the US House of Representatives. Fr. Conroy joked with the students before the start of the talk, asking where everyone was from. This Jesuit had connections in almost every part of the country—a theme explored in the rest of the lecture.

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Wed

27

Mar

2019

Every Knee Shall Bow: Exploration of Posture in Prayer

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

This article is the second part of an ongoing series of articles exploring the postures of prayer used during Mass. Part I, on Standing, can be found here.

 

The practice of kneeling is often maligned—even banished—from Mass in certain places. However, kneeling is perhaps one of the most important Christian postures of prayer. As noted in last month’s article, “Standing Fast in Prayer,” the position of one’s body is an important part of prayer, especially liturgical prayer. In Spirit of the Liturgy, Pope Benedict writes, “[Kneeling] is an expression of Christian culture, which transforms the existing culture through a new and deeper knowledge and experience of God.”

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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

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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Wed

30

Jan

2019

St. John’s Seminary Rector Reassigned to Worcester

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On January 1, Monsignor James P. Moroney, the now former rector of St. John’s Seminary, was reassigned as the interim rector of the St. Paul’s Cathedral and Office for Divine Worship, Worcester. The return to his home diocese comes after having been on sabbatical for the fall semester at the request of Cardinal O’Malley. The sabbatical was mutually agreed upon by Msgr. Moroney and Cardinal O’Malley to ensure the independence of the investigation into complaints about behavior at the seminary. As covered in the September issue of The Torch, two former seminarians made public complaints about behavior unfitting for a seminary, including drunkenness, intimidation, bullying, and sexual abuse. At the time of publication, the investigation has not yet finished its review of the seminary.

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

Bishop Robert Morlino, Advocate of Catholic Teaching, Dies

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On November 24, Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, passed away following a "cardiac event."

 

The widely-respected Bishop of Madison was initially a Jesuit. He was ordained in 1974 and taught philosophy at several universities, including here at Boston College, as well as at Notre Dame. In 1981, he left the Society of Jesus and was incardinated as a priest of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan. After almost two decades in Kalamazoo, Morlino was consecrated a bishop in 1999. Pope St. John Paul II appointed him to Helena, Montana. Then in 2003, he was moved to the episcopate of Madison.

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

Reclaiming Ember Days

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

“Fasting days and Emberings be

Lent, Whitsun, Holyrood, and Lucie”

 

So the old rhyme goes, listing the times of year when the Ember days fall. These are days of fasting and abstinence which come four times a year at the change of the seasons. The Ember Days occupy the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the week on which they fall. As indicated by the rhyme, they come the week after Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sept. 14), and Feast of St. Lucy (Dec. 13).

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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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Wed

26

Sep

2018

McCarrick Scandal Comes to Light; Church Leaders Implicated

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

This summer, news that Theodore McCarrick was a long-time sexual predator broke, prompting his resignation from the College of Cardinals. The reports of abuse include massaging seminarians, sharing beds with young priests, and abusing young boys. McCarrick would often invite small groups of seminaries over for drinks, and then assign the seminarians sleeping arrangements—including assigning one to sleep with him. In addition to sexual abuse, he groomed young priests and encourage them to climb the hierarchy. These seminarians and priests felt helpless to speak up about any of the situations. 

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Thu

03

May

2018

Break it Down Boston 2018 Showcases Christian Acapella

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On April 7, Christian acapella groups from colleges throughout the North-East gathered in Trinity Chapel for this year’s Break It Down Boston concert. 

 

Every year one college in Boston hosts this event, and this year it was Boston College’s turn. Against the Current, BC’s Christian acapella group, welcomed seventeen other groups from as far away as Johns Hopkins University and as close to home as Boston University.

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Wed

28

Mar

2018

Tensions Rise in Jerusalem

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On March 7, Israel passed a law giving the Minister of the Interior the power to revoke the permanent residency status of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem if they commit a “breach of trust.”

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Tue

27

Feb

2018

Bible Nation

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

Dr. Candida Moss, professor of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham, gave a lecture at Boston College based on her new book, Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby. The  February 7 lecture, and the book, explore the role of Hobby Lobby’s founding family in American public life, especially their philanthropic support of the Museum of the Bible.

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Wed

31

Jan

2018

Vatican Asks Underground Chinese Bishops to Resign

 

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

 

The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, has asked Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou, China, to retire in order to allow a government-approved bishop to take his place. Bishop Zhuang has refused the request.

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Wed

29

Nov

2017

Pope Francis Issues Clarifying Letter

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

Pope Francis issued a letter to Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, on October 15 correcting and clarifying a commentary falsely attributed to the Cardinal.

 

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Wed

29

Nov

2017

Spirit of Chesterton Left Out of BBC’s Father Brown

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

G. K. Chesterton's stories of Father Brown, the Catholic priest who happens to be an amateur detective, are wonderful short stories saturated with Chesterton's wit and filled with his charming prose, so I was extremely excited when I found out that the BBC had a TV series based on the stories. However, I ended up extremely disappointed.

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Thu

26

Oct

2017

Land O’ Lakes Turns Fifty

 

by Alexander Wasilkoff

 

On October 11, many prominent figures in Catholic higher education met to discuss the legacy, effects, and future of the fifty-year-old Land O’ Lakes Statement.

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Thu

26

Oct

2017

95 Theses Turn 500

 

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

In the early morning of October 31, 1517, one brave man nailed 95 arguments to a church door, and the world was never the same again—or so the story goes. The truth of the legend surrounding Martin Luther’s 95 Theses notwithstanding, it is hard to dispute the world changing effect that this German monk would have. Luther is often given credit for beginning the Protestant Reformation with his 95 Theses in 1517, and a commonly cited ending is the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, although theological disputes, dialogues, and divisions continue to the present day.

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Tue

26

Sep

2017

Race in the American Catholic Imagination

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On September 11, Bishop George Murry, S.J. of Youngstown, Ohio, gave an address titled “Race in the American Catholic Imagination.”

 

Bishop Murry started his talk by quoting several statistics about the growth and spread of the Catholic Church over the past century: “In 1910, there were 291 million Catholics worldwide. As of 2010, that number was over 1 billion.” He gave particular emphasis to the geographical shift in the Catholic population saying, “Two-thirds of Catholics lived in Europe in 1910. By 2010, only one-fourth lived in Europe.” He went on to say that the Catholic population in Sub Saharan Africa and other regions of the global south have increased dramatically. Despite the increased racial diversity, Bishop Murry said that the Church still has a crippled conscience about race.

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