Jay Chin

 

Writer

 

Jay Chin is a member of the Arts and Sciences Class of 2015. He is a Philosophy Major and Linguistics Minor. Jay is the resident linguist of The Torch Staff. He writes mostly World News columns. He is also a proud member of the Peanut Gallery.

 

Tue

24

Feb

2015

Music: Love in Wagner

by Jay Chin

 

Richard Wagner did not compose church music, nor did he profess a Catholic faith; in fact, he held some very anti-Catholic beliefs. Yet he, more than most composers, through his music, approached the mysteries of the faith. Wagner knew what he was doing. Throughout his fifty-year career, he pulled again and again at the heartstrings of those of us who do truly believe in love and in Christ; yet to him this meant little to nothing.

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Tue

24

Feb

2015

Pope Calls for Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking

by Jay Chin

 

Pope Francis marked this February 8 as the first “International Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking.” The Holy Father used the sermon before the Sunday Angelus prayer to preach to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square before the midday prayer, stating how this issue is a “wound unworthy of civil society” and recalling that Jesus favors the physically and spiritually wounded, those who society ostracizes. Pope Francis asked for Mary’s intercession, that through her all may experience “the power of God’s love and the comfort of her maternal tenderness.”

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Wed

28

Jan

2015

Boko Haram Razes Baga, Kills 2,000

by Jay Chin

 

The last federal government-controlled town, Borno, in northeastern Nigeria, has fallen to the hands of Boko Haram. On January 3, the Islamist terrorist group launched a successful attack on the Multinational Joint Military Task Force (MNJTF) headquarters, a base of operations for Nigerian, Chadian, and Nigerien military forces, located just outside of Baga on the border between their respective countries. With the surrounding towns left defenseless, Boko Haram attacked sixteen towns, the largest of which is Baga, a key fishing and commercial center. The town was completely destroyed on January 7, with fatalities estimated at 2000, comprised mostly of women, children, and elderly who were too weak to flee. Most of those who managed to escape the violence fled to the displaced person camps in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno, which has a history of Boko Haram attacks. The refugees are estimated to be at 20,000. About 7300 others rowed their way to Chad, which brings the total number of current Nigerian refugees in Chad to 10,000.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Cornerstone: Advent

by Jay Chin


Four Sundays before December 25, the Church restarts its liturgical year with the season of Advent, when the faithful await the arrival of Immanuel, God with us, the Lord Jesus Christ. The priestly vestments change from green to purple, Christmas-related songs are sung, canned food and warm clothes are collected for the poor. All these things are meant to remind us of this season of joy and fraternity.

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Mon

08

Dec

2014

Pope Francis Visits Turkey

by Jay Chin

 

Pope Francis visited Turkey for the fourth time from November 28 to 30 on an apostolic trip to meet with civil, Muslim, and Orthodox leaders. Immediately after arriving at Esenboga Airport, he visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, as Benedict XVI and St. John Paul II did before him. He then met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan at the new presidential palace, who had recently spoken against the hypocrisy of the Western World when it comes to tolerating violent actions of Israel while never hesitating to denounce the Islamic world. The Pontiff praised him for having taken in Syriac refugees and promoted further religious tolerance and unity through dialogue in the face of fundamentalist Islamic groups such as ISIS.

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Tue

18

Nov

2014

Vatican Reorganizes Abbey of Montecassino

by Jay Chin

 

After more than a year without an abbot, Pope Francis appointed Donato Ogliari as Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Montecassino. Along with this installment, the Pope announced that a large amount of this territorial abbey would become part of the local Diocese of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo, under the overview of Bishop Gerardo Antonazzo. This diocese will grow about 50% in size, both in terms of territory and members, and will be renamed Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo.

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Wed

22

Oct

2014

Music: Spiritual Lessons from Arvo Pärt

by Jay Chin

 

Whether it be the monastic discipline reflected in Gregorian Chant, the orchestral dramatizations of Bach and Haydn, or the contemplative yet Romantic Requiem of Gabriel Fauré, sacred music establishes an idealized relationship between humanity and the Divine. It is sublime, and it is beautiful. But the Ladder of Divine Ascent is chaotic, it is painful, and it is heartbreaking. There are both angels and demons. There is darkness and almost torturous self-reflection. Where is the music that presents these challenges? People love to make fun of Post-Modernist music. It’s weird and pretentious, they say. But perhaps the problem is not the music, but the listener. One wants to be sung to, not spoken to. And I believe very deeply that we need to be spoken to. When it comes to the Mystery of the Sacred, no composer speaks to the human condition as well Arvo Pärt.

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Wed

22

Oct

2014

Pope Francis Promotes Service in Concluding Speech

by Jay Chin

 

To conclude the week long Extraordinary Synod on the Family, Pope Francis addressed the Synod Fathers in a short but powerful speech. After a few remarks of thanksgiving to the secretary, the sub-secretary, and all those who made the Synod possible, he delineated some of the temptations they had faced: inflexibility, deceptive mercy, false solutions, giving in to the demands of the world, and neglecting the deposit of faith. But such things should be expected, for they give way to zeal, wisdom and sincerity in discussion. The Church, as Mother, heals the wounds of the needy and penitent and then lifts them up to set them of the path towards Christ. As defender of the faith, when She expresses Herself in communion, She cannot err. Even in moments of heated disputation, the Holy Spirit is at work, and so those episodes need to be managed with tranquility. The duty of the Pope is to remind the pastors, the priests and bishops, that they must nourish their flocks and go out and find the lost sheep.

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Tue

23

Sep

2014

Sheen Cause Halted Indefinitely

by Jay Chin

 

On September 3, the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois announced that “the Cause for Sheen’s beatification and canonization has for the foreseeable future been suspended.” Over the course of twelve years, the Diocese has invested hundreds of hours in investigations amounting to fifteen thousand pages of testimony about Venerable Fulton Sheen’s saintly character. This led Pope Benedict XVI to proclaim him “Venerable” in 2012.

Last year, seven doctors proclaimed that the resuscitation of Bonnie Engstrom’s stillborn child has no medical explanation. The mother and father say they asked for Ven. Sheen’s intercession and that the prayer was answered. Many foresaw that he would be proclaimed “Blessed” as soon as early 2015 by Pope Francis. Now, recent disputes between Ven. Sheen’s home diocese of Peoria and the Archdiocese of New York concerning his body have made it impossible to move forward with the canonization process.

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Tue

23

Sep

2014

Cornerstone: The Sacrament of Penance

by Jay Chin

 

The Sacrament of Penance, also known as confession, like all sacraments, is offered at Christ’s command. He said to His disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you… Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:21-13). Thus, if we do not seek the Sacrament, our sins will not be forgiven. We must confess our sins because forgiveness demands knowledge of the trespass. Without knowing what we are forgiving, forgiveness becomes little more than a sign of good-will. This act of confessing is the most difficult component of the sacrament, for it requires us to examine our conscience and realize how often we have been unfaithful to God’s love. Yet in that examination of conscience we are also invited to reflect on our real need for the sacrament and what the sacrament means. In the same way as Christ’s Body is fully present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ’s forgiveness and love are fully present in the Sacrament of Penance. Christ Himself raises us from the death of sin, and it is for that new life that we bear the shame of our wrongdoings.

 

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Tue

29

Apr

2014

Pontifical Liturgies of Triduum and Easter

by Jay Chin

 

The Easter Triduum is a three-day period of preparation for Easter, beginning on the evening of Maundy Thursday and concluding with Holy Saturday Vespers. Pope Francis began this year’s Triduum not at the Vatican, but at the Centro Santa Maria della Provvidenza di Roma, a rehabilitation center for the elderly and disabled. There he preached an off-the-cuff homily about Jesus’ Last Supper as a farewell, as a giving of an inheritance, and that part of that inheritance is being a servant, especially a servant of love to others. After the homily, he performed the Washing of Feet ritual with nine Italian men, a 16-year-old youth from Cape Verde, a Muslim from Lybia, and an Ethiopian woman. Pope Francis not only washed their feet, but also kissed them, sometimes bending all the way to the ground for those who were paralyzed. Going out to the less fortunate on Maundy Thursday is a personal tradition of His Holiness, going back to when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires and it is clear that he intends to maintain it instead of celebrating Mass at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran, as was until recently customary.

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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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Tue

25

Feb

2014

Ukrainian Christians Stand Firm amid Chaos

by Jay Chin

 

 

As tensions rise between the pro-European Ukrainian populace and the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, Christians have continuously called for peace and have provided sanctuary and relief for protesters throughout these weeks of violence.

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Tue

28

Jan

2014

Liturgy: The Forgotten Liturgy

by Jay Chin

 

What comes to mind when someone says the word liturgy is the Eucharistic Feast where the Sacrifice of Christ is made present again. The Latin Church calls this the Mass, which comes from the Latin word misere. In the Byzantine Church, it is called The Divine Liturgy among the Saints John Chrysostom, which is a codification and shortening of the Liturgy of St. Basil. However, this is not the only kind liturgy. The other liturgy is the Liturgia Horarum, the Liturgy of the Hours.

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Tue

28

Jan

2014

Ecumenism: The Objectivism of True Ecumenism

by Jay Chin

 

There is a widespread misconception that the goal of ecumenism is for the Catholic Church to befriend all the other Christian churches and communities to avoid hard feelings amongst those who call Christ Lord. The guiding phrase for this notion of ecumenism is “live and let live”. However, that is not true ecumenism. Not even the documents of Vatican II say anything like that. But they do say this: “The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only”(Unitatis Redintegratio, 1). That, for many, is a hard pill to swallow because we all know Christian communities that perform many pious acts and even display holiness better than your average Catholic parish. Why then should they need to join the Catholic Church?

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Tue

28

Jan

2014

The Black Puerto Rican Servant of God Moves Closer to Sainthood

by Jay Chin

 

On December 9, Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of Servant of God Rafael Cordero Molina, moving him one more step towards canonization, now with the title ‘Venerable’. The cause for canonization of Rafael Cordero began in 2002 with Benedictine abbot Oscar Rivera, who was in charge of presenting the historic evidence and testimonies of his holiness.

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Tue

10

Dec

2013

Pope Francis Publishes Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization

by Jay Chin

 

Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (Latin for The Joy of the Gospel) explicates the priorities of his papacy, his opinions regarding the world we live in, and the shortcomings within the Church. As such, the Exhortation has become the subject of much conversation and debate, inciting discussions on topics ranging from the ordination of women to the dangers of a so-called Promethean Neopelagianism and even the issues created by certain economic systems, particularly unbridled capitalism.

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Sun

17

Nov

2013

Liturgy: The Feasts of Hallowmas

by Jay Chin

 

The Western Church ends October and begins November with the Hallowmas Triduum, three days in which we remember those who are no longer with us and those either already enjoying the Mystery of God, or well on their way to it.

 

The Triduum begins on October 31st, the Eve of All Hallows, famously contracted to Halloween. Contrary to popular belief, the fact that the Triduum begins on this day has nothing to do with any pagan celebrations that coincided with it. It is simply the day before All Hallows Day, November 1st. The early Church used to commemorate the Virgin Mary and all martyrs on May 13th, which was the day Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Church of St. Mary and the Martyrs, formerly known as the Pantheon, around the year 610. About 120 years later, Pope Gregory III consecrated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica to all the saints on November 1st and so he moved the feast to that time. Then, about 100 years later, Pope Gregory IV extended the feast to the entire Western Church. The Eastern Church usually celebrates this feast on the first Sunday after Pentecost, hence the name Sunday of All Saints.

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Sun

17

Nov

2013

Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz becomes President of USCCB

Archbishop Kurtz
Archbishop Kurtz

by Jay Chin

 

The Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, Joseph E. Kurtz, has been chosen to succeed Timothy Cardinal Dolan as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The election was held at their General Assembly, which ran from November 11-14 in Baltimore. He ran against nine other nominees for the position and won 53% of the vote (125 votes). The second largest amount of votes were for Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Huston, Texas, with 10% (25 votes). DiNardo was soon after elected Vice President in the third round of voting, garnering 63% of the votes (147 votes) against Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput’s 37% (87 votes).

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Tue

22

Oct

2013

Diocese of Hiroshima Celebrates its 90th Anniversary

by Jay Chin

 

The Apostolic Vicariate of Hiroshima was founded on May 4, 1923. Bishop Heinrich Döring, S.J. presided over fewer than 5,000 laypeople and 2 diocesan priests. A few years before the atomic bombing of World War II, the vicariate was shut down following the resignation of Bishop Johannes Ross, S.J. in 1940. Almost 20 years later in 1959, the vicariate, having been reinstated, was elevated to a diocese, this time with a Japanese bishop, Dominic Yoshimatsu Noguchi. Today, the diocese has 47 parishes, 73 priests, and 21,500 laypeople.

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Thu

10

Oct

2013

BC Professors Screen Documentary at MFA

by Jay Chin

 

Who Takes Away the Sins: Witnesses to Clergy Abuse, a 52 minute-long documentary about the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis in the United States produced by Professors John and Susan Michalczyk, was screened this past weekend at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

 

The interviewees include survivors, attorneys and advocates from the Boston area. The film intertwines the development of the crisis as the cases came to light and the experiences of the survivors as they were abused by clerics, most for a lengthy duration.

Walter Robinson of the Boston Globe explains how what he thought was scandal involving well over a dozen priests turned out to involve over two hundred priests in the Boston Archdiocese alone. Cardinal Bernard Law is a featured figure because of his position as archbishop when the scandal broke; he is portrayed as an idle figure, unwilling to make significant contributions to aid the victims who were seeking justice. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian characterized the Church as the richest institution in the world and one that has been doing these kinds of heinous acts for centuries.

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Tue

24

Sep

2013

Liturgy: The Divine Liturgy

by Jay Chin

 

The Vigil of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross marked the return of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for the 2013-14 academic year at Boston College. With about fifty faithful in attendance, Fr. Michael Moisin of the Romanian Catholic Church presided over the Vigil at St. William’s Chapel on the Brighton Campus. The Antiphons were sung in Romanian and Greek by Rev. Dcn. Michael Connolly, Archdeacon of the Armenian Catholic Church, and the responses were sung in Slavoric by Lyria, a four-man choice from St. Petersburg. Retired priest Rev. John McLaughlin of the Archdiocese of Boston gave the homily. He reminded the faithful that the Cross is a sign of conquering, blessing and a hope which, as the Pope said, we cannot let anyone rob us of. The cantor, Mr. Adrian Rosca, chanted the Psalm verses, and Mr. Todd Velianski chanted the Epistle. Fr. James Morris of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and Rev. Dcn. John Moses, Protodeacon of the Melkite Catholic Church, also assisted in the Vigil.

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