J. Peter Nixon
By this author
Last week the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a new analysis of trend in political party identification by various religious communities. The overall finding is that, between 2008 and 2010, Republicans made significant gains among all religious groups, with the largest gains coming among White Catholics (+8 percent points), Jews (+9 points), and Mormons (+12 points).
John Paul the Great University in San Diego is advertising itself on Facebook as the "Catholic Gaming School." Endorsed as "authentically Catholic" by the Cardinal Newman Society, the university is offering a degree in computer gaming design. Students will:
"Design, build, and demo your own game in front of industry professionals
The Atlantic Monthly has an excellent article on the future of manufacturing in the United States, which is also something of a meditation on declining opportunities for workers with low and moderate skill levels:
O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.During the last week before Christmas, our family has adopted the practice of singing a verse from "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" that corresponds to the antiphon for Vespers that is sung before the Magnificat that evening.
I had the privilege today of observing the implementation of the new Roman Missal from the other side of the altar, so to speak. It was my turn to lead our weekly Word and Communion service at the county jail near the parish.Whatever we feel about the quality of these texts or the process by which they came to us (an issue that I have written about elsewhere), our challenge now is to bring them to life as the common prayer of the Church.
Like most parishes, mine has been preparing for the introduction of the new Roman Missal. We'vehad a series of homilies on different parts of the liturgy, with the new words being introduced and explained when appropriate. The choir has also been using new musical arrangements for theGloria and theSanctus and these seem to have gone over reasonably well.Its almost (but not quite) enough to make you think that this may not be a complete pastoral disaster after all. Over the last few months, various parishioners have pulled me aside and aired their frustrations.
What a difference a day makes.On Wednesday night, I posted an update on Occupy Oakland, one of the most active of the various Occupy groups in the country. The group had just organized a very successful General Strike and march on the Port of Oakland. At the end of my post, I alluded to the presence of a small group of violent militants bent on property destruction and conflict with the police. I expressed a hope that they would not re-emerge in force later in the evening.Alas, it was not to be.
Its been a wild and wooly week here in the city of Oakland, which is quickly becoming the epicenter of the worldwide Occupy movement. Last week, city officials decided to forcibly remove Occupy Oakland protesters who had been camping out in Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of city hall since early October. Riot police descended upon the camp early Tuesday morning, arrested a number of people, and removed the tents. The protestors regrouped later that afternoon and marched on the Plaza in the early evening.
In the town where I grew up, there was a synagogue that had the distinction of having hired the first woman rabbi in the United States. I grew up with friends who spoke openly of their affection for Israel, and I absorbed from this environment a strong belief in the necessity of its existence.As I grew older, I came to recognize a measure of justice in the Palestinian cause.
The observances of the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks largely focused, as they should have, on the victims of those attacks. In showing the capacity of ordinary people to exhibit extraordinary courage, many of these individuals exemplified the best of our country and the best of the human spirit.Nevertheless, I suspect that one of the reasons that the ceremonies and media coverage focused so heavily on the stories of the victims is that we remain deeply divided about our national response to these attacks.