Pinecrest Chamber Ensemble - Ave Verum Corpus
Pinecrest Presbyterian Church
Ave Verum Corpus de William Byrd (Amici del canto)
Amici del Canto
Fond du Lac High School Concert Choir
The handicap of high IQ
1 hour ago
The deep roots of American constitutionalism in English political tradition and culture have been succinctly and persuasively demonstrated by Joseph Baldacchino in "The Unraveling of American Constitutionalism: From Customary Law to Permanent Innovation," Humanitas, Vol. XVIII, Nos. 1 & 2 (2005). The American colonists wanted independence not because they subscribed to ahistorical, abstract principles but because they saw King and Parliament as violating precedent and custom and introducing unacceptable innovation. The colonists protested a breach of continuity and sought to reclaim their historically evolved rights as Englishmen.
Stressing that Miss Universe puts inner beauty above all else, the French trainer talked about how she worked with Lee for the contest. When she first saw Lee, Ligrin thought she was too skinny, so she asked her to gain 5 kg. She also had Lee ride a bicycle to build her muscles -- to the point where Lee was working so hard that people around them said it seemed like they were training for the Olympics.
A Monastery to Last 1,000 Years
Traditional Benedictines Flourish in Eastern Oklahoma
By Jason Adkins
HULBERT, Oklahoma, JUNE 12, 2008 (Zenit.org).- It’s been said that when the revolution comes, you won’t read about it in the newspapers.
Indeed, when the history of this part of the world is written, it may point to the recent establishment of a monastery amid the rolling hills and lakes of eastern Oklahoma as an event of momentous consequence for fostering a renaissance of Christian culture.
On my return drive to Minnesota after living for a year in Texas, I chose to spend some time at Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek monastery where an order of Benedictine monks, known as the “Clear Creek monks,” is attempting to rebuild monastic life and Christian culture in America from the ground up -- literally.
There, along with sharing in the common life of the monks, I spoke to the monastery’s prior, Father Philip Anderson, about the history and mission of this new monastic community.
Father Anderson told me the Clear Creek monks’ story begins at the University of Kansas. There, a Great Books program, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, gave students the opportunity to encounter the culture and ideas of Western Civilization.
This program run by John Senior was not a relativistic one -- allowing students to pick and choose among various philosophical viewpoints -- as is common among programs of that type.
Rather, the success of the program resulted from Senior’s willingness to propose answers to the deepest questions, and point to Catholicism as the source of the many fruits the West has produced. Senior also stressed the importance of the Latin language as the medium through which this common civilization and its achievements were bound together.
According to Father Anderson, the program became wildly popular and produced not a few converts to the faith; then some prominent university donors protested and the program was shut down. But Senior spawned a small movement among students that did not end with the closure of the great books program.
When some students, one of whom was Father Anderson, approached Senior about how to rebuild a civilization being lost to modern technocratic society, Senior suggested the students go find some monks in Europe -- for there were few, if any, left in America -- who were living a traditional monastic life.
The journey eventually led Father Anderson and his companions to the medieval French Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault, where they were welcomed and received formation in the religious life according to the Rule of St. Benedict. All along, these monks intended to return to America to establish a new monastery on their native soil.
The wait would last almost 25 years, concluding in 1998 when Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa invited the monks from Fontgombault to form a foundation community of that abbey in his diocese.
According to Father Anderson, building the monastery in eastern Oklahoma was the result of a fortuitous combination of an enthusiastic bishop, a Midwestern location -- close to many of Senior’s original students who could contribute to the foundation -- and the right piece of property. Father Anderson described the rocky property as “perfect for the monastic life.”
Since 1999, the original American monks, along with some Canadian and French brethren, have lived at the Clear Creek site near Hulbert, Oklahoma, where they have slowly -- but quickly, in monastic terms -- been building a monastery.
Marking the Hours
The Clear Creek monastic life centers on liturgical prayer, particularly the Liturgy of the Hours, which the monks chant in Latin eight times a day. The monk’s life, says Father Anderson, is a life of prayer: “God exists, and we have been created for him.” Praying the hours as a community allows the monks to give constant praise and thanks to the living, creator God.
The monks use the traditional -- or extraordinary -- form of the Roman liturgy. Father Anderson told me that the monks believe the traditional liturgy is more suited to the type of traditional, contemplative monastic life they wish to live. It is a symbol and embodiment, he said, of the type of cultural and religious life the monks desire to preserve.
I asked Father Anderson how the monks financially support their quiet life of prayer and praise. He said that unlike some monastic orders that make only one product and often have to build an adjoining factory to mass produce their goods, the Clear Creek monks engage in a variety of tasks and trades. The monks earn their living by raising sheep, running an orchard and vegetable farm, and making cheese, clothes and furniture.
Because the monks can perform many of the tasks needed to run the monastery, operational costs are pretty low. But building a Romanesque church for their monastery, which will be able to last a thousand years, is another matter.
"Per omnia saecula saeculorum"
The Clear Creek monks are raising money to build their church -- one they hope remains a landmark on the Oklahoma landscape for ages to come.
The monks believe their new church will be a sign of contradiction in a consumerist culture where everything is transient or can be thrown away when no longer useful. Change seems to be the only constant. The destabilizing elements in our culture are “poison for the soul” Father Anderson said.
The monks believe that people will always need faith and a culture that derives from that faith. According to the monks’ informational pamphlet, people “need a place in which they can reconnect with creation and with the silent center of their own being where God awaits them. The monastery is such a place.”
“The church will represent something permanent,” Father Anderson continued. “Architecture can have a spiritual effect on people. We hope to build something beautiful that will give value to this region and the people can be proud of.”
Father Anderson hopes construction on the church can begin sometime in 2009.
I asked Father Anderson whether the Clear Creek monks desired to rebuild civilization in America. He laughed and said that the Benedictines had “built Europe without even trying.”
“We focus on prayer,” he said. “We can only see the effects of our life indirectly like we see the ripples from a drop in a pond.”
According to Father Anderson, the work of the monks operates like concentric circles. Everything is centered on the interior life. But that has an effect on everything else, particularly the work of the monks. And the monastic way of life fosters a more contemplative way of being -- a life that explores the important questions and expresses itself through art, music festivals and literature -- that is, true culture.
Already, people have moved close to the monastery to share in the life of the monks, just like in the Middle Ages. Many laity and families show up at all times of day for Mass and to pray the hours with the monks.
Father Anderson said the diocese hopes to erect a parish nearby to assist in serving the spiritual needs of these many newcomers.
The Clear Creek monks already number 30, with three or four more expected to enter this year. The new residence they built is already filled to capacity and new monks will have to be housed in sheds adjacent to the monastery.
Father Anderson believes that the Clear Creek monks’ focus on the traditional monastic activities of prayer and manual labor, rather than following the path that many monasteries took by limiting their liturgical life in order to focus on running schools, is the secret of the monks’ vocational success.
As he said, “the life of a monk, hands folded in prayer, is a sermon without words.”
Hopefully, the story of the Clear Creek monks will inspire not only a renaissance in monastic life in the United States, but inspire teachers to be like John Senior and educate their students in truth, beauty, and goodness -- even at great professional cost.
With more teachers like Senior, and monks like those at Clear Creek, the possibility of the renewal of authentic monastic and Christian cultural life in America looks brighter.
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On the Net:
Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Monastery: http://www.clearcreekmonks.org
"The Restoration of Christian Culture" by John Senior (IHS Press): http://www.ihspress.com/index1.htm
Watch Out Facebook, Here Comes Something Catholic
Social Networking Site Launched for Sydney Youth Day
SYDNEY, Australia, JUNE 12, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Sydney launched the first-ever online social networking site developed especially for a World Youth Day, and he's looking for friends.
Based on other popular social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, the Sydney World Youth Day organizers developed Xt3.com, which stands for Christ in the Third Millennium.
Cardinal George Pell, along with Bishop Anthony Fisher, coordinator of the Sydney World Youth Day, launched the site today at the Telstra Experience Centre with 100 young people. He invited them all to "come online and become one of my friends."
Xt3.com is the exclusive online social network for World Youth Day Sydney 2008, and will connect pilgrims with each other before, during and after the event.
While showing those present his profile on Xte.com, Cardinal Pell admitted he's new to the Internet: "Whatever about my ignorance on this area, it's more than balanced by my recognition of its importance, and my determination that representatives of the Church be actively presented in this area."
"I'm pleased too that I have been persuaded to come online," he added.
Bishop Fisher said at the launch: "We are very excited to launch Xt3.com and to be helping young people and their friends plan their trip and share their faith and excitement for World Youth Day.
"The name Xt3 was inspired by Pope John Paul II and stands for Christ in the Third Millennium. Pope John Paul II spoke of young people's special task to bring the message of Christ to the world in the third Millennium.
"It is hoped that Xt3 users will continue to connect after World Youth Day in July, to build upon friendships made and continue dialogue about what it means to be a young person of faith."
Xt3.com is the brainchild of two English brothers, John and Robert Toone, along with Chris Purslow, who will continue to promote the site with the Archdiocese of Sydney after World Youth Day.
"This site has been launched in time for the Sydney event," said Robert Toone, "but it is a legacy piece for the Catholic Church in Australia and the world."
"It is an online platform to enable pilgrims to connect with millions, share the experience and build a better world," he said.
In addition to normal social networking features, such as the ability to join groups, create a profile and post pictures, the site also gives its members the opportunity to submit a question to "Ask a Priest" and ask for prayer intentions.
More than 2,000 users joined the test site since February 2008 to provide testing, feedback, and to enhance the site in time for its worldwide launch.
"This will be the most interactive World Youth Day event to date," said Michael Rocca, group managing director for Telstra Networks and Services.
Pointing to other interactive features such as Papal SMS's and Digital Prayer Walls, he said pilgrims will be "involved before, during and after the event."
A group of trained administrators will oversee Xt3 on a 24-hour basis to ensure that images, videos, comments and discussions are appropriate.
Neil Gilbert University of California, Berkeley
(As Alan Wolfe has pointed out, “the Scandinavian welfare states which express so well a sense of obligation to distant strangers, are beginning to make it more difficult to express a sense of obligation to those with whom one shares family ties.”)
In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates bemoaned the development of writing. He feared that, as people came to rely on the written word as a substitute for the knowledge they used to carry inside their heads, they would, in the words of one of the dialogue’s characters, “cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful.” And because they would be able to “receive a quantity of information without proper instruction,” they would “be thought very knowledgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant.” They would be “filled with the conceit of wisdom instead of real wisdom.” Socrates wasn’t wrong—the new technology did often have the effects he feared—but he was shortsighted. He couldn’t foresee the many ways that writing and reading would serve to spread information, spur fresh ideas, and expand human knowledge (if not wisdom).How would Mr. Carr distinguish knowledge from opinion? Would he be able to offer definitions for either?
The drama is based on cartoonist Hur Young-man's popular namesake cartoon that first appeared as a newspaper series in 2002. The journey of the ambitious and talented chef-to-be Lee Sung-chan was also released as a movie, ``Le Grand Chef'' in 2007.
Korean heartthrob Kim Rae-won (``My Little Bride,'' 2004) will star as the warm hearted chef-in-training Lee, while actress Nam Sang-mi (TV drama ``Sweet Spy,'' 2005) will play a silly country girl, Kim Jin-soo, who trails Lee with high hopes of becoming a food columnist. Veteran actor Choi Bool-am will appear as Master Oh Sook-soo, Lee's stepfather and the only person who truly believes in Lee's potential.
Lee is a happy and bright young man who loves to cook. Leaving the heavy responsibility of becoming the head chef of Oh's famous restaurant to his stepbrother, he explores the world of cooking and discovers that he's actually good at it. When Oh announces that he will not choose his own son to become the owner and head chef, cold-hearted jealousy and competition arise.
Benedict XVI's Homily at Mass in Savona
"Praise God ... for Who He Is"
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's May 17 homily in Savona's Piazza del Popolo during the Pontiff's two-day pastoral visit to the Italian region of Liguria.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is a great joy for me to be in your midst and to celebrate the Eucharist for you on the solemn Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. I greet with affection your Pastor, Bishop Vittorio Lupi, whom I thank for the words with which he introduced the diocesan Community at the beginning of the celebration and, even more, for the sentiments of charity and pastoral hope that he expressed. I also thank the Mayor for his cordial greeting to me on behalf of the entire City. I greet the Civil Authorities, the priests, the Religious, the deacons, and the leaders of the Associations, Movements and Ecclesial Communities. I renew to you all in Christ my best wishes for grace and peace.
On this Solemnity, the liturgy invites us to praise God not merely for the wonders that he has worked, but for who he is; for the beauty and goodness of his being from which his action stems. We are invited to contemplate, so to speak, the Heart of God, his deepest reality which is his being One in the Trinity, a supreme and profound communion of love and life. The whole of Sacred Scripture speaks to us of him. Indeed, it is he who speaks to us of himself in the Scriptures and reveals himself as Creator of the universe and Lord of history. Today we have heard a passage from the Book of Exodus in which - something quite exceptional - God proclaims his own Name! He does so in the presence of Moses with whom he spoke face to face, as with a friend. And what is God's Name? It never fails to move us: "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Ex 34: 6). These are human words but were prompted and, as it were, uttered by the Holy Spirit. They tell us the truth about God. They were true in the past, they are true today and they will always be true; they make us see in our mind's eye the Face of the Invisible One, they tell us the Name of the Ineffable One. This Name is Mercy, Grace, Faithfulness.
Dear friends, how can I fail to rejoice with you here in Savona for the fact that this is the very Name with which the Virgin Mary introduced herself, appearing on 18 March 1536 to a peasant, a son of this land? "Our Lady of Mercy" is the title by which she is venerated - and for some years now we have a large statue of her in the Vatican Gardens too. But Mary did not speak of herself, she never speaks of herself but always of God, and she did so with this name, so old yet ever new: mercy, which is a synonym of love, of grace. This is the whole essence of Christianity because it is the essence of God himself. God is One since he is all and only Love but precisely by being Love he is openness, acceptance, dialogue; and in his relationship with us, sinful human beings, he is mercy, compassion, grace and forgiveness. God has created all things for existence and what he wills is always and only life.
For those in danger he is salvation. We have just heard this in John's Gospel: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (Jn 3: 16): in God's gift of himself in the Person of the Son the whole of the Trinity is at work.
It is the Father who places at our disposal what is dearest to him; the Son who, consenting to the Father, empties himself of his glory in order to give himself to us; the Spirit who leaves the peace of the divine embrace to water the deserts of humanity. For this work of his mercy, in preparing himself to take on our flesh, God chose to need a human "yes", the "yes" of a woman who would become the Mother of his Incarnate Word, Jesus, the human Face of Divine Mercy. Mary thus became and remains for ever the "Mother of Mercy" as she also made herself known here in Savona.
In the course of the Church's history, the Virgin Mary did none other than to invite her children to return to God, to entrust themselves to him in prayer, to knock with trusting insistence at the door of his merciful Heart. In truth, all he wants is to pour out into the world the superabundance of his Grace. "Mercy and not justice", Mary implored, knowing that she would certainly have been heard by her Son Jesus but also knowing of the need for the conversion of sinners' hearts. For this reason she asked for prayer and penance. Therefore, my Visit to Savona on Trinity Sunday is first of all a pilgrimage, through Mary, to the sources of faith, hope and love. It is a pilgrimage that is also a memory and a tribute to my Venerable Predecessor Pius VII, whose dramatic experience is indissolubly linked to this City and its Marian Shrine. Two centuries later, I come to renew the expression of gratitude of the Holy See and of the entire Church for the faith, love and courage with which your fellow citizens supported the Pope under house arrest in this City, imposed upon him by Napoleon Bonaparte. Many testimonies of the manifestations of solidarity for the Pontiff, sometimes even at personal risk, have been preserved. They are events that the people of Savona can well be proud to commemorate today. As your Bishop rightly observed, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that dark page of Europe's history has become rich in graces and teachings for our day too. It teaches us courage in facing the challenges of the world: materialism, relativism, secularism without ever yielding to compromises, ready to pay in person while remaining faithful to the Lord and his Church. The example of serene firmness set by Pope Pius VII invites us to keep our trust in God unaltered in trials, aware that although he permits the Church to experience difficult moments he never abandons us. The episode the Great Pontiff went through in your land invites us always to trust in the intercession and motherly assistance of Mary Most Holy.
The apparition of the Virgin at a tragic moment in Savona's history and the terrible experience that the Successor of Peter faced here are helpful in passing on a message of hope to the Christian generations of our time and encourage us to trust in the means of grace that the Lord makes available to us in every situation. And among these means of salvation I would like first of all to recall prayer: personal, family and community prayer. On today's Feast of the Trinity, I would like to emphasize the dimension of praise, contemplation and adoration. I am thinking of young families and I would like to ask them not to be afraid to adopt, from the first years of marriage, a simple style of domestic prayer, encouraged by the presence of small children who are often prompted to speak spontaneously to the Lord and to Our Lady. I urge parishes and associations to give time and space to prayer since activities are pastorally sterile if they are not constantly preceded, accompanied and sustained by prayer.
And what can be said of the Eucharistic Celebration, especially Sunday Mass? The Lord's Day is rightly at the centre of the Italian Bishops' attention: the Christian root of Sunday must be rediscovered, starting with the celebration of the Risen Lord, encountered in the Word of God and recognized in the breaking of the Eucharistic Bread. Then the Sacrament of Reconciliation also asks to be reassessed as a fundamental means for spiritual growth and for facing today's challenges with strength and courage. Together with prayer and the Sacraments, other inseparable instruments for growth are works of charity, which should be practised with a lively faith. I also chose to reflect on this aspect of Christian life in my Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. In the modern world, which often makes beauty and physical efficiency an idea to be pursued in every possible way, we are called as Christians to discover the Face of Jesus Christ, "the fairest of the sons of men" (Ps 45: 2), precisely in people who are suffering and marginalized. Today, the moral and material emergencies that worry us are unfortunately numerous. In this regard, I gladly take this opportunity to address a greeting to the prisoners and personnel of the St Augustine Penitentiary in Savona, who have lived for some time in a situation of particular hardship. I also extend an equally warm greeting to the sick who are patients in the hospital, in clinics or in private homes.
I would like to address a special word to you, dear priests, to express my appreciation of your silent work and the demanding fidelity with which you carry it out. Dear brothers in Christ, always believe in the effectiveness of your daily priestly service! It is precious in the eyes of God and of the faithful and its value cannot be quantified in figures and statistics: we shall only know the results in Paradise! Many of you are quite elderly: this reminds me of that wonderful passage by the Prophet Isaiah which says: "Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Is 40: 30-31). Together with the deacons at the service of the diocese, live communion with the Bishop and among yourselves, expressing it in active collaboration, mutual support and shared pastoral coordination. Persevere in the courageous and joyful witness of your service. Search people out, as did the Lord Jesus: in visits to families, in contact with the sick, in dialogue with young people, making yourselves present in every context of work and life. To you, dear men and women religious, whom I thank for your presence, I confirm that the world needs your witness and your prayer. Live your vocation in daily fidelity and make your life an offering pleasing to God: the Church is grateful to you and encourages you to persevere in your service.
I want, of course, to give a special warm greeting to you young people! Dear friends, put your youth at the service of God and of your brethren. Following Christ always requires the courage to go against the tide. However, it is worth it: this is the way to real personal fulfilment and hence to true happiness. With Christ, in fact, one experiences that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20: 35). This is why I encourage you to take the ideal of holiness seriously. A well known French writer has left us in one of his works a sentence I would like to consign to you today: "There is only one real sadness: not to be saints" (Léon Bloy, La femme pauvre, II, 27). Dear young people, dare to dedicate your life to courageous choices, not alone of course, but with the Lord! Give this City the impetus and enthusiasm that flow from your living experience of faith, an experience that does not spoil the expectations of human life but exalts them by participation in the very experience of Christ.
And this also applies for Christians who are no longer young. My hope for all is that faith in the Triune God will imbue in every person and in every community the fervour of love and hope, the joy of loving one another as brothers and sisters and of putting oneself humbly at the service of others. This is the "leaven" that causes humanity to grow, the light that shines in the world. May Mary Most Holy, Mother of Mercy, together with all your Patron Saints help you to express in living your life the Apostle's exhortation which we have just heard. I make it my own with great affection: "Mend your ways, heed my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you" (II Cor 13: 11). Amen.
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A View of the College CurriculumWhat is an appropriate curriculum for our students? What happened to the consensus on which the college curriculum once rested? Together these comprise two of the most urgent questions in contemporary American higher education. While recent scholars have commented on the relatively “un-politicized” nature of American professors, they have failed to note that a profound and revolutionary change has occurred on American campuses since the 1960’s, resulting in the institutionalization of an agenda far from the classical ideal of the liberal arts curriculum. . . .
Herb London - 06/04/08