national radio debut

Last night, I made my national radio debut on Sirius’ The Catholic Channel– Channel 159 on your Sirius Satellite Radio- during Paulist Father Dave Dwyer’s Busted Halo nightly broadcast. This is the sister program to the BustedHalo podcast.
It was a brief segment about what was preached during the Sunday homily (to connect with Friday evening’s segment about what readings are lined up for Sunday) and to make a quick plug for the UCC’s homily podcast.
I’ll be updating that after lunch.

we must find him

If Christ is to be for us a savior,
we must find him here, now, and where we are,
in this age of ours;
otherwise, he is no Christ,
no Savior,
no Immanuel, no “God with us.”

– (soon to be Servant of God) Fr. Isaac Thomas Hecker, founder of the Paulist Fathers

to be fair to georgetown…

After my comments questioning the Catholicity of Georgetown, to be fair, I should also highlight that they do honor priests who aren’t as controversial as Fr. Drinan.
Georgetown President John J. DeGioia presented the President’s Medal to Father Thomas F. Stransky, C.S.P. The Paulist Father has worked greatly over the years with interfaith relations and was one of the principle drafters of the Vatican II document, Nostra Aetate.
I met Fr. Stransky when I was in Washington, DC last month since he’s been in DC for a short while now over the course of this lecture series. He’ll be returning back to the Tantur Institute in Isreal shortly. The Institute, founded after Vatican II to continue the discussion between Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants, is owned by the Vatican, administered by the University of Notre Dame and is directed by Paulists.

in flight to dallas: st. paul’s college

I’m in flight again over the States as I travel back to Texas. This time, however, I’m in a MD-80 so there are a few more people on the plane. St. Paul’s College, the seminary for the Paulist Fathers, is a beautiful place. First, it is located on 4th Street in Washington, DC, right next door to the offices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and just a bit further away from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It is virtually surrounded by various houses of other orders and it almost like “Catholic Row”, just off campus of Catholic University of America.
Since I’m in flight and I’m lacking the right cable, pictures will be uploaded later.
Inside the building, the chapel is a very simple space. It is configured in a choir setup (with the pews split in two sections facing each other across the main aisle) with an ambo near the entrance with the altar on the opposite end of the space. On the left side, there is a fixed organ and a piano complements the chapel on the right side. As you would expect with a chapel, we celebrated Mass and prayer sessions throughout the weekend. As I’ll write more about later, Fr. Issac Hecker had two “mission crosses”, which were crosses that Paulists kept and used as they preached missions across the country. One of his mission crosses is displayed outside of the chapel. Later, I discovered that the other cross is kept in the archives which are located in the space I’ll discuss- the library.
The library was amazing. Formerly the chapel, the two-level library is adored with various stained class windows. In addition to a couple of “usual saints”, there are also windows for Fr. Issac Hecker, the society’s founder and another one for the Paulist Press (founded in 1868), among others. It would a nice area to study and if I had more time, I would be able to tell you more about the library, namely the book selection.
The common rooms were nice. The Paulist Fathers do not take vows of poverty, but instead seek to live a life of Gospel simplicitiy. In practice, this means they live comfortably without excess. Between the various common rooms I saw, they had nice TVs to watch movies or sporting events with the guys in the house, well-stocked fridges and plenty of little snacks. All in all, this provides a space for the priests, seminarians and novices to de-stress and build fraternity among the members.
I enjoyed the rooms at St. Paul’s. Each person in the house has their own room with a wired Internet connection (wireless offered as well), a small closet, a small dresser, a desk, a bed with a bathroom and shower. I didn’t look in the rooms of the men who are actually living at St. Paul’s, so I’m sure it varies some. Personally, while I’m not obligated to Gospel simplicity, I should reduce some of the “stuff” I have and once I did that, the rooms would have everything I need.
The dining room is nice and open, giving itself to discussion. The adjancent reception room is where they have their weekly “community dinner”- a little nicer affair than a normal meal- appears about the same. I haven’t really reflected why they have two seperate spaces except perhaps to make the weekly dinner a bit more special. If they had a large group, I did notice, the wall between the spaces can slide open making it one large space.
I didn’t see the recreation space. They are currently renovating two wings to turn them into the Hecker Center for Mininstry (read: office space for non-Paulist Catholic organizations) and my assumption is that some of the rec space has been impacted by it. I saw an exercise bike in a storage hallway. Of course, let’s not use this to assume the Paulists care not about the physical health of their members. From my experience, both Fr. Dave and Ed at the UCC have membership to UT Rec Sports.
For the moment, that is all I can think to write. Now, I’ll move on to homework.

it is 51 degrees

Just wanted to pass along to everyone in Texas that it is currently 51 degrees in Washington, DC and they’re not expecting it to get over 58 degrees by the end of the day.
Stay tuned for an interesting event that took place in route to Washington, DC….

in flight to washington: busted halo

I’m currently 37,000 feet above the United States, just crossing the Sabine River out of Texas. This is my first flight aboard an EMB. This American Eagle-operated airplane was 13 rows with 3 seats in each row with no first class- for those who wouldn’t like to fire up the calculator, that means 39 plus a crew of 3 or 4.
To pass the time, I’m doing a few different things. First, I’m doing homework. I’ve written most of a film review for my Studies of U.S. Poverty course and now I’m writing a blog entry. While the blog entry would usually be personal time for me, my Collaborate Technologies course asks a few blog entries from me. While doing all of this, I’m listening to old Busted Halo podcasts. Busted Halo is a young adult website produced by The Paulist Fathers.
I’ve somewhat read the print material on Busted Halo and to be honest, it has never jumped up to the top of my bookmark list (or now my links or a feed on Google Reader). Everything on there seems to be great; just never really called out to me. By virtue of working for the Paulists through the University Catholic Center, I’ve been able to meet a good number of people involved with Busted Halo and I’ve even been recruited to help with their Word on the Street segment (I still need to produce something! Fr. Dave Dywer, CSP (NYD, since he’s the Fr. Dave in NYC) if you’re reading, I haven’t forgotten about it yet!). My boss, Fr. Dave Farnum, CSP (TXD as NYD has referred to him), recently traveled to a preaching conference and walked away after talking to NYD with the idea of podcasting some of the homilies from the University Catholic Center.
I figured, what the heck, if I’m going to start producing podcasts for Fr. Dave and the UCC, I should listen to some of the Busted Halo podcasts. I downloaded all 73 released episodes and I’m currently listening to the 4th episode- I’m impressed.
In terms of new media- Internet-accessed media, EWTN has been the big fish in the Catholic pond. EWTN is a fine network and produces quality Catholic content. The downside to EWTN’s content is that there is a high assumption that you’re already well-formed in the Church. A random member of the intended audience has probably been Catholic for sometime, attend Mass every Sunday if not more often, may have a decent understanding of Catholicism and Catholic tradition. If you’re on the fringe of the Catholic Church or not even in the Church at all, there is a high barrier of entry presented by EWTN.
I’ve really enjoyed the Busted Halo podcasts so far as that barrier of entry is eliminated. The assumption made by NYD and Mike is that if you’re listening, you’re seeking to grow closer to God and are open to the Catholic tradition. Now, this is not to say that these podcasts contain only very superficial material. This was my fear and it was proven incorrect.
Some of the topics they have touched upon is the role of fundamentalism in today’s political landscape in an interview with former President Jimmy Carter, explaining some of various saints and holy people (St. Nick, Dorothy Day and others) without shying away from some of the darker aspects of these individuals background, looking at parishes across the United States that have young-adult programming. NYD went into the need for confession, including why when a Catholic is under serious (mortal) sin he or she should abstain from Communion.
In other words, I think anyone could listen to these podcasts and be able to follow what is going on without a problem. At the same time as an amateur Church expert, I enjoy listening myself and have found these podcasts useful and interesting.