Scientia et ecclesiae

A black hole... I feel like if I fell in, I'd find God. (courtesy of APOD. )

A black hole… I feel like if I fell in, I’d find God. (courtesy of APOD. )

On Thursday I posted about going to see Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ at SUNY Albany, where he was giving a talk about Galileo. There was a little Twitter-versy (you know, a Twitter controversy!) because I called Brother Guy the “mayor of nerd and geek.” I’ll have everyone know that such things are said with the greatest respect. I see myself as church nerd meets science geek – even if I was never a great science student.

In any event, all of this was precipitated by my annoyance with something that I read in the Albany Times Union a couple of weeks ago – read that Thursday post for context. In my annoyance, I wrote a letter to the editor and dashed it off to the paper via email. A P.S. was included, saying that I would be happy to write a column for the paper’s Saturday belief page on the topic. Well, I went ahead and wrote the column and I am pleased to say that it is running today.  That Brother Guy showed up days before was a real gift, and I thank City Page editor extraordinaire Rob Brill for letting me know about the talk!

The Albany Times Union has a free and open website; I know some of you do not like to follow links, but it is safe, no registration required, no “you have 9 more articles to enjoy so please subscribe messages.” Have a look and let me know what you think! The column, entitled Church, science, in synch, can be found by clicking here.

And if you want to explore further, may I suggest, as I do in the column, to use the internet. Also consider getting daily emails from APOD via Greg Tracy, which is like a prayer for me.  (Not to mention you can offer him a little support in this great work that he does…) And don’t forget to follow Brother Guy on Twitter, where he is found @Specolations.

Let me know what you think of the column, commenting here if you will.  And please feel free to share it if you wish.

Nerd and geek

BigBang copyA couple of weeks ago the Albany Times Union, (note: the paper hosts a mirror of this blog on their website)  ran a reprint of an editorial from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. To say that it ticked me off would be a significant understatement. Yes – that is an excerpt from it. Which part of not true would you like me to begin with? *exasperated sigh*

When my church nerd and my science geek get going, trust me they get going. Talk about science, I really get worked up when people think that the Roman Catholic Church is anti-science. Without said church there would not be science as we know it… but that’s another story for another day.

consolmagnoon-colbert-reportWhat started out as a letter to the editor quickly morphed into a column that should run in this coming Saturday’s Albany Times Union. Late on Wednesday, TU City Editor Rob Brill called to tell me that someone mentioned in my column would be at SUNY Albany that night. We know it was not Galileo or Pope Francis, so that left me with one choice… Continue reading

Step up to the talent show

talent-show-logo-1Have you ever considered entering a talent show? Not me… Oh no, I am far too afraid, and I am pretty sure that if I sang in front of anyone, they would all run, fleeing from the sound.  Public speaking? That I can do with ease, thanks be to God, but acting or singing or dancing on a stage? Which part of no do you not understand?

I bring this up because there has been an itch that I could not quite scratch, since last Sunday’s Gospel from Matthew, the Parable of the Talents. You know, like the kind of itch in the middle part of you back, you can’t quite reach it.

What do you think about that Gospel? If reading blogs and Facebook offers any insight, it is tough Continue reading

¡Presente! The Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador

jesuits-martyred-UCAOn November 16, 1989, 25 years ago today, eight lives ended tragically and barbarically.  Yes, that is a photo of some of their dead bodies.   I am posting it here – a a reminder and also as a prayer, for the Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador.

 

El-Salvador-Martyrs+Ignacio Ellacuria SJ, +Ignacio Martín-Baró SJ, +Segundo Montes SJ, Juan Ramón Moreno SJ, +Joaquín López y López SJ, Amando López SJ, along with their housekeeper, +Elba Ramos, and her 16 year old daughter, +Celina Ramos, were brutally assassinated by a death squad from the Salvadoran Army.

Oh yes, this was legit army business, trained and supported by our own US Continue reading

Crazy mixed up sound bites meet pastoral reality

RealitycheckaheadThe headline on Google news woke me up… “Church Changes Stance on Gays.” Then there was this one, “The Church Says It’s OK To Be Gay, Sort Of.”  With no news outlet willing to to be outdone, this doozy read: “Vatican stuns Catholic world with greater openness towards gays and lesbians.

The sound bites are driving me insane. Earlier today I regretted not having time to write something about the topic, now I am glad that I didn’t. So much noise!

Without a doubt, the “relatio,” which is a working document that has caused a stir. That is almost too bad, because it feels like things which need to be slowly read and understood, but are instead gulped down and regurgitated as this news.

Reactions from all sides of the spectrum are revealing. Apparently some of my more traditional sisters and brothers felt “betrayed.” More than one cardinal or bishop felt like things were not well represented by the relatio document. Then of course the news media with its “Hay hay, yay yay, to be Catholic and gay is suddenly okay!

Personally, I liked Continue reading

Unpacking. A guest post by Sue Karpovich

Man covered in cardboard boxes - moving conceptUnpacking.

It’s been a chaotic and challenging few weeks since our relocation to our new home. We lived in NY for 20+ years. That’s a lot of friendships, familiarity, and family to leave behind. Now, it’s just the two of us for the first time in nearly 34 years of marriage. We no longer have five children and all their activities to lead us into new friendships. We’re on our own…in more ways than one.

if-you-dont-feel-like-unpacking-on-your-own-a-local-moving-and-stora_16001126_33773_1_7045639_500-320x200We’ve managed to get the living room functional and the kitchen, too. Our office spaces, now separate in this new house, are up and running and our master bedroom is pretty organized. We can sleep, dress, work, cook, eat, and even relax (when we’re not unpacking boxes!!). We have a roof over our head, food on our table, and each other. We are doing better than many and for that we are grateful.

We’ve unpacked our necessities and are now moving toward those things that make this house feel like home. Pictures of our kids and grandkids. Scrapbooks. Familiar, favorite artwork. We’re building shelves and getting organized. But we’re missing Continue reading

The Forced Gift – a guest post by Linda Berkery

MumsAlong with common autumn tasks — dragging out warm clothes, cleaning windows, planting mums — is my personal fall ritual. Every October, I review the year through photos and journals. Then, in the spirit of St. Therese, whose feast day starts my birthday month, I pray for one simple word to focus the days ahead. “Gracious”, “delight”, and “patience” once served.

The word “downsize” rises in my mind. It doesn’t take long to gaze through that lens.

I notice two long bathrobes hanging behind my bedroom door. Both are mine. One is a faded cobalt blue, threadbare on the cuffs and neck, but comfortable. I bought that robe many years ago to wear after giving birth. Memories fill the torn pockets, along with tissues that dried tears, a penny from the stairs, and ink stains.

The second robe, a lovely cranberry shade with satin braids at the collar, looks perfect. But it remains a stunning symbol of selfishness — a reminder of a motherhood tantrum.

160518-M46644LOne October when my children were young, my birthday fell on a Sunday. I anticipated homemade cards, sweets, and a gift — something small, but wrapped with love. I imagined a family party and chocolate cake after a nice Sunday brunch. But as the morning progressed and nothing was prepared, I reluctantly began cooking.

After lunch I pulled out a bit of ice-cream left at the bottom of a container, and jammed a candle in it. The children sang. I pouted. There should be cake. Why did I have to plan a celebration for myself?

I smiled at the gluey card from my little ones, the effort organized by my nine year old. There was nothing from my husband — he simply forgot. This was a new experience for me — my Continue reading