STATEN ISLAND, NY — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, called today on the State of Alabama to investigate the New Woman All Women facility in Birmingham.
How sad the Jesuits in Birmingham are hosting A Call To Action in Manressa House this weekend.Manressa House is the home of the novitiate for the Provinces of Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and North Belgium.How far they are from that unserving loyalty to the Church for which St Edmund Campion died.St Ignatius must be weeping.
Anna Gottschall of the University of Birmingham has written a paper on “Prayer Bead Production and Use in Medieval England” that is an expansion on the yesterdays post regarding the Sarum Rosary. Besides evidence gleaned from archaeological digs, artistic representations demonstrate the composition and appearance of earlier forms of the rosary.
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2012-10-24 Vatican Radio Two senior academics from the Maryvale Institute on the outskirts of Birmingham in England are calling on the Synod fathers to promote better knowledge and understanding of the riches of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Dr.
In June 2011, Fr Hunwicke stopped blogging because of a misunderstanding of the content of his blog, which he regretted. He did post the news of his ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood earlier this year, but has now, Laus Deo, started blogging again in earnest.
Returning to a computer near you: Fr Hunwicke! His blog is now called Mutual Enrichment and in his first post he writes about a visit to Birmingham Oratory where he was present at the clothing of Andrew Wagstaff, who until July was our MC and Rubricist.
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I don’t know how it comes up or how we talk about it in a way that we both understand, but for some reason, I get it in my head that I want her to know something about me. I need to communicate this thing that explains me, that explains us, that explains our presence, how we ended up here out of all the places in the world that we could be tonight. I say what I think might be correct: Mi sposo, morto. She gasps, reaches a hand to touch mine, and I work out a way to tell her more about it.
I point to my heart.
Michael Dubruiel, a popular Catholic author and speaker, died of a heart attack on February 2, 2009—only months after he and his wife, Amy Welborn, had relocated to Birmingham Alabama. In her new memoir, Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope, Welborn chronicles her somewhat spontaneous trip to Sicily with their young sons and teenage daughter in the aftermath of her husband’s sudden passing. A poignant meditation on grief and faith, the book is also filled with vivid descriptions of the culture and beauty of Sicily.
Welborn has long enjoyed a substantial following through her previous publications—nineteen books in all—and her online writing. Wish You Were Here is a uniquely personal and deeply moving portrait of her own family life, one with appeal to a wide variety of readers. We were fortunate to talk with Amy more about how the book came to be and how her family looks back on that time in their lives.
Dorian Speed: In the book, you interweave a chronological narrative of your trip to Sicily with memories of your husband, as well as describing the months after his death. Did you think of these events while you were at the specific locations, or did you collect them and then decide how they might correspond with experiences during your visit?
Amy Welborn: I journaled extensively during both periods. I have been a diarist and a journal-keeper my entire life, albeit not with absolute fidelity. In times of crisis, though . . . yes, I journal. I think I filled four or five notebooks in the months after Mike died. Then, of course, I journaled throughout the trip, every night for at least an hour and half. There was, of course, nothing else to do! And then when I returned and started working on the book, I made a chart. I’ll be honest. I made a chart. I went through all the journal entries from both periods, marked entries and even sentences that I thought were suitable, then made a list of each, on either side of this chart. Then I contemplated that chart for a while, and started to see connections. There were some connections that were inherent in the experiences: the last full chapter, of course, and the recurrence of “yes” – that was all tied together in that moment for me. And I’m sure, at some level, as we traveled through Sicily, I was associating our experiences with things that had happened before. But much of it came in post-trip reflection.
DS: This theme of “life among the ruins” runs throughout the book—at times during your travels, you are seeking out specific historical sites, but sometimes you happen upon them after setting out with a different plan for your day. I’m wondering if you found any analogies to your time of mourning your husband—if there were specific memories and incidents you deliberately revisited in hopes of gaining new insight into them, or if it was more a matter of working through these memories as they happened upon you.
AW: Oh, it’s very random. For the most part. I think the journey through Sicily, in which experience and reflection is occasioned by both the planned and the accidental, is very much evocative of the grief process (such as it is) as well. There are big rituals and moments that you know are coming: a visit to a grave, dates of birthdays, anniversaries and the date of death. There are the small rituals in specific moments that you might create – touching a shirt that still hangs in the closet, glimpsing at a photo on a dresser before you go to sleep. But of deeper impact are those unexpected moments where you turn a corner and…oh…I forgot. We were in this neighborhood looking at a house the week before he died. Or: well, here I am at my son’s basketball game, and all of a sudden I am hit by grief and regret: why isn’t he here to see this?
DS: Some of your previous books have been explicitly catechetical in nature, while this work is more personal and narrative. Still, you talk about aspects of your faith that might be unfamiliar to those from other religious traditions. How did you look at that in terms of the larger work—the inclusion of specific aspects of Catholic belief?
AW: There was a bit of tension and some questions about that, to be sure. In my initial drafts I mentioned all of those things: relics, the Eucharist, praying for the dead, purgatory—without much, if any explanation. It was felt that more explanation was needed, and I resisted—we came to a middle ground, I think. I wanted the book to have a wide appeal, but at the same time, I didn’t want it to become either didactic, with too much explanation, or bland, by taking out the particular Catholic matter—the last would have been impossible, anyway.
DS: Something I personally enjoyed about the book is that it’s not presented as a neat, orderly journey through the stages of grieving—it reads as a much more honest account of how you and your children dealt with such a tremendous loss. When you look back upon those first few months, does it seem like there was a “process” you went through emotionally?
AW: Well, it’s not neat, is it? Nothing about it is neat or orderly, and that’s one of the reasons I like one particular word in the subtitle: “through.” It’s not to hope from loss. It’s through them —and you thread back and forth through them all the time. In those first months, I don’t know if I could call what happened a “process.” It’s the result of life moving on and some discipline in your thoughts, emotions, and spiritual life. Time passes, and that does its work. But it doesn’t do all the work, and being able to get up every day and try to work towards peace isn’t automatic. I could only do it—process it—by placing every moment in a spiritual context. In the context of Passion and Resurrection, and the suffering, loss and limitations that are part of the human condition on earth and were taken up in Christ.
DS: Your humor shows up in subtle ways throughout the book, like the man with the cart and “miserable-looking donkey” who “plays accordion and sings songs you think you should hear in Italy. Or the Olive Garden, at least.” Early in your travels, you ask “What does it mean if I edge up on joy while doing something in a place I wouldn’t be if he were still alive?” And we also get a picture of your husband’s personality—telling stories, sharing your amusement at particular situations. Do you see his sense of humor in your children?
AW: I do. You raise an interesting point there, indirectly. Both boys have his sense of humor, Michael more so—he is a gifted mimic, like his father was, and he’s generally just more off-the-wall. He’s a character, and Mike was a character. Joseph has his sense of humor, but what he also has—that his little brother doesn’t seem to have—is his father’s penchant for planning and gift for process. Whenever we travel, it comes out very strongly: Joseph is fascinated by things like subway and train schedules and maps. Mike was a great travel planner, and I think as Joseph gets older, I’ll be handing over more of that kind of responsibility to him. But I have to be careful, you know, as we all do with our children, to take them as they are, for who they are, and not be looking at them, trying to see reflections of a deceased parent (or grandparent) . . . or even ourselves.
DS: As someone who knew very little about Sicily before reading your book, I spent a good bit of time searching online for images to go with the beautiful places you visited. And of course you have posted some terrific photographs on your own website, too. What was it that drew you to Sicily? Are you ready to go back? Do you keep in touch with any of your hosts from your travels?
AW: Sicily was far away and someplace I’d never been and never thought of going. So in a way, it was sort of like “going to” death in this sense. Although I did think about it, fearfully, it was not someplace I took seriously about traveling to—death, that is. It was also someplace that Mike would never, ever have traveled to. I could not imagine it being part of a family journey in the hypothetical land of “If Mike were still alive.” It seemed very far away from life with him, as well, and I suppose I hoped that if I went to Sicily, I wouldn’t be as burdened with the loss.
Didn’t work, of course, since, as I write in the book, even seeing a crucifix made of lava rock festooned with glitter in a souvenir shop on Mount Etna can make you miss your husband just as much as driving by the YMCA where he died back home. I would love to go back to Sicily, but it is not in the cards right now. I’ve kept in touch a bit with the owner of the agriturismo—we’re Facebook friends, of course.
DS: The image of the “little volcanoes” recurs throughout the book—there’s this great scene where Joseph is posing for a photograph holding up this gigantic volcanic rock. Why did that make such a strong impression upon you?
AW: This made an impression on me because he, being 7 when his father died, was most profoundly affected by his death. He hurt the most, the deepest, and misses him the most. I have fearfully envisioned him travelling through his life with this heavy, heavy burden, and seeing him playfully lift those large lava rocks on Mount Etna gave me hope that with God’s grace, he will find peace, and it won’t weigh him down as I fear.
DS: When your children talk about the trip, what do they especially remember?
AW: They remember Mount Etna and the agriturismo most of all, and they also remember the temples in Agrigento. But the volcano and those dogs on the farm have really endured in their memories!
DS: Are you all suffering from gelato withdrawal now, or have you found acceptable sources in Birmingham?
AW: There is no gelato like real Italian gelato, and while Birmingham has its Vulcan—whose forge Mount Etna was supposed to be—we can’t get him to deliver us good gelato yet.
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Evidence suggests that lesbian and gay young adults use substances more frequently than their heterosexual peers. Based on the life course perspective, we argue that this difference may be due to the unavailability of marriage as a turning point in the lives of lesbian/gay young adults. We use data from a nationally representative sample of youth (N = 13,581, 52.4% female, 68.6% white, ages 18-26) to examine sexual orientation differences in substance use and explore whether these differences vary by romantic partnership formation in young adulthood. We find that the formation of more serious partnerships (e.g., cohabitation, marriage) is associated with less frequent substance use among heterosexual young adults, though this pattern does not hold for lesbian and gay young adults. We conclude that the partnership options available to lesbians and gay men do not provide the same health-protective benefits that marriage does for heterosexuals.
J Youth Adolesc. 2012 Feb;41(2):167-78. Epub 2011 Mar 16.
Sexual orientation, partnership formation, and substance use in the transition to adulthood.
Austin EL, Bozick R.
Department of Sociology and Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Heritage Hall 460-S, 1401 University Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35294, USA. email@example.com
Would gay marriage decrease drug abuse?
My husband, Graham, has sat down on dozens of occasions in front of the doors of Brisbane abortion clinics, and refused to move.
Graham Preston, a 56-year-old father from Queensland, Australia, went to jail this week for refusing to pay fines of roughly $8000 that have accumulated after 10 years of non-violently blocking the entrances of four abortion clinics around the state capital, Brisbane. He refuses to pay the fines on principle, arguing that trying to save the innocent from harm should not be regarded as a crime. He is pictured above with his family.
Mr Preston, a member of the pro-life group Protect Life, has already served a total of 10 months in jail over five separate terms, mostly in Brisbane’s maximum security Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre. This time he is not due out until Christmas. It is the longest jail term received by an Australian pro-life activist. The following account was written by his wife, Liz Preston.
My husband went to jail this week. For eight months. His crime? Sitting down. Yes, I know, sitting down is not usually regarded as being a crime and especially not one you go to jail for eight months for. But it depends on where you do it and how often.
My husband, Graham, along with a few others at different times, has sat down on dozens of occasions in recent years in front of the doors of Brisbane abortion clinics, and refused to move. He has not been charged with “sitting down” of course, but with things like trespass. But sitting down and refusing to move is all that he actually does.
I know that at this point some readers, when they see that he is opposed to abortion, will say that being sent to jail for such sit-ins is just what he deserves. But let’s try and think about this for a moment.
Graham, like myself and others, believes that when a woman is pregnant she is carrying a baby. There is surely nothing too controversial with that belief – I’ve carried a number of babies to term myself and I have no doubt that, yes, they really were babies that I was carrying.
Indeed, I would venture to say that every woman who is happily pregnant has no doubt that she is carrying a baby and there is always much delight in viewing the ultrasound images. If the baby should be lost through spontaneous miscarriage, then there is usually considerable grief at that loss.
Further, Graham, like myself and others, believes that abortion deliberately ends the life of the baby that is being carried in the womb. Again, this should hardly be a controversial claim: as noted above, pregnancy involves the carrying of a baby in the womb, so if an abortion is carried out, that means a baby’s life is deliberately taken.
Click ‘like’ if you are PRO-LIFE!
So, back to where this article started: if a child is about to be killed, everyone should try to save that child’s life. Right? Well, yes, normally, but apparently not if the child we are talking about saving is a child that is scheduled to be killed by abortion.
In the minds of some, if the mother or parents of a preborn child decide that they want to have an abortion, then their child loses absolutely all right to have their life protected. But not everyone is prepared to simply turn away and abandon such children to death. And not without good reason either.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, states in the opening paragraph of the Preamble: ” . . . recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” (emphasis added).
Article 3 of the Declaration reads: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” (emphasis added).
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990), to which Australia is also a signatory, reaffirms in the Preamble the following statement from the earlier Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959): ” . . . the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, both before as well as after birth.” (emphasis added)
However the reality in Australia today is that, regardless of Australia being a signatory to the above documents, there is effectively no legal protection given to the child before birth. If a woman wants to end her child’s life by abortion, so long as she has the money to pay for it, she can visit an abortion clinic and readily get it done. About 90 to 100 000 babies are killed by abortion in Australia each year.
Yet here in Queensland, if a person should assault a pregnant woman and subsequently her child dies, the assailant can be punished with life imprisonment – the same penalty that is given for killing a born person.
So we have a situation where a preborn child’s life is regarded as being as valuable as anyone else’s life – if the mother wants the child – but if the mother does not want the child, then somehow the child, apparently, loses all value and rights and can be killed by abortion.
But it is a well-recognised injustice for the value and rights of one human being to be made dependent upon the say-so of one or more other human beings. At other times and places sub-sections of humanity, such as those who are Jewish or who have dark-coloured skin, have been deemed by others to be less than fully human and so could be made subject to death and enslavement.
Those attitudes are now almost totally rejected in our society, yet, incongruously, we live with the greatest of discriminations being openly practised against another sub-section of humanity – the preborn children. (Not to mention the harm that abortion can do to women.)
Well, not everybody is prepared to just live with such double standards.
Yes, my husband and the others have been found to be breaking the law in their efforts to come to the defence of children who are scheduled to be aborted. It is clearly no small thing for them to defy the law and do so over and over again. Yet laws, which allow for the wholesale destruction of innocent human life, cannot be taken to be absolute.
As Martin Luther King Jr wrote in his famous letter from Birmingham jail, ” . . . there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
Yes, if a child is about to be killed, all of us should try to save the child – even if we are sent to jail for doing so.
This article first appeared on Mercatornet.com and is reprinted under a Creative Commons License.
UK Marks Milestone Year with Vatican
The United Kingdom celebrated 30 years of full diplomatic ties with the Holy See with this conference in Rome. It was a chance for churchmen and members of government alike to reflect on their relationship today and remember how it all began. Nigel Baker, UK Ambassador to the Holy See: “I don’t think you can understand the relationships and the way you want to go if you can’t work out where you’ve come from. 1982 was an incredibly important year in the relationship between the UK and the Holy See, the first ever visit by the Pope, a pastoral visit, not a state visit, by the Pope to the United Kingdom. And, it was a year in which we decided to upgrade our diplomatic relationship to full ambassadorial status which showed that the government finally understood why it needed a relationship with this extraordinarily global organization but also, as Pope John Paul II’s visit demonstrated, both the Catholics within their own country and also non-Catholics, the important role of Catholicism in British history. I think that the colloquium today will help people to reflect on that. You’ve got the 2010 visit of Pope Benedict XVI in the light of that 1982 visit, just to see where we’ve traveled over that period, so it’s about the past, it’s definitely about the present – why we have the embassy to the Holy See, what sort of relationship there is now, but it’s also going to be about looking ahead and looking at where we want those relationships to go in the next few years.” Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh: “Well, I think the relationships have developed well over those 30 years since that first papal visit. I think, first of all, that people realized that the Pope, as well as being a great religious figure, John Paul II was also a very human being. And, he conveyed some of that. I think there was a power and a strength to him and the way he conveyed Christ’s message in a non-compromising way. And yet the way he could relate so well to people, especially the young people. I think that helped smooth relationships. People realized that the Roman Catholic Church wherever it had been before was not just a great, megalithic structure, a way apart trying to impose its will all the time, but that it was made up of human beings and very wonderful human beings, filled with the love of Christ and wanting to hand on that same. love of Christ to others.” During Pope Benedict XVI’s 4-day visit to the UK in 2010, he first visited Queen Elizabeth in Edinburgh, Scotland and celebrated this giant Mass down the road in Glasgow. In subsequent days, he met with the faithful and church and civil leaders in London. Here at Westminster Hall, he called the nation to greater acceptance of Christians. The culminating moment of the trip took place in this park in the outskirts of Birmingham, where the 19th century priest and intellectual John Henry Newman was beatified. It was a high point in relations, which are still progressing – with ups and downs – as they move into their 31st year. Archbishop Mario Conti, Archdiocese of Glasgow, Scotland: “I think that the developments that have happened since the establishment of the embassy to the Holy See and the nuncio being appointed to the Court of St. James is significant in itself. It’s saying that developments have been very positive. The most recent visit of the Holy Father is an example of that cooperation. The Church is facing difficult times, clearly, and it’s up against quite a number of challenges. Sometimes we feel that perhaps that it wouldn’t be too just of the British government that today, the voice of the Church is not always accepted and not listened to sufficiently. It no longer is easily regarded, if you like, as the conscience of a nation, but the conscience of a community within a nation. So, there are those problems, but on the other hand the mutual respect that we have and the cooperation at so many levels is really quite outstanding, I think. And, it wouldn’t be at the stage that it is had it not been for these event that we are considering today and celebrating.”
The United Kingdom celebrated 30 years of full diplomatic ties with the Holy See with this conference in Rome. It was a chance for churchmen and members of government alike…
Catholicism Pure and Simple has all the details of new media evangelist
. He will be speaking in Durham, Liverpool, Birmingham and London to launch the
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