I take a new position as Dean of Women

at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH. There my duties will include Deaning, teaching, assisting with Student Life and Activities, the Guild Associations, and running the Summer Programs.

Cheers to everyone starting school; blessings on all families and parishes! Godspeed us all!

Here is a great quotation to get you going:

"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal."

--Pope John Paul II

I did some other minor fun things like

I found the Haymarket in Boston; read Tom Wessell's incredible Reading the Forested Landscape; discovered Lord Peter Wimsey novels; got introduced to Pimm's and Fursty Ferret; attended a fantastic wedding and helped make hors d'oevres under the direction of the Jacobite chef; registered for the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture Annual Conference; realized just how good Scythian's music really is (especially the first track on their new album); found out that Librivox's best reader, the awesome Mil Nicholson has just finished and uploaded Dicken's Our Mutual Friend and Nicholas Nickleby . . but I'll stop there before I give away all my ideas for the blog.

I walked the Assumption Pilgrimage at St. Boniface

Yes, that's right: 30 miles through God's country--beautiful Indiana--with fellow pilgrims from St. Boniface Roman Catholic Parish.  It starts Friday night and ends twenty four hours later.  We camped overnight beneath the full moon.  Mass to start, mass in the morning, and mass at the end with sandwiches and beer to solace the tired pilgrims.  Join us next year in 2012; click here for more information!

I ran the Summer Highschool Programs at Thomas More College

And you can read more about that excellent institution here.  Like last year there was study, prayer, competition, service, poetry, scavenger hunts, races, singing, dancing, hikes, swimming, trips . . . We built stilts this year, too, and raced in them.  I'd say the best part was the girls trip to see the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.  Part of me really wanted to take them to see the sunrise; another part thought, "Why am I doing this, this is crazy!"  And yet--look at the photograph!  Engage this reality!  Does it get any better?


I went to the Royal Regatta and Stoner House. . .

With other graduate students at Maryvale Institute.  The Henley Royal Regatta was a lark.  Stoner House was deeply moving; this is where St. Edmund Campion printed the Decem Rationes and the famous "brag."

Campion’s Brag

To the Right Honourable, the Lords of Her Majesty's Privy Council:

Whereas I have come out of Germany and Bohemia, being sent by my superiors, and adventured myself into this noble realm, my dear country, for the glory of God and benefit of souls, I thought it like enough that, in this busy, watchful, and suspicious world, I should either sooner or later be intercepted and stopped of my course.

Wherefore, providing for all events, and uncertain what may become of me, when God shall haply deliver my body into durance, I supposed it needful to put this in writing in a readiness, desiring your good lordships to give it your reading, for to know my cause. This doing, I trust I shall ease you of some labour. For that which otherwise you must have sought for by practice of wit, I do now lay into your hands by plain confession. And to the intent that the whole matter may be conceived in order, and so the better both understood and remembered, I make thereof these nine points or articles, directly, truly and resolutely opening my full enterprise and purpose.

I began a Ph.D program at Maryvale Institute

Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England is located at the old site where Bl. Newman first lived after his conversion to the Catholic Faith.  I am working on a research degree, a Ph.D in Catholic Studies.  The proposed title of the dissertation is something like The Role of Stabilitas in the Transmission of Tradition: An Analysis of Alasdair MacIntyre’s Ideas with Reference to Western Monasticism and applied to a Midwestern Parish 1850-2011.

I saw Gerard Manley Hopkins' grave

And Newman's University Church in Dublin.  Hopkins' grave was not marked in any special way--with hundreds of others in the Jesuit Plot at Glasnevin Cemetery.  I remembered that his first identity was not poet but priest.

"The Lantern Out of Doors"
Gerard Manley Hopkins

SOMETIMES a lantern moves along the night,
That interests our eyes. And who goes there?
I think; where from and bound, I wonder, where,
With, all down darkness wide, his wading light?

Men go by me whom either beauty bright
In mould or mind or what not else makes rare:
They rain against our much-thick and marsh air
Rich beams, till death or distance buys them quite.

Death or distance soon consumes them: wind
What most I may eye after, be in at the end
I cannot, and out of sight is out of mind.

Christ minds: Christ’s interest, what to avow or amend
There, éyes them, heart wánts, care haúnts, foot fóllows kínd,
Their ránsom, théir rescue, ánd first, fást, last friénd.

I worked on the St. Michael Hymnal

Check out the forthcoming 4th Edition here.  It is outstanding.

Where have you been?

You might ask . . . My last post was May 5, 2011.  What happened?  Well . . . I finished the school year at Trinity School at Greenlawn.  I went to see friends in Ireland.  And we climbed Croach Patrick.

More Easter Traditions

Once I wrote a post about Easter Traditions, but this year, for some reason found that I wasn't able to keep my usual ones. I just ran out of time! The Holy Triduum making of Easter Stollen, Pralines, Easter Spice Ring, and the annual cleaning of the car just couldn't happen without skipping some of the liturgy (not an option). So I just made the Easter Stollen and decided to space out the other traditions.

Here is the Divine Mercy Sunday "Making of the Pralines." Last year's failure was transformed into this year's near perfection. Next year the purgative way will lead to the final and perfect praline.

Call for Papers: Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture 12th Annual Conference

The Conference will take place Nov. 10-12, 2011 and the theme:  Radical Emancipation:  Confronting the Challenge of Secularism.  Submissions are due July 15.  Learn more here.  A retreat for the mind, that's what this conference is--always rewarding.

Final Writing Assignment

A great exercise that sometimes yields surprising results is to have students take out a few sheets of looseleaf paper and a pen or pencil.

Then tell them they have 30-60 minutes in which to write:  "What did you learn this semester?"

You can limit it to the class in particular or to the classes they took this semester.  This exercise gives the students the opportunity to realize how much they've learned and to make connections.

Mother

Mid April already, and the wild plums
bloom at the roadside, a lacy white
against the exuberant, jubilant green
of new grass an the dusty, fading black
of burned-out ditches. No leaves, not yet,
only the delicate, star-petaled
blossoms, sweet with their timeless perfume.

You have been gone a month today . . .

Click here to read the rest of an outstanding poem by Ted Kooser which Garrison Keillor read on Writer's Almanac on 29 April 2011.

Women Less Happy Than Ever

"In postfeminist America, men are happier than women."

Thus writes Ross Douthat here in The New York Times.  Also, this blog post of his is provocative, especially as he delicately questions Dana Goldstein's claim that "Internet Porn Has Nothing to Do With the Major Social Trends Affecting Sex and Marriage" (I mean, really?).  Finally, as if we needed more reasons, here is his interesting article "Why Monogamy Matters" from The New York Times

Easter Monday Trip to Bennet's Greenhouse -- Just to Look Around

"Behold, I make all things new."

Astounding, isn't it? Just a local greenhouse at http://www.bennettsgreenhouse.com/

Notre Dame hosts 7th Annual Eucharistic Procession

Now this is the kind of thing to lift one's heart.  Learn more here.  If you're anywhere nearby, head on over May 1.

It is pretty great to leave the model parish after a wonderful visit, and come home to something like this! 

Postcards

Someone was interested in buying the Indiana Postcards I mentioned in an earlier post.  I get them via Snapfish and would be happy to provide them to anyone at cost + shipping & handling.

Here are Snapfish rates per card:
1-19 cards 99¢
20-49 cards 89¢
50-99 cards 79¢
100+ cards 75¢

You could order anything you like that you've ever seen on the blog and Snapfish will send it your way.  Just leave me a comment or email christianintegration@gmail.com

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