During my time in Chicago, I was blessed with several opportunities to encounter and converse with the Archdiocese's evangelist extraordinaire, Fr. Robert Barron of Mundelein Seminary. Fr. Barron is the author of several books, including most recentlyThe Priority of Christ and Bridging the Great Divide, a book which has strongly influenced my own work on this blog. For the architecturally inclined, he is also the author of Heaven in Stone and Glass, a book about the spirituality of the Gothic cathedrals. He is gifted with the ability to express the truths of the faith in a clear, accessible and intellectually stimulating manner while also transcending ideological divisions within the Church. Notably, Fr. Barron has coined the term "beige Catholicism," which is an apt description of the American Church in the 1970's and '80's, as it accomodated itself too closely with American culture and lost touch with the riches of its tradition. Thankfully, in many places, including Chicago, the memory of these days is fading, but Fr. Barron's term is an apt descriptor for a period which many of us lived through or grew up in.
One of Fr. Barron's major evangelical projects is the website The Word On Fire, which features podcasts of his excellent weekly homilies as well as YouTube video clips of series that are in the works. I provide here an excellent discussion of The Sopranos and Christian morality - though I was not part of the Sopranos craze, as a big fan of The Godfather films I can certainly appreciate mafia stories as fertile ground for thinking about these subjects. I encourage Shrine readers to listen to and watch Fr. Barron as a good exemplar of the kind of thing we try to promote and do on this blog.
"Go to the encounter with him in the Blessed Eucharist, go to adore him in the churches, kneeling before the Tabernacle: Jesus will fill you with his love and will reveal to you the thoughts of his Heart. If you listen to him, you will feel ever more deeply the joy of belonging to his Mystical Body, the Church, which is the family of his disciples held close by the bond of unity and love."
- Pope Benedict, Message to Dutch Youth
Dan: A perpetual choirmember, seek him where good music or custard are to be found. Contact him at basilique(at)gmail(dot)com
Emily: A graduate of Notre Dame's Philosophy and Latin programs, religious ed expert and Alto at large, she can be reached at emilynd06(at)gmail(dot)com
Matt: A graduate of ND's Architecture School, illustrator, church furnishing designer, and founder of Matthew Alderman Studios, doing entirely too many things at the same time in jolly old New England. Reach him at malderman83(at)gmail(dot)com
Drew: A lover of Jackie Chan and Cuckoo Clocks, he be can contacted at andrew_na(at)hotmail(dot)com
Becket: This Whapster Emeritus and longtime admirer of the Holy Father is enjoying his retirement on the shores of the Missisippi.
"Cardinal, we're students at the University of Notre Dame in the United States..."
"Ah! Notre Dame!" ~Benedict XVI (really)
"The Shrine of the Holy Whapping should be a part of every Christian's daily reading and meditation. Every time you load the page, you find something very much worth thinking about." ~Fr. Jim Tucker
St. Dymphna, protectress of lunatics, pray for us!
"Christianity, and nothing
else is the ultimate foundation
of liberty, conscience,
human rights, and democracy...
We continue to nourish
ourselves from this source.
Everything else is
- Jürgen Habermas
"We desire that this practice... of using distinctive names by which Catholics are marked off from other Catholics, should cease; such names must be avoided... [they] are neither true nor just... they lead to great disturbance and confuse the Catholic body."
- Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum