Links for 12/30/16

Over at The Atlantic, Emma Green has a good interview that is kind of depressing, with Michael Wear, who ran faith outreach for Obama in 2012 and who has some damning things to say about today's Democratic Party and the religious illiteracy of those with whom he worked in the administration. 

How did I miss this? George Weigel, in his column for the Denver Catholic Register, from which it is circulated to many diocesan newspapers, throws a hissy fit because Cardinal Kevin Farrell compared the opposition to Pope Francis to the elder son in the parable of the Prodigal. To be clear, the first use of that metaphor for the opposition came from C. J. Reid of St. Thomas University, and I picked it up and popularized it as best I could. I was delighted to see it put to good use by Cardinal Farrell. I would be curious to know which diocesan papers ran this article by Weigel criticizing one of our new cardinals. 

Here is something to ring in the new year. Back as a teenager, I was studying piano and trombone with Mrs. Catherine Wade, who has since gone to God. I became interested in the organ after attending a recital and went to our local Congregational church to practice. I had no idea how the things worked. They had a Hammond electronic organ down by the sanctuary, but the sound came out of an old case with pipes in the loft. So, I went up there to investigate and the pipes had been removed and the speakers for the electronic organ placed in the case. On the floor of the case were a few of the old pipes. I mentioned this to a gentleman in town who both worshipped at that church and who was an antique collector. He started searching and, sure enough, all the old pipes were in boxes in the attic of the church. He generously paid for the organ to be restored and endowed an annual concert. The organ dates from 1836, making it the oldest playable organ in the U.S.  It has one keyboard and no pedals, but different stops can be chosen for the upper and lower registers. Here is a recording made on this beautiful old organ:

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