NCR Today

Benedictine monk describes new translation of Roman Missal


"It's such a fascinating story."

That's how Fr. Anthony Ruff, a Benedictine monk and a professor of liturgy, music and Gregorian chant at St. John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minn., described the process of the new translation of the Roman Missal for English. Ruff led one discussion at the Call to Action national conference (in Milwaukee) on why there were new translation guidelines and the results of the translation in English (strengths and tricky problems).

So move your money


Tomorrow is Bank Transfer Day, and if online pledges reflect actual commitment, nearly 40,000 Americans plan to move their money out of the "too big to fail" banks and into small, customer-friendly credit unions or community banks.

Bank Transfer Day, the brainchild of Los Angeles artist Kristen Christian, is the latest manifestation of the Move Your Money movement.

The grassroots initiative, which was conceived during a 2009 Christmas dinner conversation between Arianna Huffington, economist Rob Johnson and filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, has picked up steam thanks to the Occupy movements going on around the country. Many "occupations," including the one here in Worcester, Mass., are promoting Bank Transfer Day as a practical response to popular fury with lecherous banks.

"Can't pitch a tent at Zucotti Park?" writes Lynn Parramore, a contributing editor for Alternet. "Not to worry. There's something meaningful you can do to stand up to vampire banks that bleed the economy -- and your wallet. The feeling of satisfaction amply rewards the inconvenience."

Vatican stunned by Irish embassy closure


Reuters is reporting that Vatican stunned by Irish embassy closure

VATICAN CITY -- Catholic Ireland's stunning decision to close its embassy to the Vatican is a huge blow to the Holy See's prestige and may be followed by other countries which feel the missions are too expensive, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

... Ireland will now be the only major country of ancient Catholic tradition without an embassy to the Vatican.

Saints and Souls


On Wednesday, an informal liturgy group of which I am a part celebrated both All Saints Day and All Souls Day in the same service. It seemed appropriate. A lot of ordinary "souls" are really saints, even if not formally recognized as such.

When homily time arrived, we had a discussion of saints, souls and canonization. We named several contemporary saints, most not formally recognized by any Vatican process: John XXIII; Oscar Romero; Mary Luke Tobin, SL; Marjorie Tuite, OP; Bill Callahan; and others. We even noted that St. Francis of Assisi might have found resonance with one member of our group who was gently petting a cat that had jumped on his lap, knowing that he was a friend of animals. (We have a very informal liturgy group.)

Then, one nun in our group mentioned that her foundress was surely a saint, but that canonization costs money, so her order was not initiating the process. Others noted that canonization is often influenced by the Vatican politics of the day. Why, for example, is John Paul II on a "fast track" but John XXIII apparently on a "slow track"? Why does it seem that Archbishop Oscar Romero is on "no track"?

Best Catholic news junky blog post of the day


Max Lindenman, who blogs at Diary of a Wimpy Catholic, wins the Best Catholic news junky blog post of the day for The Catholic Pundits Drinking Game. Lindenman, who wrote for NCR a couple years ago (See Eucharistic adoration: peaceful, despite the squabble, which shows you his range as writer) has different games for readers of NCR and America and for readers of First Things.

Benefits of fair trade coffee outweigh negatives


I'm having a harder time these days finding fair trade coffee on store shelves. It's being pushed out by other coffee labels. In my neighborhood, the big groceries only sell the name brands. So I shop for coffee at two coffee shops and an organic grocery.

Two of the proprietors were surprised at my complaint and came over to look for themselves at the limited choice. They pointed out the certifications: Smithsonian bird friendly, Rainforest Alliance, USDA Organic and UTZ Certified. But only a couple of packages were labeled fair trade.

These are all expensive coffees, but only fair trade guarantees that the growers are paid a negotiated price and commit to fair labor conditions; that the coffee farm co-ops are democratic and transparent organizations; and that part of the profit is invested in community development.

On this day: Ven. Samuel Mazzuchelli, O.P.


On this day in 1806, Samuel Mazzuchelli was born in Milan, the fifteenth child of Luigi Mazzuchelli and Rachele Merlini. Samuel grew up in his parents' house behind the Cathedral. At 17, he entered the Order of Preachers. At 18, he made his final vows. At 21, "mandated 'Missionary for North America'", the young Dominican sailed for New York.

"Samuel was ordained in Cincinnati in 1830 by Bishop Fenwick and given his first assignment: a large area of the Great Lakes region in the northern United States to the border with Canada, with particular location on the island of Mackinac.

Morning Briefing


Illinois -- Gov. Quinn defends himself against Catholic criticism

Congress Considers Catholic and other Christian Demands in Health Care

'Vendetta' mask becomes symbol of Occupy protests, "V for Vendetta," the comic-based movie whose violent, anarchist antihero fashions himself a modern Guy Fawkes and rebels against a fascist government has become a touchstone for young protesters in mostly western countries.

Catholic Volunteer Network gets back 75 percent of AmeriCorps funding

What the 10 percent have


Now here's an astonishing chart that I offer for your meditation. It's from the New York Times: "Where the 1 Percent Fits in the Hierarchy of Income."

The top 1 percent is made up of 3.5 million families. They have incomes starting at about $400,000. Average income is about $700,000, and they have about 11 percent of total income. The top 10 percent of families have about 25 percent of total income.

What do the rest of us have? The 90 percent have 53 percent of total income.

It is hard to get our heads around this inequality.

And while we are digesting it, an old Heritage Foundation study is being brought forward again. It concludes that the poor have it pretty good when you add up rent subsidies, food stamps and medical care. The medical costs, of course, distort the picture. If your child has leukemia and runs up a $400,000 bill, that's not money in your pocket, whether you have insurance or are eligible for Medicaid.


Subscribe to NCR Today


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017