Several things struck me reading this morning about the budget deal struck between Democrats and Republicans this week to avert a government shutdown.
Diocese of Scranton 2 more Catholic schools in Luzerne County to close
Pfleger says he will leave Catholic Church if need be, St Sabina pastor would leave church rather than become high school principal
The corruption inherent in big-time college athletics (meaning Division I basketball and football) hit a big-time Catholic university today. The Society of Sacred Heart-founded school has nearly 8,000 students.
From AP: “A former University of San Diego star basketball player, along with another former player and former assistant coach, were charged with running a sports betting business to affect the outcome of games, federal authorities said Monday.
The indictment names Brandon Johnson, the school’s all-time leading scorer who finished his college career last year, Thaddeus Brown, an assistant coach at the school in the 2006-07 season, and Brandon Dowdy, who played at USD in the 2006-07 season and at the University of California, Riverside, from 2008 to 2010. Seven other people were also charged.”
Funeral arrangements go online
Last fall I wrote a story about the state of the Catholic cemetery business: 'The Business of Catholic cemeteries.'
The big news is that cremation is having a substantial impact on the business. Now comes a web-based funeral and cremation business that stands a chance of being very disruptive. According to Bloomberg News:
The thing I hate most about being sick is the massive amount of time my mind has to wander. I’m a ruminator of the highest order, and rarely do I ruminate on such things as the glory of the Grand Canyon or the creativity that drew someone to mount a live-cam in a tree to allow all of us the wonder of watching a nesting pair of bald eagles and their hatchlings up close.
No, instead I think about why one of my dogs has suddenly turned into a nervous, unpredictable maniac or what drives Pastor Terry Jones to do such hateful things.
As everyone surely knows by now, Jones is, in the words of a Miami Herald editorial, “the publicity-seeking crackpot” who recently burned a copy of the Quran. Since then, at least 24 innocent people have been killed by other crazy people who think that protesting Jones’ action requires them to launch violent protests.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
In the fall of 2006, a year and a half before Galante announced that he planned to reduce the number of parishes by more than a third, the annual fall Mass count was 114,000 parishioners. Last fall, the count dropped below 100,000 in the diocese, which stretches across southern New Jersey.
"Yes, it's disappointing," Galante said Tuesday. "But the diminution in Mass attendance didn't happen overnight, and I don't expect that overnight it will suddenly recover."
A former undersecretary at the Vatican, Galante has made the issue of helping parishes overcome a priest shortage and falling attendance his signature mission since taking over the Camden Diocese in late 2004. In his first year, he went out to the churches, sometimes visiting four in a week, and concluded that downsizing was the only option.
A factory-focused battle in rural Virginia provides a stark look at what global corporatism means when the exploited Third World workers are Americans.
A compelling article in The Los Angeles Times details the conditions and anger at a Swedish-owned factory in Danville, Virginia that churns out low-cost furniture for IKEA stores -- the darling of hip, young urbanites.
On this day we commemorate Guthlac, an Anglo-Saxon saint who lived as a hermit in the fens of East Anglia in the early 8th century.
"Because of the ambiguity of the Old English word beorg, which can mean both "hill" and "tomb," scholars have debated whether or not the beorg which Guthlac inhabits in Guthlac A is a pre-Christian burial site. Whether it is a tomb or simply a hill, Guthlac's fenland beorg bears an interesting likeness to the tombs of Tolkien's barrow-wights in The Fellowship of the Ring. Both are situated in a misty borderland area, and both are occupied by a nebulous demonic presence which is eventually exorcised."
--J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, edited by Michael D. C. Drout, Routledge, 2007, page 262.
A Friend of mine sent me a photograph the other day of Raymond Cardinal Burke, currently Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and previously having served as Archbishop of St. Louis (2003–2008) and Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin (1994–2003).