Archive for Testimonial
Catherine Pakaluk is our neighbor, friend, and a professor at Ave Maria University. She is a mother, and this week that is the focus of her column:
…But I think we should talk more about the negatives. Not to be dour, of course, but to help people understand the fundamental meaning of the Christian vocation, a message that is central to Mulieris Dignitatem and the Second Vatican Council. You just can’t advance these majestic teachings on a cartoon image of the pregnant woman that sweeps away hardships. People do not want to escape from sufferings. They want to know that their sufferings have meaning…
This is my favorite line from the column: “And just like pregnancy—Christianity seems to make sense and be cool for a while at the beginning, right up to the point when you realize, and you always do, that running the race to the finish calls for laying down your life.”
That’s what every mom MUST do while pregnant and usually does after the child is born. That is what is so compellingly beautiful about every mom. That is why motherhood is the best icon of Christ – and that is precisely why motherhood is rejected by so many. According to Catherine, maybe talking about it more will help more women understand the meaning of that suffering instead of simply dreading it.
Thank you to all the mothers in Ave Maria. Thank you for your witness – for being icons.
Once again, it’s “international buy a priest a beer day” on Monday. Perhaps you will both enjoy the beer more if you show this blessing to him so he can bless it’s sweetness and mirth before you both imbibe (and toast to Our Lady’s birthday).
These two are among the men who call Ave Maria home. It will be interesting to hear more about their escapade over a bourbon or some wine. Let us pray they came back refreshed and ready to inspire their students and contribute to the Academy.
The thing about Ave Maria is that it is still new, and therefore it makes sense that people aren’t quite sure what to make of it (i.e. the community, which consists of both town and university). This blog is an exercise in trying to help people have information so they can know what to make of it. And so is this article by professor Michael Pakaluk, which explains how some of the best things that can happen are happening here:
… So, simply with respect to what was found to be best at Harvard, it seems we can conclude that Harvard and Ave Maria are equivalent (or better, if London Pride at the Queen Mary Pub is better than tea). … It would be absurd to claim that Ave Maria has everything that Harvard has. For instance, we do not have the noise, pollution, and crime which are found in a city. We do not have any dirty piles and pools of slush to trudge through in March. …
Of course Michael’s keen wit is worth reading. Go click – it’s short and funny (and he makes some great points). And the quote from A Man for All Seasons is precious.
Our neighbor Novak’s deft reply to New York Times’ attempt to pit Pope Francis against Pope Saint John Paul II
Queerly, the New York Times seems to be advocating that papal pronouncements ought to influence culture and public policy, and in that vein has posed this question and then published five responses:
Jesus drove money changers out of the Temple, calling them “a den of thieves.” Of the profit-centric world view, Pope Francis warned, “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market,” to provide economic justice. Others call Christianity and capitalism inextricable. Is contemporary capitalism compatible with Christian values?
Interestingly, that setup by the Times ignores how Pope Saint John Paul II described capitalism in the magisterial encyclical Centisumus Annus:
… an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector … circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality.
But Michael Novak did not let the Times get away with that omission (or the Times’ lame attempt to pit Pope Francis against his canonized predecessor John Paul); Novak’s is one of the five published responses, and it begins with the saint’s definition and discusses why capitalism is the most moral of the economic systems. It is worth reading.
This past week at the annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast legal and political philosopher Robert George gave an address that will likely be remembered for decades. Closer to home, it will likely remind many of us why we have chosen to be faithful, and in particular to be part of the Ave Maria Project.
The question each of us today must face is this: Am I ashamed of the Gospel? And that question opens others: Am I prepared to pay the price that will be demanded if I refuse to be ashamed, if, in other words, I am prepared to give public witness to the massively politically incorrect truths of the Gospel, truths that the mandarins of an elite culture shaped by the dogmas of expressive individualism and megeneration liberalism do not wish to hear spoken? Or, put more simply, am I willing, or am I, in the end, unwilling, to take up my cross and follow Christ?
Being named after Saint John Paul the Great (a town where it’s common, and 1 young John Paul who is attending the canonization)
On the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday when Pope John Paul II will officially enter the canon of saints of Christ’s Church, many families in the town of Ave Maria are also planning a feast day for their sons – or their Sister! It is fitting that a town where one of the streets is named “Pope John Paul II Boulevard” – a town whose founding was inspired by that pope’s “new evangelization” – has so many boys and young men named after that extraordinary man.
His papacy saw a rise in the popularity of the name “John Paul” for newborns in the USA as shown in this graphic, with spikes in popularity based on events in his life:
Of course not everyone bearing the name received it as a newborn boy. Sister John Paul, OP, who teaches in Ave Maria at Donahue Catholic, received the name when she entered Religious life.
Among the estimated dozen John Paul’s in Ave Maria, several have provided photographs, below.
One lucky Ave Maria boy bearing the name is having the trip of a lifetime with his mother – they traveled to Rome to attend tomorrow’s canonization ceremony! John Paul Allan’s friends and neighbors have been able to follow his special pilgrimage via Facebook. Mrs. Allan owns a Catholic gift and book store and home school supply store called By Way of the Family that she named after a phrase from Saint Pope John Paul”s apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio: “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”