Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Praying the Lectionary of Lent"

This is a video of a talk I gave at Nativity Parish in Indianapolis on Monday of the 1st week of Lent. In it I talk about the VC II reform of the Lectionary and the particular character of the Lenten readings. Finally, I offer a few hints on how to pray with the Lenten Mass readings.

You have to turn up the volume a little bit.

Click here:
Lenten talk

Monday, February 20, 2012

Some final thoughts on the "Ad limina" visit (in no particular order)

Nothing on the trip can beat the honor of meeting the Holy Father and talking with him. To think he takes time out of his busy schedule to meet with us when we come to Rome is amazing. Over the past few months there have been a lot of rumors about his failing health and possible retirement. I didn't see any of that. What I encountered is a man who is in his mid 80s and carried himself as such.  My Dad is 89 and his doctors tell us that he is in excellent health.  But he is 89.  You can't ask him to look and act like he's 75.  So, I think it is for Pope Benedict.

I found the meetings at all of the various congregations, councils, tribunal, commissions and such to be very informative. Whichever office with which we met went out of their way to be present to us, often with the head of the office, the secretary, and the undersecretaries in attendance. They listened to what we had to say, responded to our questions, and offered information as needed. I was struck by how small their staffs are in comparison to all the work they have to do. They do a lot with a little. 

Another series of great moments that were part of the "ad limina' visit was being able to concelebrate Mass at the four major basilicas (St. Peter's, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. Mary Major, and St. John Lateran) and at St. Peter's saying Mass at the tomb of Blessed John Paul II and on another day, the tomb of Blessed John XXIII.

I wasn't able to stay for the consistory because I had the Rite of Election scheduled for this past Sunday in the cathedral. The Rite of Election is too important in the life of the Church for me to miss it. Perhaps there will be other opportunities for me to attend a consistory in the future but not this year.

Onto some lighter notes...

The smog in Rome is much better but it still has a long way to go. It seemed like I had a chest cold the whole time I was there.  But if you don't mind the cold, February is a good month to visit Rome. Everything is still open and there are no crowds anywhere. The weather this year though after the snow days cleared and the air was as clean as it gets.

The "rigatoni alla carbonara" at the Abruzzi just off the Piazza Dodieci Apostoli is good but the the "spaghetti alla carbonara" at Mazzicone's on the Borgo Pio has it beat. It's a heart attack in a bow and delicious as such.

The plane flight from Rome to Atlanta is a long one. Almost 11 hours. You can go from Tokyo to Munich in that time. Never knew that until I was thumbing through the airline magazine while standing in the galley trying wake up my legs from sitting so long.

Speaking of traveling, I can't say enough about how great the train system is in Italy and western Europe. It is amazing who quick the"rapido" or express train gets you between one city and another.  It is now less than an hour and half from Rome to Naples and less than two hours between Rome and Florence. When I was a student in Italy in 90-94, it was pretty much double that time. And going first class is the way to go (it's only about 30% more).

It's nice to be back in the USA.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Ad limina 2012" - Part 3

This time, I am up on the roof of the NAC (The Pontifical North American College) for my third video podcast. It hadn't been windy at all until I started but the wind picked up as I went along....

To access the video, click here: "Ad Limina 2012" - Part 3

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Ad limina 2012" - Part 2

My second video podcast from the "Ad limina" visit to Rome follows. I'm getting better: I'm back further from the camera and I even added a title page. Please note that I had to cut it short to prevent going over the 15 minutes that YouTube allows so the video ends a bit abruptly.

Click for the video: "Ad limina 2012" - Part 2

Some splendid pictures:

His Holiness Benedict XVI and Bishop Christopher Coyne

The Bishops of Indiana and His Holiness

A splendid group photo.

Mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Principal Celebrant, Bishop Dale Melczek of the Diocese of Gary
Deacon Ben Ross of Gary as well

The "ad limina" bishops at Mass,
St. Paul Outside the Walls

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Ad limina" 2012 - Part 1

I am on my first "ad limina" visit to Rome with the bishops of Region VII of the United States (Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin).  The "ad limina" visit takes place about five years (sometimes it is a bit longer) and is intended as an opportunity for bishops to meet with the Holy Father and officials of the various congregations, commissions, and councils of the Vatican and report on the work and life of our dioceses.  This is video podcast is my first attempt at doing so.  As such, there are a few technical difficulties: I'm too close to the camera and a bit overexposed.  Please be nice to me with your comments.  I promise to try and get better with all of this. Click the link below to get started.

Ad limina 2012 - Part 1

Bishops of Indiana as we wait to meet Pope Benedict XVI.  From the left: Bishop Christopher Coyne of Indianapolis, Bishop Charles Thompson of Evansville, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Bishop Dale Melczek of Gary, and Bishop Tim Doherty of Lafayette.

Meeting of the Catholic bishops of Region VII at the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.  In front on the left is Cardinal George of Chicago and in the center is Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the council.

Good looking guy in front of the Pantheon.  On a bit of a walkabout.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Canonicity and the Bible - Part 4

Bishop Coyne and Fr. Hunt actually do get around to discussing the use of the social sciences in biblical interpretation.  The key point is that the social sciences are used “in the service of the sacred word” under the guidance of the Church’s magisterium.  In addition, they spend some time in conversation unpacking the idea of biblical “inspiration:” the texts as inspired texts, the inspiration present in the reading of the texts under the inspiration of the Spirit.

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