Sunday, November 29, 2009
I have been listening to a relatively new podcast called, "The Catholic Laboratory", which explores the friendship between Roman Catholicism and science. It is very orthodox, and is also very good science. The podcaster is a devout Catholic and a physicist.
Google "The Catholic Laboratory podcast" or go to http://www.catholiclab.net/TheCatholicLaboratory/Podcast/Podcast.html
The podcast includes short biographies of Catholic scientists and their contributions over the centuries, explorations of physics, cosmology and evolution from the perspective of Catholic theology, and a joke of the week!
California spends $25 million annually to landfill discarded plastic bags. You can help!
As you do your Christmas shopping, the California Integrated Waste Management Board recommends that we:
(1) Use reusable canvas or cloth bags.
(2) Say "No thank you." Not all items require a bag.
(3) Recycle! California requires large supermarkets or pharmacies to offer free recycling of plastic bags. How about your state or community?
(4) Reuse them. They make great waste basket liners and bags to take to the local farmers' market. What are your ideas?
(5) Tell a friend about the importance of recycling.
The California Integrated Waste Management Board has great holiday waste reduction tips anyone around the USA or around the world can use: http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/PublicEd/Holidays/default.htm
Catholic Social Teaching: Caring for God’s Creation. Caring for the earth is a duty of our Catholic faith. We all are called to be careful stewards of God’s creation and to ensure a safe and hospitable environment for vulnerable human beings now and in the future.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
All microloans are administered on the ground by charities who also provide money management training, literacy classes, and so on. Your microloan is not a "hand out"; you go into business with the person.
Yes, the economy is bad, but you can start with just $25. And you get it back (that's why it's called micro-LENDING).
An excellent agency is Kiva: http://www.kiva.org/
You can check out my investments at the links below. At the webpage, click on "loans" to see the loans made to groups around the globe.
"Debbie's Family" are my loans in lieu of Christmas presents -- my family wanted to get away from the materialism of Christmas shopping last year.
JustFaith2 are the investments of my JustFaith group; in the JustFaith program, I first learned how very effective microlending can be. Catholic Relief Services highly recommends it.
About the photo: Kahooza John Bosco is the leader of his lending group in Ibanda. He is a very hardworking and friendly man. He is 38 years old and married with 2 children, both of whom are in primary school; he also takes care of 2 dependants. He has had a retail shop in the Nyarukika trading centre for 15 years, where he is able to make 120,000 as profits a week. This is mostly attributed to the use of the loans that enabled him to have a variety of items in the shop. In the future, John Bosco would want to sell wholesale so that he could sell more and consequently have a happy and united family. He is seeking for a loan to be able buy more products for his shop so as to avoid shortages.
Monday, November 16, 2009
(1) Design your own gift-wrap by using a paper grocery or department store bag; have the kids add decorations.
(2) Spruce up brown paper wrapping with pretty bows (and save them for next year).
(3) Purchase sturdier gift bags and reuse them each year.
(4) For large, hard to wrap gifts, just add a large fancy bow.
(5) Or hide large, unwieldy gifts and give the person a card with a clue to lead them to the present.
(6) Fold up gift boxes and use them again.
(7) Christmas stockings are great for little gifts.
(8) Some gifts come in decorated gift boxes. Just add a bow and a gift tag (made from last year’s Christmas cards).
(9) Wrap gifts in the funny pages or old posters.
(10) If you do use store-bought wrapping paper, buy the kind with recycled content (the more postconsumer, the better).
You and your family can live the Catholic Social Teaching of "Caring for God's Creation" by reducing the amount of paper and ribbon going into landfills. And have a lot of fun doing it!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Here’s the mission and a brief bio from the web site: http://caminantecultural.com/
OUR MISSION/NUESTRA MISSION
Contribute, as a social justice organization, to the defense of the rights and dignity of all human beings, from our identity as migrant people who in one way or another give witness to love, justice and peace in all .
“Francisco Herrera directs CAMINANTE Cultural Work, dedicated to strengthening working people through retreats, workshops, conferences and concerts. Music provides the venue by which folks can bring their communities together to have a good time, listen to very soulful music and look at their community, deciding what it is we need to change. When people get organized leaders tremble and behave. Francisco's interpretation of original and traditional songs helps us believe in each other.”
Here is Francisco’s web site and you can listen to some of his music:
A friend from my parish loves the songs Atrevete a Sonar and La Tierra.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Don't have time to attend a Bible study? Find the Bible confusing and hard to read on your own? I recommend that you buy a CD set from Great Adventures and listen to it in your car or iPod.
I bought the Bible study on First Corinthians, and it was terrific! The speaker made the Bible come alive, providing the cultural context of the people in Corinth that St. Paul was writing to -- understanding the intended audience is absolutely crucial to understanding 1st Corinthians -- it's so easy to understand once you have the whole context.
I just discovered this terrific website with a wealth of information on the basics of the Roman Catholic faith. I did a spot check on a variety of topics (Baptism, Confirmation, Cardinal Virtues) and this site appears to be absolutely orthodox. The explanations of the doctrines of our Roman Catholic faith are easy to understand. What a great resource!
The About.com: Catholicism website is written by Scott P. Richert. I checked his credentials, and he has an impressive knowledge of the Catholic faith, both eastern and western rite. Good job, Scott!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
So good even the Pope uses it!
From Xt3 homepage: "We've got discussions, profile pages, global and friends' prayer walls, podcasts, diocesan homepages, events and projects. You can even ask a priest all those burning questions you have... so why not join now?"
Father Roderick of SQPN is excited about this website -- I understand that it is the largest Catholic networking site in the world. It was founded out of the Pope's World Youth Day in Sidney a couple of years ago. Looks like a lot of fun!
by Alan Schreck
Servant Books (St. Anthony Messenger Press)
This book is recommended by Scott Hahn for Catholics in order to understand their own faith better, and to be equipped to explain common misunderstandings about the Roman Catholic faith to their Protestant Christian friends.
The explanation of the Saints was very good. I'm going to order copies for myself, my RCIA team, and two friends who are returning Catholics.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
While the common good embraces all, those who are in greatest need deserve preferential concern. A moral test for society is how we treat the weakest among us – the unborn, those dealing with disabilities or terminal illness, the poor and marginalized. -- from the “Catholic Update” June 2008 Issue
“Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.” --Proverbs 16:8
This website has ideas for buying gifts made of recycled materials, ways to trim your tree and wrap your gifts that do not lead more junk in our landfills -- plan ahead now and have a wonderful, meaningful and socially responsible holiday season!
“He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.” --Psalm 146:7