Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bishop-elect Callahan a new Milwaukee auxiliary

From this mornings VIS feed: "Ha nominato il Padre William Patrick Callahan, O.F.M.Conv., Vescovo Ausiliare dell'Arcidiocesi di Milwaukee (superficie: 12.323; popolazione: 2.271.840; cattolici: 707.688; sacerdoti: 703; religiosi: 2.856; diaconi permanenti: 167), Stati Uniti d'America. Il Vescovo eletto è nato nel 1950 a Chicago (Stati Uniti d'America), ha emesso la prima professione nell'Ordine Francescano dei Frati Minori Conventuali ed ha ricevuto l'ordinazione sacerdotale nel 1977. È stato finora Direttore Spirituale al Pontificio Collegio Americano del Nord a Roma."

The gist is: Conventual Franciscan Father Patrick Callahan, a spiritual director at the North American College, has been named an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Father Callahan was the priest in charge of my corridor when I was a student at the NAC. I'm so happy for his appointment. He is an orthodox priest, formerly pastor of the magnificent St. Josaphat's Basilica in Milwaukee, where a revival in terms of liturgy and church renovation has occured. On top of his orthodoxy, I can attest to his friendly, affable nature. He is a people person, but one who has a deep spirituality and a developed prayer life -- excellent qualities in a bishop.

Congratulations to Milwaukee and to Bishop-elect Callahan!

Friday, October 26, 2007

'Bella' Mania

Many of you are probably already aware of the amazing pro-life movie that's going to hit selected theatres next weekend. The blogs seem to be heating up with pre-"Bella" coverage, most of it deservedly positive. I'll point you to AmericanPapist, who has an extensive listing of links and his own review.

Below I'm posting my own story, on Eduardo Verástegui's amazing conversion story, which I wrote after viewing the movie at a screening held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse last December. I have yet to review the movie, though, and with my tight time schedule, we'll probably end up publishing a CNS review. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the movie and its positive message immensely. Not only is the message right on and one society needs to hear, but the movie is uniquely produced, and is truly a work of art. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

I looked on the the official "Bella" website, and unfortunately the two closest theatres to La Crosse, Wis., will be ones in Des Moines, Iowa, and Minneapolis, Minn. Lucky you, if you're in the big cities. Make sure you go see it and invite your friends, too, so it spreads out to little towns like ours :-)

Actor’s metanoia leads to ‘Bella’
By Franz Klein
Staff Writer

LA CROSSE – It is said that God brings people into a person’s life to lead him or her toward Him. Hollywood actor Eduardo Verástegui says his English teacher Jasmine was such a person.
Together with producer Leo Severino, Verástegui was at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse on Dec. 12 to promote Metanoia Film’s first full-length feature, “Bella,” which is set to be released in April after winning the “People’s Choice” at the Toronto Film Festival in September.
Previous winners include “Chariots of Fire,” “Life is Beautiful” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Together with Severino and film writer Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, Verástegui founded Metanoia Films in 2004.

Rich on the outside, but poor inside

At 33 years of age, Verástegui – one of the “50 most beautiful people in the world” according to “People en Español” – has been described as a “Mexican Brad Pitt.”
The actor was first propelled to fame as a model for designers such as Calvin Klein and Versace in Mexico City before joining the Latino pop group Kairo. In 1997 Verástegui took to soap operas, finally making his way to Hollywood, where he was chosen as the lead character in the comedy “Chasing Papi” in 2003.
That movie, Verástegui told a rapt audience at the Shrine before they previewed an uncut version of “Bella,” was a total flop, and should have served as a wake-up call.
“Before I joined (Kairo), I thought I would be the happiest person in the world,” Verástegui said. “But I was just as empty as before – actually worse, since now I had tried it. I thought I needed more fame, more money, more pleasures. Everyone in my town was saying, ‘He’s so blessed.’ But inside I felt so poor.”
Certain that his key to happiness lay in Hollywood advancment, Verástegui remained in Los Angeles, where he took English lessons while awaiting a new role. He said these lessons helped him realize that he needed to change more than his acting role.
“Jasmine questioned me on so many things,” Verástegui said about his English tutor, whom he says God placed in his life. “She asked me why I was Catholic, and why I act. I could only understand 10 percent of what she was saying, but it was enough for me to realize I needed to change.”
Explaining that “metanoia” is a Greek word meaning “change,” Verástegui said, “I had my metanoia, and that’s why the name of our company is Metanoia Films.”

Executive at Fox
The metanoia that took place in Verástegui’s life was as radical as Metanoia Film’s mission, which the actor described as enteraining and inspiring people by “telling stories that touch people’s hearts and minds.”
In an interview with The Catholic Times, “Bella” producer Leo Severino said he first met Verástegui after his conversion, when the actor started attending the daily Mass that he frequented. A few years earlier, Severino had read himself back into the faith of his childhood through C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton and the Church Fathers.
As a law student at the University of Southern California, Severino had also begun to climb Hollywood’s corporate ladder. “During my first year of law school, I had a summer associate position” at Fox Networks, he said. “While I continued (to study), everyone there rose up. I became the company’s youngest executive.”
As they got to know each other, Severino said he and Verástegui realized their shared faith convictions gave them a common mission. “Some people in Hollywood want to do good things and uplift human dignity,” he said. “We looked at each other and asked, ‘Can we make films and be faithful?’”
As an executive for Fox Networks, Severino had the Hollywood connections to make a movie promoting human dignity. And, as an immensely popular musician and actor in Mexico, Verástegui had the fan base to make it a success. The only thing missing was a good, wholesome movie to make.

Screenwriter on the scene
Then Alejandro Gomez Monteverde entered upon the scene. Monteverde had become something of a legend at the University of Texas, where his films won numerous festivals. According to Severino, the story that was to become “Bella” came to Monteverde as he pulled out of another Hollywood film because of its moral content.
Soon the budding film writer encountered Severino and Verástegui. “When the three of us met, we knew the Lord had a mission for us,” Severino said. “It was unanimous that (Monteverde’s script) was the movie we would produce.”
According to Severino, the three entrepreneurs “left everything on a wing and prayer,” hired a staff and formed Metanoia Films within the month.
With Verástegui’s bank account dwindling, however, the three men knew they had to find funding. Severino said that they were granted an audience with Pope John Paul II in 2004. Within a week they received the necessary funding through a partnership with Sean and Eustace Wolfington, two Hollywood producers. “We started (filming) on the Feast of the Assumption,” Severino said.

“Bella” means “beautiful”
Earlier in the day on Dec. 12, Severino and Verástegui visited Aquinas High School in La Crosse, where they showed the movie trailer and spoke to students.
“We asked the kids how many films they watched,” Severino said. “I wonder how many of these films had good moral content. A movie either elevates human dignity or lowers it.”
But Severino said it’s not enough for a movie to promote good morals – he said it has to be high quality if it’s going to be a success and have a chance to reach a wide audience. Western civilization “used to produce masterpieces for the Lord,” he said, explaining that Metanoia Film’s goal is to portray the good, the true and the beautiful. “John Paul II said art and morality go hand in hand,” Severino said.
Severino is fully convinced that “Bella” is a masterpiece, and critics aren’t disagreeing. What was formerly an independent blip on the Hollywood radar screen is being penciled in by major distributors after the film won the “People’s Choice” Award at the Toronto Film Festival in September. “These films go on to win Oscars,” Severino said.

Ongoing metanoia
Verástegui said that, when he first underwent his conversion, he wanted to escape the world to become a monk. “But I was told by a priest not to run away,” he said. Referring to this priest’s directives to pray the rosary daily and frequent the sacraments, he said, “He gave me the tools I needed, so I decided to stay.”
Verástegui said his own metanoia continues even as he enters into people’s lives through “Bella,” in which he plays the leading role. “The whole mission is to share our life stories, especially with young people, and bring them closer to Chrsit – to get them excited about the faith and serving the Lord,” he said, adding that young Latinos in particular lack role models in the media.
“You don’t see Latinos in films as men of faith and integrity – as heros,” Verástegui said. “That’s why we opened Metanoia Films and produced ‘Bella.’ The Lord is calling us to use the most powerful means, the media, to serve Him.”
Verástegui added that visiting the Shrine in La Crosse was an especially powerful experience, since he had been at the Mexico City Shrine just days earlier. He explained that Archbishop Raymond Burke, who founded the La Crosse Shrine, had given him a copy of the “Nican Mopohua,” which recounts the apparition of Our Lady to St. Juan Diego.
“I read it while I was in Mexico City,” Verástegui said, adding that Our Lady of Guadalupe has become increasingly important to him. “Then I came and saw the church here and was amazed. I see here my purpose. I wasn’t born to be an actor or a producer. I was born to be a saint – to know, to love God. It’s so simple.”

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why I haven't been posting: Explained in 4,989 words!

Franz S. Klein
English 602
Professor Chris Buttram
25 October 2007

Theoretical and Practical Considerations in A Portrait and the first part of Ulysses


Examining Stephen as an aesthetic theoretician proves to provide an interesting journey through James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and the first part of Ulysses. Always a character of contradictions, Stephen is no less so as a theoretician. Taking Thomas Aquinas as his philosophical base in A Portrait, Stephen tells his companion Lynch: “So far as this side of esthetic philosophy extends Aquinas will carry me all along the line” (477).
Whether Aquinas truly carries Stephen “all along the line” will be the central question addressed in this paper. The examination of the phrase pulchra sunt quae visa placent, and, later, the three requisites for beauty (integritas, consonantia and claritas) show Stephen’s actual knowledge of Aquinas was quite flawed. Since a careful consideration of Aquinas’ philosophy and Stephen’s theory demonstrates this deficiency, it will also be fruitful to examine Stephen’s theory in practice – in his own aesthetic experiences in A Portrait and, later, in Ulysses. Looking at these textual instances that contradict his own theory, it becomes possible to see Stephen as a flawed aesthetic theoretician, just as he is a flawed character in other ways. Examined lastly will be whether Joyce’s own break with the conventional moral order, the Jesuits, and the Church had anything to do with Stephen’s aesthetic shortcomings.

Pulchra sunt quae visa placent

Stephen is far from hesitant in expounding upon aesthetics. His conversation with Lynch follows their escape from a game of ball with Cranly and Davin. “Let us eke go, as Cranly has it” (470), Lynch says. Immediately and uninvited, Stephen begins boldly: “Aristotle has not defined pity and terror. I have. I say…” (Ibid.). Overcoming Lynch’s objections, Stephen persists in explaining his theory of kinetic versus static aesthetics:
"Beauty expressed by the artist cannot awaken in us an emotion which is kinetic or a sensation which is purely physical. It awakens, or ought to awaken, or induces, or ought to induce, an esthetic stasis, an ideal pity or an ideal terror, a stasis called forth, prolonged and at last dissolved by what I call the rhythm of beauty" (473).
Here – now at an intrigued Lynch’s request – Stephen defines art as “a human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end” (474). Stephen is asserting that beauty does not excite the emotions, but awakens the intellect. As will become clearer as this paper proceeds, Stephen’s entire aesthetic theory stands upon this statement.
To anchor his theory, Stephen relies directly on Aquinas for the first time: “Aquinas, said Stephen, says that is beautiful the apprehension of which pleases… Pulcra (sic) sunt quae visa placent” (474). Stephen’s “first principal” – actually put in Lynch’s mouth here – come from Thomas Aquinas’ major work, the Summa Theologiae. Within his discussion of goodness in general (De bono in communi), Aquinas writes: “Beauty, however, depends on the cognitive faculty: for things are called beautiful which are pleasing when seen” (26).[1] Aquinas addresses beauty and its visual apprehension while responding to an objection that, since goodness is praised as beauty and beauty is related to formal causality (an aspect of the thing), the goodness of a thing must also be related to formal causality, not to the more important final causality (why the thing is what it is). On the contrary, Aquinas argues that beauty and goodness are fundamentally identical and yet logically distinct (beauty is considered a formal cause while goodness is the final cause), since goodness relates to all a person’s desires, while beauty relates only to things that a person senses and processes cognitively.
According to Stephen, Aquinas’ use of the plural noun visa (seen things) covers:
"…[E]sthetic apprehensions of all kinds, whether through sight or hearing or through any other avenue of apprehension. This word, though it is vague, is clear enough to keep away good and evil which excite desire and loathing. It means certainly a stasis and not a kinesis" (474).
Here, immediately, Stephen stumbles in his understanding of Aquinas, for whom beauty and goodness, remember, are logically identical. As Aquinas puts it: “A beautiful thing and a good thing are the same in subject” (26).[2] For Aquinas, things perceived by the senses and apprehended as beautiful by the cognitive faculty are, like anything else, good to greater or lesser degree: “Every being which is not God is a creature of God. But ‘every creature of God is good,’ as it is said in the First Letter to Timothy 4:4: God truly is the maximal good. Therefore, every being is good” (25).[3] Thus, goodness for Aquinas is something that God has and that created beings share in and desire to grow in. As Brian Davies, O.P, puts it: “…[G]oodness is what is aimed at or sought… good things are things which are wanted or attractive… a good X is an X which has whatever features are desirable in that kind of thing” (85).
While Stephen clearly admits he will make a break with Aquinas, he means for this break to come later, in regard to the manifold apprehension of beauty by “…[t]he Greek, the Turk, the Chinese, the Copt, the Hottentot,” who “all admire a different type of female beauty” (475). Aquinas would attribute these differences to the reproductive drive; but, for Stephen, Aquinas’ attribution “leads to eugenics rather than to esthetic” (Ibid.). Since his differences with Aquinas are not with perception of art but its conception, it seems that Stephen understands his stark disjunction between beauty and goodness to be within the bounds of scholastic philosophy. But as William T. Noon, S.J., has noted: “Joyce was not a professional philosopher. He was a much dedicated, gifted, and hard-working artist who took what was at hand, as often as not in secondary sources, all that was in the air where he was, in his own and if it suited him even in his younger brother’s early notebooks, all that he wanted” (355).
For Stephen in The Portrait, the complete interchangeability of aesthetic beauty and aesthetic truth calls for a truce between him and the “crude grey light, mirrored in the sluggish water, and a smell of wet branches over their heads…” (473). Remember that Joyce describes these very elements as seeming to “war against the course of Stephen’s thought” (Ibid.). But now the very truth of the adjectives “crude,” “sluggish” and “wet” transforms the ordinariness of Stephen and Lynch’s surroundings into something good and a beautiful work of art. On the other hand, however, Lynch’s failure to understand how Stephen artistically transformed their environment is illustrated through their diverse reactions to a passing dray during their conversation. When the dray appears, “covering the end of Stephen’s speech with the harsh roar of jangled and rattling metal,” “Lynch closed his ears and gave out oath after oath till the dray had passed” (476). But for Joyce ad extra writing A Portrait, the dray was part of his artistic creation of a scene of true Dublin: Its very correspondence with the true engenders its goodness, its beauty. Thus Joyce ad intra as Stephen recognizes and accepts the dray, and simply “turned also and waited for a few moments till his companion’s illhumour had had its vent” (Ibid.).
The most ordinary things become extraordinary in Ulysses, too, where ugliness made “beautiful” abounds. Buck Mulligan, whose character is variously described as having a “shaking, gurgling face” and a “plump shadowed face and sullen jowl” (3), takes on a sacred role in his mockery of the Mass. The extraordinary beauty of the Catholic Mass is transferred to the ordinariness of the apartment Stephen shares with his companions. A bowl of lather becomes a sacred censer, and Mulligan its bearer. The whole first chapter, really, is a continuation of Mulligan’s mockery: Introibo ad altare Dei[4] (Ibid.) were the sung words that accompanied the priest up the aisle as Mass started. When Mulligan asks Stephen, “Did you bring the key?” (15), Stephen presents it just as an altarboy would present the key to the tabernacle on the altar containing the Sacred Hosts. Having the key, Mulligan “slung his towel stolewise round his neck,” and speaks of a “sacred pint” (Ibid.,) much as a priest would consume the Blood of Christ from the sacred chalice. And with the key, Mulligan and Stephen leave the mockery of the Mass “sanctified,” just as the hosts would be at a real Mass. Described in all their ordinariness and ugliness, these two young men leave their tabernacle[5] and enter into the dirtiness of Dublin.

Integritas, Consonantia and Claritas

In A Portrait, even as Stephen breaks – intentionally or unintentionally – with Aquinas in regard to the relationship between the transcendentals of truth, beauty and goodness, he continues to draw material from him to further define beauty. Continuing his conversation with Lynch, he lays out three “phases” for the apprehension of beauty: “Aquinas says: ad pulcritudinem [sic] tria requiruntur, integritas, consonantia, claritas. I translate it so: Three things are needed for beauty, wholeness, harmony and radiance. Do these correspond to the phases of apprehension? Are you following?” (479). Looking to a butcher boy’s basket, Stephen illustrates integritas as “selfbounded and self-contained… You apprehend it as one thing… You apprehend its wholeness” (479-80). Consonantia, he continues, is the secondary apprehension of a thing “as complex, multiple, divisible, separable, made up of its parts, the result of its parts and their sum, harmonious” (480). Finally, claritas is related to “the scholastic quidditas, the whatness of a thing. This supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination” (480-81), he tells Lynch.
The quotation Stephen borrows comes from Aquinas’ description of the essential relation between the Persons of the Holy Trinity (De personis ad essentiam relatis). Reflecting on how human beings can come to know a God who is totally transcendental, Aquinas is asking whether the early Church fathers appropriately described the Persons of the Holy Trinity. Responding affirmatively, Aquinas says: “It is fitting that one first considers God according to the mode which He assumed from creatures (193).[6] Since the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son, took flesh and became a man (the “mode” apprehensible to the senses), Aquinas says the fathers related beauty (which is sensual) to Jesus Christ. In this context Aquinas provides the quotation used by Stephen: “For three things are required for beauty: First, integrity or perfection, since those things which are made lesser are ugly. Then there is due proportion or harmony. And lastly radiance: Whence those things which have a bright color are said to be beautiful” (Ibid.).[7]
In his foundational book Joyce and Aquinas, William T. Noon, S.J., asserts that Stephen here confuses the ontological and psychological aspects of beauty. Noon writes: “The integritas, consonantia, and claritas (of which Stephen speaks in Aquinas’ name) are conceived by Aquinas as qualities of things which the mind comes to know, not as ‘stages’ in the mind’s own act of knowing” (22). Noon points out that the description of beauty which Stephen borrows is found in an ontological context, regarding God’s being: God is beautiful – transcendentally speaking, He is beauty itself and the source of all beauty. On the other hand, Stephen is speaking of artistic beauty as understood psychologically by the viewer – as something sensibly apprehended and understood in stages. While he admits that these three qualities have a certain priority, Noon says that priority is ontological, not psychological – and therefore not sequential:
"Stephen interprets this ontological priority as though it were a question of temporal sequence. But ontological and temporal priority are not the same thing: one must have light before the act of vision can take place, but the light does not come first and then the act of vision. Granted that there is light, one sees both the light and the object which the light illuminates not in stages but simultaneously" (46).
As an ontological characteristic of a thing, beauty rests not in the “eye of the beholder,” but in the beholden object. Thus does Stephen’s placement of art and perception over beauty ring hollow, since a thing is beautiful even before its perception as such. As Noon puts it: “Stephen confuses, it would seem, the Scholastic analysis of the act of apprehension with this act itself” (45).
Given that Stephen misunderstands – intentionally or unintentionally – the qualities of integritas, consonantia, and claritas, Noon is not surprised to find that he misuses them as well. Unlike Stephen’s “wholeness,” Noon notes that Aquinas pairs integritas with perfectio, meaning “the completeness or perfection which a being possesses when it is all that it ought to be” (47). While Stephen’s consonantia is static (thus supporting his theory of static aesthetics), Aquinas “pays more attention to it as a dynamic principle of order operative throughout all reality” (48).[8] More difficult than integritas and consonantia, Noon believes Stephen – or Joyce – understood claritas to be identical with quidditas through the influence of the Jesuit philosopher Suarez: “Aquinas, to be sure, considers quidditas in the existential order when he talks about existent things, but even in this existential order the existent quidditas is conceived of as the nature of a thing, or the principle of operation which the thing possesses in virtue of its ‘substantial’ form” (50). In other words, quidditas does not make something different from other things, but underlies what a thing is. Claritas, on the other hand, can be had to a greater or lesser degree.

Textual Contradictions

A new vein of scholarship is asking whether Stephen’s failure as a theorist was intentional on Joyce’s part. Admitting Stephen’s theoretical shortcomings as pointed out by Noon and others, Cordell D.K. Yee writes: “His failings as a theorist are as great as, if not greater than, his failings as an artist” (68). According to Yee, Stephen’s first error was choosing Aquinas’ philosophy for his theoretical foundation, since he never wrote a tract on art. Yee argues that Joyce was aware of this and had Stephen deliberately misuse Aquinas. Not only did Stephen misuse Aquinas, Yee writes, his argument’s long-windedness and contrived nature in A Portrait additionally mar it. Thus Yee posits: “If Stephen’s theory is not actually a theory, then it must be something else” (69). While Yee analyzes Stephen’s theory through various theoretical lenses, it might be helpful here examine key textual inconsistencies in both A Portrait and Ulysses.
In A Portrait, the “bird girl” scene immediately precedes the fifth chapter and Stephen’s aesthetic theorizing. Here Stephen is described as “alone” (433), precisely in the condition Joyce expressed as being necessary for an artist. Alone and at the beach, Stephen beholds the bird girl:
"A girl stood before him in midstream, alone and still, gazing out to sea. She seemed like one whom magic had changed into the likeness of a strange and beautiful seabird. Her long slender bare legs were delicate as a crane’s and pure save where an emerald trail of seaweed had fashioned itself as a sign upon her flesh. Her thighs, fuller and softer than ivory, were bared almost to the hips where the white fringes of her drawers were like featherings of soft white down… But her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face" (Ibid.)"
Stephen sees the bird girl as art in context: He beholds integritas in the wholeness of her body, consonantia in its fitted parts, and claritas in her girlish humanity. But his reaction is to cry “Heavenly God!” (434). Then “[h]is cheeks were aflame; his body was aglow; his limbs were trembling. On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him” (Ibid.). Even if his reaction is not specifically sexual, his flaming cheeks, glowing body and trembling limbs connote a kinetic reaction. It seems that Stephen’s own actions contradict his ethereal vision of static art.
Stephen’s contradiction of his own theory continues in Ulysses, once again as he is walking on a beach, in the third chapter. Unlike the feelings aroused by the bird woman, however, Stephen’s feelings here are of loneliness. He is observing the cocklepickers as they leave, and notices the wife of one of them:
"With woman steps she followed… Spoils slung at her back. Loose sand and shellgrit crusted her bare feet. About her windraw face hair trailed… When night hides her body’s flaws calling under her brown shawl from an archway where dogs have mired…Buss her, wap in rogues’ rum lingo, foro, O, my dimber wapping dell! A shefiend’s whiteness under her rancid rags" (39).
Certainly no bird girl, the cocklepicker’s wife’s femininity, and the fact the woman’s husband – and others – enjoy it while Stephen doesn’t, still causes his lonely sexual drive to war against his theory of “applied” Aquinas: “Morose delectation Aquinas tunbelly calls this, frate porcospino” (Ibid.), he thinks bitterly.[9] Excusing himself thus, on account of Aquinas’ alleged rotundity, Stephen engages the “[i]neluctable modality of the visible” (31). He looks through and past the woman’s imperfections and finds beauty in her, and in this beauty is her truth and goodness: “Touch me. Soft eyes. Soft soft soft hand. I am lonely here. O, touch me soon, now. What is that word known to all men? I am quiet here alone. Sad too. Touch me, touch me” (41). Thus moved – kinetically – Stephen creates his art in contradiction to his own theory: “Turning his back to the sun he bent over far to a table of rock and scribbled words” (40).

Breaking from the Conventional Moral Order

Given his desire to show how the ordinariness, ugliness and even badness of Dublin could be aesthetically beautiful, it is highly likely that Joyce had reason for redefining the relationship between beauty and goodness. Returning to A Portrait, Stephen in conversation with Lynch notes that good and evil “…excite desire and loathing” (474), while “[b]eauty expressed by the artist cannot awaken in us an emotion which is kinetic…” (472). But Haskell M. Block also points out Joyce’s perceived need for complete artistic freedom: “The artistic temper, he felt, must be exercised in an atmosphere of complete freedom, and the artist as a creative agent is subject only to the laws of his art” (179-80). For Joyce as Stephen, the end result of this stark separation of beauty and goodness results in his autobiographical exodus and the famous non serviam of A Portrait:
"I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile and cunning" (519).
Thus, while Stephen’s non serviam seems innocuous when understood as separating beauty from goodness, it has real consequences when applied to church and state, normally the upholders of societal morals. Yet Stephen believes he is simply following Aquinas to his logical conclusion. Since both the Church and Stephen are relying on Aquinas, somebody has it wrong.
But according to Richard Ellmann in James Joyce, Joyce as an author and artist probably didn’t mean so much to separate beauty and goodness aesthetically speaking as morally speaking. Ellmann says Stephen’s argument isn’t intended to make art immoral or amoral; rather, it seeks to “…transcend conventional morality that it is better able to recognize the good as a by-product of the pursuit of the true and the beautiful” (190). Adding that this is “his only concession to the ethical aspect of art,” Ellmann restates Joyce’s reasoning: [S]ince the good is what is desirable, and since the true and the beautiful are most persistently desired, then the true and the beautiful must be good” (Ibid.). So, for Joyce-Stephen, no longer do truth and goodness engender beauty; rather, the artist’s own search for truth and beauty, in a sense, engenders goodness.
Stephen’s apprehension of goodness in Ulysses, therefore, has less to do with grace received from the Church and more to do with what humanity already has just as it is. Ineluctably pondering a previous conversation with Uncle Richie towards the beginning of chapter three, Stephen listens to the bars of Ferrando’s aria di sortita. With the music, Stephen’s mind wanders to the Mass: “A choir gives back menace and echo, assisting about the altar’s horns, the snorted Latin of jackpriests moving burly in their albs, tonsured and oiled and gelded, fat with the fat of kidneys of wheat” (33). Then his uncle torments him: “Cousin Stephen, you will never be a saint…” (34). Failing to find goodness there and deciding against going to his uncle’s, Stephen turns to the beach, where he encounters the “bloated carcass of a dog” (37). In this dog, too, Stephen sees a beach “heavy with the past” (Ibid.), bloated like the priests from his previous musings. For Stephen, goodness does not come from the past, but from the “live dog, gr[owing] into sight running across the sand” (Ibid.). Following the live dog with his eyes, he apprehends a woman and a man: He “see[s] her skirties” (38), he desires, and he thus he finds his object of goodness.
Even with Ellmann’s distinction and evidence in Ulysses that Joyce intended for an artist’s search for beauty and truth to engender goodness, that Joyce intended to break with the conventional moral order is clear, even if he didn’t feel he was breaking with Aquinas’ aesthetics. The journey of Stephen’s eyes from the dead dog to the living dog to a woman’s “skirties” certainly breaks from the search for goodness as the Church understands it. Similarly, for Stephen in A Portrait, the conventional moral order expressed by the Church takes person in the Jesuit dean he encounters in the physics classroom. It is in the context of their conversation on art that Stephen first quotes Aquinas’ famous line: Pulcra [sic] sunt quae visa placent. Like Stephen, the dean is an artist and a creator: “There is an art in lighting a fire” (448), he tells Stephen.
But as Stephen observes the dean about his craft, he thinks how his “very soul had waxed old in that service without growing toward light and beauty” (Ibid.). His eyes are “loveless,” and while he was lame like Ignatius, “in his eyes burned no spark of Ignatius’ enthusiasm” (449). Although the dean practices “a craft subtler and more secret than its fabled books of secret wisdom,” he did so “without joy in their handling” (450). As they conclude their conversation and the dean begins to greet the class,
"A desolating pity began to fall like dew upon his easily embittered heart for this faithful servingman of the knightly Loyola, for this halfbrother of the clergy, more venal than they in speech, more steadfast of soul than they, one whom he would never call his ghostly father: and he thought how this man and his companions had earned the name of worldlings at the hands not of the unworldly but of the worldly also for having pleaded, during all their history, at the bar of God’s justice for the souls of the lax and the lukewarm and the prudent" (454-55).
Here Stephen’s indictment is not of the dean’s craft; after all, in his thoughts he praises “Ignatius’ enthusiasm” (449). But doesn’t find the requisite enthusiasm in the dean. In him, Stephen sees a lack of enthusiasm; furthermore, he sees a lack of the artistic drive in all those serving “as the founder would have had him, like a staff in an old man’s hand, to be left in a corner, to be leaned on in the road at nightfall or in the stress of the weather, to lie with a lady’s nosegay on a garden seat, to be raised in menace” (450). In pleading “at the bar of God’s justice,” they have in Stephen’s eyes lost their apostolic artistry and become servingmen. Thus does Stephen the artist soon-to-be-free pity the dean as he goes about his craft.
Stephen’s rift with the Church continues in the opening chapter of Ulysses, where “[s]tately, plump Buck Mulligan” (3) begins with a mockery of the Mass. Always an observer, Stephen exits with Mulligan after the latter’s “Mass” for the creek, where his companion prepares for a bath while Stephen hesitates, afraid of the water. Just as infant baptisms would normally follow Mass, so too does Mulligan’s plunge; Stephen’s hesitation has to do with that sacrament: “I’m going, Mulligan, he said” (19).[10] Furthermore, as Stephen walks away, he is reflecting on the Liliata rutilantium, which was sung at his mother’s deathbed where he had refused to kneel. Lastly, among the “baptized” bathers, Stephen recognizes a “priest’s grey nimbus in a niche where he dressed discreetly” (Ibid.). According to Richard Ellmann in Ulysses on the Liffey, this priest’s hiddeness “display[ed] sanctified prudery, the opposite of Christ’s wholehearted offer of his body in the chalice” (10). Just as the Jesuit dean had lost Ignatius’ spirit, so this priest fails to live up to Christ, Stephen seems to reason. He concludes regarding the Church: “I will not sleep here tonight. Home also I cannot go” (Ibid.).
In constructing their Joyce biographies, most scholars accept that he once considered joining the Society of Jesus, the religious order that sponsored the most influential portion of the young man’s education, and perhaps even received an invitation from them. But J. Mitchell Morse notes that Joyce’s break with his precept-laden Catholic faith had much to do with his growing disillusionment with the Jesuits. Commenting on the Portrait scene, Morse writes: “As Joyce matured he found it increasingly difficult to admire his teachers, who lived under such discipline, for it seemed to him that by mortifying their wills they degraded or destroyed their souls” (1020). Morse points to “moral passivity” and “disavowal of personal responsibility” as being especially abhorrent to Joyce as an artist:
"The Jesuits’ freedom from self, so deceptively similar to the artist’s ideal freedom from personal involvement with the ideas and other materials he uses, inevitably appealed to the unformed artist; but since it is not at all the same thing as that freedom, he inevitably came to the appalling realization that for him at least it would be disastrous. It appealed also because it presented an alternative of order to the disorder of the child’s home; for the artist, however, order must come from within, and is not to be confused with suppression of the will or abdication of the mind" (Ibid.).
Joyce’s break was not just with the Jesuits, as is seen symbolically in the Ulysses passage just analyzed, but also with the Catholic faith the Jesuits stood for. Even as a lay Catholic, Joyce would have been bound by an exterior authority, and by the prudishness that his character Stephen Dedalus observed in the dressing priest, which asserted the authority to judge a person’s moral goodness. Such a proposition was as unacceptable for Joyce the artist as it was for Stephen the artist.


With Stephen having been traced herein as an aesthetic theoretician through his own theory and his experiences in A Portrait and the first part of Ulysses, a number of observations can now be made. First of all, it seems Joyce fully intended for Stephen to separate out moral goodness from the goodness his own theory espoused. As Joyce understands it, Stephen’s and his own artistic journeys demanded a complete and unconditional freedom from the constraints of the conventional moral order. An examination of Aquinas’ own understanding of beauty, however, indicates that a break with true scholasticism came earlier than Stephen intended, with this very necessary redefinition of the relationship between goodness and beauty. Aquinas, unfortunately, does not carry Stephen “all along the line.” The idea that beauty engenders truth and goodness rather than being paired with truth and goodness as transcendentals is as incompatible with Aquinas as it is with the Church Stephen came to abhor.
Still, Stephen’s very human clinging to the kinetic elements of aesthetics despite his disavowal shows his movement to a “higher” aesthetic might not have been so complete as he intended. Textual contradictions from both A Portrait and Ulysses show a sexually tormented Stephen, who remains at war with himself over the creation of an interior stasis. To paraphrase one scholar cited herein, Stephen’s failure as an aesthetic theoretician is but one of many flaws of his character. Whether Joyce intended for Stephen’s aesthetic failure seems as fair a question now as whether he intended for Stephen to be a failure as a character.

Works Cited

Block, Haskell M. “The Critical Theory of James Joyce.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. 8:3 (Mar., 1950). 172-184.

Davies, O.P., Brian. The Thought of Thomas Aquinas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

de Aquino, Thoma. Summa Theologiae. Ed. Innocentio Colosio, O.P., et al. Torino: San Paolo, 1988.

Ellmann, Richard. James Joyce. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. In The Portable James Joyce. Ed. Harry Levin. New York: Penguin, 1976.

Joyce, James. Ulysses. Eds. Hans Walter Gabler et al. New York: Random House, 1986.

Morse, J. Mitchell. “The Disobedient Artist: Joyce and Loyola.” PMLA. 72:5 (Dec., 1957). 1018-1035.

Noon, S.J., William T. “James Joyce: An Unfact. PMLA. 79:3 (Jun., 1964). 355.

Noon, S.J., William T. Joyce and Aquinas. New Haven: Archon, 1970.

Yee, Cordell D. K. “The Aesthetics of Stephen’s Aesthetics.” Critical Essays on James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Eds. Philip Brady and James F. Carens. New York: G. K. Hall, 1998.

[1] “Pulchrum autem respicit vim cognoscitivam: pulchra enim dicuntur quae visa placent” (I, qu. 5 art. 4, ad 1). All translations are mine.
[2] “…[P]ulchrum et bonum in subiecto quidem sunt idem…“ (I, qu. 5 art. 4, ad 1).
[3] “…[O]mne ens quod non est Deus, est Dei creatura. Sed omnis creatura Dei est bona, ut dicitur I ad Tim. 4, [4]: Deus vero est maxime bonus. Ergo omne ens est bonum” (I, qu. 5 art. 3, sed contra).
[4] “I shall go up to the altar of the Lord.”
[5] The Latin word tabernaculum literally means “tent” or “dwelling.”
[6] “…[O]portet quod Deum consideret secundum modum quem ex creaturis assumit” (I, qu. 39 art. 8, respondeo).
[7] “Nam ad pulchritudinem tria requiruntur. Primo quidem, integritas sive perfectio: quae enim diminuta sunt, hoc ipso turpia sunt. Et debita proportio sive consonantia. Et iterum claritas: unde quae habent colorem nitidum, pulchra esse dicuntur” (Ibid.).
[8] In another place, Noon demonstrates that Aquinas views beauty as less static and more kinetic. Noting that the apprehension of beauty is an intellective act, he writes: “The most supremely intellective act of which Thomas can conceive is the Beatific Vision, which as he thinks of it is a highly kinetic and has an abundant resonance in the affective nature” (39).
[9] “Tunbelly” (potbelly) and “porcospino” (Italian for porcupine, thus round like a porcupine) are references to Aquinas’ reported rotundity. Stephen is arguing that it is fine for him to indulge his sexual appetite if Aquinas indulged his appetite for food.
[10] Baptism, of course, leads to entry into the Church and to allegiance to her tenets – something Stephen strenuously rejected with his non serviam.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some backbone in the Twin Cities

Catholic Father and Lesbian Daughter Banned from Speaking at St Francis Cabrini Parish by Archdiocese!

The Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis has banned an 82-year-old “cradle Catholic” and his daughter from speaking at a Catholic parish.Robert and Carol Curoe, co-authors of the recently released book Are There Closets in Heaven? A Catholic Father and Lesbian Daughter Share Their Story, were to speak Monday at St. Frances Cabrini Church in an event organized by the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) and Catholic Rainbow Parents.Yet according to Michael Bayly, executive coordinator of CPCSM, the church was informed that due to “the number and intensity” of calls and e-mails received by the Archdiocese opposing the event, it could not be held on church property.“The Archdiocese’s decision to ban the Curoes is very sad and misguided.” Bayly said.The Curoes have been engaged in a book speaking tour of the Midwest for the last month, speaking at a range of venues and receiving overwhelmingly positive responses to their story.Their book has been described as “a testimony to the power that faith and love can play in bringing families together.”Retired Catholic bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit has endorsed the book, noting that father and daughter’s “willingness to share their journey will help break down many barriers of prejudice and discrimination facing the homosexual community.”Carol states: “Obviously, we’re disappointed, and we are still trying to understand it. Our book, Are There Closets in Heaven? talks about an 82 year-old, life-long Catholic father trying to understand and practice his faith within his Church while also loving his daughter as he does her siblings. Neither our journey, nor writing the book, was an easy task.”Despite the banning of the Curoes’ speaking engagement at St. Frances Cabrini, Monday’s event will still take place.“This whole incident has reaffirmed our commitment to help build spaces of safety and respect within the Church for gay people,” says Bayly.One of these spaces is a recently established center called The House of the Beloved Disciple, located at 2930 13th Ave. S., Minneapolis, in the building that is also home of Spirit of the Lakes United Church of Christ. The Curoes will speak at The House of the Beloved Disciple on Monday, October 22, at 8:00 p.m.“I hope this unfortunate event does not mean that CPCSM’s days of being welcomed to host educational and story sharing events in Catholic parishes are over,” said Bayly. “Though disappointing, the banning of the Curoes is not altogether surprising – especially given the climate of fear and intimidation that has steadily increased throughout the Church over the past few years.”“CPCSM has been around for 27 years, and has always been a grassroots and independent organization within the local Catholic community. It's clear that our sharing of Jesus’ message of compassion and justice is now needed more than ever within the Church,” Bayly said. The Wild Reed

Friday, October 19, 2007

Yesterday's front page

Only a day late, here's the front page of the October 18, 2007, Catholic Times. It's a large issue, with mission coverage inside. The Diocese of La Crosse has always had a strong missionary outreach, evidenced by an orphanage in Peru -- Casa Hogar -- and a parish in Bolivia -- Santa Cruz -- which are staffed by our priests and run largely with diocesan money. This year's mission coverage includes the first winners of a new award: The Monsignor Wagener Award for Missions. He was a pretty intriguing priest, and a big reason La Crosse is so strong in supporting the missions, as I found out when I researched him. I've pasted the article below.

Monsignor Wagener’s missionary spirit to live on in new award
By Franz Klein
Staff Writer

LA CROSSE – It has been said that the late Monsignor Anthony P. Wagener was not a man to compromise. He didn’t compromise in living his priesthood, and he didn’t compromise in his defense of life. Neither did he compromise when it came to supporting the missions.
For this reason, said Father Roger Scheckel, current director of the diocesan Office of Missions and the local chapter of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the diocesan priest who died in 1994 is the namesake of the new, annual Monsignor Anthony P. Wagener Award for Missions.
The first individual and institutional awards were given out Oct. 1 during a special luncheon at Blessed Sacrament Parish in La Crosse. The event took place in a recently dedicated pastoral center that also bears the name of the longtime Blessed Sacrament pastor.
Eulogizing Monsignor Wagener after his death in 1994, Monsignor Bernard McGarty called Father Joseph Walijewski Monsignor Wagener’s “alter ego in Peru’s barrios.” The flipside of the same coin, Monsignor Wagener was the engine that drove the missions here in the “campos” of La Crosse.
“He and Father Walijewski were the great collaborators in the missions,” explained Father Scheckel, recalling how he once complimented a brief, impassioned speech Monsignor Wagener had given to the parish PCCW in the presence of Father Walijewski. “It’s Joe Walijewski,” Monsignor Wagener had replied. “I’m always inspired when he’s here.”
Noting the number of estates the Mission Office is currently receiving from people who knew Monsignor Wagener, Father Scheckel said it was the intrepid, firm pastor who “was able to instill throughout the diocese a missionary consciousness that has born the fruit of people remembering the missions.”
“Somebody plowed that field, and it was Monsignor Wagner,” Father Scheckel said.
In 1947, Bishop John P. Treacy appointed Monsignor Wagener director of the office Father Scheckel now heads, which is responsible for the diocese’s missionary outreach. When Bishop Treacy begrudgingly released Father Walijewski to service in Bolivia soon thereafter, the bishop told him he wouldn’t be receiving a priest’s salary.
It was then-Father Wagener who prevailed upon the bishop to allow Father Walijewski to begin taking up Lenten Mite Box collections, a practice that continues to this day.
Responsible for the early development of the diocese’s missionary outreach, Monsignor Wagener continued his efforts afterwards as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, where he was assigned in 1967. Even after Monsignor Wagener’s death, the La Crosse parish served as Father Walijewski’s base of operations in the diocese.
Speaking about Monsignor Wagener at the awards luncheon, Dave Reinders reflected on how many people the priest had inspired. “I know how perfectly he loved the missions and believed in giving to the missions,” he said in his remarks.
Reinders first came to know Monsignor Wagener several years before he was assigned to Blessed Sacrament, when the priest was building Roncalli Newman Center, the edifice that houses Catholic outreach to the students of what is now the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He and Mary Jo Reinders – currently Father Scheckel’s secretary in the Mission Office – were one of six couples for whom the monsignor played matchmaker while at the college.
He recalled how Monsignor Wagener had gotten him a job at Aquinas High School. “One day I was with monsignor and was lamenting how hard it was,” he said. “I had five days left until the end of the month and I had $10. I guess I was looking for a little sympathy. But monsignor said, ‘Get out the $10 and give it to the missions.’ I told him, ‘Monsignor, I can’t do that.’ He said, ‘That’s because you don’t have enough faith.’”
While Reinders kept his $10 that day, he said Monsignor Wagener wouldn’t have. At the end of every month, he related, the priest gave any balance in his checkbook above $1,000 to the missions. “So that’s the way he lived his life,” Reinders said.
Some members of Monsignor Wagener’s family were also among the approximately 110 people who gathered Oct. 1. A niece, Sister Judy Wagener, SSND, spoke fondly about her uncle.
Also offering a few words was the priest’s only living brother, Lars Wagener, who came all the way from Louisiana. “I want to say how proud I am of him and his memory,” he said.
Although he has passed away, another Wagener sibling, Conventual Franciscan Brother Aloysius Wagener, was a big part of Monsignor Wagener’s support for the missions, according to Father Scheckel.
Serving in Zambia while Monsignor Wagener was pastor at Blessed Sacrament, Father Scheckel said Brother Aloysius would send native artifacts to his brother, which the priest would pass on to the parish households most generous to the missions.
“There are probably no less than 30 or 40 homes around Blessed Sacrament that have a carved figure in them,” Father Scheckel said.
“I really found his giving to be a profound witness,” added Father Scheckel, who, in addition to his duties in the Mission Office, is pastor of St. James the Less, La Crosse. “He always taught me, ‘Father, when you run a parish someday, if your parishioners are generous to the missions, you will have no problem with your own finances.’”
“That’s been true for me here at St. James.” Father Scheckel added.

Finally, something closer to home!

Mass using Roman Missal of 1962: Plans for celebration in Madison
By Jacek Cianciara

(See also front-page sidebar: Bishop to celebrate Missa Pontificalis.)

MADISON -- Earlier this year, in the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, Benedict XVI allowed for a broader use of the Roman Missal of 1962, the Mass missal revised by Blessed John XXIII.
The pope emphasized that the teachings of Vatican II must be interpreted in light of Catholic tradition within the continuity of magisterial teachings.
The Holy Father expressed hope that a broader use of the Missal of 1962, the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, would encourage "interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church" and would restore a more reverent approach to the ordinary form of the rite, celebrated according to the current missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino, in his comments on the apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum (Catholic Herald, July 19, 2007), announced that he intends to celebrate Mass according to the missal of Blessed John XXIII, also known as the Roman Missal of 1962, as a "joyful act of obedience to the motu proprio of Pope Benedict and grateful to be freed from the limitation of his own judgment."
The bishop also pointed out that "every celebration, either in the ordinary form or the extraordinary form, will express the reverence proper to the truth that this celebration unites earth to heaven and joins us here in the Diocese of Madison with the great assembly of angels and saints."
Even before Summorum Pontificum was issued, a number of Catholics representing various parishes in the Diocese of Madison met to ascertain how Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 could be sanctioned in the Diocese of Madison, under the provisions of the apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei of 1988.
After several meetings and consultation with Bishop Morlino, a society in the Diocese of Madison was formally established on August 30, 2007. The purpose of the society is to facilitate the initial celebration of the Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962 in the Diocese of Madison.
In addition, the society will provide ongoing support for the weekly regular celebration of the Mass and assist in providing full catechesis with regard to the liturgy based on the Roman Missal of 1962.
The next meeting of the society will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Holy Redeemer Church, 120 W Johnson St., Madison. At the meeting, additional information about the society and its various activities, including plans for the Mass of Blessed John XXIII in the Diocese of Madison, will be provided.
All individuals and families interested in Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, also known as the Roman Missal of 1962, including Gregorian chant, are invited to participate in the meeting and to join the society. For more information, call Duane Zinkel at 608-238-4420.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Cardinals ... Where's Wuerl???

As Rocco astutely predicted, the pope announced the creation of new cardinals at today's General Audience. I missed the excitment by two weeks, apparently. In any case, the Italian version of the list is already up on the Vatican's Web page:

Al termine dell'Udienza Generale di oggi, il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha annunciato per il prossimo 24 novembre un Concistoro nel quale proceder alla nomina di alcuni nuovi Cardinali.
Queste le parole del Papa:
[...]Ecco i loro nomi:
1. Mons. Leonardo Sandri, Prefetto della Congregazione per le Chiese Orientali;
2. Mons. John Patrick Foley, Pro-Gran Maestro dell?Ordine Equestre del Santo Sepolcro di Gerusalemme;
3. Mons. Giovanni Lajolo, Presidente della Pontificia Commissione e del Governatorato dello Stato della Citta' del Vaticano;
4. Mons. Paul Joseph Cordes, Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio "Cor Unum";
5. Mons. Angelo Comastri, Arciprete della Basilica Vaticana, Vicario Generale per lo S.C.V. e Presidente della Fabbrica di San Pietro;
6. Mons. Stanisław Ryłko, Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio per i Laici;
7. Mons. Raffaele Farina, Archivista e Bibliotecario di S.R.C.;
8. Mons. Agustin Garcia Gasco Vicente, Arcivescovo di Valencia (Spagna);
9. Mons. Sean Baptist Brady, Arcivescovo di Armagh (Irlanda);
10. Mons. Lluis ... Sistach, Arcivescovo di Barcellona (Spagna);
11. Mons. Andre Vingt-Trois, Arcivescovo di Parigi (Francia);
12. Mons. Angelo Bagnasco, Arcivescovo di Genova (Italia);
13. Mons. Theodore-Adrien Sarr, Arcivescovo di Dakar (Senegal);
14. Mons. Oswald Gracias, Arcivescovo di Bombay (India);
15. Mons. Francisco Robles Ortega, Arcivescovo di Monterrey (Messico);
16. Mons. Daniel N. DiNardo, Arcivescovo di Galveston-Houston (Stati Uniti d?America);
17. Mons. Odilio Pedro Scherer, Arcivescovo di Sao Paulo (Brasile);
18. Mons. John Njue, Arcivescovo di Nairobi (Kenya).
Desidero inoltre elevare alla dignita' cardinalizia tre venerati Presuli e due benemeriti ecclesiastici, particolarmente meritevoli per il loro impegno al servizio della Chiesa:
1. S.B. Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarca di Babilonia dei Caldei;
2. Mons. Giovanni Coppa, Nunzio Apostolico;
3. Mons. Estanislao Esteban Karlic, Arcivescovo emerito di Parana (Argentina);
4. P. Urbano Navarrete, S.I., emeritus rettore della Pontificia Universita' Gregoriana; e
5. P. Umberto Betti, O.F.M., emeritus rettore della Pontificia Universita' Lateranense.
* * *
Tra questi ultimi era stato mio desiderio elevare alla porpora anche l'anziano Vescovo Ignacy Jeż, di Koszalin-Kołobrzeg, in Polonia, benemerito Presule, che ieri improvvisamente mancato.
A lui va la nostra preghiera di suffragio.
* * *
Affidiamo i nuovi eletti alla protezione di Maria Santissima, chiedendoLe di assisterli nelle rispettive mansioni, affinche' appiano testimoniare con coraggio in ogni circostanza il loro amore per Cristo e per la Chiesa.

My question, which hasn't yet been taken up on the blogs is this: Why is Archbishop Donald Wurel, head of the Washington D.C. Archdiocese, not on the list. And where is Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, newly the head of Baltimore, and the United States' "first among equals"?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Father Solanus' La Crosse Diocese Connections

It seems that Father Solanus is becoming a hot topic on the Internet, given that the case for a possible miracle is being brought to Rome this month. In conjunction with that event, the Catholic Times published a two-page spread on the Venerable Capuchin friar. Since it's not available online elsewhere, I though I would include my piece on Father Solanus and Diocese of La Crosse beginnings:

Father Solanus lives on in the people and places of our diocese
By Franz Klein
Staff Writer

PRESCOTT – Pilgrims may be flocking to the chapel of Detroit’s St. Bonaventure Monastery to pray before his tomb, but the first church building the Venerable Father Solanus Casey entered was St. Joseph’s, where he was baptized in 1870.
The sixth of Bernard and Ellen Casey’s 16 children, the future Father Solanus spent the first three years of his life on his parents’ farm outside Prescott in what is now Oak Grove Heights. After that, the Caseys spent a short period as parishioners at St. Mary’s Church, Big River, before moving just outside the La Crosse Diocese’s boundaries to Hudson, where Father Solanus received first holy Communion.
From there, the future Capuchin friar was to spend time as a guard at the State Penitentiary in Stillwater, Minn., as a logger at the nearby mill, and finally as a trolley conductor in Superior. There he witnessed a brutal murder, an incident that led him to consider his faith and his vocation seriously. Soon thereafter he entered the Capuchin order.
The simple holiness of the young man won over his Capuchin superiors, who were unsure he had the mental acumen to become a priest. Ordained a simplex priest without the faculties to preach or hear confessions, Father Solanus was assigned the most menial of tasks as a sacristan and porter.
But his simple holiness began to bear fruit in the measure of miraculous healings and simple but profound advice. At St. Bonaventure in Detroit during the final years of his life, the Capuchins had to “protect” Father Solanus from the many people who sought him out.
“I have no doubt that he’s a saint,” said Capuchin Father Dan Crosby, director of St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Marathon. “No Capuchin that lived with him would tell you anything different. He was totally genuine.”
Father Dan’s novitiate, 1956-57, came at the very end of Father Solanus’ earthly life. At that time, the novices spent their first seven months at St. Bonaventure’s, where Father Solanus was living.
“When he would pray, he was obviously rapt in prayer,” Father Dan recalled. “There was no façade of holiness; it was real. His eyes were always sparkling. He was always smiling, even though he was in tremendous pain from the eczema that covered his body.”
Father Dan said the elderly priest loved to sing and to play his violin – “neither of which he could do very well.” He remembered how, his first Christmas as a Capuchin, he was on his way to community recreation when he stopped in the friars’ chapel for a minute of prayer. From the adjoining public chapel he heard a “squeaky sound.”
“I knew right away what it was,” Father Dan said, “but I opened the door to see, and there in the choir loft all by himself on Christmas night was Father Solanus playing Christmas carols on his violin to the Christ child in the crib below. It was very tender and simple.”
That Christmas would be Father Solanus’ last; he died on July 31, 1957.
But the stories of Father Solanus lived on. And the reported miracles didn’t diminish either.
In 1980, a friend of Ronald Shaub of Marathon City had given him a “badge” containing a third-class relic of Father Solanus. “She told me to carry it on me because I’d never know when I would need it,” Shaub said.
Seven years later Shaub was in the emergency room on the verge of death from a brain aneurism. “I looked in my billfold and I found this relic of Father Solanus. I thought, Lord, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to work a miracle through his intercession?”
Although the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints will overlook his recovery because medical intervention was involved, Shaub attributes his cure to Father Solanus’ miraculous intercession. “I’m very sure it was him,” he said firmly.
Joan Wilikowski, the receptionist at St. Anthony’s in Marathon, said Father Solanus’ presence has helped her care for her elderly parents, and now for an older sister. “Father Solanus seems to come to our aid all the time to help us,” Wilikowski said.
Wilikowski and Shaub are members of a Father Solanus prayer circle that meets monthly to pray for the Capuchin priest’s beatification. Pope John Paul II named him venerable in 1995. Their prayer circle is based on a model established by the Detroit-based Solanus Casey Guild.
Both Shaub and Wilikowski pointed out that similar prayer circles have been started wherever Father Solanus lived. There is such a group in Hudson, for example, where the future priest received his first holy Communion at St. Patrick’s Church.
A member of St. Michael’s Church in Stillwater, Molly Druffner heads up the Hudson-based John Paul II Sacred Art Theatre Company. A few years ago, a member of Hudson’s prayer circle asked her to write a play about Father Solanus. Since 2000, Druffner’s 25 cast members have performed the play two to three times a year. “We’ve performed it to over 7,000 people over the past seven years,” Druffner said.
According to Druffner, most of the vignettes treated in the play are from later in Father Solanus’ life, but it is especially fun for her troupe to perform the earlier scenes, especially those from Father Solanus’ Stillwater years, since most of the actors are from that town.
“Stillwater has a great devotion to him,” Druffner said. “We did a novena for his beatification just last month. People say they met him, or they prayed to him and were cured. They’re just little stories that come up.”
Sister Geralyn Misura, FSPA, who teaches at the St. Joseph Parish’s school, played a role in the foundation of Prescott’s prayer circle several years ago. Also among the founding members were Bob and Jean Bruegl, both now deceased, who bought an eight-acre property outside town in Oak Grove Heights when they moved from Edgar.
“After I learned that Father Solanus was from Oak Grove Heights, I mentioned this to Bob and Jean,” said Sister Geralyn. “We got interested and started looking through the abstracts and plat books and pinpointed (his parents’ farm) right to the property where Bob and Jean had built their house.”
Sure enough, the group discovered a sunken area on the edge of a field – the foundations of a barn and farmhouse. “That’s probably where the Caseys had their home,” Sister Geralyn said.
And thus does the future saint comes full circle back to the place of his birth.
“Hopefully he’ll be beatified soon,” said Sister Geralyn. “We’re hoping to get a statue of Father Solanus and have a small shrine at St. Joseph’s, and that’s what we’re waiting for. I’ve had so much peace from the first time I learned about him. He was such a simple man. I just took to that.”

The never ending tasks of a scholar

My apologies for the lack of posts, but my life has been pretty hectic since arriving from Rome. Much of that business comes from my grad studies. The endless activities began last week, when I took the first half of a Shakespeare midterm; I took the second half yesterday, in addition to observing a BritLit class. Today a bibliography for my research methods class came due. Tomorrow I'll be teaching a demonstration class on Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Temple of the Holy Ghost," as well turning in a book review, a pedagogical paper, and a report on that classroom observation. Then, on Thursday, I'll lead a class discussion on the tenth chapter of James Joyce's Ulysses. Just felt like I had to vent :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Attending the NAC's ordinations

Better late than never: Here's my post on attending the Pontifical North American College's deacon ordination Mass last Thursday. As a former member of the fourth year class who discerned his vocation to be elsewhere, it was very meaningful for me to see my classmates ordained deacons. And I was honored to have the class surprise me with a request to lector at their ordination.
Although I was happy to see all my classmates ordained, I was especially happy to see Archbishop Foley lay hands on Deacon Justin Kizewski, since he and I were sent to study in Rome together. He is truly a man after God's own heart, and will be a very valuable asset to the priesthood if God wills him to be ordained a priest as scheduled -- on June 28, 2008 here in La Crosse.

Here's the article on Deacon Kizewski that will appear in the upcoming Catholic Times:
Kizewski ordained to the diaconate in Rome
By Franz Klein
Staff Writer

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Times) – In an Oct. 4 ceremony at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica that was attended by hundreds of priests and thousands of lay faithful, Archbishop John P. Foley ordained 21 fourth-year students from the Pontifical North American College to the transitional diaconate. Among them was Justin Kizewski of the Diocese of La Crosse.
Observing that the multitude of people present made the ordination seem “almost more like a beatification,” the former head of the Vatican’s Communications Council said, “Let’s pray that these young men can live up to that challenge.”
Archbishop Foley used his homily to further explicate that challenge. Calling to mind the Gospel reading, where Jesus commanded His disciples to “love one another as I have loved you,” he said Jesus’ “love is an infinite love” that would flow from their diaconal service if they depend on the Lord.
“’What can I do for you?’ – This could be the daily prayer of a deacon,” the archbishop added.
Archbishop Foley also dwelt on the future priests’ promise of celibacy. Calling to mind Pope Paul VI’s encyclical “Sacerdotis Coelibatus,” he said their continence would allow them “to imitate Christ as closely as possible” through a total self-giving.
As deacons, Archbishop Foley said their self-giving would be “of a humbler kind.” He noted that they chose to be ordained on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, whom he called “one of the Church’s most famous deacons.” “It is recorded in the Fioretti that St. Francis served his brothers and lepers. He did this because he saw in them the image of Christ,” the archbishop said.
Vesting Deacon Kizewski was Father Joseph Carola, SJ, a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome. Father Carola also celebrated Deacon Kizewski’s Mass of Thanksgiving Oct. 5 at Chiesa Nuova, over the relics of St. Philip Neri, where the newly ordained deacon preached for the first time.
The son of James and Brenda Kizewski of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Nekoosa, Deacon Kizewski is a 1999 graduate of Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Last spring he completed his bachelor’s in theology at the Angelicum University in Rome, where he will also begin advanced studies in dogmatic theology later this month.
God willing, Deacon Kizewski will be ordained to the priesthood in La Crosse on June 28, 2008, together with Deacons James Altman and Keith Kitzhaber.

And one last photo -- of me, my fiancee Rosemary Korish, and newly ordained Deacon Justin Kizewski -- following his Mass of Thanksgiving in Chiesa Nuova Oct. 5:

Update: ...I just came across this picture among those the college posted on its website. Guess who it is!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pope's General Audience

One of the things my fiancee and I got to do last week was attend Pope Benedict XVI's General Audience in St. Peter's Square. Even having studied in the Eternal City for two years, I never once attended a General Audience. We got third row seats, up on the main steps. I tried to concentrate on what the pope was saying, but I couldn't resist taking a few photos.
Here are my favorite two:

More important than seeing the pope in person, though, was what he said. He gave an excellent summary of the life and work of St. Cyril of Alexandria in defending the true Catholic faith. You can read the Zenit summary here.

St. John Vianney Seminary

'Twas a pleasure to see an article on St. John Vianney Seminary's swelling enrollment in the latest edition of the Catholic Spirit. I was part of this college formation program while attending the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., and can attest to its rigor and spirit of optimism. There's a reason why men are starting to come to seminary in record numbers, and the environment present at SJV is a big part of that. Kudos to rector Father Bill Baer and all those on fire for the faith in the Twin Cities!

Filled to overflowing
By Maria Wiering The Catholic Spirit

They've increased their housing; they've increased their staff; they've increased the rigor.
And the men keep coming.
St. John Vianney Seminary's enrollment is at an all-time high, with 154 men from 28 dioceses, which currently gives it the largest college seminary enrollment in the United States. It has more than doubled in size in the last six years.
Seminarians at college seminaries are typically in their late teens and early 20s, studying for their bachelors degrees and gaining backgrounds in philosophy. This preceeds major seminary, which is where seminarians study theology and work toward ordination. Not all major seminarians have attended college seminary.
An attitude of adventure
"There is a strong heroic sense of calling among these young men," said Father William Baer, SJV's rector since 1998. "They have a love for the church and the Catholic faith that strikes them as a mission, a battle, an adventure."
It's no secret SJV life is challenging. The men attend a 6 a.m. holy hour daily; they fast from technology - including phones and e-mail - on Fridays until the evening; they fast from the Friday midday meal; they undergo room inspections and maintain a tightly ordered schedule. They're encouraged to embrace difficult studies with prayer, grow in fraternity with the other men, get in shape, and face their social fears.
And the men rise to the occasion, said Father Rolf Tollefson, a "formator" and spiritual director, who lives with seminarians on SJV's fifth floor. "The men don't want to live a life of mediocrity," he said.
Matt Kuettel, 19, a freshman seminarian from Maternity of Mary in St. Paul, said that seminary is an adjustment.
"They throw a lot at you at once, they expect a lot of you," he said. "A lot of times you're more busy than you think you should be. But, if I had to do this all over again, there's no doubt in my mind that I would.
"It's not that you're busy and you regret it, it's that they give you the skills and they give you the help to accomplish more," he added.
If seminary were easy, a healthy man would leave because he wasn't challenged, added Father John Klockeman, who also serves SJV.
"The initiatives and the heroism sound too strong for some, but that's exactly what young men and women want," he said. "They want a faith to die for. They want a faith for which to live. And they want a God that is real." 
The local seminary's enrollment upturn mirrors national trends, which indicate an uptick in the number of Catholic seminarians in undergraduate college programs, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, based at Georgetown University.
Father Baer attributes the seminary's growth to an increase in students coming from other Midwestern dioceses. This year 35 of SJV's seminarians are from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This is the largest group of archdiocesan seminarians at SJV in at least 25 years, Father Baer said.
He credits the increased number of archdiocesan seminarians to Archbishop Harry Flynn's dedication and support, vocations director Father Tom Wilson's work, and parishes and families encouraging vocations.
"There is a renewed commitment to the Catholic faith by high school and college students," Father Baer said, attributing the phenomena to events like World Youth Day, more young people participating in eucharistic adoration and vocation directors and bishops actively promoting vocations.
A cut above
More dioceses are sending their college seminarians to SJV than ever before, Father Baer said.
Father Burke Masters, vocation director for the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., has 11 men at SJV. He said he is impressed with Father Baer's leadership and the personal attention he gives the men.
"He's able to talk about each of our 11 guys in a way that they're not just numbers," Father Masters said.
Father Jerry Vincke, the vocations director of the Diocese of Lansing, Mich., described Father Baer as dynamic, faithful and courageous, listing his leadership as one of the greatest reasons his diocese sends their 21 college seminarians to SJV.
"The seminary is centered on Christ," Father Vincke said. "Our seminarians love it there." 
Their SJV graduates are well prepared to begin their theology studies in major seminary, and they are formed in the spiritual, academic, pastoral and human levels, both Father Masters and Father Vincke said.
"St. John Vianney is very well respected among the bishops," Father Masters added.
The seminary has outgrown its own building at the University of St. Thomas: 103 men live in the on-campus seminary dorms, 41 live in six rectories and houses in nearby neighborhoods and 10 men are currently studying in Rome.

Also see:

Opening fall enrollment at SJV over the past 16 years
Seminarians speak

Number One

I'm still catching up on everything, but I was excited to come across the article about last weekend's Wisconsin Rapids Invite, where it appears my sister Gabby has moved up to become SPASH's number one runner.
From the Stevens Point Journal article:

In the girls race, aside from meet winner Claire Rindo of Berlin (14:58), the Division 1 teams flexed their muscles.

The Panther girls were paced by sophomores Gabrielle Klein and Jackie Forrest who finished seventh and ninth overall, respectively.

"It was really humid so it was hard to breathe, but everyone had to deal with the weather," Klein said. "We've been working really hard and I've noticed a more positive attitude from our team. We're excited about the big meets coming up."

Team scores

Division 1: SPASH 69; 2. Wausau West 99; 3. Fond du Lac 106; 4. Racine Case 164; 5. Wisconsin Rapids 170; 6. Oshkosh West 174; 7. Antigo 175; 8. Sauk Prairie 176; 9. Lakeland 207; 10. Merrill 213; 11. Waukesha South 258; 12. Manitowoc 317.

Division 2/3: 1. Sparta 35; 2. Berlin 50; 3. Nekoosa/Port Edwards 57; 4. Abbotsford-Colby 83; 5. Adams-Friendship 122.

Top 10 individuals: 1. Claire Rindo (B), 14:58; 2. Stacy Schmits (FDL), 15:42; 3. Areanna Lakowske (SPARTA), 15:46; 4. Jamie Perugini (WS), 15:59; 5. Melanie Ramsey (SAUK), 16:02; 6. Danielle Noland (MER), 16:05; 7. Gabrielle Klein (SP), 16:07; 8. Lauren Boodry (ANT), 16:15; 9. Jackie Forrest (SP), 16:20; 10. Nicole Blahnik (ANT), 16:20.

SPASH (69): 7. Gabrielle Klein, 16:07; 9. Jackie Forrest, 16:20; 14. Megan Stats, 16:27; 16. Marlena Sniadajewski, 16:33; 38. Karlee Simkowski, 17:14.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Back from Rome

I probably should have posted an annoucement before I left, since I haven't posted in more than a week, but I got back from the Eternal City early this morning after more than 30 hours of travel. I was there with my fiancee to attend the diaconate ordinations of my former classmates at the Pontifical North American College.

It was a wonderful event, taking place Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis, in St. Peter's Basilica. The ordaining prelate, Archbishop John Foley, said, with the thousands in attendence, it seemed a beatification ceremony rather than an ordination -- and he challenged the 21 men from the United States and Australia to live up to that challenge.

I'll write more, and post some of my many photos, tomorrow.

Until then, check out the new blog of twin brother priests Father Joel and Father Ben Sember. I received an email from Father Joel earlier today, in which he announced this new collaborative effort, which should be a lot of fun to follow: Holy Priesthood.