Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Out and About - March 2010

On both February 22 and March 2 I attended hearings at the Minnesota State Capitol on a number of marriage equality bills currently before both the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate.

One of those who testified at both hearings in support of the bills was lifelong Republican and Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the University of Minnesota, Dale Carpenter (above at left).

“Because I’m a conservative, I support the recognition of same-sex marriage in Minnesota,” said Carpenter. “It’s good for stable relationships, good for families, and good for kids.”

For more on these hearings, see here and here.

Testifying against the marriage equality bills on behalf of the Minnesota Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops was Michael Becker, priest and rector of the St. Paul Seminary.

For a report and analysis on what Becker had to say, click here.

Above: On Sunday March 7, members of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform gathered at my home for a mailing of our Synod 2010 brochure. I serve as one of the coalition co-chairs.

CCCR’s September 18 Synod of the Baptized is entitled “Claiming Our Place at the Table,” and will feature a keynote address by Professor of Catholic Studies and author Paul Lakeland on “The Call of the Baptized: Be the Church, Live the Mission.”

In addition, recommended practices and actions for reform will be presented and discussed in numerous break-out sessions. Each of these sessions will be facilitated by a core group of people who for the past year-and-a-half have been focusing on an area of current church practice that many Catholics experience as being disconnected from the gospel message of love. These include Bishop Selection, Church Authority and Governance, Church as a Community of Equals, Mandatory Celibacy/Clericalism, Catholic/Christian Identity, and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

A special Action Coordining Team (ACT) will also be commissioned at the 2010 Synod, and all present will have the opportunity to be part of the ACTion as together we take the Synod’s recommendations for best practices, and thus renewal and reform, out to our families, parishes, and communities. Sound exciting or what?!

For more information about CCCR’s Synod of the Baptized and/or to register online, click here.

Above and right: Also on March 7, I had a number of friends over to watch the broadcast of the the 82nd Academy Awards. It was a fun night. As usual, I had a ballot for folks to fill out and a prize for the person who picked the most winners.

For my 2010 “Oscar Observations,” click here.

Above: Theologian and author Roger Haight at Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, WI, Sunday, March 14, 2010.

I traveled to Madison with my friends Paula, Eileen, and Bernie (left) to hear Dr. Haight address the question, “If God is Everywhere, Why Do We Need the Church?”

For a report of Roger Haight’s presentation, click here.

For a reflection inspired by my time at Holy Wisdom Monastery, click here.

Above: At left with Eileen and Bernie Rodel - Holy Wisdom Monastery, March 14, 2010.

Above: A St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

For more images plus a great article about St. Patrick and those snakes, click here.

Above: The good folks who comprise the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform board of directors, pictured at our March 20 retreat at a supporter’s lake house in Minnetrista.

Above: A view from the lake house. For another, click here.

Above and left: Enjoying good food in the company of good folks, including my friend Phil and his parents John and Noelle - March 20, 2010.

Quinn and his mistress Noelle!

Above: Downtown Minneapolis - March 2010.

Above: Members of the the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Work/Study Group at my home on Sunday, March 28, 2010.

Hey! Is that the
March Hare on my table?

With Quinn, after a very long walk earlier today to Regina’s Fine Candies (a St. Paul institution!) to purchase Easter chocolates!

Above: Quinn, John and Phil, enjoying the beautiful spring afternoon of the last day of March, 2010.

When the evening falls and the daylight is fading,
from within me calls - could it be I am sleeping?
For a moment I stray, then it holds me completely.
Close to home - I cannot say.
Close to home, feeling so far away.

As I walk there before me a shadow
from another world, where no other can follow.
Carry me to my own, to where I can cross over.
Close to home - I cannot say.
Close to home, feeling so far away.

Forever searching; never right,
I am lost in oceans of night.
Forever hoping I can find memories,
those memories I left behind.

Even though I leave, will I go on believing
that this time is real - am I lost in this feeling?
Like a child passing through, never knowing the reason.
I am home - I know the way.
I am home - feeling oh, so far away.

“Evening Falls”
Lyrics: Roma Ryan
Music: Enya
(from Enya’s 1988 album Watermark)

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