OUR WEBSITE WILL UPDATE WITH NEW CONTENT December 22nd
3rd WEEK OF ADVENT
Did you hear?
What did Pope Francis really say?
Some people all over the world have been excited in recent days about reports by news agencies worldwide — including one from CNN — declaring that Pope Francis apparently believes they can. It turns out it’s unclear what he believes about this.
The Good News
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) aiding animals in Philippines
A powerful storm that stirred up fear and emotions has finally exited the Philippines. While officials are still busy completing initial assessments and clearing roads, IFAW is making preparations to visit the hardest hit areas in the province of Eastern Samar where Typhoon Hagupit first made landfall as the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. Some of the communities IFAW worked in last year are yet again devastated. Typhoon Hagupit took a similar path as last year’s Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most catastrophic disasters in Philippine history.
Video of the Week
What’s for dinner?
Pope Francis has been in the news lately, with news media touting a purported remark he made about animals going to heaven. One of the TV morning shows marveled at his statement saying that Catholic theology doesn’t believe animals go to heaven. I know that I’ve been told by my priest that animals don’t go to heaven. Does our Catholic faith teach that animals don’t go to heaven?
Purchase a copy of Animals In Heaven
Sure to be a JOYFUL Christmas gift!
Susi Weekly Column
Invisible, Incredible and Impossible
~by Susi Pittman
Invisible, incredible and impossible…that’s Advent!
Saint Joseph Then and Now: An Obedient Pilgrim
~by Louis Templeman
This is the 4th installment of an amazing 10-week presentation on the life of Saint Joseph. Louis has given us a true meditation for the Advent Season on the human soul that God chose to be the foster father of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus the Christ.
A Poet’s Voice
~by Paula Veloso Babadi
The color red is so prevalent this time of the year, you see it everywhere. What memories might it call up in your mind from years ago?
Book of the Month~December
A review of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want To Know! Be sure and add it to your Christmas list
~by Michele Gregoire
This is a book that begs to be read repeatedly, and still gives fresh insight on each reading. Susi Pittman has filled a huge vacuum by initiating a new Catholic Ministry that has long been needed, in this reviewer’s opinion. It is especially significant for those of us whose prayer life is automatic in the presence of God’s creation – nature, and very importantly our pets. The first time reading Animals in Heaven… gives a powerful and lasting conversion experience, most especially for those of like mind who are linked so strongly to God through our relationships with animals and nature.
Meandering Along the River’s Edge
MOW NO MORE!
~by Virginia Rhys Anson, OFS
Virginia would like a show of hands…how many of us enjoy mowing our yards?
This Week’s Top Global Weather News
Where are you most likely to see a White Christmas in the U.S.
If your Christmas wish is to walk through a winter wonderland, there are a few places you can go to bring up your chances. In a press release, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put together data of the continental United States that shows the probability of your state getting at least 1 inch of snow on Dec. 25.
Caring for the dying means not intentionally killing them—by Judie Brown
A week ago I received a message from a distressed family writing about a loved one in the final stages of living. They asked this question: Should palliative care include nutrition and hydration by tube even if the chances of living a long time are non-existent? Or, to put it another way, they wanted to know if palliative care could be a guise for slowly starving the patient to death if he could not take in food on his own.
AFFILIATE SHOPPING for YOU! We continue to build a small but, well focused group of vendors, offering products in line with stewardship of the earth and its creatures. By visiting these product sites from our page, you are helping to support our mission.
Mystic Monk Coffee is a small batch coffee roaster operated by the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming through an online gourmet coffee bean store. Many consider their website the ultimate source for gourmet coffee where it is easy to buy coffee online. The monks carefully craft each freshly roasted coffee to perfection for dark roast coffees, espresso, ground coffees, whole bean coffees, single origin coffees, fair trade coffees, flavored coffees and especially the monks’ special gourmet coffee blends. Try our special auto delivered coffee subscriptions also for the best coffee online.
CLICK HERE to visit the Mystic Monks Store
Since 1987, MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS has consistently delivered exceptional quality certified organic herbs and spices with a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture. Our primary source of herbal material is from certified organic American farms and many of these farms are on contract with us as an exclusive grower for our needs.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS
A Division of Engineering Services & Products Company, FarmTek was founded in 1979 with the purpose of bringing the highest quality products at the most competitive prices with exceptional customer service directly to the agricultural, horticultural, building and retail trade communities.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT FARMTEK
Geology and Archaeology
Pico do Fogo volcano erupts in Cape Verde isles after 20 years
Geological services had warned in recent weeks that the Pico do Fogo volcano in the former Portuguese colony was increasingly active. The Pico do Fogo volcano erupted November 23rd and prompted the evacuation of at least one nearby village. The government said it was the first time the volcano has erupted in 20 years.
Discovering Catholic Writers
Dr. Timothy Johnson
A German-American Senior Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Timothy J. Johnson is Professor of Religion and former Chair of the Humanities Department at Flagler College. He holds a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. He also holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology and a Diploma in Latin Literature from the Pontifical Gregorian University, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure in Rome, and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from St. Louis University.
Bonaventure: Mystic of God’s Word
Dr. Johnson has published or edited five books and authored numerous journal articles in his field. He is senior theology co-editor for the journal Franciscan Studies and is currently editing a volume of collected essays on medieval Franciscan preaching for Brill Academic Publishing.
Dr. Johnson is also editing the proceedings of the Flagler College International Conference, “From La Florida to La California: The Genesis and Realization of Franciscan Evangelization in the Spanish Borderlands”, for the Academy of American Franciscan History.
While his primary area of academic expertise is medieval Christian spirituality and theology, Dr. Johnson enjoys teaching courses as diverse as Religion and Film and Contemporary Theological Thought. Whenever possible, he leads study abroad tours for Flagler College students to Italy during the summer semester.
Quote of the Week
Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous. When you have God, you don’t have to know everything about it; you just do it.
Discovering Our Catholic Saints
Art of Life
Dan McCole, a native of South Boston, Massachusetts, is a graduate of Vesper George School of Art, completing a full three-year course in fine arts and illustration. Early on, Dan chose watercolor as his preferred medium, or as he says, “Perhaps it chose me, for I seem to possess a scattered and wandering mind that adapted readily to the discipline of ‘frenzied restraint’ that so typifies a watercolor painter.” His main source of instruction at Vesper George was under the guidance of James Wingate Parr, a most accomplished painter and teacher in all media, and one who excelled in watercolor. Dan had his first one-man show in 1999 at the Crump Gallery in South Boston. He sold many of his originals and reproduction prints. His acclaimed ‘St. Patrick’s Day Parade’ painting was purchased by a visitor from Minneapolis and now hangs in that city. Another popular painting ‘The Wollaston Movie House’ was commissioned by a movie producer who is a former resident of Wollaston with fond memories of the ‘Wolly.’ The painting now hangs in Hollywood. Dan moved back to South Boston, the place of his birth, where his painting life slowly returned, completing a full circle. He is a co-founder and serves as president of the South Boston Arts Association. He is an associate member of the New England Watercolor Society and enjoys full membership in the South Shore Art Association, The Quincy Art Association and the North River Art Association.
Communicating climate change: A Story of Apocalypse, Money and Mind-Games
How do you make the average person on the street listen up and confront the ‘abstract’ threat of climate change when in everyday life people are juggling a myriad of short term responsibilities, decisions and stresses? We see this all the time as people tackle imminent and trivial jobs on their to-do list but postpone distant but important decisions.
I use the term ‘abstract’ to talk about the impact of climate change as it is perceived by many to be distant in time (predictions are made about temperature and sea level change for decades ahead) as well as distant in space (the perception that climate change is generally a developing world problem). This perception is a result of communication — climate change has been presented as a deeply scientific and academic concept far removed from everyday life.
Looking for Sustainability
Urban farming changes run down lots to blooming gardens
This city owned lot near San Francisco’s Civic Center played host to the city’s new Urban Farming Project. Mayor Gavin Newsom broke ground on the green project yesterday, March 23. The hope is to turn a run-down vacant urban area into a beautiful vegetable producing garden within the next couple of weeks.
The project is being by sponsored by many private groups and non-profit organizations. They have provided the seeds and supplies to get the garden started. The city provided the land. And the citizens of San Francisco will provide the elbow work and gardening skill needed to make the urban farm prosper.
God’s Green Earth
What A Wonderful World
For the past 36 years, City Farmer has encouraged urban dwellers to pull up a patch of lawn and plant some vegetables, kitchen herbs and fruit. Our message is the same today as it was in 1978 and will be relevant far into the future. This website is a collection of stories about our work at City Farmer here in Vancouver, Canada, and about urban farmers from around the world.
City Farmer teaches people how to grow food in the city, compost their waste and take care of their home landscape in an environmentally responsible way.
The National Shrine of St. Anthony and Friary
“Mt. Airy” is the familiar name for the National Shrine of St. Anthony and Friary sitting on a hill above Cincinnati. The shrine had its start in the late 1880s, when Joseph and Elizabeth Nurre bought what was then a country estate for $18,000 and gave it to the Franciscan friars. The cornerstone was laid and blessed in August, 1888. Since 1888, the Franciscan friars have been stewards of the National Shrine of St Anthony in Cincinnati. The friars also serve as parish and campus ministers; as hospital, military and prison chaplains; as counselors; as educators and administrators in high schools, colleges and formation program; as preachers and retreat directors in evangelization efforts; as directors of anti-poverty programs; as skilled craftsmen and in support services; as writers and communicators; and as missionaries—all ways of spreading the Good News.
Help Support the Friars HERE
MOVIE REVIEW: Exodus: Gods and Kings—by Carl Kozlowski
This has been quite a year for God at the movies. There were several smash hits Christians embraced in the spring, such as “God’s Not Dead” (cost $2 million, made $60 million), “Heaven is For Real” (cost $12 million, made $90 million), and “Son of God” (another $60 million winner off a $22 million budget) all were embraced by Christians and shocked Hollywood by scoring well at the box office.
Then there was “Noah,” a huge-budgeted epic from Paramount that made just barely more than $100 million here in the US but did better around the world. But because it took some liberties with the story of Noah (including having a bunch of bizarre rock people come to life and help him build the Ark), many Christians attacked it and it’s generally believed it could have made double its gross if it hadn’t scared off so many believers.
Now comes “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” and it’s another big-budget epic from a major studio – this time Fox – and it’s been stirring up controversy on a couple fronts.
Indigenous Environmental Network
Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.
The Story of A girl Activist in the Philippines
The devastation faced by my country today from the strong storms moves me to do more for the Philippines. I would like to concentrate more on environmental and peace building activities and to fight against the apathy of people. I am proud to say I have been an active environmental fighter since I was 12 years old by involving myself with organisations such as the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Youth Solidarity for Peace, the Red Cross, the 9th National Youth Parliament and Philippine Youth Leadership Program.
The Star of Bethlehem flower
The Star of Bethlehem, also called drooping star-of-Bethlehem, was introduced for ornamental purposes and is widely cultivated. A diminutive close relative (O. umbellatum), known as sleepydick, nap-at-noon, and common star-of-Bethlehem, is native to northern Africa, western Asia and Europe, and was also introduced as an ornamental plant. It has been reported to be invasive in the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and elsewhere and is toxic to pets.
Wellness & Nutrition
8 Tips for hydrating in cold weather
Although we tend to think of it as a summertime concern, dehydration doesn’t disfavor the cooler months. In fact, the likelihood of dehydration is accelerated when you train in cold weather—and at higher altitudes. In these conditions, the air you breathe is drier, and your lungs have to work harder to humidify that air and warm it up. The harder your body works, the more you need to drink. Use these tips to stay hydrated this winter.
Spot the International Space Station
Spot the Station is happy to announce that over 2,500 NEW locations have been added, including every county seat in the United States and 371 locations around the world! NASA’s Spot The Station service gives you a list of upcoming sighting opportunities for thousands of locations worldwide, and will let you sign up to receive notices of opportunities in your email inbox or cell phone.
Bless me Father, I have a confession to make..
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