CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - December 5, 2012

NEW RESOURCES    EDITORIALS OF INTEREST    EDUCATION MATTERS

Note from the Managing Editor:

I'll let you pick and choose among the articles below without a lot of direction from me this week.  But allow me to make note of the fact that Archbishop Chaput's article "Renewing the Church and Her Mission in a Year of Faith" was exceptional enough to merit comment in L'Osservatore Romano last week.

We are now in the Advent season and, as I do every Advent, I encourage you to make a donation in support of this apostolate.  This is the beginning of our Advent campaign. Please support us this Advent with your donation. 

CERC is a non-profit charity in both the United States and Canada. We survive largely because of the donations we receive from you, our readers, during Advent and Lent. Go here to help us.

You'll receive a thank you letter for your donation and, if you live in the United States or Canada, we'll send you a tax receipt.

I'll be sending you an occasional notice during the next few weeks encouraging you to donate this Advent.

If you can help us with a one time donation or, even better, if you'd be willing to become one of our monthly donors, please go here to donate.

And to encourage you on your way, there's this:

The Catholic Education Resource Center continues its sterling service to the Church and the world. Its weekly bulletins are essential reading for all who are interested in Catholic Education and in the best that is being written and thought by Catholic writers across the English speaking world.

I am a longstanding admirer of the great work that the Catholic Education Resource Center does and very happy to lend it my support.  Like all good works, the Catholic Education Resource Center depends on the prayers and financial contributions of its readers.  I hope you will be able to join me in providing these helps so that the great work of the Catholic Education Resource Center can continue in to the future.

Yours Sincerely,
George Cardinal Pell
Archbishop of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

God bless you. - J. Fraser Field

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Quote of the Week:

" ... even the finest witness will prove ineffective in the long run if ... the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, are not proclaimed." - Pope Paul VI



New Resources:

Where does joy come from? - Pope Benedict XVI - from a speech to the Roman Curia
Renewing the Church and Her Mission in a Year of Faith - The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap - Catholic Life Congress, Philadelphia
Tea and Christianity - Karen Anderson - Crisis Magazine
The Knight of Middle Earth - Stratford Caldecott - Columbia Magazine
Music to Our Ears: a Review of the Pope's New Book - Brad Miner - The Catholic Thing
The Wisdom of Upholding Tradition with Respect to Marriage - Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George - Wall Street Journal
The End of Advent - Joseph Bottum - First Things
Martyrs of Today - Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. - Catholic New World
Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice - Mitchell Kalpakgian - Crisis Magazine
Becoming Greater - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
1st Sunday of Advent - Father John Horgan - CERC

Editorials of Interest:

When sharing the faith, keep it simple, joyful, credible, pope says - CNS/NCR
Pope Benedict XVI Takes to Twitter - NCRegister
Full text of Benedict XVIís address to the Venerable English College - Catholic Herald
Pope issues new rules governing Church charitable agencies - Catholic Culture
ADVENT: Readings, Videos, Feast Days & Linked Sites - USCCB
N.Y. Times plays politics with Dorothy Day - Not Strictly Spiritual
Chant Advocate to Lead New Vatican Office on Music and Architecture - NCRegister
The French Debate on Gay Marriage - The Catholic Thing
Gifts for Musicians and Priests - The Chant Cafe
Why Poverty? Cardinal Peter Turkson responds - Vatican Radio
Gentlemanly behavior makes people happy - AEI ideas
U.S. Birth Rate Falls to a Record Low - First Thoughts
Fixing economic crisis requires financial and moral truth, priest says - CNA
The most powerful Bible resource ever available - Brandon Vogt
3 churches burned down in Nigeria; 10 Christians brutally murdered - Catholic Culture
Vatican report on Medjugorje due this month? - CWN
Former rector of nationís largest Episcopal church becomes a Catholic - Washington Post
More Babies, Please - New York Times
Surgery of soul - CNS
Is the Church Suppressing Godís Will? - CNS
St Francis Xavier - 3 2us

Education Matters:

New York Archdiocese Could Close 26 Schools - NCRegister
Chastity on Campus - NCRegister
A 2012 Ranking of Graduate Programs in Theology - On the Square
Sparks Fly at Pius XII London Debate - NCRegister
Do early swimming lessons give kids the best start? - Family Edge
Pen commandments and a return to ink - smh.com.au
Fewer postings for theology/religious studies positions - Campus Notes
Dartmouth atheists to trash Mother Teresa - Campus Reform
School Reform, the Texas Way - Defining Ideas
Parents urged to intervene in teens' online life - Family Edge


NEW RESOURCES:

Where does joy come from? - Pope Benedict XVI - from a speech to the Roman Curia

The crucial factor is . . . based on faith.

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Renewing the Church and Her Mission in a Year of Faith
- The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap - Catholic Life Congress, Philadelphia

My comments today will be simple. I want to focus on just three points.

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Tea and Christianity - Karen Anderson - Crisis Magazine

Francis Xavierís feast day is December 3. For those of us who love our afternoon tea, it is a feast we should well note. For the world's most civilized habit owes a huge debt of gratitude to Xavier and his Jesuit missionaries who traveled to Japan in 1549.

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The Knight of Middle Earth
- Stratford Caldecott - Columbia Magazine

Inspired by the author's Catholic faith, J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels reflect the themes of chivalry, nobility and virtue.

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Music to Our Ears: a Review of the Pope's New Book - Brad Miner - The Catholic Thing

Cardinal Ratzinger approached the ageing John Paul II and asked to be relieved of his curial duties — and to be named head of the Vatican Library.

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The Wisdom of Upholding Tradition with Respect to Marriage
- Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George - Wall Street Journal

There is a reason why conjugal unions have been distinguished from all others since antiquity.

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The End of Advent
- Joseph Bottum - First Things

Christmas has devoured Advent, gobbled it up with the turkey giblets and the goblets of seasonal ale. Every secularized holiday, of course, tends to lose the context it had in the liturgical year.

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Martyrs of Today - Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. - Catholic New World

In the kingdom of God, it is never too late, whether to forgive the church's persecutors or to convert the enemies of the faith.

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Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
- Mitchell Kalpakgian - source

A miser gains but never gives. A moneylender gives in order to receive.  A friend gives generously and gladly but never charges interest. 

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Becoming Greater - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor

The four weeks of Advent are a test of how profoundly or superficially we understand the meaning of life.

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1st Sunday of Advent - Father John Horgan - CERC

Why we think of the last things first.

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EDITORIALS OF INTEREST:
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When sharing the faith, keep it simple, joyful, credible, pope says - CNS/NCR

The Holy Father calls upon new evangelists to reach out "with Godís merciful love."

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Pope Benedict XVI Takes to Twitter - NCRegister

More than 200,000 have signed on to follow @Pontifex, the Holy Father's handle. His first official 'tweet' will be Dec. 12.

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Full text of Benedict XVIís address to the Venerable English College - Catholic Herald

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you today to the Apostolic Palace, the House of Peter.

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Pope issues new rules governing Church charitable agencies - Catholic Culture

Pope Benedict has released his new guidelines governing Catholic charities. The topic has been much in the news owing to failures on the part of some charities to adhere to Catholic teaching; and pressures by some governments against the implementation of Catholic teachings in charitable work.

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ADVENT: Readings, Videos, Feast Days & Linked Sites - USCCB

Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.

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N.Y. Times plays politics with Dorothy Day - Not Strictly Spiritual

When the New York Times writes about Dorothy Day — and liberals and conservatives in the Church — hold on to your thesaurus.

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Chant Advocate to Lead New Vatican Office on Music and Architecture - NCRegister

According to American Benedictine Abbot Michael Zielinski, Gregorian chant communicates 'the sense of Catholicity' and is crucial to the recovering Ďthe great treasureí of Catholic Tradition.

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The French Debate on Gay Marriage - The Catholic Thing

Much is being heard in France these days about gay marriage.

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Gifts for Musicians and Priests - The Chant Cafe

Here are my suggestions for the books to give musicians and priests for Christmas.

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Why Poverty? Cardinal Peter Turkson responds - Vatican Radio

In Catholic social teaching the Church possesses "one of the most powerful tools that can become a big motor for human development", Cardinal Peter Turkson has said in an interview promoting the Why Poverty? initiative.

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Gentlemanly behavior makes people happy - AEI ideas

When social scientists discover something that increases life satisfaction for both sexes, shouldnít they at least consider the possibility that they have come across something that is positive? Healthy?

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U.S. Birth Rate Falls to a Record Low - First Thoughts

The U.S. birth rate dipped in 2011 to the lowest ever recorded, led by a plunge in births to immigrant women since the onset of the Great Recession.

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Fixing economic crisis requires financial and moral truth, priest says - CNA

Fr. Robert Sirico has written a book explaining how fixing the economic crisis requires us to take account of solid moral truths.

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The most powerful Bible resource ever available - Brandon Vogt

In my mind, Verbum remains the greatest Biblical tool ever available to the Church.

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3 churches burned down in Nigeria; 10 Christians brutally murdered - Catholic Culture

Shouting "Allahu Akbar” (Allah is great), Islamist terrorists slit the throats of 10 Christians in Chibok, a city of 65,000 in northeastern Nigeria. Following the December 1 murders, the attackers "then set houses in the area on fire,” said a local resident.

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Vatican report on Medjugorje due this month? - CWN

A Vatican commission studying the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje will release its findings by the end of this year, a French magazine has reported.

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Former rector of nationís largest Episcopal church becomes a Catholic - Washington Post

Now, heís looking forward to the possibility of being ordained as a Catholic priest.

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More Babies, Please - New York Times

In the eternally recurring debates about whether some rival great power will knock the United States off its global perch, there has always been one excellent reason to bet on a second American century: We have more babies than the competition.

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Surgery of soul - CNS

Dr. Joseph Murray, Catholic Nobel Prize winner and pioneer in organ transplant, has died. He spent his life on a spiritual pilgrimage.

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Is the Church Suppressing God's Will? - On the Square

The editorial board of the National Catholic Reporter this week endorsed the ordination of women.

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St Francis Xavier - 3 2us

On this day that the Church celebrates the life of Francis Xavier, I urge you to take five minutes to listen to a marvelous podcast by the English Jesuit Father John Edwards about the great saint.

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EDUCATION MATTERS:

New York Archdiocese Could Close 26 Schools - NCRegister

The Archdiocese of New York plans to close twenty-six elementary schools and one high school. Itís not that they arenít successful; itís because thereís no money.

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Chastity on Campus - NCRegister

Hurricane Sandy had the conference organizers and attendees of the fifth Love and Fidelity Network national conference on "Sexuality, Integrity and the University" at Princeton University on edge a few days before the Nov. 2-3 event.

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A 2012 Ranking of Graduate Programs in Theology - On the Square

Whereís the best place to do graduate study in theology? Iíve done some rankings.

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Sparks Fly at Pius XII London Debate - NCRegister

Critics and defenders of Pope Pius XII clashed in a rare public debate in London on the late Pontiffís response to the Holocaust.

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Do early swimming lessons give kids the best start? - Family Edge

Parents who want to give their children the best start possible will be fascinated by the news coming out of a study of children who learn to swim at an early age.

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Pen commandments and a return to ink - smh.com.au

The long-lost art of writing letters by hand is to be revived in Britain's state schools, and Max Davidson could not be happier.

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Fewer postings for theology/religious studies positions - Campus Notes

A new study from the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature found that there are fewer jobs being posted for college professors in theology and religious studies than there were prior to the economy tanking in 2008.

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Dartmouth atheists to trash Mother Teresa - Campus Reform

An atheist group at Dartmouth has announced it will hold an event that will be a "full-out romp against why one of the most beloved people of the century, Mother Teresa, is as Hitchens put it 'a lying, thieving Albanian dwarf.'"

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School Reform, the Texas Way - Defining Ideas

Could the lone star stateís simple new reform revolutionize K-12 education for poor and middle class families?

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Parents urged to intervene in teens' online life - Family Edge

Conferences around the world are urging parents and teachers to take a stronger line in young people's digital activities.

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