May 7, 2013 2 Comments
May 7, 2013 1 Comment
A man in upstate New York has just about finished a task that was common enough until the invention of the printing press: Over the past four years, he has copied the King James Bible by hand, the Associated Press reports.
Phillip Patterson, a 63-year-old resident of Philmont, N.Y., a town near the Massachusetts border, may be an unlikely scribe for the Bible. He is not especially religious, for one thing, though he does go to church. A retired interior designer whose battles with anemia and AIDS have often slowed his work, he began the monumental task mostly out of curiosity.
In 2007, Patterson’s longtime partner, Mohammed, told him about the Islamic tradition of writing out the Koran by hand. When Patterson said that the Bible was too long for Christianity to have a similar tradition, Mohammed said, well, he should start it.
“I hadn’t counted on the fact that it would be so beautiful,” Patterson told the AP. “Or that it would be so exhilarating. And so long.”
Although counts disagree, according to most sources, the King James Bible has 788,000 words or more.
Patterson uses sheets of 19-by-13-inch watercolor paper for his task, which he rules by hand with pencil lines. Sitting at a desk by his bed, he tracks the page of his hardcover Bible with one hand, and writes, using felt-tip pens, with the other. When the page is finished, he erases the pencil lines, leaving black ink on a clear white page.
At first, Patterson used to work 14-hour days on the project, and he still works until he can no longer stay awake, usually about six to eight hours a day. He says he particularly enjoyed working on the Book of Ruth, disliked all the plagues and killing, and found the character of Jesus somewhat glib, though he found his message laudable. There were times, Patterson said, when he didn’t think he would live to finish, but now he believes he’s become more patient, more loving, and more open to difference due to this work.
The project has been documented by photographer Laura Glazer, who has shot more than 4,000 pictures of Patterson at work. According to Glazer, Patterson has little in common with the medieval monks whose task this historically was. ”He’s not a martyr or a saint,” she said. “That’s what’s so nice. It’s just what he does. He’s not trying to prove anything to anybody. He’s making something beautiful.”
May 5, 2013 2 Comments
Celebrated by Orthodox Christian in the Holy Sepulchre. RT has this stunning video:
Thousands of Orthodox Christian braved hours of waiting to witness the Holy Fire ceremony in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre – an important annual rite for the Church’s eastern denominations.
In what believers regard as a miracle, every year the day before Orthodox Easter, an unlit blue fire from a stone in the Church descends from the dome and ignites a candle held by the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.
Around 10,000 people squeezed into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre– regarded by many as the place where Jesus was laid to rest and resurrected – with about as many waiting outside.
As the Patriarch received the fire, he passed it around, to other clergymen from other denominations (six of them share the church and consider it a holy site) and onto the gathered pilgrims.
The appearance of the flame is symbolic of Jesus’ rise from the dead three days after his funeral.
More photos here.
May 2, 2013 4 Comments
(Leamington Courier) Sir Frank Whittle was just one of the interesting characters who went to school at Binswood Hall, currently being transformed into an Audley retirement village.
Former pupils of Leamington College included a priest, Father Thomas Rousell Davids Byles (1870-1912). Father Thomas read maths, modern history and theology at Oxford University and then trained as a Catholic priest. When his younger brother who was living in America asked him to officiate at his wedding ceremony he jumped at the chance and made arrangements to travel to New York.
He was scheduled to travel on another White Star liner, but switched at the last minute to the Titanic. He is widely reported as having held a mass prayer for passengers aboard the ship as it went down, offering solace to passengers, hearing confessions and giving absolution…
May 1, 2013 1 Comment
Christians throughout the Islamic world are under attack. Unlike Muslim attacks on Christians, which are regularly confused with a myriad of social factors, the ongoing attacks on Christian churches in the Muslim world are perhaps the most visible expression of Christian persecution under Islam. In churches, Christians throughout the Islamic world are simply being Christians—peacefully and apolitically worshipping their God. And yet modern day Muslim governments try to prevent them, Muslim mobs attack them, and Muslim jihadis massacre them.
To understand the nature of this perennial hostility, one must first examine Muslim doctrines concerning Christian churches; then look at how these teachings have manifested themselves in reality over the course of centuries; and finally look at how modern day attacks on Christian churches mirror the attacks of history, often in identical patterns. The continuity is undeniable.
Because tracing and documenting the treatment of churches across the thousands of miles of formerly Christian lands conquered by Islam is well beyond the purview of this study, a paradigm is needed. Accordingly, an examination of the treatment of Christian churches in Egypt suffices as a model for understanding the fate churches under Islamic dominion. Indeed, as one of the oldest and largest Muslim nations, with one of the oldest and largest Christian populations, Egypt is the ultimate paragon for understanding all aspects of Christianity under Islam, both past and present.
Muslim Doctrine Concerning Churches
Christians throughout the Islamic world are under attack. Unlike Muslim attacks on Christians, which are regularly confused with a myriad of social factors, the ongoing attacks on Christian churches in the Muslim world are perhaps the most visible expression of Christian persecution under Islam. In churches, Christians throughout the Islamic world are simply being Christians—peacefully and apolitically worshipping their God. And yet modern day Muslim governments try to prevent them, Muslim mobs attack them, and Muslim jihadis massacre them…
Do read on here.
April 30, 2013 4 Comments
Hundreds of parishioners watched in shock as a Catholic priest died at the altar during mass, moments after baptising a baby.
Napier’s longest-serving priest, Monsignor Timothy Francis Hannigan, 81, collapsed at the altar during communion at St Patrick’s Catholic Church on Sunday.
A doctor and nurses in the packed church rushed to help the popular priest when he slumped to the ground about 9.30am, but he died by the altar of the church where he had served for more than 30 years.
“It’s one thing for a priest to die in a church, but it’s a whole other thing for him to die during communion,” a parishioner who did not wish to be named said yesterday.
The congregation continued to pray as his body was taken away. Some also recited a rosary.
Former St Patrick’s parish priest Father Paul Kerridge said Monsignor Hannigan had taken mass as usual, and had just finished baptising a baby and blessing the parents when he fell to the floor.
It was believed he died after a cardiac arrest.
The energetic priest had not shown any previous signs of illness, and was fine during the sermon, Father Kerridge said.
His loss would be keenly felt.
“I would say everyone in the parish would consider him their next of kin. He was like a brother.”
Parishioner Ross Allan said those who were there were shocked by what they saw unfolding.
“One moment he had baptised a child … then the next moment there was all this commotion up the front of the church. It was a very unusual situation.”
Monsignor Hannigan was a pillar of the community who did everything he could to help those in need, including the homeless who showed up on his doorstep, Allan said.
Fellow parishioner and retired Napier dentist David Marshall said church members were comforted by the fact that Monsignor Hannigan did not have to suffer a long illness.
He died doing what he did best, which was saying mass for his parish family – which I think is the greatest gift a priest could have…”
‘He died doing what he did best…’
Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.
April 27, 2013 6 Comments
A thorny issue… for some… Priests and blogs. The new media. The room for evangelism is tremendous. Furthering the cause of Christ. For others, this is simply a no-brainer:
“Priests stand at the threshold of a new era… as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, priests are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word…
Give a ‘soul’ to the fabric of communications that makes up the ‘Web’.”
“Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission” at a time when the Church comes under attacks more often than before, the patriarch said. “Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers.”
“Now that social media shows a huge interest, although not always a sound one, in church life, our duty is to convert it for a good cause, to create conditions for young people to know about Christ, know the truth about the life of people inside the Church,”
Speaking of the Anglican Catholics, Fr Ed Bakker, today, asks the question: How should one behave as a Priest on a blog?
With so many Priests being involved in blogging I think it would be good if we had a guideline how to behave , especially when we deal with those, who just happen to disagree with us and make comments, which perhaps are not appropriate…
For the rest, go here.
He concludes with the Collect of Purity. We need a lot more purity and charity, all-around.
Again, the cause of Christ and His Gospel must be furthered. There are souls to be saved!
Blog, Priests, blog!
The Church should be building platforms of social influence that extend well beyond the four walls of the Sunday experience.
All God’s people: Go forth into the digital world and proclaim the good news!
April 2, 2013 4 Comments
So opts Damien Thompson, who blogs:
There’s plenty of scepticism about the Ordinariate – especially since the careful circulation of a quote attributed to former Cardinal Bergoglio saying he didn’t see the need for it. Well, we shall see. Pope Francis – who would never have encountered Anglicans in the Catholic tradition in Latin America – now finds himself head of the Ordinariate in three continents; his spokesman has said that this will be a permanent structure of the Catholic Church…
One of the treasures of Anglicanism that the Ordinariate can bring to Rome has nothing to do with vestments or prayer books – it’s the tradition of the Anglo-Catholic “slum priests” who carried the Gospel to the darkest alleyways of Jack the Ripper’s London…
The whole piece is here.
April 2, 2013 1 Comment
For the first time, there are more Jews living in Israel than in America, making the Jewish state the home of the largest Jewish population in the world. There are 6 million Jews in Israel and 5.5 million in America, 2 million of whom live in New York. Roughly 500,000 Jews live in France and almost 300,000 live in the United Kingdom.
Among the 8 million residents of Israel, there are 1.6 million Arabs and 350,000 non-Arab Christians or other groups.
The number six million has obvious significance to Jews the world over, since six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. But for the first time in thousands of years, it can legitimately be claimed that a plurality of Jews live in Israel — and if demographic trends continue, Jews in Israel will soon constitute a majority of Jews on the planet.