Monday, December 31, 2007

Slavery remembered (?)

Eric Foner, professor of history at Columbia University, writes in today’s New York Times:
We Americans live in a society awash in historical celebrations. The last few years have witnessed commemorations of the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase (2003) and the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II (2005). Looming on the horizon are the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth (2009) and the sesquicentennial of the outbreak of the Civil War (2011). But one significant milestone has gone strangely unnoticed: the 200th anniversary of Jan. 1, 1808, when the importation of slaves into the United States was prohibited.

We at Albany Catholic were surprised to learn this interesting fact. We suggest you read the entire article to learn more.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering brings together more than 600 social ministry leaders from all over the United States and from national Catholic organizations for four days of prayer and reflection, witness and celebration.

This year’s event includes:
Opening plenary speaker is His Eminence Oscar Cardinal Rodriguez. Cardinal Rodriquez is the past president for CELAM and has served on several Pontifical Councils.

Two excellent presenters for the domestic and international plenary; Dr. Norman Francis and Ms. Lesley Knight, respectively. Dr. Norman Francis is the president of Xavier University in New Orleans and the recipient of the 2006 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ms. Lesley-Anne Knight is the recently elected General Secretary for Caritas Internationalis.

In additional to exciting general sessions, there will be plenty of opportunities to network and share ideas with social ministry leaders from across the country.

More importantly, you will be able to bring a message about key issues affecting the poor and vulnerable to our elected officials on Capitol Hill! The more people who participate in this effort, the more effective it will be.

More information is available here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Advent calls believers to reflection, peace

Catholic News Service reports on an event down the Hudson in Garrison, stomping ground of former Governor George Pataki:
During Advent, Catholics are called to "put on the armor of light, to be peacemakers beating swords of war and anger into plowshares, and to poke holes of light into the darkness which often seems to permeate our lives," according to Dominican Sister Anne Tahaney.

"The common themes of Advent, expectation and waiting in joyful hope call us to reflection and peace, yet tension and stress surround us in our own personal lives, and war and death and destruction loom daily before us in newscasts," she said.

Sister Tahaney spoke Dec. 2 at an Advent vespers service at Graymoor, headquarters of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. Others were scheduled to speak Dec. 9, 16 and 23.

This year's speakers were asked to reflect on "A Common Word Between Us and You," an October 2007 letter to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders signed by 138 senior Muslim leaders and later endorsed by dozens of others.

The letter highlights two theological similarities found in both the Quran and the New Testament: belief in one God and love of neighbor. The letter also proposes theological dialogue to find common ground.

"Finding common ground between Muslims and Christians is not simply a polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders," the Muslims wrote. "Christianity and Islam ... together make up more than 55 percent of the world's population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world.

You can read more here.