Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another book review of Bransfield's "The Human Person in the thought of John Paul II"

From "Snoring Scholar" Sarah Reinhard:

Recently, I dubbed The Human Person According to John Paul II, by J. Brian Bransfield, “one of the best books I’ve read in a lonnnng time (maybe ever).” It’s time to support that statement with a few reasons why you should not only pick it up and read it, but also buy it for your parish library and your best friend.
This book is approachable. The most compelling reason I have for wanting to stand from my rooftop and trumpet to everyone I know that they should read this book is that it’s approachable AND that it makes the whole idea behind Theology of the Body (republished in an expanded form recently as Man and Woman He Created Them), John Paul II’s great masterpiece (which is also online), approachable.
TOB is a HUGE undertaking to read and an even bigger undertaking to understand and unpack. I’ve read a host of other authors who have tried it, and who have done well. But this is the first book that I felt like I could hand to my friends, my husband, and my pastor with absolutely no compunction. It’s one of the only books I have purchased after receiving a review copy, and one of an even smaller number that I know I’ll be buying again.
There’s heavy, deep stuff in this book, because that’s the topic, but it’s written in a way that makes you comfortable. My husband thought, for the first two-thirds of the book, that I was reading a novel, and his eyebrows were lost in his hairline for a day or two when he found out it was nonfiction.

Read the rest here

Solid and Engaging Adult Faith Formation for your Parish or Organization

Schedule a Talk!
Faith formation for adults: talks, series, workshops and retreats led by Sister Anne Flanagan, fsp.
Available topics include:

Getting the Most Out of the Mass 
The introduction of the new Roman Missal offers an opportunity for a fuller rediscovery of the Eucharistic Liturgy and just what we are doing when we "assemble as Church." Four sessions: choose one, or schedule the whole series! Not intended to supply a complete introduction to the modifications of the new Roman Missal, but to strengthen an overall understanding of how we pray liturgically.
Mystery: The Language of Liturgy and the Place of Sunday
Memory: Part 1, the Liturgy of the Word; Introducing the Lectionary
Memory: Part 2, the Liturgy of the Eucharist
Mission: Sent in Peace (from Communion to the Dismissal and beyond)

The Liturgy of the Hours: What it Is and How to Pray it
It's not just for priests anymore! Everyone is encouraged to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. But it can seem so...intimidating. Not after this introduction! Covers the origin, goals and structure of the Liturgy of the Hours (and what to do with all those ribbons!)
Choose the basic presentation (1 hour) or a full morning workshop with Morning Prayer and Noonday Prayer. 

The Spirituality of Eucharistic Adoration
For many people, Eucharistic adoration is a new and welcome discovery, drawing from and leading back to the Eucharistic Celebration. The history and structure of the Mass itself offers a kind of pattern that can easily be carried over into prayerful adoration.
Ideal for parishes where formal adoration is already established or is just being introduced.

St. Paul: Life and Letters

Who better than the Daughters of St. Paul
to help  your parish or organization members come to a
better knowledge of the Apostle Paul?
Bring his life, his letters, his most influential ideas to life
with one or more of these insightful presentations:

Face to Face with Paul
Much of the artistic tradition depicting the life of Paul depends not only on Scripture, but on little-known Christian legends. You may be surprised by what you can learn of Paul's life, ministry and martyrdom as seen through the lens of 100 works of art.

(This presentation runs roughly 90 minutes and requires a room dark enough for slides to be visible. I provide the projector; you provide a screen or a blank wall.)

Starting to Read Paul
An introduction to the Letters of St. Paul in their overall context: the Bible as Paul knew it; the Bible as Paul used it; Paul as a biblical author. Ideal for an audience just getting started in Scripture study. 

Five Big Ideas We Owe to Paul
Many Catholic commonplaces, from "offering it up" to the language of marriage as a sacrament, come to us from St. Paul. What does St. Paul have to say to us today through these "big ideas" that he was the first to articulate?

The Church and Media

Finding Jesus on Facebook
Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Blogs: new media offer new ways to meet people and share everything from photos to faith. What is this new world of social networking? How can you be a part of it? Is there room for Jesus on Facebook?
Four hour "New Media in Ministry" in-service available for diocesan catechists or youth ministry teams; team-taught with Sr. Helena Burns, fsp.
One hour, one-on-one mentoring sessions also available. We'll help you get started on Facebook and Twitter, or other social networks of your choosing. Your place or ours. Call for info.

Catholics and the Media: Yesterday and Today
As Catholics, we have an interesting (and strikingly positive) approach to media. Find out what the Popes have taught, and how Catholics have influenced the history of modern media, as well as what is being done by the people in the pews today.


Pauline Day of Recollection
Offer your parishioners, staff or organization members a morning of prayer and reflection with St. Paul. Morning "retreat" consists of two half-hour conferences on Pauline spirituality, plus a guided Hour of Eucharistic Adoration.

A Daughter of St. Paul for over 30 years, Sister Anne Flanagan served as catechetical author and editor for Pauline Books & Media, Boston, and is a specialist in the spirituality of the Pauline Family. Sister Anne is an enthusiastic blogger and holds a Master's Degree in Religious Studies (St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, PA) and a  Certificate in Spiritual Formation (Catholic Theological Union, Chicago).

Contact info: email romans8v29  [at] gmail [dot] com or call (Mon-Sat 10:00-5:30 CST) 312 346 4228

A stipend of $150 is requested for each presentation. (The Day of Recollection functions as two presentations.) Travel/lodging added for bookings beyond the Chicago metropolitan area. Catholic resources in Scripture study and prayer for all ages can be made available for purchase before and after all sessions. (If your parish has a school, we can coordinate a J-Club Catholic book fair for the children to coincide with the adult faith formation presentations. See for information about the book fair program.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Re-introducing Sister Frances!

The end of summer means a lot of things ("Back to School" is only the most commercially visible of them). For the Daughters of St. Paul, it can mean transfer time--and so it was for our Chicago community as we welcomed Sister Frances back to the Windy City. Sister Frances is no stranger to Chicago: she was the manager of our Michigan Avenue center from 1996-2000, and oversaw the renovation that put a new facade on the street and a lovely new interior to the center itself.
After leaving Chicago, Sister Francis spent the next ten years in California, where she focused much of her time and energy on care for her parents (who died within a year of each other) and managing our SoCal locations in Culver City and San Diego. Now that she's back, Sister Frances says, "I'm totally impressed by the expansion and growth in the city. I can't believe how much it (and the traffic!) has grown."
Sister Frances brings with her a wealth of artistic ability and experience. After meeting the Daughters of St. Paul in Cleveland, she followed her sister Margaret in entering the community. (Sister Margaret is  stationed in our Boston community.) From her very first days in the convent, Sister Frances worked in the graphic design department of our publishing house. Moving to the book center ministry, she excelled in the design aspects of our locations. Now she's enrolling in the program in Interior Architecture and Design at the Illinois Art Institute to get some theory to refine her many years of practice.
Sister Frances is delighted to be back to renew old friendships and make new ones; we're just delighted to have her back!

New online study starting soon!

Love and ResponsibilityOur Theology of the Body class will resume on the 2nd Saturday of the month, beginning in just 10 days. Instead of going through the tome of John Paul's Wednesday talks ("the" source of the Theology of the Body),  we will be studying Karol Wojtyla's earlier work, "Love and Responsibility." People who think that the Theology of the Body was just the Pope's after-the-fact attempt to justify the Church's teachings in the widely-scorned encyclical "Humanae Vitae" will be surprised to see that "Love and Responsiblity," first published in Polish in 1960, is the real precursor to the Theology of the Body.

Basic class info:
Meet here at the bookstore or online every 2nd Saturday of the month, 10:30 US Central Time.
Text: Love and Responsibility
Spread the Word!