Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Apologia for Theology at the University (and everywhere else)

The latest Pew Study results in a USA Today article: Americans lack religious knowledge.

Americans are clear on God but foggy on facts about faiths.

The new U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that although 86% of us believe in God or a higher power, we don't know our own traditions or those of neighbors across the street or across the globe.

Among 3,412 adults surveyed, only 2% correctly answered at least 29 of 32 questions on the Bible, major religious figures, beliefs and practices. The average score was 16 correct (50%).

Key findings:

Doctrines don't grab us. Only 55% of Catholic respondents knew the core teaching that the bread and wine in the Mass become the body and blood of Christ, and are not merely symbols. Just 19% of Protestants knew the basic tenet that salvation is through faith alone, not actions as well.

Basic Bible eludes us. Just 55% of all respondents knew the Golden Rule isn't one of the Ten Commandments; 45% could name all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

World religions are a struggle. Fewer than half (47%) knew that the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist; 27% knew most people in Indonesia are Muslims.

Now...what are YOU going to do about this?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spiritual directors list available

A local (and not exhaustive) list of spiritual directors who expressed willingness to work with Spirituality for the Vineyard students is now available! See Dr. WD in the Theology suite or Lynn S. in Campus Ministry for the list. Thanks!

p.s. The painting above depicts the road to Emmaus narrative, often used as a symbol for spiritual direction.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Retreat in the real world" opportunity

From the online ministries department at Creighton University, a source of many good resources:

Make a retreat designed for people too busy to make a traditional retreat.

Experience a relationship with God coming alive in the midst of everyday life.

Come to know a freedom and peace too often out of reach in the modern world.

A simple Guide each week places themes, reflections, questions and desires into the background of our busy lives. We learn to find greater focus and to let one week build upon another.

It really works. Any busy person can do this retreat in the background of a very full life. Thousands of others have done so.

Begin any time, but if we begin the week of September 19th, the retreat fits with the Liturgical Year.

Make the commitment alone, with a spiritual director, or form a group to make the retreat together.

If you are "on the fence," read what so many others said after they completed the retreat.

Here's How to Get Started.

See more about the weekly "retreat in the real world" here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"God has created me to do Him some definite service."

From now Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman:

God has created me to do Him some definite service.

He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.

I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.

I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.

He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work.

I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.

Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away.

If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.

He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about.

He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me.

Still, He knows what He is about.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"I want a laity...."

“I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men [and women] who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity – I wish [them] to enlarge [their] knowledge, to cultivate [their] reason, to get an insight into the relation of truth to truth, to learn to view things as they are, to understand how faith and reason stand to each other, what are the bases and principles of Catholicism.’ (Sermon 9, Duties of Catholics towards the Protestant View, 1851)

--John Henry Cardinal Newman (future saint! to be beatified Sept 19, 2010)

To that end--
Remember the inaugural Vineyard Colloquium, 7pm Sunday in the President's Room. See you there!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Inaugural Vineyard Colloquium: this Sunday evening!

History in the making, everyone. The inaugural speaker of the Vineyard Colloquia presents this Sunday!

Majors (and faculty) should have received an invitation to dinner with Sr. Kate before the lecture. Please RSVP to Dr. Beal by Wednesday (Sept 15).

And everyone come to the lecture/discussion...you can go to the late Mass afterward....

"Opportunities and Challenges in Lay Ministry"
September 19, 2010, 7pm
The President's Room, Toner Center
Sr. Kate Dooley, O.P.

Sister Kate Dooley, O.P. is a Sinsinawa (WI) Dominican Sister who teaches at Dominican University in River Forest, Il. For the past twenty five years she taught in The School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. She holds an M.A. from the Catholic University of America, a M.Th. from Harvard Divinity School, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. Dr. Dooley has published widely in catechetical and liturgical journals, and written a number of texts and resource materials for religious education. She is one of the General Editors for the Benziger series, Christ Jesus the Way. Other publications are To Listen and Tell: Commentary on the Introduction to the Lectionary for Masses with Children (Washington, D.C.: Pastoral Press, 1993); co-edited The Echo Within: Emerging Issues in Religious Education (Allen, Texas: Thomas More, 1997); and is currently working on Be What You Celebrate on liturgical catechesis. She has received numerous national awards, including the National Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Liturgical Life of the American Church (Georgetown Center for Liturgy, 2005) and the Emmaus Award for Excellence in Catechesis (National Catholic Education Association/National Association of Parish Catechetical Leaders, 2005).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On pizza, mind maps, and spiritual formation

The meeting! Finally! Thanks to everyone who came (should have gotten a big group shot, I know, I know)....

Conclusion #1: Goodness, we eat a lot of pizza.
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Computerized Theology

Look at us using computers. How on earth did Thomas Aquinas write his Summa without them....

Concept mapping CoWorkers in the Vineyard

Concept mapping broke out all over the place.

If you weren't there, we explained this program (on this page) AND showed people how to use the "mind map" (or concept map if you prefer). This is like a digital version of Co-Workers in the Vineyard, a tool to self-assess your formation as a Catholic Christian, and help determine next steps in discerning and growing in your vocation and ministry. More to come....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Have you RSVPed?

Have you RSVP-ed to the big whopping Theology majors orientation to all things SFTV and Mindmap? You know, the one on Thursday Sept 9th from 6-8pm?

(...and if you don't know what I am taking about and want to attend, or at least know what's up...email Professor Laurie Ziliak! Do it now!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Mass of the Holy Spirit today! And...

Mass of the Holy Spirit: Today, 12:10pm at St. Thomas More Chapel!
Bishop Quinn presiding....

It's also a significant Lasallian day: lightly adapted from Br. Larry Humphries' (our VP for Mission) email:

September 2 is the feast day in the Lasallian world of our Brother martyrs of the French Revolution. These include Blessed Brother Solomon, who was killed on September 2, 1792. On this day we also honor our Brothers (Blessed Brother Roger, Blessed Brother Uldaric, Blessed Brother Léon) who died as prisoners in the "hulk" ships two or three years later.

As the Winona campus celebrates College Convocation Day with the Mass of the Holy Spirit, and the SGPP prepares for the beginning of the fall semester next week, I invite you to also remember with prayerful gratitude the ultimate sacrifice of these Christian Brother martyrs.

"You have to teach the truths of faith to your students . . . To this work you should devote yourself wholeheartedly, and even sacrifice your life if necessary in order to accomplish it properly." (St. John Baptist de La Salle, Meditation 135.2)

Blessed Brothers Solomon, Roger, Uldaric, and Léon ~ Pray for us!
Live Jesus in our hearts ~ Forever!
~Brother Larry

p.s. Sept 9th--6-8pm--save the date! More soon!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What are the "small groups" about?

Another element of the Spirituality for the Vineyard program is the one year participation in a small group devoted to discerning who you are and what God may have in store for you. This is just a pilot this year, and just for majors/minors interested in lay ecclesial ministry.

We asked Laurie Watson, the convener, to introduce herself:

Hello to those considering a small group experience this year as part of the Vineyard Experience! My name is Laurie Watson, and I am anticipating all of us growing in insights and blessings as I facilitate one of the groups this year. Here’s a little information about me ….

I completed my undergraduate degree in psychology and social work at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, in 1976. I obtained my youth ministry certificate from the Center of Ministry Development in 2000. In 2003 I completed a master’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans. The following year I completed a spiritual direction internship.

My work experiences include being a social worker on the “front lines” for several years, followed by many years of work with adults with developmental disabilities. I especially enjoyed working with folks with autism. Most recently I served as pastoral associate for the Cathedral here in Winona from 2006-2010. This summer I became a full time live-in volunteer at the Winona Catholic Worker.

I am mother of two and grandma to four beautiful grandchildren.

My expectations for the small group experience … first and foremost, a genuine desire to explore one’s unique calling in life … an openness to deep and honest sharing…a commitment to intentional prayer and reflection outside monthly meeting times…possibly some minimal journaling. We’ll gather informally each month around a meal or coffee. The group participants will determine to a large extent the direction the group will take this year. Expect to leave each month with points to ponder as you discern the next step in your vocational journey.

Come learn more about this option at the September 9th gathering!