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Showing posts from May, 2012

As Morning Breaks

Last night, the U of D Jesuit community celebrated the 135th graduating class. Following a lovely ceremony, the vast majority of students returned to the school for a wonderful "Senior All Night Party" hosted by the parents.

One of the traditions is to conclude the evening with a prayer service, observed at around 4:30 am! I was approached to help plan the ceremony and prepared the following text. I am putting it up online because I know how hard it is to find good "Prayer Service" resources online and I thought this might be of help to people in planning services for their own schools. As it was written, I had five different leaders, one for each of the main parts.


Commence(ment) Debate

I listened last week to a short piece on NPR concerning the selection of commencement speakers at Catholic schools. In some quarters, rancor has erupted over Georgetown University's School of Public Policy Institute's invitation to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to deliver its commencement address (Wow, that seemed like a long sentence). 
Here is a portion of the transcript from the NPR conversation:
BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY, BYLINE: Sebelius is Catholic. She's also liberal and pro-choice. And the fact that she's speaking to Georgetown's Public Policy Institute makes conservative Catholics, like Patrick Reilly, see red.PATRICK REILLY: Well, this is clearly a betrayal of the bishops.HAGERTY: Riley is president of the Cardinal Newman Society. He notes that Sebelius is the architect of the Obama administration's requirement that Catholic universities and hospitals offer birth control coverage.REILLY: This is not someone who the Catholic Churc…

Moral Wisdom and a Case Study

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was approached last week and asked to teach two sections of Junior Morality. Since the seniors had had their last day of school - meaning I had picked up two free periods -  it seemed only natural that I would trade my thirty seniors and my two free periods for sixty-one juniors.

When I was in high school, I hated my course in morality. Not, to be sure, because I was particularly immoral or wanted to lead a debauched life. Rather, the course seemed totally bloodless: it seemed to reduce the Christian life to a bunch of proscriptions, a litany of Do Not....Or Else.... statements. Granted, I was an adolescent and my memories of the course are etched by how my 16-year old self received the information. It seemed then, and still seems, that most courses in Catholic morality obsess over what goes on in the area of the human body covered by an apron. Too often, we fixate so much on sex and things related to sex that we neglect many other important issues.

"You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you."

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For a few moments, I thought I might take a picture of my bedroom to show its utter disarray, at least by my standards. I have some slowly-being-filled-with-books boxes on the ground, my laundry is all over the place, and there is an unprecedented amount of dust on my Darth Vader mask. If it says anything, it testifies to the fact that the end of the seniors' last week of school (tomorrow is prom) and that I play a role in making sure things go off smoothly. Just yesterday, in fact, Itaught five classes...well, almost five. I had to ditch my 3rd period class five minutes in when I was summoned to a meeting (only good things)Processed another $10,000 in Prom checks and Cedar Point money (Frosh trip in June)Ordered food for, and hosted, a lunch for three freshmen and three seniors (more pizza than normal people could dream of eating, just enough for voracious students)Went to a Kairos team meetingActed as greeter and tour guide for Assistant Principal job applicantsWorked on my app…