Anna Arco's Diary

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Archive for December 2009


The Domincan students have some Christmas Crackers. I can’t resist a joke, especially ones of the sort that elicit groans, so please check them out. Happy Christmas.

Here is a selection:

Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. How did Adam and Eve feel when expelled from the Garden of Eden?
A. They were really put out.

Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden?
A. Your mother ate us out of house and home.

Q. Who is the greatest babysitter mentioned in the Bible?
A. David. He rocked Goliath to sleep.

Q. Why was Goliath so surprised when David hit him with a slingshot?
A. The thought had never entered his head before.

Q. What do they call pastors in Germany?
A. German Shepherds.

Written by annaarco

December 31, 2009 at 10:54 am

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A new co-adjutor for Shrewsbury

The Vicar General (left) of Salford diocese has been named co-adjutor for Shrewsbury diocese, which is run by Bishop Brian Noble.

Mgr Mark Davies was born in Manchester and is 50 years old. He was ordained a priest in 1984 and will be ordained on the Feast of the Chair of Peter (February 22). The present bishop is 73 years old.

In an interview featured on the Shrewsbury website, he said that he was surprised when he was called to meet the Nuncio in London. When he was asked what he thought his new diocese needed he said: “I remember Pope Paul VI being asked a similar question and replying that what is most needed is always an increase of faith. I’m sure that will always be our greatest need: to increase in faith, to be faith-ful!

“I’m conscious too that I come to the Diocese not only to begin a task but to continue the work which began more than a hundred and fifty years ago. So it’s this story of faithfulness we need to confidently continue at the beginning of the Twenty First Century.”

Mgr Davies is based in the next-door diocese of Salford and is a Northerner through and through. He went to school in Stockport, Cheshire and studied at Durham University in Yorkshir and trained for the priesthood at Ushaw College (also in Durham).

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December 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm

What Gorby said to the Pope…

In December 1989 Pope John Paul II met Russia’s President Mikhail Gorbachev behind closed doors in the Vatican. Today, Vatican Radio in German has the transcript of the 76-minute conversation. At the moment there is no English translation…

JPII wanted to speak to Gorby about perestroika and asked him when there would be freedom of conscience in the Soviet Union. He said: “We are waiting with longing and great hope that your country will pass a law for freedom of conscience. Man believes/ becomes faithful through a free choice. It is impossible to force someone to believe.” Read the rest of this entry »

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December 18, 2009 at 11:36 am

Pre-Christmas procrastination

For some excellent pre-Christmas procrastination, the Intentional Disciples have a Christmas Carol quiz going. I think I did alright. But give “Name this carol” a go, it’s strangely satisfying.

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December 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm

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The Christian comic book and the Manga Messiah

It is not unusual to see a grown man read a comic book in France. While  the graphic novel and the manga cartoon are a burgeoning part of our subculture and comic books are the demesne of children, our friends on the other side of La Manche have had a passion for the Bande Dessinée for years.

A few of course have made it over: the (Belgian) reporter Tintin, Asterix and Obelix and Lucky Luke are among the more famous BDs to come from the Continent, but there are many many more. In a culture where the comic book is mainstream it is hardly surprising then, that Christian churches have organised a festival of “la bande dessinée chrétienne” which goes from January 28 to 31.

And the prize for the Christian comic book was awarded to Manga Messiah, a collection of 14 books which take stories from the New Testament. They were drawn by Kozumi Shinozawa who was born in Japan in 1970. She moved to the United States and was baptised in June 2004. Her conversion has deeply influenced her work.

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December 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm

What the new Motu Proprio really means

My editor Luke Coppen has flagged up a new Motu Proprio coming out of Rome which heralds some changes to Canon Law. Motu Proprio Omnium in mentem looks like it is mainly revising laws that have to do with people formally leaving the Church and getting married. It looks like it might be a generous revision. I asked a canon lawyer what it meant. Here is the reply:

Read the rest of this entry »

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December 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Wise Blood (1979)

Very cool. Over on the Commonweal blog, Gregory Wolfe points our attention to a re-release of a 1979 film version of Flannery O’Connor’s 1952 novel Wise Blood. Hazel Motes tries to escape the Christ-haunted American South. Disgusted with preachers in particular and religion in general–though constantly being compared to one, Motes founds the Church Without Christ.

The new re-release from Criterion Collections features interviews with Brad Dourif, and Benedict Fitzgerald as well as an archival audio recording of author Flannery O’Connor reading her short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”. I’m not sure whether you can get it in a European format.

Read the rest of this entry »

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December 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Wait… an Advent video

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December 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm

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Happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

A Schutzmantel Madonna from the Archdiocese of Freiburg

“Through the fulness of your grace, the things in the lower world rejoice in the gift of freedom and the things above the world are gladdened by being renewed. Through the one glorious Son of your glorious virginity all the just who died before his life-giving death rejoice that their captivity has been ended and the angels delight that their half-ruined city is restored.

“O woman, full and more than full of grace, all creation has received of the overflow of your fulness and its youth has been renewed! O blessed and more than blessed Virgin, through your blessing all creation is blessed. Not only is creation blessed by the creator but creation blessees its creator.”

From the discourses of St Anselm from today’s office of readings.

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December 8, 2009 at 3:59 pm

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Tell children the truth about Christmas presents

Parents should tell their children the truth about Christmas presents, a German theologian has said, in order to avoid associating religion with untruth.

Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Michael Schnabel, an academic at the Institute of Early Paedagogy suggests that parents tell their children that Christmas presents are gifts from parents, not from the Christkind (Christ Child) who traditionally brings German children their gifts instead of Father Christmas or Santa Claus. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm