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Showing posts from March, 2010

Movie Night next Monday: Beyond the Gates. Two thumbs up!

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Movies that Matter:  Beyond the Gates Beyond the GatesMonday April 5, 20106:30 pm Meeting Room St. John the Baptist Parish [Behind the Maryknoll Mission Center] Join us for our monthly educational movie night, co-sponsored by Maryknoll and the Adult Faith Formation Program at St. John the Baptist Parish. The first Monday of each month will offer a new movie that inspires or takes us deeper in our faith and understanding of our connections with others. Refreshments will be provided and the movie will be followed by a discussion. Beyond the Gates.    Drama. Joe Connor has come to teach in Rwanda because he believes he can make a difference. When the school becomes a haven for thousands of Rwandans fleeing the genocide, Joe promises his brightest pupil, Marie, that the UN soldiers will protect her from the hordes of extremist militia baying for blood outside the school. But when the UN abandon the refugees, Joe and the school's headmaster, Father Christopher, face an ago…
I'm at the Los Angeles Religious Ed Conference and it's been a good year mostly because Maryknoll got a better location. People have been visiting our booth a lot and even posting videos. If you're on Facebook, go to the Orbis books page and check out some of the videos. Just search for Orbis Books and it'll come up. I went to fantastic liturgy today by the Youth Ministry department of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The young poeple are really into the liturgy and really into being Catholic. They seem incongruous with what we consider to be the state of the youth in the church today. One could say they are just an aberrant fanatical group bent on seeing priests in cassocks and sisters in full habit and celebrating the Mass in Latin. So I visited a booth of young people and asked why is it that they look for from the Church. The response was "honesty, transparency, no lies or secrets." I asked how kids feel about the sexual abuse scandal, has it tur…
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Crucifix in a chapel at Maryknoll, NY

The final REC session at CCOP went very well but the reality of our popular culture becomes evident from time to time. One child, about 10 years old, thought that the solution to the unequal global distribution of food was for the poor countries to get money to buy guns, start a war, and demand food from their more prosperous neighbors. A couple of others expressed similar ideas earlier in the week. I suppose given what children experience in the various forms of media, this should not come as a surprise, yet I am always greatly saddened to hear it come from out of the mouths of children. I feel a momentary heaviness in my chest. This demonstrates a need to teach peace to our children. To correct them each and every time they express thoughts of violence. How will they know otherwise? If we allow television, movies and video games to teach our children, what tools will they have to create change in the world when they grow up? Look for an…
Today is the last day with the REC groups at St. Augustine. It's been a challenging and rewarding experience introducing young people (5 to 10 years old) to serious matters of the world. I've heard a couple of creative solutions to the unequal distrubution of food in the world: "one country can trade things they make with things another country makes so everyone would have what they need", "the countries that have a lot of stuff could share with the other countries that have less", and one of the most impressive things I heard I could easily put on a bumper sticker: "Sharing makes the world a wonderful place." I would estimate the young girl that said that was about 7 years old. Our children are capable of problem-solving more than we perhaps give them credit for. When you consider the world in which they are growing up, that's a good thing because they are inheriting problems most of us never dreamed of when we were their age. Although we won…

Kris and the children at the Parish Mission

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The children in the REC program at CCOP (ages 5 - 10) watched a video on the life of a young girl in Haiti - before the recent earthquake- and compared her life with theirs. Several children answered "yes" to the question, "Have you ever wondered what you would eat on a particular day?" No child answered "yes" to "Have you ever wondered IF you would eat on a particular day?" 
 After discussing differences of healthcare, education, and diet between the U.S. and Haiti, the children were broken up into four groups representing each of four continents/cultures: Asia, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, and U.S./Canada/Europe. A cloth from each region was spread out on the floor and the children gathered around their respective "tables."
All the children in the room (120) represented all the people of the earth. Asia, Africa, and Latin America tables had the largest groups of children. The U.S./Canada/Europe table had just a few to rep…

Parish Mission...the children learning about global solidarity

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The Parish Mission for the children in the Religious Education Program.
These kids are gathered around a "table" representing the people of Africa. Kris showed them the Childern of the Earth video on Haiti and they talked about how their lives are the same and different from the kids in Haiti. By the end, they had a greater appreciation of how they are connected with their brothers and sisters around the world.

Parish Mission

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Fr. John Felago at the Parish Mission

Parish Mission

We are in the middle of our parish mission at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton. Click here for their website. Our theme has been the powerful story from Sunday's Gospel (Cycle A) about the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. It was an encounter that never should have happened. There were all sorts of religious, moral and political borders in place that should have prevented Jesus and this woman from having contact, much less a meaningful dialog. And yet in their crossing the borders that separated them, Jew and Samaritan, man and woman, they discovered living water.


So, at the mission, we've been exploring the borders we might need to cross to encounter God and find living water and how many times God is waiting for us outside the comfort zone within our borders and how we often encounter God when we encounter others outside our normal boundaries, just like Jesus and disciples did in the unlikely place of Samaria.


Yesterday we were blessed to have Fr. Jo…

Maryknoll will be at the LA Congress

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Visit us at the LA Religious Education Congress 2010 and enter our drawing for an Acer Aspire Notebook.  Enter onlineahead of time.

From Carmen in Africa

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view Carmen's photo album: International Festival of Masks International Festival of Masks Debougou, ouest, Burkina Faso - Feb 27, 2010
by Carmen This International Festival of Masks takes place every two years. Debougou is a small town west of Ouagadougou. It took us 11 hours by bus to get there but luckily we had a minimal stop over in Bobo coming home so travelling time was reduced to 8 hours. This album is a collection of masks divided into three sections: cloth, grass, and leaves. The masks represent various villages in Burkina Faso and other West African countries. The masks, music, and dancing were spectacular and an incredible ... View Album
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