Deracination- when uprooting is the norm

Nick from Nick’s Catholic Blog has written something that needed to be written. About the problems that our overly mobile global society is having in family and parish life as a result of this ridiculous ease with which we uproot ourselves from our family.

Part 1: Roaming
Part 2: Roamin’ Catholicism

Food for thought.



John Allen Jr. in Sydney

The amazing John Allen, Jr. was in Sydney on Monday, and I had the very great pleasure of hearing him speak at the Australian Catholic University in Strathfield.

Wiki sums him up thusly:

John L. Allen, Jr. (born 1965) is an American journalist based in Rome who specializes in news about the Catholic Church. He is senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and vaticanologist of CNN and NPR. Allen is also the author of several books about the Catholic Church. He has written two biographies of Pope Benedict XVI, the first one published in 2000 when the Pope was still a cardinal and the first biography of him in English.

He’s the guy on the left.

He spoke on what the first six months of Francis’ papacy seem to mean for the Church. In short, he was excellent. Engaging, erudite, articulate, witty, intelligent, charitable, fascinating… what more could you want? Some of the articles in his online column “All Things Catholic” for the National Catholic Register touch on some of the things he referred to, like the one word that summarises what Francis is all about. Go check out his stuff! This column is definitely about to become part of my regular reading, and his books added to my reading list.

Bishop Commensoli gave thanks at the close of the evening, with a rather nice tribute. He referred to what the Catechism has to say about journalists, their role, and their responsibilities.

2497 By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation.

He went on to say that Mr Allen is a stirling example of this kind of journalism lived out, and someone that aspiring journalists, bloggers, and media people should look to as a role model. Resounding concurrence on that score from me!


How Schools Kill Creativity

I ranted some time ago about compartmentalising university education. Continuing in similar vein, I’ve recently discovered the excellent Sir Ken Robinson. He generally rants about the problems present in school education systems, which seemingly also suffer from compartmentalising and other related evils.

The man himself.

Here’s a talk he gave at TED on “How schools kill creativity.”

For all his TED talks, go here.

I think you’ll find he’s pretty rad, so go listen to at least one of his talks! Intelligent and funny, always a winning combo.

I’ll leave you with some choice quotes of his:

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”

“Many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not — because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.”

“Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of.”

“Human life is inherently creative. It’s why we all have different résumés. … It’s why human culture is so interesting and diverse and dynamic.”