Ordination in Adelaide

Ordination in Adelaide

Adi Indra, a second year seminarian for the diocese of Sandhurst, has applied his considerable talents to the production of a short film promoting Corpus Christi College.

Having credited Adi, I don’t want to diminish the work of the priests and seminarians which collaborated with him. The result is an engaging and informative glimpse into seminary life.

One of the seminarians featured in the video is Rev Michael Romeo, whom Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson will ordain to the priesthood this Friday. Keep him especially in your prayers!

Saints’ First Communions

Saints’ First Communions

In about a month’s time, our grade three children, who earlier this year celebrated their first confession, and received the sacrament of Confirmation, will make their first holy communion.

I’ll meet with the parents tomorrow night to plan out the last four weeks of preparation. Youtube is usually a goldmine of good material for such meetings. Busted Halo, for example, produce some great catechetical videos.

But apart from that, I stumbled across this video about the first communions of St Josemaría and Pope Benedict — one of my favourite saints and one of my favourite popes, respectively.

There should be a whole lot more videos like this. A great many of the saints fondly recalled their first communion, but this is the only video of its kind on Youtube. So I’m going to make some more. How hard can it be? If you have any knowledge in video editing, or any details about a saint’s first communion, let me know via frjohncorrigan@gmail.com.

(Also, if you’ve got the ear of Pope Francis, ask him to share his memories too!)

The Known Universe

Early in my seminary career, I worked at Kanabea Catholic Mission in Papua New Guinea’s highlands. Remote from any semblance of light pollution, the night sky was awesome to behold. I’d often lie on my back, gaze at the stars, and ponder eternity.

This video is the online equivalent.

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History.

The suicide of Europe

The suicide of Europe

This week, one hundred years ago, the Great Powers of Europe were hurtling towards a war which would eventually draw in the entire Western sphere.

We know it as the First World War, which may be a bit parochial, because the theatres of war were largely confined to three continents, though there’s no denying its impact was global. Pope Benedict XV called it “the suicide of civilised Europe,” which is a better appraisal.

The war changed Europe and the West forever, and not for the good. It gave rise not only to totalitarian communism, the Nazi Holocaust and the Second World War, but also to the hedonism of the 1920s and 1960s, and to the moral and spiritual decline which has afflicted western civilisation since 1914.

Catholic News Service has produced an excellent 20 minute documentary which examines the origins and the aftermath of the Great War, and what lessons we can draw from it 100 years later. As Mark Twain famously observed, “History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.”

Are you Catholic? Then prove it!

This is pretty good. From the people at Outside da Box — an online video production company which specialises in youth ministry resources.

Good choices, bad choices

Good choices, bad choices

Lent is the season of penance and conversion, so this a great time for children to celebrate their first confession.

In our parish, children do this in grade three. It’s a challenge to prepare them in a way that resonates right now, and also equips them to recognise in the future the value in examining one’s conscience, naming one’s sin, requesting God’s mercy and healing, and all the other ideas and practices which inform the complex concept of Christian conversion.

The best starting point, I think, is always sacred scripture. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb 4:12) In my experience, children especially like, and respond to, the story of Zacchaeus, and the parable of the prodigal son.

It’s also good, I think, to situate sin and conscience in the context of good choices and bad choices. Am I right in thinking that “good choices” is something children either intuitively learn, or their parents and peers teach them, even before the school years?

In any event, here are two YouTube clips which lend themselves to this idea of good choices and bad choices. I don’t know how pedagogically valuable the first clip is, but it’s certainly entertaining, and illustrates a point the kids are already familiar with.

The second clip is a real godsend. I vaguely recall a friend (then a teacher, now a seminarian!) sending me a similar clip a few years ago, which he used in class to illustrate supererogatory charity — that is, love that goes “above and beyond the call of duty.” The big difference is that the former clip was American, and this one — filmed just last week — is Australian:

Turns out, Brendan’s generosity is even more impressive than the newsreader makes out. You can read the details here: Is 8-year-old baseball fan Brendan the nicest kid in Australia?