Yearly Archives: 2012

Catholic Calendar 2013

It seems like it’s past time to post this! If you are one of the bazillion people who visited last year’s post and subscribed to that Google calendar, you are all set, because I added the dates through 2013 way back in the summer. I put those in by hand, too! (Thanks to Romcal for the 2011 and 2012 files and the inspiration for my Google calendar.)

Take note of such fun liturgical twists as the Solemnity of the Annunciation in 2013 (April 8, the first available day to move it to since March 25 is the Monday of Holy Week) and that St. Kateri’s first memorial as a saint is unfortunately a Sunday (July 14), so it’s not technically her day. Who says being a Catholic doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat?

If you are not subscribed and you use Google Calendar (or another program that accepts the iCal format), you can download the .ics file and upload it. For Google Calendar, I used this method:

  1. On the left-hand side of the screen, click the small arrow next to “My calendars,” then choose “Create new calendar.” Mine is unsurprisingly named “Catholic Calendar.” You can fill out the other information if you want to, but it’s not necessary. Click the “Create calendar” button.
  2. Farther down on the left-hand side, click the small arrow next to “Other calendars” and choose “Import new calendar.” Find the .ics file you downloaded and upload the events to Catholic Calendar. (You can upload them to your main calendar if you want, but I prefer to be able to turn the Catholic Calendar off quickly and easily by keeping it separate.)
  3. All the U.S. Catholic holidays for 2011, 2012, and 2013 should be visible now as all-day events. If you click the name of each event, you can see the color of vestments and the rank of the day in the description. For more on ranking, see the Table of Liturgical Days.

Alternatively, you can visit the online version of the calendar and bookmark that or click the button in the bottom left-hand corner to add it to your Google Calendar. Clicking that button will add the events to your primary Google Calendar. I can’t remember if you have to confirm it first, so click with caution.

Happy worshiping, and happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception! Salve Regina!

Happy Year of Faith

Today is the first day of the Year of Faith, for which I am super excited. The pope has called all Catholics to dedicate this year to learning more about and truly living the faith we claim. I think and talk about churchy things all day, so I’ve been further immersed in it than your average Catholic, but I’m very excited about the resources I’ve seen so far. It seems much more inviting than the preparations for the new translation of the Mass.

Then again, if you like to read like this, I’m not stopping you.
(photo by Marc)

One great resource I just stumbled across is a way to read the Catechism in a year. Flocknote will email it to you every day, but you do have to register*. I’m hoping that the website Flocknote draws its information from will offer an RSS feed (or any option where I don’t have to register—I hate superfluous registrations) Going to the site and clicking “Daily Catechism” will have to do for now. I refer to an ink-and-paper copy fairly often at work, so I can attest that knowing that book is not nearly as important as knowing the ink-and-paper Bible. With the Bible, you need to know where to find books when you need it. With the Catechism, I usually start with the table of contents or the index anyway.

None of the technical difficulties detracts from the importance of knowing the Catechism, though. When I teach RCIA, I note the Catechism references on my handouts. When I needed to know the official Catholic word on justification recently, I reached for my book, flipped to the index, and found exactly what I wanted.

A good companion resource is the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA). Every country is meant to develop their own national catechism based on the universal one. The USCCA is written in a more natural, chattier tone, but it has the same information, in addition to stories about saints whose lives reflect the theme in each chapter and a section of Catholic prayers and lists.

Enough about the Catechism. (Ha.) I think that, personally, I might pick up reading the Catechism, but it will be better for me to finish reading the Bible. This is year six of my Bible-in-a-year goal, and it would be nice to be finished during the Year of Faith.

Mary Lane (among my favorite young Catholic bloggers) recommends an online course by her alma mater called Pillars of Faith. I keep meaning to check that out. I have, however, read Lumen Gentium (the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) over the summer, so I’ve got that under my belt. I read it like I was taking a class, so I have good notes…at work. That would be a good post for another day.

So, happy new year, sort of!

*Edit 10/12/12: It turns out that registering with FlockNote is optional. You can still get the emails without giving your name and creating a password, but you do have to respond to the email address verification email. Good news!

Friday Fives

I swear I’m really back in action this time!

August 24: Food

  1. What’s your favorite fruit? It’s a tie between apples and green grapes. I also love, love, love orange juice, but I don’t like the original fruit.
  2. What’s your favorite vegetable? I don’t think I have a favorite. I love fresh spinach on its own as a salad, but I also find cooked broccoli (lightly salted) very tasty.
  3. What’s your favorite protein? This is a unique way of asking this question, because it works for vegetarians and vegans, too. I like that. I love beef. Living in Texas has made me like beef even more. Bacon is pretty tasty, too, though. Mmm, bacon.
  4. What’s your favorite dish to cook? My specialty is called Pasta Lindsay. It’s rotini tossed with tomato sauce (extra oregano) and ground sausage. I am strong believer in tossing pasta in sauce rather than letting people sauce it themselves.
  5. What’s your favorite dish that someone else makes for you? I will only eat egg salad if my mom makes it for me. She used to make it occasionally for my school lunch when I was very small. I remember the excitement I felt when I went into the kitchen after dinner to find eggs boiling on the stove. It was like a lunch preview!

photo of chicken-fried bacon by Cara Fealy Choate

August 31: Travel

  1. Have you ever left the country you live in and where? Oh, yes. I used to live in Germany and Japan and traveled elsewhere in Europe. And last spring break, I went to Nicaragua, of course.
  2. What countries would you visit if time and money were not problems? I would love to visit Australia. It’d be nice to be in a country where I only have to manage foreign vocabulary instead of a whole language. It’d also be awesome to visit Rome or the Holy Land.
  3. Out of all the foreign food you’ve tried, which is your favorite and why? I don’t like much Asian food, but I make an exception for chicken teriyaki. That’s yummy. I also had something in Germany called a Speicher cake which was the most cheesecake-like thing I ate (before I discovered actual cheesecake).
  4. Can you name all 7 continents? Yes.
  5. Which continent are you least likely to ever want to see and why? Antarctica, because it’s ridiculously cold and unforgiving. I can’t recall at the moment, but I’m pretty sure that not even penguins will live there.

September 8: Sports

  1. What is your favorite sport to watch? I don’t really like sports, but basketball is okay. Play generally keeps going, delays are minimal, and I can see the players because they’re not wearing pads. If you need thirty pounds of padding, can you really call what you’re doing “fun”?
  2. What is your favorite sport to play? Ha.
  3. Favorite sports team? Any that have colors that flatter me. I pretend UMD’s fourth color (gold) doesn’t exist most of the time.
  4. Favorite sports player? I would have to watch sports to care. My brother?
  5. Why do you enjoy watching/playing your favorite sport? I don’t!

September 21: Cell Phones

  1. When did you get your first cell phone? I was in high school. Tenth grade, I think, or maybe eleventh. I wasn’t expecting it at all, and it was definitely an adventure.
  2. Do you have any special ring tones, if so what are they? My current ring tone is “Call Me,” by Blondie. Technically it’s people already calling me, but I heard it on someone else’s phone once and thought it would be awesome. And it is. I also use “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson for my Motown-loving mom and the theme song from Star Trek: TNG for my dad. Good times.
  3. Does your phone have a camera? Yes! Don’t all phones have cameras these days? Even the cheap ones?
  4. What kind of phone do you have now? I have a two-year-old iPhone 4. I’m due for an upgrade, but I can’t afford the two adapters I’d need if I got the 5 right now. I also can’t quite afford the phone itself.
  5. What carrier do you use? I have had AT&T since back when half of it was Cingular. I’ve gotten good reception and customer service so far.

And now I’m caught up on the F5! I feel so accomplished.

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 188

— 1 —

Well, it’s been a long time since I did one of these, but let’s not fail to start with a video. I’ve been watching super-recent reruns of How I Met Your Mother (and not even intentionally—that’s the beauty of reruns!), and I realized that I forgot to check the latest of HIMYM’s real fake websites:

[Note: Neither HIMYM nor some of its real fake sites nor parts of this video are super family-friendly, but they are all hilarious.]

— 2 —

As I type this, I just finished watching Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves on BBC America. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before, but I enjoyed it. It seemed a lot grittier than other Robin Hood movies I’ve seen, and I was fed up with Kevin Costner’s haircut (seriously!), but it was cool to see Snape Alan Rickman fight. How exactly do you stay that awesome for so long?

— 3 —

I don’t work on Fridays, so I was nowhere near campus for the UT bomb threat this morning. I did get all the emergency alert text messages, though, so I knew what was happening. I watched the news coverage on TV once it finally started, but listening to their inaccuracies and lack of information made me so fed up that I just quit watching. I was reaffirmed in my decision to never watch TV news in general (except for press conferences, maybe), and I can confirm that the best information comes straight from the source.

The only valid point the news had was that some students didn’t receive the texts. First of all, that’s just a technical glitch, and second of all, not all students can be assumed to have phones. They’ll find out the old-fashioned way: their friends, classmates, strangers, and TV reporters on the street will tell them.

— 4 —

I will give the TV news one credit: they knew it was a bomb threat before the texts came right out and said it. I had a suspicion from the directions (move out of buildings and get far away from them), but it would have been nice to know from the beginning. There’s a fine line between inciting panic and giving information (see also Virginia Tech).

— 5 —

I knew it would be tricky to come up with all seven takes this week. And it is. I’ll try to be more interesting next week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

The Best Way to Pray Spontaneously As a Catholic

I work for the Catholic Church. One of our goals is to help students develop their faith lives, so we try to expose them to different prayers, types of prayer, and ways to pray.

But let me tell you: Modeling spontaneous prayer is tough. It’s hard enough to speak in public without vocal fillers, let alone when you’re also praying and trying to help other people pray. I’m always looking for ways to get better at my job, so I was delighted to find the method the Church uses for liturgical prayer distilled down into one simple method.

It’s called You-Who-Do-Through. Joe Paprocki of Catechist’s Journey lays out the details in three posts. First, you direct your prayer toward God or any specific member of the Trinity by any of many titles: Father, God of all creation, Lord of life, and so on.

Next, you “remind” God of something he has done or does now. These can be events from the Bible or less specific: who led the Israelites out of slavery, who is the only just judge, who loves us unconditionally, who called Mary your servant to be the mother of Jesus.

Then comes what is often the longest part of the prayer: you tell God what you want him to do. Bless this meeting and us your servants; fill us with hope; heal all those afflicted with cancer, mental illness, or other disabilities.

Finally, end with an intercession, the person through whom you make your prayer. That’s usually Jesus (“Through Christ our Lord”), but it can also be through Mary or one of the other saints. It never hurts to give your prayers a little extra boost!

Jonathan F. Sullivan created a great handout that summarizes the method [PDF link], but it’s easy enough to commit to memory pretty quickly. I wound up sharing it with my students spontaneously (which, in retrospect, is appropriate for teaching spontaneous prayer), and they took to it very quickly. One of my boss priests even commented positively on it. The students challenged me to model it on the spot, and I totally did it. Give it a try!

My Accidental Hiatus

You know what is new? My frequency of posting here. I’m not quite sure how I slid into my serious lack of posting, but I am declaring it to be over now. As with Hallie, sometimes parts of my life get in the way of other parts, but I’ve decided I’m not letting that happen anymore.

So, what’s been going on since my last non-book review post?

  • I still haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, nor will I ever. Just in case you were wondering.
  • My regular schedule resumed at work, which leaves me with substantially less free time, but many more fun students to hang out with. Long hours are icky, but being employed (and for the Church I love, at that) is better than the alternative.
  • I taught some of our student leaders a new prayer method, and they produced some great results with it. I’ve been intentionally applying it more myself, and I like it. I have just started a draft of a separate post on that topic, so look for it tomorrow.
  • I registered half a dozen people for RCIA, which is super exciting. Even just getting their information and hearing their stories is awesome. I’m even more excited to actually start classes on Monday. (It helps that they’re the kind of classes I don’t have to take and have no papers to grade.)
  • I started using my new intro at work: “Hi, I’m Lindsay. I work here, and I am not a student.” Maybe leading with that will help avoid some of the confusion. They already have to wrap their heads around a Texas resident who is Catholic but neither white nor apparently (or actually) Mexican.
  • I had a great conversation with a brand-new campus minister elsewhere in Texas. It was nice to reflect on how much I’ve settled in even after just two short years, and it was awesome to get to give the “what I wish I’d known then” speech.
  • Now that I’m looking at my calendar (which is how I write these life recaps), I’m realizing that I worked extra-late every night last week and on Friday, so I forgive myself for not posting. I was tired! I am tired!

Now that I’ve written all of that out, I’m going to have to be way more creative than usual for 7 Quick Takes Friday. Brace yourselves, readers.

Not So New Anymore (Review: “Brave New World”)

The artificial wombs of the future? (photo by Tomasso Masetti)

I have never had my heart broken by a book so quickly. I cried when I first read A Walk to Remember (hey, it’s romantic and sad!), and I was upset when Mockingjay was such a lame conclusion to the Hunger Games trilogy (I got sick of Katniss’s PTSD), but I don’t think any book has ever left me so sad and so worried about the future as Brave New World. As with The Screwtape Letters, Brave New World was on my list of books I ought to have read sooner. I’m glad I finally read it, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to read it again. My heart can only break so far.

Read the rest at Austin Catholic New Media.

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