Friday, May 22, 2009

A quandry

So, I went to St. Stan's in Milwaukee last night for Mass in the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. In that calendar the Ascension is still on Thursday. In this archdiocese it has been transferred to Sunday. So, when I prayed the office this morning for Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter, which antiphon do I use for the Invitatory: the one for before the Ascension, or the one for after the Ascention?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer online courses for high school students

I will be teaching several online summer school courses beginning in June through Homeschool Connections. The classes are open to all Catholic students (and non-Catholic, for that matter, so longer as they are not offended by my popery!) not just homeschoolers.
Here are the links to the classes. (They're not so lofty as they sound -- I'' be gearing the classes to your average high school student.)
Also available through Homeschool Connections this summer:
Homeschool Connections provides free webinars for Catholics and homeschoolers as well as online classes for a reasonable fee. Homeschool Connections uses webinar technology for the online courses. The students will be able see and hear the teachers via a webcam and microphone. In turn, the students can communicate with me and the rest of the class through the chat room or their own microphone. I can also use Power Point presentations that are viewable on the same screen. The teens love the technology. This is an great opportunity to keep high school students engaged and learning over the summer. These particular courses have been designed for summer time with no or light homework. Also, all classes are recorded so if you're away on vacation for a week or two, and can't access the Internet, you can simply watch the recorded event later. In fact, registered students have access to the recorded classes for 6 months. This is a great value for the price.

Faith and Science

This is from a Zenit interview with Opus Dei priest, Fr. John Wauck, on Dan Brown and Catholicism:

It's relatively easy for people to see that a lot of the great art of the Western World -- music, painting, sculpture, literat ure, architecture -- is the product of a Christian culture, often inspired by the faith or even funded by the Church. That seems obvious. But what people don't realize is that something similar is true of the sciences.

Think about it. Universities are an invention of the Church. Copernicus was a Roman Catholic cleric, and he dedicated his book on the heliocentric universe to the Pope. The calendar we use today is the Gregorian Calendar, because it was promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII, who was working with the best astronomers and mathematicians of his time. Galileo himself always remained a Catholic, and his two daughters were nuns. One of the greatest Italian astronomers of the 19th century was a Jesuit priest, Angelo Secchi. The father of modern genetics, Gregor Mendel, was a Catholic monk. The creator of the "Big Bang" theory was a Belgian priest, Georges Lemaitre.

In short, the idea that there is some natural tension between science and the Church, between reason and faith, is utter nonsense. Nowadays, when people hear the words "science" and "the Church," they immediately think of Galileo's trial in the 1600s. But, in the larger scheme of things, that complex case -- which is frequently distorted by anti-Catholic propagandists -- was a glaring exception. There's a reason why critics of the Church are always bringing it up: It's the only example they've got. So, when we hear the words "science" and "the Church," we should think Copernicus, Secchi, Mendel and Lemaitre. They're representative. Galileo's trial is not.