And With Your Spirit

My daughter was amused that, even with a cheat sheet in my hand, I automatically responded to “Peace be with you” with the traditional “And also with you,” every time this Sunday, instead of the new translation “And with your spirit.” Not once did I get it right.

Lessons from “It’s a Wonderful Life”

My talented wife has written a set of lesson plans for It’s a Wonderful Life, the immediate occasion being our local professional theatre company’s production of the musical version. (See Stage Right Greensburg calendar.) Based on Philip van Doren Stern’s story “The Greatest Gift” (1943), Frank Capra’s 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life celebrates the life of George Bailey, a good-hearted man who once dreamed of getting a college degree,…

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My Local Paper’s Reaction to the Changes in the English Translation of the Mass

The local paper’s headline spins the news a bit more negatively than it probably deserves. I rather enjoy the opportunity to look at some familiar words in a fresh light. Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer: (Current Text) Priest: Let us pray with confidence to the Father in the words our Savior gave us. (New text) Priest: At the Savior`s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say Some…

Girls equal in British throne succession

While teaching Richard II in a Shakespeare class, I had to get up to speed on the rules and customs of succession, as Shakespeare knew them, so that my students and I could understand and explore the political issues that Elizabethan audiences would find in the play. News from England today bears word of some changes. Sons and daughters of any future UK monarch will have equal right to the…

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory / Willy Wonka Lesson Plans

Through our local theater school, our children have gained confidence, seen first-hand the value of hard work, mentored younger children, learned from gifted and generous teenaged role models, and had a lot of fun. Oh, and they’ve also done a lot of singing, dancing, and acting. Thirteen-year-old Peter reads voraciously for pleasure, on topics ranging from Civil War history to video games to zombies. I once witnessed him march right…

Students mark 9/11 anniversary

At Seton Hill University in Greensburg, about two dozen students, faculty members and staff gathered for a prayer and candle-lighting memorial that included Christian and Muslim prayers for peace. Participants shared memories of that day, recalling the clear, sunny weather that contrasted so starkly with the day’s dark events, while others described the scene on Seton Hill’s campus as students with ties to New York and Washington desperately tried to…

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The Mechanic Muse — From Scroll to Screen – NYTimes.com

In his “Confessions,” which dates from the end of the fourth century, St. Augustine famously hears a voice telling him to “pick up and read.” He interprets this as a command from God to pick up the Bible, open it at random and read the first passage he sees. He does so, the scales fall from his eyes and he becomes a Christian. Then he bookmarks the page. You could…

Pope’s Remarks Recall the Nazi War on Christ

An article that addresses some under-examined stereotypes (smears?), while also pointing out some thoughtful alternatives. The Catholic Church, for example, has often been attacked as doing too little to help the Jews during the Holocaust. Yet on July 19, 1933, the Catholic periodical America published a strong article condemning Nazi persecution of the Jews. Dark and Essex, in their 1930s book, The War on God, stated that almost as soon…

Hillary Clinton edited out of Situation Room photo by Hasidic newspaper

Take a look at the photo published above, famously snapped in the Situation Room as the U.S. raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. The astute viewer will notice that, like some sort of sexist version of Highlights magazine, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been Photoshopped out of the picture (not to mention Counterterrorism Director Audrey Tomason, who barely even made it into the original photo)! via Hillary Clinton edited out…