Written Words – (Pentecost Homily)

May 31, 2009

Was a little bummed out to miss the St. Rose Pentecost Picnic, one of my favorite events of the ecumenical calendar. There’s not many things as inspiring as the Catholic men contingent of St. Rose barbecuing brots and kielbasa. 

Had to settle for a homily at the chaplaincy by Fr. Gerry Hughes — and he had some interest things to say. 

His major point was that evangelism had to speak directly to the individual to whom you’re talking. Based loosely on the idea that everyone heard the apostles in their own language in the readings today. He trumpeted St. Paul as an example of someone who engaged people on their own turf. For the Corinthians it was love, for the Athenians philosophy, for the Galations…orgies. Yes, Fr. Gerry Hughes made an orgy joke in mass. 

Priest joke notwithstanding, I thought this was largely right on the money. Too often evangelism become inward-looking, about the beliefs of the person doing the evangelizing. It should be about engaging the person you’re speaking too. 

One last Fr. Gerry thought: 

He said that a simple faith wasn’t enough for a modern world — and that’s why the youth are so important in the modern church. He said we were situated to both speak to the complexities of the modern world, but also speak to the faith of our church.

It’s talented priests like Fr. Gerry that make me proud of the Catholic Church.

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Written Words – (oxford)

May 30, 2009

Should have known never to get excited for an academic meeting at Oxford — but I’ll admit I fell into the trap with my thesis panel this past week. 

I’m really fired up about this research project, so the chance to talk to some of the top Social Policy experts in the world and get their advice seemed like a good thing. After months of drifting from subject area to subject area, I’ve finally found a niche in the social policy literature that fascinated me. That niche came from a course taken in the department — Community Analysis, which looked more at communities and grass roots conceptualizations of social policy. 

That got me thinking — in a lot of ways it tied into my work in New Orleans this summer. 

The new research project? The impact of neighborhood associations on recovery in post-Katrina New Orleans. And this was my first chance to discuss it in a more formal setting.

In hindsight, I totally should have seen this coming — but that’s the way it goes: Read the rest of this entry »


Found Music — Mali

May 29, 2009

Vieux Farka Toure is the second artist I have stumbled across from Mali that is very good. (The first was Rokia Traore)


Found Words – Shaq

May 28, 2009

“A tisket a tasket I rip down the basket.” 

 – shoot pass slam

He was so explosive in his younger days. His rapping though? Eh.


Found Words – Sarah Kershaw

May 28, 2009

This New York Times article must make Tom Hild smile:

There is the basic friend hug, probably the most popular, and the bear hug, of course. But now there is also the bear claw, when a boy embraces a girl awkwardly with his elbows poking out.

There is the hug that starts with a high-five, then moves into a fist bump, followed by a slap on the back and an embrace.

There’s the shake and lean; the hug from behind; and, the newest addition, the triple — any combination of three girls and boys hugging at once.

“We’re not afraid, we just get in and hug,”


Found Words – Excelano Project

May 28, 2009

Turns out the Excelano Project has (finally) started a poetry blog. Us alums are encourage to write, so maybe I’ll end up doing a little cross posting at some point. I’ll also link to some individual poems when I get a chance the chance.


Written Words – murals

May 26, 2009

Ever since my trip to Northern Ireland I’ve been thinking a lot about murals. Impressed by how well they were used in Philly, frightened and trying to understand the cultural heritage in Belfast. Here’s another take, and one that’s extremely beautiful, but also kind of playful.