Friday, January 20, 2012

Colleagues List, January 21st, 2012

Vol. VII. No. 23


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:

My E-Mail Address:

New "Quicklinks" are now included 
with many items. When no link appears, 
scroll down to find your selection in 
the body of the blog, as in the past.


Special Item in this Issue -

Guest Conntribution from
Colleague Mathew Zachariah
"Faking Compassion?"

Other Colleague Contributions:

Doug Koop

Harry Winter
Jim Taylor

Net Notes: 

The Lens of Dementia

How MLK Changed Religion

Interview With Bishop Spong

Taize Meetings in Berlin - Report

Spectacular Scenes from India

Broncos QB Inspires Toronto Pastor

Government Considers How Life Ends

Marines Urinate on Taliban Corpses
Use Mozilla Foxfire to Open:

India RC Missionaries in 166 Countries

Rome Pokes Canterbury in the Eye - Again

Global Faith Potpourri:

Eight ENI Geneva stories.

Wisdom of the Week:

Esther de Waal
Brennan Manning
The Dalai Lama

On This Day:

Roosevelt and Churchill hold wartime 
conference in Casablanca (1943)

White House announces start of Operation 
Desert Storm to drive Iraq from Kuwait (1991)

Hawaii's monarchy overthrown; businessmen and 
planters force native queen to abdicate (1893)

Robert F. Scott reaches South Pole, only to 
discover Roald Amundsen was there first (1912)

Iran releases 52 American hostages, minutes after 
the presidency had passed from Carter to Reagan (1981)


Closing Thought - Julian of Norwich



Dear Friends:

Special Item in this Issue -

For the first time in seven years I 
begin a Colleagues List issue with 
a guest contributor. Colleague
Mathew Zachariah and I have worked
together on a special writing project
and here he shares his views about -

"Faking Compassion?"

Other Colleague Contributions:

Doug Koop (Winnipeg) - is interviewed
for his insights from 25 years as the
editor of Christian Week.

Harry Winter (Minneapolis) - comments
on the appearance of my Christmas
reflection by Oblate Rene Fumoleau
and related Oblate mission matters.

Jim Taylor (Okanagan) - reflects on
the meaning of heaven for many today.

Net Notes: 

"The Lens of Dementia" - Dora Dueck
writes on her viewing of "Iron Lady"
the movie about Margaret Thatcher
(The Christian Century)

"How MLK Changed Religion" - January
means a celebration of the life of
Martin Luther King Jr. Here is an
article on his faith contributions.
(Huffington Post Canada)

"Interview With Bishop Spong" - the
bishop continues to offer controversial
and worthwhile challenges in the study 
of scripture in this Catholic interview
(New Catholic Times)

"Taize Meetings in Berlin - Report" -
the annual European youth gathering
took place in Germany this year.
(Taize website) 

"Spectacular Scenes from India" - no
magazine seems to offer better pictures
than these (The Atlantic Online)

"Broncos QB Inspires Toronto Pastor" -
football fans know of the prayer
witness of the Denver footballer,
Tim Tibow (

Also, comment on this by a New York Jesuit 
(America Magazine)

"Government Considers How Life Ends" -
the Conservative government of Canada
is sponsoring hearings on end-of-life
issues like euthenasia (Christian Week)

"Marines Urinate on Taliban Corpses" -
one of the most disgusting stories of
the week from people who should know
better. A bad image for America
(National Catholic Reporter)

"India RC Missionaries in 166 Countries"
- more evidence of the growing numbers
of missionaries eminating from Asia 
(Zenit News)

"Rome Pokes Canterbury in the Eye - Again"
- we continue to reflect on the rather shaky
ecumenism behind Rome's reception of Anglican 
converts (Sightings)

Global Faith Potpourri:

Eight Ecumenical News International
stories from Geneva appear this week.

Wisdom of the Week:

Esther de Waal, Brennan Manning and
The Dalai Lama offer insights.

On This Day:

Provided from the archives of
the New York Times -

Roosevelt and Churchill hold wartime 
conference in Casablanca (1943)

White House announces start of Operation 
Desert Storm to drive Iraq from Kuwait (1991)

Hawaii's monarchy overthrown; businessmen and 
planters force native queen to abdicate (1893)

Robert F. Scott reaches South Pole, only to 
discover Roald Amundsen was there first (1912)

Iran releases 52 American hostages, minutes after 
the presidency had passed from Carter to Reagan (1981)


Closing Thought - Julian of Norwich

Our final insights of this Colleagues List issue
come to us from the first woman to write in the
English language, whose wisdom continues to
inform and inspire us.

Blessings on your week!



Introducing the Full Program


"The Other Face of God:
When the Stranger Calls Us Home"

by Mary Jo Leddy

Ten Monday Nights - 
January 16th - March 26th, 2012
(except February Family Weekend Monday)

Information about the book from

Visit Romero House, Toronto on the web:

NOTE: Mary Jo Leddy is coming to St. David's
for a weekend this spring. Watch for new
information as it becomes available.



Welcome to our -


Noon Hour Book Discussions for Faculty, 
Staff and Students Winter Series for 2012:

"An Altar in the World" by Barbara Brown Taylor

Discovering God in the ordinary experiences of life
March 2nd - March 30th - five Friday noon sessions

Time and Location for all sessions:
12:00 to 1:00PM in the Native Centre Board Room
Located above the Dairy Queen, Mac Hall Student's 

Led by: Wayne Holst, 
Coordinator of the ACTS Ministry, St. David's United
and a Faith and Spirituality Centre Liaison.

Cost of the book: $15.00 each


Join us this year for stiumlating campus discussions!

For more information: Adriana Tulissi 403-220-5451
Co-ordinator, Faith and Spirituality Centre, U. of 
C. - artuliss@ucalgary,ca



Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



An accumulation of twenty-five+ studies conducted
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents 
more than a decade of Monday Night Studies at 
St. David's, plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.



From Colleague -

Calgary, AB.

Faking Compassion?
In 2011, in the days preceding the tenth 
anniversary of the horrible, tragic events 
in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania 
on September 11, 2001, the media (print, 
television, audio, etc) inundated us with 
verbal and pictorial images of that fateful 
day. Commentators outdid each other in 
evoking in the reader or listener the horror 
of events that day trying very hard to have 
us, who are removed from those events by time 
and place, to identify with the victims and 
the victims' families and  close friends. 
The lessons we must learn from it, it was 
often said or implied, was that we must be 
ever vigilant in protecting our life, liberty 
and happiness from “them” - the enemies within 
and without our societies.

I was unmoved by these messages. Why? Because 
I agreed with author Patrick West who, in his 
2004 book Conspicuous Compassion, argues that 
“Wearing coloured ribbons, strapping red noses 
onto the front of your car, signing petitions, 
and carrying banners saying 'Not In My Name' 
are part of a culture of ostentatious caring 
which is about feeling good, not doing good. 
The three C's of modern life – compassion, 
caring and crying in public – show not how 
altruistic we have become, but how selfish.”

- taken from the journal Civitas,

West points out that compassion inflation 
occurred most prominently in recent times 
with the outpouring of ersatz grief following 
Princess Diana's tragic death in a car crash 
in Paris on 31 August 1997.  It happens again 
and again when people who have no personal 
connection to a celebrity create temporary 
shrines with candles, teddy bears and flower 
bunches at his or her death. 
The media learned in the days following 
Diana's death how to capitalize on our 
superficial feelings of grief and compel us 
to listen to, watch and express grief-lite 
with our crocodile tears and manufactured 
emotions. The hallmark of this type of 
compassion is that, apart from the price 
of a ribbon or a teddy bear or some flowers, 
there is no cost to us. It is another 
manifestation of the lonely crowd feeling 
we experience in our mass society that 
prefers tweeting and blogging to real human 
connectedness. (See also David Riesman's 
characterization of the other-directed 
individual in his classic 1950 book, 
The Lonely Crowd). 
I am sure West had in mind Thorsten Veblen’s 
phrase, conspicuous consumption, from his 1899 
book, The Theory of the Leisure Class which 
referred to ostentatious display of wealth and 
high status.  The Civitas article cited above 
also says: “Instead of piling up damp teddies 
and rotting flowers to show what nice people 
[we] are, it would be better to try to do some 
genuine, unostentatious good.” Try talking to 
the poor and homeless to understand their 
difficulties; give money to worthy charitable 
organizations that are supporting imprisoned 
and oppressed men, women and children who 
cannot speak for themselves. Support 
organizations that are trying to cure life-
threatening diseases or give that precious 
gift of time to support voluntary agencies 
that are trying to make life more bearable 
for the poor, the homeless and the victims 
of prejudice.

This line of thought led me to reconsider 
the similarities and differences between two 
words: sympathy and empathy. There are  
differences and similarities.  There is much 
overlap in the way these two words are felt 
and expressed. Perhaps, the most important 
difference is that empathy is the ability to 
experience with another person or persons the 
thoughts and experience that person is going 
hrough without necessarily intentionally 
ommunicating with that person. Sympathy is 
the ability to understand and support the 
situation or experience of another with 
compassion and sensitivity. An empathetic 
person who recently lost his spouse might, 
mostly in silence, spend time with a bereaved 
friend who has just a lost a loved one.  A 
sympathetic person might say to the bereaved 
friend: "I feel very sorry for the loss of 
your wife." There is much more identification 
with the sufferer in empathy while there is a 
touch of distance and pity in sympathy. Either 
is preferable to conspicuous compassion.

When Jesus summarized all the law and the 
prophets with "love your neighbour as [you love]
yourself" was he asking us to sympathise or 
empathise? When we read about the famine in 
the horn of Africa that is killing tens of 
thousands, is it empathy or sympathy that 
moves us? Consider the empathy the great 
American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) showed 
in his poem, Reconciliation:

Word over all, beautiful as the sky
Beautiful that war, and all its deeds 
 of carnage must in time be utterly lost, 
That the hands of the sisters, 
 Death and Night incessantly Softly wash again, 
 and ever again, this soil'd world
For my enemy is dead, 
 a man divine as myself is dead;
I look where he lies, white-faced and still, 
 in the coffin – I draw near
Bend down, and touch lightly with my lips 
 the white face in the coffin.

Are we wrong to wear poppies in the days leading 
up to Remembrance Day every November or honour 
the men and women who gave their lives in 20th 
and 21st century wars at our Sunday services? 
Of course not! But let us do what we can to help 
veterans and their families and spare a thought,
a feeling for the person in the enemy.

In our churches, when we give as often as we 
can to the Calgary Inter-faith Food Bank or 
serve lunch once a month at the Drop-in Centre 
or faithfully support with our donations Anglican 
mission activities such as the PWRDF or do a number 
of voluntary things like praying for those in need 
or visiting friends who are sick, we are, indeed, 
doing our small bit to fulfill Christ`s second 
- this article appeared in Mathew's local Anglican 
parish newsletter and his diocesan newspaper "The 
Sower." It will also appear in the award-winning 
magazine "Alberta Views."



Winnipeg, MB Blog
Friday Questions
January 13th, 2012

"An Interview With Doug Koop"


Minneapolis, MN

January 14th, 2012 

Subject: "Harry Winter, Fumoleau and Maryknoll"

Dear Wayne,
Back in 1997, when I edited the booklet Oblate 
Missiologists, I included an appendix "Survey of 
Oblate Writings About the Arctic," and you were 
most gracious with a quote about Rene Fumoleau 
(pp. 66-67). Thanks to the marvel of the internet, 
it's been possible to put the booklet on the 
Oblate Ecumenism website, and expand the Fumoleau 
material (p. 68) with your item of Dec. 30 "Rene 
Fumoleau's Dene Christmas: A perennial Favourite." 
Many, many thanks for reminding Oblates and others 
about Fumoleau's work.
You may be interested in the great statement on 
missionary activity which several Maryknoll 
theologians have written for their centennial year.  
That too is posted on the Oblate Ecumenism website, 
which may be accessed through the USA Oblate website, click on "useful links" or  
Keep up the great work in bringing us all up to date 
on what is happening, and stimulating us to think 
and act about it.
Sincerely in Christ,

Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
January 18th, 2012

"Retirement for Ever and Ever"


Review of "Iron Lady"
by Dora Dueck

Christian Century Blog
January 17th, 2012


Black Leader Recognized 

Huffington Post
January 15th, 2012


"The Bible is a good book,
But God Didn't Write It"

New Catholic Times
January 16th, 2012


Youth Gathering Alive and Well

News From Taize
January 16th, 2012


Diversity is Everywhere Today

The Atlantic Online
January 19th, 2012


Praying Star a Hit in Canada Too
January 17th, 2012


"Does God Listen to Tim Tibow?"

America Magazine
January 13th, 2012


An Evangelical Perspective
January 16th, 2012



National Catholic Reporter
January 18th, 2012

Use Mozilla to Open:



Zenit News, Rome
January 18th, 2012



Sightings  1/19/2012
by Peter W. Williams



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
16 January 2012

In south India, churches aid victims 
of devastating cyclone

Bangalore, India, 16 January (ENI news) 
-Following the devastating cyclone that 
wrecked havoc in India's southern Tamil 
Nadu state at yearend, church charities
are getting aid to affected families. 
"People are still struggling without 
electricity, [with] roofless houses and 
roads blocked by fallen trees," said 
Florina Benoit, chief zonal officer of 
Churches Auxiliary for Social Action 
(CASA). Benoit was speaking to ENI news 
on 16 January from Chennai, the capital 
of Tamil Nadu, after a weekend visit to 
the worst-hit remote villages around 


Paul Simon's long 
meandering spiritual journey

(ENI news) - In a career that has spanned 
half a century, American musician Paul 
Simon says there's always been a spiritual 
dimension to his work. But the overt 
religious references in his most recent 
album, "So Beautiful or So What,
"surprised even him. There are songs about 
God, angels, creation, pilgrimage, prayer 
and the afterlife, reports Religion News 
Service. Simon says the religious themes 
were not intentional - he does not describe 
himself as religious. But in an interview 
with the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service 
program "Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly," 
he said the spiritual realm fascinates him.

17 January 2012

In South Sudan, agencies aid victims 
of inter-ethnic fighting 

(ENI news) - Christian humanitarian agencies 
are delivering relief aid to thousands of 
people displaced in inter-tribal conflict in 
South Sudan, the world's newest nation. The 
assistance is targeting nearly 60,000 people 
in Jonglei State where a cycle of violence 
between two pastoralist communities is 
continuing. The Lou-Nuer and the Murle have 
a history of raiding each other's cattle, 
women and children, but Christian leaders 
want the communities to give up arms. "I 
urge the government to disarm the two 
communities (whose members posses illegal 
arms), simultaneously. The action should 
also be extended to other armed communities 
in the state," Anglican Bishop Alapayo 
Manyang Kuctiel of Rumbek told ENInews 
in a telephone interview from South 
Sudan on 16 January. 

Nicaraguan bishops seek better 
communication with government

Managua, Nicaragua (ENI news) - The 
Catholic Church is hoping to improve 
its frosty relationship with Nicaraguan 
President Daniel Ortega, now that Ortega 
has begun a third term of office. Bishop 
Jorge Solorzano of the Diocese of Granada 
said on 15 January that the church has 
communicated with the Ortega administration 
through intermediaries but has not had direct 
contact, according to a report from the Latin
America and Caribbean Communication Agency 
(ALC). The church has been pressuring the 
government to tackle issues including 
unemployment, public safety and access to 
health care and education.


18 January 2012

Photographic exhibition celebrates 
Germany's religious diversity

Nuremburg, Germany (ENI news) - A 
photography exhibition taking place 
this month at a historic monastery 
near the German city of Nuremburg takes 
visitors on a journey through the intimate 
spaces where the country's many faiths are 

Regina Maria Suchy, the photographer 
responsible for the images, collaborated 
with Franciscan priest Cornelius Bohl, who 
provided explanatory texts. "The need for 
religious practice seemed to us, despite 
the differences between religions, to be 
something unifying," Suchy said in an 

In London, court says occupiers
must leave St. Paul's Cathedral

London (ENI news) - Britain's High Court 
on 18 January ordered anti-corporate 
protesters evicted from a camp they have 
occupied for three months outside London's 
iconic St. Paul's Cathedral. 

The demonstrators, identifying themselves 
as the Occupy London Stock Exchange movement, 
set up their camp on 15 October as part of 
a global "Occupy" campaign targeting corporate 
greed, Religion News Service reports. But after 
a lengthy legal battle, High Court Justice 
Keith Lindblom granted possession orders and 
injunctions against the protesters to the 
City of London Corporation, which owns the 
land, calling the action "entirely lawful 
and justified."


19 January 2012

El Salvadoran president officially 
apologizes for 1981 massacre

El Mozote, El Salvador (ENI news) - On 
the 20th anniversary of the end of civil 
war in El Salvador, President Mauricio 
Funes issued an emotional public apology 
for an infamous 1981 massacre of civilians 
by army troops. Under its program 
Communication for Peace, the Toronto-based 
World Association for Christian Communication 
(WACC) supported several film documentary 
projects and workshops in El Salvador in the
past few years to gain public acceptance of 
the need to come to terms with the country's 
violent past.

During week of prayer, Philippine 
churches set aside differences

Baguio City, Philippines (ENI news) - 
In the midst of a governance crisis 
that threatens to divide the Philippines, 
several churches say they are marking the 
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by 
setting aside doctrinal differences, 
praying and working for change. The week 
usually takes place between 18 and 25 
January. Resources such as texts for 
ecumenical services are sponsored jointly 
by the Geneva-based World Council of 
Churches (WCC) and the Roman Catholic 
Church's Pontifical Council for the 
Promotion of Christian Unity.



January 17th, 2012

"Anyone who loves words will tend to let 
themselves be satisfied by them, and as 
a result stop short of true satisfaction. 
For true satisfaction...comes when I am 
silent and listen.... When GodÂ’s voice is 
drowned out by incessant clamor, whether 
inner or outer, in whatever shape or form, 
then continuous dialogue with God becomes 

- Esther de Waal, "A Life-Giving Way"


January 18th, 2012

"Christianity doesn't deny the reality of 
suffering and evil... Our hope... is not 
based on the idea that we are going to be 
free of pain and suffering. Rather, it is 
based on the conviction that we will 
triumph over suffering."

- Brennan Manning


January 19th, 2012

"Peace starts within each one of us. When 
we have inner peace, we can be at peace 
with those around us. When our community 
is in a state of peace, it can share that 
peace with neighboring communities, and so 
on. When we feel love and kindness toward 
others, it not only makes others feel 
loved and cared for, but it helps us also 
to develop inner happiness and peace."

- The Dalai Lama



On Jan. 14, 1943 -  President Roosevelt 
and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill 
opened a wartime conference in Casablanca.

On Jan. 16, 1991 - the White House announced 
the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive 
Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

On Jan. 17, 1893 - Hawaii's monarchy was 
overthrown as a group of businessmen and 
sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani 
to abdicate.

On Jan. 18, 1912 - English explorer Robert 
F. Scott and his expedition reached the South 
Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen 
had gotten there first.

On Jan. 20, 1981 - Iran released 52 Americans 
held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the 
presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to 
Ronald Reagan.



Julian of Norwich -

"I saw that God never began to love us...
We have always been in God's foreknowledge,
known and loved from without beginning...
Wee were made for love.


Matthew Fox -

To say that we have been "loved from the
beginning" is to speak of original blessing
rather than original sin. Julian breaks with
Augustine and others who have preached about
an original sin, and she sides with all those
who know we have been loved before the beginning.

- from his book "Christian Mystics"


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