Friday, June 17, 2011

Colleagues List, June 18th, 2011

Vol. VI. No. 36


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:


In This Issue -

Special Item This Week:

Book Notice -

"Our One Great Act of Fidelity"
 by Colleague Ron Rolheiser

Colleague Comment:

June Maffin

Colleague Contributions:

Monica Kilburn Smith
Ron Rolheiser

Net Notes:

Ben Smillie Dies
French Ban on Veils
Kung Advocates Peaceful Evolution
New Westminster Property Settlement
Detroit Reviews Reformed Roman Mass 
"Book of Mormon" Play Wins Tony Award
Lutherwood Recognized as Ideal Employer
Religious Tolerance Improves in Vietnam
Canada's Reserve System Still a Disgrace
Neither the Day nor the Hour: The Rapture 


Global Faith Potpourri:

Fourteen ENI Geneva stories appear this week.

Quotes of the Week:

Henri J.M. Nouwen
Thomas à Kempis
Juanita W. Potter
Meister Eckhart
Mary Oliver

On This Day:

June 12, 1987 - 
Reagan Says in Berlin "Tear down this wall."

June 17, 1928 - Amelia Earhart embarked on 
the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. 


Closing Thoughts - Teilhard de Chardin



Dear Friends,

My Special Item this week is a notice
of the immanent publication of a new
book by Ron Rolheiser whose columns
appear regularly on Colleagues List.

"Our One Great Act of Fidelity" - is
a book on a particular subject for a 
general reading audience.

Colleague Comment:

June Maffin - (Vancouver Island)
writes to thank me for the appearance
of a notice of her recent book in
last week's Colleagues List. If you
missed it, why not take a look?

Colleague Contributions:

Monica Kilburn Smith - (Calgary) sends
a notice about developments in the
Womenpriest movement. I include a
column by Richard O'Brien on the
theology of women's ordination.

Ron Rolheiser - (San Antonio, TX)
appears again this week with a column
on life's meaning and personal happiness.


Net Notes:

"Ben Smillie Dies" - long known in Canada
for his social activism - a prairie United 
Church minister and teacher has passed away 
(Globe and Mail)

"French Ban on Veils" - while debate on the
banning of religious covering remains timely,
here is a view in support of veiling

"Kung Advocates Peaceful Evolution" -
The veteran theologian presents his views
on how Catholics should deal with the pope
(National Catholic Reporter)

"New Westminster Property Settlement" -
The Supreme Court of Canada rules in favour
of the Anglican diocese - not the dissenters
- and hopefully this brings some closure
(Anglican Journal, New Westminster Website)

"Detroit Reviews Reformed Roman Mass" -
a reformist group of Catholics held a
unique mass in Cobo Hall, Detroit a week
ago, and the archdiocese now comments
(Detroit Times)
""Book of Mormon" Play Wins Tony Award"
- Broadway is currently featuring a musical
that some Latter Day Saints may or may not
appreciate (New York Times) 

"Lutherwood Recognized as Ideal Employer"
- a Lutheran home near Waterloo, ON which
was established to support young people 
with mental illnesses has been rated one of 
Canada's best employers (

"Religious Tolerance Improves in Vietnam"
- a report on the current religious climate
in Vietnam tells of some improvement there 
(Ucan News) 

"Canada's Reserve System Still a Disgrace"
- while there are now more Native university
graduates than ever, the situation back on
the 'rez' does not seem to improve much
(Toronto Sun)

"Neither the Day nor the Hour: The Rapture"
- intriguing comment in the popular press on 
a strange religious phenomenon to many modern 
secular folk (New York Times)  


Global Faith Potpourri:

Fourteen international religious news stories 
appear this week courtesy of Ecumenical News
Service, Geneva.

Quotes of the Week:

Henri J.M. Nouwen, Thomas à Kempis,  
Juanita W. Potter, Meister Eckhart
and Mary Oliver offer pithy comments

On This Day:

As it happened articles from the archives
of the New York Times:

Reagan Says to Gorbachev while visiting Berlin 
"Tear down this wall." (1987)

Amelia Earhart embarked on the first 
trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. (1928) 


Closing Thoughts - this week come to us 
from the paleontologist/theologian 
Teilhard de Chardin

Blessings on your summer weeks!




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Book Notice:

by Ronald Rolheiser omi
Doubleday, 2011. 139 pages.
Cost: $20.00 CAD.
ISBN #978-0-307-88703-0.
Release date: June 21st.

Publisher's Promo:

More so than anything else, the Eucharist 
is what anchors many peoples' life, prayer, 
and ultimately the way they live their lives. 

In this deeply personal book, Father Ronald 
Rolheiser delves into the history and meaning 
of this sacred tradition, drawing upon the 
insights of various scripture scholars, 
theologians, and church teachings. With 
personal warmth and great insight, he 
reflects on his own particular Roman Catholic 
upbringing and the centrality the Eucharist 
has within that tradition. 

At the same time, he looks at other 
denominations’ traditions around the 
Eucharist. "Our One Great Act of Fidelity" 
is an investigation into the ways people 
secure their faith and belief and discover 
true intimacy with God and each other. 

Ultimately, however, it is a spiritual 
and a personal statement of how Ronald 
Rolheiser understands the Eucharist and 
why he celebrates it every day.


Author's Words:

I celebrate Eucharist every day. More so 
than anything else, the Eucharist is what
anchors my life, my prayer, my discipleship.

... Particularly through my contact with
other churches, my understanding of Eucharist
has widened... as more and more Protestants
and Evangelicals became friends and faith
companions, I was introduced to different
understandings and practices of the Eucharist
and other ways within which to think of the
Word and the Eucharist as interrelating.

One of my godchildren, a niece of whom I am
immensely proud, is a Lutheran. I share
deeply my faith journey as well with various
Protestant clergy, and some of them share
their struggles and journeys with me.

As I age, my sympathies and my loyalties
become more stretched. I'll always be a
Roman Catholic, but my faith journey and my
heaven now include Protestants, Evangelicals,
Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists,
and sincere searchers and struggling persons
of every sort... To deny this is to massively
reduce both the scope of Christ's embrace and
the meaning of Christian baptism.

This book will reflect my own particular
Roman Catholic background, but I hope it will
also reflect an understanding and a respect
for other traditions around the Eucharist and 
other ways of anchoring faith and searching 
for intimacy with God and each other.

- from the Preface


My Thoughts:

This book is a clear reflection of the
spirituality of Ron Rolheiser, a friend
of twenty-five years and one of the people
that helped me to come to better understand
Roman Catholicism in general, and the Oblates
of Mary Immaculate (omi - of which he is a
member) in particular.

While I do not normally partake of the
elements in a Roman Catholic Eucharist
(at least without an invitation from
those who host it) I was - many years
ago - pleased to join an RC Eucharist with 
Ron, who assured me I would be welcome.

Since my inclinations are toward 'open'
eucharists rather than 'closed' ones,
I considered it a respectful honour to
have been invited by my friend.

Indeed, I see it as one of the tragedies
of Christianity - and of our religion in
general - that we tend to keep people out 
of our most sacred meal as Christians. 

But if we are going to err, I opt for
inclusivity, rather than exclusion. I say 
that, having been extensively educated in 
eucharistic theology and the doctrines that 
various Christians hold regarding the Eucharist.

I don't believe that right teaching of the
meaning of Eucharist is as important as the
right experiencing of it.

I would rather participate with a group
of fellow Christians who desire earnestly
to be there and to include me with them -
than to be among those who believe that
their particular understanding of
Eucharist is the correct one.

Saying that, I must affirm that I try to
respect the views of my eucharistic hosts
(no pun) and will refrain from partaking
where I sense inclusivity is not practiced.

The ritual of 'feet-washing' in the humble
spirit modeled by Jesus at the Last Supper
is practiced in some ecumenical settings as 
a way to experience community when formal
Eucharistic practice may not be possible.


Several weeks ago, I participated in a
Eucharist at St. Paul's Cathedral, London.
I was part of an amazing cross-section of
humanity. Perhaps 200 attended that quiet 
evening service in a massive church. It 
seemed like the whole world was joining me 
with God and all people of faith at that 
special moment.

So I can identify with Ron when he says
that as we grow older, our sense of the
meaning of Eucharist can 'stretch' and 


But the author of "Our One Great Act of
Fidelity" is concerned with the personal
as well as the ecumenical meaning of this
sacred practice.

I know of others who, like the author, 
attempt to follow the discipline of daily 
Eucharist.  I quite understand how this can 
balance and help to mold one's spirituality.

My spiritual tradition did not form me into
the mindset of Eucharist as a particular, 
daily discipline but I can very much 
appreciate the value and meaning of engaging
in regular eucharistic observance.
It is quite apparent that the author is 
trying to inform his readers about what this
practice means to him; not to force everyone
into a similar discipline. Yet, in the process,
he helps his readers to enhance their awareness 
and perhaps their practice as well.


Rolheiser offers background to both
theological and spiritual meanings of
Eucharist. 'Incarnation,' 'physical,' 
and 'central' - are found in his
chapter headings. In his helpful way,
he describes how 'ritual' can be
transformed into meaningful 'personal' 

His chapters also include words like
'God's physical embrace,' 'unity
within the Body of Christ,''A
celebration of our health and joy,
as well as our pain and sorrow...'

Other important themes considered
include 'sacrifice,' 'memorial of
the paschal mystery,' 'reconciliation'
'an ultimate invitation to mature
discipleship - to wash each other's
feet,' 'vigil' and the 'priestly prayer
of Christ.'

All of these images are introduced
and discussed with a spiritual, rather
than a theoretical emphasis. In doing 
this I believe the author communicates
in a language moderns are more likely 
to understand and appreciate.


After the appearance of this book,
I would like to learn that many
non-Catholics as well as Catholics 
have discovered and read it. 

Even though the author wants to deepen 
his own faith and the faith of fellow 
RC's through this writing, I am sure he
would like to be an agent of a general 
renewal of this central act of the 
Christian community.


Buy the book from



Vancouver Island

June 11th, 2011

Dear Wayne,

Thank you for your gracious review of the 
Soulistry book and kind posting in your 
most recent blog. As a book reviewer for 
two groups/companies, I do my utmost to 
"get" the book I'm reading, "get" the intent 
of the author who wrote the book and convey 
that to those who read my reviews.  

It takes time, as you know only too well, 
to read and review with authenticity, depth 
and sincerity rather than a quick read and 
superficial review. So, from the perspective 
of a book review colleague, I respect the 
time you took and professional manner in 
which you reviewed "Soulistry"". From the 
perspective of author, I am deeply humbled 
- you "got" the book and its intent and on 
top of that, you were not hesitant in 
recommending it to your readers. 

Thank you seems such an easy thing to 
write, but it doesn't get to the depth 
of my appreciation. However, I'll leave 
it at that, remembering Meister Eckhardt's 
"If the only prayer you utter is thank you, 
 that would be sufficient."   :-)



Calgary, AB

Personal Correspondence
June 12th, 2011


Pentecost Sunday seems a perfect day to share 
the news that the nine of us who are ordained 
in RCWP Canada have elected our first Canadian 
woman bishop!  Our bishop-elect is Marie 
Bouclin of Sudbury, ON, who was ordained a 
womanpriest  in Toronto in 2007. Her 
episcopal ordination will take place in the 
fall in Europe. There are more ordinations of
Canadians coming soon, so we needed our own 
bishop.  There are a number of women bishops 
in the States and in Europe, so it was time 
for us to follow suit. We are very excited.  
Voting for a bishop is an aspect of the renewed,
non-hierarchical model of ministry that RCWP 
Here is a link to a story about Marie in the 
newspaper in Sudbury:



"Infallibility and Women's Ordination Question"

Richard O'Brien
National Catholic Reporter
June 13th, 2011

(Use Mozilla Firefox search engine to open)


San Antonio, TX

Personal Blog

"Meaning and Happiness"




Globe and Mail
June 15th, 2011


Assessment from a Muslim Perspective

June 16th, 2011



National Catholic Reporter
June 11th, 2011

(use Mozilla Firefox to open)


Supreme Court Supports NW Diocese
Dissidents Lose Their Buildings

Anglican Journal
June 16th, 2011


Statement by Bishop Michael Ingham

June 16th, 2011


Threats of Defrocking Made

Detroit News
June 12th, 2011


Musical on Mormonism Charms Broadway

New York Times
June 13th, 2011


Waterloo Institution Helps Mentally Ill
June 14th, 2011


Christians Experience More Freedoms 

Ucan News
June 14th, 2011


Many Reports Fail to Reverse a Tragedy

Toronto Sun
June 13th, 2011


The Meaning of the Rapture

New York Times
June 16th, 2011



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
10 June 2011

Archbishop of Canterbury's comments provoke 
response from British government

London (ENI news) - In a strongly-worded opinion 
piece in the 9 June issue of The New Statesman, 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, 
took a stand against recent economic, criminal 
justice, and healthcare reforms proposed by 
British Prime Minister David Cameron. Williams, 
launching his broadside as guest editor of the 
weekly journal, said Britain's coalition 
government is forcing through "radical policies 
for which no one voted." He questioned whether 
democratic legitimacy existed for flagship 
policies on welfare, health and education, 
which we he said were causing "anxiety and 
anger." He also dismissed Cameron's "Big 
Society" initiative for the voluntary sector 
to play a greater role in providing services 
as "painfully stale" and condemned what he 
described as punitive action against alleged 
abuses of the benefit system. 


Member contributions an issue of concern 
at Lutheran World Federation meeting

Geneva (ENI news) - Members of the Lutheran 
World Federation (LWF) today expressed 
concern about budget problems at the LWF 
Council meeting in Geneva. Factors such 
as the global financial crisis, the 
weakness of the euro and the dollar 
against the Swiss franc, and a decline 
in membership fees have combined to create 
concern about the organization's financial 
situation. The reduction in contributions 
from members in the southern hemisphere 
was another topic of discussion. Some 
southern churches are not paying their 
dues, creating tension with members in 
the north. Member contributions have 
decreased about nine percent over the 
past two years, to three million dollars, 
though this is partly due to the weakness 
of some currencies. The fees are based on 
a formula indicating the relative wealth 
of a given church compared with those in 
other countries.


Renewed Sudan fighting leading 
to humanitarian crisis

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - Escalating 
violence against civilians in Sudan's 
disputed South Kordofan State is 
leading to a major humanitarian 
catastrophe with an estimated 300,000 
people besieged, cut off from relief 
aid, and unable to escape fighting, 
according to a number of aid agencies 
and witnesses in the region. Up to 
40,000 people have fled recent fighting 
between Sudanese government troops and 
members of the former southern rebel 
group, the Sudan People's Liberation 
Army (SPLA), in Kadugli, the capital 
of Sudan's oil-producing state of 
South Kordofan, according to a U.N. 
report quoted by the World Council 
of Churches (WCC).


13 June 2011

Religious leaders assess 
UN AIDS declaration

New York (ENI news) - Religious leaders 
and representatives of faith-based 
organizations are giving generally high 
marks to a United Nations AIDS meeting 
that set new targets to combat the 
continued spread of HIV/AIDS. At the 
8-10 June meeting at the U.N. in New 
York, marked by frequent references to
the three decades in which acquired 
immune deficiency syndrome has claimed 
more than 30 million lives, U.N. member 
states agreed on a final document which 
called for strengthening measurable 
targets to fight HIV/AIDS. 


Christian council will return 
torture documents to Brazil 

Geneva (ENI news) - On 14 June, three boxes 
containing records of brutal torture and 
repression suffered under two decades of 
Brazilian military rule will be returned 
to the South American country from peaceful 
Switzerland, where the material has resided 
at the World Council of Churches (WCC) 
archives. Religious and political leaders, 
including WCC general secretary the Rev. 
Olav Fyske Tveit and Brazilian Senator 
Pedro Taques, will hand over the documents 
in a ceremony in Sao Paulo at the Public 
Prosecution Office. The information was 
collected by dissident lawyers and church 
leaders from 1979 to 1985, surreptitiously 
copied and sent to the WCC. Brazil was 
under a military dictatorship from 1964 
to 1985.


June 14th, 2011

New Zealand city again rocked by earthquakes

Christchurch, New Zealand (ENI news) - 
New Zealand's second biggest city was again 
plunged into a chaos of dust clouds, rock slides, 
traffic jams and collapsingbuildings, after being 
rocked by a 5.7-magnitude and a 6.3-magnitude 
earthquake within 90 minutes in mid-afternoon 
on 13 June. Many buildings, including churches, 
were damaged or have collapsed. One elderly rest 
home resident died in a fall, according to police.
 The quakes are the latest in a series of dozens 
of aftershocks following the devastating magnitude
-6.3 earthquake on 22 February, when 182 people 
died, and a damaging magnitude 7.1 earthquake 
last September. 


Christian leaders condemn terror 
in Sudan's Kordofan

Nairobi (ENI news) - Christian leaders 
from around the world are calling on the 
international community to intervene in 
the violence in Sudan's Southern Kordofan 
border state, where an air bombing campaign 
is causing "huge suffering" to civilian 
populations and endangering humanitarian 
assistance. Church and aid officials say 
more than 300,000 people are trapped, cut 
off from relief and unable to flee the 
region where the Sudan Armed Forces has
 been fighting the Sudan People's 
Liberation Army, the former rebels 
aligned groups in the oil state. The 
fighting, which has been going on for 
a week, is raising fears of an increased 
death toll, after clashes escalated to 
include artillery and aircraft. 


Lutheran council addresses plight of refugees 

Geneva (ENI news) - On the closing day of the 
Lutheran World Federation's (LWF) governing 
Council meeting here, members addressed 
conflicts in the Middle East and Sudan and 
urged developed nations to increase efforts 
to welcome refugees. Giving displaced persons 
asylum "can be a matter of life and death, as 
is now seen with migrants drowning in the 
Mediterranean. In the current circumstances 
in North Africa and the Middle East, the 
Council calls especially on countries in 
Europe to offer protection," the Council,
 which met from 9 to 14 June, said in a 
statement. People attempting to flee unrest 
in Libya and other countries have died in 
recent months when overcrowded boats sank 
attempting to reach Italy and Greece. 


15 June 2011

Christchurch's Anglican landmark 
suffers further damage

Christchurch, New Zealand (ENI news) - This 
city's most famous building, its historic 
Anglican cathedral, may be damaged beyond 
repair after 5.7-magnitude and 6.3-magnitude 
earthquakes shook New Zealand's second 
biggest city on 13 June. The cathedral, the 
centrepiece of the business district for 150 
years, was initially seriously damaged in 
February's 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which 
killed 181 people. The central city is in 
ruins, and many businesses have moved to 
the western suburbs. 


Conference to address issues 
faced by Christians in the Middle East

Geneva (ENI news) - The volatile situation 
facing Christians in the Middle East is a 
key topic of concern for members of the 
central committee of the World Council of 
Churches (WCC), and will be highlighted at 
an upcoming conference on Christians in the 
Middle East to be held in Volos, Greece from 
20 to 22 June, according to a news release. 
With the diminishing presence of Christians 
in the region, the central committee said 
in a statement in February, the "conviviality 
among peoples from different faiths, cultures, 
civilizations, which is a sign of God's love 
for all humanity, will be endangered." The 
conference in Greece will explore the issue 
from a theological, ecumenical, cultural, 
and political perspective. 


June 16th, 2011

Japanese churches must become more active, 
warns theologian 

Tokyo (ENI news) - Japanese Christianity has 
"spinelessly gone along with the government,
"mostly shunning social activism and becoming 
"excessively theoretical," according to a 
leading theologian. "What Christianity needs 
here is orthopraxy [right practice]," said 
Yasuo Furuya, professor of modern Christian 
systematic theology at Seigakuin University, 
north of Tokyo. The 85-year-old theologian 
made his comments in a new book, "Is 
Christianity Real in Japan?" released on 
1 June by Kyo Bun Kwan, a Tokyo-based 
Christian publishing company.


U.N. environment agency sees work with 
faith groups, African cleric says

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - The United Nations 
Environmental Programme (UNEP) is looking 
forward to working with the faith communities 
in Africa on environmental issues, retired 
South African Anglican Bishop Geoffrey Davies 
said. The cleric's comments follow faith groups' 
interaction with the agency from 7-8 June at 
its headquarters here during preparatory 
meeting for the 17th Conference of Parties 
COP-17) to the United Nations Framework 
Convention on Climate Change, to be held 
in Durban, South Africa in November.


Vatican tries to revive Eucharistic adoration

Vatican City (ENI news) - For seven centuries, 
Eucharistic adoration -- praying before an
exposed consecrated Communion host -- was one 
of the most popular forms of devotion in the 
Roman Catholic Church, the focus of beloved 
prayers and hymns and a distinctive symbol 
of Catholic identity. Following the 
modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican 
Council (1962-65), the practice fell from 
favor, especially in Europe and the U.S., 
reports Religion News Service. But over the 
last decade, under popes John Paul II and 
Benedict XVI, the church has strongly 
encouraged a revival of the practice.


Christchurch's Anglican landmark 
suffers further damage

Christchurch, New Zealand (ENI news) - This 
city's most famous building, its historic 
Anglican cathedral, may be damaged beyond 
repair after 5.7-magnitude and 6.3-magnitude 
earthquakes shook New Zealand's second 
biggest city on 13 June. The cathedral, 
the centrepiece of the business district 
for 150 years, was initially seriously 
damaged in February's 6.3-magnitude 
earthquake, which killed 181 people.



From the services of

June 13th, 2011

"Dear Lord, I will remain restless, tense, 
and dissatisfied until I can be totally at 
peace in your house. There is no certainty 
that my life will be any easier in the years 
ahead, or that my heart will be any calmer. 
But there is certainty that you are waiting 
for me and will welcome me home when I have 
persevered in my long journey to your house."

- Henri J.M. Nouwen


June 14th, 2011

"We should have much peace if we would not 
busy ourselves with the sayings and doings 
of others."

- Thomas à Kempis 


June 15th, 2011

"I dream and work for the day/when saying 
that I'm a Christian/will say it all. 
/But until then, /I am a Christian feminist."

-  Juanita W. Potter, "Why Am I a Feminist?"


July 16th, 2011

"I much prefer a person who can love God 
enough to take a handout of bread, to a 
person who can give a hundred dollars for 
God's sake. ... The poor [one], by taking 
the handout, gets closer to God than [the 
one] who gave the one hundred dollars for
God's sake."

- Meister Eckhart


June 17th, 2011

"To live in this world/ you must be able/ 
to do three things/ to love what is mortal;/ 
to hold it/against your bones knowing/ 
your own life depends/on it;/and, when the 
time comes to let it go,/to let it go."

-  Mary Oliver, from her poem 
   "In Black Water Woods"



June 12, 1987 - during a visit to the 
divided German city of Berlin, President 
Ronald Reagan publicly challenged Soviet 
leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to "tear 
down this wall."


June 17, 1928 - Amelia Earhart embarked on 
the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. 
She flew from Newfoundland to Wales in about 
21 hours.



"Creatures can come into being like
shoots from a stem, only as part of an
endlessly renewed process of evolution."

- Teilhard de Chardin


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