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May 28, 2013
It’s been 40 years since “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” first hit the London stage, 31 years since Andrew Lylyod Webber’s music and Tim Rice’s lyrics told the story from Genesis on Broadway, and it’s twice before had runs at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, the latest only four years ago.
No mind. It just doesn’t get old. Not the way director Michael Brindisi and the company at the Chan play it.
Days later the tunes are still running through my head, of course, but what makes the Chan special are the sight-gags that are so well-timed and well-played, along with the way all the actors, all 27 of ‘em, are engaged all the time.
Take your eyes off charming Jodi Carmeli as she narrates the biblical story or off leading man Jared Oxborough as Joseph, and every single player is in character, doing his or her part to add to the action.
A good example are the way all 11 of Joseph’s brothers have a different way of expressing the distain for their favored-child brother; no two actions are alike, each a creative movement that’s perfect for the scene.
With the dancing, the great costumes and the clever props,it’s what a night’s entertainment ought to be.
May 10, 2013
Zach Sobiech, whose family’s story of faith and devotion in the face of a rare form of bone cancer may be found at TheCatholicSpirit.com (In the quiet stillness of suffering, Mary resides) wrote a song which has become a viral hit.
The song “Clouds” caught the attention of Rainn Wilson (Dwight on The Office) who has a show on a quirky YouTube channel called “SoulPancake.” He gathered a number of celebrities to create a response video to honor Zach and help raise awareness and funding for research of osteosarcoma, the cancer of which Zach is afflicted.
Here are both videos:
March 12, 2013
Adopt a Cardinal will assign a Cardinal to you who you can support through prayer and intercession.
November 20, 2012
The federal “fiscal cliff” is looming. Tensions remain high in the Middle East. Hurricane Sandy’s victims are still struggling to pick up the pieces left in the storm’s wake.
A lot of the news we hear about is tragic and sad.
But, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, Catholic Relief Services has something positive to share: “Good News — For a Change.”
The initiative highlights fantastic strides being made in the fight against global poverty thanks to generous donations to CRS and other humanitarian agencies.
“Too often, we focus on problems,” John Rivera, CRS’ communications director said in a news release. “We thought we’d take a different approach. Drawing on our tradition of Catholic social teaching, with its focus on the common good and integral human development, we decided we would emphasize both our grounding in the Gospel as well as our effective action for improving the lives of the people we serve. Hence, ‘Good News — For a Change.’”
Here are some of the highlights cited by CRS:
Guinea worm disease, an infectious parasitic disease, is on the verge of eradication. While there were 3.2 million cases in 1986, fewer than 400 cases now exist in just four African countries (about 99 percent of transmission is occurring in South Sudan).
In 2011, an estimated 6.9 million children died before their fifth birthday, compared to around 12 million in 1990. Rates of child mortality have fallen in all regions of the world in the last two decades.
You can read CRS’ full “Good News — For a Change” report online.
CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community.
November 19, 2012
I recently received my fall copy of Vianney News, and the “Did you know…” section on the publication’s back page caught my eye.
It highlights some very impressive facts that, I suspect, many people don’t know:
• St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul is the largest college seminary in the United States.
• More than 300 people attend the Last Chance Mass every Sunday evening during the school year in its chapel.
• SJV seminarians are up every day at 5:30 am for 6:15 am prayer and holy hour.
• The typical seminarian studies 40 hours a week, and the average GPA for SJV men is 3.45.
• SJV seminarians are teaching religious education in parishes throughout the archdiocese.
• Several SJV men are invited to speak at local and national events.
November 15, 2012
From the GiveMN website:
Today our communities come together for 24 hours of online giving. Every donation you make during Give to the Max Day 2012 will help qualify your nonprofit or school for prize money and awards, furthering the impact of your donation.
There are several ways your donation can go further on Give to the Max Day.
Leaderboard prize grants – nonprofits which raise the most dollars will earn a spot on one of the four leaderboards. There are prize grants for each of the top 10 spots on all leaderboards. Prizes are as follows: 1st place – $12,500; 2nd place – $5,000; 3rd place – $2,500; 4th-10th place – $1,000.
Golden Tickets – One nonprofit donor and one K-12 public schools donor will be randomly chosen every hour to have $1,000 added to their donation. One nonprofit donor and one K-12 public schools donor will also be selected randomly from throughout the 24 hours of giving to have $10,000 added to their donation!
Matching grants – hundreds of nonprofits are offering a dollar-for-dollar match so you can double your donation.
Learn about the nonprofits and schools serving our area, make a donation, and watch your generosity change lives. For complete rules and prizes, click the link below.
Here’s how to find your Catholic School or organization
Note: The “Find a School” button seems to apply to public schools only.
October 29, 2012
With Election Day nearing, many Catholics are still mulling over a host of issues as they prepare to vote Nov. 6. To help them get ready, a college junior from Coon Rapids is working with a group of fellow students to promote prayer and fasting as a way to unify Catholics and so that voters and leaders may receive the grace to make morally sound decisions.
“Our country’s morality no longer is based on objective right or wrong, but a sliding scale of how good something feels for the most people,” said Meghan Mueller, a nursing major at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., who previously attended St. Paul in Ham Lake. “In many cases, it seems as if truth has been completely taken out of the picture. From this stems many of the major issues our country is facing: the sanctity of life, the sacredness of marriage, and the right to religious freedom.”
The Fast for Freedom initiative — which asks people to abstain from meat or something else as an alternative until Election Day — began earlier this month among a few friends and others on campus. Since then, the effort has “spread like wildfire,” mostly by word of mouth, and includes students from St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul as well as family and friends in the Twin Cities area, Mueller said.
“As of now, we have it documented that about 800 people are partaking in the Fast for Freedom with us,” she said Oct. 26. “From recent reports, however, we have heard that many classrooms, schools and families have joined as well, so we project that participation is higher than we thought.”
In addition to fasting, participants are encouraged to pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m. on Fridays for the elections and the future of the country.
One election issue of particular concern to Mueller, a nursing major, is religious liberty, especially in light of the federal Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate.
The mandate requires all employers, including most Catholic and other religious employers, to provide coverage in their health care plans for contraceptives — including some that can cause abortions — and sterilizations despite moral objections they might have.
If the mandate remains in place, “we will be forced to go against our conscience and provide ‘services’ . . . that we believe are intrinsically evil and have been scientifically proven as harmful,” Mueller said.
“This issue most definitely affects my life in a very real way,” she said. “If our religious freedom is taken away, working as a Catholic nurse will be like walking through a health care minefield.”
Anyone who wants to let the students know they are joining the fast, or who has questions, can email them at email@example.com.
September 4, 2012
Leading With Faith – 2012 409