Project Bread Walk for Hunger!

No pressure, because I know this is a busy time for everyone, but I'm going to be walking 20 miles this coming Sunday in Project Bread's Walk for Hunger. I'm proud to say that the Walk actually started 38 years ago as a way for my church, the Paulist Center downtown, to raise money for our own weekly meal for the needy and our food pantry; since then it's grown dramatically, and the funds from the Walk go to support 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks and food salvage programs in Massachusetts. Project Bread still provides 83% of the operating budget for my church's outreach efforts to feed women, men, and children in Boston.
If you'd like to make a donation to support me, you can do so by credit card directly at my walk webpage.
And, if you'd like to come along on Sunday, there's still time to start asking for donations and to get your walking shoes ready!
Thanks for any support, material or spiritual!


BXVI Quote of the Day

"It was easy to know the doctrine. It's much harder to help a billion people live it."

Technically, yesterday, from David Gibson's NY Times article on BXVI after two years.


Have a Gansett, Neighbor

Blog friend and real-life church friend Panorama of the Mountains has a review of the revived Narragansett beer. I grew up about 2 miles from the old Narragansett Brewery in Cranston, Rhode Island. The old Gansett wasn't, shall we say, the champagne of beers, but it seems like the revival might have a little more potential. The Narragansett website has a good history of how, exactly, the original Narragansett went downhill financially in the mid-70s. Perhaps I'll order a keg for my Rhode Island Independence Day party at the beginning of next month.


Pimp your iBook

Check out Mozaikits, and the special laptop Mozaikits with Apple logo cut-outs. Thanks to Cool Hunting for the link.


Happy Birthday, B16

He celebrated with a cute new mitre and his new book on Jesus.

Soulforce at Gordon College

Michael Paulson reports in today's Globe that Gordon College, an independent evangelical Christian college on the north shore (and alma mater to many, many illustrious graduates, including my friends Dan and Suzanne...) will be welcoming, rather than locking out, a group of Soulforce LGBT activists on their nationwide Equality Ride.

So what are we to make of this? Underhanded evangelical ploy to look nice while still hating on the gays? After all, the College is not renouncing its policy on homosexuality, and talks and presentations by the Soulforce riders will always be followed by presentations of the college's viewpoint by members of the Gordon community. Or is it a capitulation to the forces of sodomy, an endorsement of the gay lifestyle simply by allowing them to be on campus and (!) to share dinner?

Neither, IMHO. They're entering into explicit, polite, dialogue. Which is not easy to do, in a culture that doesn't promote talking with the people with whom you disagree, and on an issue which goes to the heart of peoples' lives. In the Globe story, the president of the student association, Josh Stoeckle, "said that he supports Gordon's policy against homosexual conduct, but that 'I find myself growing and realizing that the world is also a very complicated place, and we're often not really very good at loving people. We let beliefs become abstractions, and not people. And we have students at Gordon who are homosexual and really struggle with being here.'" Amen. The church's struggle with self-identified gay people is not going to end overnight, and inviting someone into a conversation, rather than shutting them out, is a good step to all of us being able to talk with each other and not about each other.


Jesuit Urban Center Closing

Sad, rainy day here in Boston: it was announced at Mass this morning at the Jesuit Urban Center that the Jesuits will be closing the Center, possibly as early as this summer. It's a real punch in the gut that such a lively intentional community is going to be dispersed out of existence. I'm most concerned about the fact that the Urban Center has been a home for gay and lesbian Catholics for such a long time, and particularly for Catholics who already felt on the margins of their church. This is going to be the final push out of the Catholic church for large numbers of my brothers and sisters. Please keep them in your prayers.


New York and Taxes

Just back from a quick overnight jaunt down to Manhattan after a stressful-ish week that included a 36-hour job interview. Thanks to all for their thoughts and prayers on that front, I'll keep you posted.
New York was lovely; we did a tour of the Brooklyn Brewery, sampling some of their product, followed by an oh-so-fabelhaft evening in Astoria working on our French pronunciation and catching up. We eventually ended up at some less reputable establishments...Barricuda and then (gasp) Mr. Black's. Fun was had by all.

Mass the following morning at St. Francis Xavier parish at 6th Ave. and 16th St. Wonderful service, just the right mix, IMHO, of some Latin chanting and some good Gather hymnal standards to make me feel at home (despite the inclusion of one of my least favorite hymns that sounds like a song rejected from Les Miz: "Jerusalem, my dest-iny"). When in New York, I usually hit the jazz mass in the evening at the Church of the Ascension up on the upper West Side, but we were going to be leaving too early in the day for that; and I hadn't been over to St. Joseph's in the Village since Fr. Aldo Tos was pastor (before a whole bunch of Dominicans showed up...).

Then it was back to Boston; today was the first day back to class for Harvard after spring-break, and now we're in it for the long haul. I'm trying to get caught up on other things in order to be able to spend my time editing later in the month, and this morning also got my taxes done. Now, if you're a poor graduate student, say, and have an AGI under $28,500,
or qualify for the Earned Income Credit, or are active duty military with an AGI under $52,000, then you can use a version of TurboTax online for free. The one catch, as your correspondent discovered, is that you need to start filling out your information by going to that website; otherwise, you won't be able to get the free credit and will have to enter all your information in twice. If you're in Massachusetts and a number of other states, your state return will also be free. It's always helpful when the calendar works this way, and the government provides you with an opportunity for penance and almsgiving right in the middle of Holy Week...