Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Banal Na Pag-aaral

I don't know if I typed that up correctly. My understanding is that it means something like "Holy Study". My Filipino readers will have to clue the rest of us in to what it really means, but that is the name of the group I spoke to last night. I gave my "Life and Legends of Paul" talk for the local chapter of this Cursillo-inspired faith movement. (The last scheduled talk for the Year of St. Paul! What am I going to do now?)
Everyone was so engaged--when I mentioned a Scripture passage or an episode from the life of St. Paul, I could many heads nodding in recognition. The group I met yesterday in Morton Grove has been around for 24 years, but the movement has been going strong for 40 years.

Speaking of movement, I will be on the move tomorrow, through Midway Airport, to be precise. I'm heading for the Catholic New Media Celebration in San Antonio this weekend (with a little pause in Austin to see my sister!). This is only the second gathering of bloggers, podcasters and social networkers who are actively involved in the new Evangelization. I'm looking forward to meeting people I know mostly through their online work. One thing already seems clear: I'll be one of a very small number of sisters. Quite a few priests are very active in online Evangelization and social networking, but there are relatively few nuns doing this, outside of the official vocation directresses of the various communities. Nuns tend to be bloggers, but not as present in the other electronic media. (We're there, but not a strong and "visible" presence.) Coming at this from my own angle, I can see that one reason for this is, simply put, demographics. The average age of women religious in the US is in the 70's, even though there are some communities, so there are fewer of us to be involved (much less with access to technology). Technology is another part of the puzzle: with a vow of poverty, we aren't exactly waiting for the UPS man to deliver the next generation iPhone to the door! And many of our communities are strong on corporate mission, in which communitarian websites and "official" communications are more the order of the day. Plus, most of our time is already spoken for. (Which is why I am writing this after 9:00 in the evening; it was my turn to cook...)
Anyway, when I learned about the weekend event, I wrote to my provincial to ask if I could be the "Pauline presence" in this new world of new media. I don't have a netbook or iPhone (that vow of poverty thing!), I won't be blogging too much--except for what I can eke out in text messages (at ten cents a pop) (thanks be to God, we do have cell phones!). Hopefully, I'll have a lot to say, and maybe even a few pictures, when I get back! Meanwhile, you can follow many of the procedings through the StarQuest Production Network, which is sponsoring the CNMC.


jun said...

Banal na Aral = Holy Study is correct.

How about posting a video or mp3 of your talk =)

Janelle said...

I miss your haikus already! I like the little reminders to spirituality. If you get truly bored, you can always take over the 1 Cor. 11 project. You're already essentially a co-author... and you haven't had any time.

My long-distance boyfriend is a lawyer who missed out on a Catholic upbringing. In my absence, he has dabbled in Catholic instruction with sitting in the silence in the Cathedral and watching the Exorcist franchise and St. Thomas More movies. Yes, he wants a virtual behind-the-scenes introduction before he decides to bite. Participation might mean someone could accost him before he has made up his mind. Half of the time, in his mind's eye, my academic advisor priest is fighting vampires on his summer vacation. The other half of the time, I am having tea with the Pope. The combined scenario seems a little Harry Potter-ish to me, but there you have it. I suppose it might be true. In any case, if he ever fully converts, I'm going to miss observing his perambulations with fascination. I think someone needs to start an informal "secret society" site for my boyfriend: "The Catholic Church... with ever-unfolding intrigue and mysteries... but, unlike Twilight/True Blood and Dan Brown movies, this is real... and much, much cooler." Every so often, a guest Cardinal needs to appear for an interview in which he almost reveals The Miracle Which Must Not Be Mentioned and then quickly changes the subject. It's imperative that this Miracle be of the utmost importance and yet never fully understood.

Meanwhile, I prefer the haikus near and the spiritual forces of the opposition very, very far.

Far. Like where you are going.... Hmm.

So, I hope you get to be special at your conference and then come back to solve all our problems for us. Nuns are visible signs.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry...

May I ask why you used the name of the movement as the title of your blog yet the content is not about it?

Sr Anne said...

Because I gave my presentation to the members of this movement; the invitation to speak to them was my introduction to it; I figured that my Filipino readers would know what it referred to; and, finally, it just made an interesting title.