Saturday, December 8, 2007

Waiting for the King to Come

An afternoon ice storm canceled our Advent Lessons and Carols Evensong last week. I was really looking forward to it, having for years either listened to or sung this service which, for me, marks the beginning of Advent.

In order to salvage all the music we've been preparing since September, Sunday we will do a shortened version of the program. One of my favorites is a new setting for this hymn, which begins:
The King shall come when morning dawns,
And light triumphant breaks;
When beauty gilds the eastern hills,
And life to joy awakes.
The music, by Robert Lind, is both startling and beautiful, with the piano playing a duet, rather than an accompaniment, with the choir. It's got that Advent kind of clear, cold, crisp air and expectancy scaling upwards, reaching towards the Star in East breaking through the dark night.

Listen here (click on "Listen to sample audio").

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Crazy Ones

Today's junk mail that got through the spam filter:

Hey Karthy,

Here's to you and all the other crazy ones. Check out this 1 minute Apple ad honoring your kind ...

See it here:

Rock on,
Garret LoPorto
Author of The DaVinci Method

You were sent this because you took this personality test and scored 50% similar to the world\\'s greatest entrepreneurs.

[Hey this is fun -- open up an email, click a couple places, and presto a blog entry! All while I'm waiting to get an edit back from the central office. No need to think or write anything beautiful or profound -- just declare my Craziness. Back to my regularly scheduled program. BTW, I have no recollection of taking their personality test, but surely I can blame it on Eileen (though I hesitate since she's recently been maligned by the great Crazy One, but surely she'll forgive me).]

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Buried in more ways than one

The view from my "office" window today.

City of God Appeal

Just in case anyone's missed it, please go to City of God Appeal and make a donation for the mission and work of Christ the King in in the Cidade de Deus, one of the most impoverished and dangerous neighbourhoods in the world.

I'll "borrow" from Mad Priest the latest news from Luiz Cohelo:
From Luiz Coelho:

First of all, I'd like to thank you for spreading the word about this initiative. Christ the King is, more than anything, the story of a rebirth.

Christ the King was the project of one man very dedicated to God's work: the Rev. Jorge Macedo. About 20 years ago, he managed to gather donations from one parish in Canada, one parish in the US and from a Social Fund in the Netherlands, and build the solid builiding Christ the King now has. He was the founder, rector and principal of an elementary school that existed there.

Sadly, he died of cancer some years ago, and due to economic crisis which didn't (and still doesn't) allow the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro to hire more clergy, Fr. Macedo was substituted by a series of supply priests (who were at the same time in charge of one or even two other parishes) and it experienced a decline in membership. The school failed into bankruptcy and a couple years ago, there were only 4 active members and an empty school building. Some in the diocese wanted to sell the property, but there was a last try: the school was converted into a social project, which is also funded by ERD, and rents space to several community-based initiatives. And one year ago, a young priest, Fr. Eduardo Costa, was assigned to that parish (Fr. Eduardo is also the rector of Most Holy Trinity in Méier). That's how I found the parish when I first went there, even before Fr. Eduardo's official installment. I was about to send my seminary papers and still doubtful about my vocation. Some time, later I was already officially helping serve there and with my training on charge. Christ the King convinced me I had something to do with the Church.

After one year of Fr. Eduardo's installment, last sunday, our diocesan bishop visited us. We had more than sixty people there. 10 children were baptized, 9 adults were confirmed and one was received into communion. I invite you to take a look

The formula? I have no idea... We just tried to make room for people and make sure they are loved. Most of our parishioners were the "leftovers" of society, and many of our Christian sisters/brothers didn't care much about them, because they weren't legally married, or were poor, or not well seen... We became a church of refugees... literally. Once, the drug dealers shot against the police in front of the church and we had to lock ourselves inside it. As our website says, Christ the King is a community which seeks the divine path of conversion through its common faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, through respect for the incarnational mystery and through a sacramental life rooted in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist every Sunday.

Next sunday will be my last official Sunday there. I'm very proud and honored to know some of you are contributing to our ministry with children. We have about 20 children who attend our parish every Sunday, and the more we expand this number, the less children will be corrupted by drug traffic (drug dealers start hiring children at the age of 10). These donations will be directed to this ministry. Some of our goals are: buying musical instruments for them (drums, flutes, etc), buying Christian Education material and a DVD player and some cartoons on Jesus and the Bible. Money will eventually go to our parish kitchen (we serve a meal to everybody - especially the children - after services) if we run out of food.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


This was from the Church of the Advent, now the Advent Chapel in Montreal. Something about the rich blues in Anglo-Catholic churches -- this one for the Advent sky. I have no profound reflections on the season, just that it is dark, quiet, and full of reflection and expectancy.

It's Time

It begins. No, not the rapture. Winter.