The beeps, tunes, and other digital noise emitted by cell phones are incompatible with quiet worship, says Llopis. By installing the jammer, he says, "I ensure that the religious service is celebrated within the parameters of prayer." The device, which in Spain is also used by some restaurants, movie theaters, and libraries, emits low-power radio signals that block cell-phone communication.
But before you rush out to the store to buy one for your parish: the devices are illegal in the United States as well as in Britain and Canada. (Episcopal News Service, March 28, 2002)
SHALL WE GATHER BY THE WATER? "Not a word of regret," reports the Tablet (April 13, 2002), "from Father John Medcalf, who caught out dozens of parishioners with a bogus `Blessing of the Waves' on April Fool's Day." Some 50 people waited in vain for the local bishop to perform the ceremony at the end of the pier in Hastings, England. The event was advertised in the parish newsletter, and the local newspaper ran a story titled "Bless me, will the bishop take a dip?" Readers were told that those wanting to be altar servers had to be strong swimmers and that after the bishop's benediction there would be "opportunities to swim with dolphins."
TRUTH BE TOLD "People say September 11 changed the world. That is false. Thirty-three A.D. forever changed the world."
--Duke University theologian Stanley Hauerwas (quoted in The Dallas Morning News, April 20, 2002)
WE WEIRDOS "Today you can be into feng shui or astrology or palm reading and no one will blink an eyelid. But say out loud that you are a Catholic and it can be guaranteed that people will think that you are a complete weirdo." --British comedian Frank Skinner (quoted in The Tablet, March 30, 2002)
The fault of many Christians of our day is to hope too little. They believe that every battle and every obstacle will be the downfall of the church. They are the apostles in the boat during the storm: They forget that the savior is with them!
--Blessed Frederic Ozanam Founder of the St. Vincent DePaul Society (1813-1853)
"HE PLAYED BLACKJACK for the greater glory of God," says the unusual obituary of Father Joseph Fahey, S.J., former president of Boston College High School, in the Tablet (Feb. 16, 2002). Fahey, who died January 16, was a Jesuit mathematical genius who played the blackjack tables from Atlantic City to Las Vegas. Wearing his one shabby blue suit on all of his gambling outings, Fahey was "an incongruous figure among the glitz."
Fahey was so successful that he was eventually blacklisted by the casinos. By that time he had donated tens of thousands of dollars to Jesuit causes. "Many Jesuit missions owe a great debt to him and his abilities at the card table," an assistant of Fahey's, John Dunn, told the Boston Globe (Jan. 18, 2002).
When he was president of Boston College High School, his winnings helped boost the school's endowment by 500 percent and finance an athletics stadium, library, and computer center.
How did he do it? Card-counting, although not illegal, is well beyond the mathematical ability of most people, and it significantly alters the odds in the gambler's favor.
After he was banned from casinos, Fahey tried to pass his card-counting skills on to the students of his economics class at Boston College. According to the Boston Globe, "he devoted the final class of each semester to counting cards and an explanation of how he beat the odds at the blackjack table. It was a class few missed."
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|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2002|
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