Tuesday, February 16, 2010

US Catholic Bishops Asked to Adopt a Vegan Diet for Lent

The following article appeared on the blog This Dish is Vegetarian:

With Lent right around the corner, PETA penned a letter to the head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, asking him to urge bishops to adopt a vegan diet for Lent.

“Adopting a vegan diet is a wonderful Christian response to the unholy abuse of billions of animals,” writes PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. “As you know, chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while they are still conscious, piglets' tails and testicles are cut off without any painkillers, and fish suffocate or are cut open while still alive on the decks of fishing boats. Of course, the Catechism and Pope Benedict XVI have publically encouraged Catholics to see animals as kindred beings: "Animals, too, are God's creatures … creatures we must respect as companions in creation."

PETA refers to a 2002 interview, when Pope Benedict XVI was known to the world as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He was asked by German journalist Peter Seewald, “Are we allowed to make use of animals, and even to eat them?”

The current-day pontiff responded, “That is a very serious question. At any rate, we can see that they are given into our care, that we cannot just do whatever we want with them. Animals, too, are God's creatures. Certainly, a sort of industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible.”

In addition to this remark criticizing factory farms Pope Benedict XVI has expressed the importance of protecting animals. His statements echo official church teachings laid out in the Catholic Catechism, “Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals (n. 2416).”

PETA hopes bishops will use their Christian teachings of mercy and peace to encourage parishioners to follow a vegan diet.

Lent begins on Feb. 17, 2010.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Julia Magnifico: In Search of Unexpected Beauty and Meaning

When Juliana Magnifico was 11 years old, she was the youngest artist to have a piece in the Marie Louise Trichet Gallery's exhibit, "Homage to Picasso" in 1998.

Now a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Juliana has her photography on exhibit at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, CT until March 1. Below is one of her photographs and her reflection on the piece.

"Discovering the tank in an old junkyard in Pennsylvania and seeing the resulting photographs is what inspired this series of images. I had always been interested in the intricacies of abandoned places, but before taking that shot I had never gotten so up close and personal with them. In doing so I began to see their histories unfold in the chipping paint, rusting metal and relentless overgrowth. Enthralled, I continued to get closer and delve deeper in search of unexpected beauty and meaning."

You can enjoy more of Juliana’s photography on her website here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monsanto Presents Threat to Oganic Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is on the verge of granting Monsanto permission to market its genetically modified alfalfa, despite findings that show almost certain danger of the spread of modified genetic material to conventional and organic alfalfa crops.

The approval would present a huge threat to organic farmers and the integrity of the organic label. We need to act now to stop the USDA from making a colossal mistake.

The USDA is accepting public comments in the approval process, but only until February 16. Will you submit your comment urging the USDA to consider the impacts on organic farmers in its review of Monsanto's genetically modified crops? Just click here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rich Answers: Arthur Miller, Director of the office for Black Catholic Ministries

Sr. Rosemarie Greco recently interviewed Arthur Miller, director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Hartford, for the program, "Rich Answers" which is aired on Sunday morning on WRCH 100.5 FM. The program is sponsored by the Conference of Churches of Hartford.

The interview covered Mr. Miller's participation in the upcoming program at Wisdom House on February 27, "Peace, the Bible, and Martin Luther King, Jr." He spoke of the Biblical sources of Dr.King's nonviolent peace movement.

Also participating in the Wisdom House program will be Victoria Christgau, the founder and director of the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence. Richard Tarlaian, Kingian Scholar and Senior Trainer for the Center of Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island will join Ms. Christgau and Mr.Miller.

For further information, click here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

'Taking Care of Business': Three Workshops for Visual Artists

The Connecticut Commission on Tourism and Culture, in partnership with the Tremaine Foundation and the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, will be hosting 3 IMPORTANT state-wide, day-long workshops Taking Care of Business--March 6, April 10, and May 1--to assist visual artists.

The NW CT Arts Council wants to ensure that artists know about these workshops and that the workshops are effective for the artists.

You can also learn more by going to http://www.letsgoarts.org/ArtistsWorkshops.

Amy Wynn, Executive Director of the NW CT Arts Council, writes, "We want as many artists in our region to benefit from these workshops so that, ultimately, they will build their capacity to sustain themseves and thrive."