George P. Matysek Jr. has been a member of the Catholic Review staff since 1997, and currently serves as the assistant managing editor.

A graduate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Essex, George holds a bachelor's degree in history and writing from what is now Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and a master's degree in history from UMBC.

A winner of numerous regional, national and international journalism awards, George has reported from Guyana, Guatemala, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Reach George at gmatysek@CatholicReview.org

 

 

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Thank you, Mr. George P. Matysek Jr. for your blog of May 5, 2015, "Mary gets her crown in Emmitsburg." The crowning of the campanile-cum-statue on the Mount of the Blessed Virgin Mary last May, with a huge wreath of silk flowers on her head pointed to her in time, her month of May, as well as spoke of our veneration of her as our Lord’s mother, the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. In this statuary pose she protectively overlooks the campus of St. Mary's University, whose heart lies in its Catholic identity. However, when I went to the "Board of Trustees Statement on Our Catholic Identity" at the 'msmary' web site and saw and reflected on its four tenets for this Catholic identity, no explicit or implicit mention of Mary was found. One of the four tenets did mention Ex corde eclessiae, the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities of (now) Pope St. John Paul II, given in Rome on August 15, 1990, The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. That is the only explicit mention of Mary in this papal document. However, quoted from the first paragraph of the Introduction of this document: "A Catholic University's privileged task is "to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth"…" We already know the fount of truth, Jesus, through his mother, Mary. Ad Iesum per Mariam. This reality St. Bernadette Soubirous knew through the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes in 1858, a moment in Church history the Mount commemorates as home to the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes (as well as to Mount St. Mary's Seminary). This reality and commemoration seem justification enough for serious consideration to be given to inclusion of Mary’s name per se in this statement of Catholic identity, for without her none of us comes to true and authentic conversion as the one that Jesus had made each one of us to be rather than that one which each one of us without her had tried to make himself or herself into.

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Thanks, Gwyneth! We all miss him at the Catholic Review.

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The Narthex

Obama picks outspoken sister for advisory council

Sister Marlene Weisenbeck (National Catholic Reporter Photo)

Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, a critic of the Vatican's apostolic visitation of American religious sisters, has been picked by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The appointment was announced today.

According to a Feb. 4 White House release, the advisory council "brings together religious and secular leaders as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations in order to make recommendations to the government on how to improve partnerships."

Sister Marlene, past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, made waves in September when she appeared on CNN and raised concerns about the apostolic visitation, which was announced in 2009 to look at the quality of life of U.S. congregations of women religious.

"We weren't quite expecting to walk into this kind of process that would test our authenticity and our integrity," she told CNN of the visitation.

Concerned that Rome may expect American sisters to return to a more traditional form of religious life, the Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration said "there is no turning back."

"I don't think that happens in any living organism," she said. "God doesn't turn the creation in opposite directions."

Here's a blurb on Sister Marlene's appointment from the White House release:

Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Sister Marlene Weisenbeck is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Sister Weisenbeck is an officer and past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a canonically approved membership organization which exists as a support system and corporate voice for leaders of religious institutes of Catholic Sisters in the United States. She also serves as Chairperson of the Catholic Health Association’s Sponsorship/Canon Law Committee and is a consultant in religious law. Sister Weisenbeck was president of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration from 2002-2010. She is also past president of the National Conference of Vicars for Religious and Chancellor for the Diocese of La Crosse. Sister Weisenbeck holds a B.M. Ed. degree from Viterbo University, an M.M. from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, a J.C.L. in Canon Law from Saint Paul University-Ottawa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Click here for bios of the other appointees.

February 04, 2011 08:33
By George Matysek