Father Kevin Laughery

Just recently I learned of the DVD existence of a film which had a profound effect upon me in childhood.

As far as I can figure, it was in 1967 as a fourth-grader at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Decatur that I saw, along with the entire student body, the 1960 British film Hand in Hand. From an early scene of the female lead’s singing, I recognized the film as, coincidentally, a forthcoming offering of the CBS Children’s Film Festival, which, according to the Internet Movie Database, premiered in early 1967.

When we ponder the religious diversity of human beings, we find that our perceptions of other human differences have a strong impact upon what we think we are, and what relationship we are to have with others.

If we associate writing with school, summertime may not seem to be the time to expect people to publish momentous statements. But in fact, people in the Christian world have been busy with documents which focus our attention on matters vital to us.

As we find the debate intensifying on the "mining" of information and its implications for civil liberties, we on this weekend of Father's Day might find ourselves considering the image of God as Father in terms of his all-knowing character.

One might imagine that the work of interreligious dialogue consists of aiming directly for the issues that distinguish and divide us from one another. We might imagine Christians examining with Jews the variety of ideas about what a "messiah" is, while with both Jews and Muslims we might explore the oneness of God and ask whether the Christian concept of God as Trinity is a contradiction of the oneness of God to which these faiths adhere.

I've just returned from a final preparatory meeting for a group of 46 people from the Springfield area who will be traveling to Israel shortly. This "Israel Mission" is the first time that the Jewish Federation of Springfield has organized such a trip. I am one of the 46, joining a largely Jewish group.

Previously in this space I have expressed my affection for Mafalda, a tiny terror from Argentina, whose comic strip, bearing her name, appeared originally in the 1960s and '70s.

I am remembering a series of strips in which this little girl is contemplating the fact that the globe of the earth is conventionally presented with north being "up" and south "down." She explains to her friends her conclusion about the troubles of their country. These, she says, are the result of the fact that Argentina is upside down, and that therefore good ideas fall out of people's heads and are lost!

As we experience a papal transition, we find ourselves reading and hearing a miscellany of facts about the papacy and its history. I'd like to make my own contribution.

Why do we become anxious in the presence of someone whose ideas, beliefs, and opinions are different from ours?

Theology in song! We may not think immediately of Christmas carols in these terms, but if these melodies and their words have any worth at all, we find that worth in the expression of the profound truth of the enfleshing of the Son of God and its import for human salvation.

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