Pauline Spirit

short works on Paul
November 17, 2008, 8:45 pm
Filed under: Paul resources, Pauline Year

The Catholic New World (Archdiocese of Chicago) is starting to post Pauline Year articles by Sr. Anne Flanagan, fsp. This was the second in the series: The Conversion of St. Paul. This article is missing an important credit line. The whole article was inspired by Sr. Armanda Santos’ soon-to-be-released “Facing the Apostle Paul,” a study of Pauline theology in the light of the artistic heritage. Especially with regard to the treatment of the Caravaggio works, many insights came directly from Sr. Armanda.

And speaking of Caravaggio, here’s a wonderfully insightful article on his 1601 painting of the Conversion of St. Paul (he did another one the year before).


New Book from Birmingham
June 18, 2008, 5:07 pm
Filed under: books, Paul resources, Pauline Year

The Diocese of Birmingham is busy with preparations for the Year of Saint Paul, called for by Pope Benedict XVI last year, which begins this year on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29) and concludes one year later on the same Feast.

Shortly after his installation last October, Bishop Robert J. Baker commissioned Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., to write a bible study guide for parish and school use within the diocese during the Pauline Year. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing in Indiana agreed to co-publish the book, “Saint Paul: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics” with The Birmingham Catholic Press making it available to all Catholics throughout the world looking for a resource to use in celebration of the Year of Saint Paul.

The book, now released, includes six sessions covering Saint Paul’s teaching on the Sacraments as well as his missionary activity. The appendix of the book includes a reference checklist to enable the reader to study the Letters of Saint Paul during the year.

In September and October of 2008, Father Pacwa will present a lecture on each of the six sessions in the book at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Birmingham. Parishes in the diocese will conduct the bible study on Saint Paul this Fall and in the Spring of 2009.

Thought a Day widget
June 1, 2008, 3:27 am
Filed under: Paul resources

As we begin the month of June, I again draw your attention to the Pauline Thought a Day widget which is available free for blogs and websites. It’s an easy way to make sure you are “doing something” for the Pauline Year (and, yes, you can modify the colors to go with your blog motif). Spread the word!

Speaking of Paul..
May 28, 2008, 8:42 pm
Filed under: Paul resources

A few months ago, I put a whole pageful of St. Paul resources on a wiki; here they are:

Non-biblical sources on Paul’s life
Early Christians loved a good read as much as anybody, and Paul was the hero of many of the early works of Christian literature of the “easy reading” variety. Here are a few of those books.  

Acts of Paul Only fragments remain of this work from before 200 AD; much of the “Acts of Paul and Thecla” seems to have been part of this work. Here is a web page with more background and other links concerning this book.

Acts of Peter and Paul Fragment of a book written about 200 AD.

Acts of Paul and Thecla A “novel” written in Asia Minor sometime before 200  AD. This is the source of many stories about St. Paul and the noble Thecla, however much embroidered by the devotion of the original writer.
Various Tidbits of Information

Archaological findings related to Paul and Thecla in Ephesus

Sources on St. Thecla
Paul’s premier woman disciple and “equal to the apostles” in the scope and effectiveness of her evangelizing mission. Thecla was understandably more popular in an age that took these early novels to be history in the strictest sense, but contemporary feminists find a lot to love in the stories for what they may hint at concerning women’s roles in the early Church.

Article “The Acts of Thecla: A Pauline Tradition Linked to Women” by Nancy Carter. 

Book review of a scholarly tome on devotion to St. Thecla. The fact that such a book was written is itself significant.

The Acts of Xanthippe, Polyxena, and Rebecca: another novel from the early Church, which seems to be, in some respects, a “sequel” to the Acts of Paul and Thecla. Feminists scholars note the importance given to the women in this story, and see this as a narrative from women’s circles.

Children’s Titles for Pauline Year
May 28, 2008, 1:54 am
Filed under: books, Paul resources
An easy-to-read biography of the Apostle

A comic book that you color!

A chapter book for middle grade readers: great for book reports!

Reflections from Wilmington, DE
April 5, 2008, 7:25 pm
Filed under: Paul resources, Scripture, Spirituality, Uncategorized

The bishops are beginning to proclaim Jubilee throughout the land. On the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Bishop Saltarelli of Wilmington, Delaware, issued a pastoral letter in anticipation of the Pauline Year. It offers a good blend of scriptural, spiritual and pastoral reflection and some practical ideas for the Jubilee Year, touching on the following six themes:
I. Paul’s Conversion Experience on the Road to Damascus and our Personal Conversion in the Year of Saint Paul
II. Living and Praying Christ in the Year of Saint Paul
III. Praying, Studying and Living the Inspired Word of God in the Pauline Year
IV. Lifting High the Cross of Christ in the Year of Saint Paul
V. Rekindling a Love for the Eucharist and the Church in the Year of Saint Paul
VI. The Universal Call to Holiness and the Universal Call to Mission in the Year of Saint Paul

A readable book about Paul
February 19, 2008, 8:19 pm
Filed under: books, Paul resources

It’s Paul for the rest of us! Sr. Julia (Best Catholic Books blog) makes her recommendations.

Now you would think that a Daughter of St. Paul would be able to tell you where to find a book about her spiritual father and patron saint, right? Well, up until a short while ago I would probably have responded, “good luck!” It seems I’ve been on the look out for a good biography of St. Paul since forever, but in spite of the fact that I basically live in a book store, I couldn’t seem to find anything that wasn’t academic, dry, outdated or just too over my head. Sure, you can always find shelves of books on St. Paul in the Scripture study section (after all, he did write 14 letters in the New Testament) but a decent biography? One that inspired devotion and made me want to be related to him?

Well, I’m writing this to tell you that all is not lost. I did find one! Last year we published Paul, Least of the Apostles, and I grabbed a copy as soon as we put it on display! It was easy to get into the story and I found it an extremely readable biography and one that I could confidently pass on to anyone. You’ll be happy to know that no degree in Scripture or Theology is needed to understand and enjoy this book. Alain Decoux is a French journalist and historian and writes this popular biography for the average reader (that would be most of us!). He has a smooth way of connecting past and present by giving details of the actual places Paul visited in a way that makes you feel as though you’re there and it’s real and you’re part of it. It has great pictures, too – both of the archeological sites and masterpiece artwork of Paul.

All in all, it comes highly recommended by one of his Daughters who has been looking a good long time for a book on him worth getting excited about.