Friday, March 19, 2010

Catholic Saints and New Orleans

Today is St. Joseph's Day and 100's of people, who aren't even Catholic will attend a St. Joseph's Day Altar and get thier Lucky (fava) Bean.

The "use" of Saints in "spell-like" capacity a very common thing in New Orleans and has been for centuries. Granted New Orleans is a very Catholic city but it is also a very Southern European city. We've had our fair share of French, Spanish, Italian, Sicilians, Canary Islanders, Yugoslavians come through and their impact is not small. Combine this with the African influences and you get a city where even those of German and Irish ancestry know about St. Joseph (patron saint of carpenters - help me sell my house), St. Anthony, and St. Ann (St. Ann, St. Ann send me a Man). It's cultural as much as it is "religious".

The Saints are Catholic. The Ways are not necessarily Catholic and were carried here primarily (not solely) by Italian immigrants. Saints and New Orleans are deeply cultural and have a links to ancient Pagan ways. It is this veneer of modern over layers of the past that gives New Orleans much of its appeal and mystery.

Also check out the City of Spirits & Italian New Orleans, German New Orleans, Irish New Orleans DVDs from WYES New Orleans' Public Television

Monday, March 1, 2010

Academy chapel to add outdoor circle to worship areas

The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs sits in the foothills of the Rockies, a beautiful area. The Chapel is a great building and a tourist attraction.

Take a look at this article on the US Airforce Academy: Earth based religions get a Circle at the US Airforce Academy in Colorado.
What is most interesting are the the comments below the article on the US Airforce site. I am pleased to see how many military men & women chimed in with support. It was inspiring to see those in the military, who may disagree with or disapprove of paganism as a valid religious path, supporting the rights of others to worship in their own ways. But then these are the folks who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms so it shouldn't surprise any of us that they would "get it". Of course there are a few radical Christians who find the whole thing offensive. Patience wins out. Be sure to click on the related stories link and read the comments there as well.