Monthly Archives: May 2011

Laughter in the Refectory: Papal Pun

Duffy in his book refers to a comment by Pope Gregory XVI (1831-46) that the railways were”infernal machines” (Duffy, 2006, p. 281).  This reminded me that at Seminary I had learned that this was in fact a papal pun:  in … Continue reading

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Annual Retreat

We are currently on our annual retreat, with Abbot Marcel Rooney, O.S.B. as retreat master. Abbot Marcel was the Abbot of Conception Abbey, Missouri from 1993 to 1996 and Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation from 1996 to 2000. He … Continue reading

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Laughter in the Refectory: My Life with the Saints

The Duffy book on the papacy also reminded of a very funny story we read at table about Pope John XXIII in 2007 in a book by James Martin entitled My Life with the Saints.  The pope was “in a … Continue reading

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Laughter in the Refectory: Saints & Sinners

The previously reviewed book on the history of the popes did provide some amusing moments.  The following was one of my favorites:  Duffy writes:  “His death [Pope Gregory IX, 1227-41] was the signal for the first formal papal Conclave, which … Continue reading

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Review of Saints & Sinners

Eamon Duffy’s Saints & Sinners:  A History of the Popes (2006) was a relatively popular book for table reading, but somewhat uneven.  My take is that the first and twentieth centuries material is not as strong as those of the … Continue reading

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Miracle on High Street

This evening at dinner we finished Eamon Duffy’s Saints & Sinners, and began Thomas Allan McCabe’s Miracle on High Street:  The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J.

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