01: The Community of the Beatitudes, a growing French Catholic movement that represents a different kind of religious order, has launched its first U.S. “pilot” community in Denver.
The community consists of priests, nuns, and laity — single and married — living together as they engage in contemplative prayer and ministry to the poor. The community was started in 1985 and now has over 1,200 members living in 70 communities in 29 countries on five continents. The group, one of several conservative movements that have emerged in France in the last two decades, was invited to start a community in Denver by the city’s Archbishop Charles Chaput because of its orthodox stance and innovative approach to community life.
In the year that the community has established a “house in Denver, it has drawn new recuits and inquirers and new houses are being considered for other U.S. cities.
(Source: Catholic World Report, February)
02: Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley is again testing the boundaries of seminary education by pioneering a new interfaith approach.
In 1962, GTU was the first institution to bring Catholic and Protestant seminaries into a working relationship. Now the new president of GTU, James Donahue, is calling for the institution to broaden its base to include non-Christian religions. Donahue is planning for GTU to expand its Jewish studies program, as well as include Buddhist and Hindu centers in its cooperative program. Donahue says that to be “ecumenical today is to be broadly interreligoius and interfaith.”
(Source: Religion Today, Feb. 22, San Francisco Chronicle)