The next big thing (to buy)

I am planning on purchasing a digital slr camera. Right now I’m trying to decide between a Nikon D40 and a D40X. The difference is about 4 megapixels and a couple hundred dollars. I plan on making this purchase the first week of December.
I’m kind of hoping that there will be some price cuts or sales happening at the time.

A coworker recently bought a D40X package from Costco. She got the camera body, a couple of lenses and a flash, I think. The price for this was $999.99 plus tax with an instant $50 rebate. I’ve placed both cameras on my Amazon wishlist. Compare and let me know what you think of the difference. And feel free to buy me something from the list. Items start at $.01.

LotR movie making inspires medical scanner.

Pretty cool story about new technology.

read more | digg story

Letter to Fr. Arouje

Fr. Arouje,

I wanted to express some of my ideas for music ministry here at St. Stanislaus. I have been involved with music ministry for over 20 years, serving at a number of parishes throughout the diocese, including 5 years as Music Director at St. Anthony’s in Hughson.

Ideally, I would like to see the following:

• One person overseeing the music for all Masses and celebrations of Sacraments (including weekends, weddings, funerals, baptisms, confirmation, etc.).

• A commitment to a common repertoire for the entire parish. I do not think it is a healthy thing that the various Masses can be so distinct and even different. We are one parish and people should be able to participate in the singing no matter which Mass they attend on any given week. There is some room for options but 85% of the music we sing at the parish should be from a common repertoire.

• We should be selecting music that reflects the seasonal nature of the Church calendar.

• In selecting music, we must adhere to the principles the Church gives us. Music must pass the Musical Judgment, the Liturgical Judgment, and the Pastoral Judgment. One or even two of the three of these is not sufficient. It must pass all three. And appropriate music from all times in the Church should be used. The best of what was composed hundreds of years ago, to what’s being written now, and everything in between, so far as it passes the three judgments.

• Music that is selected should be done so with the intention that there will be congregational singing. Occasional choir anthems or songs that are to be listened to but not sung by the congregation may at times be ok, but they are not the norm.

• Recruiting of musicians should be not for any one group, but for the parish.

• (I could go on, but these are enough.)

If for whatever reason we cannot, at this time, find an appropriate person to be the Music Director, I think that the current set of musicians should work as a committee to select music and plan for the seasons. We need to start planning for the time when we will have fewer Masses each weekend which in turn will mean, perhaps, fewer musicians will be needed. As we anticipate people from the six English Masses we have now being mixed together in as few as three or four English Masses after the new church is built, it is important that we be able to ‘hit the ground running’ once we make the move to the new building.

I am willing and eager to serve God, the Church, the ministry of music, and the people of God as we move forward over the next several months and years and I look forward to working with whomever is hired.


Seán Fornelli