Papa Z's Views and Comments

Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Much to the great frustration of my wife, I have a passion for books. I love to read them -- and to collect them.

Here's a question for my faithful readers -- all six of them!

What are your favorite books, and what books have made the greatest impact on your lives? (Not including Sacred Scripture -- let's assume that as a given!)

I'll start:

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church by Hans Urs von Balthasar

The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon

Boy, a shrink would have fun with THAT list!

There are others -- but this is good for a start!

Papa Z

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SUBJECT: MUSIC!!! (And Ecumenism!!!)

This is a different sort of post -- and I'm hoping for some good feedback.

Looking back over the recently concluded Christmas season, I was struck once again that, despite the differences which grieve the Body of Christ, the Christmas music we all enjoy is a beautiful example of ecumenism in the best sense of the word. Note, if you will, the background behind some of our most beloved carols.

Joy To The World -- text by the English Nonconformist Isaac Watts; music by the German (presumably Lutheran) GF Handel (who spent much of his life living and working in England).

Silent Night -- text by the German Catholic priest Josef Mohr; music by German Catholic Franz Gruber.

Hark, The Herald Angels Sing -- text by the Anglican Methodist Charles Wesley; music by the Jewish convert to Protestant Christianity Felix Mendelssoln.

O Little Town Of Bethlehem -- text by Episcopalian Bishop Phillips Brooks

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear -- text by Unitarian! clergyman Edmund Sears

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen -- traditional Church of England

Perhaps we are sometimes more united in song than in prayer!

Please feel free to add your favorite Christmas music (and its history/background) to this list.

Papa Z

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