Environment for the Americas | 2840 Iliff Street | Boulder | CO | 80305
Environment for the Americas | 2840 Iliff Street | Boulder | CO | 80305
By KASSANDRA MONTAG , Hub Staff Writer
KEARNEY — Sister Dorothy Cavaness placed the brown scapular over the shoulders of a newly welcomed Lay Carmelite. Over her own shoulder the statues of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Therese of Lisieux could be seen, important figures of the Carmelite Order.
The Lay Carmelite Third Order Reception was Jan. 26 at Mount Carmel Chapel, signifying the first group of laity in Kearney to become a part of the Carmelite Order.
“Here in Kearney, as far as I know, they’ve never had a Lay Carmelite community,” said Tony Wathen, one of the Lay Carmelite members.
The Carmelite Order is a Roman Catholic religious order with a focus on contemplative prayer, drawing from the prophet Elijah and the Virgin Mary as models. The Third Order is for laity, or people who do not make religious vows. Instead, members of the Third Order will keep their ordinary occupation but commit themselves to the values of the Carmelite Order.
“The whole idea of becoming a Lay Carmelite is to live the Christian life in a deeper way, to become more prayerful, to become involved in some sort of service projects,” said Wathen.
The duties of being a Lay Carmelite include leading a deeper prayer life, building community, and apostolic service, which are acts done for others.
“St. Therese of Lisieux was a Carmelite and hers was known as the little way….she did just simple things,” said Rose Wathen, a member of the Lay Carmelites.
The brown scapular, a mantel of two connected pieces of brown fabric, is the symbolic garment of the Carmelite Order and was placed over each member’s head once they had been received.
“Humans are made aware of a strong commitment when a symbol is part of the ceremony; much like a wedding ring and taking of marital vows,” said Marlene Rasmussen, a member of the Lay Carmelites. “When we wear the brown scapular, it reminds us of the commitment we have made and that we are brothers and sisters of the Most Blessed Mother of Mount Carmel.”
The monthly meetings of the Lay Carmelites includes a short meal, an evening prayer, a study of some aspect of the order through a book or some other material, Lectio Divinia and a business meeting. As a group, one of their apostolic services is supporting two seminarians through letters and donations.
“We’ve been going to meetings and classes for about a year, but this is the first official big step,” said Rose.
Sixteen people were received as members of the Carmelite Order at the reception, which was really a celebration of the beginning of their participation in the order.
“Once we’ve been received, there’s an additional two- or three-year period of continued study and community activity before we do a final profession,” said Tony.
Laity in the church are fulfilling important roles and taking on new responsibilities as a result of the shortages of priests, said Rasmussen. Now laity will help with singing, greeting, religious education, parish council, extraordinary Eucharistic ministers and the finance committee. Previously, many of those tasks were undertaken by only the religious clergy. She sees this as a positive change, a time in the church’s history when laity are being asked to step forward instead of taking a passive role in the pews.
“The laity, they certainly need to get involved in the church in a greater way. The Lay Carmelites, of course, is one way in which you can do that,” said Tony. “There are certain things that the laity can do to promote the life of the church, and there’s certain things they can’t do.”
Jean Ross, a member of the Lay Carmelites, became involved when she was asked to recruit candidates for lay order. After attending one meeting, she just kept going.
“It is a steppingstone for lay people like myself to serve our Lord in a greater way and, I guess, to help me on my road to holiness.”
February is African American History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States
Barack Obama became the first black president in the history of the United States on Jan. 20, 2009. The former Illinois senator only served one term in Congress before being elected commander-in-chief.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
On January 30, 2006, the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents selected a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument to serve as the location for the new Museum.
200th Anniversary of the Slave Trade Act of 1808
One of the first steps along the path to Abolition, the Slave Trade Act went into effect on January 1, 1808. It outlawed further slave trade with Africa but did not make the institution of slavery in the United States illegal. The Center for the National Archives Experience held a day-long symposium to commemorate this event.
The Library of Congress is moving 25,000 books from the book shelf to Cyberspace.
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, housing millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts. Like many other great research libraries, the Library of Congress has been moving into the digital world.
One way they’re doing it is through a scanning project that has so far put 25,000 books online for anyone to read or download.
Doron Weber of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which is funding the $2 million project, stresses the importance of scanning complete books to preserve their cultural context.
"To preserve book knowledge and book culture means preserving every word of every sentence in the right sequence of pages in the right edition, within the appropriate historical, scholarly and bibliographical context. You must respect what you scan and treat it as an organic whole, not just raw bits of slapdash data."
The scanning is being done by the Internet Archive. The San Francisco-based nonprofit group aims to preserve cultural artifacts such as musical recordings and Web pages, as well as books, and make them available online. Brewster Kahle heads the Internet Archive.
“They’re going faster and faster and faster here at the Library of Congress to bring the book collection, to digitize those, run them through optical character recognition, offer them for free on the Internet for anyone to download, read, bind, do anything they want with," Kahle said.
The scanning project is focusing on fragile books that need special handling, American history, genealogy and some rare books. The books are being scanned in a large, utilitarian-looking room in the Library of Congress, a block from the U.S. Capitol building in Washington.
Ten scanning units, called scribe stations, have been set up. In each one, a book sits on a V-shaped cradle. Two high-resolution digital cameras overhead point separately at the left and right pages of the open book. An operator sits in front, using a foot pedal to operate a V-shaped glass cover that comes down to flatten the pages being photographed or goes up so the page can be turned. A pair of pages is scanned every six seconds.
Library of Congress staffer Aaron Chaletzky explained the scanning process and said that the online books are being used much more than their physical counterparts at the library.
"You know, if you build it, they will come," he said. "Well, we’ve now digitized these materials. We’ve put them out there, and a lot of items that have not literally seen the light of day because they haven’t been checked out in God knows how long, have been downloaded and reviewed on Internet Archive’s Web site dozens of times, and that’s really gratifying."
The books being digitized in this project are all at least 75 years old and thus out of copyright. So Internet users may read them, download them, or really do any creative thing they like with them.
Deanna Marcum, associate librarian of the Library of Congress, says the Sloan Foundation project is focusing on fragile books that need special handling, American history, genealogy and some rare books.
"Most importantly, the result of these collections that are rare and hard to find and sometimes too brittle or too old to serve to the public, we’re now able to make openly available to the public, and we see this as a great accomplishment," she said.
And a cost-effective one – the Internet Archive is able to do the mass scanning for just 10 cents a page.
There are other book scanning projects. Google, for example, has agreements with great libraries in Europe and Asia, as well as the United States, to scan books in their collections.
Charles B. Lowry, of the Association of Research Libraries, says it’s important in the digital age that the older material remain accessible.
"I believe we’re on the cusp of a jump from a world of analog print information to a world of digital networked access to information. Today, almost all information – even that which ultimately appears in print – is born digital. Yet I think there remains a need for large-scale efforts to expose existing print collections so that they do not become invisible."
The scanned books from the Library of Congress are online at the Internet Archive.