Saturday, March 19, 2011

'American' Names, the Diocese of Little Rock, and Father Agbakwuo

I was born during the Truman administration, and remember when it was possible to think of names like Smith, Jones, Williams, Brown, or Taylor, as "American" names: and names like Schmidt, Pellegrini, or Chan as related to other nations.

Which I think was a little odd, since Smith, Jones, and so on, are British names. The "American" names I'm most familiar with are often the names of places: like Omaha, Nebraska, or Winnebago, Minnesota. That's almost another topic.

I've mentioned how I embraced the idea of multiculturalism: but possibly not the way the professors intended. (December 17, 2010) Even before college, I'd learned about America's willingness to accept the "...huddled masses yearning to breathe free...." (Digital History) Not everybody was on the same page, of course - and that's almost another topic again.

Then there's the Catholic Church. I suppose there are still folks who are convinced that Catholics are 'foreigners:' mostly Italians and Irish. Maybe those Mexicans, too. There's something to that. Most of the world's billion or so living Catholics don't live in this country.

Not that it matters, really, what I think of the fact, except maybe to me: but I like being part of an organization that has access to the cultural resources of the world.

Here's part of what got me thinking about "American," and names, and all that:
"Arkansas Catholics have new buildings thanks to leadership of Nigerian priest"
Aprille Hanson, CNA (Catholic News Agency)

"In only six years with the Diocese of Little Rock, Father John Obinna Agbakwuo has not only spread the word of God in his parishes, he's helped build them.

"Father Agbakwuo, who left the state Feb. 28 to visit family in his native Nigeria and then teach in Austria, has overseen the construction of new parishes for St. James Church in Searcy and St. Albert Church in Heber Springs and a parish hall for St. Richard Church in Bald Knob.

" 'You come into a place and see what is needed and the needs of the community,' Father Agbakwuo said. 'It is actually the people doing the work. You motivate them, you encourage them.'..."
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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.