Friday, July 25, 2008


Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Catholic and all you other Christians at sea. Since the roller boogie started in the streets, people acting crazy, rolling to the beat. We used to hate to skate, now we can't wait! Something took our bodies out of our control, guess the boogie got us, rolling in our souls. We used to hate to skate, now we can't wait! Now off to press.

DATELINE: WHITEFISH, MONTANA – Here’s a clan of skaters at the 2008 Family Hockey Challenge inexplicably dressed as nuns. Who knows, maybe they just like to pray softly and carry a big stick. Or maybe, like so many of the younger women entering religious orders these days, they just want to wear the habit. According to a 2006 Time Magazine article “For the iPod generation, it doesn't get more radical than wearing a veil. The hijab worn by traditional Muslim women might have people talking, but it's the wimple that really turns heads. And in the U.S. today, the nuns most likely to wear that headdress are the ones young enough to have a playlist. Over the past five years, Roman Catholic communities around the country have experienced a curious phenomenon: more women, most in their 20s and 30s, are trying on that veil.” The Time piece is a couple of years old now but still worth a look. You can read it here. The Digital Nun (non-habited herself) recently contemplated this phenomenon and received some thoughtful comments, both pro and con, in her combox that are also worth reading. (And if you just have to see real skating nuns, then click here to visit the St Vinko Paulski kindergarten in Croatia.)

DATELINE: LAS VEGAS – Here we have the 0.75 foot tall Plen robot which “is powered by a 32bit ARM7 CPU @ 33MHz, has 18 movable joints, a USB RS-232C interface, and Bluetooth support. It weighs 700g and is available now in Japan at the price of $2,206.” But who cares about all of that? What really makes the Plen advanced is that it can roller skate! At least that’s probably what Father Suitbert Breiken might have thought. Father Breiken was a man who could have really used a set of wheels the day he “arrived alone in Indian Territory at Atoka in March, 1883. Realizing that no one had come to meet him, Father Suitbert, then 63 years old, walked the 70 miles from Atoka to Sacred Heart - carrying his suitcase and crossing Muddy Boggy Creek (Don’t get too excited, it wasn’t THAT Boggy Creek) and the South Canadian River along the way.” That’s interesting, you say, but what does it have to do with the Plen? Well, the Sacred Heart Benedictines, the monastic religious community Father Suitbert had arrived to join, just happens to have been founded by a guy named Father Robot. By 1901, Father Robot’s community was doing so well that he was appointed by Rome as the first Perfect Apostolic of the Indian Territory. He went on to found some 40 parishes and missions. It’s all trivia really, but how often are we here at the Newsreel going to get the chance to say that in the late 19th century the Vatican actually sent a Robot to conquer the American wild west? That’s a movie we’d pay to see.

DATELINE: PARTS UNKNOWN – And finally, here’s a monkey roller skating in a mall. There’s nothing involving religious orders in this video that we know of; we just wanted to see a monkey roller skate. Everybody loves monkeys.

And with that, we roll off into the sunset until next time. As always, in the words of the great Les Nessman, “Good evening, and may the good news be yours.”

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