An Unveiling—A Beautiful Thing—To Have and to Hold—A Great Tradition

By Matthew D. Ruhl, SJ
Wednesday/November 29, 2017/ Belize City

Swift Hall at St. Martin de Porres Parish

Swift Hall at St. Martin de Porres Parish

On November 29th we unveiled SWIFT HALL by inviting the news houses to a press conference. All three major stations showed and now SWIFT HALL is known throughout the country. It needs to be noted that this was not the dedication. We have had to postpone the dedication due to illness in the Woods family, a much-beloved Belizean family that made major contributions to the building of SWIFT HALL. They want to be at the dedication and we want them at the dedication. So we shall wait until that can happen. Until then, please keep the Woods family in your prayers. They are enduring a trial.

A beautiful thing has taken place. The temperatures have been unseasonably cool, down into the lower 70s by morning. It makes for lovely days and delicious sleeping. And yet these temps are also conducive for something more, as Belizeans call this “together weather.” Wooooooo-Hoooooooo!!!

Speaking of “together weather,” the most popular months to get married in the U.S. are now September and October. The most popular month for tourists to get married in Belize is May. But the most popular time for Belizeans to get married is December. Why? One, it is cool. Two, hurricane season done. Three, many family members who live abroad come home for Christmas and are able to attend family weddings. (St. Martin’s has three weddings scheduled for December 16th alone!)

Mark A. Noll is a history professor at Notre Dame University. He is also an Evangelical. Ten years ago he wrote an award-winning book called The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. His opening sentence of that work states, “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” He is critical, then, of his own tradition for its lack of an Intellectual Tradition, a criticism he makes in the hope of encouraging greater thought in the evangelical community. In the last 200 years the evangelical movement, now numbering some 600 million members worldwide, has contributed virtually nothing of intellectual importance to the world. And yet, so many evangelicals loudly criticize the Catholic Tradition that has produced more theology, literature, art, music, science, grade schools, high schools, colleges, universities, learning centers, monasteries, laboratories, hospitals, observatories (35 moon craters are named after Jesuit scientists), than can possibly be reckoned. The contributions of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition have helped steer the course of civilization. Evangelicals need to keep quiet and start cracking the books! Indeed, I am coming to believe that evangelicals do not know what they believe, except that they hate Catholics, many appearing to hate Catholics more than they love Christ. But hate is always a sign of ignorance, which only confirms Dr. Noll’s thesis.

Finally, I pray all my readers have a beautiful, holy Advent as the world prepares for the birth of Christ our King.