e-News Report   Week of March 15, 2015
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Northwest VT News

Futurist at Mater Christi School

BURLINGTON—Last year, Brian David Johnson, the chief futurist at Intel Corporation, gave a series of presentations at Champlain College and then visited the sixth-graders at Mater Christi School. His purpose was to encourage the youngsters to express their ideas in terms of possible inventions that could make the future a better place for everyone.

Again this year, Johnson was invited to the college. He was interested also in meeting with the same students he had shared with last year Mater Christi School. He met not only with his former sixth-graders, but asked to meet with them and the eighth-graders.

At this February meeting, which also included personnel from Champlain College, a few parents, and several Mater Christi teachers and administrators, the students were asked to ponder the question: Is the American Dream relevant? If so, what might it look like?

The youngsters unanimously agreed that the dream is still relevant, but it might look different now than it had in the past. A wide range of responses were forthcoming: alternative, sustainable fuels as sources of energy will be found; all countries and its peoples will be included in the American dream; every person on Earth will have a good education; peaceful means, not weapons, will be used to solve disagreements; differences will be respected (otherwise we stand in danger of becoming a blasé world); technology will be a tool of community and will not take the place of it.

It was evident that Johnson enjoyed the sharing: His respectful, positive manner had done a great deal toward creating an atmosphere in which the students, right from the beginning, felt comfortable in sharing their dreams in front of a fairly large

News Round-Up

Relics can be key to understanding life in Jesus’ time, Jesuit says

WASHINGTON (CNS)—Is the Shroud of Turin real, as many Catholics believe? Or is it a product of the 14th century, as suggested by tests conducted of strips taken from the shroud? Does it matter at all —and, if it does, how much does it matter? Those are the kinds of questions addressed in a new CNN series, “Finding Jesus,” which airs at 9 p.m. Sundays through Easter, April 5. Jesuit Father James Martin, one of a host of scholars and scientists interviewed for the series, said for the series that “in my gut” the shroud is real. Why? “The most persuasive argument is that even if it dates from the 1400s, there’s no way the creators could have known about the qualities of photographic negatives which the shroud demonstrates,“ he told Catholic News Service in a March 5 telephone interview from New York. “It’s not unreasonable to think Jesus’ burial cloth would have been treasured by his disciples and the early Church. That’s perfectly reasonable to imagine.” On the other hand, Father Martin said, “What argues against it is that it appears only in the Middle Ages. You think there would have been a record of it or mentions of it.”

Vatican official: Inequality, destruction of environment chief threats

MAYNOOTH, Ireland (CNS)—The greatest threats facing humanity are those “that arise from global inequality and the destruction of the environment,” said a top Vatican official. Those threats are interrelated, so Pope Francis is promoting an “integral ecology,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Delivering the