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A Few Sketches of Roman Catholic Contacts in the 1960s in Chicago

I remember going down to talk to Karl Meyer 
in a little house south of North Avenue
Karl was part of the Catholic Worker movement
I had already demonstrated with Dorothy Day in NYC
against fall out shelters
That was in the 50s this was in the 60s
My leaning has always been pacifist and non-violent
Karl had more attitude than anyone I have ever met
Knowing him was a confrontation
I think he represented the challenge anyone does
who genuinely despises owning things
I suspect behind that attitude may
lie a lust to possess
but this is not a shrink piece
It is just a way of saying something about a few
strands of Roman Catholicism 
I encountered during the decade that I called Chicago home

I later had some glancing contact with Daniel Berrigan
and by that time I was not enamored with what seemed to me 
a conspicuous form of Catholic rectitude
I remember suggesting to Dan that
one did not need to be a poet to be against war
(I was not without attitude)
Aside from Quakers and Mennonites
and marginal Catholic activists 
pacifism was not exactly hopping in the 1960s
I distinguish pacifism from the
non-violent civil rights movement
That movement was based on a challenge to
rampant hypocrisy
and laws breached
Pacifism was and remains
a rejection of war

Another very different encounter with
"Catholicism"  
Ecumenical Monasticism
was with the Taize Community in Chicago
I remember these men as delightful enjoyable
and as human as can be
Brother Frank was my main contact
and he was a superb ambassador
of this global community which remains centered in France

Had Bobby Kennedy lived and become President
I might have gotten closer to 
the mainline Catholic community
by moving to DC
As things stand I can only claim the contacts
on this page and a few
exposures in NYC of late
which I categorize under the heading
serendipitous 
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"Sto Perigiali" One of the Surpassingly Best Tunes Theodorakis Has Written

A Setting for a Poem "Denial" Beloved by the Greek People by the Nobel Prize Winning Poet Giorgos Seferis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhk0ckaCxDI
The remarkable video at the link above is of a performance of "Sto perigiali" Mario Frangoulis and Mikis Theodorakis in 2001.

Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.

This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.

Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …

Stephen C. Rose Bio

Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and raised there. He currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books "The Grass Roots Church" and "Who's Killing The Church" established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including "We Are All Americans". During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP. Since 2000 he has written several books for distribution via K…