Date for Chandler memorial service set for Oct. 19The date of the memorial service for Alfred D. Chandler Jr., Isidor Straus Professor of Business History Emeritus, has been changed from Sept. 28 to Oct. 19. The service will be held at the Memorial Church at 2:30 p.m. with a reception to follow at the Faculty Club. Chandler died May 9 at the age of 88.Rivers memorial set for Oct. 17A memorial service for Wilga M. Rivers, professor of Romance languages and literatures emerita, will be held in Appleton Chapel of the Memorial Church on Oct. 17 at 4:30 p.m. Rivers passed away in July at the age of 88.
A memorial service for Brendan A. Maher, the Emeritus Edward C Henderson Professor of the Psychology of Personality in the Department of Psychology, will be held on Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. in the Memorial Church with the Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, conducting services.Maher, who was a highly regarded scholar in the field of schizophrenia and made extensive contributions to the empirical study of psychopathology, died in his Durham, N.C., home on March 17, at the age of 84.
RELATED: Full schedule | Starting lineup | See every car in the fieldCONCORD, N.C. – Of the 16 drivers guaranteed a spot in Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), six have never won the annual non-points race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.Two – Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski – are former series champions. Others have points wins. That lineup consists of Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chris Buescher.It’s a big payday – the winner gets $1 million – and a big night. Since its debut in 1985, the All-Star race quickly evolved from novelty into a no-holds-barred shootout that has often left egos bruised and fenders wrinkled.Truex (Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota) made his first All-Star appearance in 2005 and tomorrow night’s race will be his seventh start. His perception of the event before his first start was that the race “was just a Saturday night shootout for a million bucks or a ton of money.“Guys … were willing to do whatever it took to win,” he said prior to Friday’s first practice at Charlotte. “Nobody was ever worried about finishing second. I think it still has that feel.”Truex knows what it feels like to finish second – his best result in the race came in 2010 when he trailed race winner Kurt Busch across the line.“I’m pretty sure everyone forgets about that,” he said. “I for the most part forget about it till we get here.“It’s all about winning. It’s a race for the fans. It’s a race to just put on a show, kind of a throwback short track race with the stages and the segments, just putting it all out there for the win.”RELATED: Format explained | Fast facts for Saturday’s racesRace winners from the previous season and through the first 11 races of ’17 earn a spot in the field, as do former winners of the event. Three additional slots will be filled by drivers who win stages in the Monster Energy Open qualifying race and a final position will be awarded to the driver who wins the fan vote to round out the 20-car lineup.There is “no pressure” to win, Truex said.“None … at all,” he said. “It’s a fun weekend. Anytime you take points off the table, it becomes a lot less stressful and a lot more fun. But at the same time we all want to win it.”Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson will start on the pole, with Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch second through fifth, respectively.Truex qualified 14th.Keselowski (Team Penske No. 2 Ford) will be making his ninth consecutive appearance in the All-Star Race and he also knows the feeling of being second-best. In ’12, he finished behind Jimmie Johnson; last year it was Team Penske teammate Joey Logano who ended up in Victory Lane.“To me, it’s a marquee race,” Keselowski, who will start seventh, said. “All-Star just naturally implies best of the best even though the best of the best compete against each other every week. (There’s) just something special about it.“I think the fact that if you win it you get locked into it for life is really cool. And that means a lot.”Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports) is a four-time winner of the race, tops in the series. No other current active driver has more than one win.“There’s always some level of pressure,” Keselowski said. “There’s no season-ending pressure but it’s pressure in the opportunity because I know I’m going to have a quality opportunity to do it.”
Letter from Paul R. Sisson, Interim Chief Administrative Officer to Burlington Board of Finance”May 3, 2012To: Board of FinanceCity CouncilFrom: Paul R. Sisson, Interim Chief Administrative OfficerRe: 2013 General Fund Budget Status When the Weinberger administration took office on April 2nd, the prior administration hadalready announced that there was an approximately $750,000 budget deficit, and had requestedCity Council approval for a two cent increase in the General City property tax rate. The CityCouncil at that time did not support a tax rate increase and, accordingly, there was no proposalon the March ballot for such an increase. Since that time, the budget deficit projected by theprior administration has been increased by approximately $425,000 as a result of the interimsettlement between the City and Citibank in March 2012 relating to Burlington Telecom thatrequires that the amounts previously designated as interest payable to the General Fund be placedin escrow. Accordingly, the Weinberger administration was actually faced with a deficitprojection of nearly $1.2 million when it took office. Since taking office, the Weinberger administration has worked to eliminate the deficit by acombination of spending reductions and increased revenue forecasts. What follows is adescription of the changes made to the FY13 budget to eliminate the forecast deficit of $1.2million: · The interim settlement agreement related to BT resulting in a decrease in forecast interestincome to the general fund in the amount of $425,000 (more fully described above). · In the original forecasted deficit, the City had assumed the cost of living adjustment(â COLAâ ) for its employees would be 3.5%. With the passage of time, the actual rate ofthe increase in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) has becomeknown. The actual rate computed based on the labor contracts was 2.9% for allemployees other than Fire Department. For the Fire Department, the rate is based on aFebruary to February measurement of the CPI and is 2.7% for FY13. Decreasing theCOLA in the calculation of personnel costs in addition to an internal audit resulted indecreased expenditures by $350,000. · During our detailed review of the Police Department, we learned that the City isobligated for payments of $200,000 per year for the next three years under its lease forthe One North Avenue building. Because of the Cityâ s current cash position and capacitywithin the FY13 budget, the lease will be prepaid before August 31, 2012. Accordingly,the Police Department lease expense budget has been reduced by $200,000 for FY13. · The DPW budget will be improved approximately $300,000 over initial projections. TheDepartmentâ s building permit fee anticipated revenues have risen as a result of increasedconstruction activity, and other revenue and expense adjustments are being finalized.These adjustments will be finalized for Board of Finance presentation in the comingweeks. · The City had planned to finance certain capital projects, namely Waterfront North, someDPW equipment and an HVAC unit at the airport, with a capital lease with Jules &Associates. Given the voter approved increase in capital bonding, the City Administrationhas re$evaluated the financing of these projects. Strategically, it is prudent to securerepayment of these project expenses through the bond. Accordingly, because financingwill be by bond, the budgeted expenditures for interest totaling $105,000 related the Julesleases have been removed from budgeted expenditures for FY13. · The City currently self$insures for workers’compensation claims. Historically, the costsof workers’compensation have been allocated to departments based on categorical wagesas if the City used insurance to fund its workers’compensation. Historically, the highestincidence rates have been at DPW and BED. As a result, other departments areessentially subsidizing the claims costs for DPW and BED because of the allocationmethodology previously in use. Since a portion of DPW is a general fund department,allocating additional costs to DPW does not impact the general fund budget. However,because BED is an enterprise fund, the allocation of true workers’compensation costs toBED would result in less cost to the general fund. Furthermore, BED is expected torecover the additional costs in the ratemaking process. Accordingly, the workersâcompensation expenditures in the general fund have been reduced by $60,000,representing the estimated cost of claims in excess of amounts previously allocated on acategorical wages basis to BED. · The Clerk/Treasurerâ s office had already eliminated one part$time position in theproposed FY13 budget, but had included $130,000 in the original FY13 budget fortemporary help The Clerk/Treasurerâ s office has since reduced the budgeted temporaryhelp for FY13 by $30,000 based on an updated assessment of how much assistance fromtemporary employees is needed.· The gross receipts taxes forecast for FY13 was increased to reflect the known trend inFY12 of increasing gross receipts tax revenue. Accordingly, the forecast FY13 grossreceipts tax revenue was increased by $50,000. · CEDO, which is a special revenue fund, has historically received most of its fundingfrom grants. Its largest source of grants in the past has been Community DevelopmentBlock Grants, a grant program that the US government has been reducing funding. Thisreduced funding has resulting in the general fund transferring up to $300,000 to theCEDO fund over the past several years. We have reduced the request of general fundsubsidy to CEDO by $50,000 to accurately reflect rent expense for the Criminal JusticeCenter, and to eliminate the requested funding for graffiti removal, alternative funding forwhich is currently being explored . · There will be restrictions on travel and other costs will be held to 2012 budget amounts orless. These measures are expected to reduce expenditures by $30,000.The attached schedule summarizes all of the changes that have been made to the FY13 budget asdiscussed above. As you will note on the schedule, we have now achieved a balanced budget forFY13.* * * * * * * * * * * * I am available to answer any questions you may have, and can be reached at 233$0246 if there issomething you would like to discuss before the Board of Finance meeting on May 3rd.Otherwise I look forward to a discussion of the FY13 budget status at our 5:30pm meeting.” Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced that he will not seek a property tax increase to balance the FY2013 budget. As an alternative to a tax increase, Weinberger presented a combination of increased revenue forecasts (including gross receipts taxes) and spending reductions (including departmental cost-cutting) that closes the prior Administrationâ s $1.2 million budget gap. â During the campaign, I committed to working hard to avoid a property tax increase for the FY2013 budget,’said Weinberger. â In the 30 days since taking office, I have been focused on the imperative that we must not balance the budget at the expense of our community members, whose incomes have been flat since the beginning of the 2008 recession. While we have balanced the FY2013 budget, there is much more work to do in the months and years ahead to address Burlingtonâ s long-term financial challenges and restore the Cityâ s credit ratings.â As mayor, Weinberger is charged by the City Charter with presenting to the City Council a balanced budget with sufficient time for the Council to consider and vote on the budget, with budget passage occurring no later than June 30, 2012. City of Burlington 5.3.2012
Vermont Business Magazine The Department of Labor would like to encourage regular unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants to file their weekly claims by 6 pm on Thursday, July 2 to avoid delays in filing for next week due to the July 4 holiday.Claimants who are unable to file their weekly claim by Thursday, July 2 at 6 p.m. can still file their claim on Friday, July 3, but will see a delay in payment. More details about the impact of the July 4 holiday weekend can be found below.UI Call Center Holiday HoursThe Unemployment Insurance (UI) Call Center will be open for regular business hours on Friday, July 3. The UI Call Center will be closed on Saturday, July 4.Weekly Claim FilingsClaimants who plan to file a weekly claim this week are encouraged to file their claim by Thursday, July 2 to avoid further delays due to the holiday weekend. *Note delays in processing are due to the holiday. Claimants who filed a weekly claim by Thursday, July 2 may file a weekly claim as they regularly would, beginning Sunday, July 5. Claimants who file a weekly claim on Friday, July 3 may file a weekly claim beginning Tuesday, July 7Claimants who establish an initial claim on Thursday, July 2 may file their weekly claim beginning Sunday July 5. Claimants who establish an initial claim on Friday, July 3 or Saturday, July 4, may file their weekly claim beginning Tuesday, July 7Payment DelaysClaimants who file a weekly claim on Thursday, July 2 or Friday, July 3 may see a delay in payment due to the holiday weekend. Regular payment processing will resume on Monday, July 7.UI Claim Center Extended Wait TimesBeginning July 1, the UI Call Center wait times may increase because of resource reallocation to support other State agencies who are also assisting Vermonters. The Department will monitor call wait times and will reassign additional resources as needed to keep wait times from being extended.As a reminder, Department of Labor offices are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information about accessing department virtual services and contact information may be found at https://labor.vermont.gov(link is external)Source: Montpelier – The Department of Labor 7.2.2020
By Daniel Reynolds Dynamo LED DisplaysAs mobile market penetration hits an all-time high, data has become the new oil of our generation. With data consumption skyrocketing, the industry is scrambling to tackle network congestion of existing spectrum bands to keep up with our need for speed.You may often have experienced such breakdowns in service, especially in highly crowded areas where tons of other people are trying to access online mobile services simultaneously.Hailed as a game changer for next-generation mobile connectivity, 5G marks another great leap forward in data download and upload speeds. 5G promises to nurture the roots of existing infrastructure and set the stage for faster speeds, capacity, low latency and quality like never before.So what makes the 5G network a true game changer?Let’s learn what is 5G, the evolution of wireless technology and how 5G compares to 4G networks.What Is 5G?5G is poised to be the backbone of the IoT (Internet of Things) economy that will connect virtually everyone and everything.Whether it’s mobiles, equipment sensors, drones or any other smart devices, 5G can easily lubricate our data highway so that speed limits barely matter and millions of devices can access data without a hitch.The greater connectivity offered by 5G network coverage will enable machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and profoundly impact every industry from banking to healthcare. Innovations such as drone package deliveries, self-driving cars, remote surgeries, telemedicine, etc. will soon become highly feasible thanks to the 5G network.The Evolution of Wireless Technology — From 1G to 5GIn the last four decades, nothing has evolved as dramatically as mobile communication technology. Many of us fondly remember marveling at our 2G Nokia 3310 device playing Snake and wondering how good can this ever get.Let’s take a walk down memory lane and track the evolution of wireless technology:1GInitiated in 1979, 1G marked the first generation of telecom networks that allowed us to communicate on the go. However, it suffered from severe coverage and sound quality issues. You could not find any roaming support between different operators since their systems operated on unique frequency ranges.Even the corporations that could afford to use it were turned off by the major flaw in communication security. Since the calls were not encrypted, you could spy on a call just by using a simple radio scanner.2GIntroduced under the GSM standard, 2G networks marked a shift from analogue to digital radio signals. Although it seems ancient to us now, 2G was the bedrock of the cultural revolution that followed this jump in mobile network tech.Some of its key features include:Data speeds nearing 64 kilobits per second.Initiated services like SMS and MMS for the first time.Provided secure encrypted standards and significantly clearer audio quality during calls.Operated on a bandwidth of 30-200 kilohertz.3GUpgrading its core through the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) standard, 3G retained much of what the 2G spectrum did successfully and focused on providing a more reliable mobile internet experience. It depended on packet switching to achieve this.Some of the key features of 3G include:Data speeds nearing 2 megabits per second.Greater bandwidth and data transfer rates.Ability to send and receive large email messages.Achieved increased call clarity by operating at a greater range on a bandwidth of 15-20 megahertz.4GFirst launched as the 4G LTE standard in 2009, it leveraged key technologies like MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) and OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing). 4G marked the biggest jump in mobile internet speeds that leveled the playing field for customers to truly tap into the “smart” aspect of their smartphone device.Some of the key features of 4G networks included:Provides support for interactive multimedia, voice and video.A 4G phone could now achieve data speeds of up to 20 Mbps or more while lowering the cost per bit.Improved global scalability of mobile network coverage.Supports ad hoc and multihop networks.5GJust on the verge of taking off, 5G networks promise to go far beyond broadband wireless services to facilitate IoT and other vital communication segments. Using a combination of small cells (carriers using millimeter wave) and beamforming, 5G networks can offer phenomenally fast with low latency.Some of its key features include:Offering faster speeds up to 10 gigabits per second, which is over 10 times faster than 4G performance.Offers remarkably low latency possibly 60-120 times faster than current 4G latency.Operates on a bandwidth of 30 gigahertz to 300 gigahertz.Comparing the Differences Between 4G and 5G NetworksAs 5G seems primed to fill the market gaps that 4G could not and usher a digital economy revolution, it’s essential to understand the critical differences between 5G and 4G networks.5 Pros of 5G TechnologyHigher transmission speeds (5G is at least 10-100 times faster than 4G LTE).Reduced latency (5G offers 10 times lower latency than 4G).Greater connectivity (5G allows a 100 times boost in traffic capacity).Increased energy efficiency (5G network can potentially lower energy consumption by 10% unlike existing 4G LTE networks).Better coordination of business processes (Through 5G technology, enterprises can coordinate devices under with much higher efficiency).5 Major Cons of 5G TechnologyExpensive 5G infrastructure establishment costs (replacing current mobile infrastructures, requires a lot of base stations and skilled workers for maintenance).Uncertainty of success (5G tech is still wearing its training wheels and a lot more testing has to be done to understand its feasibility).Limited 5G coverage (Waves in the 5G spectrum – millimeter waves, possess a really low penetrating power and are unable to penetrate through buildings, trees, walls, etc. without disruption in service).Currently operating in highly overcrowded radio frequency bands (many 5G networks are now running on 6 GHz, which is already crowded with other signals).Security and privacy issues (exponential increase in devices transmitting and accessing high-quality data on the 5G spectrum provides more entry points for hackers).Interesting FactsDo you know the main difference between 4G and 5G? Basically, 4G is introduced to enhance the internet download speeds and 5G is developed to control electronic devices.According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, at least 65% of the world’s population will have used 5G by 2024.5G networks will play a key role in actualizing the goals of big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and the IoT a great deal.Current virtual reality and augmented reality users often complain about nausea whenever the latency goes above 20 milliseconds. However, with 5G’s excellent low latency, the download speeds and user experience will be flawless.The first country to complete 5G rollout on a massive scale was South Korea in 2019.ConclusionAlthough the evolution of 1G to 4G network was mainly about optimizing wireless network technology and perfect our smartphone, 5G’s aspirations are too big to be contained to the world of smartphones alone. Access to the 5G spectrum is not just about faster download speeds for our streaming needs, but about becoming the bridge for the internet, cloud and distributed computing industries to build a connected economy like never before.When you’re driving a smart car, piloting a drone or remote controlling a robotic surgical tool, every millisecond is critical to execute your command efficiently. With 5G speeds going supernova, we can expect a massive improvement in the ability of our devices to accurately calculate, analyze sensory data and complete a lot more data-intensive tasks in a short time.Take a look at the original article posted on Dynamo LED Displays’ website by clicking here.
St. Thomas offers Master of Laws in Environmental Sustainability November 15, 2010 Regular News St. Thomas University School of Law has launched a new master of laws in environmental sustainability, a one-year program equipping students with the legal knowledge to become leaders in the field of environmental law.The 24-credit program features a core curriculum including natural resource law and policy, environmental law, Earth jurisprudence, and ecology and ecosystems management for lawyers, with a practical focus on the cutting-edge principles of environmental sustainability.“A positive trend is emerging where highly successful companies and organizations are those embracing a long-term view that economic health is inextricably tied to environmental sustainability,” said LL.M. director Professor Alfred Light.“St. Thomas University School of Law’s new LL.M. program prepares students to be on the leading edge of this trend, advancing real-world legal solutions to address serious environmental problems, and providing the tools to effect positive change on issues from global warming to species loss and ocean pollution.”In addition to required coursework, students can pursue their interests with a mix of elective courses providing study and specialization in fields including climate change law, international environmental law, land use planning, marine law and ocean policy, and human rights and the environment.Opportunities for externships and intensive, one-credit short courses led by visiting professionals offer real-world experiences alongside case studies designed to incorporate current events and new practices to keep the program relevant in a changing world. The first of these short courses features sustainability expert, law professor, and author John Dernbach in March 2011.Environmental sustainability is also one of the international Millennium Development Goals set forth by the United Nations. Students will have the advantage of learning the laws that underpin these new global directions.Another distinctive element of the program is the exploration of legal philosophies and emerging political views shaping environmental laws. An example is a course on Earth jurisprudence, a philosophy based on the idea that humans are only one part of a wider community of beings, and each member of that community is dependent on the welfare of the Earth as a whole.St. Thomas is currently waiving the $45 application fee for students applying before December 15 for enrollment for the 2011 academic year. Applicants will be informed of the decision regarding their candidacy within three weeks of receiving completed application materials.For more information on St. Thomas University School of Law’s LL.M. degree in environmental sustainability, or to appl y, visit www.stu.edu/law/environmentllm or call (305) 623-2389. St. Thomas offers Master of Laws in Environmental Sustainability
“However, if the infection turns out to be viral—as most are—the antibiotics won’t help and in fact can cause harm by increasing antibiotic resistance, exposing patients to drug side effects unnecessarily and adding cost,” said Chow, who is a professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “These are the first evidence-based rhinosinusitis guidelines using the GRADE system,” Thomas M. File, Jr, MD, co-author of the guidelines, said in the statement. He noted that the guidelines clearly state the quality of evidence for each recommendation. File is chair of the Infectious Disease Section at Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio. The 11-member panel that developed the guidelines used the GRADE system (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation), which is designed to more clearly assess the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations, the IDSA said. The guidelines note that randomized controlled trials referenced in previous guidelines often don’t differentiate between bacterial and viral causes of infection and therefore may not provide the best recommendations. Also, Chow said this change was prompted in part by the common use of pneumococcal vaccines, which have changed the pattern of bacteria that cause sinus infections. Nearly one in seven people is diagnosed with a sinus infection each year, and such infections are the fifth leading reason for antibiotic prescriptions, the IDSA said in issuing its first formal guidelines on the topic. But 90% to 98% of cases are caused by viruses, which are not fazed by antibiotics, it said. In what the IDSA calls a major shift from older recommendations, the guidelines call for treating bacterial sinus infections with amoxicillin-clavulanate instead of the current standard of care, amoxicillin. “The addition of clavulanate helps to overcome antibiotic resistance by inhibiting an enzyme that breaks down the antibiotic,” the statement said. Whereas most previous guidelines have recommended 10 to 14 days of antibiotic treatment for bacterial infections, the IDSA says 5 to 7 days is long enough to treat such infections without promoting resistance. But 10 to 14 days of treatment is still considered appropriate for children. The guidelines also advise doctors not to use other commonly used antibiotics, including azithromycin, clarithromycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, because of increasing drug resistance. “There is no simple test that will easily and quickly determine whether a sinus infection is viral or bacterial, so many physicians prescribe antibiotics ‘just in case,'” said Anthony W. Chow, MD, chair of the guidelines panel, in an IDSA news release. Mar 21, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – More than 90% of sinus infections are caused by viruses and should not be treated with antibiotics, a common practice that can increase bacterial resistance to the drugs, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) said in new guidelines released today. A sinus infection, called acute rhinosinusitis, is inflammation of the nasal and sinus passages that can cause uncomfortable pressure on either side of the nose and last for weeks, the IDSA statement noted. Most cases develop during or after a cold or other upper respiratory infection, but other factors such as allergens and environmental irritants may play a role. For both viral and bacterial sinus infections, decongestants and antihistamines are not helpful and may make symptoms worse. Nasal steroids can help ease symptoms in people who have sinus infections and a history of allergies. The IDSA also advises that: Very little information is available on the percentage of sinus infections that are treated with antibiotics, Chow told CIDRAP News via e-mail. Chow AN, Benninger MS, Brook I, et al. IDSA clinical practice guidelines for acute bacterial rhinosinusitis in children and adults. Clin Infect Dis 2012 (online publication Mar 20) [Full text] The guidelines say a sinus infection is likely to be bacterial and should be treated with antibiotics if symptoms last 10 days or more without improving or if they are severe or get worse. In one US national survey in 2006, 81% of adults with symptoms of sinusitis were prescribed an antibiotic, he said, adding, “My own conservative estimate is 50%-60%. However, given that only 2%-10% of patients presenting to a doctor’s office likely have a bacterial infection, this is still very excessive.” Chow commented that antiviral therapy for upper respiratory infections “is in its infancy, and primarily directed at life-threatening infections such as influenza, meningitis, etc, and not for relatively self-limited infections such as the common cold.” The current emphasis in treatment, he added, is on adequate rest, lots of fluids, and analgesics. Nasal irrigation with a sterile solution—sprays, drops, or liquid—may help relieve some symptoms, but this may not be helpful in children because they are less likely to tolerate the discomfort of the treatment.
By Fr. Glenn JonesYou may have seen the stories of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul—formerly the cathedral of the Orthodox faith built under Emperor Justinian I in the early 500s in the former Constantinople—being converted from the museum that it has been for the last several decades back into a mosque, which it was for several hundred years prior to that. An absolute jewel of architectural beauty, it has “changed hands” a number of times over the centuries—Orthodox cathedral to Catholic cathedral in the Crusades, back to Orthodox cathedral, then to mosque during the Ottoman conquest, to museum in the 1930s, and now back to mosque. Such huge and magnificent edifices—like the Roman colosseum and the pyramids—are mute observers of the passage of time and movements of civilizations, watching generations and empires brighten and fade as we might experience the seasons.Hagia Sophia is transliterated Greek, rendered “Holy Wisdom”, meaning perhaps more familiarly to western Christians as the Logos, or Word—Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity of persons of the one God of Christianity … inspired by St. John’s Gospel in part: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.” (John 1:1, 14) In fact, some of the most beautiful remaining mosaics in Hagia Sophia are those depicting Jesus. Those mosaics and other artistic renderings had formerly been plastered over during its previous time as a mosque; we’ll see what happens now.As one might imagine, there is mourning in some Christian circles—especially Orthodox, understandably—about the former cathedral once again being used for non-Christian worship. We Catholics might best relate if we imagine the same thing happening to the Vatican, which would be a glaring loss to an ancient spiritual focal point of our own faith. And yet … Christians realize that faith is not bound to any building or place, but rather to the community of believers. We certainly treasure our churches as historic assembly areas and for the facilitation of liturgical worship, but as Jesus assures us so comfortingly: “…where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew18:20) The ancient Israelites believed that the “mercy seat” of God—essentially the cover of the Ark of the Covenant—was where God “dwelt” on earth; but by Jesus’ own assurance above, Christians know that He dwells wherever we are…wherever we might gather—just as did the early Christians in the catacombs and in the homes of believers. Yes, believers have sought to honor God through the construction and dedication of magnificent churches throughout the millennia, but in the end—like the Israelites who lost the Temple—we know that He is in every time and place.For Christians, the Word IS Holy Wisdom, not just a building … no matter how magnificent. And our own personal “little ‘w’” wisdom is manifest at how closely we conform ourselves to Holy Wisdom. As Jesus admonishes in His parable: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them … is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-1) What is a sign of our devotion … our belief … our wisdom? To follow Him with whole heart. As the feast of St. James, son of Zebedee, was the other day, I could not help but muse on James’ own wisdom. He was minding his own business—literally—fishing with his father and brother John, when called by Jesus to follow Him to who-knows-where, who-knows-what. Nonetheless he dropped his nets, and with John and their partner-brothers Simon and Andrew, took off for not only a three-ish year adventure, but for the rest of their earthly lives in following the Logos—James’ own life cut short when he became the first apostle to give his life for Christ. For James and the others knew that Jesus was with them wherever they gathered.All Christians know this, of course—even the Orthodox, who feel the loss of the church of Hagia Sophia most keenly. And they know that the inexorable march of time will see the mosaics fade, the bricks crumble, the structure fall regardless—whether it be by war, earthquake, or the elements. The actual Hagia Sophia—the Logos—is the only essential Temple … raised up, not over centuries with marble, brick and mortar, but rather in only three days in that which we call the Resurrection … so paradoxically after its destruction upon the cross just a few days before. Having definitively defeated death, His is the true Temple indestructible … for all people … and which will never—can never—crumble. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High…and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:32-33)Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding,for the gain from it is better than gain from silver and its profit better than gold.She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.(Proverbs 3:13-15)Rev. Glenn Jones is the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and former pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos.
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