April 15, 2012

Things I didn't know about the Titanic

There are thousands who "Just found out Titanic really happened!'  Brittany tweets, "Nobody told me titanic was real:/I thought it was just another movie I haven't seen."

Father Thomas Byles, a Catholic priest who gave up two spots on a lifeboat to stay behind and hear confessions.

Agnes McCoy, one of the survivors, says that as the great ship sank, Fr. Byles “stood on the deck with Catholics, Protestants and Jews kneeling around him.”

“Father Byles was saying the rosary and praying for the repose of the souls of those about to perish,” she told the New York Telegram on April 22, 1912, according to the website devoted to his memory, FatherByles.com.

Did anti-Catholic sentiment help doom the unsinkable ship?

Harland and Wolff, the East Belfast shipyard  where the ship was manufactured, was notorious for not hiring Catholics.In the 1900’s the workforce was entirely  Protestant and virulently anti -Catholic.

“At Harland and Wolff it was not unknown for workers to paint on the sides of ships under construction the words “NO POPE” in letters ten feet high or more,” writes naval historian David Allen Butler.

There were widespread stories that each rivet hammered into the Titanic was accompanied by a ‘f.. the pope epithet

Daily Mail archives reveal how Britain learned of the Titanic disaster

The BBC News on Five Titanic myths spread by films

Neoneocon on the complex truth behind Class and gender on the Titanic

there is no escaping the conclusion that gender was an even greater factor than class, and that this was deliberate: Many first-class male passengers either elected to die in order that third class female passengers might live, or were forced by the crew to refrain from saving themselves at the expense of those third class women. That’s a different–and more accurate–narrative, although it’s not quite as politically correct. And it’s one that has gotten very little traction over the years.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:46 AM | Permalink

He enjoyed 'booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died'

What you can say if you write your own obituary and pay for it.

He enjoyed 'booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died': Unusual obituary becomes internet sensation

 Michael "Flathead" Blanchard

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:49 AM | Permalink

Miami mourns its Cuban "Saint"

"A Holy Man, A 'Friend of God'" -- Miami Mourns Its Cuban "Saint"

Bishop Agustín Román -- the retired Miami auxiliary revered as the "godfather" of the Cuban exile community on these shores -- died Wednesday night at 83.

Expelled from the island at gunpoint alongside some 130 other clerics in the wake of the Castro Revolution, Román served as the exile's spiritual "beacon" in South Florida since the late 1960s, when he was charged with building the National Shrine to Cuba's patroness, the Caridad de Cobre. Named the US' first Cuban bishop in 1979, he continued to live in a one-room apartment at the Ermita -- built facing Cuba on Miami's Biscayne Bay -- following his 2003 retirement, and died there just before he was to teach an evening catechism class in a new facility on its grounds that bears his name.

Famed for an example of deep humility, tireless spirit and simple wisdom, the prelate (who never stopped perceiving himself as the "peasant" of his boyhood) made national headlines in 1987 after defusing an outbreak of riots in US prisons led by Cuban detainees. Having cared for many of the rioters' family members over the years of their confinement -- a witness that, so it's said, led the men to drop their weapons at the mere sight of him -- Román reportedly declined Hollywood overtures to buy the rights to the story for a film.

 Bishop Augustin Roman

Miami Herald

"He was a saint to me," said Silvia Gonzalez, 66, who went to school with Román in Cuba and had since kept in touch. "He devoted his entire life to God. He never even took a vacation."

Gonzalez last saw Román at a Mass during Holy Week.

"We've lost someone who was tremendous," Gonzalez said, her eyes filling up with tears. "But from Heaven, he'll be with me -- and all Cubans."

A humble, gentle man with an iron will and a steadfast moral compass, he was viewed by older Cuban exiles as a champion of freedom and faith
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:32 AM | Permalink