Friday, August 17, 2012

Catholic Acronyms for the 21st Century
Acronyms have always been part of Catholic Culture for much of its colouful history.As a young student at St Joseph's College in Geelong I discovered that ABC had nothing over AMDG written at the top of every page of work from Maths to Geography. Even our college "tag" was SJC.

Religious Orders have built their marketing and attraction on impressive acronyms. The various Franciscan Orders of men managed to move from a plain OFM to OFM Conv, OFM Cap and in more recent times  CFR,  FMC FSF ,LBF and  SA (not to be confused with the verdant fields of South Australia)

Then we have the women who embrace full strength Nuns to congregations. Probably best known in Australia are the Sisters of Mercy, not to be confused with the acronym free rock band. The good Sisters who administered schools hospitals orphanages and corporal punishment were probably not too keen to promote their acronym, RSM In lesser numbers but a genuine  Australian made product,we have the popular  "Brown Joeys". Their full title is Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart which is condensed down to RSJ.

The acronym trend took off during the pontificate of  John Paul 11 with HH dashing around the world to  teen cries of " JPII we love you". The trend spread to Brisbane where the Archbishop of the day, +John Bathersby was renamed ABJB. His successor is is not encouraging the trend as he runs the risk of becoming ABC.

So here is a new contemporary list  for trivia buffs and those who like to drop an acronym into their next parish council meeting. This is a work in progress and reader contributions are more than welcome!!

  • CCC Catechism of the Catholic Church. Available online or if you have room on your bookshelf,  in hard cover with lots of nice piccies or the easy read soft cover. Everything you need to know to be a good practicing Catholic. When typing this title beware of the keyboard inclinatino to prefer the V rather than the C leaving you with a Vatechism.
  • EF Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is Mass celebrated by lots of priests and servers in lace and brocade gear facing east (literally or metaphorically) spoken in Latin, well at least the bits anyone on the front pew is allowed to hear.
  • EWTN Eternal Word Television Network was founded by the jolly old Mother Angelica. MA is swathed in  more habit than a Thomas Aquinas could define.
  • FTTM Faithful to the Magisterium a popular acronym for the self appointed guardians of truth and right practice in the Church. They included the Temple Police as well as contributors to various web sites offering a "true" Catholic perspective.
  • NE New Evangelisation is an all expenses paid trip to Rome for higher clerics to discuss strategies for improving the collection of Catholics.
  • OF Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite which was popularised by Vatican II with local languages, lots of lay participation and an opportunity to greet those around me midway
  • PF Public Figure is a new category of clergy on Facebook popularised by Brisbane cleric Fr Paul William Catchlove
  • SM Sancta Missa a good bit of Latin about the various and colourful ways Catholics worship. Well, we all know Catholics don't "worship". It's such a "proddo" term. Real Catholics 'go to Mass'
  • VC  Vox Clara is not a new Italian singing sensation. It is a group of older men who like to please the Pope by providing  poor translations of religious texts.
  • WYD Wordl Youth Day  is Catholic Woodstock held as often as possible according to Papal travel schedules. The next one  in 2013 is in Rio where the relics of Peter Allen will be carried around for veneration.
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