Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 17, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:11

Mountain Views-News Saturday,March 17, 2018 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
Mountain Views-News Saturday,March 17, 2018 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
As NASA’s New Horizons mission continues exploringthe unknown, the mission team has selected a highlyappropriate name for its next flyby target in the outerreaches of the solar system.
With substantial public input, the team has chosen“Ultima Thule” (pronounced ultima thoo-lee”) forthe Kuiper Belt object the New Horizons spacecraftwill explore on Jan. 1, 2019. Officially known as 2014MU69, the object, which orbits a billion miles beyondPluto, will be the most primitive world ever observedby spacecraft—in the farthest planetary encounter inhistory.
Thule was a mythical, far-northern island inmedieval literature and cartography. Ultima Thulemeans “beyond Thule”—beyond the borders of theknown world—symbolizing the exploration of thedistant Kuiper Belt and Kuiper Belt objects that NewHorizons is performing, something never beforedone. 
“MU69 is humanity’s next Ultima Thule,” saidAlan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator fromSouthwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. 
“Our spacecraft is heading beyond the limits of theknown worlds, to what will be this mission’s next 
achievement. Since this will be the farthest explorationof any object in space in history, I like to call our flybytarget Ultima, for short, symbolizing this ultimateexploration by NASA and our team.” 
Looking for a more inspirational albeit temporarymoniker than the designator 2014 MU69, NASAand the New Horizons team launched the nickname 
campaign in early November. Hosted by the SETIInstitute of Mountain View, California, and led byMark Showalter, an institute fellow and member of 
the New Horizons science team, the online contest 
sought nominations from the public and stipulatedthat a nickname would be chosen from among the 
top vote-getters.
The popular campaign wrapped up on Dec. 6,
after a five-day extension to accommodate more 
voting. The campaign involved 115,000 participants
from around the world, who nominated some 34,000 
names. Of those, 37 names reached the ballot for 
voting and were evaluated for popularity—thisincluded eight names suggested by the New Horizonsteam and 29 nominated by the public.

The team then narrowed its selection to the 29 
publicly nominated names and gave preference to 



[Christopher Nyerges istool. He also blended the Christian cross with the 

a regular contributor tocircle to create what is now known as the Celtic 

the Mountain News. He cross. He used bonfires to celebrate Easter, a Holyis the author of several books, such as Enter the Day that Christianity supplanted with the already-
Forest and Extreme Simplicity: Homesteadingexisting spring equinox commemoration. In fact,
in the City (co-author), and How to Survivehe incorporated many of the existing symbols andAnywhere. He has led wilderness expeditionsbeliefs into his Christian teachings.
since 1974. He can be reached at Box 41834, EagleHe spent his last 30 years in Ireland, baptizingRock, CA 90041 or via]the non-Christian Irish, ordaining priests,

There’s a lot of green right now in Sierraand founding churches and monasteries. HisMadre. Saint Patrick green: shamrocks, leprechans,persuasive powers must have been astounding,
beer. But who was Saint Patrick? Was he a real since Ireland fully converted to Christianity withinperson? Children are told “Saint Patrick wore a 200 years and was the only country in Europegreen suit, talked to leprechans (he was probablyto Christianize peacefully. Patrick’s Christiandrunk at the time), and while trying to convert theconversion ended slavery, human sacrifice, andpagans with a shamrock, he marched all the snakesmost intertribal warfare in Ireland. 
out of Ireland.” Will the real Saint Patrick please Patrick was also unique in that he equallystand up?valued the role of women in an age when the

His real name was Maewyn Succat, born aroundchurch ignored them. He always sided with the385 A.D., somewhere in Scotland, or possiblydowntrodden and the excluded, whether theysomewhere else, as there is conflicting historicalwere slaves or the “pagan” Irish.
data on his exact date and place of birth. His According to Thomas Cahill, author of Howbaptismal name was Patricius.the Irish Saved Civilization, Patrick’s influence 

Around age 16, he was sold into slavery inextended far beyond his adopted land. Cahill’sIreland and worked for the next 6 years as abook, which could just as well be titled How St.
shepherd. Keep in mind that human slavery, asPatrick Saved Civilization, contends that Patrick’s 
well as human sacrifice, was considered normal conversion of Ireland allowed Western learningfor those times.After his six years in slavery, heto survive the Dark Ages. Ireland pacified andbelieved that an angel came to him in a dream,churchified as the rest of Europe crumbled.
prompting him to escape and seek out hisPatrick’s monasteries copied and preservedhomeland. He actually walked about 200 miles toclassical texts. Later, Irish monks returned this 
the coast, where his dream indicated a ship wouldknowledge to Europe by establishing monasteriesalso be waiting for him. He successfully escaped,in England, Germany, France, Switzerland, andand spent the next twenty years of his life as a monkItaly.
in Marmoutier Abbey. There he again received aWhen the lights went out all over Europe, acelestial visitation, this time calling him to returncandle still burned in Ireland. That candle was lit 
to the land where he’d been enslaved, though nowby Patrick.
with a mission as a priest and converter.Veneration of Patrick gradually assumed 

Patrick was called to Rome in 432, where Popethe status of a local cult. He was not simplyCelestine bequeathed the honour of Bishop uponremembered in Saul and Downpatrick, he washim before he left on his mission. worshipped. Indeed, homage to Patrick as Ireland’s

Patrick returned to Ireland not alone, but saint was apparent in the eight century AD. At thiswith 24 supporters and followers. They arrived time Patrick’s status as a national apostle was madein Ireland in the winter of 432. In the Spring, independently of Rome. He was claimed locallyPatrick decided to confront the high King of Tara, as a saint before the practice of canonization wasthe most powerful King in Ireland. Patrick knew introduced by the Vatican. The high regard inthat if he had the King’s support, he would be free which the Irish have held St Patrick is evidenced by

The name was suggested to think of MU69 asAfter the flyby, NASA and the New Horizonsa distant follow up to Pluto, which New Horizonsteam will choose a formal name to submit to the 
historically and famously encountered in July 2015.International Astronomical Union, based in part onOther names considered included Abeona, Pharos, whether MU69 is found to be a single body, a binaryPangu, Rubicon, Olympus, Pinnacle and Tiramisupair, or perhaps a system of multiple objects.
(the final tallies are posted at http://frontierworlds.You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@ 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


In the beginning of the week the Gracious Mistress ofwould be finished. It was pizza for the day.
the Parsonage said, “On Thursday the girls and I will beShe had written instructions. She said, “Use the third 
going to St. Augustine for the day to visit thrift shops.” button and set it for 15 minutes.” Usually, she is quite
It was spring break and so the girls did not have school.precise in what she says. This time I was confused.
It was the perfect opportunity for an outing for them.On the micro oven, there were four buttons. Now, 

“Do you think,” she asked, “you’ll be able to handlewhen she said use the third button, was it the third 
the day without me?”button from the top or the third button from theI laughed, but not too hard, and said, “I think so. Justbottom? 
go and have a wonderful time in St. Augustine.” At the time I was tempted to text her and get a

That was Monday and when Thursday came, I wasclarification on this instruction. However, I knew if I did 
drinking my morning coffee and my wife came in andthat I would never hear the end of it for the rest of mysaid, “Well, it’s time for us to go. Are you sure you’ll belife. She put the instructions there and I was supposedable to take care of yourself today?”to interpret those instructions.

I looked at her and said, “Where are you going?”That is what it means to be a husband these days.
“Don’t you remember what I told you Monday?”Your wife tells you something and you have to interpretActually, I really did not remember what she toldit and most of the time we husbands get it wrong. I

me Monday. She tells me so much that it is very hard toknow I do. 
remember everything.I did what any sane husband would do under the“Don’t you remember I said the girls and I will becircumstances. I got a quarter out and did the “heads orspending the day in St. Augustine?”tails” movement. Heads it was from the top down, tailsI had been working so hard all week trying to catchit was from the bottom up. It turned out to be heads,
up, I forgot about this Thursday trip.which was the right way to go unbeknownst to me.

I walked her to the door and kissed her goodbye. SheI did not quite know how to read that little buttonturned and looked at me and said, “You’re not smilingand so I turned it all the way and then put my pizza inare you?”to warm it up.

Then she said, “I have your lunch prepared withOnly a few moments later I began to smell an aroma.
instructions. Follow those instructions to the letter.” It was not the aroma of pizza being warmed up, but

It is not often I have a free day all to myself. I dorather the aroma of something on fire.
not need too many of them but occasionally it is goodI ran to the kitchen and to the oven and there myto have a free day where all you have to deal with ispizza was sizzling and burning. I opened the door,
yourself. Of course, that can get a little tiring when I ampulled the pizza out and looked at it for a few moments.
dealing with myself.As much as I can remember, this is not the kind of pizza

I went to my office, sat down and started to catch upthe wife does. What do I do with this burnt pizza?
on some work I had gotten behind on. It’s terrible whenWhen the wife came home later that afternoon, she 
you get behind on your work and it takes twice as longasked me how the pizza was. I assured her that it wasto try to catch up. I often wonder if you ever really dorather delicious. 
catch up?“Why then,” she said rather sternly, “is there burnt

I was working so hard that I as I glanced at my watchpizza in the garbage?”
I noticed it was noon. I love lunchtime. My wife makesMy little slip reminded me of what Solomon said.
such wonderful meals for lunch. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy

I arrived at the house, got out of my truck and walkedmight; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge,
through the front door and as I did I said, “Honey, I’mnor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest”
home. What’s for lunch?” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

As I walked through the door, I got a strange sense.Sometimes, what my hand “findeth to do” is not theUsually there is a wonderful aroma of lunch. This time,right thing to do and gets me into trouble. 
there was no aroma whatsoever. 

It then dawned on me. The wife is away for the dayDr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of Godand I am in charge of lunch.Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in

That can be a good thing or it can be a very bad thing.Silver Springs Shores. Phone 352-687-4240 or e-mailOne good thing was, my wife had prepared my lunch, The church web site is www.
all I had to do was put it in the little micro oven and it 

names near the top of the polls. Ultima Thule wasnominated by about 40 members of the public and oneof the highest vote-getters among all name nominees.
“We are grateful to those who proposed such aninteresting and inspirational nickname,” Showaltersaid. “They deserve credit for capturing the true spiritof exploration that New Horizons embodies.” 

Bfor our 
OpinionPageto take his Christian message to the people of 
Patrick and his followers were invited to Tara by 
the King of Laoghaire. It was there that he was said 
to have plucked a shamrock from the ground as 
he tried to explain to the Druids and the King that 
the shamrock had three leaves just like the idea of 
God’s three aspects - The Father, The Son and the 
Holy Ghost. This was called the Trinity. Of course, 
triads and trinities were a common concept 
among the Druids. In fact, one could argue that 
the trinity (a term not found in the Bible) was a 
concept given to Christianity by the Druids, rather 
than the other way around. Nevertheless, King 
Laoghaire was very impressed and chose to accept 
Christianity. He also gave Patrick the freedom to 
spread Christianity throughout Ireland. 
When Patrick returned to Ireland, he treated 
the “pagans” with the respect implicit in hisdream. Part of this respect was attempting tocommunicate with the Druids on their terms, 
which is why he used the shamrock as a teaching 
the salutation, still common today, of “May God,
Mary, and Patrick bless you”. 
Patrick was not Irish, had nothing to do withleprechauns, almost certainly was not a drunkard,
and didn’t drive all the snakes out of Ireland. In 
fact, there were no native snakes in Ireland, thoughthis story is believed to be an analogy for drivingout the so-called “pagans,” or, at least, the paganreligions.
Patrick was one of the “greats” of historywho nearly single-handedly preserved the bestof Western culture when much of Europe wasdevolving into chaos and ruin. He deserves far 
better than remembering him in the silly ways we dotoday, such as wearing green, pinching each other,
and getting drunk. Rather, he deserves an accuratememory, and our emulation. Unfortunately, likeall true Saviors of history, they are either killed off,
or relegated to the closet of ridicule.
Perhaps it’s time for all of us to re-think howwe commemorate this special man, and his vastcontribution to world culture. 
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