Historical Trail

One of my "cloistered brothers" was telling me about a possible ancestor of his.  I was curious.  So I googled.  My "cloistered brother" is black and I was searching for a black woman who started a school for black children around 1800.

Actually, she was easy to find because she was on television news a few days ago.  Evidentally, there is a proposal to put up a monument to her.  I am talking about Dinah Whipple.  She married Prince Whipple at age 21 in 1781.  Dinah was an avid reader and evidently loved learning.  She held classes in her home, which is credited to be the first school for black children in New Hampshire. 

Laudable as this is, what interested me more, was her husband, Prince.  He was a slave and his owner was named William Whipple.  As Mr. Whipple's property, he also was called Whipple.  For his first name, he was given the name Prince.  It seems that slaves were given names like King, Ceasar, etc.  The times are the beginning of our country an…


When I am surprised by the first flowers I see on my plants I always think of them as presents from God. It’s about midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox. So the surprise of flowers brings an expression of delight to my face.

The first time I noticed a flower was when I was watering my dish garden. I saw a white leaf- a strong healthy stem and when I turned the pot I saw that it was not a leaf but rather a flower. So I looked around my other plants and saw one flower on my cactus. Just now a few days later, I spotted a flower in my purple shamrocks.

God is good.

Saved Through Water

Lectio:     1 Peter 3: 18-22 Studium

Christ suffered for sins once, 
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,           

that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh, 
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, 
who had once been disobedient 
while God patiently waited in the days of Noah 
during the building of the ark, 
in which a few persons, eight in all,
were saved through water.
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
It is not a removal of dirt from the body 
but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, 
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God, 
with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.


This letter was most probably read and circulated among the faithful.  This is a catechesis teaching of the meaning of Christ's life.  People who are suffering can take heart when they hear this reading.  Jesus suffered, too, and He didn't have to.…

Boys Will Be Boys

The kids weren’t really bullying him.  At least, he wasn’t  taking it that way.  The kids constantly put-down everyone like that, even themselves.  Think of it as derogatory teasing:
You’re a wimp.
You’re such a baby.
Is that shirt your sister’s.
You have a face only your mother would love.
But today Paul couldn’t think of anything appropriate to respond.  He wasn’t in the mood.  So Paul shrugged off their teasing and turned the corner to go home.  As he passed the bank, he did a double take.  The shades were down.  His mother is a teller in that bank and she told him that the shades being drawn meant that there’s a robbery going on.  The employees were told not to go in and to call 911.  Paul tried to look in.  He didn’t want to call 911 for nothing.  His friends would rag on him forever if he called the cops and the shades were down because they were being dusted or some other stupid reason.
But he did take out his phone and dial 911.  A dispatcher answered.  Paul said, “Hi, I think t…

They Know Not What They Do

Once in awhile, I give my friend, Joe, a ride.  He is a disabled veteran.  The left side of his body is affected.  He doesn't drive a car.  He wears glasses with very thick lenses.  His left hand is almost useless and he walks with a stagger.

This morning when I picked him up, he was in a dither.  It seems that earlier in the morning he was walking home from the store and a car full of young men yelled at him.  "Sober up, you drunk!"

Joe was very upset.

If only those idiots in the car who thought he was a drunk knew that Joe was a veteran.  They would be very ashamed of themselves.

The Gospel is NOT Fake News

Here's another Father Chris O'Connor joke.  The pope wouldn't go out to greet the press.  His secretary said, "You have to, Holy Father.  The New York Times is there.  Along with CNN, ABC, MSNBC, FOX news, the London Times, etc.  C'mon, Holy Father."

The pope absolutely refused.  "Why won't you meet the press?"

"They make up the news.  They misconstrue everything I say and do.  Remember last week when I was greeting the refugees who had just crossed the Mediterranean.  A child fell off the boat and was being swept away in the waves.  I walked across the water and rescued him. The next day the news reported that I didn't know how to swim!"

With A Little Help From My Friends

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a book club recommendation.  It took me a while to get into it because it seems that lately, all we read about are oddballs.
I wasn't really into the novel.  Eleanor Oliphant was a stiff, literal thinking and speaking, weird lady.  As it turned out, it wasn't the character, Eleanor, that was the problem.  It was me.  Finally, around page 145, I burst out laughing.  I finally got it.  The book is humorous.  It wasn't a serious case study about a damaged life.  Well, it wasn't a serious study.  But Eleanor had a miserable childhood with a pscho mother. 

We meet her when she's in her twenties.  She works in an office and has a lonely and boring life.  Then she meets Raymond.  Raymond turns out to be the best friend anyone could hope for.  He brings her out of her mental and emotional prison.  Actually, her psychiatrist does, but it was Raymond who suggested it and continued to support Eleanor's recovery.

In t…