Showing posts from May, 2010

My Franican Rosary

Tradition has it that St Francis and St Dominic met in Rome when they were both there to seek ratification for their new Orders from the Pope. The two Orders have regarded themselves as 'first cousins', even 'brothers', ever since. Where possible, Franciscans come to Dominican churches to preach on the feast of St Dominic and Dominicans go to Franciscan churches to preach on the feast of St Francis. Hence, I find it perfectly fitting, if not desirable, to count among my friends, Franciscan Friars, Franciscan Sisters, and Lay Franciscans. My Cardinal Archbishop, is a Capuchin Franciscan. We're all family.

Then when I met Brother Vito Martinez, OFM Cap, my world expanded to include Br. Vito, the rest of his Novitiate, and his world of formation. We are united in prayer.

When Fr. Vito undertook the apostolate of making rosaries. My interest was really piqued. I make rosaries. I've tried to make rosaries in the past. OK. I've made one. This one was fo…

The Rosary Saga

All right. This is how I figure. I mail the check today. Br. Vito receives the check tomorrow. Fr. Reynold Rynda, OFM Cap blesses my Rosary, tomorrow. Br. Vito mails my Rosary to me Wed. I receive it Fri. Please God.

This is Br. Vito finishing up MY ROSARY.

Interfaith Dialogue

Mother Teresa once said that listening is the beginning of prayer. If that is true, then my "cloistered brothers" and I spent the afternoon praying. We faith shared.
Before our meeting we were told to bring a prayer with us. We Catholics also had read the Letter to Presidents of Bishops' Conferences on the Spirituality of Dialogue, 1999, in preparation for this meeting. We began by trying to sit next to someone of a different faith. This was hard to do, since there was an over abundance of Catholics. But we managed to make ten groups, and each group had a least one member of another faith.

For some reason, Protestants don't come to this. No one is sure why. It seems that they're always arguing among themselves. But they're always invited.

The Jews never come. Some said it's because they don't encourage interfaith dialogue. They don't actively seek converts, so they don't seek opportunities to share their faith. I don't know. Bu…

It's Coming!

Br. Vito is mailing it. Well, as soon as payment arrives, and it will. Then Fr. Reynold Rynda, OFM Cap will bless it.

Can't wait!

My Rosary is Finished!

Is it my birthday? Is it Christmas? Am I making Profession? No--it's just a special day that I am blessed! So very blessed. Br. Vito Martinez, O.F.M. Cap. made me a traditional 15 decade Rosary.

Br. Vito posted on my Face Book Wall that is was ready. Yeah! God is good.
Now, it's just the mammon details: price and shipping and handling and waiting for it.

What ever it costs will be worth it. Brother had to order more supplies than usual, and different ones than he was accustomed to. He even had to switch to a stronger metal because he must intuitively know, being a Capuchin Franciscan, that Dominicans pray the Rosary often and very earnestly. This Rosary will get plenty of use.

It took Br. Vito 2 1/2 hours just to make six decades. This is a 15 decade Rosary. Literally, this is a Labor of Love. See Br. John Nguyen,O.F.M.Cap., holding it up.

St. Catherine of Siena, patron of Lay Dominicans, ask your Beloved Jesus to bless Br. Vito Martinez, O.F.M. Cap., in a very s…

Telling the Pope Where to Go

St. Catherine of Siena is famous for telling the Pope, Gregory XI, to leave Avignon and return to Rome. In watching this You Tube Video of Fr. Thomas McDermott, OP talk about St. Catherine, I was struck how the times in which she lived, were even worse than our own. Talk about scandals! Not only were the politicians and priests corrupt, but the pope, too! War surrounded her. Diseases, immorality, death, family dysfunction... what else!

In the first place, she couldn't have done what she did, if she weren't a Lay Dominican. Really? Yeah, really. Think about it: fourteenth century woman, who's going to pay attention to her? She was a pious woman so you would think that she'd have become a nun. But then how could she have traveled around to make peace between warring Italian cities, never mind travel to Avignon? She would have had to obey her religious superior. She was attractive, not only in appearance, but also in personality (in and out)so she would have had…

Prayer for People Who are Searching

A prayer for people who are searching...

God, I am not sure if you really exist.
Accept me with all my doubts and fears
And show yourself to me in such a way
that I can somehow move forward.

Show yourself to me as love,
Show yourself to me as forgiveness
Show yourself to me as new life,
As the promise of a new beginning.

If there is anything I have done or not done
Which prevents me from seeing you,
May I have the strength to turn away from it,
And find a wholenesss I have not known before.

Jesus, although I do not know who you really are,
I invite you to be the one who fills my inner emptiness,
Who lightens my darkness,
The one I can entrust myself to without reserve
As I go forward on this journey of exploration.

May I allow myself to be surprised by you, God of surprises,
Surprised by a new reality of freedom, joy and peace.
Help me in my weakness and doubt as I open my heart to you.
Let me know your love for me.

H/T Catholic Enquiry Office via H/T

Wear Red

The idea is suggested all over blogs and Catholic News via the internet. I'm giving credit to Rocco Palmo. Wear red this Sunday. It's Pentecost and so it's fitting. Didn't you wear a Red Sox shirt for opening day of the Red Sox? Don't you wear red, white, and blue for July 4th? What about Christmasy clothes for Christmas? Well?

Think of red as being celebratory. It's a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Father will wear red.

Interfaith Dialogue

My Chapter is hosting an Interfaith Dialogue, next week. I'm reading the Letter to Presidents of Bishops' Conferences on the Spirituality of Dialogue, to prepare. It was written by Cardinal Francis Arinze in 1999. So it's ten years old. I still think it's apropos.

The Cardinal tells us that meetings with others of different faiths is demanded by our own faith. We should be engaged in interreligious dialogue. The Trinity is an example of this. The relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one of love and communion and is the "eminent model for human relations and the foundation of dialogue."

The Cardinal's words remind me of Sunday's Gospel: John 17:20-26. We should all be One in Christ. We are a community of believers. The main theme of that Gospel is that those who follow Jesus should be one, one with him and the Father and one with each other.

May God be with us.

Poem by Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia is this year's recipient of the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame.


So much of what we live goes on inside–
The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches
Of unacknowledged love are no less real
For having passed unsaid. What we conceal
Is always more than what we dare confide.
Think of the letters that we write our dead.

from Interrogations at Noon
© 2001 Dana Gioia


Fr. Jeffrey Steel's blob, de cura animarum, quotes G.K. Chesterton talking about his conversion: "The Church is a house with a hundred gates; and no two men enter at exactly the same angle." Fr. Steel's own conversion is interesting, in itself, especially as a married Roman Catholic priest. Well, poke around on his blog and you'll find how and why.

Anyway, conversion is my topic. In Chapter today, we had a professor from Boston College scheduled to come give a Talk. But that didn't happen. So just to take up time, Sister Ruth went around the circle and asked us how our Spiritual Journeys were going. You know, "How's your prayer life?"

Some of their stories are miracles. One of my cloistered brothers was a gang leader. He actually had the power to order people killed. Now if that's not a miracle conversion what is?

Many came through the Cursillo gate. The Holy Spirit can slip in any gate. Another of my brothers spoke about working in t…


Yes! It was a surprise. Here's the expectant parents walking into the restaurant where the baby shower was held.

It was a Jack and Jill Shower. That means that both men and women were invited. It was like a wedding reception, except that the presents were for the baby. And the presents were everything you could wish for. They have everything they need, now: crib, car seat, high chair, pack n' play, toys, diapers, clothes. So many clothes the baby will have to be changed every hour, in order to wear them all.

We had fun, too. We play pass the pacifier. That consisted of passing a pacifier around the table via a straw in one's mouth. Then there was a drinking contest. Each grandfather picked two drinking buddies. The drinking buddies sucked water out of a baby bottle. Mark Schmidt won that one because he really sucks. ;-)

There was another one called Grandmas' choice. I chose two nieces. The other grandma chose a couple. The participants were blind folded. …

Note to Self

Help me. I'm dragging. I've been up since 5:30 AM and I still have to bake for a surprise ____________. God help me.

Besides working my regular job. Then going to T.O.P.S. where I "was glad I was there," I then went to work at the Friends of Franklin Library Book Sale.

Once I got home, my cell rang and I had to turn around, drag my a## back over to Rosemary's house to pick up the doll she's making for tomorrow's surprise ________. God, I need a lot of help.

So it's almost 10:00 PM. I have to bake for tomorrow's surprise ___________ (actually it's in the oven). I'm too tired for Evening Prayer (but not to blog.)

Hubby made a few snarky remarks about me buying more books. (And he only saw a couple of bags of them. The rest are in my trunk.)

Tomorrow is another big day. I have a Regional Lay Dominican meeting in Boston and then at night is the surprise _______________.

I'll bog with pix tomorrow--if I'm not passed out.

Note to Sel…

A Glorious Day!

Today's Ascension Thursday! But that's not why I'm drunk with happiness. I'm delirious with joy. Know why?


C'mon. Whatever you think, you're wrong.

I'm am ecstatic because I'm cured. Praise be to God. I never have to have another endoscopy, or colonoscopy. Well, maybe I will, but they'll be part of normal routine physicals, not because I have Cronkhite Canada Syndrome. That's a purgatorial illness.

I had an endoscopy today and my gastroenterologist said "Good-bye, and don't let the door knob hit you where the good Lord split you."

It's been a little over three years and I've been finally given a clean bill of health. Phew! Think of it. From wasting away, and planning my funeral, to TODAY!

God is good. All the time!!!! I also thank Fr. M. Jean Joseph Lataste, OP, for his intercession, Fr. Aquinas Keane, ocso, for his spiritual direction, for my friends, and my cloistered brothers, for all their prayers …

Lord, Make Me Your Instrument

OK. I'm not the sharpest tool on the tool belt. I'm not the brightest light on the circuit. I'm not the ....

I'm talking about being careful for what you pray for.


What if Judas had prayed, "Lord, make me your instrument?"



My cyber-friend, Father Philip, has the second book out on Treasures, Holy & Mystical. This is a prayer book:
7 Novenas
7 Litanies
Rosary focused on the beatitudes

All are based on Catholic Tradition, yet speak to us, today. You can find it on Liguori Press.

How I Spent My Spring Vacation

It's raining today. Pouring, depressing rain is predicted for the entire weekend. Time to go home.

How I spent my Spring Vacation:
Visiting museums,
Horseback riding
Praying on Mt. Greylock
Climbing a tree

Alice's Restaurant

Remember the song Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie? "You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant." Not quite. That's because Alice's Restaurant is now the Guthrie Center. It's still very active with "comins and goins", but not the usual restaurant crowd.

We arrived just after the weekly Wed. community free lunch. Just our luck! But it's a nice thing to do for the locals. Everyone is respected here. It doesn't matter your race, religion, politics, nationality, or whatever. You're welcome. Whoever said that there's no such thing as a free lunch?

Besides the free lunch there's an emphasis on fund raising for Huntington's Disease. Arlo's father, Woody Guthrie died from Huntinton's. They hold an annual event called "The Walk-A-Thon To Cure Huntington's Disease." There's also the "Thanksgiving Dinner That Can't Be Beat," for families, friends, doctors, and scienti…

National Day of Prayer

Hubby and I attended the National Day of Prayer in Pittsfield, MA. It was nice to pray with others for our country. It was a real "rush" to pray with strangers, yet be united in prayer. It was very patriotic and an exercise in Freedom to Worship and Freedom of Speech.

God bless America!

And to think that political partisans argue over this. A Day of Prayer!

Wikipedia gives a history of the Day of prayer dating back to the Continental Congress. Nowadays those that are anti-Obama say he cancelled the Day of Prayer. Many things Obama may be, but he is not politically stupid. Snopes will give you the story, which is not only did the Pres not cancel the Day of Prayer, but he is the defendant in a lawsuit challenging the government's proclamation of a Day of Prayer. Appeals are still ongoing.

Today's service was meaningful. I don't know who the priest was that represented the Catholics, but he was perfect: not too long, clear, concise, articulate, and prayerful. …

Father Spag's Last Hurrah

I've been in my muse state, today. Lots of reminiscing. Thinking of lost friends, lost hopes, and even lost places. Heck! I'm upset when my favorite restaurant goes out of business! No wonder people protest vehemently when their churches close. Damn. All dreams end, don't they?

Father Spag’s Last Hurrah

Once there was a pensive priest
Looking out a store front window,
Seeing passers-by walk, run,
And sigh.

He opened the door and planted
new flowers in the window box,
and dropped down a welcome mat.

The curious wandered in.
Late train passengers killed time.
Debaters circled the table.
Children watched videos.
Students sat and discussed.
Downtown workers lunched.
Bible study referenced books.
Protestant Ministers shared thoughts.
The occasional drunk dropped by.
Spiritual direction was given;
Pamphlets taken;
Confessions heard;
Absolution affirmed.

God bless them all.


Hubby was in heaven today. We hiked the Stone Bench Trail around the Clark Museum in Williamstown, MA in the morning. Then we went to WCMA.

Williams College Museum of Art has a broad range of exhibits. Besides sculpture and paintings, it has some colonial documents. I couldn't pull Dick away from them. They had King George's reply to the Declaration of Independence. It's was written in old English, but you can still read it. The Articles of Federation are there, also. As is the draft version of the Bill of Rights. I was finished with my viewing of the entire museum and he was still reading the documents!

My favorite exhibit was the Remington Sculptures. The detail and action are amazing.

Caveat Lector

I've been contemplating on how to verify the "Truth," lately. And coincidently, I ran into another reminder this morning when the Rev. Rob Pollock, from Vancouver, Canada, called my attention to a posting I made on April 15th, "Jewish View of the Catholic Church,". That post consisted of an article Sam Miller had written where he quoted misinformation from the magazine Sojourners that had also quoted misinformation attributed to PA prof Philip Jenkins, who said he never said it.

What am I talking about? Specifically, this quote:

"10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia."

When you think about it, 10% is an awful lot! This definitely should have been verified. It shouldn't have slipped by me. Mea Culpa!

So with the help of the ...ah...internet, I've developed some personal criteria to help me evaluate information I read on the "net." I read a lot. And most of it is on a computer. And most of that…

iPod Bible Study

Alan McCane, from the Wave Bible Study Team asked me to plug a new Bible study app--Wave Study Bible®--for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The idea is to make Bible Study convenient to busy people. Imagine. You could do Bible Study while on a treadmill.

This is touted as a different Bible Study. Built for the average person and not the Biblical scholar, the Wave Study Bible makes it simple to integrate the Word into your daily life. They have various translations available also.

Poke around on their site and see if this study interests you.

Morning Exercise

When I opened the drapes this morning I noticed two young ladies running up the stairs, across the way. They ran up, but they walked down. Then they turned around and ran up again, and again, and again... I was curious so I started counting how many times they ran up.

I counted seventeen. And they were doing this before I even thought of counting.

Wowza! I'm impressed. And when they ran up, they often took two stairs at a time!

People are so health conscious nowadays. Everybody, it seems, belongs to a health club, is watching their diet, on a diet plan, and out walking or running. With all this attention to bodily health, it makes me wonder how much effort is put into their soul.

Wouldn't it be wicked awesome if people paid as much attention to their spiritual health, as they did to their physical health?

May Intentions

Have you ever prayed a Rosary in a group? Then maybe you heard at the end, "An Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, for the Intentions of the Holy Father"? This is because the Pope announces his special prayer intentions every month.

The Holy Father offers two intentions every month: a general and a particular. For May, BXVI's general intention is "That the shameful and monstrous commerce in human beings, which sadly involves millions of women and children, may be ended."

The Holy Father's particular intention is "That ordained ministers, religious women and men, and lay people involved in apostolic work may understand how to infuse missionary enthusiasm into the communities entrusted to their care."

"Exploitation of people and enthusiasm," remember that. Lord hear our prayer.