Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tigger By The Tail

It's my granddaughter's first Halloween  At first she was going to be pumpkin, but she threw a nutty every time the costume was put on her.  She cried and fussed and kept stretching out her neck, so that it was obvious that the collared bothered her.

Funny how being only three months old she can express herself with facial expressions and body language.

She has two other costumes--Tigger and Winnie the Pooh.  Tigger is my favorite.

I'm blogging while answering the door for the kids trick a treating.  They're all accompanied by parents.  My neighborhood is perfect for this.  We have loads of kids.  I think people drop their kids off here to do their trick a treating.  The kids are very polite.  The parents all get candy too, and some ask hubby what the score of the football came is--the Pats won.

Nice night--no rain, not freezing, the sound of crunching and pushing fallen leaves.  Monsters in the street laughing and calling to friends.  Dads carrying around cans of beer while holding their  princesses/witches/cowboys/hockey player/ballerina........'s hand.  Jack o Lanterns line our driveway with happy smiles, and I'm going to shut the door, and put out the bowl of candy for the night.  I hope it's all gone. I don't want any left in the house.  Trick or Treat.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cemeterians

Prison Cemetery
November is fast approaching.  Oct. 31st is all Hallow's Eve and thoughts turn to All Saint's Day on Nov. 1st.  Nov. 2nd is All Souls Day.  One of the many great things about being Catholic is our Communion of Saints.  Everybody prays for everybody--living and dead.  The living pray for the dead and the dead pray for the living.  Sounds like a plan.

One of the oldest ministries in the church is the care of the dead.  Cemeterians' ministry involves the care of cemeteries. They manage and care for cemeteries.  Some of the cemeterian societies are large enough to offer bereavement ministries.  In the early days, they took care of the catacombs.  Presently, they perhaps could offer development, planning, engineering, landscape architecture planning, financing, etc.  (We lives in such complicated times).  But rest assured, they also look toward the future.  I guess you could say, it's the nature of the business.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Prison Ministry

I had a great time today hanging out with people who care about things that I care about.  I went to a program at Boston College's Jesuit Prison Ministry Initiative.  The Church in the 21st Century sponsored the program "You Visited Me: The Urgent Challenge of Prison Ministry."

We were welcomed by two friends of my "cloistered brothers:"  Thomas Groome and John McDargh.  They're theology profs.  They both have visited my chapter.  The major Talk was by Sister Suzanne Jabro, CSJ.  She is the founder of Restorative Justice Works in California.  She started the Get on the Bus program.  And that's what she talked about.

The prisons in California are situated in remote areas.  They are difficult to get to because there's no public transportation  nearby.  Sister Suzanne arranged for children to take her bus to visit their incarcerated parents.  Some parents hadn't seen their children for 10 years.  I teared up watching the video of the kids seeing their mothers.

After the speaking part of the program, there were Breakout Sessions.  In my session, I met a Deacon who was also a retired sheriff.  He handed me his business card. I was shocked to see this picture on it.  I was shocked because my "cloistered brother," Marco drew this picture.  I asked the Deacon, how he got this picture, he said his friend Dan drew it.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look above Jesus shoulder.  See in the bottom of the cinder block, the name Marco.  Well, wait till I tell Marco this story.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Church at Night


I love to be alone in the Church at night.  My parish church's basement is like a parish hall.  Meetings go on down there.  There's also a chapel, but because of the meetings right beyond the closed door, it's kind of noisy.  I can tune that out.  But it's the light that I don't like.  It's too bright.

So I sneak upstairs to the darkened main church.  If I'm lucky, the door's unlocked, and I can go in.  Immediately, the darkness hits me.  There is nobody here but me and Jesus in the Tabernacle.  I feel like I have His undivided attention.  Yeah, yeah...I'm not talking theology.  I'm talking poetically.  It is a special feeling.  This church that I know so well, is just different, at night.  The feel of it is different.  The atmosphere is more still than in the day.  Solitude is felt deeply.

And I know you'll think I'm crazy, but His Presence is felt more poignantly.  (I told you, this isn't theology.)  My prayer is deeper.  My trust palpable.  My faith bonded securely.   WOWZA

Am I afraid of being alone in the dark building?  Nope, not in the least.  I'm more afraid when jogging, alone.

Once, or maybe twice, I've encountered strangers in the dark.  I was startled, but not afraid.  One was a strange young man who very quickly ran by me, down the stairs, and out the door.  He must have been praying like me.  The other time was  heralded by the sound of water.  I saw a man near the altar.  And to tell you the truth, I thought he was desecrating the altar (I did hear water!).  But all he was doing was watering the flowers.  It was the new, young priest that had just been assigned to the church.  He was running around, watering the flowers.  I don't know who I thought watered the flowers, but the priests weren't even on the list.  But I suppose, why not?

Anyway, I'm usually alone--just me and my Beloved.   And it's a special moment.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Silver Medal

A silver medal was awarded to the winner of ea...Image via Wikipedia
Here is the Silver Medal poem, in the OPrize for Poetry Contest

Marathon by Judith Hughes, M.D., O.P.

Running recalls primordial eons
when predator and prey,
chasing and escaping,
meant to outrun death.
A fall was loss and win--
a meal of exhausted meat
to fuel another run.

Man's naked soles run fastest;
so remove your shoes!
Bare your feet for the sacred path.
Exorcise those predators within,
reptilian, carnivorous, nocturnal,
pushing you forward,
tearing at your gut.

Exertion is a deadly stalker.
Rest and stop struggling!
Ignore cravings, hunger and hope.
Why run?...a predatory thought.
Some choose to walk.  All finish.
Behold the prize: prey and purpose,
the goal of glory, tempting trust.

Dehydrated, delirious, doubting
souls hunger, gasp and stumble.
Why fear?  Be fit.
Only the unfit watch the race

and cheer:  Go!, Go!
Be faster than the slower thousands.
Be master of your heart and breath.

Bear the pain--it passes.
Receive the offered orange
and drink the living water.
Throw out your arms to love,
your chest to break the golden ribbon.
Fall prostrate on the finish line,
And hear the words: "Well done."
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Zacchaeus

Lectio Divina today.  Different translations tell the story of Zacchaeus differently.  When people start back biting Zacchaeus, and he snipes back that "he is giving...", is a lot different that "he will give."  Most translations say that Zacchaeus is speaking of being converted and he will in the future, "give".  This can't be correct, according to Dr. John Pilch.

When Jesus invites himself to Zacchaeus’ house, the Pharisees grumble that he is a “sinner.” Zacchaeus defends himself quite pointedly. Indeed, he literally stopped the procession to his house to publicly demonstrate that he is not a sinner as charged.

First, he admits to giving half of his possessions to the poor. Zacchaeus uses the present tense, which in the Greek language describes repeated, customary practice. Zacchaeus does this on a regular, ongoing basis. Most translations use the future tense (“I will give”), which is grammatically possible but less plausible. In Luke, giving alms is a sign of righteousness (6:30-31, 38; 11:41; 12:33; 16:9; 18:22, 29).

Second, he pronounces a conditional clause: “IF I have cheated someone,” whose form in Greek does not imply that he consciously committed extortion but only that if he discovers that he has cheated, then he has a plan whose details are truly amazing. He restores what he has inadvertently cheated fourfold (400 percent)!

The Torah (see Lev 6:5 and Num 5:6-7) demanded the restoration of the object plus one-fifth (20 percent) interest. Roman law required fourfold restitution only from a convicted criminal. Zacchaeus has surpassed the Torah’s requirements and met the most stringent of terms in Roman law.


Don't you feel bad for misjudging Zacchaeus all these years?  Even Jesus calls him a Son of Abraham, and Jesus calls a spade, a spade (remember the woman at the well).  


So what is this reading telling us?  It tells me that it's not important what people think of us.  Jesus knows the truth.


BTW, the picture is not me looking for Jesus.  It's me just arseing around.  I don't have to look far for Jesus.  I just have to look at you.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Vengeful Wishes on the Powerful



By the rivers of Babylon,
we sat and then wept
as we remembered Zion.
When on the poplars
we hung our harps
our captors asked for a song.

Our tormentors wanted songs of joy:
"Sing to us one of the songs of Zion!"
How could we sing the Lord's song
in a strange and alien land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
may my right hand fall useless!
May my tongue cleave to my palate
if I remember you not,
if Jerusalem is not the first of my joys.

Remember, Lord, the Edomites -- what did
they do when Jerusalem fell?  They said "Tear
the city down, tear it down to its foundations!"
O daughter of Babylon, you will be sacked
happy is he who repays you
and does to you what you have done to us!

Happy is he who seizes your infants and dashes
them against the rocks!

Philippines
Christian Community Bible, Claretian Publications, 1995

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Am I a too proud Pharisee?

Read Luke 18: 9-14

Read 2 Timothy 4: 6-8

What's the difference?  I know you're going to tell me that the Pharisee in Luke 18: 9-14 is giving credit to himself and not to God.  I don't see that.  Read 2 Timothy 4: 6-8.  Well?

Yeah, yeah...all the commentators say that the Pharisee's prayer was not as acceptable as the tax collector's.  And I'll take their word for it.  But the way these two readings are juxtaposed today on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, certainly does not portray Paul any different than the proud Pharisee.

But Paul is a Pharisee.  And Paul's later writings show his spiritual progression, so we know him better than this quick look at the praying Pharisee.  But I think the contrast is nil, especially the juxtaposition of the two readings, today.

Let me put it this way;  which am I -- a Paul, or a proud Pharisee?

O God, I thank you for making me Catholic. 
I thank you for placing me in this country, in this time and place.
I have tried to obey your commandments and the Church's.
I thank you that I have not fallen like the rest of humanity--into our modern cultural morass.
I have always tried to do your Will.
Amen

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Monster Dispossesses My Rosary

A seemingly good machine has left me feeling a little spiritually impoverished.  Something made for the betterment of mankind, has failed me.  It has betrayed.  I'm a miserable, forlorn wretch.

Woe is me.

What has happened?  Something that probably has never, ever, happened to anybody before.  I can't hardly believe it, myself.

My washing machine has stolen a companion.  I am bereft of my favorite Rosary.  The one that fit so nicely in my hand.  The one that felt so pearly smooth when you fingered it.  The one that was small enough to always fit in your pocket, without spoiling the line of your clothes. The one that lay flattest under my pillow.  The one that was a pretty pearly pink on little tiny beads, that I was planning to give to my granddaughter, when she is old enough.  The one that I loved to pray on.

ugh...........I feel naked.........I feel lonely...........and I feel stupid for not checking my pockets before I put the jacket in the washer.

Presently, the Rosary is stuck in the little tiny holes that  perforate the inside tub of the washer.  I tried gently tugging on the beads.  If I yanked the beads hard, they'd just break, and I'd have no Rosary, at all.  So it just lies there.

I tried WD-40.

What else?

Yeah, I did try prayer, but I feel foolish asking for such a personal preference.  After all, it's not like I don't have other Rosaries.

My family is aware of the problem and have all tried to dislodge the beads.  Hubby has quipped, "Maybe now you'll do the laundry more often now.  You know, just to see your favorite Rosary."

Sigh..........any suggestions?


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Preaching =Whooping




Being Roman Catholic, worship to me means participating in the Mass.  That's the best, the epitome, the greatest, nonpareil, most highest, (Got the idea, yet?) worship, there can ever be.  How could any human beat transubstantiation?  

But I pray many different ways.  I love Lectio Divina.  Although, I am known to drift off when centering.  I pray the Rosary, daily, because that's part of the Rule.  I love going on retreats.  I can't pray in tongues, but I love when the babel joins into one voice--like at the Consecration.  I can't sing very well, and St. Augustine said that singing is worth double the prayer, so I do it.  I love praying in community, antiphonally.  I pray memorized prayers.  Of course, all day, I prompted to pray ejaculations. I love charismatic spontaneity.  And of course, I love to be with "my cloistered brothers" when they pray.  You can just sense their emotion, and community support, and love.  For sure, Jesus is there among them.

And!  I also love "whooping."  Whooping is preaching with rhythm, vocal emotion, heart, body, and soul.  Black ministers are known for it.  This YOU Tube Video is Rev. Tellis Chapman whooping.  CNN had a feature on Whooping.  There "whooping" is defined as a synergy between the pastor and the congregation.  And it certainly is.  But all preaching is.  Whooping pastors use chant, melody, and response preaching to reach their parishioners, in their unique style of preaching.

Can only black ministers "whoop?"  Some say "yes," because they think you have to have lived the poor, suffering life, that growing up black molds you into.  But the Rev. Paula White is a successful white "whooper."

Personally, I don't think it's a skin color prerogative. I think it's living the poor suffering life.  You have to have suffered.  Much like singing the "blues".  You have to have a soul molded in suffering.  Simpatico. 
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Celebrating Our Lady of the Rosary

Prayer

Alright, so I'm a baseball fan.  
What do you call it when a Dominican, a Franciscan, and a Jesuit come together to pray?

A triple pray.

Treasure

In reading the Pope's Letter to Seminarians, I was struck by Benedict's words on piety.  Being an "overly devotional, pious person," myself, I was greatly heartened by his words.

I urge you to retain an appreciation for popular piety, which is different in every culture, yet always remains very similar, for the human heart is ultimately one and the same. Certainly, popular piety tends towards the irrational, and can at times be somewhat superficial. Yet it would be quite wrong to dismiss it. Through that piety, the faith has entered human hearts and become part of the common patrimony of sentiments and customs, shaping the life and emotions of the community.  Popular piety is thus one of the Church’s great treasures. The faith has taken on flesh and blood. Certainly popular piety always needs to be purified and refocused, yet it is worthy of our love and it truly makes us into the “People of God”.

We're a treasure.  Ah....thank you, Holy Father.  Viva Il Papa!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Up-and-Coming Vocation

Brother Andre Bessette was canonized, today.  Saints are holy men and women who have been recognized as saints by the saintliness of their lives.  (Which is why Father Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. should be beatified--but that's a different thread.)  Many priests, nuns, religious sisters, and laity, have been so blessed.  But not as many religious brothers.  This is one reason why Br. Andre's canonization is such an occasion to celebrate.

The Order of Preachers also has Cooperator Brothers.  This is a vocation to be encouraged.  The Brothers are called, like all Dominicans, to preach.  But not all friars feel called to be priests.  Some friars feel called to serve in other ministries.  These friars do not want to study theology, nor feel called to be priests, yet they are called. Brother Paul Byrd, O.P attempts to define a Cooperatator Brother:  ... cooperator brothers are not "exceptions" to the rule of religious life--their vocation is what religious life is all about: consecrated living, the praise and worship of God, and the ministry to the Church. They are fully religious, and equal in every way as religious to religious who are also called to be priests. In this way, they are not auxiliary, cooperators, coadjutors, etc., they are religious brothers. 


The Dominican Family includes many fraternities.  Each one adds its own dimension.  The cooperator brothers do everything the ordained friars do, except sacramental ministry.  This includes medicine, teaching, chaplaincy, parish pastoral ministry, spiritual direction, retreat work, administration, arts, you name it...  It's not lack of intellectual ability that makes a friar decide to be a cooperator brother.  It's lack of vocational calling.  It might be humility, or maybe it's that a man feels called to be a religious but doesn't want to study theology.  Many are called, few are chosen.


The Central Province of St. Albert the Great, has a good program.  Brother Paul explains on his blog:
Cooperator brothers are men whose love for God and desire to serve the Church has led them to seek to live as vowed religious. They are freed by the vow of poverty to give what they have to others; freed by the vow of obedience to do what the Church, through the Order, asks of them; and freed by the vow of chastity to love all those they encounter. With the support of their community of fellow Dominicans, they go about their prayer, study, and ministry with joyful hearts. And though they are not priests, their lives are rooted in the sacramental life of the Church.


If you are a young man, you can go see for yourself, what's it all about.  Their site is www.domcentral.org/vocations     All others can pray and support them.  





Blessed Father Dominic,
preacher of God’s grace,
you promised to assist us
even after your death.
Intercede for us before God
to help us encourage
more men and women
to follow our way of life,
the way of a preacher.
Bless us in our common life, study,
prayer, and ministry,
that our lives together
may be a joyful witness
creating a desire in others
to join the Sacred Preaching
Amen








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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Father Bede Shipps, O.P.

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Preaching the Gospel.  Father Bede Shipps, O.P. gave a Day With Mary, sponsored by the LFSD of Our Lady of Divine Providence and St. Thomas Aquinas Chapters.  He showed us the connection between Mary and the Dominicans.

Affordable housing in Massachusetts: Questions and Answers from the Catholic perspective on Question 2. Published in the 10/15/2010edition of The Pilot

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Affordable housing in Massachusetts: Questions and Answers from the Catholic perspective on Question 2

By the Staff of the Massachusetts Catholic Confere
Posted: 10/15/2010

The Roman Catholic Bishops in Massachusetts released a statement in September 2010 supporting a state law that promotes affordable housing. The Bishops also announced their opposition to Question 2, an initiative on the November 2nd statewide ballot aimed at repealing the affordable housing law. The following Q and A provides background for Catholics on the issues addressed by the Bishops in their statement.

Q. Tell me more about the Catholic Bishops' statement, and what the Bishops said about affordable housing and Question 2?

A. The statement was signed by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, Archbishop of the Boston Archdiocese, Bishop George W. Coleman of the Fall River Diocese, Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell of the Springfield Diocese, and Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Worcester Diocese. These Bishops are the Ordinaries [governing Bishops] of the four Massachusetts Roman Catholic dioceses and from time to time they decide to join their voices through the Massachusetts Catholic Conference to address particularly important issues of statewide interest. Their statement on affordable housing emphasizes the critical value of a statute in Massachusetts that has led to the creation of affordable homes throughout the Commonwealth for individuals and families of modest means. The Bishops were moved to oppose Question 2 because it would take key portions of this statute completely off the books, thus eliminating a vital tool that has helped so many people find affordable housing. The full statement of the Bishops can be accessed online at http://www.macathconf.org/10-BishopsStatementAffordableHousingQuestion2Sept21.htm.

Q. What affordable housing provisions would Question 2 repeal if a majority of voters support the ballot question?

A. If approved by the voters, Question 2 would repeal sections 20 through 23 of Chapter 40B of the Massachusetts General Laws. See Secretary of the Commonwealth Question 2 Summary at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ele10/ballot_questions_10/quest_2.htm. These sections incorporate a procedural preference in the building permit process for public agencies, non-profit organizations and "limited dividend" developers seeking to build low or moderate income housing. Non-profit groups include faith-based social service providers such as the Planning Office for Urban Affairs in Boston. "Limited dividend" developers are those "for profit" entities that agree to limit the profits they earn in order to participate in government subsidized housing development programs. Currently, under these sections in Chapter 40B, any builder in the three categories just mentioned can apply directly to a city or town zoning board of appeals for a "comprehensive" permit to create affordable multi-family units. This allows affordable housing developers to avoid having to apply separately to numerous local zoning boards. Thus the present law gives preference to those development plans that propose new housing for low or moderate income families. If a majority of voters votes "yes" on Question 2, then these sections of the law on affordable housing would be abolished.

Q. So the Bishops oppose the repeal of the affordable housing sections of current law and that is why they oppose Question 2?

A. That is correct. Knowing what a "yes" vote or a "no" vote at the ballot will do can be confusing. The Bishops support a "no" vote on Question 2 because if a majority of voters vote "no" and the ballot question is defeated, then the affordable housing provisions will remain in place. In short, the Bishops' position is to vote "no" on Question 2 to save the affordable housing law.

Q. The advocates for voting "yes" on Question 2 say that they support affordable housing too, but claim that the affordable housing provisions of Chapter 40B have created all kinds of problems and thus need to be scrapped in their entirety. Why exactly do the Bishops want the affordable housing provisions to be saved?

A. In their statement, the Bishops make three important points. First, they explain that the current law has led to the creation of affordable housing that otherwise would not have been created, saying that "no other state program or tool has been as effective" in meeting the Commonwealth's housing needs. This assessment is backed by other sources. For example, a bipartisan gubernatorial task force on affordable housing concluded in 2003 that "a significant portion of the ... housing units built under comprehensive permits would not have been created in the absence of the statute." (Chapter 40B Task Force Findings and Recommendations, May 30, 2003 at 15.) Eliminating the affordable housing law will result in affordable housing becoming even less available in the Commonwealth.

Second, the Bishops highlight the essential role that the affordable housing law has played in enabling Catholic non-profit organizations to provide for the housing needs of so many families who could not otherwise afford a decent home. The very first affordable housing plan approved under the law in question was created by the Planning Office for Urban Affairs, a non-profit affiliated with the Boston Archdiocese. The Planning Office has become one of the most effective non-profit developers in the Commonwealth, and is responsible for the creation of over 2,300 homes for more than 10,000 members of the working poor, seniors, persons with disabilities, and others in need of decent affordable places to live. The Planning Office has a well-deserved reputation for promoting collaboration between all of the stakeholders when new affordable housing is proposed.

Question 2 backers cite legislative testimony delivered in 2007 by Massachusetts Inspector General Gregory Sullivan, describing problems with the affordable housing law with respect to unscrupulous developers. Sullivan's testimony clarifies however that "[t]he problems we have identified have been with these [for-profit] limited dividend corporations and a lack of oversight by both the subsidizing agencies and the state." Non-profits are not to blame for the troubles highlighted by the Inspector General. Yet a "yes" vote on Question 2, dismantling the law entirely, will cripple the efforts of non-profit providers of affordable housing. That makes no sense as a matter of policy, especially when Question 2 fails to propose any alternative.

Third, and finally, the Bishops affirm that housing is a fundamental human right and regard the Commonwealth's affordable housing law as a valuable tool for furthering that right. See Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church no. 365 (listing housing among other "basic human rights"). The Church's recognition that a human right is at stake is consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, which affirms that "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including ... housing".

Q. But what about the argument that the affordable housing law has created problems?

A. No law is perfect. There are many thoughtful objections to the way that the affordable housing law is being carried out in practice. Changes in the affordable housing regulations have been made over the years in response to various concerns. Opposing the complete dismantling of the affordable housing law by voting "no" on Question 2 does not rule out the need to upgrade the law when problems arise. Rather than abandoning the law altogether, the better approach is to retain what is good while improving what needs to be fixed.

Q. When expanding access to affordable housing, aren't there other valid concerns that also weigh in the balance?

A. Yes. In their assessment of the merits of Question 2, the Bishops regard the right to housing for families with low or moderate income to be a fundamental priority. A key premise of the affordable housing law is that every community should contribute its fair share in creating access to decent housing for those of modest income. Nonetheless, when property development leads to increased density, undoubtedly there are other legitimate concerns about the impact on the locality's infrastructure that can come into play. The affordable housing provisions in Massachusetts establish a reasonable preference for the building of low or moderate income housing, while at the same time in individual cases the law allows for those involved in the decisionmaking process to weigh and balance other relevant factors.

Q. Are the Bishops alone in opposing Question 2?

A. No. Organizations, civic leaders, and citizens from across the social and political spectrum have come forward to announce their opposition to Question 2. See ProtectAffordableHousing.org. This is not a partisan stance since, for example, all four candidates for governor have taken the same position against Question 2. See Providers Council Gubernatorial Forum at Faneuil Hall, Boston, Sept. 28, 2010, http://www.youtube.com/providerscouncil#p/a/F05B97D98F11AB98/2/3zIeR1eYKxA.

Q. By speaking out on a ballot question, aren't the Bishops inappropriately getting involved in political matters?

A. No. All citizens and voters have the right to express their views on important issues, especially those concerning public policy. Other religious groups and religious leaders have also spoken out on Question 2 and the First Amendment protects their right to make their opinions known. On matters touching on the dignity of the human person, as Question 2 does with respect to the human right to affordable housing, the Bishops have a special duty to stand up for the interests of the poor and the vulnerable.

Massachusetts: Questions and Answers from the Catholic perspective on Question 2. Published in the 10/15/2010edition of The Pilot

Friday, October 15, 2010

Call to Prayer

Below is a request for the Lay Dominicans in the Eastern Province to pray the powerful Dominican Litany of Saints, as a novena from Oct. 19-24. The request is a response to the violence that surrounds St. Dominic's in Youngstown, OH.  Last year a couple was shot leaving the church.  Recently, a family was shot, as they exited the church.  The neighborhood surrounding St. Dominic's is crime ridden.  A safety-summit has been called for all concerned to brain storm ideas as how the end the violence.  Please keep the success of the summit meeting in your prayers.  Everyone needs to pray.  If you are a Dominican, then you know the effectiveness of the Dominican Litany of Saints.  Ora pro nobis. 



My dear Brothers and Sisters,
I'd like to thank all of you for your continued prayers for the recent victims of violent crime and the Dominican parish community of St. Dominic's in Youngstown, OH.    I have spoken with Fr. Maturi (Prior Pastor) and he is very grateful for all of your prayers.   Jackie Repchik (the wife/survivor of the most recent ambush) had to have her one leg amputated, had developed an infection, ended up in Intensive Care, but is doing better.  Please remember in your prayers the repose of the soul of Jackie's husband, Thomas Repchik, who was murdered in the ambush. 
Fr. Maturi has been very pro-active in his efforts to stop the crime and violence surrounding the parish and Youngstown, as a whole.  His efforts have been rewarded with government, law-enforcement, and community representatives agreeing to meet for a "SAFETY SUMMIT".  This Summit will occur on Wednesday, October 27th.  Here's what I'd like everyone (especially the Lay members) to do:
Starting TUESDAY, OCT. 19th:  Join in praying a novena of the "Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds"  (attached following this letter) for the following intentions:
1.    For the success of the "Safety Summit" that concrete resolutions will be implemented in a timely (prompt) manner
        without impediments of potential political posturing;
2.    For the tearing down of all blighted houses within the community, especially those that lend themselves to criminal    
        activities and havens for the lawless;
3.    For all elected officials, law enforcement officials and officers, the community of Youngstown, those victimized
        by the violence, the parishioners of St. Dominic's, and last, but certainly not least, our friars who serve this special Faith-       community.
I thank you in advance for your cooperation and collaboration in this effort.   I have always been humbled with the efficacy of your prayers.   May God continue to bless and protect you through the intercessions of Our Lady, St. Joseph, and all the Dominican Saints and Blesseds!
Please share this "Call to Prayer" with those who do not receive the e-Lumen.
Marianne
(Ms.) Marianne T. Jablonski, OP
Provincial President
Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic
Province of St. Joseph (Eastern USA)
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fun in Jamestown

This is Jon in the pulpit at Jamestown Settlement.  He was asking for money.  Let me tell you.  He got what he deserved.




This is the baptismal font.




                                            

Change the "f" to "s" and you'll be able to read it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010



Hope you have a sense of humor.

h/t to Kat, IC, and You Tube.

Making a Scene

Sunday's Gospel is an example of a lesson, any two year old learns pretty fast.  The Gospel is Luke 18: 1-8.  This is the story of the widow who day after day, after day, keeps on going to the judge to get what she wants.  He eventually gives in to her, because of her nagging.  But I don't think it's her persistent nagging so much, as just her being persistent.  Think about it.  She's not going to a friend,  She's going to a public personage in a public venue.  The judge is probably concerned about how he's perceived by the public.  I think that's the real reason, why he gives in to her.  Call it group pressure.  

What would people say, if she made a scene?  He gives in just to be rid of her.  

But you know, I don't think group pressure is going to work with God.  But I'm trying the persistent nagging--works with Hubby.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Rosary






October is the month of the Rosary.  And since we owe a lot to Saint Dominic for the Rosary, I was very pleased to read about the connection between St. Dominic and the Rosary, in Catholic Digest.


http://www.catholicdigest.com/articles/faith/heritage/2010/10-04/why-st-dominic-loved-the-rosary

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Best Reason to Belong to a Book Club

Here's the Argonauta Book Club.  We've been together so long, I can't remember why or how we began.  I remember,"who."  Thank you Maureen.  I miss you and love you.  It must be over ten years ago.  We have grown into our own community.  We're best friends and family.  We're the best kind of family because we picked each other to be related to.  Actually, that relationship has become more important than book discussion.  Sometimes, when I tell others about the Argonauta, they're interested, until I tell them that sometimes no one has read the book.  And you can go to the book discussion without having read the book.  Then they'll turn up their nose and say that there looking for a serious book discussion group.

Well, that's exactly what we're not.  We're a serious group/club/family made up of people--and those people are the very ones we're serious about, not the book.

Anyway, next month's book is Still Alice by Dr. Lisa Genova.  I would have never picked this book to read on my own.  It's about Alzheimer's.  Sounds like it will be depressing, doesn't it?  Specifically, it's about early onset Alzheimer's.  We follow Alice, who at age 50 discovers that she has Alzheimer's.

The only reason I'm reading it is because it was Monique's pick.  She said we'd like it.  I have the library's copy.  God bless the Franklin library.  They gather enough books for our Book Club and hold them in reserve for us members to take out.  And I didn't want to buy this book; I didn't think I wanted to even read it.  So the library book is perfect.

I'm about half way through it and it's a really good read.  The book is written in the perspective of Alice, who has Alzheimer's.  It's very, very different.  And I like it.  That's the best reason to belong to a Book Club.  You read things you never would have read, were it not for the Book Club.

First Prize in Oprize for Poetry Contest

Oprize for Poetry Contest is open to everyone in the Dominican Family.  In previous years, the winners have been Dominican volunteers, friars, cooperator brothers, student brothers, sisters, nuns, laity, and Dominican associates.  This year's Gold Medal was won by Fr. Gerard Lessard, O.P.

Hours


Your Hour, Lord, had come
To sanctify the hours of our day.
Indeed they now can be
Until the dead entombed no longer lay,
'Til ever passing time
Has ever passed unto eternity.

Before the dawn fires light,
To You the embers of my soul spark prayer.
Bright guides along Your Way
In voiceless books teach doctrine, oh, so rare.
Then, in community,
The Liturgy of Hours well we say.

The dissipating mist
Of mysteries Your words revealed unfold.
You graciously inspire
The presentation, new and yet of old,
That's sharp enough to run
Through sullen shaded hearts with loving fire.

An hour in the box,
With sinners left and right confessing shame,
Your punishment they fear,
But we are here for mercy, not for blame;
True sorrow, felt and willed,
Expressed through me to You Who always hear.

The Sacrifice begins
With steeple bells that ring and souls that sing.
Fine fabrics, marble, gold,
With holy gestures, rites befit the King.
As Lamb He gives Himself,
To gather stray sheep to a single fold.

To frail old friendless folks
In standard institutions, visits lift,
For hours slowly tick,
Awaiting hungry for the hallowed Gift.
Though legs and eyes subside,
Anointing brows and palms upholds the sick.

An hour for the flesh,
That needs nutrition, rest and so much more,
Lest vital signs rise high.
Due exercise is not a grueling chore.
Cam'raderie with friends
Rejuvenates until we say good-bye.

Your Hour, Lord, had come
To sanctify the hours of our day.
In fact, they now have been.
Our thanks dispatched up through the sun's last ray.
With You we watch an hour,
While silent stillness saturates the din.

Talk Around the Water Cooler



I wish Work had conversations like this around the water cooler.  I found this on the New Liturgical Movement.

Ten "Rules" for Provincial Presidents

The following Rules  Suggestions are for the Provincial Presidents in the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic.  I think you'll find them useful.

Sit two candidates on a couch in the priory library.

If, when you come back (after spending time praying over your up-coming decisions), the candidates have:

+ counted all the books                                  make him Provincial Treasurer
+ organized the books by author/title/subject/etc.          make him Secretary
+ took the couch apart, bolts et al                 make him Director of Apostolic Ministries
+ centered himself in prayer                                  make him Director of Prayer Life
+ texted everyone he knows                                  make him Director of Community
+ wrote notes of the experience             make him Editor of the Province's Newsletter
+ memorized the CCC                                               make him Formation Director
+ took pics on his cell phone           make him Design Editor of the Province's Newsletter
+ caressed and drooled over all the books               make him the Province's Archivist
+ fell asleep                                                make him an Alternate

I hope you'll find Faith's Fallible Formulae helpful when assigning positions.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Parable About the Disobedient Samaritan

Today I attended Saint Bede Church, in Williamsburg, VA.  I've been on vacation touring Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg.  It was wicked awesome.  The perfect conclusion to the vacation was the Eucharist.  We went to Mass.  The homily today was on Luke 17: 11-19.  I'm sorry I can't give you the priest's name because he's not listed in the bulletin.  I heard it announced but I didn't catch it.  I'm pretty sure it was Vietnamese, though.

Father's homily was about the ten lepers.  Only one came back to give thanks, and that one was a Samaritan.  Father happened to mention that Jesus sent the lepers off to the priests because it was the priests who declared whether or not one was a leper.

Well...I was wondering....

It's the other way around.  The point is the same.  But it's not the Samaritan that that story should revolve around, it's the nine others.  That Samaritan was disobedient.  Jesus told the ten lepers to go show themselves to the priests.  Nine obeyed.  And I like to think once those nine were declared clean by the priests, they could then enter society again, and search out Jesus to thank Him.

That other one, the disobedient Samaritan, didn't belong to their religion.  So he wasn't going to go to their priests to declare whether or not he was clean.  What did he care about their priests?  Or their laws?

He was just giving credit to where credit was due--Jesus.

That being said, the point is the same: Jesus heals, and we owe Him thanks.  Think of ourselves as the lepers. Sinners=Lepers
Jesus can heal us.  We have sick souls and when we repent, and seek out a priest for Confession, we are healed.  Our sins are forgiven by Jesus.  Deo Gratias.

Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning, and rend your hearts, not your garments.  Joel 2:12-13

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Top Seven Sight Seeing Suggestions

The following advice about sight seeing, is tried and true.

(1) The best type of bag to carry is a back pack.  A fanny pack is too small.  A tote bag ties up one hand.
(2)  A stroller is best for the baby.  Carrying the baby in front is too hot on hot days.  Carrying the baby in the back is too hot, also, beside you'll cripple yourself, when the baby falls asleep leaning to the side.  You'll have a dead weight leaning the wrong way.  Besides a stroller can carry packages.  I've even seen strollers with cup spaces on the handle.
(3)  Don't throw away your empty water bottle.  Save money by just refilling it, when you go by blubbers.
(4)  A camera is a necessity.  Disposable ones are pretty good nowadays.  They capture memories.
(5) When people start getting cranky, eat.  That's the secret.
(6)  Sneakers are too hot on hot days.  So in the summer wear sandals especially made for walking.
(7)  Carry your Rosary in your pocket.  Praying for those that need it will be appreciated.  (You'll meet them everywhere.)

Second Try

Something Screwy happened to my posting on Oct. 7.  The wording run amuck over the entire page.  Anyway, whatever, WTF!  

Here it is:


Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Some consider me a pious, overly devotional, old bat.  Actually, I'm rather proud of those modifiers.  I'm proud because I've seen the others who also have those nomenclatures.  I consider that we old rosary fingering faithful, are the backbone of the Church.  We're the prayer warriors.  We're the intercessors for our families, parishes, diocese, country, and the Church.

We're prayer warriors and our weapons are our prayers.  Our most effective weapons is the Rosary.  The Rosary won the Battle of Lepanto.  Ever since St. Dominic spread the devotion, it has become the weapon of choice for us.  Pope Pius V asked everyone to pray the Rosary when the Turks attacked.  Pius V accredited Our Lady for the victory.

A century later the Rosary saved Vienna and Pope Innocent XI extended the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary to the entire Church.  In 1716, Clement XI inscribed the feast on the calendar in gratitude for the victory won by Prince Eugene of Savoy at Peterwardein, on August 5, (Our Lady of the Snow).  This victory was followed by the siege of Corfu and Belgrade.  Do you get the point, yet?

St Dominic formalised the current Dominican Rosary prior to the Battle of Muret in 1213 (that battle was again won on 12 September - the day after the mysterious 9/11) when he prayed for Count Simon de Montfort and his 700 knights as they sallied forth against a huge army of 50,000 Albigensians.
Thus the day was won and the tiny Catholic army triumphed over the huge heretic army. Again, another great victory obtained by the all-powerful Rosary of our Lady.

Small wonder, then, that our Lady has so often appeared and asked her children to pray theHoly Rosary for victory and peace, as she did to St Bernarde of Lourdes (St Bernadette) and later to the little shepherds at Fatima in 1917 during the Great War.

I mentioned all this to impress you.  I could have listed: personal conversions, regaining health, obtaining favors, selling homes, buying cars, and numerous other personal objectives that I credit to Our Lady of the Rosary.  But those don't impress anybody but myself.    Hence the emphasis on the military victories.

But you get the idea.

Thanks to us pious, overly devotional, old bats praying the Rosary, our world has survived. We old prayer warriors most certainly will die, but our Rosaries won't.  These beads that we carry in our purses and pockets, are fingered continually.  The Aves we finger are prayed continually around the world 24/7, by other old faithful fools.  We will carry the day, just as we did on all those military victories.  

Let us give thanks to the intercession of Our Lady, on this her feast day.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Voting

The bishops of New York have put out a statement to help Catholics decide whom to vote for through the lens of a Catholic.  Of course, on top of the list is the right to life, because that's fundamental.  Here's their guide:


Important Questions for Political Candidates
The Right to Life
Do you agree with the need to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which struck down all state laws criminalizing abortion and established a woman’s “right” to abort her unborn child in the womb?

Do you oppose the “Freedom of Choice Act” which both go beyond Roe v. Wade, guaranteeing a fundamental right to abortion with no restrictions or regulations?

Do you support a ban on physician-assisted suicide?

Do you oppose government funding for human embryonic stem cell research?

Do you oppose the death penalty?

Do you oppose using taxpayer money to fund abortions?

Parental Rights in Education
Do you support the right of all parents – especially poor parents – to be provided with the means (such as education tax credits) to choose the most appropriate school for their child, including a religious or independent school?

Do you support restoring full state reimbursement on mandates in religious and independent schools?

Protecting Marriage
Do you support maintaining the historic understanding of marriage as only between a man and a woman?

Immigration Reform
Do you support immigration reform that regularizes the situation for undocumented immigrants already in this country?

Do you oppose punishing charitable organizations that provide social services to undocumented persons?

Access to Health Care
Do you support legislative action to provide access to health care for all in need?

Protecting the Poor 
Do you support the Fair Labor Practices Act that would grant workers certain rights available to all other workers, such as the right to overtime pay, collective bargaining and a day of rest?

Do you support an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, available as refunds to families with the greatest need?

Religious Liberty
Do you support the right of faith-based health and human service providers to offer services to the community in accord with their religious beliefs?

Do you support the right of faith-based health and human service providers to make employment and employee benefits decisions in accord with their religious beliefs?