Showing posts from October, 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…


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.

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 …

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…

Silver Medal

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 li…


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 …

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!

Christian Community Bible, Claretian Publications, 1995

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 t…

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 …

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!  …

Celebrating Our Lady of the Rosary


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.


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 forpopular 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. Yetitwould 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 greattreasures. 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!

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…

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


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 …

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.
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.

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.

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…

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.


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 merc…

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…

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 …

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 a…

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 N…


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 t…