Showing posts from February, 2011

Married Saints Three

I'm still on my married saints kick.  First was St. Anna-Maria and Domenico Taigi, then, Venerable Pierre and Juliette Toussaint, now I'm looking at Bl. Frederic Antoine and Amelie Ozanam.

Frederic Ozanam is known as the founder of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.  Didn't you just assume that St. Vincent started that foundation?

He was born just after the reign of Napoleon.  In fact, his father served in Napoleon's army.  The year was 1813.  The Church had been in tough shape in France, still not recovered from being banned during the revolution. In fact, Frederic Ozanam toyed with the idea of joining Lacordaire in restoring Catholicism in France.  But he felt he was called to be married and have a family.

He was a lawyer, but it seemed he did that to please his father.  And when his father died, he continued because he needed to support his mother.  However, he was a gifted writer and wrote well enough to be awarded the Chair of Foreign Literature at  the Sorbonne.

Another Cardinal Sean Story

Another parable that further illustrates the demands of the Great Commandment which contains the whole Law and the prophets.  The Japanese tell the story of a man who lived in a beautiful home on the top of a mountain.  Each day he took a walk in his garden and looked out at the sea below.  One day he spotted a tsunami on the horizon coming toward the shore and then he noticed a group of his neighbors having a picnic on the beach.  The man was anxious to warn his neighbors, he shouted and waved his arms.  But they were too far off, they could not hear nor see him.  So the man set fire to his house.  When the neighbors on the beach saw the smoke and flames some said let us climb the mountain to help our friend save his home.  Others said:  ‘That mountain is so high and we’re having such fun, you go.’  Well, the ones who climbed the mountain to save their neighbor’s home were themselves saved.  Those who remained on the beach having fun perished when the tidal wave hit the shore.

The Gos…

Forgive Us Our Failings

What do you do when the Mass is said for the wrong person?  Just wondering.

This morning at Mass, I was the Lector.  In the prayers for the faithful, I said that in this Mass we remember in a special way, Jane and John Doe.  Afterwards, when the Mass celebrant left his chair, he didn't go to the altar, he went where my announcements were on the ambo.

   "Oh no."  I thought.  "I must have messed up."

   Then during the Eucharistic prayer there's a part where the priest says "Forgive us our failings..."  I would have sworn that the priest looked at me when he said that.

   Afterwards, I checked what I read.  Whew!  I had read exactly what I was given.  But our priest also sticks a "post-it" note on the altar with the name of the person the Mass is being said for.  That was a different name.  But that's not my "failing."  I was correct in reading what I was told to read.

   Maybe all the names and Masses were messed up.  Ju…

Cardinal Sean Story

The Cardinal Archbishop, Sean O'Malley of Boston, MA always has a story to tell.  The Irish are great story tellers.  And Cardinal Sean is one of the best.  BTW, this story is part of his homily during Mass for his Apostolic Visitation for the Diocese of Dublin. The O’Malleys hail from County Mayo, a part of Ireland that was hallowed by St. Patrick’s ministry there.  They tell the story of a dramatic conversion of an Irish chieftain by the name of Ossian.  A huge crowd assembled in a field to witness his baptism.  St. Patrick arrived in his Bishop’s vestments with his miter and staff.  St. Patrick stuck his staff in the ground and began to preach a long sermon on the Catholic faith.  The people noted that Ossian, who was standing directly in front of St. Patrick, began to sweat profusely, he grew pale and fainted dead away.  Some people rushed over to help and they discovered to everyone’s horror that St. Patrick had driven his staff through the man’s foot.  When they were able to …

The Purpose of the Church


You'll need a Tissue

This is touching.


Last night, we were looking at one of Hafiz' poems, Everywhere.

Through the streets

Throwing rocks through windows,
Using my own head to ring
Great bells,

Pulling out my hair,
Tearing off my clothes,

Tying everything I own
To a stick,
And setting it on

What else can Hafiz do tonight
To celebrate the madness,
The joy,

Of seeing God

I was of the opinion that the imagery isn't true.  The images seem angry.  Running--not dancing or skipping.  Screaming--not laughing or singing.  Throwing rocks!!!!!!  Banging your head!!!!  Pulling our hair!!!!  Why on earth are you taking your clothes off???  Setting things on fire!  These aren't images of celebration worthy of God.

Then the opposite opinion was expressed.  These images could have been written to celebrate the madness, the joy, of the Red Sox winning the pennant.  In fact, it did happen.  Cars were overturned, windows smashed, cars set on fire to celebrate the winning achievement.  The joy an…

Say a Prayer for Father Thomas.

A friend of mine has requested prayers for a priest who is in a terrible predicament.  Read the letter and please pray.

One of my mother-in-law's friends is an Indian (east Indian, not American Indian) priest, Fr. Thomas.  She met him when he was in Chicago studying at Loyola, and then he was the rector of a minor seminary until last year. Over Holy Week, one of his students committed suicide.  The father of the student claimed that the seminary authorities had forced him to convert, which is illegal under Indian law, and Fr. Thomas was arrested for a couple of weeks.  Currently, he has been released, but he is still in need of prayers as his bishop has placed him in "exile" at an assignment in a small village with something like six Catholics because the case is still pending.  Apparently the diocesan lawyer doesn't like him, so there is little-to-nothing being done about the case, even though the father has since admitted that he was bribed by the fundamentalist…

Lector's Notes

This Sunday's reading was made for me.  I don't mean the meaning, necessarily, I mean the fun I'm going to have proclaiming it.  It just screams out drama.  Drama queens can have a field day.  And it's nice and short, so the dramatic impact isn't diluted with distractions.  Budda Bing, Budda Bang.

Look at Isaiah 49: 14-15.  Two lines--that's all.  And they need to be proclaimed with "jazz," because they haven't been heard from the altar in twenty years.  The Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, occurs this year for the first time since 1990 because Easter is the last Sunday in April and counting backward from that date until Ash Wednesday leaves eight Sundays between the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent.

The instructions in my Lector Workbook, (Ehle, Mary A. and Margaret Nutting Ralph, Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word) direct the Lector to take her time.  Speak slowly with warmth and affect…

Mary Magdalene

My husband is the best husband and father that I know.  He's a wonderful human being, but he's not religious.  I don't know why.  He just isn't interested.  He spaces out whenever anyone starts talking about anything religious.  But he really is a dear--just clueless.

Case in point.  We were at a meeting.  As an ice breaker, everyone was asked to play 20 questions.  Each person had a wide strip of masking tape stuck to their back with the name of a person, place, or thing.  Everyone can read what it said, but of course the person wearing it, couldn't.  We had to guess what our backs read by going around and asking people questions.  We could only ask 20 questions.  We could only answer "yes," or "no."

As luck would have it, Hubby's back read, "Mary Magdalene."  I know he will never guess this.  Never.  I also know that he's going to bother me to help him.

So I hide from him.  I keep away from him.

But he's clever.  He find…

St. Martin of Tours Church

. This is the church where I went to Mass, while on vacation at Sint Maarten.  The island was named after St. Martin of Tours because it was his feast day when Columbus sailed by and saw the island for the first time.  The church is named St. Martin of Tours.  The Divine Word Missionaries serve there.  So you can imagine my surprise when I sat in a pew and looked up and saw a tall Dominican.  I was sitting under a statue of St. Dominic.

The smile that exploded across my face, made hubby roll his eyes.  :-D

If that weren't blessing enough, I looked across the aisle, and there on that wall pedestal was another Dominican--St. Rose of Lima.

I have no idea why Dominicans were honored in this church, named after St. Martin of Tours, on an island that was French/Dutch, and ministered by Divine Word Missionaries.  I can't find a history of the church and I emailed them and have received no response.  Also puzzling, is a statue representation outside the church.  There is a representati…

Disaster in the Kitchen

What a mess!  Since we're having company for dinner, tonight, I was preparing dessert.  I thought I'd make chocolate fudge brownies.  It's a package mix.  I followed directions.  Put it in the oven and started to clean up and saw a package.  It was the chocolate fudge.  I forgot to put in the chocolate fudge!  Too late, the brownies were already baking in the oven.  :-(

So I thought I'd make a fancy jello mold.  Eveyone's on a diet, anyway.  How can anyone screw up jello?

It ain't easy; but I managed to do it.

I made the jello in a large measuring cup pitcher.  As I proceeded to pour the jello into the mold--the bottom fell out!  See picture.

Do you know how sticky jello is?   Ick.

Hubby was baking the turkey breast and preparing everything else.  I could only be trusted to peel vegetables and set the table.

It was delicious, in spite of myself.

Congratulations to the Xaverian Missionaries

Hey, I just read this from Zenit.  I've been out of it for a couple of weeks (due to the death of my brother, a minor injury, and hubby whisking me away from it all.) Bishop Guido Conforti is a favorite of mine.  The Order that he founded, Xaverian Missionaries, ministers in my parish, and I've got to know them.  In fact, my very, best, favorite priest in the whole wide world, is Fr. Aniello Salicone, sx.  They're whom I think of when missionaries are mentioned.  I love these guys and  Bl. Guido Conforti's prayer is one of my favorites: May you focus your life in Jesus.  May Jesus always be present in your thoughts and heart, in every encounter, with every person and place.   In Omnibus Christus. I am very happy that Bishop Conforti is to be canonized.  This is a blessing.  Deo Gratias. Missions and Social Work Benedict XVI will lead an Ordinary Public Consistory on Monday to vote on the canonization of three Church blesseds -- two Italians and one Spanish -- who are testim…

Love Your Enemies

Is it humanly possible to love your enemies?  Remember 9/11?  Did we turn the other cheek and love our enemies?

I don't think it is.  We humans aren't perfect, as our heavenly Father is.  But that doesn't mean we don't stop trying.  We have to work at it.

I can see where an individual can turn the other cheek.  I can see not wishing harm on your enemy, which to me is the equivalent of "loving your enemies."  But I can't see it collectively.  I don't think it's possible for a country to turn the other cheek and love its enemies.

In the homily for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the priest (sorry I don't know his name) told the story of Spiritual Direction.  A Directee asked the priest how he knew if he were doing what God wanted.  He thought he was doing God's work, but how does one know?  The Director asked him "Do you love your enemies?"  That's God's work.

Another story was about a small boy during the War in Kosovo. …


Just as the Jews participate in the Passover, so Jesus is sacrificed in the Mass.  It is real.  True.

Keep the Internet Open

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops We need your help! Please contact your Senators and Representative (by clicking on the link below) and tell them not to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC’s open Internet rules. Individuals, educational and religious organizations and non-profits must have the same access to the Internet as others. 

Last year, in response to complaints that cable and telephone companies which offer Internet access were blocking access to some Internet sites, the Federal Communications Commission issued rules to encourage an "open Internet."  Those rules prevent these broadband providers from blocking access to online content, discriminating among their customers, and restricting online speech.  This week, members of the House of Representatives plan to introduce a proposal to invoke a little-used law to strip the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its authority to protect the open Internet.  This proposed action would leave…

The Brown Pelican

You see the bird in this picture?  Sorry it's the best I could do.  I only have a point and shoot camera.  But the beak looks long and is pointing down.  It is a long beak.  You can't see it's throat, however.  It is large but not full of course because it's in flight.  It's wing span is wide.  This is the brown pelican, which is the national bird of Sint Maarten.  It nests at Fort Amsterdam.  I was so enthralled with them that I climbed up to the fort twice; once in a tour group, and another day, I brought my husband there.

The bird is on the Sint Maarten coat of arms.  You can't see it very well, but it's on the very top of the crest.  The Sint Martin flag is the third one--the farthest.
Related articlesSt. Maarten Nature Foundation launches Brown Pelican Project (

The Sint Maarten Cure

This picture is a little misleading.  This  dock with a little hut is in the middle of the bay. It's not attached to the land.  Sint Maarten is known for it's beautiful diving opportunities and that's what this dock is for.  It's a bar.  Divers can dock there and go in for a drink.

We had a wonderful vacation.  I knew it was going to be good because we saw a rainbow through the window port in the airplane flying to Sint Maarten.

And I figured out what's been spraining my back.  It's low chairs.  The exertion of getting out of low chairs and beds puts a sprain on my back.  I didn't go swimming (I just walked the beach.) in the ocean because there was a bit of an undertow, and the exertion of hiking my body out of the water might re-injure my back.  The resort's lounge chairs killed me.  Laying on a beach blanket was out of the question.  The same is true for jet skiing and horse back riding.  I could stand and walk.

Actually the best seat for me (becaus…

Sint Maarten

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Well, it was like this.  I was having a really, really, bad week.  It started with my brother's death.  Then we had a blizzard; the governor called a state emergency.  I hurt my back shoveling.  A day latter, another snow storm.  Work was becoming v-e-r-y stressful.  I re-strained my back.

So hubby took me away. 

You see, this year is our 40th wedding anniversay.  (Yeah, we stuck it out.) :-p

But our anniversay is in July--but I needed it NOW! 

We've been in Sint Maarten for a week.     More postings on this vac/second honeymoon coming...

That's where I've been.  And that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The Media on the Media

I just listened to Father Rocky give a talk on the media.  He was talking about the influence the media has.  How it can sway people.  Sure, just look at how we mimic Hollywood.  Young people want to look and be like the glamorous celebrities that they think are so cool.  And you don't have to be young to be influenced.  I've heard it said, that if all things are equal, the tallest candidate will win.

Father Rocky is the executive director of Relevant Radio.   He places the utmost importance on radio.  He keeps saying that people listen to the radio all the time, especially when they're stuck in traffic.  I'm not so sure.  I know I don't.  I listen to audio books.  I've seen my kids listen to CDs or plug in their ipods.  Once in awhile, I'll put on the radio for the news or weather.  But I've never seen my kids do that.  In fact, the minute they hear a talking voice, they switch.

Next are billboards.  While people are stuck in traffic, they'll rea…

Married Saints Too

Last time I talked about St. Anna-Maria and Domenico Taigi.  In this post I'd like to write about Venerable Pierre and Juliette Toussaint.

Pierre Toussaint is the patron saint of hairdressers because that was his occupation.  I wonder if he's the patron of women with alopecia.  He should be because at the time Pierre was hairdressing, men and women wore wigs.  He dressed their hair.

He actually was born a slave in Haiti.  He was lucky to have a good man as a master, who not only taught Pierre how to read and write but also his catechism.  Pierre grew in the Catholic Faith, as his master instructed him.  When the family moved to New York, the household went too; that included Pierre.

Pierre's master, Jean Berard apprenticed him to a hairdresser and that's where Pierre learned the trade.  Pierre was a natural, both because of his personality and also he had a talent.  It seemed he had an eye for what worked where, whether it was hair, dress, or a room in a house.  He be…