Showing posts from June, 2012

Padre Pio's Bag

A Lay Dominican, Joyful Marcus, requests any literature that you can spare, so that he can use it to evangelize.  Don't you like how they call each other, "Joyful?"

Padre Pio's Bag came about through the instrumentality of Rev.Father Henry Dinayen, a Diocesan Priest of the Archdiocese of Bamenda in Cameroon.  Inside the Bag, which he handed to one Marcus Kejungki, a finally Professed Lay Dominican of Saint Catherine of Siena Lay Dominican Fraternity  of Bambui / Bamenda, were found  Simple  / Small Prayer Books, Leaflets /  Fliers on our Catholic Faith, Rosaries, Brown Scapulars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel...and other Sacramentals. Marcus was NOT told what to do with these items...Some Youth who have come to me more than once asking a question or two on our Catholic Faith kept coming and I found that  some of these items answered their worries...and I started giving them the Rosaries, Prayer Booklets, Fliers etc and that is it. A Joyful Friend asked me a question not…

Lackadaisical Spirituality



The Cookie Thief
by Valerie Cox

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene.

She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gutsy "cookie thief" diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd blacken his eye!"

With each cookie she took, he took one, too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he'd do.
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, "Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he's also rude,
Why, he didn't…

Home -- Day Thirteen

Finally, home where I'm comfortable. I loved the Beatification and the retreat.  But I hate getting there and traveling home.  I have motion sickness and my ears fill with pressure and sometime the pain is excruciating.  I'll live anywhere.  It's the coming and going that get to me.
I missed my family, my husband's cooking--especially his big breakfasts, my pillow, and Dunkin Donuts.  Europe has to adopt the coffee mug and start importing coffee from South America.  Somebody should also introduce them to cranberry sauce.
What I find as funny, is I'm thinking in French.  I don't even speak it that well, but my mind is translating.  And I keep responding "Ja, Ja, Ja" --- like the Swiss Germans.  
But it's always good to be home.

Pilgrilmage -- Day Twelve

We bid a sad goodbye to the sisters and staff at St. Niklausen.  We cast long lingering looks as we passed the Village of Sarnen, Lake Sarnen, and the the Kappell of St. Niklaussen.  Farewell, we'll meet in heaven.  So long, and God bless.
How can  a couple of weeks leave such an impact?  
Deo gratias.
From Sarnen, to Lucern, to Basel, to Paris.  Buses, trains, planes, shuttles, taxis, trolleys, they're all merged together.  I just went where I was told.  I was so sick of all methods of transportation, that I threw away my plans to visit Paris.
I was tired.
Everyone looked like a pick-pocket.
I was going to take a bus tour around Paris and take lots of pictures.  But I just didn't feel like it.  Please; not another bus!  
Besides we were staying at a hotel in the airport; and the airport was about an hour from Paris.  That would have meant getting a taxi or bus to get into the city of Paris, and then find a tour bus.  I just didn't have the energy.  
Hence Day Twelve …

Pilgrimage--Day Eleven

No hiking today.  This was my last full day at St. Niklausen.  I spent the day savoring impressions.  My last lauds with the Dominican Sisters of Bethany, my last Mass with my fellow Pilgrims, my last Eucharist in this chapel, etc.
I did manage to go up on the roof to get some sun.  It was cloudy: when the sun was behind the clouds, it was cold; when the sun was shining brightly, it was hot.  It was also too windy.
Everyone finished their packing and came down to sit in the lobby, to relax and talk.  We were joined by Sister Renata's nephew and wife.  They are theologians.  While we did have an interesting discussion, the talk disturbed me.  I didn't say anything, however.  I just sat there like a dummy.  The nephew has a doctorate in theology.  I guess that made me feel naive.  I hesitated to offer an opposite opinion on what the doctor was saying.  Well, he is the learned expert, and I, well, I'm just an old lady praying on her rosary beads.  Although, most of us in the…

Pilgrimage--Day Ten

The day was beautiful and we chose a trail that went the long way around.  Either we didn't go far enough, or we chose the wrong way, but after an hour or so, we gave up, and turned back.  That was fine; the scenery was breath taking.  The company was good.  The weather was cool--perfect for hiking.  We were enjoying our blessings.       During our stay at St. Niklausen, the Chapel of St. Niklausen's bells always brought us to prayer.  I don't know if they rang every hour, but they did ring the Angelus.       The Chapel was surprisingly beautiful.  I was surprised because from the outside it looked stark and utilitarian, not ornate in the least.  The ceiling was made up of saints.  There's a beautiful pulpit, one of those architectural marvels in a winding staircase, and of course, a reminder that we are mere mortals.

After a little while, half our group left to go back to a hot lunch.  Sister Pauline and I stayed.  We took pictures and prayed a Dominican Rosary.  When we…

Pilgrimage--Day Nine

Up early today, June 8, 2012.  We're going to Einsiedeln.  This is a well known pilgrimage shrine, the abbey of Einsiedeln.  It incorporates the relics of St. Meinrad, a black Madonna and a large nativity scene--the Diorama Bethlehem.

We had an early breakfast, and walked down the hill to the bus stop.  We were wondering if it were ever going to come, but then we reasoned, "This is Switzerland.  The bus and train will be on time!"  And it was.  The bus took us to Sarnen, where we got the train.  I think we changed trains again, to get to Lucerne.  One more train to Einsiedeln.

What a pretty town!  Too bad it was raining, but then again, if we weren't touring, we would have been stuck inside the hotel.  Well, maybe not stuck; this is a retreat; we could have always gone to Adoration.

The shrine looks like an ornate parliament building.  The center edifice is the church of St. Meinrad, the side buildings are some kind of school and a Benedictine Abbey.

We made it fo…

Pilgrimage--Day Eight

Corpus Christi is today.  It's June 7, Thursday, and here in Switzerland, we're celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi.  It's a holiday.  Schools and businesses are closed.  Parishes have processions.  Back in the USA, the feast is put off until Sunday.

I spent the day hiking.  I hiked down to Niklaus of Flue's hermitage.  He is known affectionately, as Brother Klaus.  He was a successful farmer and was father to a family of ten children.  After receiving a mystical vision, he made arrangements for his family, and left them to become a hermit.  When he left, his older children were adults, and could help with the family.  They were well provided for and kept into contact with Brother Klaus.

It is said that he lived on the Eucharist, alone.  His reputation for wisdom and holiness was famous, and people came from all over to seek his advice.  His Ranft, or sanctuary, is a place of pilgrimage because it is on the path to Jakobsweg, or Santiago de Compostela.  Since his…

Pilgrimage - Day Seven

This day, June 6, 2012 is a blur.  The night seemed endless.  I tossed and turned all night.  The room is very nice, quiet, and the view--spectacular!  But I was so tired and groggy all day, I stuck around the hotel and just became acclimated to the place.  This statue is near their reception desk.  I napped here and there, all day.  I did my laundry in their laundry room.   There's a washer but no dryer.  So my underwear is hanging all over my room. I attended Lauds, Terce, Sext, Evening Prayer, and Compline.  I also found the Adoration Chapel and spent time with Jesus.  These Dominican Sisters of Bethany are contemplatives and have Adoration 24/7.

 I read a lot.  My room has a little book that explains the hotel, St. Niklausen, and the sisters.  Here are some quotes:

St. Dominic wanted his fellow brethren to study, to preach, to live in community, to be themselves living symbols of God's mercy, and to be sensitive to any kind of poverty diminishing man's humanity.

The D…

Pilgrimage--Day Six

We took 5 trains, a bus, and then we walked, in order to get to St. Niklausen, OW, Switzerland, from Besancon, France.

The first thing I noticed, after the spectacular vista, was the smell of manure.  Sister Renata inhaled and said, "Ah, the smell of Swiss air!"

You get use to it.

You really do.

That sound of cow bells is ever constant.  But like, the smell, you get use to it.  You don't even notice it, anymore.

As soon as I got to my room, I fell on my bed and slept until the next morning.

Pilgrimage Day--Day Five

My first thought upon waking was Pere Lataste's Rosary.  I couldn't wait for Morning Prayer.  We prayed in Roche d'Or's Chapel.  After prayer, we took turns holding the beads.  It's a habit rosary, so all of us could hold on to it as we prayed the rosary.  I was blessed enough to pray aloud the fourth decade of the joyful mysteries.  On the last decade, Sheila's voice broke.  I cried, too.  The immensity of the entire weekend hit me.  The history we were holding in our hands.  The blessing of being in Besancon.  The blessings we received all weekend.  Praying in community.  God is so good.

The rest of the day was spent with the Sisters of Bethany in Montferrand, France. Their doorway entrance was covered in bunting, the colors of the diocese of Besancon.

 Inside we met up with our friends, Father Prakash, Sister Hannah, Sister Barbara, and we met new friends.
The Vice-Postulator, Fr. Jean-Marie Gueullette, op met with us, alone.  He told us as a group, how he…