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Showing posts from February, 2013

Papal March Madness

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In the U.S. A. there  is single-elimination college basketball tournament performed each spring.  The colleges are matched in their appropriate division, and the winner advances to the next level.  It seems that everyone in the country participates in betting on the winner.  Papers are distributed with the teams' schedule and look similar to the one above.  Places of work, schools, restaurants--it seems that everyone participates.  It is no wonder that papal conjecture has caught March Madness.  Remember that betting on the pope is a sin.  So don't take this seriously.  

h/t NPR MORNING EDITION    http://www.facebook.com/nprmorningedition


Breakfast to Support Fr. Tom's Kids

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This video is about Our Lady of Grace School in Kenya, where Fr. Tom's Kids are educated.Father Tom’s Kids is a registered non-profit charity run by the Dominican Friars of Eastern Africa. We link sponsors and donors from all over the world with impoverished children in and around Kisumu, Kenya, in order to support them and provide them with an education.

The students come to us from many different backgrounds. Some are orphans, some come from polygamous families, some have parents who struggle to feed them. They are referred to us by family, by other religious orders in the area (such as the Franciscan Sisters of St. Anne), by former Father Tom’s Kids, or simply by Divine Providence. None of them can afford to go to school without our aid. St. Mary's Church in New Haven, CT. is having a pancake breakfast to benefit Fr. Tom's Kids.  It will be held after the 8 and 10 o'clock Mass on Sunday, March 3, 2013.  The Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic will be serving a full bre…

Adopt a Cardinal

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The Cardinals need our prayer support as they discern and vote for our new Pope.  Let's each pick one to pray for.  Here's the web site:  http://adoptacardinal.org/  Click on this link.  Follow the directions, and you'll be assigned a cardinal.  I have Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, OFM, the Cardinal Archbishop of Durban, South Africa.

Br. Tonto Questions Cappa's Lenten Sacrifice

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This is a Brother Tonto and Cappa Cartoon.  It looks like Cappa has given up "mice" for Lent.  There is a story about St. Martin de Porres regarding this same problem.  When the priory was overrun with mice, the prior turned to Martin for help.  The prior knew that Martin loved all animals, including rodents, and when the prior told Martin to find a way to rid the priory of the vermin, or he, the prior was going to kill them all.  
It is said that Martin called all the mice together, and explained the problem.  Martin told the mice to stay out of the priory, and especially to stay out of sight of the prior.  In return, Martin would feed them daily--in the barn.  It worked like a miracle.



Lenten Conferences

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Here are some Lenten Talks.  If you can attend any of these, you'll be blessed.


Saturday, March 2nd: ·Middletown, NY (Archdiocese of NY) St. Joseph Church  2-5pm Contact:  treat307@aol.com
Sunday, March 3rd: ·Manhattan, NY (Archdiocese of NY) Church of the Holy Innocents                Contact:   mirouzem@hotmail.com
·Casco, ME (Diocese of Portland, ME) Resurrection Convent                Contact:  sisterrosalie@fairpoint.net
·Syracuse, NY (Diocese of Syracuse) St. Patrick Church  2-3:30pm Contact:  mseagrif@twcny.rr.com
Tuesday, March 5th: ·Christ the Redeemer Church (Diocese of Rochester) 7-9pm                Contact:  rkilpatrick@stny.rr.com

The Demise of the Rosary Angel

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The time has come.  All good things must come to an end.  There's a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3).  The Rosary Angel is gone.

The secret can come out now.  I am/was the Rosary Angel.  You see quite a while ago, on the table near the church exit were two boxes.  One was labeled "Broken Rosaries."  The other was labeled "Fixed Rosaries."  The first box had instructions directing people to put their name on their rosaries, so when they were fixed, they'd get them back.

For a little while, this worked well.  Then after time, I noticed that the box for "Broken Rosaries" wasn't being picked up.  So I took them and fixed them.  I never told anyone.  You're the first to know.

In fact, the person whose idea started the projec,t owned a bead store.  I don't know why she stopped fixing the rosaries, but she did.  I just continued and she got the credit.  I had heard people talking about whom the Rosary Angel was, and I'd get a kick o…

Oneness

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E. E. Cummings liked to experiment.  In this poem about loneliness, you can see that small loneliness of being "1" alone.  The poem is arranged to highlight this "oneness."  And this is a poem.  Not all poems rhyme, or have meter.  There's no figure of speech and cannot even be read aloud because of its fragmented words.  But it does have imagery.  The arrangement itself is a symbol of "oneness."

1 (a

1 (a

le
af
fa

ll

s)
one
1

iness


Clever, isn't it?  It makes you think to decipher the letters: a leaf falls.  It conveys the loneliness of being "one."  It also mimics the fall of a leaf, slowly descending down, down, and down.

Smoking Brassieres

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Being a conscientious lector, I prepare my readings before hand.  Sunday, the Second Sunday of Lent, I am reading Genesis 15: 5-12, 17-18.  This is the story of God making a covenant with Abraham.  It describes the ritual that was usual when making a covenant.

Abraham prepared the sacrifices just as required.  Then:

When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces.

The Lector preparation that I used gives an interesting note on the latest N.A.B. Translation.  It tells us that in the Catholic Churches in the U.S.A. the intended word for smoking fire pot had to be substituted because it sounded like "smoking brassieres."  The word in question was "a smoking brazier."  Americans mispronounced brazier, as women's unmentionables.  And that's the only thing the listeners concentrated on--brassieres; not the rest of the scripture passage.

I can't imagine why.




Distinguishing a Christian

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Have you noticed a gradual shift in the direction of the gospels during Lent?  From Ash Wednesday on, the gospel readings were, well, penitential.  Today, the Saturday of the first week of Lent, the Gospel according to Matthew tells us to ...love your neighbor and your enemy. 

I think Christianity is the only religion that teaches love of enemy.  Father George Szal tells the story of the painter in a church in China.  People kept telling the painter that he mistranslated.  Above the door was Love Your Enemies.  That couldn't be correct!

Not only is Jesus telling us to love our enemies, He's telling us to be perfect, just as our heavenly Father is perfect.

You would think that it would be easy to love.  We were created in love.  We were made to love.  We love to love.

Concupiscence destroyed our perfect love.  But we are free creatures.  We are free to choose to love.  We can, and should, choose to love.  Are we not children of our heavenly Father, for he makes His sun rise …

Chair of St. Peter Sede Vacante

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Today is the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter.  It suddenly struck me that this chair, next week will be Sede Vacante!  Since Pope Benedict XVI has resigned, effective Feb. 28, 2013, next Friday, March 1, we will have no Pope.  It will seem uncanny not to have a Pope.  I bet Fr. Frank will forget, and still put his name in the Eucharistic Prayer, where we pray for the Pope.  We will have to pray for the choosing of a new pope by the conclave of cardinals. 
During the period of sede vacante, the administration of the church is managed by a regency (chosen by the College of Cardinals).
The above image is the most coveted chair in my house.  My granddaughter and my cat vie for it.  I know it’s not the chair of St. Peter, but it might just as well be, for Lucy and Dallas.  Many schemes have been plotted over its occupancy.

Authentic Fasting

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I have a guest blogger, today.  My friend, Marina, is an associate professor of philosophy at Boston College.  She's also a favorite with my "cloistered brothers."  In this post she is looking at "fasting."  She's talking about the real thing:

"This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed."(Isaiah 58:6-9a)

Isaiah speaks about the difference between superficial fasting and authentic fasting. God, he says, does not want fasting where people "afflict themselves" but rather a fasting that sets others free in some way. Isaiah's wisdom is that even fasting can be self-centered. In this reading, the pe…

Crossing Over the Bridge

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In her Dialogue, St. Catherine says that each of us chooses to live our lives by walking either on the Bridge, which is Christ, or on the river, which is the way without God, and in which one drowns. Both ways are full of fatigue, she says, but in choosing the Bridge, one experiences delight, and “every bitterness becomes sweet, and every burden light.”
She writes, speaking for God the Father, For those who cross by the Bridge, being still in the darkness of the body, find light, and, being mortal, find immortal life, tasting, through love, the light of Eternal Truth which promises refreshment to him who wearies himself for Me…. He, therefore, is a fool indeed, who despises so great a good, and chooses rather to receive in this life, the earnest money of Hell, walking by the lower road with great toil, and without any refreshment or advantage.
In discussing this with my "cloistered brothers," a humorous but true image was conveyed.  We haven't crossed the bridge.  We sin…

Day 9 Novena to find Work

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Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
Day Nine Work is Prayer The Novena is finished.  You've done all that is humanly possible.  There is nothing remaining except to trust in the Lord.  He will answer your prayers, maybe not in the manner, nor the time, that you wish.  He has said it, and He will do it.
And the confidence that we have towards Him is this, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And we know that he hears us whatever we ask; we know that the requests we make of Him are granted.  (1John 5: 14)
He always answers. He will give you what you need, which may not necessarily be what you want.  It may be better.  Have faith.  And always have hope.   Thank you, Jesus.

Prayer Through the intercession of St. Joseph I ask for …

This is What a Hero Looks Like

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Father Francis Sampson was a Chaplain in three wars: World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam.  There are many stories about his adventures.  One such story was the inspiration for the movie, Private Ryan.

My favorite story is the one about the first time he was ever captured by the enemy.  This is in WWII and the Germans just grabbed him and threw him against the wall in front of a firing squad.  He was so scared that instead of making a perfect Act of Contrition he said, instead:

Bless us our Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about                                     to eat.

Day 8 Novena to Find Work

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Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
Day Eight
Work is prayer. Tweeking techniques, are what we're working on, today.  I haven't mentioned resumes because that's the first thing people think of, and then do.  Their are web sites and employee counselors in abundance, that can help with that.  Today, I'd like you to organize your job search.  Make lists: Ideal Jobs, Convenient Jobs (close to home), Jobs you'll settle for.  Now under those headings, put the jobs you're applying for.  Leave room to describe what happened there, i.e., interview, rejection, nothing.  
Maybe you'll notice a pattern.  Maybe you can concentrate on an area.  How are you doing on the internet networking, e.i., linkedin, JibberJoober, etc..
Today is a day …

Day 7 Novena for Work

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Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
 Day Seven


Work is prayer While you are networking, going to head hunters, and trying to do all that these people are telling you do, I want you to look in the mirror.  Yes, you are beautiful.  Of course, you are made in the image of God.  But Human Resource personnel and department heads aren't looking for saints.  You've got to update your "look."  Today watch the news and look at the men and women who are delivering the news.  You need to look like them.  You see, the reason they look like they do is because they've been groomed to appeal to the masses.  And that's exactly what you need to do to get a job.  If you're a man who wears a pony tail and an unkempt beard, then cut them of…

Prayer for New Pope

"Prayer for the Church in Anticipation of the Vacancy of the See of St. Peter" (courtesy of the Knights of Columbus) O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of Your Church,
we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI
and the selfless care with which he has led us
as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth.

Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church
on the rock of Peter's faith
and have never left Your flock untended,
look with love upon us now,
and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity.

 Grant, Lord Jesus,
in Your boundless love for us,
a new Pope for Your Church
who will please You by his holiness
and lead us faithfully to You,
who are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.

Hilare Belloc's Catholicism

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Hilaire Belloc was an interesting person.  He had a way with words.  At one time, he was a candidate for political office.  His Catholicism was viewed as a detriment.  Religious prejudice is difficult to overcome.  

One time, at a speech, he appeared on the rostrum with a rosary held high in his hand.  He declared: "I am a Catholic.  As far as possible I go to Mass, every day.  As far a possible I kneel down and pray with these rosary beads, every day.  If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that he has spared me the indignity of being your representative."

He was elected.

Addendum to Day 6

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Add this resource to this morning's post on "head hunters."  You do the work yourself, so you're your own head hunter.  If you're in Boston, then physically go and spend some time.  Otherwise, do what you can "on-line."

Kirstein is on Facebook and just about every day there is a helpful post.  I even saw one about a free course/training at MIT.  There are many and different business resources, especially directories of public and private companies.  Hopefully it will help you focus on more strategic job searches.  This may just be a God send.


Day 6 Novena to find Work

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Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
 Day Six
Work is prayer We're doing all we can.  Our network is doing all it can.  Maybe it's time to call in a "head hunter."  A head hunter is a recruiter.  Companies go to them to find workers.  You don't have to pay them.  However, there are some that the job seeker has to pay.
There's something called a Riley's Guide to help you find a recruiter.  The Riley Guide has a list of free directories of recruiting firms you can use to locate a recruiter to work with.  
Yesterday, we talked about networking.  We specifically mentioned Linkedin.  Some head hunters search network sites like Linkedin for candidates.  That's why networking is so important.  How can I head hunter find you if…

Day 5 Novena to Find Work

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Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
                                         Day Five
Work is Prayer
Hope you're still smiling, because today you'll be using it.  We're networking, today.  Most people are embarrassed that they don't have a job.  Don't be.  The more people that know, the better.  People like to help.  I know men have difficulty asking for help, but you'll just have to push yourself.  
Networking is a social activity.  You need to go down to your local Office of Employment Security and speak to somebody.  This is where lucky people pick up their unemployment check.  But it's also a place to find a job.  Talk to a counselor there.  Read the bulletin boards.  Sometimes "job fairs" are listed.  Newspaper …

Day 4 Novena to Find Work

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Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
       Day Four

Work is Prayer
Looking for work is a humbling experience.  Having to ask for help is humbling, and depending on the circumstances, it can even be demeaning.  Today, we are going to stop thinking about ourselves by taking the focus off ourselves and try to help others.  Let's go to a nearby nursing home.  Call up first and tell the receptionist that you have some free time, and you'd like to visit with someone who needs a visit.  Make the arrangements and do it.

Personally, I find this very difficult to do.  I don't know why.  But I did push myself to do it.  Once there, everything went amazingly smooth.  I was introduced to an elderly gentleman who was sitting in the recreation room wit…

Bro. Tonto & Cappa's Valentines

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Day 3 Novena to find Work

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Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
Day Three
Work is Prayer Today we will continue the soul searching.  Spend some time in front of the tabernacle, today, and bring some paper and something to write with.  Yesterday, you realized what you were interested in.  Today I want you to write down what's important to you.  Family, job satisfaction, church, private time, travel/no traveling, prestige, uniform/no uniform, money, and anything else you deem important to yourself.  
    Number them in order of importance to you.
Think of yesterday's exercise and look at today's list.  Can the be integrated?  I'm thinking of yesterday's interest in airplanes and today's list, putting no travel up pretty high.  Or, yesterday's interest i…

Day 2 Novena to find Work

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This novena isn't only for the unemployed.  It's also for the underemployed, and those unhappy in their present employment.

Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
Day Two
Work is Prayer Carrying that thought further, looking for work can be prayer.  Today is going to be soul searching.  Sometime today, go to the library.  Go to the magazine section.  Peruse ten magazines by being attracted by their covers.  Flip through the pages.  Look at the table of contents.  Pick ten and go sit down in the reading room.  Spread the ten magazines in front of you.  Take note of their subject matter.  Do they all have the same theme?  Does the majority?  Guess what?  This is the type of work you should be involved in.   Certain things attracted you to these ma…

Novena to St. Joseph to Find Work

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My most often "hit" blog posts, are those about employment.  And today, on my friend Chris' Face Book page, I noticed a Novena to find work. Hence, I was inspired to put together my own novena.  This novena isn't only for the unemployed.  It's also for the underemployed, and those unhappy in their present employment.
Take heart.  There's a better world in store for you.  It is only the malice of God's enemies that is preventing you from having a worthwhile vocation.  Believe that God holds you secure in His hands; He loves you; He wants what's best for you.  Never lose hope.
                                         Day One
Through the intercession of St. Joseph I ask for work that will bring me close to You, My Lord.  I pray that the work be enough to provide for those who depend on me.  I only ask to serve You, Lord, and to feel secure in Your Love.  
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

The Benefit of Sacrifice

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Lent is a time of Sacrifice.  I've decided to have everyone in my family sacrifice by eating stuff they would  never touch, even with a ten foot pole.  I'll only make them do this once a week.  Fridays during Lent we'll try something different, at meal time.

This is Fr. Leo, host and founder of the TV show, "Grace Before Meals."  He's cooking with Joan Rosenhauer of Catholic Relief Services in the USA.  They are going to cook Bean Cakes from Burkina Faso.

Here's the benefit.  The family will get a geography lesson with the discussion on Burkina Faso culture.   This will be good family time.

And here's the genius part of my plan: if anyone in my family isn't willing to try the new dish, they have to put a dollar in the Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl.

Good idea.  Good food.  It's a Win/Win plan.

What Are You Giving Up for Lent?

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Since the purpose of "Giving Up" for Lent is to show to yourself, that you have a dependence on something, other than God.  Or look at it as Lent is to prove to yourself that you aren't hooked on anything, other than God.

For many years now, I've given up sugar and cream, in my coffee.  This is very hard.  The first year, a tablespoon of black coffee a day, was all I could manage.  But I persevered and had that tablespoon, every day.  Now I drink a full mug, black.  Since I can drink it black, and since I've tasted horrible tasting coffee, here and there, I kind of pride myself on the fact, that I can drink anything.  It's not my preference, to have black coffee, however.  During Lent, I prove to myself, and God, that I can do it for Him.

This year, I've decided to make myself go to bed at ten.  This is hard.  I usually go to bed between 11-12.  And since I know I'll be awake and tossing and turning, you know what I'm going to do?  I'm going…

Rules for Life

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This is making the rounds.  Anything to add?  My favorite is # 1.

Canute Anecdote

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Canute (Cnut) (?994-1035) was king of Denmark, Norway, England, and Sweden.  It has been said that he was the most effective king in Anglo Saxon history, in spite of not being Anglo Saxon.

I like this story about him.  He was truly a humble man.  By that I mean that he was a gifted leader and acknowledged his gifts.  In addition, he also acknowledged his shortcomings.  The story relates how Canute rebuked the flattery of his retainers.  Tiring of their extravagant praises of his greatness, he brought everybody down to the seashore, with his throne chair.  He ordered his chair to be set at the edge of the water, as the waves came in.  Canute then commanded the waves to not come in and wet him.  The incoming tide did not obey.  When Canute was thoroughly soaked, he took off his king's                  crown and never wore it again.  Instead, he hung it upon a statue of the crucified Christ.

$ 500 or a Year in Prison

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Due to the blizzard, Feb. 8, Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and closed all the streets at 4:00 PM and posted a fine of $ 500, or a year in prison, for violating the ban.  Hence, I’m stuck at home.  Fortunately, the electricity has not gone out and the television and computer are still operating.
In checking my email and Facebook, some friends were discussing the penalty for violating the emergency ban.  Joking, it was commented that perhaps being in prison wouldn't be so bad; they’d get some writing accomplished. 
 Mmmm, what would my “cloistered brothers” think about that.  Writing?  Pencils and pens aren't that readily available in prison.  Were they thinking of using a computer—in prison?  You would be lucky to be able to think.  There’s a constant din of noise; it’s not a hotel with privacy doors.  Would you like to use the toilet in your cell? Actually, that’s the only available seat.   Do you want a desk lamp?  Get real!  The lighting depends on wh…

150 Years a Priest

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The Apostle of Prisons, Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. was ordained a priest 150 years ago, on February 8, 1863.  Here are some of his impressions on that very day.  These are compiled by Renata Commazind from the Resurrection Community in Casco, Maine.
Ordination to the Priesthood of Fr. Lataste – February 8, 1863  The Apostle of Prisons
Approaching his Ordination, Fr. Lataste still felt the fear before the sanctity which such a mission demands. But he is not crushed anymore by that call, as when he was young.; he trusts now in God’s mercy: He writes;” Oh! How the power of the Priest is high, marvelous, redoubtable! Also, when one often sees men at the hight of their position of their work in the world, never though can a priest, as virtuous and saintly he might be, ever be worthy of his mission, rigorously speaking; he will always be less; what he will be, he will be, not by his merits but only by the great mercy of God towards him.”                                           …