Friday, July 31, 2009

Consecrated Virgins

I was reading the August issue of eLumen and found the article under Pleasing Preaching most interesting.

The article, "The Life of a Consecrated Virgin: A powerful witness of preaching on how to follow Christ," is written by Ms. Mary Beth Dillon, a Consecrated Virgin. She explains that her consecrated life is witness to the reality of a marriage between Christ and His mystical Body, the Church, because as a "Bride of Christ" her consecration permeates the way she lives: work, home, recreation, where ever.

Of course, the role model for Consecrated Virgins is Mary. Mary was the first Consecrated Virgin

My interest was such that I did a prolifeinternet search and found a blog, that explained Consecrated Virgins and gave a couple of links.

I do think this is a wonderful calling.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Isn't this the Year of the Priests?

Unbelievable! Todays news:
A bishop and 7 priests were robbed in Argentian.
In India a priest was murdered.
A priest drowned in Michigan.
Two priests were beaten by police & thugs in Vietnam.

It's the two priests that were beaten that really got to me. (St. John Vianney beg for mercy.) The priests live in Vietnam. One was beaten and sent to the hospital. The other priest went to visit him and was beaten by police and some thugs that were egged on by the police. They beat this priest into a coma and then threw him out of the second floor window.

Even if they hate Catholics and our priests, you don't do these things to fellow human beings. You don't pick on peaceful men of God. You don't throw people out of windows. Lord have mercy on us.

O Lord, we pray that You protect Your priests. Shield them from Satan and those who follow his evil intentions. Help Your priests who try to do Your Will, seeking only the sanctification of souls. Have Your Blessed Mother spread her mantle over all priests and through her intercession may they always do Your Will. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Inmate Suicide tells of the story of another (second in two weeks) suicide in a Massachusetts State Prison. This time it was in Shirley, a medium security facility.

The man was serving a life sentence. Cuts in spending, staffing, programs, over crowding are all factors in causing these situations. The site quotes:

'“Two suicides in two weeks is compounding the tragedy,’’ said Leslie Walker, executive director of Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services. “I’m very concerned that the overcrowding and cutbacks in mental health services is creating additional stresses and resulting in preventable deaths.’’

Before recent cuts in state funding, the Department of Correction had focused on bettering its mental health programs after 15 suicides from 2005 to 2007. The number spurred the Disability Law Center to sue the Department of Correction. That suit is pending.'

The article was written by Milton Valencia who can be reached at

I noticed the number on the board, from my visits to MCI Norfolk. The number is the "count." Sometimes the number 1200. I'm told that the prison was built for 1000.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


from Those Were the Days
by Mary Hopkins)

Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
Those were the days,
oh yes, those were the days.

I've finished my collage of Karen's life. What a good time I had going through all the family picture albums. We had so many good times. I hope my children remember them fondly. They really had a great childhood. I envy my own children's childhood! I wonder if parents become what they wish their parents were.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding Shower Preparations

It's this Saturday. Yikes! I really don't have that much to do: make a collage, prepare some food, come early to help decorate. But I keep putting off making that collage. I don't want to take pictures out of the albums I've worked on for years--Karen's life time. It's going to mess up everything. What if my collage is the worst one--Karen's making one, the groom's mother is making one?

I have hundreds of pictures, how can I just choose some? Should I go for embarrassing, or cuteness?

This is too hard.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You Can't Take It with You

My co-worker, Val is into community theater. Since she's in "You Can't Take It With You," I thought I'd go see it to support her. I'm glad I went. It's very funny and I was surprised how good the acting was. I found it very entertaining.

The story is about a crazy family and how the daughter of the family is embarrassed by them. She has to prepare her boyfriend for the encounter before he meets them. He's so in love that he sees them through the eyes of love, so that's not a problem. The problem arises when the boyfriend's parents come for dinner. Imagine wrong day, wrong time, everything going wrong.

The plot line made me think of the dysfunctional family I was born into. I suppose everyone thinks their family is dysfunctional. Actually, I've heard and read of worse families, so I'm not complaining, at all. It made me what I am. It's just that the play made me reminisce.

I was more ashamed, than embarrassed by my family. My father was a drunk. He couldn't hold a job because of that problem. We didn't have a nice home because he fell against, or on, all the furniture, never mind not having the money to buy anything nice. One little girl told me that her mother said that she could play with me, but never to go inside my house, because of my Dad.

So like Alice in "You Can't Take It With You," I had to prepare friends to come over my house, because Daddy may be passed out on the floor, or stagger in. To this day, when I smell booze, it reminds me of my childhood home. I wonder if I smelled boozy.

One important thing, though. As poor a father that my Dad was, I was always secure in his love for me. He named me, you know. He, the agnostic, told me that he didn't want me to believe in anything, or anyone, but myself. Hence, he named me Faith. Here's a picture of Dad with his one, true Faith.

I guess I showed him.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

You Learn Something New Every Day

Yesterday, I was reading his Hermeneuticness and learned that I could gain a plenary indulgence on the anniversary of my Baptism.

It's true. All these years wasted and I could have been gaining indulgences. I intend from now on to seek those indulgences. I did a "pro life internet search" and read:

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who renew their baptismal promises according to formula in use: but a plenary indulgence is granted, if this is done either: 1) in the celebration of the Paschal Vigil or 2) on the anniversary of one's Baptism.

I wonder if I can intend, to have intended to gain this indulgence in all my previous years. After all I do renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fr. Frank Campo

This morning I was reading Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley's weekly blog and found that it was highlighting my new parish priest, Fr. Frank Campo.

What a pleasant surprise! Father Frank is a late vocation. He's newly ordained; St. Mary's is his first assignment; the pastor is younger than he is. Fr. Frank's homilies often mention his deceased wife, his past jobs, and other experiences that many can relate to.

Read Cardinal Sean's blog, yourself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thank You for All Priests

Last Friday when I went to see Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. give his talk,( 2009 Speaker Series at Christ the King Parish), there was a question and answer session afterwards. One of the comments made at that time bothered me. The comments more than bothered the pastor of St. Anthony's. He said he almost wanted to go over and fight.

What she said was callous. I'm sure she wasn't thinking. In praising the Dominicans, of whom, Father Timothy belonged, she critized all parish priests. She said she lives in San Francisco, California, and travels about 70 miles to go to church. She does this every Sunday because the Dominicans there preach so wonderfully and seem to energize the community, unlike the parish priests.

As a Lay Dominican, I thank the young lady and appreciate her praise of my brothers, the friars. However, as a Lay Dominican, I also feel that I must speak up ( a la St. Catherine of Siena)and defend the parish priest.

It is not difficult to craft homilies to a particular people, if your parish belongs to the academic community. Many people go to the priory, or monastery, etc., to go to Mass. The people who attend these Masses and travel to these locations are often all of the same mind set. A preacher can really hone in on their particular needs.

As Father Costello of St. Anthony's was telling me, it is hard to hit everyone in his congregation. His parish consists of the world. Tourists from God knows where, locals, old, young, Cape Verdeans, rich, get the idea, make up his parish. And every one of them wants excellent preaching, every week. They want the perfect prayer for every occasion. They expect the priest to be present when they need him. They want the priest to like what they like, and not like what they don't.

The hardest expectation to live up to is that people want them to be human and be a "party animal" when occasions call for that; yet, people want priests to be just like Jesus.

Instead of critizing the parish priest, people should offer to help, try to be non-judgemental, and assist the priest. If a priest moves you to prayer because he celebrates Mass so wonderfully. Thank God for the blessing of this priest. If you think the priest is boring, then pray for him. Ask St. John Vianney to intercede for blessings to fall on the priest. All priests need us to pray for them.

If you have a chance to see the last speaker in the 2009 Summer Speaker Series, I recommend that you do. Many people attended Father Timothy's and the audience was very welcoming to everyone. The cost is free. What more do you want?

The 2009 Summer Speaker Series is held by the parishes of Christ the King, St. Anthony's, and Our Lady of Victory. The above picture is Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., with Msgr. Daniel Hoye,the pastor of Christ the King, in the background.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Archbishop Augustine Di Noia

I finally got to see the whole ordination. I'm fixated on the Archbishop's remarks. He's so emotional; he can't speak. I bet that's why it's so short. I bet he wrote a lot more, but he was afraid he'd lose it, that's why he cut his remarks short. But what he said was enough. He said it all. He affirmed BXVI as the Vicar of Christ. He affirmed the allegiace of the Dominican Order to the Pope. He expressed gratitude to the Dominicans (because where would he be, if not for them), and placed the Order under the mantle of the Blessed Mother. Amen.

I was most impressed with the dignity and gravitas displayed by the consecrator and the consecrand throughout the Liturgy.

May God bless the new Archbishop.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Woods Hole

I'm exhausted. I've entertained friends from Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. We had a blast!

We had to mail something to England and went to a UPS store. In a corner, leaning against the wall, were a stack of water color paintings. I went over to look at them. I recognized most of the places, the water colorist depicted. I happened to express the fact that I'd love to have one of the paintings. My friend, Tricia, bought it for me. Wowza! Ask and you shall receive! Thank you, Jesus!

I chose one of Nobska Light House.

Since we weren't doing anthing except driving around sight seeing, I took them down the shore to see Nobska Light House. Need I tell you that they were enthralled. They "oooh and aaahh" all along the coast. We ended up in Woods Hole.

We saw the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, the drawbridge, the ferry, that ship that sticks out of a building, the Helical Man, the sculture of the Scientists. These were all things I haven't seen in awhile. When you live down the Cape, you get immune to its beauty. They gave me new eyes to appreciate what I've got.

I am very blessed.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer Speaker Series 2009

I'm down the Cape with friends. We're together specifically to see Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP speak. He is a theologian, author and the former Master General of the Order of Preachers. The best attribute he has is that he is an excellent speaker. His English understated manner is quite engaging.

Click on the link I've made above and watch Radcliffe's Talk and you'll see what I mean.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe

Today I met, and conversed with, and held hands with, and received Communion from: none other than Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. That's right! THE Timothy Radcliffe! The famous theologian, the author of What Makes Us Christian, I Call You Friends, Why Go To Church,etc..

He came to Chapter today. He celebrated Mass for us. He hung around and chatted with everybody.

After Chapter, he went to Sister Ruth's cookout. In this picture he is standing between Helen Tice and myself. (Notice I'm holding his hand.)

I also got him to autograph my copy of Why Go To Church.

Need I tell you that he's approachable, personable, and just plain nice. He seems so gentle and kind and soft spoken.

Tomorrow, I'll be down the Cape to see him at the 2009 Summer Speaker Series. The speaker forum is jointly sponsored by St. Anthony's, Christ the King, and Our Lady of Victory Parishes. Down the Cape I go to St. Anthony's. So I'm looking forward to seeing him, again.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fr. Fleck

Please pray for Fr. Fleck. A friend just emailed me and told me that our friend, former spiritual advisor, had some sort of break down while on retreat. Poor soul.

Father Richard Fleck, O.P. is 81 years old. He's in St. Patrick Manor. My friends and I visit him a few times, a year.

About 20 years ago he had a stroke that left him paralyzed on his left side. He's regressed ever since. Now he's bed ridden and completely dependent on others for all his needs.

You can imagine how depressing this is. He use to be so full of fun. He was once an airplane pilot, you know. Now he can barely pilot his motorized wheel chair.

It must be very lonely for a priest to be in a nursing home. The older you are, the more likely you will have no living relatives or friends. And when you belong to a religious order, you would think that the community would visit. Sometimes, those in nursing homes, fall through the cracks.

Lord have mercy on such as we.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sharing Love

Fr. Costello's homily was very meaningful, this morning. He was talking about how people ask God why He doesn't just give us what we ask for. Why can't He just fix the problem that we've been praying about.

Father said that people just don't understand that part of love is sharing, not fixing. Sharing your pain, is sometimes all that can be done. Father Costello told the story of a mother who gave birth to a baby with no arms. She fed, clothed, and did everything she could for him. But when he was a teenager, she brought him to his bedroom where she had laid out his clothes for him, on the floor. Then she told him to dress himself. She left him alone and closed his door. At first, he asked, "Why?" Then he demanded. He even swore at her. He screamed. He cried. Hours later, he tried to wiggle and use his teeth and feet, and managed to put the clothes on, in some fashion.

Over time, he could dress himself.

Also, he learned that his mother never did leave him alone. All along she had been in the very next room, sharing his pain, and crying.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July

Great beach day! There's so-o-o-o many people and traffic down here on the Cape. I'm in East Falmouth and off our street is an island in Waquoit Bay. That's where our favorite beach is. It's our favorite because not many people go there. You can't get there without a boat.

Well, you should have seen it today! There were too many people. Walking out to the jetty to fish seemed like you were at a Jimmy Buffet concert. Everyone said the bluefish were running, but we didn't catch anything. Jon caught the same scup, six times!

All the boats anchored off the beach made the area look like a harbor. We did learn a new game called "Beer Bottle Frisbee." Our neighbors in the boat next to us were playing it. They stuck two poles in the water. On top of the poles they put beer bottles. They then played frisbee aiming to knock down the beer bottle. They had a Labrador Retriever that kept swimming off with the frisbee.

Mark and Eric didn't bother with the boat, except to go tubing. They swam to the island. For some reason the horse flies attacked Tanya, until she jumped in the water. No one else even saw a horsefly. The sunblock I put on sweated down into my eye. That was terrible. Twice I stuck my face in the salt water and swam with my eyes open, just hoping to wash it out. That helped, but it was still bothering me. Gradually, the irritation ebbed away.

After supper, everyone went their separate ways to go to their favorite "fireworks watching spot." Dick and I went to the end of Seacoast Blvd. Mark, Eric, Mike, and Christine went to Falmouth Heights. Karen and Marc went to Bristol Beach. Cheryl, Jon, Ellis, Leo, and Tanya went to Menauhant Beach; they did some night fishing, too. When Mark and his group came home they had Jacob with them. Finally! We were expecting him all day.

Everybody said the fireworks weren't as good as last year's. They were O.K. I wonder how Franklin's Fireworks will be, on Monday night.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Great Wiffle Ball Game

We're down the Cape for the Fourth. Everybody and their girl/boy friend came down, too. We have a full house. Well, that's what we have the cottage for. We didn't do much today. The day was spent waiting in traffic to get down here. Then Dick and I took inventory of the food stocks and he went shopping. The cat, Dallas, hates it. She's been snarling and growling and meowing all day. Now she's hiding in one of the built in bunk bed drawers.

For supper we cooked steak on the grill, corn on the cob, grilled the potatoes--like they were baked, the cole slaw and potato salad were store bought, however. Cheryl tasted and remarked, "Ma, you're slumming it." Cheryl really, really, loves my potato salad; and all it is is mayo, potatoes, and onion. Cheryl brought down a batch of brownies, she made this morning.

One of Mark's friends is even shyer than he is. Do you believe it? He's very nice. He insisted on doing the dishes. (We ruff it down here--no dishwasher.) Everybody else went outside and played whiffle ball in the street. It's safe. There's only a few houses on the street. No one would venture down here unless they lived here.

Watching them play gave me wiffle-ball-lust. I wanted to play in the worst way. But no one asked me. I didn't ask to play because if I were their age I wouldn't want an old fart playing, besides, I had my share of playing in my day. Now it's their turn.

The pictures are of the outfield and then the other side. Jon in black is one pitcher. Mark in green is the other pitcher. I liked the one of Christine whiffing it! She's a little thing, but can she hit. All 95 pounds of her are thrown into that swing. She can catch, too--quick reflexes.

Watching them play brought back so many good memories. I taught these kids to play. Me! I showed them how to hit. I remember they wouldn't play unless I played with them. Look at them, now. Then all the baseball and softball games that I drove to. Years and years of being. a softball/baseball/soccer/hockey/basketball Mom. All my kids are jocks. Look at them, now.

I'm a proud Momma.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Owen and Mzee are a hippopotamus and a tortoise, who have been talked, written, watched, read, and blogged about for a few years, now. It's all because of their friendship, which began when Owen, as a baby hippo became orphaned during the Indian Ocean earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004. Owen was rescued by a man named Owen, hence his name, and brought to Lafarge Eco Systems' Facility.

Owen was released into penned-in area with a pond AND a tortoise named Mzee (Swahili for "wise old man").

Owen immediately bonded to Mzee, who at first ignored Owen. Eventually, Mzee gradually got use to Owen. Soon they became friends.

In the first year, the two have become inseparable companions who eat, sleep, swim, and play together. They have surprised scientists with the strength of what appears to be a genuine bond, as well as a unique vocal communication that has developed between them.

Owen and Mzee have also become worldwide celebrities as a result of their astonishing behavior, captured on film and video primarily by BBC photographer Peter Greste. Two picture books, Owen and Mzee: The true story of a remarkable friendship and Owen & Mzee: Language Of Friendship, both published by Scholastic Press, and authored by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Paula Kahumbu were released in February 2006 and January 2007.

As of March 2007, Mzee was removed from the enclosure. A female hippopotamus named Cleo has been added to provide companionship for Owen. They have moved out of the tortoises' neighborhood and have their own place, now.

To me that means that Mzee did a good job of parenting. That's the job of a parent--to bring up healthy, happy and independent children.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One Good Thing About Rain

I can't remember it raining so much. I own two raincoats. Both are soaking wet.

Today, while running from the car to the house, dodging rain drops, I spotted the tiger lillies. Gorgeous!

I just had to go inside and get my camera.

Almost makes the rain worthwhile. But c'mon--enough's enough!

A Priest's Day

Here is the book review I promised on Monday, for Death Comes for the Archbishop , by Willa Cather.  She really gets into the nitty-grit...