Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ted Kennedy, RIP

It's raining steadly, softly, and sentimentally. It reminds me of Ireland. Teddy would have liked it this way. It was appropriate because the people in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are mourning. Ted Kennedy's funeral was today. The Funeral Mass was beautiful.

Mission Churche is one of my favorite churches. I went there more than a few times for Father McDonough's services. I went to a couple of prayer meetings, too. My son's apartment was on top of Mission Hill, when he went to school. The Little Brothers live there. (They're the Franciscans who wear the denim habits.) I know the place, pretty well. I can see why Teddy was comforted, there.

We may not have always been in the same political camp as our late senator, but he was our senator. Massachusetts was always served well, as all the testimonies at his wake testify. He lived Matt. 25:35-36. One of the political analysts commentating on the funeral said his research gathered more than 60 pages worth of accomplishments.

Another commentator gave a shrewd opinion. She noted that Ted's death caused a halt to the Town Hall debates on health care. A much needed halt to the emotional shouting. This was a time out. After the burial, maybe both sides can get together and talk, not shout, and better, listen.

But for now, it's a time for prayer for Teddy and his family. Of course, there are those who can't get over his pro abortion stance, the Mary Jo accident, and other failings. But Catholics trust in the onmipotence of God. They know God is all merciful, just, and loving. We place ourselves and those we love, in His hands. And so we do with Teddy.

Teddy was like that too. He loved everybody. That included political enemies. Some people can't do that, and don't believe that there are people who can. That's their problem. Thank you, Lord for Teddy. We loved the sinner.

May I leave my Irish prayer for Ted:

May your neighbors respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.

Somewhere in Nantucket sound, the clouds are parting just a bit, to let the sun dip over the Mya's yardarm.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Exercise and Eat and Don't feel Guilty

I belong to T.O.P.S.--Take Off Pounds Sensibly. Today it's my turn to give a program. A program is just a "Talk." I'll be talking about an interesting Time article.

Losing Weight:Can Exercise Trump Genes? is a study that was conducted on 704 Amish people. Why Amish? I dunno...maybe because they're all in one place. But the researchers felt this group reflected the general public. They were looking for the FT0 gene, which is associated with obesity and high body mass index--BMI. The study saw that some had two copies of a fattening variant, and these people were 67% more likely to be obese. However, there were some with the same two variants and were not fat. The diff? Exercise. But it ain't easy.

Those that weren't over weight, worked A LOT harder. They were out there on the farm an average three hours, a day, more than their skinny counterparts.

So is exercise the answer. I'm not going to kill myself exercising. I'll walk that's about it. I'll watch that I don't over eat. I want to be healthy, not skinny. Been there. It wasn't healthy.

Your health is a gift. Thank God for it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dominican Study Group

Tonight was my turn to facilitate the Study Group. I chose to do a poetry workshop. We worked on:

Creativity--something different, something that'll stay with you.

Cohesiveness--does everything relate, all the metaphors tie together all the way through the poem?

Impact--intuitive response.

Craftsmanship--use of metaphor, assonance, alliteration, form and structure.

Voice--attitude, personality, mood, rhythmic effectiveness.

We all enjoyed it. We laughed a lot. Some wrote silly limericks. Some were serious. Then we judge them all. The winner:


Slot machines galore
and poker's downstairs
roulette spins lure
black jack's over there.

Ka-ching, Ka-ching

And the senior citizens
play on and on,
sorry can't join you,
money's all gone!

Told you we had fun.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Today, the Chapter Council met with the candidates who wanted to move forward in their formation. It went very well. It is a humbling experience for us on the Council. Those requesting advancement seem so holy, so prayerful, so dedicated, so good.....

How could we possibly help them? In discussing their faith journey I am awed by how God works--especially in these particular brothers! God is inscrutable. You just can't keep the Holy Spirit down. If God wants you, get ready for a ride. You can resist, which people do, but they only make themselves miserable.

It's so much easier to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. He knows best, anyway.

Omnibus Christus.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Perpetual Adoration

After 40 years, it's baaaaack!

St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine in the Back Bay. See you there.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Catholic Mobilizing Network

Putting the Church’s teaching into action

The Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty was launched on January 25, 2009. It is working in collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Its goal: to put the Church’s teaching about the death penalty into action. It seeks to foster respectful dialogue about this serious life issue by offering educational tools and meaningful actions to schools, parishes, church groups, community groups, and individual leaders and laypersons. Check out their materials. Check out their website and sign on.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

So I'm almost a week late in reading my Pilot, but I do read it. And I did read something that made me want to comment. BTW, I looked up the Pilot on the web and tried to find the article, but couldn't. Frustrating. I wanted to link to it.

Then, I was just going to wing it. I read the article again and noticed that the author, Effie Caldarola wrote for the Catholic News Service. Yep. That's where I found it.

What's the article that made me move my lazy a**?

"The Alaska Innocence Project"

Caldarola tells the story of Beverly Monroe. She's a lady who was in prison for seven years for a crime that she didn't commit. Why? Well, sh** happens, i.e., police needing to arrest somebody, public eager to convict, and a legislative system that doesn't like to reverse decisions.

DNA proved her innocence. DNA testing wasn't always available. Some states don't allow post conviction DNA testing. I don't know about MA. I would hope we do. I pray that we do. Mistakes are made, that was the point of Effie Caldarola's article.

The Alaska Innocence Project helps to exonerate innocent people. Innocence projects are all over the US. God bless these people. It's a worthy cause.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Traditional Prayers

Fellow blogger, Fr. Philip Neri Powell, O.P. has a little book that is scheduled to be released this Friday. It's a treasury of traditional Catholic prayers. It makes for a handy reference. It would be a good gift for anyone, never mind new converts. For a sample of a few pages, Liguori Press has allowed these ten pages to be viewed.


All proceeds from the book go to the Southern Province of the Order of Preachers.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Thanks to Fr. Blake's Blog, for the Picture. It's the swelling that hurts. I remember a funny story (at least in my family). My mother was told, after her stroke, to not let her hand hang down; it would get swollen. Well, it was getting swollen, and we'd tell her to keep it up. We all told her. We told her a hundred times a day.

One evening as we watched TV, my Dad told my Mom, AGAIN, "Keep your hand, UP!"

You see, the fluid from your arm will pool in your hand if you constantly let it hang. And while she was watching TV she could have put her arm on the pillow on the arm rest. But she wasn't.

Dad had had it.

Oh, oh........
Dad leaves the room. He comes back with a hammer and a large nail.

Our eyes opened wide.

My mother's jaw dropped.

Then Dad took my mother's swollen hand, grasped her sleeve, and continued to nail her sleeve to the wall. Yep, the wall.

My mother was yelling, "You're Crazy!"

We were all ROFL.


Saturday, August 15, 2009


God is glorified in Mary, who was taken into heaven and intercedes for us in her loving kindness.

I just love the saint on the left.

St. Dominic you chose Mary to be the patroness of your Order of Preachers. May her mantle always cover us with the fullness of grace to bring His Word to the world.

O Lord, you chose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus and the mother of the Church. Bless all of us who follow her example and bring Christ to the world.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Memories of St. Stephen's

I've been reminiscing about when I met Fr. Fleck. He was the spiritual promoter for our Lay Dominican Chapter meeting, at St. Stephen's Priory. Now, not only do I miss Fr. Fleck, but I'm still heartsick over the closing of the priory. That's how Fr. Fleck felt, too. We use to cry together and console each other. Now.........

Memories of St. Stephen's

It's been a year now, the door to the priory
closed. Plants in bright uniforms, which use to
guard the entrance are missing. Sightless windows
search for the statue of St. Dominic.

I drive through the circle driveway,
listening for prayer, looking for
movement, but the stones ae silent,
the fountain dry, and the benches empty.

Cob webs bloom among Queen Anne's lace,
in St. Cecilia's garden. The branches beckon
me to walk the overgrown path to the Charles.
No canoe, no paddle, no contemplation.

Where's the praise for this dusky wood?
Laudare. Benedicere. Praidicare.

I wish.
I pray.
I could.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Father Richard Ambrose Fleck, O.P.

I went to Father Fleck's funeral this morning. I am happy that he's out of his body, which was a true prison for him. I'm happy he's not suffering. But he is the person I would have gone to, to be comforted. What do I do now?

This is one good thing about having faith. The assurance of faith tells me that he is with Christ. May God grant him peace for ever.

We who are left behind must find comfort. I find comfort in poetry. Norman Vicent Peale wrote:

Know that there is no death, that all life in indivisible, that the here and hereafter are one, that time and eternity are inseparable, that this is one unobstructed universe. We are citizens of eternity.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Cardinal O'Malley, in explaining the Portiuncula Indulgence, which is August 2, gives us a good anecdote in explaining indulgences.
"I want to mention something about indulgences, which are often misunderstood. Indulgences are not forgiveness for sin but forgiveness for temporal punishment due to sin.

I like to explain it to people with the following story:

As a child, once I came home very late for dinner. My mother was very upset, and seeing how upset she was, I felt very repentant and I told her that it would never happen again. She told me she forgave me, but as my punishment I would have to do the dishes.

So there was repentance and forgiveness, but there was still punishment.

But, as I started doing the dishes, my nana came in and said, “I will help you.”

That is an indulgence."

And I think I should start paying more attention to indulgences!


Thursday, August 6, 2009


Inside the Monstrance
Love Itself beats a warm pulse
heard inside my heart

His presence is felt
after a while we are One
the Eucharist

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guardian Angels

I was reading this article where the Holy Father jokingly was wondering what his guardian angel was doing when he slipped and fell and broke his wrist.

Well, I've often wondered WTH my guardian angel was doing, also. I hope guardian angels have a sense of humor, because I wrote a poem about my thoughts.

Employment AD

My Guardian Angel up and quit.
I was about to fire her, anyway,
Too lazy.
Always sleeping on the job.

So I have a position open.
Looking for
an angel with a loud voice-
I'm selectively deaf.
Strong hands to hold me back from
wrong choices.
Sharp eyes to see temptation coming.
I don't.
Ability to multi-task because I'm
into a lot.
Thinking on her feet a must, because
I can't.

Pay is according to scale:
Union wage.
Fringe benefits are open to

Three references required:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Bridal Shower

Karen was completely surprised. She really had no idea. The plan was for Dad to call her and say that his car wouldn't start and that he was in the parking lot at the V.F.W., come pick him up. So everything was ready. Dad called. HER CELL WAS OFF! Oh, no, we never thought of that. We knew she was shopping so there was no way to get someone to tell her to turn her phone on.

There was nothing to do except to keep trying to call her number. About half an hour later, he got through. Whew.....

Worried elides into anxiouse.

When she arrived in the parking lot, she started to clear off the passenger seat so that Dad could sit there. (So she really didn't suspect a thing.) She never noticed all the familiar cars parked there. She was clueless.

It was great. She got a lot of nice things. It made her very happy. I finally got to meet her inlaws. Most of them came up from Florida. They're fun people. The wedding reception next month is going to be one "hell" of a party.

This picture is when she walked into the room. SURPRISE!

BTW, she said her cell never was off. It was just that she was in and out of stores in the mall--bad reception.

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...