Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Richard Nethercut

Dick has been missing since September 19th. Prayers are requested. Dick is a much loved, giving person. He facilitated a group in MCI Norfolk on Alternatives to Violence. He lectured against capital punishment. All this is pretty remarkable since his own daughter was raped and murdered.

Dick thinks you can not justify killing. A life for a life diminishes human kind.

Last night he won the award Volunteer of the Year, at the prison. It was pretty sad to realize that he wasn't there to receive it.

Where is he?

Today is the Feast of the Archangels: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. May they guide Dick home.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Volunteer Appreciation Night

MCI Norfolk had Volunteer Appreciation Night, tonight. It was a very nice time. We volunteers were honored by the Department of Correction Staff. We got to meet the Administration. We had a meal prepared by the inmates. We even listened to a few speeches by the inmates themselves, telling us what our presence means to them. You can tell these speakers belong to Toastmasters because they were excellent. Good job.

It was good to have a night like this because sometimes it's not easy being a volunteer in a prison. Those who are visiting don't understand our role. They see us waiting, wearing badges and think we're prison officials, and as such are "the enemy." At the least, they resent the time we take going through security. Time that could be better used for their own visit. And the guards, the prison officers think of us as "the enemy," also. They align us siding with the inmates.

So times like tonight are valuable. It validated my beliefs.

But there was a pall of sadness on the festivities. Last Friday, there was another inmate suicide. Prayers are requested for Michael.

Also, throw up some prayers for Richard Nethercutt. He actually won "Volunteer of the Year Award." But he wasn't there. He's been missing since Friday. His car was found but no sign of him. Richard facilitated the group: Alternatives to Violence. How ironic would it be if he were the victim of foul play.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life isn't Perfect

Today, the Parish Council was sent on a retreat. Sister Dorothea told us a story that just didn't sit well with me. I know that what bothered me wasn't the point, so I didn't say anything. But it just "goes up one side of me, and down the other," rubbing the wrong way.

Sister Dorothea said she goes to sleep listening to the radio and the speaker once told a story where he had finished a show (he was an entertainer) and returned to his hotel, the Ritz Carlton. It was past midnight. He rang up room service and order supper. When room service came, the guest noticed that the condiments were missing. He complained--rather unkindly. The bus boy, or whatever you call the person who works for room service, responded, "Life's not perfect."

The response rendered the man speechless. He didn't know what to say. The more he thought about it, the more he regretted his cranky reprimand. In fact, this was a life changing declaration. "Life's not perfect."

That was the end of Sister Dorothea's story.

However, it left a bad taste and feeling in my mouth. This was an example of poor customer service. It could have been cause for firing. Maybe the bus boy belonged to a union and felt secure. But I belong to a union and while I may not be fired, I would have been written up. I would have had to have a "hearing." We union members up on the seniority scale are forever being shot at. Management would love an excuse to fire us. We're "maxed" out, salary wise. If one of us left, cheaper employees could be hired at minimum wage. Better still, two part timers would be hired at 19 hours. In that way, no benefits would be paid.


Sometimes religious life just isn't real.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Bargain


Saturday, September 26
Preview at 8AM
Changed to 8AM because of the multitude of items
Live Auction at 10AM
St. Thomas Parish Hall
974 Main Street (Rt. 109) Millis
(Parking across the street)

Antiques, collectibles, jewelry, furniture, artwork, Musical Instruments, Fine China, Gift Items, Holiday Items, Pottery, Silver, Glassware, Vintage Postcards and Buttons,Collector Dolls, Gift Certificates and Lots of LOTS!
Must be present to win
For more information call 508-376-9923

Over 400 Plus Lots!
Keep Watching for More Pictures!

Bethany House Ministries Inc. is a 501 C 3 non profit charitable organization

Today I went to my first auction. I loved it! I spent half a day there. The preview was at 8:00 AM and it ended at 3:00 PM.

I was only going to spend an hour.

I wasn't going to buy anything.

You see, Sisters Kathleen and Ruth operate a second hand store. The proceeds of which go to programs for prisoners and their families. Ruth is in my chapter and besides, I like to help out with her ministry--Bethany House Ministries. So Kathleen and Ruth had so much stuff accumulated that they decided to have an auction--not really knowing what that entailed. Well, it morphed once it was advertised. People started donating items. A professional auctioneer donated his services. A church hall had to be rented to hold everything. Ruth says this was their first, and last, auction. It was too much work.

I couldn't believe how cheap everything went. The point was to get rid of the stuff. I had my eye on a "secretary". It went for $180.00. I wasn't planning on really buying anything so I couldn't bid that high. The only reason I was there was to show my support.

But I did buy something. My daughter Karen, who just got married, received so much china and glassware, that she expressed the wish that she needed a china closet, or a hutch. Actually, that "secretary" that I had my eye on is what I had in mind, for a china closet. The auction did have one china closet, but it was way bigger than the "secretary," so I didn't think I had a chance in bidding for it. I also knew who had donated it, too. And the reason it was donated was because she had downsized; she had sold her house and bought a condo. And the stuff she donated was quality. She had some very dear things.

When the china closet was up for bidding, a lot of chatter was going on. The noise made it hard to hear the auctioneer. Someone opened with $5. The auctioneer asked for ten and I raised my hand. He asked for $ 15--again $ 15--"Do I hear $15?" There was so much noise that I don't think anyone was paying attention. It was kinda surreal. "Sold for $ 10." Then on to the next item.

I sat there stunned. I turned to Ray on my right and said, "I just bought that china closet for $10". He said, "huh?" I turned to Sue on my left and said, "I just bought that china closet for $ 10." She just smiled and shook her head.

I thought about it and realized that I must have misunderstood. The auctioneer must have started at $100 and I must have bid $110.

Another possibility was I had bought something else for $10. Something made out of china.

I didn't know what to think until I noticed my bidding # placed on the china closet. So I did own it, but for $ 10 or $ 110.

I went to pay for it and it was $ 10!

The rest of the auction I think I was in a stupor. I didn't buy anything else. But I saw people buy Lenox and Gorham for $ 10, $ 20. There were unbelievable bargains. Towards the end, stuff was bunched together, just to sell it, i.e., a table with a vase and with a picture. All were sold together for one price like $ 10. At the very end, everything left or that didn't sell was put on a table and we were told to go help ourselves.

The auction made me think that I've wasted my life buying new. I've paid much, much, much more for new items in stores that are not quality items, like those sold at this auction. I'm a convert, now.

And Karen loved the china closet.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Real Men Aren't Afraid to Cry

One of my favorite blogs has been Kicking and Screaming, which is written by a Paulist Seminarian. The blog journals Tom's life in the seminary. He makes me laugh, think, and pray for him.

Anyway, I was drawn to read an old post of his from a couple of years back, on...I'd say "discernment." He was bitching and moaning on "moving forward." One statement resonated with me: "I'm afraid to express, tears that a part of me thinks will not make me a man if I cry, a loss of control my ego is not comfortable with, and a fear of losing love in my life."

Don't you think that's sad? Thank God I'm a woman and can freely cry and be emotional when the occasion calls for it. Women are blessed not to have that hangup. (Ha! Take that AQ)

I've seen my husband cry a few times, when the occasion demanded it. When Shanana died, his sister died, at Cheryl and Karen's wedding, and at a very personal moment. Dick makes fun of me crying at cartoons, parades, and baseball games but it's affectionate teasing. But he holds me when I need it and he's not afraid to cry himself. Thank you Lord.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Proof That There is a God

The author of What Makes Us Catholic,Thomas H. Groome, came to Chapter, today. He told us a story that explains what Aquinas said in his proof of God's existence.

Thomas and his son, Teddy were walking the beach. They came to some rocks and eddys and were looking around, and climbing, and came across a man-made little bridge some kids or someone obviously must have made. It was a plank of wood stretching across a little pool of water. It ran across two of the larger rocks, about equal size, with rocks placed on top to hold the plank steady.

Teddy exclaimed, "Daddy look. Someone made a bridge!"

Tom said, "How do you know someone made it? Maybe it just happened"

Teddy was incredulous that his father couldn't see the obvious. How could a plank of wood even exist on the beach? How could it just happen to land across this water, in this position, on these two rocks? How could rocks used as weights just happen to land in position to hold the plank steady?


It is obvious that this bridge was made by somebody.

Likewise, are we and our universe.

Right, AQ?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

God's Ways


In my last post, I gushed over Karen's wedding. A few days later, my 24 year old nephew died. The newspaper will say he died suddenly. He's young and his veins were blown in a culture that lied and lured his youth away.

My daughter is starting a new life. My son is on vacation in Spain. My other child is happy and secure. My nephew is dead.

God's ways are not my ways, that's for sure. I'm only looking at my little part of the world wide history that God has ordered. Who am I to question?

I just want to thank you, Lord, for Cheryl, Karen and Mark.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Prison Cemetery

It's called Shady Nook, and it's down a little used road, next to the town's sewage plant. Nothing much to look at except dead, dry grass, dead leaves and bare earth. Trash and broken bottles, discarded cups, used condoms, and such lie besides graves. There doesn't seem to be much order in the arrangements of the graves. Random crosses with no inscriptions. No names, just prison numbers mark the final resting place of a dead inmate. Who cares? Isn't this the final indignity?

Here is a wooden cross made from two pieces of wood just taped together with "RIP" written in marker. We have taken away a name and made this human being a number. Here lies the proof.

What does this say about us, our society, our civilization?

Lord, have mercy on us.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Sacrament to Celebrate

It's finished. The wedding and reception have finally come and gone. It was great! Everything just pulled together. Even the weather cooperated, and we had it all--typical New England weather. In the morning it was pouring. The rain was blowing sideways because it was so windy. We were up early and running over to the reception hall to decorate. Then off to the church to drop off the flowers. Somewhere in there the rain stopped and the sun tried to come out. But the moisture in the air just created a thick fog. But the wind blew it away and then died down so when the limo and trolley arrived to take everyone to church, it was nice.

The Mass was beautiful even if the priest forgot Karen's name. He was nervous and embarrassed and said that had never happened to him before. This is very funny because Fr. David Denton (St. Pius X Church in S. Yarmouth, MA)was just ordained in June and this was his second wedding. The readings were Tobit 8: 4b-8, Hebrews 13: 1-4a, 5-6b, and the homily was about the sacrament of marriage.

Oh, the aisle was too long for the ring bearer. He only made it half way and his mommy had to carry him the rest of the way. The white runner looked great but didn't after everyone walked on it going to Communion. It ripped causing it to be a hazard. Fortunately, no one fell.

When we left the church the clouds hid the sun and it looked like rain. We took the trolley to the reception (Harbor Point, Cummaquid, MA)and it was fun, especially riding the highway on a trolley. We managed to take all the outdoors photos that we wanted and when we went inside, it rained, again. It rained and rained. Then it was thundering and lightening. We had it all. Just like a marriage: sunny days, showers, rain, windy and even a thunder storm.

The reception itself rocked! Mostly everyone was a dancer. Being drinkers helped, too. Everybody had a good time. The disc jockey was Bobby Costello and he made the party. So did the groom's father. He and Bobby danced and sang and never let up.

What a great time!

I'm glad it's over. I feel very, very blessed. Thank you Jesus. Again.

As I type, the bride and groom are honeymooning in St. Martin's, the Dutch side.

May God bless them.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wedding Jitters

I'm not nervous. In fact I had the best sleep, last night, than I've had all week. But not so the bride. I called her this morning to find out the address of the hair salon we're going to. She said she had to look it up on her computer.

While we were waiting for her computer to warm up, jump through its hoops, etc., we chatted. We talked about "sleep," jewelry, and how she wasn't nervous at all, then she said, "Well, bye, see you tonight."

"Wait, WAIT!" I said. "You never gave me the address you're looking up."

"Oh yeah...."

And she said she didn't have the jitters.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Questions Only God Can Answer

When I meet God, I am going to ask him
two questions: Why relativity?
And why turbulence? I really believe
he will have an answer for the first.

- W. Heisenberg

What do you call the little sayings at the end of emails? Addendums? Whatever they are, the above quote is one of them. I found it at the bottom of this email.

It got me thinking.

Only two questions to ask God, I have a list!

The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that there's really only one question.

Why did you ever put that snake in the garden?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Three More Days

There's an old Buddy Holly song that goes, "It's a gettin closer, goin faster than a roller coaster.."

The wedding is only THREE days away! Yikes! I think we're all ready. I've just finished making cranberry muffins for the welcome bags (something new, which I still don't get...oh, well) and ramen noodle salad. Tomorrow I'll make the potato salad for the rehersal dinner. Then that's it. I just have to get myself and hubby there.

The readings are speacial, I think: Tobit 8: 4b-8 and Hebrews 13:1-4a, 5-6b. I hope people are listening and are moved. I hope the wedding couple find meaning in them.

I also pray that the priest is kind and compassionate and makes everyone, (all my religion impaired relatives) feel good about the sacrament of marriage and the Eucharist, and feel the urge to go to church more often. This I pray.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The President's Speech

Have you read or heard the President's speech?
I don't see what the criticism is about. I think it's a good idea that every President should do from now on.

What is noteworthy, however, is the criticism. People are afraid that Obama is indoctrinating the children into his personality cult. Read the speech. Where do they see that? But it's the fact that people are suspicious. That tells me that he has a problem.

A serious problem!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Who lights the lamp?

My parish is participating in the Arise Together in Christ program sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston. For the past two sessions we've hung this banner up to encourage, remind and support the parish Arise program. Since the last session, to this week, this banner was missing. See, we've changed pastors and didn't know what was done with it.

The church custodian suggested some places that proved futile. The members of the Arise team tried to remember where we put it. The former pastor was contacted and his suggestion proved to be wrong. Regular church goers were asked if they knew...until we asked John.

Thank you, John.

The point is, who lights the lamp, sweeps the house and searches except God Himself?

Luke 15:8-10 The story of the woman who lost a coin and tears the (church), house apart looking for it, now has new meaning for me. It isn't the value of the lost coin, or the lost smelly sheep, or the banner, it's what it represents.

The banner was a visible sign of us trying to get closer to God. While the banner was displayed, the praying for the program continued. For six weeks, this sign reminds us that St. Mary's parish community is working for its salvation and the salvation of others. It is so much more than a piece of vinyl, a small coin, a smelly sheep.

Thank you St. Anthony for your intercessory prayers. Thank you, Jesus.



by: John Banister Tabb (1845-1909)

HE sweetest warblers -- one in light,
And one in darkness, screened from sight--
By voice alone prevail;
So let the poet sing his song,
As far secluded from the throng
As lark or nightingale.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good Bye, I Love You

Bernice, my Facebook friend had a post about how shocked she was about her co-worker's exclamation that she was sick of hearing, "God Bless You," as a good-bye.

Well, it made me smile because it reminded me of a story. It is the custom in my family to say, "Good-bye, I Love You." We say it on the telephone. We sign our e-mails and tweets, that way. We say it upon leaving the house. In fact, it has become so commonplace that it really means nothing. It's like saying "Have a nice day."

One day at work, I answered the telephone to what turned out to be a wrong number. I relayed the information that this was not the correct number and automatically finished with, "Good bye, I love you."


You know what he said?

"I love you, too!"

We laughed and hung up.

I think this is what Bernice's co-worker was trying to articulate. "God bless you," as good-bye, has become as trite as "Have a nice day."

Not that we should stop saying, "Good bye, I love you," or "God bless you," or even "Have a nice day;" they're good sentiments. But when one is in a foul mood, any cheery well wish gets on your nerves.

Say it any way.

"Have a good one."

Smile from Eternity

Do you want to put a smile on your face?

Read the story of the death of Joseph of Vatopedi and how the monks prepared his body. They were distressed because his mouth was open and they couldn't shut it.

You have to be there--go here.

Made my day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Solidarity with Bui Thanh Hieu

Fr. Tim Finigan, who writes the blog: The Hermeneutic of Continuity asks that bloggers post about a catechumen of the Archdiocese of Hanoi, Bui Thanh Hieu, who writes under the pen name Nguoi Buon Gio, which means “Wind Trader.” He has been arrested and detained for criticising the Vietnamese government's distortion of the Pope's speech to the Vietnamese Bishops at their Ad Limina visit.

The Wind Trader needs our support and the Vietnamese government needs to know that its distortion of the Holy Father's message is not acceptable..

VietCatholic news: Pope's speech distorted, catechumen, dissident bloggers arrested

See also the CNA article Vietnamese blogger arrested for challenging media distortions of Pope's speech

Help our Cardinal

Our Cardinal Archbishop, Sean Patrick O'Malley has been receiving a lot of flack over ministering to the grieving. IOW, his presence at Ted Kennedy's funeral has been criticized severely in the most vituperating language.

And this is exactly why he went. The tone between the pro-life people and the pro-abortion people is very divisive. To say it's not helpful is too mild a description. His presence is a plea "for greater civility among Catholics when discussing divisive issues....these attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church."

"Our ability to change people's hearts and help them to grasp the dignity of each and every life, from the first moment of conception to the last moment of natural death, is directly related to our ability to increase love and unity in the church, for our proclamation of the truth is hindered when we are divided and fighting with each other."

If you agree, I suggest that you go to Cardinal Sean Patrick's blog and leave a positive comment of support, to balance off the critical judgements that are there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Women's Ordination

The Cincinnati Enquirer has an article about a religious sister who works for Archdiocese of Cincinnati. She's working towards the ordination of women. Archbishop Pilarcyck ordered her to stop.

I don't know about you. But when you work for a company you don't oppose the company. You'd get fired. The Cincinnati Enquirer has posted a POLL for readers to express whether or not they support the ordination of women.

You know that women can't be ordained. The Church, faithful to Christ, has no authority to ordain women. This is the Church’s infallible teaching.

I'm asking you to go to the article. Find the box that gives the POLL, and vote NO.

Click here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Yesterday shouldn't define you. The lessons one learns in life are sometimes learned only the hard way. It is our response that counts.

Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

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...