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Monday, September 27, 2010

A Plea

A plea from Fr. Jeffrey Steel from De Cura Animarum

Please Support the Saint Barnabas Society

I would like to let readers know of a very important charity set up for convert clergy who find their way home to the Catholic Church. There have been a number of men with families who have recently converted or are about to be received into the Catholic church who may undoubtedly benefit from the charitable organisation. With the prospects of many Anglican clergy faced with the important decision about their futures and concerns for family members if they are to make such a move, the society is there to help families settle into their new way of life by gracious grants. These are the gifts of visionaries who have seen the great benefit of helping those who, in faith, make the journey home. As we know, there are numerous former Anglican clergy who are now Catholic priests who faithfully serve the Church in offering Mass and the other sacraments to the faithful. Pope Benedict XVI has recently acknowledged the gifts they bring to the Church by his generosity seen in Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Therefore, can I humbly ask that readers graciously consider supporting the Saint Barnabas Society by making a donation or regular donations to a very important cause. Relieving the anxiety of family responsibilities for clergy who in conscience feel it is time to become united to the See of Peter will do a lot to help comfort them as they make this journey.

Please pass on the St Barnabas Society website and if able, please do make a donation and remember to pray for these men and their families who are stepping out in faith. I also would like to ask, that this post be linked to other blogs so that the word can spread as much as possible. Thank you very much! Please pray for the Society and its work.

Donate Here.
St Barnabas Society is a registered charity.
Registered with the Charity Commission No. 1009910
A Company Limited by guarantee
Registered in England No. 2645233

Also of interest is the American Coming of Home Network.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Miracle of Music

Amazing.  What music can do is utterly amazing.  Hundreds of kids in Venezuela are involved in music.  It's keeping them "clean" and giving them positive senses of accomplishment.

It started with a vision of Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu Anselmi.  He saw the cultural lure of modernization on Venezuelan children.  Alarmed, he applied and received a grant to establish a youth orchestra which would morph into "el sistema or la orquestra."  The State Foundatiion for the National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras (FESNOJIV) operates training and music centers throughout Venezuela -- and the idea is spreading throughout Latin America.

The purpose is to involve kids into something they can be proud of.  Just think of what music teaches: reading, discipline, work, hard work, teamwork, cooperation, etc.  It's a "win-win."

And to think that my own town cut its music program.  Music can make the world "go round."  Let's reconsider our educational focus and promote music as a core subject.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Partisan Politics

I was posting about how the media will slant the news you hear and see.  In particular, I was using the Pro-Life movement as an example.  From what I see  happening right now, I'm worried.

I'm worried because I see division in the Pro-Life ranks.  It is true that Republicans are fighting the Democrats for seats in the up-coming elections.  But the Pro-Life movement shouldn't be Republican or Democrat.  There are Pro-Life Democrats.

I'm sick of partisan politics.  I'm sick of the bilious campaign attacks that bombard the TV waves.  Aren't you?

I've actually seen bumper stickers that read "You can't be Pro-Life and Democrat."  What do you call the Pro-Life Democrats?  The Democrats for Life in America?  Reasonable Pro-Lifers will work together to change attitudes toward abortion, regardless of which party holds a majority. 

Dividing the Pro-Life movement into political parties may make the news, but I fear it will hold long-term consequences for the unborn.  Yes Republicans and Democrats have different political philosophies, but that should not interfere with their mutual cause of protecting life. 

Don't vote Republican or Democrat, vote Pro-Life.  That's the most basic issue.  If a politician can't support the most vulnerable, how can you trust him/her to have your interest in mind?

Book Review

There are some people, I would guess, who have left the church and would like to come back.  They’re thinking about it, but don’t know how to go about it.  This book, Why God Matters, by Karina Lumbert Fabian and Deacon Steven Lumbert is the “home free” ticket.  I’m recommending this book to the RCIA leaders in my parish.  It’s perfect for Catholic “newbies.”
      One of the appeals is the format.  Readers are not bogged down in doctrinal “vaticanese.”  Each chapter begins with a Life Lesson, which offers some thoughts and/or sometimes suggestions that prepare you for the story.  After the Life Lesson is a Scripture reference. Then a quote from the Catechism.  Lastly, is the story by either Karina Lumbert Fabian, or her Dad, Deacon Lumbert.  That’s it—5 pages. 
     The stories themselves reveal a journey of faith that everyone will find something to identify with.  They seem to cover everything.  One of my favorites was Chapter Six, “Does God Send Flowers?”.   Karina tells the story of having a bad day when the door bell rings with a flower delivery for her.  They were a birthday gift of flowers from her in-laws, but she knew it was from God giving her just what she needed. 
     I have a similar story, where I was really trying very hard to love praying the Rosary.  One day, I had planned to be alone for an afternoon so that I could concentrate, once and for all, on praying a really, really, good Rosary.  I knelt down in the middle of the living room floor and swore to myself that I wouldn’t allow any distractions, whatsoever.  Then the door bell rung.  I couldn’t believe it!  I thought that damn bell was broken.  Who would be ringing my doorbell?  It was a flower delivery of a dozen roses.  My children were sending a dozen roses for my wedding anniversary.  And I also knew that the Rosary was symbolized as a garland of roses.  I too, like Karina, knew God had sent them.
     I used the book as a daily reflection.  It would be good for Eucharistic Adoration, too.  There’s plenty of meditation.  Buy it; read it; enjoy it; and pray with it.  It will bring you closer to God.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yes or No on Celibacy

Does celibacy mean that you can't marry, that you can't have sex, that you can't fantasize, that you can't masturbate, that you can't participate in social occasions, that you can't talk about sex, etc..

The New York Times is conducting a poll.  What they'll do with it is anybody's guess.  (See yesterday's post on Media Manipulation).  Click on the above link and vote.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Media Manipulation

Back in the day, somewhere, sometime, I remember learning "Believe half of what you see; and none of what you hear."  I always believed that meant to half believe what I read, and don't believe any hearsay.

Recently, I've come to realize that when it comes to TV news, which is seeing and hearing, you shouldn't believe any thing.  The manipulation sometimes is so obvious.  In order to get a balanced view you need to watch at least a couple of news channels, or read different newspapers.  You can't just read the ones you agree with, or you'll soon notice your friends and relatives avoiding you.  You'll become narrow minded.

I've been to the same Town Council meetings that a newspaper reported has been and when I read what they wrote, you'd never know we were at the same meeting.  And it's not just different perspective, it's deliberately slanting what transpired to attract an audience.  That's manipulation.

For some reason, goodness isn't news.  Only the bad is reported.  If something good is ever reported it's given minimal space.  The last episode I was involved in was the March for Life, Jan 22, 2010.  It was the biggest yet.  It was hardly given any notice on TV.  Those that did mention it, said it was a small crowd.  Small!!! I couldn't find an empty seat in the Basilica.  I repeat, THE BASILICA!!!   It was also said that the crowd was small because the supporters were getting too old to walk and they were dying out.  Does the picture above look like old people?  This was my bus, and no I wasn't chaperoning a bunch of high schoolers, this was St. Brendan's parish bus. 

The media for some reason doesn't report fairly.  It's owners or stock holders must have a set agenda and deliberately slant the news.  It's like the news in a communist country only reporting what the government says.  Only it's not the government, it's some other influential entity.  If you're involved in the pro-life fight you'd know what I'm saying is true.  

Maybe because the news is a "product."  It has to sell.  So some things that are really no one's business are reported ad naseum: Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith's baby, O.J. Simpson, etc..  See how the news is blown out of proportion?  The news is actually censored.  News like Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the famous pro-abortionist, changing to pro-life, Norma McCorvey - the famous Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, changing to pro-life, or people like Gianna Jessen who was aborted but survived, are fantastic, wonderful stories.  But they are deemed unpopular and don't get the attention they deserve.  The media is trying to manipulate us.

Sometimes, the media will tell the stories of the most extreme to influence you.  This is propaganda.  Then polls will be conducted with questions asked in such a way as to skewer the results.  These unfair results will be quoted to tell everyone what everyone thinks.  

Don't fall for it.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

B16 and History

Father Z's posting this morning on So a Pope and an Archbishop Walk Into an Abbey... made me smile.  I love history.  Heck, I majored in it.

Father tells us that when the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams processed down the aisle of Westminister Abbey, the Pope was wearing a stole from Pope Leo XIII.

So,  Pope Leo XIII was the Pope that declared that Anglican ordinations were invalid.


Everyone was applauding the true successor of St. Peter.  Don't you love just love history?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Choose Life

Dear Friends,

Please pray for at least a good end for Teresa Lewis who is to be executed by the Commonwealth of Virginia at 8:30 PM, Thursday, September 23, for the murder of her husband Julain Lewis and stepson C.J. Lewis.  Statements as to why clemency was requested are at < > and < >, detailed description of the crime and circumstances, if of interest, at < >.  In any case, please pray for the repose of her soul, her convicted co-conspirators Matthew J. Shallenberger and Rodney L. Fuller, and the victims.

Spitz: Wellesley murderer reflects on prison life - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News

Spitz: Wellesley murderer reflects on prison life - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News

The best people to help prisoners are prisoners themselves. Groups like the ones mentioned in this article will work if given the chance. Prisoner advocating groups from the inside can better prepare inmates than the placement situations awaiting them when they're paroled. Often times there is nothing--you're on your own. Other times, over staffed, under paid, or volunteers try to find employment and housing for the prisoners. The job's almost impossible without the cooperation of some sort of structure inside the prison.
Just about everyone would agree that the aim of incarceration is the protection of society and the rehabilitation of the prisoner. That's the goal, not hide the prisoner and forget about him.
Suicide is a cry for help.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wishing a Mountain were a Mole Hill

A group of friars was mountain climbing.  It didn't take long, before they were utterly lost.  One of them took out the map and studied it.  He turned it upside down, sideways and every-which-way.  He spread it out on the ground, and sighted landmarks.  He consulted a compass and figured in the path of the sun.
   Finally he announced, "Look, see that big mountain over there?"
   "Yes," they said in unison.
   "Well, we're standing on top of it."

Sunday, September 19, 2010


The guy wearing this shirt is a dope.  Can't he be clever at least, like the cute man wearing the "Drop the Filoque" sign on the Fox news web-site.  

Greg Burke writes about the sign held by Toby Guise.  (Sorry I can't post it.  The pic is sideways and I don't know how to turn it counter-clockwise.)  Anyway, the history behind the "Filoque" is an old argument between the Orthodox and the Roman Churches.  The Romans argue that the Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son.  The Orthodox say it is from the Father, only.

Well, how many angels really do sit on the head of a pin?

More Red Shoes

The red shoes, again. (See September 16th posting.) There definitely isn't a cross on them.  I would suggest to his clothes designer to add a cross and a heel.  He is short, so he needs the height.  I'm not talking spike heels like women's shoes.  And make the shoes more boot like.  No, not cowboy boots.  B16 ain't no cowboy.

Do you think he wears red sandals in the summer?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

So Near, Yet So Far

Wouldn't you love to know what's going on in their heads?

What a historic moment!

The last time I saw Archbishop Rowan Williams on TV, he was a little testy over the Anglicans that had swum the Tiber.  So is he greeting a friend or a threat?

But as B16 said, he didn't come to highlight the differences; he's making a pastoral visit.
Read his speech here.

Faith of Our Parents

I was very happy to see that the Mass celebrant this morning, at the Abbey, was Fr. Ted Kofitse.  He use to be assigned to my parish.  I miss him.  Boy, do I miss him!  A lot!

It's been a few years, so I didn't know if he remembered me.  So after Terce, I went over to him to see if he remembered me, he said, "Of course I remember you.  I'll never forget you."

Father Ted Kofitse and Deacon Dick Delio

"Oh no, what gaffe did I do, now?"

Father Ted remember me because I went up to him once and told him that I was sick of singing "Faith of Our Fathers."  You see, there's no music at the 7:00 AM Mass.  It didn't matter.  Father Ted made us sing, anyway.  He has a good voice, but "fer cryin out loud" it was 7:00 AM.  And since more than a few times during the week, it's some saints feast or memorial, we sang "Faith of Our Fathers," and it didn't matter whether the saint was female or not; we sang "Faith of Our Fathers."  So I objected.  Naturally.  Who wouldn't?

Father Ted said, "If you can find a Faith of Our Mothers, we'll sing that for women saints."  

Well you know I can't resist a dare.

And I didn't.  And I did.


I don't object for being remembered for that.  At least he's not remembering me for "saving Paris from burning."  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Alive Nun Talking

Dead Man Walking's author, Sister Helen Prejean gave a lecture tonight at Boston College.  Not only can she write, but she's an impressive speaker.  She told the story of how she got started in prison ministry.  God tricked her into it.  She just started by writing a letter to a prisoner on death row, Patrick Sonnier.  Then she thought she should minister to Sonnier's victims' families.  Then she got involved in the controversy about the death penalty.

It was a spiritual journey.  She was brought closer to God through the experience.  The convicted Patrick Sonnier was brought to God.  The victims' families struggled and we pray were brought closer to God.  And finally, we the audience were brought closer to God.

She's wonderful.  I had her autograph my copy of her book, Dead Man Walking, and she wrote, "To Faith - Choose Life!  Helen Prejean."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Pope's Red Shoes

Notice B16's red shoes.  Reading in Wikipedia, it's a tradition.  Even John Paul the Great was buried in red shoes, even thought he didn't usually wear them.  I don't see a cross on these, although from what I've read, it's customary.

This pic is from fellow blogger, Rocco Palmo's blog, Whispers in the Loggia.  I'm reading his and Father Tim Finigan's blog to see what's happening during the Papal visit to England.

So far, so good.

P.S.  Do you think if the Pope clicked his heels three times, he'll be transported to Kansas?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Work is offering a Stress Reduction Program.  It's just what I need but I don't have the time to fit it in my schedule.

I know; that's a sign that I need it.  I already have a stress related disease, so I do need stress relief.  But I have my own coping mechanism.  It's called prayer.

Faith's Stress Relief Method:

  • Rosary
  • Lectio Divina
  • Centering Prayer
  • Eucharistic Adoration
  • Our Lady of Hope Prayer Group
Tonight I went to OLHPG to relieve some stress.  We prayed a Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  Afterwards, in circle, we shared Mary stories, since today is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Ester told the story of her grandmother's devotion to Mary.  Marie told the story of leaving a rose at the foot of a statue of the BVM and the priest finding it and thinking it was a miracle--because on that date (Marian Feast) a rose appears every year.  And I told the story that Father John Randall tells.  Father Randall was a passenger in a car full of priests.  They were all traveling somewhere.  They were discussing apparitions.  Some of them believed in them and some were skeptical.  All of a sudden, the car was filled with the scent of roses.
    That was a conversation stopper.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Social Support Key For Religious Conversions In Prison

Social Support Key For Religious Conversions In Prison This article is about prisoners who have found religion in prisons. It tells that if the inmate has the support of a religious community, religious members of his family, the chaplain, avoiding the negative, and prison volunteers, then his religious conversion is a life altering experience for the better. But then the article goes on to speculate that many be education, life skill workshops, behavior groups, etc., may have the same affect.

Well, duh..........

Combine the two.

I would think that the religious inmate would be very open to any form education, to change his life. One of the biggest factors to me seems to be "avoiding the negative." If you are walking the straight and narrow, then you have to avoid the gamblers, druggies, pornography, and sex clubs, and, as one of my "cloistered brothers" says, self manipulation.

It takes divine grace to stay on the right road in a dark place. Pray for those in prisons who struggle to belong to God.

Troubled Over Bridgewater - News Features - Boston Phoenix

Troubled Over Bridgewater - News Features - Boston Phoenix

A must read. Massachusetts has the worst prison suicide rate in the country. That it affects the administration is not a surprise.


I'm thinking of writing a letter to the Pope.  I didn't know how to begin.  What do you call him?  What is the appropriate salutation: "Dear Pope," "Dear Holy Father," "Dear Holiness...."?  It's a good thing I looked it up because you don't use "Dear anything."  BTW, when looking things up, use  all proceeds from using this search engine go to pro-life causes--and it's googled powered.

I digress.

According to Robert Hickey, who wrote Honor and Respect:
    The Holy Father is "so high" he is never introduced to anyone: i
ndividuals are presented to The Holy Father. He requires no introduction: anyone about to meet the Pope already knows who he is.Rather he is announced .... as he enters a room an aide says so all can hear  "His Holiness" ... and that's it.
     As to whether his name is ever used: Neither you, I, nor anyone else calls him Benedict ... he is addressed in conversation as 
"Your Holiness"
     This not using the name is also the rule for other very high officials.  For example, the Queen of the United Kingdom is never addressed as Queen Elizabeth ... she is always addressed as "Your Majesty"

This is covered on page 282 in Hickey's Honor and Respect.

It seems that the correct salutation in a letter to the Pope is "Your Holiness."  I feel so awkward greeting him like that.  I'd like to say, "Dear Holy Father."  But what do I know?

Yo, Pope Dude!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Youth is Wasted on the Young

 John and I were talking before Mass about someone who has had a few abortions.  John was telling me that he thinks the girl is just young and clueless.  She's not thinking the process through.  She's, well just YOUNG.  
John then said that he has often thought that more mature women (ahem!), like myself, should be the ones getting pregnant.  

 After wiping my face, since my drink coughed out of my nose!  I gasped, "Wha..?"

John explained that now that I'm older and wiser, calmer, etc., I'd be a wonderful mother. 

This line of thinking brought to mind, something I've always thought.  And that's that we should be sending men 50+ to war, and not the young men, for the same reasons: wiser, more mature, more patient, etc..  Yeah, I know the arguments about the young soldiers are at their physical peak in the twenties, but this is the 21st century.  I don't think being at one's physical peak is all that it's cracked up to be. 

Do you think we have it backwards?  


Saturday, September 11, 2010


Pondville had a Hoot tonight, and I participated.  This was a REC program--Residents Encounter Christ is an interdenominational Christian ministry to prisoners.  It's a Cursillo program.  The Hoot part of it was where we volunteers, who had been making Palanca, and praying for these guys, came to surprise them.

We all gathered together in a room and hid there, until it was time.  Then we all marched in singing "This is the day," and clapping our hands to the beat.  The men were bowled over.  It was a nice surprise.  That's a Hoot!

We stayed for awhile and listened to their witness talks.  As usual, it can be heart wrenching.  But its wonderful to see the Holy Spirit move in people.  Amazing, simply amazing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Boring Preacher

An elderly woman walked into the local church. The friendly usher
greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps,  "Where
would you like to sit?" he asked politely.

"The front row please," she answered.

"You really don't want to do that," the usher said "The preacher is really

"Do you happen to know who I am?" the woman inquired.

"No." he said.

"I'm the preacher's mother," she replied indignantly.

 "Do you know who I am?" he asked.

"No." she said.

"Good," he answered.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Angels Cannot Sing the Song of Redemption

My brothers pray for their victims,
singing a harpists' new song,
a new hymn before the throne,
before mankind, before God,
before the four living creatures,
and before the elders.

They sing a hymn not learned
by all, except by those
following the Lamb. They
are the ransomed, forgiven,
absolved, and have the Father's
name written on their foreheads.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


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Not only is today the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but also the birthday of my son, Mark.

Happy Birthday Mark,
Love and Prayers,
Mom & Dad

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Successor to St. Dominic

Fr.  Bruno Cadoré, O.P.

This is a picture of the 86th successor of St. Dominic.  He was elected this past Sunday, September 5, 2010, at the General Chapter in Rome.

A medical doctor by (secular) profession, the 56 year-old friar  succeeds the Argentinian Carlos Azpiroz Costa, who maintained the order's longstanding tradition of handing over the reins after one nine-year term.

This year  marks the 500th anniversary of the Dominican presence in the Americas… and this Master will officiate over the 800th birthday of the Order, in 1216.

It's been about three decades since a Master of the Order hailed from France.

Our prayers go with him.
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Monday, September 6, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen Au Revoir Vaarwel Good Bye

Sister Ruth had a cook out to say good-bye to 
   Sister Pia Elizabeth                   Father Wayne       Sister Sara

The friendship, the food, the Mass, and the fun abounded.  I shall never forget this day.  People brought their entire families.  There were even three dogs in attendance.

We started the festivities with Mass.  Father Wayne Cavalier, O.P. presided.  Fr. Wayne went around the room and had everyone introduce themselves and their connection to Bethany.  Many, many were "graduates" of Norfolk.  Not surprisingly, many said their lives were turned around by Sisters Ruth and Kathleen.  Some of their families were there.  Volunteers also attended.

Everyone brought food, so there was plenty. After everyone ate, we sat around and had fellowship.  This is how we spent the afternoon.  Old acquaintances were renewed and new acquaintances were made. We passed a few hours this way.  Gradually, people began to leave, at their leisure.  Everyone enjoyed themselves.  Father Wayne stayed the entire time, and even managed to bless a couple of motorcycles.

It wasn't sad to say good-bye.  We will always have the Bethany connection.  We will pray for each other and our hearts will communicate.  Love knows no boundaries.  Love conquers all.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another Life Sentence

"Be praised my Lord that you have given here a renewed, rejuvenated form of your eternal mercy, that you have given to the world a new proof of the all powerfulness of your grace and infinite love."  fr. M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P.

My Brothers, what do you seek?

Moved by God's mercy, we have come here to experience your way of life, following the example of St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, Fr. Jean Joseph Lataste, and others who have gone before you, and who have illuminated the life of the Order and of the Church, first so that we may give witness to our faith, and effectively hear the needs of people of our time, and so that we may early serve the truth.  Therefore, carefully considering the particular goals of the apostolate of the Church today, we seek to be aided, moved and in a special way, to show forth true compassion toward all anxieties, to strive vigorously for freedom, and to promote justice and peace.

These are the words our "cloistered brothers" used when making their promises.

It wasn't the words that made Sister Ruth cry.  It wasn't the power of the consecration, that almost choked Fr. Wayne Cavalier, O.P., the Mass celebrant, up.  It wasn't the act of putting the scapular over the head of a candidate, that choked him up.  And it wasn't just emotion wrought by the charismatic music that tugged at everyone's heart.

It was the Holy Spirit touching us.

Whew!  He's powerful.  Our prayers to the Holy Spirit were answered when we invoked him to strengthen the bonds made in Baptism.  We were touched.

Today we witnessed the Reception and Perpetual Promises of our "cloistered brothers" into the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic.  A few months ago, Moses, one of my cloistered brothers said, "When I heard "for life!" my heart stopped.  I realized that this was another life sentence. Whoa!  Do I really want this?  I have to think about this--really think about this."

Today, we heard him proclaim in a loud voice his promises to Sister Ruth, and Father Wayne Cavalier, O.P. (in place of the Master of the Order).  Yes, today he was the one who freely, whole heartedly, chose another life sentence. 

Deo Gratias.    

Blessed Day

A new definition of wonderful has been added to my dictionary.  Today is a blessed day.


How about the fact that today is the feast day of my favorite friar, my spiritual guru, the one whose spirituality I am in love with--Father Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P.?

How about the fact that today is Our Lady of Mercy Chapter's Promise Day?

How about the fact that the Prioresses General of the Dominican Sisters of Bethany, from Europe, will be present at our ceremony?

How about the fact that the chapter's two Spiritual Advisors: Father Wayne Cavalier, O.P. and Father Nicanor Austriaco, O.P. will be present, in place of the Master of the Order of Preachers.

How about the fact that just today, a new Master, for the Order of Preachers, has been elected?  Many prayers for Fr. Bruno Cardore of France, O.P., our new Master.

Deo Gratias.


For a better description of what transpired, yesterday.  Please read the Dominican Sisters of Bethany's blog.  Everything it says, is so true.  Veritas!  I was there.  I was graced to be there.  Blessings abound.  Deo Gratias.

We witnessed two cloistered brothers renewing their temporary promises for a fourth year.  Also, two cloistered brothers advanced into the novitiate.  Tomorrow, we celebrate the final promises.  Again, Deo Gratias.

Will I ever stop saying Deo Gratias?

I pray NOT!                              Amen.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I have seen miracles. Many miracles!

It is wondrous.  The conversion stories were inspiring.  "I have seen miracles--many miracles."  These are the words of Father M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. when he visited a women's prison in Cadillac, France, in 1864.  And these were our words today, at a Day of Recollection, in MCI Norfolk, MA.

I'll start with one miracle that you can relate to.  Sister Ruth had asked the prison administration for permission to bring in flowers for the altar, for Mass on the Day of Recollection, and Promise day.  She was refused.  Permission was denied--no flowers could be brought in. 

So be it.

We had Mass at the end of the Day of Recollection.  While the altar was being prepared, in walked some "cloistered brothers" with six vases of cut flowers.  They were beautiful.  They were quite a surprise.  Who was responsible for providing them, we don't know.  And how whoever it was, knew we wanted flowers for the altar is a mystery, too.

Another miracle: A pagan high priest was converted to Christianity.  Explain that.

How about a murderer that prays for the soul of his victim and the victim's family.  And other inmates whose lives have been touched by the holy spirit and have turned their lives around.

How about a priest that has learned patience by watching how the "cloistered brothers"  treat another brother   handicapped with many physical handicaps?  

It's a miracle, that I myself was there.  It was a beautiful day today.  You'd think I'd be on a beach, down the Cape.  How come I was there - inside a prison?  

It's all explained by grace.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Led by Grace, Today

Alpha and Omega
My side-kick, Omega, arrived last night.  Today I took her shopping.  While shopping at the Hope Chest, Nghia, who works at the store, happened to announce, "We're closing an hour early, today."

"Why?" was my curious response.

"We're having Mass with Fr. Wayne.  Aren't you coming?"  Nghia told us.

I told Nghia that I didn't even know about it, but asked if we could go, too.

He said, "Sure."

It turned out that Mass was at Sister Ruth's.  Just as we pulled into the driveway, so did Fr. Wayne.  Inside, we met Sarah Bohmer and Sister Pia Elizabeth.  Both are Dominican Sisters of Bethany.  Sister Sarah is from the Netherlands; Sister Pia Elizabeth is from France.  Sister Sarah is an apostolic religious; Sister Pia Elizabeth is a contemplative.  Sister Sarah speaks English, Dutch, and German; Sister Pia Elizabeth speaks French and German.  That means Sister Pia Elizabeth doesn't talk to us, and Sister Sarah tells Sister Pia Elizabeth what we've said in English, in German.


Poor Sister Pia Elizabeth.  It's going to be a long visit for her.

Mass was very intimate.  Father Wayne's homily talked about how the Pharisees were suspicious of Jesus.  Both the followers of Jesus and the Pharisees were good, God-fearing people.  Why the contention?
The same is true today between conservatives and liberals.  Both are God-fearing, why the suspicion?

After Mass, Omega and Sister Sarah found common ground in their German ancestry.  Both sisters were probably wondering about me.  I wonder if they think I'm an ex-con.  

They won't ask, you know.   We all follow the Rule of Discretion.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All My "x's" live in Texas

Father Wayne will soon be an "X."  And since he lives in Texas, this song, just reminded me of him. Good bye Father Wayne.  We'll keep in touch through prayer.  I love you.  God bless.

A Good Mystery

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