(From NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; used w/o permission.) (The Cartwheel galaxy group, 500,000 light-years out, in the constellation Scorpius. (James Webb Space Telescope image released by NASA (August 2, 2022)) I'll be looking at some of the first pictures sent back from the James Webb Space Telescope, starting with the Cartwheel Galaxy. More at A Catholic Citizen in America . New views of the Cartwheel Galaxy, Carina Nebula and the first compact galaxy group discovered. Infrared images and the value of color astrophotography.

'If this is the end, then I'm ready for it.' Sunday Reflections, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

  St Francis and Brother Leo Meditating on Death El Greco [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Luke 12:32-48 ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India) . Shorter form, Luke 12:35-40. Omit  [text in square brackets] .  Jesus said to his disciples: [“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.   Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ] “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning,   and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knoc

Death of Columban Fr Otto Imholte

  Fr Otto Imholte 3 January 1937 - 25 July 2022 This obituary was posted originally  here . I have made some minor editorial changes. Father Otto passed away due to several health complications in Hope Health Hulitar Hospice, in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 25, 2022. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, August 1, 2022 at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Leigh, Nebraska with Fr Steve Emanuel celebrating. Burial will take place in St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery with lunch following in the church social hall. Visitation will be on Sunday, from 4 until 5 p.m. with a parish rosary recited at 5 p.m. Memorials can be directed towards the Columban Fathers or the Leigh Legacy Fund. Svoboda Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Father Otto’s family would like to offer a sincere thank you to Columban Fathers for all of their care and assistance as well as thank the doctors and nurses at Rhode Island Hospital and the Hospice House. A special thank you to P

Green Sahara, Environmental and Climate News

Glancing at my news feed this month, I've noticed that Europe is burning, California is ablaze, and Alaska has caught fire. All because of climate change.... ...Blazing California suburbs have been routine summer news for decades. European and Alaskan wildfires, not so much. I'll grant that this has been an unusually fire-prone year. On the other hand, I won't "trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries" over the doom and gloom presumably facing us all. Trying to pretend that Earth’s climate doesn't change — or shouldn't, at any rate — doesn't make any more sense than jumping on the gloom wagon. Not to me. Neither does believing that we're in the secular equivalent of End Times. More at A Catholic Citizen in America . Climate change happens. So does sound and fury. Headlines, a good idea or two, the Little Ice Age and a crisis at the dawn of civilization: maybe.

'God's real presence in the inner sanctuary of my soul imposes on me a threefold duty.' Sunday Reflections, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Altar of St Ignatius of Loyola, Il Gesù, Rome Andrea Pozzo SJ [ Web Gallery of Art ] Very rightly the fine arts are considered to rank among the noblest activities of man's genius, and this applies especially to religious art and to its highest achievement, which is sacred art. These arts, by their very nature, are oriented toward the infinite beauty of God which they attempt in some way to portray by the work of human hands; they achieve their purpose of redounding to God's praise and glory in proportion as they are directed the more exclusively to the single aim of turning men's minds devoutly toward God  (Vatican II,  Sacrosanctum Concilium , No 122). Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Luke 12:13-21 ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India)    Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to div

What is your relationship with God?


A Powerful Story

If you don't follow pro-life/pro-choice stuff, you may have never heard of Rebecca Kiessling, but you should.  I hope you will listen to someone who is living a life that began in rape and was nearly taken by abortion.  She has a very powerful story that everyone should know, regardless of your position. She says, "One of the greatest things I’ve learned is that the rapist is NOT my creator, as some people would have me believe.  My value and identity are not established as a 'product of rape,' but as a child of God." Being conceived by a serial rapist who attacked her 18 year old birth mother at knife point could have been the end of her story.  Having her mother set up to have her aborted--twice--could have been the end.  But today, you hear her speak honestly about her life: " Please understand that whenever you identify yourself as being “pro-choice,” or whenever you make that exception for rape, what that really translates into is you being a

Pakistan: Blasphemy and Bombs, Death and Dalits; and History

I'll be talking about today's Pakistan: particularly what it's like being a Pakistani Christian, Hindu or Sikh. Or, for that matter, the 'wrong' sort of Pakistani Muslim. The list of at-risk Pakistanis depends partly on who's talking. A few weeks ago, someone asked me to write about what Pakistani Christians are enduring. Finding more-or-less current news or information on that general topic wasn't nearly as easy as I'd hoped. What I did find told me that what's happening now has very deep roots. More at A Catholic Citizen in America . The story so far, from before the Indus Valley civilization and Vedic period to the East India Company, independence and blasphemy laws.

'For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.' Sunday Reflections, 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

  Man Praying Vincent van Gogh [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Luke 11:1-13 ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India)    Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”   And he said to them,  “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,      for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” And he said to them,  “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,   for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;   and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now s

Why oh Why?

So here are two interesting questions that God asks each of us in the Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 2 (Verses 5 & 11): He wants to know what fault we have found in him that would cause us to walk away from him and go after things that leave us empty. And, he wants to know why we have exchanged our greatness in having been made in his image to go after useless things. Wow.  How will you answer these questions? God tells us through Jeremiah that the "empty idols" we chase after every day will simply leave us empty.  In other words, if we expect to find peace in our lives, the things of this world are not going to supply it.  Ultimately, our separation from God will leave us anxious, worldly, angry, immoral and isolated in a wasteland of drought and darkness! Since none of that sounds good, we might want to rethink where we are spiritually.  Do we really believe that God exists?  Do we turn to him everyday and count on him walking with us through our decisions, commit

Prayer Series

 I would like to invite you to my Week of Prayer series which can be found at St. Pius Catholic Church (Flint) on Facebook. In this series, which started on Monday of this week, I discuss some of the challenges to prayer.  I hope you will check it out and find it helpful. Janet Cassidy  

What does God really want?


Our innermost secrets


Lessons from Abraham

You've heard the saying (or some version of it):  If you want to make God laugh, make plans.  I was thinking about this when I was reading the passage from Genesis, Chapter 18, about the three messengers of God informing Abraham that he and Sarah would be having a baby in their advanced age.  Apparently, Sarah laughed. So here's the twist.  God made his plans and man laughed!  Isn't that something! But when you think about it, that probably happens more than we realize.  God created us in his image and he loves us.  He knows what is best for us.  He's given us all we need, and yet, for some reason, in a sense, we laugh at him, or at the very least, dismiss him or ignore him completely. We go on our way, seeking materialism, position and power.  Ignoring those we might be able to help, we look out only for ourselves.  Rather than tithe and support the Church so that we can serve others in a variety of ways, we spend our money on expensive lattes and donate a

Finding Balance

 I was remembering recently that my brothers, spouses and kids would quite regularly visit around my mom's dining room table on Sunday nights.  When she moved to a nursing home, we simply moved our gatherings there, sometimes adding in time over a puzzle in the activities room. I miss those times.  Now, instead of going in for our weekly visits, I visit her grave.  Let me just say, although I can still talk to her, I don't have to tell you it's not the same.  I miss her desperately. There's something about losing a parent that opens a hole in your heart.  Moms, like mine, can be such great listeners.  And they are great supporters.  And they are great reminders that no matter your troubles, things will be okay.  It's like they are the great stabilizer. Yes, that's the word.  Moms are the great stabilizer. One of the books I got from my recent trip to the library is about Cokie Roberts.  Some of you may remember her as a very savvy political comment

This Week: Sunshine, Blue Skies and an Echocardiogram

It hasn't been quite four years since a small patch on my tongue's underside went numb. My wife said I should call our town's emergency room, so I did. I'd long since learned that she's got common sense.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America . A checkup and changing plans: atrial septal aneurysm and other medical terms, mostly good news from the scan. And a happy musical memory from 1963.

'Jesus, in the person of Billy, a destitute man of the roads, sat down at table in my house.' Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

  Christ in the House of Martha and Mary Tintoretto [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Luke 10:38-42 ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India)    Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.   And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching.   But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”   But the Lord answered her,  “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,   but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”   Léachtaí i nGaeilge Abraham and the Three Angels Gerbrand van den Eeckhout [ Web Galler

Death of Columban Fr William G. Moran

Fr William Gerard Moran 14 May 1936 - 8 July 2022 William Gerard Moran was born 14 May 1936, at Flemington, Victoria, Australia, not far from the Flemington racecourse, home of the Melbourne Cup. This led to a lifelong interest in horse-racing. After primary and secondary schooling, Bill worked for two years with the Commonwealth Public Service while doing part-time studies in Latin and Economics. Continue at Bangor to Bobbio .

Back to Books

I was bored with my phone and online stuff the other night and decided I needed a book.  My husband doesn't mind reading books on his phone, but I just don't like doing that, so off to the library I went. I haven't been to the library in years.  When we were homeschooling, I remember being at the library all the time.  In fact, I recall going in there once and the librarian saying, "Do you realize you have 100 books checked out?" When I homeschooled, we did a lot of what they call Unit Studies.  Unit studies are a way of learning that brings all subject areas together so you can see how they work together.  With this way of studying, you don't isolate subjects.  For instance, you can learn history and explorers, while studying the ocean and science.  I've always thought it was interesting and a great way to make learning stick. I can see a correlation to the way Catholics approach scripture and this way of learning.  For instance, we do not is

Talking with People Who Disagree with You

In the June, 2022 issue of Reader's Digest, I came a cross a very timely article titled, I Never Thought of It That Way .  The author, Monica Guzman, describes her experience as an interviewer and how she has learned to talk to people who have a point of view opposite her own. Guzman even described people she knows that discouraged her from talking to friends--or even her own parents--who disagree with her.  After listening to people for 17 years, her insight is helpful to most of us in this current, divisive, political environment. As Guzman tells it, she said, "I stopped being afraid to ask questions; I was too impatient to hear the answers.  Soon I developed an incurable addiction to people--our stories, our passions, the totally unique way each of us sees the world--and to conversation itself, that unpredictable meeting of minds where individuals with wildly different lives can surprise, delight, and ultimately learn from each other." What caught my attention, and why

A 'Technical' Week: Mostly Working on Widgets

First, the good news. A month after deciding to start using WordPress blocks before their classic user interface became one with Nineveh, Tyre and rotary telephones — I don't have the usual Saturday post ready. The good news is that I'm more comfortable with WordPress blocks than I'd feared.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America . I spent this week fixing technical issues. Not-so-good news, RSS feeds don't work with HTTPS. Good news, I should have a regular post ready next week.

Jesus said, 'You go, and do likewise.' Sunday Reflections, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

  Fr Pat McCaffrey with friends in Pakistan Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   Luke 10:25-37 ( English Standard Version Anglicised: India)    And behold, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”   He said to him,  “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”   And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”   And he said to him,  “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”   Jesus replied,  “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.   Now by cha