Showing posts from October, 2012

'Blessed are . . .' All Saints' Day

For All the Saints Words by William Walsham How, music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
This is sung in Cardiff, Wales, a country noted for its choral singing and for its brass bands. Both are here. Williams gave the name Sine Nomine, 'Without a Name', to the melody.
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
Gospel Matthew 5:1-12a (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obt…

Catholic Moms Talk: "Change" for Mothers in the Year of Faith

Catholic Moms Talk: "Change" for Mothers in the Year of Faith: It’s only natural to be thinking about possible new beginnings and changes in our lives at this time of year. After all, we as Catholics...

Preparing for "Frankenstorm" with Solzhenitsyn

Hurricane Sandy, the late-season storm that already has taken 43 souls in the Caribbean, is heading here to the East Coast of the United States. The radio stations are full of advice and warnings about what some forecasters are calling "Frankenstorm," because the cyclone is expected to meet a winter storm sometime close to Halloween. 

I don't know if what happen in New Jersey, though I feel certain we will lose power for several hours, if not days. That happens a lot in our old town with its ancient trees that tend to fall right on power lines. Our power grid is pretty fragile. My next-door neighbor is putting gas in his  generator.

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'What do you want me to do for you?' Sunday Reflections. 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Christ healing the Blind ManEustache Le Sueur 
[Web Gallery of Art]

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA) 
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

Gospel Mark 10:46-52 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; rise, he is calling you." And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the bli…

The Sparrow At Starbucks

My wife, Mary Jo, starts chemo treatments today a great story and song that if I keep trusting Him and singing His songs, everything's gonna be OK. Keep us in your prayers. Deacon Gerry

The song that silenced the cappuccino machine

by John Thomas Oaks

It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square. Early November weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of the bitter chill of late December and January, but it's enough to send the masses crowding indoors to vie for available space and warmth.

For a musician, it's the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I'm told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right. Apparently, we were striking all the right chords that night, because our basket was almost overflowing.

It was a fun, low-pressure gig - I was playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with an arsenal of percus…

Saint Peregrine and all of you pray for us!

Hello everyone, Some bad news about my wife, Mary Jo.

They admitted Mary Jo to Baptist East yesterday to do additional CT
Scans and other tests. They have confirmed that her lymphoma has become
very aggressive. She had one lymph node that had become enlarged that
they were watching. Now, they are all enlarged.

She will be having an endoscopy and a colonoscopy tomorrow to try to
determine other things she has going on. They put a port in her neck
this evening for the chemo treatments. They will be using a regimen of
four powerful chemo medicines to shrink the lymph nodes, and to send it
back to an indolent state.

The lymphoma she has is not cureable, but is treatable with the chemo
regimen they will be using. I am sure that the drugs they will be using
will knock Mary Jo for a loop. My focus for the foreseeable future is
to do my best taking care of the grandkids that we help with, and being
a rock for Mary Jo .

We aren't sure at this point when the chemo treatments wi…

Blessed John Paul II

New John Paul II feast day prayer  Blessed John Paul II should have a while week - not just one day.
If you attended Mass Monday for Blessed John Paul II. Here is the Collect for Blessed John Paul II’s feast day  O God, who are rich in mercy and who willed that the blessed John Paul the Second should preside as Pope over your universal Church, grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching, we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ, the sole Redeemer of mankind.  Who lives and reigns. In Latin: Deus, dives in misericrdia,
qui beátum Ioánnem Paulum, papam,
univérsae Ecclésiae tuae praeésse voluísti,
praesta, quaésumus, ut, eius institútis edócti,
corda nostra salutíferae grátiae Christi,
uníus redemptoria hominus, fidénter aperiámus.
Qui tecum. Note that embedded within the prayer are the titles of John Paul II’s first two encyclicals: Redemptor Hominis (altered slightly to fit the prayer’s grammatical structure) and Dives in Misericordia.

Planning to be on Long Island this weekend? Stop by and say hello to some Patheosians!

'Aaron' - Fighting for First Birthdays

The story of Aaron and his parents can be told by many if they are enabled to do so. One such place where women and men can tell this story is Rachel's Vineyard.
After this video was made Vanessa Ore, who plays Aaron's mother, told her own story.

The video was published on

On Mission Sunday 2012: Seven New Saints For The World


Pedro Calungsod: Missionary... Martyr... Saint

I have been living the missionary life for the past 12 years.  Many times, I need to "die" to myself, face persecutions with humility of heart, and submit completely to the will of God.  Being a missionary is not a perfect life.    But no matter what, it is a life worth living. 
Today, World Mission Sunday, I honor all the missionaries around the world, who have selflessly devoted their life to spread the Good News about God, transform lives and inspire more people to strive to be living witnesses of God's unconditional love. 
Significantly, it is also an honor for me to witness a fellow Filipino and Missionary canonized to sainthood - Saint Pedro Calungsod. 
Reading more about his life, I am deeply inspired by his courage, loyalty, humility, and faith.  A young boy, with so much of life ahead, committed to serve God in a foreign land.  A choice, which not many young people his age would dare to make.  But it was a choice that will change many lives forever.  
I am persona…

Saint Pelagia - 'A Fragrant Rose Growing From Thorns'

Another repost from Costing Not Less Than Everything

Saint Nonnos preaching

From ‘The Life of St Pelagia the Harlot’ by Jacob the Deacon:

“Pelagia was the name given to me by my parents, but the Antiochenes call me Margarita (Pearl), because of the masses of jewellery I had earned through my sins. I used to be the devil’s jewel, and reckoned to be part of his work force.”…
On the second day, the devil appeared by night to Pelagia, the handmaid of the Lord, as she was asleep in the cell of her holy mother Romana, and woke her up. “Just answer me this, my lady Margarita,” he said. “Weren’t you plentifully supplied with god and silver? Wasn’t it I who decorated you with gold and precious stones? Tell me, what have I done to upset you? Tell me, so that I can put things right. Don’t make me a laughing stock for these Christians.”
Pelagia, the handmaid of the Lord, crossed herself and breathed at the demon.“My God has snatched me out of your very jaws,” she said, “and led me into his bridal c…

Madonna del Soccorso

Another repost  from Costing Not Less Than Everything - I was ever so slightly furious when I wrote this but tried to be measured...update at the bottom. And for non-UK readers, we've had several unpleasant scandals of  late. And, no doubt, sadly, plenty more to come.

I was discussing with some neighbours the Jimmy Saville matter and the Justin Lee Collins matter and the way in which, in previous decades, our mothers and grandmothers were the protectors of the family, figures of righteous wrath often belittled and derided by comedians and entertainers. So, 'Our Lady of the Rolling Pin' was vaguely on my mind when I wandered out on a sunny Sunday afternoon and walked straight into someone else’s nightmare.

A young woman had found herself utterly alone and in great distress.  I sat with her in a cafe for the time it took for her mother to drive from Yorkshire to London to pick her up. Sad to say, but she was lucky she had a mother who would do that for her child. And maybe …

A Saint for a Rainy Day

Reposted from Costing Not Less Than Everything

Because it just keeps raining….a formidable female saint.

The patron saint of excessive rain is Saint Genevieve.  As a young girl, she was singled out by Saint Germain of Auxerre for her sanctity and she averted the sack of Paris by Attila the Hun through prayer and fasting. Acting as an intermediary between the city and Childeric I when he conquered Paris, she ensured the supply of grain to the inhabitants and persuaded him to release prisoners of war.  She was responsible for the conversion of Clovis I, Childeric’s successor. After her death, she worked many miracles; in her life, she was noted for her piety and asceticism.

The Pantheon in Paris was originally designed to be a fitting resting place for the saint – but her relics were publicly burnt in 1793. To this day she is invoked as the patron saint of Paris, against fever and against flood, drought and disaster.

'Whoever would be great among you must be your servant . . .' Sunday Reflections, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

St James the Elder, Rembrandt
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
Gospel Mark 10:35-45 [42-25] (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
[James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus, and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"  And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand o…

Whoopi Goldberg...Big Whoop

I don’t watch The View.
I tried a few times, many moons ago; but found that even with the presence of conservative Elisabeth Hasslebeck, I couldn’t stomach the show.
I’m also a huge fan of Ann Romney. Huge.
But even her guest spot on The View couldn’t entice me to tune in. Appearing the same week as the presidential debates wherein Candy Crowley made it know, once and for all, that the media bias was real and palpable—as if anyone still needed that confirmation—by derailing Romney with an intentional, unacceptable interruption meant to save Obama with a preposterous spin on Benghazi, I just wasn’t up to one second of Whoopi Goldberg.

I’m no psychic but even I could have foretold what was going to happen.
And I believe Ann Romney knew as well; and that is why I continue to admire this woman of courage and conviction.
As I write this little opinion piece, I desperately want to avoid using the phrase “war on women.” However, having read about Goldberg’s incredibly biased questions thrown at …

I am ...

I am pro life because ... I feel – all your emotions, your fears, your passions, your love, your anger, your worry, your sadness, your desires.  I feel - dancing rhythms and swaying to the music, warm and cosseted blankets as soft as gossamer, secure, cared for, cherished, wanted.  I feel my toes, my thumb, my head, my legs.  I feel you. I hear - the sounds of traffic in the road, birdsong in the trees, music from a band playing on the corner, an aeroplane taking off, the news-seller down the street, my mother and father talking then singing, then talking, a bath running at bedtime, the alarm clock to wake you up from your slumber, a pram being pushed, the market traders, distant bells pealing from a church spire, laughter, children in the park, the television and the radio, the doctors and nurses at the hospital, nursery rhymes as you talk and sing to me. I know a God that surrounds me with his love and care and places an angel beside me to protect me.  I know of a place transcendin…

Wrapped Up: God's Ten Gifts for Women

Wrapped Up by Teresa Tomeo and Cheryl Dickow is a book for quiet reflection, focusing on ten aspects of the spiritual journey, including God's love and forgiveness, a joyful attitude, suffering and the sacraments. Each chapter is divided between the two authors, as Cheryl shares insights about the matriarchs of the Old Testament and Teresa provides data and anecdotes about the struggles faced by contemporary women. Both writers include snippets from their lives and how they have each found deeper peace in their vocations as Catholic women through becoming open to the gifts which God gives.

Teresa comments on the discouragement with which so many women must contend, and which can be an obstacle to having a healthy spiritual life.
In addition to the personal baggage we carry, the other signals constantly received or detected on the private sonar remind us that unless we can feed the family with  a fabulous 'yummo' Rachel Ray dinner in thirty minutes or less, ra…

Catholic Moms Talk: My Excitement over the Year of Faith

Catholic Moms Talk: My Excitement over the Year of Faith: I'm pleased to introduce Roxane Salonen to "Catholic Moms Talk" today. Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five children ages 7 to 16,...

10 Things I'd Like the Mother of a Stillborn or Miscarried Child to Know

On November 1 of this year, Mr. Pete and I will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the short life and death of our sixth child, Raphael. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed or how much things have changed since then. Since that time, I have tried to reach out to other women going through similar situations. The church knows that if a baby has died they can call me and I'll be very willing to come to the funeral or the calling hours. I try to bring a copy of Mothers' Manual with me to give to the grieving mother so that she can have it, with the hopes that it will bring her comfort.  There are some beautiful prayers in there specifically for the loss of a child and the resignation to accept that loss.
 I bought five of them about two years ago, and have given every single one of them away. Yesterday I went to the brief calling hours and funeral for a little baby that just never breathed on his own. His parents  were there, all sad and numb with grief.  …

The Day Before He Turns Thirteen

This morning, I am sitting in the family room, reading a memoir and nursing a sore throat with cough drops. Boy turning 13 tomorrow comes  bounding down the stairs in bare feet, wearing jeans, a white tee and black suspenders. He is dribbling a soccer ball. 
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'Jesus looking upon him loved him . . .' Sunday Reflections, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

From Jesus of Nazareth, Franco Zeffirelli's TV mini-series of 1977.
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Mark 10:17-30 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)
And as Jesus was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'" And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth." And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."…

Pilar Tilos, deceased Filipino Columban lay missionary, and Malala Yousafzai, critically ill

Pilar Tilos (right) with Emma Pabera and Gloria Canama
This morning I celebrated the Mass in honor of La Virgen del Pilar, the Virgin of the Pillar, a major feast in Spanish-speaking countries and in two areas in the Philippines where Chavacano, the only Spanish-based creole language in Asia, is spoken.

However, Chavacano isn't spoken in Hinobaan, in the very south of Negros Occidental, where PIlar was from. Hiligaynon, a visayan language, is spoken there. She was born on 12 October and, like many a Filipino, 'brought her own name with her', as we say in Ireland. Her parents named her 'Pilar' because of the feast of Our Lady. Pilar was a public school teacher there but in 1990 headed for Pakistan with Gloria Canama from Tangub City, Misamis Occidental, and Emma Pabera, a public school prinicapl from Candoni, also in Negros Occidental. These were 'RP1' [Republic of the Philippines 1], the first team of Columban lay missionaries from the Philippines. …

Catholic Moms Talk: Being part of a FAITHFUL Church

Catholic Moms Talk: Being part of a FAITHFUL Church: How wonderful that we are part of a Church that lovingly reminds us about the importance of our faith and even our duties to prof...

Archbishop Kurtz Blogging From The Synod

Sunday, October 7, 2012:
Greetings and blessings to you from the Eternal City! This Sunday morning I had the pleasure of joining in a special outdoor Mass celebrated by our Holy Father to mark the official opening of the synod and to canonize two saints – John of Avila and Hildegard of Bingen.
The view from Archbishop Kurtz’s Room at North American College I looked for priests from Louisville in Rome at the Mass and did not find them, but met two retired priests of Covington, Kentucky, so I was partly successful. I spent most of my time beginning to meet bishops with whom I will participate in the synod. They come from every continent. It was wonderful to meet the other synod delegates. The real work of this three-week long synod – called the “New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith” – begins tomorrow morning. Later this afternoon I will meet with Cardinal Dolan and the other United States bishop delegates to make final plans. The signal that the work of the synod ha…