Friday, July 31, 2009



On his way to fame and fortune in the military, Saint Ignatius was sidetracked by a the Battle of Pamplona...which shattered his leg. While he convalesced, he spent his time reading The Life of Christ and The Lives of The Saints...the only books available to him, at the time. His conscience deeply touched, he began a long and painful conversion to Christ.

Eventually, he founded the Society of Jesus...the Jesuits...employing the motto:

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam...

To The Greater Glory Of God.

Everyone who calls themselves a Catholic Christian would do well to make this their motto, as well...that everything...we say and do...always be said and done for, "the greater glory of God."

What are YOU saying and doing, today?

Are YOU saying and doing it for the glory of self?

Or, do YOUR words, actions, and deeds ultimately glorify God?

He has given us a great

What we make of that life is our gift back to Him!

I pray that my words, actions, and deeds always glorify He, who has so generously gifted me!

I pray too, that YOUR words, actions, and deeds always glorify Him as well...for YOU, too have been generously gifted by God!

A few years I was discerning a call to become a Spiritual Director...I spent much time...with my own Spiritual Director..praying through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola.

The Examen of Consciousness is an integral component of the exercises...and, quite frankly...should be an integral component of the prayer life of us help us grow more sensitive to our spirit and our Source:

Saint Ignatius' Prayer For Penitents:

Receive, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your divine will, that you dispose of me. Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.

For more information on the Spiritual Exercises, visit:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009



Today is the Feast of Saint Martha.

We don't know much about Martha except that she...and her sister, Mary, and brother Lazarus...were dear friends of Jesus...probably wealthy...and...that she was so busy cooking, cleaning, and complaining about it all, that she usually lost sight of more important matters.

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her. ~Luke 10:38-42~

Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. ~John 11:21~

Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” ~John 11:39~

I confess right now, that I have never been able to relate to Martha. I have always found her to be short-sighted...too just be. Too busy complaining about her sister to just love.

And yet, it is in just be-ing that we find peace.

It is in taking our place at the feet of our Lord that we learn how to love.

How about YOU?

Are YOU a "do"-er?



Are YOU always complaining about all YOU do?

Are YOU always complaining that no one helps YOU?

Then, it's probably time for YOU to just be!

Take the time so necessary for YOUR soul and YOUR psyche to just "be"...

AND, more importantly...

to let Christ just "be" in YOU!

Once Jesus...gently...instructed Martha on the proper place of faith in service...her complaints ceased...and her service became filled with love.

The same can be true for YOU.

If YOU just take some time to be Martha was...with the love of our Lord!

Take some time today...and...just be!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I was reminded the other day...right here on this a dear friend from Twitter...that ours should be a joyful faith. Sometimes, though we get so bogged down in our own struggles of being in the world but not of our own Good Friday-like experiences...that we lose sight of the fact that without the pain of Good Friday...there is NO joy of Easter Sunday Resurrection.

For some time now, I have been enduring a personal Good Friday. My faith and my hope in Christ help me to know...unreservedly...that my own personal Easter Sunday-like resurrection is on the horizon. In the meantime, rather than wallowing in the pain and darkness, I have chosen to Laugh With The Saints!

I hope these videos give you a laugh or two...or, if you are enduring a personal Good Friday of your own...I hope they give you a few moments of respite.

And...the whisper of a promise...that your own Easter Sunday-like resurrection is on the horizon, as well!

God Bless, You!!

Monday, July 27, 2009



My husband and I, and even a good family friend, are worried about my older son. He has been through a great deal this past year and a half.

His he knew it...was blown if by a dirty bomb.

The scales have been ripped from his eyes, and two women, whom he had adored, have shown him a different...darker...more hurtful...side of their personalities...the side, I had managed to protect him from...for much of his meager twenty-three years.

He has lost all respect for these elders, and he is the moment...his heritage...his genealogy...and yes, even...or more precisely...especially...God.

It breaks my heart.

This is a young man to whom I would go to discuss philosophy and faith...a young man who talked about the priesthood...went on vocation retreats...and even pilgrimage to Medjugorje for discernment.

That is no more.

The harshness that can sometimes be found in extended familial weighing him down at twenty-three.

Each day, I place I place my entire God's Hands.

I pray, that God's justice and righteousness will cut through the insanity of the situation that is wearing my son down, and show him that God IS real...IS listening...and...IS soften even the most hardened of hearts.

And, even as I pray for solace for my son, still I say:

"Thy will...NOT my done!"

Sunday, July 26, 2009



Today, we heard proclaimed the Gospel of the loaves and fishes. The homily I heard, reminded me of a story my boys loved to have me read...over and over again...when they were little. It was a Little Golden Book called "Mickey's Stone Soup."

Based on the Grimm Brother's tale, Mickey Mouse enters a village and with a "magic stone" manages to gain everyone's trust and cooperation to make a grand soup to share. Someone brings the pot...another the water...others, the carrots, potatoes, and a bone...until a savory soup is simmering.

The Body of Christ is like that!

We all have something to share!

Too many the villagers in the story...we do not even realize, just how much we have within us to share. But, when we loosen up just a teensy bit, we find that our matter how just the thing to season the mix perfectly.

The little boy in the Gospel, had enough faith that his contribution of five barley loaves and two fish in Jesus' hands could feed the multitude gathered.

Jesus tells us we must have the faith of a little child to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

How doing, today?

How is...MINE?

What do...YOU...have...within YOU...that is just the thing that the Body of Christ needs to fulfill the Kingdom?

What do...I?

How can...WE...come together...with...OUR...different further God's on earth?

At the end of the homily, the presider began to sing the refrain from a beautiful old song about the Holy Family, called Wind In The Willows:

As I went a walking
One morning in spring
I met with some travelers
On an old country lane
One was an old man
The second a maid
The third was a young boy who smiled as he said
"With the wind in the willows
The birds in the sky
There's a bright sun to warm us wherever we lie
We have bread and fishes and a jug of red wine
To share on our journey with all of mankind."
So I asked them to tell me their names and their race
So I could remember each smile on their face
"My name is Joseph this is Mary my wife
And this is our young son, our pride and delight
With the wind in the willows
The birds in the sky
There's a bright sun to warm us wherever we lie
We have bread and fishes and a jug of red wine
To share on our journey with all of mankind."
So I sat down beside them
With flowers all around
We et from a mantle
Spread out on the ground
They told me of prophets
And peoples and kings
And all of the one God that knows everything
"We're traveling to Glaston
Over England's green lanes
To hear of men's troubles
To hear of their pains
We travel the wide world
Over land and the sea
To tell all the people
How they can be free
With the wind in the willows
The birds in the sky
There's a bright sun to warm us wherever we lie
We have bread and fishes and a jug of red wine
To share on our journey with all of mankind."
So sadly I left them
On that old country lane
For I knew that I'd never see them again
One was an old man
The second a maid
The third was a young boy who smiled as he said
"With the wind in the willows
The birds in the sky
There's a bright sun to warm us wherever we lie
We have bread and fishes and a jug of red wine
To share on our journey with all of mankind."

I found the following video of the song. I just wish the lyrics had not been changed to exclude the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Each morning, I receive a Minute Meditation via e-mail. The thought for today is:

Love within a family is unconditional, and this kind of environment is necessary not only for children but also for adults who need a space of healing from wounds inflicted in the marketplace.
~Living a Spirituality of Action~

Love within a family SHOULD be unconditional and curative.

Is it that way in YOUR family?

Is it that way in MINE?

Too many times, our families are our worst judges and juries...our closest relations are our harshest critics...our most punitive taskmasters...a veritable fount of unforgiveness.

There are many reasons...excuses...why this dynamic is so; and yet, it is not the familial relationship-dynamic modeled to us by our Triune God!

So, where do we go, when the harshest wounds are not inflicted in the marketplace, but rather in the bosom of the family?

While some turn to alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, overspending, and other "self-medicating"...self-harming...short-term fixes; I turn to haven in the complexities and irrationalities that are my family life. I would love to have had a "Donna Reed-type" family...but, I was not so blessed.

And so, I turn to God...who KNOWS all...and...SEES all.

I pray for conversion of hearts for those who refuse to communicate...or have right relationship...with me.

I pray for God to pour His love and mercy and forgiveness out upon me, so I in turn, may have mercy, forgiveness, love...AND...understanding for those who are hurting my children and I.

I pray that God may keep me from becoming as bitter as some.

And, I pray for continue doing what I know in my heart is the right thing to follow through on the wishes of the one who was illness...and death.

I guess, as the old saw goes: "candy is dandy...liquor is quicker"...



To subscribe to Minute Meditations go to:

Friday, July 24, 2009


I wish this couple all God's Blessings on their recent marriage...and, I do find the video fun...even, as I happily note it was not done in a Catholic Church...BUT, I can't help thinking this performance would have been better suited as the entrance to the reception...rather than the entrance in a church! Am I out of line?



Wednesday, July 22, 2009


An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.

He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today!

~Author Unknown~

For more stories like this, visit:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009



Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear. So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.

It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

~Michael Josephson~

Michael Josephson is nationally known as an ethicist and radio commentator. Mr. Josephson is the founder and president of Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS! project. The Josephson Institute consists of Centers for Ethics for Youth, Sports, Business, Public Service, and Policing.

For more information on the Josephson Institute, project CHARACTER COUNTS!, or to subscribe to Mr. Josephson's valuable newsletters visit:


Monday, July 20, 2009


"...the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.” ~Buzz Aldrin~


Saturday, July 18, 2009



One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it cannot be taken away unless it's surrendered! ~ Michael J. Fox ~


Don't Surrender To...













Unbridled Passions


Submit to the Holy Spirit...

To the dignity and peace that can only be found within YOURSELF

Within YOUR heart

Within YOUR soul

Within YOUR relationship with our Heavenly mediated through Christ...and...guided by the Holy Spirit!

Despite what the world tells us...

Dignity and peace do not come from what others do...or...say us!

IF THEY DID...what a roller coaster ride our life would we rode the wave of compliments...and fell into the pit of complaints...over and over...many times...every single day!

Dignity and peace do not come from external things...fancy cars...fancier houses...closets full of clothes and across the world...fame...fortune...things...and more...things.

IF THEY DID...all those sporting that onerous bumper sticker: "Whoever dies with the most toys...WINS," would be happy and at peace...rather than working more and more more and more jobs...even at times...grasping at that which is not the vain attempt to sustain the unsustainable.

Just pick up a newspaper, a magazine, or turn on the television...the story is there for all to see...happening to all too many...all too often...all the time!

Christ surrendered HIS dignity...that we should keep royalty...sons and daughters of the KING! That is the only thing we possess...freely given by God...that will survive our death...and...all eternity.

So, as Catholic Christians, our bumper sticker should read, "Whoever dies with the dignity and peace of their soul intact...WINS!"

How are...YOUR...dignity and peace doing today?

Have...YOU...surrendered them to another's abuse...threats...or...jealousy?

Have...YOU...surrendered them to illness...or...fear?

Have...YOU...surrendered them to the opinion of another?

Have...YOU...surrendered them in...YOUR...own over-developed sense of entitlement...overspending...or...greed?

Have...YOU...surrendered them in the race for MORE?

As long as...YOU...are breathing...YOU...can reclaim...YOUR...dignity and peace...YOUR...very SOUL!

The question is...

Do...YOU...have the...FAITH...necessary the Holy order to do so?

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 15:13 ~

Thursday, July 16, 2009



Praying should be as easy as breathing for us. It should be one of the first and last things we do each well, as something we do continually, throughout the day. Because we live in the world, we must accomplish other tasks in our day as well. Unlike contemplatives, most of us cannot sit and pray all day long, even if that might be our fondest wish.

Therefore, we make use of votive or vigil candles. We visit a church, offer our prayer of...petition...thanksgiving...praise...blessing...and light a candle. The candle symbolizes our prayer long after we have left...keeping it "aflame." The candle also shows solidarity with others sending their own prayers aloft.

Some days, it may be impossible for us to find the time to stop into a church to light a candle. Rev. Bosco Peters (@Liturgy on Twitter) has given us all the solution to that problem. By clicking on the link below you will be brought to a virtual chapel. Lift up your prayer and light a candle right from your pc.

While NOTHING can compare to, or replace, an actual visit to church, in a pinch, this is a wonderful, occasional alternative!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Who are YOU judging?

Who needs to hear YOU say..."I love you?"

What are YOU waiting for?

Tomorrow, may be TOO LATE!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009



I don't know about you, but I talk about God all the anyone...anywhere.

He is a part of me...He is the very air I breathe. He is closer to me than my friends.

It is just a natural thing, for me to tell people I will pray for them, in whatever circumstance happens to be under discussion.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a bible-thumper...I do not go door-to-door handing out prayer cards...I do not stand on street corners with a placard...but, God does come up, at some point, in many of my conversations outside of the parish.

I've begun to notice, however, that my faith appears to make others uncomfortable.

And, I don't understand WHY!?!

Cases in point:

Last year, when I brought my aunt for her first surgery, I escorted her to pre-op. When the doctor came to explain everything they would be doing, I told him, I would be praying for them...the doctors and my aunt...during surgery.

That stopped him right in his tracks!

This past March, when my aunt was again in the hospital, I received a telephone call, early one morning, from the surgeon who was going to perform the procedure. He kindly explained everything he would be long it would be taking...and...what the prognosis would be. I thanked him and told him I would be praying, for both he and my aunt, during the operation.

That stopped him right in his tracks!

Last week, one of my dogs went in for surgery. The doctor called to tell me exactly what he would be doing...what the dangers were...and...that she had a 50-50 chance of survival. I told him I would be praying for him and my baby.

That stopped him right in his tracks!

Yesterday, I received the monthly telephone call from the bereavement arm of hospice. The lady is very kind...she asked how I was doing. I told her: "I seem to be surrounded by cancer and death at the moment. I would probably be drowning, right now, if I didn't have God."

There was an awkward pause on the other end of the line...a tentative chuckle...good wishes...and the promise that I would receive another call next month.

Why do people, living in a country established under under independence declared in GOD's Name...with the motto: "In GOD We Trust"...squirm mentioned?

Or worse, when you simply say you will pray for them?

I just don't get it!

When I speak my mind on any other subject, I do not witness this uncomfortable reaction from others.

I am not trying to convert anyone...I am not trying to get anyone to drink any kool-aid...I am merely expressing what is a very natural way...for me!

How about YOU?

Do YOU believe in GOD?

Do YOU speak about Him outside of prayer, home, and church?


Does it make YOU uncomfortable when others speak of GOD?

If so, WHY is THAT?

Only YOU know the answer!

For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. ~ Mark 8:38 ~

Monday, July 13, 2009



Not long after we joined our new parish, there was an evening of prayer and conversion talks. When we entered the parish hall, there was a large display of paintings in the front of the room. We took seats in the back, (it is my habit to always sit as close to an exit as possible, should the panic rise within me), and listened as one by one people stood to talk about their struggles...their faith...and...their struggles...with...their faith.

At one point, a pretty blonde woman in a wheelchair began to speak. A terrible skiing accident many years earlier had left her quadriplegic and despairing. She spoke about her trials...her road to recovery after the accident...and, how she came to be an artist.


This remarkable woman was Sylvia Geoghegan. The life story she told that evening was an a new way of living...of being...for all of us gathered in that room...for me.

Sylvia spoke about learning new ways...about making deals with herself to go outside the go to the store...even though she disliked the way people stared at her. Though mine was a different problem, her fears and how she had overcome them struck a chord deep inside me!

After the talks were over, I went to the display of paintings. One in particular caught my eye. I was just staring at it...feeling the words gently caress the pain...the constant my own heart...when Sylvia came over to me. She told me the words on the painting were what had saved her...become her motto for life...

"And the day came when to remain tight as a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

I told Sylvia that those words touched me right to my very soul.

I asked how much the painting cost.

When she told me the price, I knew we could never afford husband had only been back to work a short time and I was back to just medical billing jobs since the short term high paying contract had ended. Even as these thoughts were running through my mind, Sylvia...this incredible woman, who had never laid eyes on me before in her life...said: "Here take can pay me twenty-five dollars a month, until it's paid for."

I couldn't believe what was happening!

That night, I wrote her a check for twenty-five dollars, and brought my treasure home.

Each month, I faithfully made my payment to this incredible woman who gifted me with so much more than a pretty painting...she gave me hope, faith, and the way to get my life back.

To this day, that painting (along with a smaller one of an angel I had purchased later) hangs right by my front door...a constant inspiration...reminder...every time I leave the house.

Sadly, Sylvia Geoghegan passed from our lives...tragically and accidentally...much too soon on November 7, 1999...yet, her enthusiasm...her love...her forever in those who were blessed to have been touched by her indomitable spirit!

So, the questions are these:

What has YOU painfully twisted..."tight as a bud"

What risk must YOU blossom?

To read more about the remarkable Sylvia Geoghegan visit:


Friday, July 10, 2009


In 1997, when my boys were little, my husband was laid off from work. He was eligible for unemployment insurance...I took on more hours at my job...and we muddled families do...during such times.

Suffering with agoraphobia induced by uncontrollable migraines (a diagnosis I kept secret from everyone but my very closest friends and family members), I was doing medical billing, at home, at the time, and getting paid piece-meal. I asked my supervisor for a larger workload. It just so happened that he had a new job come in that went faster and paid better. Because I had a nearly perfect accuracy rate, he trained me on that job.

The catch was, he didn't know how long the extra hours would last; and, the work had to be picked up at 5AM each weekday morning and returned by 10AM. My supervisor let me take on this job, in addition to increasing the number of regular medical billing bundles, I did each day.

That man was a life saver that summer!

My husband would go pick up the work at 5AM and deliver it at 10AM, while I worked non-stop on the computer. I was working fifteen hours a day, seven days a week. With my husband's unemployment insurance, we managed to take home only a couple hundred dollars less each paycheck.

We tightened our belts, and made it through, until my husband found a new job. Which, just so happened to coincide with the end of the contract for the new billing job, that had saved us over that summer.

Can we say: "God"-incidence!?!

Because, I was working non-stop seven days a week, for me, mass took a backseat to the situation that needed addressing at our domestic church. My husband took the boys each Sunday, but, because of our financial situation, we stopped putting envelopes in the basket, and instead the boys would each put in a dollar or two.

Then the telephone call came one Sunday afternoon, as I was struggling to get out a larger than normal billing job!

Seems the pastor was away, the DRE was on a prolonged sick leave, and one of the associate pastors was running the Religious Education Office. When he announced himself on the telephone, I was surprised, but since he had always been friendly and helpful in the past, I was happy to speak to him.

Until he told me why he had called!

He said that he was grateful that I had again volunteered to teach religion, but that I wouldn't be needed that year. He told me I was a troublemaker. He went on to tell me that he didn't understand why I wanted to teach religion, anyway, since my family never went to mass.

My family...minus only me...was at mass that very morning. It dawned on me that what this associate pastor had not been seeing, was not my family, but rather my family's envelopes!

I told him my family had been there that morning, and that I was working even as we spoke because my husband had been laid off.


Finally, I handed the telephone to my husband, who also couldn't get anywhere with the man.

I was beside myself!

The next day, I called the pastor, and that was when I found out he was away. A week or so later, he called me, and stood by everything his associate had to say because he was running the program now.

I asked the pastor: "What about my boys and religion."

His answer was: "Well, that's entirely up to you!"


I handed the telephone to my husband because I wasn't sure if I was hearing correctly...AGAIN!

My husband spoke with the pastor, and reiterated everything I had heard.

The next day, I called the diocese. A very nice religious sister told me to find another parish! She said her own sister had been treated badly at her geographic parish, and she found another parish...was happy, and practically running the place.

I didn't think that was going to happen with ME!

That afternoon, one of the auxiliary bishops called my house, to tell me that this was a parish matter, and he would not be getting involved. He just wanted to let me know that he was praying for me.

I wasn't really impressed...although today, I will tell you I have much respect for this same bishop!

I hung up with the bishop and went to pick up my boys from school. When I returned home, there was a message on my answering machine from the pastor...saying that by all means my children were welcome in that parish!








I didn't return the call...although, it was obvious to me that, although the bishop wasn't getting involved...he clearly DID!

I was leaving the Church!

How dare they JUDGE me when they didn't even know what was going on in my life...and how much we were struggling!

Who did they think they were!?!

September came, and my boys were not enrolled in religious education.

My father was very upset, because I wasn't doing what was right by his grandkids!

My family are Sacrament Catholics at best, and my younger son was in second grade at the First Holy Communion was in jeopardy, here! This was IMPORTANT to my dad!

One evening, I was washing dishes and the wind started howling. I always begin to pray when the wind begins to blow, because, the swaying trees remind me of just how close the Holy Spirit really is to us, at all times. That evening, as I washed the dinner dishes, I began to pray about my son, my dad, my faith, my Church...or lack thereof.

As I prayed, Mother Cabrini came to mind. Always, I go to her when I am in trouble. And, I was very troubled that evening. As I prayed, I realized there was a church in her name one town over. I listened to the little voice saying: "call them."

I looked up the number in the telephone book...called...and left a message on the answering machine in the Religious Education Office. All I said was that I was interested in enrolling my sons.

As for ME...I WAS DONE with the Catholic Church...apparently, SHE is STILL NOT DONE with ME!

The next day, the sister who ran the program at the time called me to say my boys were more than welcome to enter the program there; but, (there's always a but with God...isn't there?) I would have to meet with her in the morning before she could place them.

Since, I had to go to this meeting because my father was upset that his boys wouldn't have the sacraments, I called and dragged him and mother with me!

Misery loves company, you know!

The next day, I went to the church. I had never been there before. The boys were in school, so it was just the three of us. Sister told me to come into her office. She closed the door, and it was now just Sister and I.


Sister told me she would enroll my boys, and then asked about their religious education thus far. I told her that I had taught my older son through fifth grade, and that the younger boy was in second grade. Sister said, "You are a catechist?! You teach fifth grade?! I need a fifth grade catechist for the same time your boys will be here!"

Keeping my cool...I WAS leaving the CHURCH...after all...I WAS only there to shut my father up...after all...I told her I couldn't possibly teach.

When she pressed me, I broke into tears!

I told her I wasn't good enough to be a catechist...I was a troublemaker...the priest at the other parish had said so. I don't always make it to mass because of work obligations and health problems...Sister interrupted me, and said she didn't care about that!

As I wiped my leaking face, she handed me a catechist manual saying: "Your boys are enrolled for Saturdays at 10AM. I need a fifth grade catechist for Saturdays at 10AM. You are a fifth grade catechist. You were sent here. Go home and pray about it. I'll see you, Saturday!"

And, ushered me right OUT of the office!!

I went home, looked at the book, prayed about it, and went back on Saturday to teach that class! We went to mass the next day, and I haven't stopped teaching religion, or going to permitting...since!

Three months later...four months before my younger son received First Holy father died.

To this day...I believe, that the reason he had lived through the heart attacks and stroke, he had had over the years prior...was because he had to bring me back...albeit, kicking and the Catholic Church!

Right before my younger son was to receive First Holy Communion, I was formally introduced to the pastor. I will tell you, I was a little nervous. Up until that point, I did well with nuns,!

Sister introduced me by saying I was geographically from another parish.

I thought, "Oh it comes!"

Father looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and said, "I don't care where you are from, and I don't care what went on over there, in the past...I'm just glad you're here now, in the present!"

That sealed it for me!

Three years later, it was that same pastor and that same sister who wrote the recommendation letters, so I could attend the seminary, to study for my Master's Degree in Theology!

And, I have praised God and thanked Him,...for them, both...and, the two who were the catalyst for the move...and, that auxiliary bishop...every single day, since!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Today, I received the following e-mail from John O. Brennan, regarding the H1N1 Virus and the upcoming fall flu season. I pass it on with blessings for YOUR good health!


As the President's advisor on Homeland Security, I am passing along the following message from Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, who are leading the efforts to prepare our Nation for the coming flu season.

Fellow Americans,

This spring we were confronted with an outbreak of a troubling flu virus called 2009-H1N1. As the fall flu season approaches, it is critical that we reinvigorate our preparedness efforts across the country in order to mitigate the effects of this virus on our communities.

Today, we are holding an H1N1 Influenza Preparedness Summit in conjunction with the White House to discuss our Nation's preparedness. We are working together to monitor the spread of 2009-H1N1 and to prepare to initiate a voluntary fall vaccination program against the 2009-H1N1 flu virus, assuming we have a safe vaccine and do not see changes in the virus that would render the vaccine ineffective.

But the most critical steps to mitigating the effects of 2009-H1N1 won't take place in Washington — they will take place in your homes, schools and community businesses.

Taking precautions for this fall's flu season is a responsibility we all share. Visit to make sure you are ready and learn how you can help promote public awareness. We are making every effort to have a safe and effective vaccine available for distribution as soon as possible, but our current estimate is that it won't be ready before mid-October. This makes individual prevention even more critical. Wash your hands regularly. Take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and if you do get sick, stay home from work or school.

We are doing everything possible to prepare for the fall flu season and encourage all Americans to do the same — this is a shared responsibility and now is the time to prepare. Please visit to learn what steps you can take to prepare and do your part to mitigate the effects of H1N1.

Take Care,
Kathleen, Janet and Arne

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

Wednesday, July 8, 2009



I know I walk to the beat of a different drummer...but, I got home from work yesterday to ALL MICHAEL, ALL THE TIME television...and wondered if the rest of the world had stopped...inasmuch as, there was no other news being reported!

I watched for a few minutes as people who supposedly knew him well, spoke so eloquently about him:

His laugh was sweet and pure.

He was mischievous.

He was honest.

He was a lover of life.

He cared deeply for his family, friends, and fans.

He saw everything with his heart.

I have no doubt, that these remarks spoken with love, are true.

Yet, I wonder if, when he was alive, he knew those people felt that way about him!

I remember years ago, the commercial he did when he was going to was replayed several times over this past week on many different channels...he sat there and begged everyone to reserve judgment until all the facts were in...he appeared nearly broken.

The television cameras have been showing us for days, the crush of people celebrating this man's life.

And, through it all I keep's too late!

Where were these people when he needed help...with alleged childhood struggles...with accusations...with lawsuits...with trials...with bad publicity...with alleged drug abuse??

Beautiful words spoken in eulogy are really only that...pretty words.

Before he died, many had accused him, judged him, and punished him...over and over again.

I don't pretend to know who he was, what he did or didn't do, or how he suffered in life. At times over the years, I too, raised more than one eyebrow over allegations and reported incidents involving children. Still, I leave his final judgment up to our Almighty Father.

My observation is merely this:

How much more beautiful these words would be, when spoken to the living!

And, how much more curative!

How much more celebrate someone in life...rather than after death!

What are YOU waiting for?

Tell those YOU love just how much they mean to YOU!

Do it NOW, while there is still time!

And, to those...who have nothing good to say about a person...even after he/she has died...I say this:

YOU need to look within YOUR own heart on that one!

It says so much more about...YOU...than the deceased...regardless of his/her alleged sins!

~ For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. ~ Matthew 7:2

Tuesday, July 7, 2009




The Pauline Chapel serves as the personal prayer space of the pope and his household. By order of Pope Paul III, the chapel was commissioned in 1537. Designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, the chapel has been closed for more than five years for restoration.

Michelangelo's two frescoes in the Pauline Chapel, The Conversion of Saul and The Crucifixion of St Peter, were painted during the height of his fame from 1542 to 1550.

Other paintings and statues in the chapel were created by Lorenzo Sabbatini, Federico Zuccari, and P. Bresciano.

For more information on the re-opening of the Pauline Chapel, visit:


For Pope Benedict's reflection on Michelangelo's frescoes in the Pauline Chapel, visit:


Monday, July 6, 2009


When presented to archbishops, the pallium signifies their participation in the pastoral power of the pope within their church province.

The pallium is a circular, white, woolen stole approximately two inches wide, worn about the neck, breast, and shoulders.

The pallium has two pendants, one hanging down in front and one behind...each are about two inches wide and twelve inches long...and are weighted with small pieces of lead covered with black silk.

At least part of the wool of the pallium is supplied by two lambs presented annually as a tax by the Lateran Canons Regular to the Chapter of St. John on the feast of St. Agnes.

There are six small black crosses on the pallium...the crosses on the breast, back, and left shoulder each have a loop which secures a gold pin set with a precious stone.

The pallium is worn over the chasuble.

For more information on the pallium go to:


Sunday, July 5, 2009



Several years ago, a friend gave me a wall hanging attributed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Apparently, the original hangs in Mother Teresa's Home For Children in India. The last line says it all!

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.

Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.

Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.

Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


So, the Sacrament of Reconciliation makes right our sins against God and others. But, what about those sins perpetrated against us?

To whom much is given, much is expected. ~ Luke 12:48 ~

When we walk out of the confessional basking in the glow of healing and renewal, we MUST pass the forgiveness on...for the other...but, more importantly for ourself.

In our society, forgiveness is often seen as weakness. People who forgive those who have hurt them or their family are made to look as if they really don't care about their loved ones. But forgiveness is tremendous strength. It is the action of someone who refuses to be consumed by hatred and revenge. ~ Helen Prejean, csj ~

And, by ridding ourselves of hatred and revenge, we also rid ourselves of stress and anxiety. We stop dwelling on the particulars of the offense, we avoid becoming consumed by the desire to punish the other and, we find peace...happiness...emotional and spiritual healing.

Forgiving the other means we take away the power we have given that person over our life. Forgiveness allows us to stand up straight and strong, and to loudly proclaim:

"I will be a victim no longer!"

So, what is YOUR decision?

Will YOU continue on in weakness?

Will YOU allow pride...hatred...revenge to ruin YOUR life?


Do YOU have the strength it takes to forgive and live free...

to evict that person or circumstance YOU allow...

to live rent-free in YOUR psyche?

For more on grudges, bitterness, and forgiveness go to:


Friday, July 3, 2009


When I gather the children to talk about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I tell them God loves us unconditionally. He is always there. Sometimes, though, we turn our backs on Him...but He NEVER, EVER turns His back on us.

God is always there with arms wide open, waiting to envelope us in the biggest hug we could ever imagine!

In this world, that kind of love is hard to come by...let alone understand. I tell the children that when we are baptized, we are welcomed into the family of God...the Church. God gifts us with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes, though, we lose our way...we let anger, fear, ego, jealousy, spite, greed, and other selfish motives interrupt our grace-filled relationship with God and one another. We all know, this is called sin.

Now, children know that when they disobey their parents there are usually consequences...punishment...time out...loss of privileges. That is the human way of discipline.

God however, has a different way...Perfect Love.

It's not always easy for the children to understand that God does not punish as human parents so often do. They come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation with trepidation and fear. They equate penance with punishment.

I tell them the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

As you know, this is the story of a father and two sons. The younger son decides one day that he wants to go out into the world and live his own life. In an insult to his father (inasmuch as he is saying his dad is worth more to him dead than alive) he asks for his inheritance. The father gives it to him and he is off.

The son squanders every penny and winds up working feeding swine. He is so impoverished that he would gladly eat the pods he is feeding the pigs. One day, he comes to his senses and realizes that his father's servants have more than enough to eat.

He decides to journey home, throw himself at his father's mercy, and ask to be hired on as a slave. As he approaches home, his father gets word and runs out to meet him. The son drops to his knees and tells the father he is no longer worthy to be called his son.

Rather than say (as many a parent exercising the dreaded "tough love" might), "You've got that right, it's about time you came to your senses! Get inside and suffer your punishment!"

The father in Jesus' parable instructs the servants to get the best robe and put it on his son along with a ring and sandals. The father further instructs the servants to kill the fatted calf for a grand celebration for his long lost son!

Of course, there is another, older sibling in this picture. The one who was with the father the entire time. Always there...always perfect...this son comes home to a grand celebration and wants to know whats going on. When he finds out that his brother is home, and that the celebration is for him, he becomes angry and complains to the father that he has never even been given so much as a goat to celebrate with his friends!

The father tells him that he was with him the whole time and that everything the father has is his. BUT, the one who was lost has been found and everyone must rejoice. The father is exercising Perfect Love.

This is the love God extends to us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all hurt others, God, and, in the process, ourselves. We all sin...that's the bad news.

The good news is...before He died, Jesus gave us the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation to help us be better children of God. When we sin, we can go to confession. Once there, we can unburden our souls and become enveloped in God's perfect love. Just as the younger son in the parable was enveloped in his father's love...even, to the consternation of his older sibling.

In Reconciliation, we meet with the priest. His is a two-fold job in this. When we sin, we not only strain our relationship with God, but the person we sin against, and the entire community of the faithful...the Body of Christ. Therefore, while the Holy Spirit works through the priest to absolve us of our sins, the priest also represents the other whom we have sinned against, and the community which also suffers by our sinful actions.

When we enter the confessional with a truly contrite heart, penance is not punishment, but rather the first concrete step we take in the new life we are living...healed and renewed.

I tell the boys and girls that on the day of Baptism our soul is clean and fresh. As we make bad a child's case: lying, talking back, striking another, cheating on a test, an adult's case: gossiping, lashing out in anger, abusing drugs, stepping out on a spouse, having an abortion...our souls become muddied and we become confused. The more sins we pile on, the easier it becomes to sin and, the more confused we become.

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, our souls are renewed and refreshed. We are given a clean, new page upon which to write the rest of our lives.

No sin is too great for the Perfect Love of God our mediated through Christ, His the power of the Holy Spirit!

So, who are YOU in the parable of the Prodigal Son?

Are YOU more like the father who loves perfectly?


Are YOU more like the child who has been lost?


Are YOU more like the older sibling who resents that which is given the other?

If the answer is bad is the good news:

Yes, even YOU, can Come Back Home to the Body of Christ...The Church!

In fact, we are waiting for YOU!

No sin is too great for the Perfect Love of the Holy Trinity!

What are YOU waiting for?

We want to welcome YOU back...won't YOU let us?



Love is a mutual self-giving that ends in self-recovery. YOU recover GOD, and HE recovers YOU. ~ Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen ~

Thursday, July 2, 2009



I was watching a show called God is Good on Telecare the other morning. There was a sister on the show from Nebraska talking about her conversion, and subsequent founding of a religious order.

She was telling about how after she had been a Catholic for three whole months, she realized that she didn't even know the Blessed Mother. So, she decided to go to Adoration on Holy Thursday evening to spend a holy hour with Christ. She went on to say that she brought many books with her because she wasn't sure how she would spend a full hour in prayer.

As she sat praying, she began to meditate on Jesus' words: "I thirst."

The sister too, began to pray: "I thirst."

She envisioned herself with Jesus in the garden and she told him that she thirsted to know Mary. Soon a woman entered the garden in her meditation, and Jesus introduced that woman as his mother.

The story this sister was telling was faith-filled and beautiful. And, it got me to thinking...

For what do I thirst?

I thirst for:








And, just like the good sister, I find all of these in Christ!

How about YOU?

For what do YOU thirst?

How can Christ quench that thirst for YOU?


Wednesday, July 1, 2009



President Barack Obama recently declared that "Fatherhood begins at conception!"

While I am dismayed, that inasmuch as he appears to believe that statement, and yet also does not appear to believe that MOTHERHOOD begins at the same time, that is not what I am addressing today.

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure via SQPN and USTREAM Live, to virtually "attend" the CNMC (Catholic New Media Celebration) 2009 held in San Antonio, Texas. While I enjoyed seeing the faces and hearing the voices of many Catholic bloggers, podcasters, and Twitter friends I follow; and, was immensely blessed to see and hear their presentations; it was the presentation by the Knights of Columbus that impacted me the most.

You see, long before our president issued his declaration on fatherhood, the Knights of Columbus have been faithfully declaring it, living it, and assisting men in the vocation of marriage and fatherhood...and, doing it for over one hundred and twenty-five years.

Now too, they have a wonderful website entirely dedicated to good fathering.

And ladies, there is plenty of info there for us, as well!



To view recorded videos of CNMC 2009 visit SQPN:


May God Bless You!!