Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I just finished reading a great book for anyone who has suffered the loss of a beloved pet..."Will I See My Dog in Heaven?" by Jack Wintz, OFM.

Based on Holy Scripture and the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi...whose feast we celebrate this coming Sunday...this book has brought me great comfort by proposing...and...supporting the case that we will in some way see our beloved pets again in eternal life.

In honor of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi...October 4...over the next few days, I will be posting excerpts from this wonderful book, filled to the brim with the beauty of Franciscan Spirituality.

When we investigate God's way of exercising dominion over the world and its creatures, whether nonhuman or human, we see a Creator who is loving, gentle, thoughtful, and wise. God creates in a reverent and caring way, making sure that everything is "good" at every stage. God "blesses" the first man and woman and exhorts them to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28). Like a proud parent, God watches as the earth brings forth vegetation, seed-bearing plants, and living things of every kind. God provides a beautiful garden watered by lovely rivers. There is never a sense that God is acting in a domineering or exploitative way. God's dominion is one of respect, not a heavy-handed domination. This is the way that humans are meant to exercise dominion over their sister and brother creatures and the created world. (pp12-13)

Jesus came to teach us to love as God loves.

God's love is "gentle, thoughtful...wise," and respectful.

God's love is not exploitative or domineering.

How does YOUR way of loving compare to that?

What do YOU need to do to...make YOUR relationships...reflect God's way of loving...more fully?

To order your copy of this beautiful book: WILL I SEE MY DOG IN HEAVEN?


Sunday, September 27, 2009



You can’t take it with you!

We have all heard this phrase time and time again.

And, we know it is so true.

We can’t take the stuff…the things…the detritus of this life…with us into the next life with Christ.

And, who would want to?

There is nothing man can make on earth…no matter how fabulous it may seem…that can compare to what God has ready for us in heaven.

No, we can’t take the stuff of this world into the next.

Neither can we enter the next world with the baggage of sin on our souls!

We don’t like to admit it much…but…


We make mistakes…we do and say things that we shouldn’t…and we don’t do and say things that we should…every…single…day.

We are imperfect.

Jesus tells us in today’s gospel that if our hand causes us to sin…we should cut it off. If it is our eye through which we sin we should pluck it out!

And, what about our tongue…angry words spoken in the heat of a moment…gossip, rumors…telling our “friends” things that we know will hurt them...and sometimes cause them to re-evaluate everything they have ever believed…under the guise of “better they should hear it from me than someone who doesn’t love and care for them?!”

If that’s how we love and care for our friends…I feel sorry for our enemies!


Over the last two weekends, the Level 2 children and parents came for gatherings. The first sacrament the boys and girls will receive in 2010 is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The children come up in the church…they are taught to bow as they approach the they will on their First Holy Communion Day...and sin is explained to them.

SIN…such a little word that causes so much terror and our our world.

Last week, one of the second graders raised her hand and said, “I don’t sin.”

Once sin was explained, the look on her face said clearly…that she too has least her seven years.

So, too… you and I.

The good news is, Jesus gave us a wonderful gift before he left us…The Sacrament of Reconciliation.

When we grow weary from the weight of the baggage of sin we carry with us…a few minutes of heartfelt confession with a priest...renews our soul...our heart...and...our conviction to live a life of that we may be welcomed into the loving arms of Christ...and...granted eternal life.

When First Reconciliation Day comes…some of the children will be a little anxious…they are encouraged not to be nervous because when they are done they will be refreshed...and...renewed.

They will be given a new page upon which to write their future.

Some come out literally glowing!

And how about us?

Sometimes we feel weary…overburdened.

Sometimes we need to be refreshed…renewed…strengthened to resist temptation.

So I invite you to accept the gift Christ so graciously offers…the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

It is true…we can’t take it with us!

When we die…all the things we hold dear here on earth will be…disbursed…discarded…even destroyed.

Our soul will always be…either with Christ…or…in Gehenna.

In the Religious Education Program, it is our task to help you…help…your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews grow in relationship with Christ.

Each and every one of us is called to be a prophet.

Would that we take that calling seriously, and model by our actions, the things our words say.

We must...

Walk the Talk.

Why not…walk the talk…right into the confessional…and…show our boys and girls the importance of cleansing our soul…even as we nourish it each week…at the altar?

I promise you…that even if you are a little anxious…you will feel so much better afterward.

You will be refreshed…renewed…you may even…GLOW…with the mercy...and...glory...of God!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



On Friday, when I was putting the finishing touches on plans for our catechist meetings, I wrote...and...scheduled the blog that appeared yesterday.

In reality, the meetings never occurred because I spent the better part of the day in the Emergency Room.

The morning began like so many others...

I left the house at 8:56 in my car...buckled my seatbelt...and...left the driveway. By the time I reached the stop sign on the corner of my block...just one house away from mine...I felt what I thought was my seat belt, pinching my shoulder.

As I turned the corner, I reached over to rearrange the belt, and came away with a piece of fuzz in between my fingers. Still driving, I tried to flick the fuzz out of my hand, when I realized I had instead crushed a bug in my fingers!

At the same moment I realized that the pinching was getting worse. I stopped on the side of the find...that I had been stung by a bee. In just those seconds there was an patch on my shoulder.

I turned back home, put an onion on the sting, and my son took me to the hospital. By the time I got there, my blood pressure was very high, and I could barely breathe.

In triage, there were two men ahead of me...each with a bee sting of their own.

Last week, my husband had been stung twice.

The week before that, the pastor had been stung.

The receptionist in the doctor's office said her husband had been stung last week.

And, when my younger son came home last night, he told me he too, had been stung...on his way to class...yesterday morning.

Thankfully, my son did not have the reaction I did to the assault.

Today, I am home from work still having difficulty breathing...itching all over...and...wondering what's up with the bees this year!?

Bee careful (sorry, in my weakened condition...I just couldn't resist) when you are outside...avoid perfumes, open food and beverage containers...and of course...hives and nests.

If you know you are deathly allergic to bee stings...make sure your Epi-pen is up-to-date!

Take care of Yourself and each other!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



Today, our catechists will join with me to "kick off" our Catechetical Year. We will come together for prayer and plans.

There are the weekly classes to discuss, as well as, Sacrament Preparation, First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, Confirmation, retreats, Christmas Pageant, Stations of the Cross, Seders, Hunger Banquets, Chinese Auction, walk-a-thon, service projects, parachute making, gatherings, potluck dinners, Catholic Jeopardy, VBS, soccer camp...and, on...and, on...and on.

Our year will be chockful of opportunities to well as...opportunities to walk the talk.

There is much promise in the air!

One of the handouts I will distribute...this morning and the meetings...lists the Twelve Virtues Of A Good Teacher as described by Saint John Baptist de La Salle...Patron Saint of teachers:













As I distribute this handout, my prayer for our catechists, myself, and all catechists worldwide is this:

Lord Jesus, send us your Spirit...fill us with the gifts You know we help us open the hearts...and...minds...and...souls...of those entrusted to our the beauty and wonder...that is only found in relationship...through You and the Holy Spirit...with our Father in Heaven.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.


Monday, September 14, 2009



We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He is our salvation, our life and our resurrection: through Him we are saved and made free. ~ Entrance Antiphon for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross ~

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Yesterday, our Catechetical Year began with Parent/Child Meetings for our Level 1 children. I love working with the little ones. After a brief talk and prayer with the parents and children, we bring the children upstairs where I gather with them around the Baptismal Font in the vestibule. After we discuss why we bless ourselves with Holy Water upon entering church, we line the children up in pairs at the inner doors of the church and I ask them what they see.

Of course, the first thing they see is "the big table." As I explain that we call that table the altar, I tell the children that when we come to mass it is just like when we have a fancy dinner at home. At home, the food we eat strengthens our body. At mass, the food we receive strengthens our soul. And, like that fancy party, when mom's best table cloth comes out, candles may be lit, and flowers may be put on the church, too we have a fancy tablecloth, special candles, and flowers. Mass, is the fancy party where we celebrate Jesus...and...our friendship with Him.

Still, as we stand by the entrance, I point out the gold box on the wall behind the altar. I tell the children that in the Catholic faith we use many BIG words to describe things. I explain that I think we use such big words to try to show the "big-ness" of God. I tell them that the gold box is called a Tabernacle...a big word that means..."little house." And, in that "little house" is Jesus. And, we know He is always there because the little red candle by the Tabernacle is always lit. I explain that Jesus is present there in the form of the host...the small hosts that have been blessed at mass...and a larger one that is always there, too.

I tell them that when we enter a church we must do so in a special...quiet...way to show that we know that there. One of my young helpers leads the way into the church and demonstrates for the children how they must genuflect when they reach their row...their pew. I then send the children in...two by quietly, and reverently take their seats.

Once we are all inside, I ask the children if they have any questions about the things they see. The Level 1 boys and girls yesterday were exceptional. They asked about the "trophies" in the case. I have to admit, the bottles of holy oils in the like "trophies" from a distance. And, they are in a way "trophies" of our faith. When "-trophy" is used as a suffix it means " a condition of nutrition or growth." How smart was the child who called the holy oils used in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Anointing of the Sick..."trophies!"

One little girl asked why Jesus was nailed to that cross. I explained that Jesus came to teach us a new way. He was a king but not one with a As people began to follow him, the kings with the palaces, gold, and jewels got worried because they thought Jesus was going to take their place. They didn't understand. I pointed out the tapestry of the Stations of the Cross on the far wall, and explained how Jesus was arrested, carried His cross, fell, nailed to the cross and died.

But, that the story did not end there, that God raised Jesus from the dead and that proved that everything He had said was true...that love is the true treasure...and...that Jesus rising from the dead, and God's great love for us is what we celebrate at the party...the mass...each and every Sunday!

Before the parents came upstairs, the children asked about the stained glass windows and what they depicted, and, we ended with a prayer for the new year followed by an Our Father. At that point, the children got up to go with my young helper to get a better look at the window of the Good Shepherd and receive their gift...a children's mass book.

As she walked over to the window with the other boys and girls...the little six year old girl in pink, who had asked about Jesus on the cross...looked over her shoulder at me and said, "I still don't understand why they had to kill Him! Couldn't they have just asked Him to sit down and explain it all a little better?"

Out of the mouths of babes!

So, my dear friend, co-worker, brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, challenge to YOU today is this:

Rather than crucify that person YOU are having issues with...

Why don't YOU take the advice of my little friend in pink?

Ask them to sit down with YOU...and...explain it all a little better!

Are YOU up to that challenge?

Friday, September 11, 2009



How important it is to avoid being upset by the trials and troubles of this life, for these things always tend to contract the heart rather than opening it up to trust God. ~ Quiet Moments With Padre Pio ~

May God bless all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

May God bless all those who lost their lives due to health complications from exposure on 9/11.

May God bless all those men and women still suffering from health complications linked to that fateful day.

May God bless their families and friends who grieve or care for them.

May God bless our Nation...and...our World.

May God help us to always keep our hearts open...through even the most horrific events we must and forever.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009



Today the barren Anna claps her hands for joy, the earth radiates with light, kings sing their happiness, priests enjoy every blessing, the entire universe rejoices, for she who is queen and the Father's immaculate bride buds forth from the stem of Jesse. (adapted from Byzantine Daily Worship) ~ Saint of the Day ~

Today, we celebrate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. No pregnancy...or an accident. Rather, pregnancy and birth are miracles...revelations of God's unfolding plan for the world.

Each child...even from before the moment he/she begins growing in the mother's precious to our Heavenly Father. Each child...each of us...has a special place in God's plan.

Mary knew this...and, God's plan for her was extraordinary.

Mary's faith in God...proven with a simple "yes"...brought Salvation into the world.

Just like us, Mary had free-will to answer "yes"...or..."no" to God's plan for her. Her faith and devotion to our Heavenly Father, led her to willingly say "yes" to His plan for her and us...for...the whole world!

Eternity beckoned...and..Mary's belief helped set us all free!

God has a plan for YOU...and me!

Through prayer and quietude we can discern our place...our God's plan.

With free-will, we can answer "Yes!"...or..."No!"

Eternity beckons...what is YOUR answer?

What is mine?

God entered history through a family in order to make family life holy and show us how to live in our homes. ~ Love in the Little Things ~

Wednesday, September 2, 2009



Today...and each first Wednesday of every a Day of Prayer for The National Shrine of Saint Jude.

When you visit the shrine's site, you may send prayer petitions...light a vigil candle...request a a prayer...or, sign-up for weekly devotionals.

In the meantime, please join me in praying...the following prayer from the shrine...for all those dealing with the affects of this very moment.

God of healing mercy, in Jesus your Son you stretch out your hand in compassion, restoring the sinner, healing the sick, and lifting up those bowed down. Embrace us now in your loving care, particularly those afflicted with cancer, for whom this intention is offered. May the Spirit of Jesus bring us all health in soul and body, that with joy and thanksgiving we may praise you for your goodness, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Have A Blessed Day!!