Monday, June 28, 2010


Greetings readers!

I will be on vacation this week. See you next Monday!

God bless,

Fr. V

Friday, June 25, 2010


The following four pictures hang in the rectory of Saint Sebastian. You goal is to identify the paintings.



1. Who is person A and how do you know it?
2. Who is person B and how do you know it?
3. Who is person C and how do you know it?
4. Who is person D and how do you know it?
To be honest, we know for sure who and why two of the men are. The other two we know who they are but not necessarily which is which but have our best guest. This is a ploy to get you to help us!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I remember being a small kid and my Mom taking me to Downtown Akron on the Metro bus. There was always someone to remember on the Metro. Thankfully it was typically unusually nice people but occasionally not.

One time there was a young man who got on the bus and started talking to the person in the front seat. Rather loudly he asked, “Are you saved?” The answer must not have been what he wanted to hear for he started telling the person that if they wanted to get into heaven they had to do such and so. As you can imagine this did not go over very well. So he moved on to the next seat. The same scenario followed. By the time he made it to the third or fourth seat people would not even talk to him.

Though I was only in grade school this scene has stuck with me throughout the years. The mission was both a failure and a success. First it was a failure because nobody wanted to take advantage of the man’s offer of salvation. They were completely turned off. They were judged implicitly as hell bound. Before anything was known about them they had their hands slapped and then told to come to wherever he was for healing love. Kind of a contradictory message.

It was a success in that it impressed on me the way not to evangelize. I will grant you that there are times that you need to kick someone in the batootee, but you should know them first if possible and they should know that what you are saying is because you love them, a love that has been expressed and proven in the past. But rather than condemning and ordering, I find it much better to propose and invite.

If we are going to bring the Eucharist to the world, we first much be convicted. We have to be people of prayer, of sacrament, of striving for sanctifying grace, of exemplifying the life at home, work, and recreation. Then people must know that first they are loved by God, not condemned first with the hope of being saved. When they are faced with questions we propose faith answers. “To be quite honest, when I am faced with these problems, the only thing that really helps me is turning to prayer.” The other half of the equation is the invitation, “Do you want me to pray with you” or “If you ever want to, I help you pray,” or “My family and I go to Mass every Sunday, we would love to have you come sit with us.”

Example, proposing, and inviting, all encased in a sincere love for others. This is a recipe for evangelization on this day when we celebrate the nativity of the first evangelizer of Christ, John the Baptist.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The old Missal or no Missal” is a strange thing to hear especially since it less and less means the extraordinary form of the Mass but the current translation. A commenter said, and it was true, that many people will vote with their feet. This will be the case, at least for some.

The disturbing thing about this though is the reason for the voting. Unlike a priest that had horrible homilies or the community that seems closed in on itself or what have you in which you could go to the parish in the next town, this is an action of the Universal Church – or at least English speaking part of it. That means that a person who is “voting,” unless they are going to something a kin to the Spanish speaking Mass down the road or one of the Eastern Rites, is leaving the Church. That I cannot fathom.

I try to think of the hurt some persons might feel in their attachment to the current translation or the frustration of the time spent on the translation when one might feel there are other things that should be done – or perhaps the WAY that it was done – whatever – and I feel for those who are in angst over it. But to vote with your feet, which essentially means saying goodbye to the Eucharist, is beyond my ken. Like Saint Jerome who attended Mass from a ladder through a window for ten years, or when Cromwell invaded Ireland and the Irish had to attend secret Masses and risk death, when the Missal was changed from Latin causing many distress, or even modern day parishioners in the Cleveland Diocese who face the closure of the parishes that married their grandparents, baptized their parents, schooled them, and provided years of shelter from the storms of life but have gone to another parish, all seeking to remain in the Church because in the end it is the Eucharist that is most important.

The Eucharist; the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As Sheldon Vanauken said in his book, “A Severe Mercy,” if this is so, (and I paraphrase) this is quite simply the most important truth in the world. Tear down our buildings, punish us for celebrating Mass, ridicule the Church, push us to the very margins of society, put imbeciles in charge of us, but don’t take away the Eucharist. Without the Eucharist the world is a cold and lonely place.


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND: “Do we moderns smile so thoroughly at our ‘advances’ that we never pause to consider our goal?” Robert Moore in Gilbert Magazine

QUOTE II: “We know what is sacred to us when we recoil from impiety . . .” from Tobias Wolff’s, “Old School”


Parade Magazine has these free games to play to help sharpen your memory.

Here is a free video from the Teaching Company on how mountains effect our atmosphere. I have purchased several lecture series from this company on topics that involve the Catholic Church and have so far always found them fair as well as well done.

M. sent in a site dedicated to bad vestments. "Bad vestment! Down! Down!" What is really sad is that there are so many candidates!

C. S. sent this is: "My dad sent this link to me about the Clericus Cup, “something” like the World Cup. I didn’t know if you knew of this or not. Fun stuff." See it here!

These were sent in recently: Pope Paul VI Institute for Women's Health and the USCCB site for Natural Family Planning.

From Habemus Papam: More World Cup Soccer news: "Dear Soccer Fans, We are very pleased to welcome you to our website dedicated to the presence of the Catholic Church in South Africa, on the occasion of the 2010 Soccer World Cup." See more here.

Monday, June 21, 2010


A priest friend came by to see me the other day. For a number of reasons we have not been in touch for the past few years but circumstances are making it so it will be easier to get together again. The last time we spent any quality time together was before I was a pastor. So he asked me, “Do you like being a pastor?” It made me stop and think. Do I like it?

I guess the answer is yes I do. There are some things that I miss from being a parochial vicar. One is having time to do ministries that I do not have the time to do anymore, especially teaching. I used to teach a lot more – adults and in the school. There just is not physically time to do as much anymore. On the other hand now I am able to try to truly “father” a parish (in the bishop’s name of course) and try to foster a relationship with the Eucharist, with God, and to try to deepen people’s desire to be good people. I suppose it is like persons who have theories on parenting and then having the opportunity to put all of their ideas to the test. Would I actually make a good parent? Would I make a good pastor?

Perhaps surprising me the most is the amount of paperwork involved in this position. “Even if you are a saint,” a friend once told me, “you still have to get the paperwork in.”

When I was a kindergartener they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wanted to be a bus driver so I could meet new people all of the time, but I never wanted to go down the same street twice because that would be boring. Being a priest sort of fulfilled these requirements. I do meet new people all of the time. This morning as I type this I have been interrupted twice by people coming to sign up for the parish. And while there are certainties in the schedule (Mass times, meeting times) this vocation is so varied in its requirements that it always keeps one on one’s toes.

Right now we are in the process of hiring a new principal. The awesomeness of the task is considerable. This person will have a huge role in the life of these children, this parish, and this community. Being a principal of a Catholic school means more than merely being principal. In many ways you are also pasturing a community in a way that you don’t in other schools. The responsibilities are vastly different and greater. The process will take up most of the next two days.

Also on the agenda to be done this week is picking out the statue that will sit in the new plaza off of the brick parking lot. We are down to two. So now a decision needs to be made. No matter which one is picked, someone will not like it. On the other hand, no matter which one is picked, someone will love it. Decisions, decisions, decision . . .

So do I enjoy it? Yes, I do. It has its difficult times, but what vocation doesn’t? So mulling it over here on Mull Avenue I answer my priest friend, “I do enjoy being a pastor to such a great community.”

Friday, June 18, 2010


This coming weekend Bishop Lennon will be arriving to Akron to have the final parish Mass at Saint Mary on South Main Street in Akron. One hates to see any parish close for any reason but such things happen. This one is particularly sad because the building is, IMHO, one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the diocese. Unfortunately the Catholic neighborhood around it has shrunk to a considerable extent and so this is the result. I hope that those of you who could were able to stop by and see the church before it closed (or will see it this weekend.) Interestingly enough the school will remain open. (There is a large nin-Catholic community that it serves.)

Previously on A.A. we had a tour of the exterior of the building, a limited tour of the interior, and had a trip of the bell tower. Today there is one more tour to be taken: Through the tunnels underneath the parish buildings!

Fr. B. was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule give Fr. Pf. and me a little trip through these seldom seen places. I remember once the 8th grade boys at my first assignment wanting to see what the basement of the church looked like. It was small, neat, and largely empty and they were deeply disappointed. They would not have been at Saint Mary!

Opening the door in the basement of the school we entered a tunnel. I could easily stand in it (I don’t know if you could tell from this first picture) and it led us to the large room underneath the plaza between the church and school.

This picture does not do this room justice. It once housed giant boilers and coal bins but is now replaced with a much more efficient heating system that takes up a fraction of the space. The room is quite large and very high. It could be a small ball room except that it is a basement! Two new, large, cement pillars were erected in the middle of it to shore up the plaza above.

We next passed underneath the church. You can get an idea of the size of the tunnels from seeing Fr. Pf and Fr. B ahead of me turning on the lights.

The wall in the background is actually a large semi-circle. It follows the shape of the apse. The pillar is there to help support the great weight of the high altar.
These tunnels wind around under the nave of the church. A few years ago a University of Akron cinema student used these tunnels in a movie about the seven deadly sins. Apparently this was hell. Who knew that hell had incandescent light bulbs?
These are the cold air returns. If you look above you can see what appears to be coffee cans handing down from the ceiling. If you look up you can see this grate, which would be in the floor or the nave, and see into the church. Here you can get a glimpse of a stained glass window in the clerestory from the basement. Legend has it that once a lady dropped a particularly valuable ring down one of these vents and it was never found. People have searched for it to this very day (I admit, I kept an eye out.) Determined persons with metal detectors have made the rounds and came away with rings and other interesting objects that have fallen through the grates over the years but the ring was never found.
I found a marble.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


There is a definite problem with “men” in the Church and there does not seem to be a great solution. This will be most clearly seen in the new translation of the Mass as well as being one of the reasons we need a new translation of the Mass.

“Man” has changed over the past 40 some years; that is, the meaning of man, of men, of brethren. In the new translation if one were to see the priest’s parts at times it will read like this;

“Pray brethren (brothers and sisters) that . . .”

The reason for this is that we no longer have a single word that unites the congregation into a single, familial, covenantal entity. “Brethren” forty some odd years ago meant the entire Church, united together, equal heirs in the kingdom of God. That is no longer the case. As the word “gay” seems to mean something other than a state of happiness in today’s vernacular, “brethren,” for far too many people, means only male gender people.

The biggest problem is that we do not have a new word to take its place.

“People” and similar words do not work for they do not have the connotation of connectedness that brethren had. The word “siblings” comes about as close to what was formally meant by brethren as we have but it also does not quite fit the bill.

“Pray siblings that . . .”

“All translators are betrayers” says the Italian proverb. It is so in this case because we do not have a word to translate “fratres” well into English. Saying, “Pray brothers and sisters that . . .” or “Pray sisters and brothers that . . .” does not fix the problem either. First there is the problem of sensitivity as to who is mentioned first: the men or the women? That there is an order is already a problem. Then there is the obvious of being divided into to two groups of people: one of men and women. “Pray women and men that . . .” This is particularly evident when saying Mass in certain situations in which there just happens to be one man or one woman present amoungst others in the congregation. This may happen at a nursing home Mass, or a small daily Mass or a retreat for women or men etc. “Pray my brothers and sister that . . .” or visa versa. There was someone just completely singled out because of their gender. (There was the case when there a person who would have made up the solitary person of the opposite gender if there were such and for the life of me I could not tell if the person was male or female. THERE was a dice roll . . .)

The argument could be made that we are using much more formal language now and the use of male pronouns and such to denote entire groups of people regardless of sex may be used. But as anyone will tell you that is not always wise. Yet the lack of depth of meaning in saying “sisters AND brothers” is also a loss.

So . . . we are thrown under the buss to decide and the Sacramentary will read, “Pray brethren (brothers and sisters) that . . .”
With challenges like these on the board I'm glad I did not have to be on the committee trying to sort all this out!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


After Monday’s post there were several inquiries concerning Lectio Divina. Here is one way of praying it. It presupposes a small group of people praying it together. There are also plenty of good resources on line for a deeper experience of it but I find this quite suitable.

Lectio Divina is Latin for Divine Reading. It is not a Scripture study nor should it take the place of such exercises. It is rather a way of praying the Scriptures, to develop that deeper relationship with God, and to know the Scriptures better.

There are four basic stages. To begin a passage from Scriptures needs to be chosen. It should not be too long. I recommend upcoming Sunday readings, especially the Gospel. Those praying should take a moment to relax and set the outside word aside as one is called to do before Mass. Place yourself in a prayerful posture that can be maintained without being uncomfortable or having the temptation to fall asleep!


The text is read slowly and purposefully.
Those present listen for a word or phrase that catches their heart
All sit for a moment with that word or phrase.
Just that word or phrase is shared without commentary or explanation with the others.


The text is read again.
Listen again for the Word to catch your heart. (It may change.)
Sit with it for a while.
Share what was said TO YOU through the Scripture. It’s not a sermon for others but what is said to you.
Say a sentence or two about it.


The text is read again.
Sit with it.
Offer spontaneous prayer in answer to the Scripture speaking to you.


The text is read again.
Sit quietly and contemplate/pray
If done in a group the leader can end by softly beginning the Our Father or similar prayer.

Monday, June 14, 2010


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND: “’In persona Christi’ means someone who steps up when a person needs someone to die for them, who goes last, who washes feet.” Anonymous QUOTE II: “The most important thing you can say about a 72 year old cardinal is that which you can say about a 2 year old: ‘He says his prayers.’”


Lynn sent this site in for the music and watching the cool fountain.

Russ sent this video in: "What if Starbucks marketed the Church?" Does any of this happen at your parish?

E.K. sent this two and a half minute video in:

Habemus Papam sent this link to an interesting story about science and faith. Thanks!

The Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter asks, "Did you know, the Catholic Library Association, established in 1921, is an international membership organization, providing its members professional development through educational and networking experiences, publications, scholarships, and other services?" Learn more here.

Lynn and Kay both sent in this 1 and a half minutes of dog joy.

Ellen says, "Registration for the Chesterton Conference is now open!" Read more here.

Frank sent this in: "This is a great web site and educational tool to have at your disposal. It instantly calculates so many things; math, science, chemistry, physics, financial data, weather, nutrition, health, history, people, etc." Watch the introductory video here and the actual site is here.

Oh! I think that is enough for today!


An interesting phone call came in this week. One I don’t get very often. In fact, it has never happened before.

A man called and said that he bought a Christian prayer book and wanted instructions on how to use it. “I just want you to know that I am Protestant, but I want help in learning how to pray with this book.”

So I wondered what was in his Christian prayer book. Was it the rosary? So I asked a few questions and discovered it was the Christian Book of Prayer, a shorter version of the Breviary. These books contain the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Catholic Church. All clergy and religious take an oath to pray this prayer daily for the sake of the Church, but in truth, all Catholics are urged to pray this prayer. We pray parts of it throughout the year as a parish and whenever I take someone on as a spiritual directee, they will learn how to pray this great prayer.

Bearing all of that in mind you can imagine my surprise when a Protestant called to ask for instructions. I told him it is one of those things where it was much easier to teach him how to pray it if I prayed it with him and showed him how it was done. He was quite excited at the prospect and we set a date.

“How much do you charge?” he asked.

HA! God bless him!

He came and while I was setting his ribbons for him in order to find the correct psalms to pray I had to ask, “So how on earth did you come across this book?” He explained that he was looking for some deeper, meditative prayer of a type he was not finding in his local church. It is a popular mega church in the area. He found the Christian Book of Prayer on line and ordered it and now needed someone to teach him how to pray it. So we did.

You know, it is interesting to view one’s faith from the perspective of an outsider. We are used to and take so much of our faith for granted. But there is much to it that is so foreign to other people. This occurred to me for the first time when I had to explain relics to someone who was not Catholic. THAT was eye opening.

So I explained to him that I was going to show him how Catholics pray the LOTH and that he would have to adapt it to his faith tradition. It became an opportunity to see the Liturgy of the Hours through his eyes. There were clearly some things that were not going to be part of his practice such as the Sign of the Cross and the Marian Antiphon sung at the end of Night Prayer. But as I paid attention to the all many Psalms prayed in a single day, the other Scriptural passages, the music, and the constant reliance on God I was once again bolstered by this great faith of ours.

When we got to the petitions the first one was for, “Benedict our pope and Richard our bishop.”

“You probably want to skip over those huh?”

“The pope is a great man. I have no problem praying for him.”

I was a bit stunned and could only mutter, “Thank you.”

When we were done he asked if I could recommend a book on Lectio Divina. “I just happen to have a work sheet here to help you pray it. Let’s try it together with a passage from Scripture.” And we did.

Why is this man not Catholic?

I wish I could be a fly in the wall when he returns to his church and shows them what he has been praying. Will it go over well? Maybe it will direct him to the Catholic Church or simply make him a better prayer in his own church. In any event, it made me more appreciative of our prayers.

Friday, June 11, 2010


We have been talking about basilicas as building designated by the Church to be such. But there is also a basilica style of architecture. As opposed to a designation which would also have in it the symbols of a church thusly titled, it is the manner of construction that makes these churches basilicas. (Not all basilicas are of basilica architecture and not all churches built of basilica architecture are basilicas!)

Basilicas began their lives as public buildings during Roman times. Found at the center of town they were large gathering spaces in which business and legal transactions took place. There were pillard aisles down the side to provide space for booths and such. The roof over the central area was raised in order to allow light in through a clerestory. At one end there was an apse, usually having a dais where the local magistrate would sit and conduct business.

When Christianity became legal (and the official religion of the empire) in the fourth century, large buildings for worship needed to be built/utilized. The design of pagan temples would not do. They were not intended for such things. Sacrifices were made out of doors with the temple as a background. The temple itself was meant to hold an image of the god and the treasury – not large meeting spaces for ritual. But the basilica fit the bill! There was the large open space for people to pray together and Christ and the altar of sacrifice took the place of the local magistrate in the dais which was already designed to be seen by all.

This type of building is still widely in use today in the Church. The question must be asked, “Why?” The answer is simple: because it works. The liturgy grew up around the basilica style floor plan. That is why often other attempts at modern architecture often fail in one way or another. An architect friend once said to me, “The mark of a great church is not that it works for Sunday Mass, but that it works well for the Easter Vigil.” The basilica style done well is not the only one that does this of course but it does work and does so brilliantly.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BUT . . .

In season 2 episode 1 of Arrested Development a husband who is a clinical psychologist is trying to work on his failing marriage with his wife. He tells her that sometimes he counseled people to have an open marriage, remaining emotionally attached by exploring other avenues for fulfillment in order to heal their marriage

“Does it work?” asks his wife.

He responds, “Oh no it never does. I mean these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but . . . but it might work for us.”

It’s funny because it’s true.

The same scenario plays itself out in parishes and religious orders. Put two parishes or two religious orders side by side, one flourishing and one languishing and way too often the one languishing will keep the course as steady as a helmsman with his eye on home port after three month at sea (even though it is on fire, under naval attack, burning with the black plague, and under interdict by the local ordinary.) The mantra is, “But we are right – and all we have to do is keep going the course and our mission will catch on!” though the end is in sight like a knitter who nears the end of a ball of yarn.

It is reflected in marriage. Our society is determined what it wants to believe about marriage (and here I am speaking of traditional marriage between a man and woman) though the same formula used over and over again has lead to skyrocketing divorce, broken families, abortion becoming the number one cause of death in the United States, and any number of other social ills too numerous to list and our answer to it (as politically correct animals) is to go even further down the same path because we are sure we are right and at any moment will find ourselves in verdant pastures. This in spite of what our own statistics tell us.

What comes closest to assuring a long lasting marriage in the United States today? As reported (in the comics section!) of the Plain Dealer, in the book, “Social Psychology” by David Myers it is this:
1. Both from stable two parent homes.
2. Dated for a “good while” before marriage.
3. Did not live together.
4. Did not have a baby.
5. Are religious.

Funny, I heard this somewhere before. Maybe it was the child’s rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”

Or maybe it was catechism class.

To be fair there are several other factors they sited:
1. Married over the age of 20
2. Well educated
3. Stable income
4. Living in a small town or farm
5. Are of similar demographics on such areas as age, education, and faith.

To not have these reflected in your relationship in toto or a good portion of them, “breakdown is almost a sure bet.” So even if you do not want to take your cue from Scripture, if you do not want to be “obedient” to the Church, if you truly love your spouse, take these points under advisement. To not seems to be risky. Might your relationship work anyway? “Oh no it never does. I mean these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but . . . but it might work for us.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


There’s something worth paying attention here to.” This is what my cousin, a fellow priest, leaned over to me and said during a diocesan meeting of all priests yesterday. I am inclined to agree.

All the priests of the Diocese of Cleveland were together in a great hall at the seminary for a seminar on the new translation of the Mass. My thoughts have been that I was looking forward to the translation but not the implantation of it. It will feel like, and in fact be, the most significant and difficult change to effect in the liturgical lives of Catholics since the sweeping reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Read: Teaching an elephant to walk a tightrope.

Then I heard the new translations proclaimed. I am not a person that rides heavily on my emotions. I am just not built that way. But when I heard some of the texts read I felt a stirring inside. They are absolutely beautiful. Knowing that it will still require great care in the introduction of this new translation and realizing full well there will be people who will resent it (probably exacerbated by my not presenting well to and for all parties) I have moved from having my first concern being the difficulties of introduction to anxiously awaiting the day we may pray these words.

The presenter spoke about why the English language translation is receiving such scrutiny. To begin with, English has become the new lingua Franca. It has become the new international language of common use. Should not then this most important of languages be treated with extra care? And not only that, there are many languages for which there are not scholars readily available schooled not only in their own language but in the depths and knowledge of Latin required to translate prayers going back to before 9th century. Therefore they use the English translation to translate into their tongue. The English translation then is extremely important and it is imperative that it be not only true (as far as translations go) but also beautiful. What is wrong with the English translation will affect the world.

But that does not mean that everyone is going to like it. Conversely there are those who offer numerous and constant complaints over my 12 years as a priest about the current translation. There are those who simply love the way it is (or are simply used to it) and there are those who will go gaga over the new translation. In other words, when trying to please millions of people you are not going to win no matter what you do – damned if you do and damned if you don’t. But no matter what side of the translation fence you happen to think the grass is greener on, the implementation of the new Missal is going to happen. Individuals then can choose to be joyful in it – or at least cooperative – or minimally: obedient, or they can fight and scream, cry, “Foul!”, storm out, and in general make the inevitable as miserable as possible.

That is not always a bad thing. It keeps people on their toes and makes sure that what is going on is darn legitimate. But this is the Mass. It is what we have. We can love it in its latest form or we can choose to be miserable.

I choose joy.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND: “The Crusader wished to make Jerusalem a Christian town; but the English dies not wish to make Berlin an English town. He only has hatred of it as a Prussian town.” G. K. Chesterton in, “The Meaning of the Crusades.

QUOTE II: “Where two are three are gathered in His name, we will serve donuts.” Marguarite Nagy


WIN THIS CAR! Go here to get a ticket. Support the students of St. Sebastian School and win a 2010 KIA Soul. Proceeds from the raffle will directly reduce tuition for the 2010-2011 school year and provide funds for unique learning programs.

At the last St. Sebastian Men's Breakfast Club they provided some websites to give a boost to men's spiritual lives. They are,, and

Diane sent this in: "I know when my friend, Elaine and I started our website I sent the link out. We have made improvements and are open to more suggestions as to how we can make it better! Please take a look and read the posts from the beginning!" The site, "is your resource for: Practical advice on how to navigate the medical maze, videos to show you how to safely assist a loved one with personal care and daily tasks, and downloadable forms to help you communicate effectively with your doctor." See the site here.

The Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter asks did you know, "The gateway to heaven is through the chapel doors at Sacred Hearts Academy in Honolulu. Or so one could argue after watching the series finale of the ABC-TV show "Lost" in late May. Several key scenes in the last episode were shot at the all-girls Catholic school.

The finale's penultimate scene showed the major characters from the TV show's six seasons reuniting after their deaths in a church before "moving on" to another life, as character Christian Shephard called it in the episode, named 'The End.'" Read more here.

From the same source: "Did you know, the National Catholic College Admission Association was established in 1959? The National CCAA is a nonprofit organization of Catholic colleges and universites committed to promoting the value of Catholic higher education and serving students in the transition to college." Read more here.

Do you want to be armed with the proper statistics when entering a discussion about abortion and life? Here is short video (2:01) to help you out from Godtube.

Thanks to E. L. we have this slide show from this weekend at St. Sebastian. It includes our first Eucharistic procession for Corpus Christi (with the new canopy made by one of our parishioners) as well as the piano and organ recitals and the battle of the bands. Thank you so much!

Created with flickr slideshow.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Sorry for the hiatus. Thanks for coming back.

I was off to celebrate a funeral for my Uncle Louie. He is in all actuality Catholic though his family is not, but they graciously offered to let me have a funeral home service for him and then they will come to St. Sebastian this summer and we will have a Mass.

So, I drove out to Chicago, a plane trip being too time consuming and degrading to warrant spending the amount of money it would cost. A traveler’s survivor sack was packed with water, snacks, change for the MANY toll booths, and an audio course to review the history of the crusades in order to be better informed for the Chesterton Society meeting that would take place Sunday.

Still in Akron I hit a traffic jam almost as bad as the ones that would be faced in Chicago. An “EXTRA WIDE LOAD” was too wide to fit through a construction zone and got caught up on the cement barriers. Then, horror of horrors, the two thirds of the audio course were missing from their jackets! Arg! Well, at least I got to review the last third of the crusades.

I arrived at midday at the Margarita Inn which was built in the 1920’s by the Catholic Church to house single women who came to the city to work and needed a safe place to stay. Now it has a second life as a “European” (read: no bathrooms en suite) bed and breakfast. But it is a charming, five sto

ry, elegant place with wood paneled library, roof garden, and a common room with oriental rugs and wing backed chairs where breakfast is offered. There not much to give the impression that it is anything but the 1920s there still save for the way people dress and the computer behind the check in desk. Checking in I was warmly greeted by the lovely lady who has worked there for as long as I have been staying there who make me feel like I am the most important person who stays there. She handed me my key (a key! – not a card!) and messages from my family. (Who gets messages at the front desk anymore? You see? I was in heaven.)

For calling hours I gathered the cousins that were on our side of town and drove to the funeral home. Oh! The traffic! I’ll never complain about Akron traffic again! After some time there I took my uncle’s wife and children to a private room to plan a service. Thank goodness the Catholic Church has a ritual and prayers to say so I did not have to spend a tremendous amount of time making a form up and then trying to figure out what the prayers should say.

We talked about Louie for in fact I did not know him intimately. He had moved to Chicago even before I was born which meant we got together for holidays, weddings, funerals, parties, (and ordinations.) He met my Aunt Jan in Chicago. He had lied about his age in order to get into the air force during WWII. (My Dad did the same thing. Must be something about Slovenian men.) He went to buy cigarettes at the Walmart and his future wife refused to sell them to him because we was too young. He threw the pack at her and stormed out. After cooling down he started to feel poorly and so went back, apologized, and asked for a date – which he got – and so began our family’s branch in Chicago.

Back at the Inn I gather my notes, the readings, some paper and a pen and head off to the library to sit in my favorite chair and think about a homily. Starting is always the most difficult part exacerbated by the lateness of the hour. One attempt is started and the discarded. The pen hovers over the paper. What would I want to hear? A line comes that I have used before but want to use again, “Today is a day of hope . . .” and from there the ink flows from the pen onto the yellow stick’m notes. Despite the long hours of the next day, the drive back across town, leading services at the funeral home and the graveyard, the seven hour drive home, the most difficult part is now over, and I go up to my room and fall into a deep sleep.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


N. B. Adam’s Ale is going away. No, not forever, just for the next three days. I am unexpectedly going out of town for a funeral. Please come back on Monday! God bless.

FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND: “If money had been the way to save the world, Christ Himself would have been rich.” Phyllis Bottome

QUOTE II: “It is our business to try to change the external faults of the Church – the vulgarity, the lack of scholarship, the lack of intellectual honesty – wherever we find them and however we can.” Flannery O’Conner


Fr. Pf brought this to my attention: "The Headmaster at The Lyceum, a Catholic school which pursues a classical liberal arts curriculum in the Cleveland, Ohio area, will be hosting a symposium that will be offered there one week from today, Monday, June 7th, on Sacred Art, Architecture and Music.

The speakers for the symposium will include none other than Fr. Samuel Weber, OSB, the Director of the Institute of Sacred Music in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and William Heyer, a classical architect who also teaches at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. In addition, a local art historian, Dr. Sarah Smith, will also be speaking. These will be presented at the school, which is located at 2062 Murray Hill Road. For times, please inquire with the school.

Mass will also be offered at beautiful St. Stephen's Church at 10:00am. The church is located at 1930 W. 54th St. in Cleveland. I would encourage those in the Cleveland, Ohio, are to take this opportunity to attend.

The Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter reports, "Recently Cleveland's Fox 8 featured a story about the many social services that are provided to Northeast Ohio through Cleveland Catholic Charities." Watch here.

From Gilbert Magazine: There is a group in London that gets together to play original games. Among the games they pay are "The Man Who Was Thursday" and "Poets vs Policement." The link to the games can be found here.

Here's a three minute video - a little late for May but still worth it.