Friday, November 30, 2012



THANK YOU to everybody who contacted me to help me with my blog problems.  If you are experiencing the same problem and you are as much of a Luddite as I am and most of the advice on line makes absolutely no sense to you whatsoever, HERE IS A SITE where someone takes the time to hold you by the hand and walk you through the process.  Thank you so very much.
As it turns out it seems that Monday Diary cartoons are the really big culprit.  The largest picture one is suppose to have is 800 pixils I guess (whatever that means) and the cartoon pics were around 2,600 each.  IT TAKES TIME TO FIX but it is fixable.
Which brings me to a thought:  What on earth are we going to do if there is some sort of national calamnity?  I can't figure out how to put a picture in on my blog - if I had to, what would I do if I had to build a shelter, make my own clothes, catch and prepare a deer, build a fire to stay warm, remember which leaves not to use in the bathroom, pick the right mushrooms (which I wouldn't do anyway) and how to make tea out of blue spruce needles?  (How do you harvest a hamburger patty from a cow?  Do they peel off somehow?)
Don't get caught in a similar trap with the faith.  Why don't we use electic lights instead of candles?  Why don't we use (even really, really good) canned music instead of live music?  Why can't we watch Mass on T.V. instead of going to Church?  Why is a pipe organ better than an electric instrument meant to sound like a pipe organ?  Why can't we just sit still and listen instead of having to do Catholic arobics and sing all of time etc. etc. etc.  Because we do not want to be helpless needing to be spoon fed our faith should we be on our own.  If all of a sudden our support is no longer around us, we should be fitted out to carry on our faith and faith practices - not be completely shut down as I was with my blog because I couldn't understand what was happening to me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "A modern vegetarian is also a teetotaler, yet there is no obvious connection between consuming vegetables and not consuming fermented vegetables. A drunkard, when lifted laboriously out of the gutter, might well be heard huskily to plead that he had fallen there through excessive devotion to a vegetable diet.” – G.K. Chesterton  h/t to Ellen
QUOTE II:  "Never drink and try to entertain."  Frances Valencheck
Well, no solution has presented itself yet to my picture dilemma.  I've gone on to these threads and it seems that an unusual amount of people were suddenly given the same message at the exact same time and no amount of deleting seems to be doing any good besides going ahead and buying the extra space.  This reminds me remarkably about the time I was locked out of my AOL account for a month and then suddenly it just came back amid a lot a Emails about "buy protection for your AOL account so that nobody can ever take it over and lock you out."
. . . *ahem*
So I will wait a little bit.  Maybe it is true and they just had a major purging which is just fine - but there is still some sort of bug there and I am not ready to make any drastic changes just yet.

(The pictures today were not uploaded new.  They were previously uploaded.)
Fr. D sent this in:   "Would you please let your readers know that Borromeo Seminary is playing Saint Mary Seminary in basketball at our annual Holy War at the CPL Field House this Saturday night? The game begins at 7:15pm and admission is free. We'd like to pack the gym and allow the good folks of the diocese of Cleveland to see our seminarians engage in some healthy competition. Also, there will be entertainment, giveaways, contests, and prizes. Borromeo will also be introducing their new pep band!"
From the artist that did the paintings of Saint Sebastian for this parish came this:  "The new art book by artist Eric Armusik, "Silent Emotions," is now available for pre-order! This full color book features over three dozen of Eric's paintings."  For more information go here.
This was sent in from the diocese:  "The position for Director of the Lorain Catholic Action Commission,, the social action office serving Lorain and Elyria is open and now posted on the Cleveland Catholic Charities website"  Go here.  It is job listing 22.
THE EMMAUS ROUNDTABLE SITE IS LIVE!  Go here to see it and learn more about the Emmaus Roundtable.
I did not know this story until S.H. of the Halo Foundation showed it to me.  Inspiring!

Monday, November 26, 2012


There is a Monday Diary ready to come out, but when I try to upload my pictures I get this notice:
"Whoops! You're out of space. You are currently using 100% of your 1 GB quota for photos"
The problem is: I don't even know what this means!  Is there no more space on my computer?  On my blog site?  Can I erase pictures on my computer or on the blog?????  Does this mean that I have to pay $$$ for more space wherever that is . . .
I tried to go to the "helpful" site but of course it was anything but.  You have to know what a computer is before you can understand what it is they are trying to tell you.
Can anyone out there in blog land enlighten me?


Fr. V

Thursday, November 22, 2012


From the entire staff here at Adam's Ale, a very blessed Thanksgiving to you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


If you are looking to get married you don’t hide things about yourself in order to lure someone into marrying you.  One of two things might happen as a result: 1) You will be somewhat unhappy hiding something for the rest of your life or 2) Your spouse will be feel angry and betrayed when whatever it is you are concealing becomes exposed.


For some reason (and I occasionally fall for it myself) preachers do the same thing in trying to “keep the numbers up.”  Dicey and controversial topics are not brought up in homilies, prayer services, or classes because we might lose people.  So leading up to the last election much of the Catholic Church was caught with its pants down trying to proclaim a message but unfortunately for much of the Church it was too late: Catholics did not need to be reminded about what our faith says about many of these touchy topics, they needed introduced to a mindset that produces these beliefs.  A pamphlet or a homily one week before the election aint gonna cut it.
There is a gentleman who works at St. Sebastian who happens to not be Catholic.  One day he stopped me and presents me with a list of topics ranging from abortion to health care.  “When was the last time you preached on any of these topics?” he asked me for he was greatly saddened that he had not heard any of this talked about at all at his church ever.  “Our faith is supposed to help us understand these things.  If we don’t hear about them at church there are plenty of other people out there working hard to have us think the way they want us to think about them.”
Now I admit that I am intimidated to speak on some of these matters.  But they are what they are – they are who we are.  It is not matter of politics – it is Catholic 101.  That some of these topics happen to line up with hot button issues going on in politics is just happenstance.  And we must be honest about who we are for we are in covenant together and that means full disclosure as one would hope a future spouse would offer.
Just one last note: I know there is some amount of wiggle room in some of these topics.  I am just saying we must talk about them as Church.  Only then can someone make a clear, full, and free decision if they want to be part of (or leave) this intimate Communion of people.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God.  The proud, the averace, the self righteous are in that danger."  from C. S. Lewis's, "The Problem of Pain"
QUOTE II:  "[One] man serves God as a son, [another] as a tool."  same source.
This appeared in my inbox.  It is a link to a sight to a Christian sculptor.  You know, it is difficult for artists to make it creating art for the Church because we keep buying things out of catalogues.  If we do not support artists, they will receive their support from those who will pay them - and those are largely not venues for the building up of the dignity of mankind. 
As you may be aware this past Sunday was the blessing and dedicatory concert of the new organ at St. Sebastian Parish.  The Akron Beacon Journal did a fabulous article in the Sunday paper about it and Collette Jenkins also published an article on line with a short video.  You can find it here.

From the Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter:  "The Catholic faith community in the Diocese of Cleveland is invited to review the Diocese of Cleveland's Financial 'Report to the Community 2012.'"  Read more here.
A few of you have written or spoken to me about your comments being removed from the comments section of the blog.  It has been a year since I thought it necessary to remove a comment.  So no, you did nothing wrong and I have no idea why your comment is not posted.  Please keep trying!  When putting in the "code word" remember that there is also a picture of a number that needs to be entered also.  God bless!

Monday, November 19, 2012


There is a young adult in the parish who decided that he wanted to start serving at the altar.  Though this story is true, the names have been changed to protect the guilty.  So let's just say his name is Raul.
Raul came to serve Tuesday night benediction last week.  It was Raul's first experience with the thurible (or incense thingy.)
For some reason, the thurible that I though was in reasonably capabe hands kind of did this flip/explosion thing and burning hot embers shot out.
Fortunately most of the burning coals landed on marble.
Like I said, "most of the burning coals . . ."
Our kneeling pad caught on fire.  Just a small one. 

Anyway, of course Raul felt poorly so I let him in on some little known secrets.
There is a reason we no longer have a rug in the sanctuary at St. Sebastian.
There is a reason that there is no longer a flawless parquet flooring at St. Peter and Paul.
There's a reason that St. Clare no longer has wall to wall carpeting in the sacristy.
After I got after the initial shock, I stomped on the embers as best I could because I had to get out on the sanctuary.  All seemed Okay and safe at the moment.
Coming back in there was noticed a pungeant smell and smoke in the room.  It hadn't gone out and was re-lighting!  I dumped water in the floor.
After another hour or so all seemed right with the world and so I vacuumed it up.

And that is why they also have a new vacuum cleaner.

So don't fret.  Join the club kid.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Things are wonderfully hectic here at the parish as we prepare for the organ dedication.  They are so busy that one would think that Christmas was this weekend (save that there are no decorations in the house.)  So rather than say anything lengthy or useful, I thought I would share this humorous little tidbit under the category “Nuptial Entertaining.”  It concerns what should be served for breakfast to your guests the day after the wedding.
To quote Mrs. Fenner:  “To serve more than four courses for a wedding breakfast is almost unheard of nowadays.  (You can say that again.)  For such a breakfast as we have been describing, four might be served, in which case a possible menu would be:


“Consume Madrilene

Lobster Newberg * Toast Points

Cold Ham in Aspic * Endive Salad

Pineapple Ice


“The following three course menus are also elaborate enough for a lavish breakfast:



Roast Duck with oranges * endive salad

Fruits refraische au rhum





Roast Squab with Wild Rice * Russian Salad

Chocolate Ice Cream




“Minted Fresh Pineapple

Chicken Eugene * Asparagus, butter sauce

Strawberry Mousse”




The traditional post nuptials breakfast in our family is potica and coffee.

Now to be fair she does offer other menus for less formal weddings but none of them include potica and coffee.
Only a couple times in my life have I had a breakfast like the ones mentioned above.  They were fun but I admit to rather a fan of “Farm Breakfasts” with a heavy emphasis on dairy and meat products. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The Parish of Saint Sebastian
requests the honour of your presence
at the
Blessing Ceremony
of its new
Pipe Organ

to be celebrated by
His Excellency
The Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon
and the
Dedicatory Concert
to be presented by
Mrs. Lynn Frey-Steward
Sunday, the eighteenth of November
two thousand and twelve
at half past three in the afternoon

St. Sebastian Parish Church
Akron, OH


Pipe organs in some form have been around since well before the time of Christ and had been a favorite instrument of emperors and kings.  For centuries, in one form another, the pipe organ has been married (as it were) to the Church and her worship.  According to the Second Vatican Council document “Musicam Sacrum” paragraph 62, “The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, since it is its traditional instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lift up men's minds to God and higher things.”
Until the advent of the computer, the pipe organ was the most complicated and advanced piece of technology in the world.  With this one instrument, a single musician can replace a whole orchestra and fill a space with sound that just is not possible with a piano (unless a microphone is used.)  It can speak softly to accompany soloist or it can take on the force of mighty orchestra and full tilt.  It can produce different sounds from flutes to strings to trumpets.  It is a marvel of ingenuity, beauty, artistry, and history.
The St. Sebastian organ made by the Schantz Organ Company will consist of 2,683 pipes.  There are 44 ranks of pipes.  (A rank is a set of pipes usually consisting of 61 pipes.)  There will be four divisions, the Great organ, the Swell organ, Positiv organ, the Choir organ, as well as the pedal division.  The new organ will have two division exposed to the congregation, which is new.  Previously the entire organ was contained behind a screen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Say it was a very trying day.  When you get home all you can think of is getting to bed and falling into a deep slumber, after all, you must be up early in the morning.  So you think to yourself, “Ugh!  I haven’t done my night prayers yet.  I just don’t have the energy to do them.  I think I am just going to skip them tonight.  Maybe I can make up for them tomorrow.”  In the time that it took you to think these thoughts as you shuffle toward your bed in your slippers, you could have said most of a Hail Mary.  It may not have been the prayer you usually do, it may not have been the quality of your nightly prayers, but it is a far cry better than skipping prayer all together.
I don’t recommend using this as your only method of prayer, but next time you are tempted to think, “I just don’t have time to pray now,” know that you do – for if you had time to think that thought, you had time to pray however brief.  It is far better than not praying at all.
And when something comes up and you think, “I should really pray about that.  I should make some time later to make sure I pray.”  That is a very good thing to do.  Put it on the docket for some quality contemplation time.  But you could have shot the first salvo of prayer across the bow right them.  In the time it took you to think about putting prayer on the docket, you could have already sent a message to heaven.
And when someone asks you to pray for something, if it is feasible and you are willing, say yes and do it right.  Suggest that you say a Hail Mary right at that moment together (when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name . . .) or in the back of your mind immediately think, “God, hear this persons appeal.”
Prayer can be anytime/anywhere.  “Pray always,” says Scripture.  Prayer on the fly may not be the best prayer, but more prayer rather than less is always better.

Monday, November 12, 2012


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Lapses in grammar, in your bathrobe, with your spouse, in the morning before the coffee is ready, doesn't bother me."  Barbara Wallraff, author of Word Court
QUOTE II:  "'Let's eat Grandma' 'Let's eat, Grandma'  Commas save lives."  T-shirt
Here is an interesting article on the Church and blogging.  About one in three Catholics wish their priests or bishops blogged.  Read more here.

People often wonder why Catholic information doesn't make it to the faithful.  "Why didn't I hear about this?" I am often asked.  It is because you have to go looking for it.  Popular media is not going to bring it to you.  Diocesan newspapers do not reach people as they used to, one can only preach so much, and people do not know where to look.  Perhaps parish bulletins need to change their mission.  But perhaps this is one reason blogging, at least for the moment, is so important.  Did you know the pope made contact with the president after the election?  The Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter made it possible for you to find out.  "Vatican City, 7 November 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI, through the apostolic nunciature in Washington, U.S.A., has sent a message to Barack Obama, congratulating him on his re-election as president of the United States of America."  Read more here.

From the same source:  "Did you know that during the Year of Faith, the Diocese of Cleveland is featuring short videos of people talking about their faith and everyday life?"  See more here.
P sent this in:  "Dear Fr. V. and Fr. P., This link is for Cardinal George's most recent column, printed in the Oct. 21st issue of the Chicago archdiocesan paper, The Catholic New World.  In the column, the Cardinal referenced his now "viral" quotation about dying in his bed etc., explaining the context and adding an additional line that is generally omitted when the quotation is repeated." 
The part of the quote this article is addressing is, "I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square."
Ellen sent this in:


A wonderful phone call came into the rectory this past week:

Well, it seemed almost that quick.  The desk is absolutely beautiful, solid wood, a nice antique.  And huge.  And heavy.  Even in a house of this size a lot of prep work needed to go in to making room for it.
There is no easy way to get anything into this house.  The driveway door is tiny and involves corners and steps so most large things like pianos and desks must be delivered through the front door.  Unfortunately there is no way to get to the front door and so such things must be carried from the street down a long and uneven sandstone path and up steps.  Fr. P and I are very grateful to the fellows who helped get this behemoth thing into the house.
And that is when the life sized game of checkers began.
So of course my desk had to moved and so Fr. P and I moved it out of my office and then carried the new desk in.  It was apparent almost from the start that it would not fit, so we moved that desk back out and moved the original desk back in.  Deciding that it might fit in his office better we moved his desk out and moved the new desk in.  But what to do with his desk?
We moved a desk out of the Chesterton Room in the west wing and moved it to the top floor where we have a new resident's room that needed furnishing and so went to move his old desk to fill the space now open in the Chesterton Room.  We fought winding stairs, many corners, and worst of all . . .

Small door ways.  There are three sizes of doors in this rectory: Ginormous, oddly narrow, and "Who in their right cotton-picking mind ever thought that a door this small would be useful?"

We twisted it, flipped it, wedged it, took the door off and . . . nothing.  It just wasn't going to happen.  So we finally resorted to taking the desk apart in order to make it fit.

Friday, November 9, 2012



From this point Mrs. Fenner gets into wedding etiquette.  I just can’t do it.  It would be like facing another presidential campaign.  I don’t have the heart.  Describing the engagement part alone seems to me as daunting as painting the hull of a battleship in my pajamas as it floats in a rough see in January near the Artic Circle.  But there is one part that piqued my interest:  How to make your wedding more Catholic.
Mrs. Fenner does not say it but we’ll rush right in and say first; don’t do things at your wedding service or Mass that are not Catholic and are not part of our Tradition or tradition or are not part of your cultural background.  Having such things as the “jumping of the broom” and the “sand ceremony” and the terrible “unity candle” ceremony (with which there are so many problems I will not even write about it again but you can find more here) just add repetition, time stalling ceremonies, and conflicting or competitive symbols.
A wedding Mass may or may not be most appropriate.  This is a time of unification.  If one family is largely not Catholic it might be more wise not to have a Mass at which a large percentage of the people will be asked in one manner or another to not come forward during Communion.  But if both families are Catholic, by all means have a Mass.

Bearing in mind that a couple is engaging in a sacrament when they marry, symbols of the sacrament may be used.  The most common is the interlocking rings combined with a cross.  These may be used on the program or even the invitation.  This and other Catholic/Christian symbols may also be used on the wedding cake.  “The foolish bide-and-groom dolls or orange blossoms which usually decorate a wedding cake are symbols,” writes Mrs. Fenner, “although we seldom think of them as such because too-frequent use has rendered them almost meaningless.” 
A worship aid may also be used.  It should not simply be a list of characters such as is found at the end of a movie, but of true use.  What is going on?  Who may go to Communion?  What is done next?  What does it mean?  Where do I find the hymn? 
Wedding rings might engraved on the inside of the band with a short Scripture passage.  Flowers may take on significant meaning.  For example, roses are the most common and are symbolic of Mary.  Traditionally red is for the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, yellow for the glorious, and white for the joyful.
There are some ceremonies that, while not part of the liturgy of the Church, are somewhat acceptable.  One is the visit to the Mary altar by the bride (and groom) during the singing of the Ave Maria.  Generally a rose is left at her altar as a token of that prayer.  Since it is not a part of the actual ceremony it should almost seem as though it were a spontaneous act on the part of the couple overcome with joy and moved by the singing of this Marian hymn.  Therefore it should not be announced, “NOW THE BRIDE WILL BE GOING OVER TO THE MARY STATUE TO . . .”  Rather, when the hymn is sung (maybe as a reflection after Communion,) the bride simply stands, walks over to the chapel and prays, leaves a rose, and returns to her seat before the end of the song.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I hate to say I told you so.”

Nobody likes the guy that says this – the guy that always takes such joy in being “right.”  You darn well he does not hate to say it and that makes it all the more annoying.


Keeping that in mind I can agree with what one local worship leader said recently, “I get very nervous when people start saying they know what is right.  People need to decide for themselves who and what they should vote for.”  The “right thing” can be somewhat subjective.  And perhaps I get a little nervous but to tell the truth, I want someone to have convictions.  I want someone to stand up and say, “I believe this and intend on acting on it and I believe you should also.”  To say, “Well, this is right for me, but maybe it isn’t right for everyone,” is akin to saying I don’t really think that it is right in the first place.  What we get nervous about is the person who believes they are right but will not engage the conversation.  Bumper sticker arguments are bandied around like ping pong balls never really affecting the person they are hitting.
But there is a difference between being right and discussing truth.  It is true that not everybody has the same idea concerning truth.  But a faith should be very clear about what faith is or it really doesn’t have anything to say.  Nobody should be blindly influenced by an institution (indeed the Catholic teaching is that each person should look into matters and be informed beginning with not only what by WHY the Church teaches as she does) but that does not mean that institution should not speak out boldly.  I don’t need an institution to say, “I don’t know, what do you think?”  I can do that at home with my buddies.  Give me back my $20 for Valuetime Cheese curls to eat while we debate thank you.
Institutions form because they believe in something.  In the case of the Catholic Church it fundamentally believes in the absolute value, dignity, and sacredness of all human life from conception until natural death, in freedom of religion, in marriage being constituted of one man and one woman, and so forth.  So even in an election year, I have no qualms about her speaking her mind in these matters.  She may not be able to tell me what button to push, chad to punch, or circle to fill in, but she can guide me in what she thinks is truth.  If she doesn’t, she is miserably failing in her role in society and become nothing more than a mirror, reflecting back you your own image and saying, “You’re the fairest of them all.”
It the height of silliness to want a Church to tell you that you are right in whatever you think.  What is useful is a Church that tells us we may be wrong when we think we are right.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Lori Thorat wrote a letter to the editor in the Plain Dealer stating, “I can’t stop thinking about the infuriating logic behind the idea that a pregnancy resulting from a rape is God’s will as espoused by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.”  In a horribly misguided statement recently Mourdock is reported to have said, “. . . I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."  Taken by many, including Thorat, that he means that God wills for children to be conceived by rape, this statement is not one that even the most ardent prolife person can stand by.  It is certainly not the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Does God will the conception of a child from rape?  Clearly not.  That is not the plan.  Even a rudimentary understanding of Scripture would reveal that this is not the way God intended for human beings to live and procreate.  “For this reason a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife . . . they are no longer two but one flesh.”  That is the plan that God wills.
But there is still the difficult question of the person that was conceived under horrific conditions, the effects of which will not be completely erased even if that person is removed from the situation by abortion.  The question might be phrased this way, “Would God will that another innocent person be harmed in order to help mitigate the horrendous damage done to another human being by such an evil abuse of God’s gift of sex?”  I believe that is the question that Mourdock really wished to address (and indeed tried to clarify later but it was too late.)  And an answer must go further than a simple “yes” or “no” but must also deal with the further consequences of the “yes” or “no” answer.  Either is a theological answer (including whether a conceived person has any rights and can be afforded the social justice teachings of the Church) and requires a response.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Responsible citizenship is a virtue,
and participation in political life is a moral obligation."  Faithful Citizenship
QUOTE II:  "By our baptism, Catholics are committed to following Jesus Christ and to be "salt for the earth, light for the nations." As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, "It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This is inherent in the dignity of the human person ... As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life" (nos. 1913-1915)."

You are invited to the new pipe organ dedication and concert at St. Sebastian Parish on Sunday, November 18th at 3:30 in the afternoon.  Bishop Lennon will bless the organ followed by a concert by Mrs. Lynn Frey Steward.  Please join us!
Fr. Damian with whom I had the pleasure of dining with yesterday as another excellent article on Word on Fire.  See it here.
The Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter asks, "Do your faith beliefs influence who you vote for in the Presidential election? Visit the home page of the Diocese of Cleveland web site to locate the blue web poll question box and answer this week's question."
From the same source:  "Did you know that Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), is among the nation's largest disaster response organizations?"  Read more here.

Tom took this picture of our Sacred Heart statue but the sky is from over the church the same morning.  He combined the two and this is the result.  Thanks!


Monday, November 5, 2012


It's not all seriousness and work in the priesthood.  Last week one of my favorite priest friends came over for dinner with Fr. P. and myself.  We spent some time going over some of our adventures as very young priests (as opposed to the relatively young priests we are today.)

In the interest of the public welfare, I will not say what the great experiment was - no doubt many a mother will be glad of that fact.  Let me just say that it seemed very, very innocent and harmless.  Just know that part of it involved a very large bon fire out at the farm.  We are still not sure at what point or even how we realized something was awry, but we thought it best to go stand behind a tree for a spell.  When nothing happened we just stepped out from behind the trunk when there was a gigantic explosion.  It blew the fire out, created a crater, threw the logs aside, and filled the whole area completely around us with burning hot embers.  It looked like the stars in the sky done in red flung across the grass.
There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't have had shards of burning coals and wood shot through our bodies.  There is only one reason I can image that we did not get seriously hurt that night.

For the most part, we have been very good since then.  Now we look up experiments on magic phone first to 1) see how they are supposed to be done and 2) find out what possible repercussions there might be.  Notice I said "for the most part." 

This was Father P's grand idea.  Supposedly if you drop Menthos in Diet Coke you get quite a shooting fountain effect.  So we went out that night and bought the ingredients and went to the park late at night to give it a shot.

From first hand experience I can tell you that it works and instantaneously at that.  That would have been the end of it if Fr. O hadn't mentioned another experiment involving an empty pop bottle, water, and Alkaseltzer.  Supposedly if you put some water in the bottle, put the Alkaseltzer in, cap it, and throw it, it will make a loud boom.  So we tried it.
The results were very disappointing.  Fr. O was brave enough to go have a look.
The second time we consulted Magic Phone.  With better instructions we set out to try the experiment again.
The results were equally disappointingly.  Almost.

And thus did the evening of experimenting come to a quick and soggy end.