Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The weather is pretty bad outside and it is so close to Thanksgiving so I am giving the staff of Adam's Ale the rest of the week off!


Top ten things for which I was thankful for in the first ten minutes I woke up"

10. I woke up.
9. It is my "day away" and so I could fall back to sleep.
8. The comforter was comforting.
7. I could smell coffee.
6. I could see the most beautiful snow from my window without getting up.
5. I remembered to have my breviary on my night stand instead of across the room and so could stay in bed and pray.
4. I remembered I was going to see friends today.
3. My cough seems to be gone!
2. I am so happy to be a priest!
1. I remembered to be thankful.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  You don’t get to God through community, you get community through God.”  Rev. J. Weaver


QUOTE II:  If you don’t accept people for who they are you being to have expectations of them.”  Rev. Wiegand



The Anglican Church will now begin ordaining women as bishops.  Fr. Longenecker opines about here.

From the Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter is this message from Bishop Lennon:  "Next week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day on Thursday the 28th of November. This celebration is a very American day as we pause from the usual happenings to acknowledge gratitude for our blessings, and for our way of life. It is a day that is special in so many ways as people strive to spend it with family members or with very dear friends. It is a day which focuses for so many people on our homes as special places in our lives, which we hold dear in our memories."  Read more here.
I came across this accidently.  It is a site for Catholic images "for use in liturgical programs." 
The third selection on this Diocese of Cleveland Youtube page is very interesting concerning music at our Cathedral of St. John.  See here.

Monday, November 25, 2013


We are so close the end of the liturgical year that you can already see the purple vestments being taken out of storage.  It is time for the annual changing over of the books.  The missal ribbons all need to be moved back to the front pages and we need to switch out the daily lectionary to the next cycle.  The weekend lectionary will be put on the shelf and its next sibling brought down and the Book of Gospels changes over.  We move from the current volume of the breviary to the first volume and reset all the ribbons in order to pray the Liturgy of the Hours in advent.  All of the hundreds of missallettes must be collected, hauled to the recycle bin, and replaced with the books for the new liturgical year.  And the ordos (the books that tell you what books you are supposed to be using and what page you should be looking at in those books) are discarded and replaced with new ones.  Finally, the lector’s workbooks are passed out that have the readings for the new year.  It is time consuming, sometimes wasteful, and often confusing.  But it is a great marking of the change of the seasons.  It is not unlike the muddy time between a colorful autumn and the white of winter.
Unless, of course, you are one of those person who uses ithings for everything.  In which case Saturday will be the day you hit the reset button.

No muddy season for you.



Friday, November 22, 2013




Sorry there was no post yesterday.  A funeral took up so much of the day that there was no time to post.

I keep getting “Join Twitter” messages.  I know that it must be some automatic thing.  I have no idea what it is or how to sign up for it.  Just so you know.
This weekend marks the end of the Year of Faith.  The YOF coincided with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  During this year we have been looking at the constitutions of the Church on Friday Potpourri which we were encouraged to do during this year.  We did not finish and it has been suggested that we should continue to look at the Catechism and the VII documents to help guide our faith.  So, with your indulgence, we will continue to look at these documents for a little while on Fridays.
Chapter VIII of Lumen Gentium
With paragraph 52 the documents turn a special eye to the Blessed Virgin Mary in a chapter entitled, “Our Lady.”  Wishing for us full redemption, God in His supreme goodness and wisdom, sent His Son to be born among us.  Just like a good general or leader of a nation, He did not rule from a desk in a fancy office but walked with and among His people and shared our life.  It reminds me of the Food Stamp Challenge that some politicians are taking up at the moment to try to live on the Food Stamp allowance that they give to those in need.  Walk the walk and all that.
This mystery continues to be unfolded within the Body of Christ which is connected to Christ as its Head.  The Body is the Church (us, those in purgatory, and the saints in glory) united as one in Christ.  First among all of us is Mary.  As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said of her, she is “Our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”


Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast;
Thy Image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,
As to a visible Power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee
Of mother's love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Advent is almost upon us and time to start thinking about what you might do to mark this oft neglected season.  Many people take advantage of making “straight the way of the Lord” by going to confession.  As you spend a little time over the next weeks considering what you have to confess, here is a short list of sins often looked over:


Praying daily.  The most used analogy in Scripture of how Jesus relates to His Church is bridegroom and bride; Jesus being the bridegroom and we the bride.  If that is so, how do you communicate with the divine spouse?  Would your spouse (or you) put up with it?  Would you go days without any intentional communication or when you do just grunt out a request for something?  If you’re not praying daily and adding thanks and praise and contrition along with petition, that is something that might need changed and confessed.
The Body:  Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  How do you treat your body?  Do you have the opportunity for enough sleep and not take it?  Do you eat enough (and not too much) and is what you consume good for you?  Do you get enough exercise?  Do you dress modestly?  Do you follow proper medical advice?  This body of yours is a gift.  How do you treat that gift?
Intake:  Are you careful about what comes in through the senses?  What do you listen to?  What do you look at or read? 
There was a holy day of obligation lately. 
Have you fulfilled your roles adequately?  These may include spouse, parent, friend, worker, student, son or daughter, sibling, citizen . . .
When someone has some heavy sins to confess, these are often overlooked.  And when people ask me, “Can you help me think of anything else?” I mention these and more often than not they hadn’t considered these.  So I offer them to you.  Hope they help.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Actual happiness looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensation for misery.  And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability.  And being content has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt."  from Adlous Huxley's, "Brave New Word"
QUOTE II:  "Linda was dying in company - in company with all the modern conveniences."  same source.
Adam sent this quote in:  "Pope John Paul II, concerning the role of music in regard to worship, said "Today, as yesterday, musicians, composers, liturgical chapel cantors, church organists and instrumentalists must feel the necessity of serious and rigorous professional training. They should be especially conscious of the fact that each of their creations or interpretations cannot escape the requirement of being a work that is inspired, appropriate and attentive to aesthetic dignity, transformed into a prayer of worship when, in the course of the liturgy, it expresses the mystery of faith in sound."  This is particularly cool as we are verging on opening our Academy of Culture and Arts.  Read about that here.
From the Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter:  "Purported visions of Mary, if taken in the wrong spirit, can sow confusion and distance people from the Gospel," said Pope Francis on Thursday, November 14, 2013."  Read more here.  In an associated story read about the diocesan decree on "Holy Love Ministries" here
Michelle sent this in:  "Anyone who has traveled to California is aware of the many glorious mission churches that dot the coastline – and of the fact that most of California’s major cities are named after saints. How did this happen?  Find out when EWTN airs an original five-part mini-series, “Serra: Ever Forward, Never Back.” Filmed on location in Spain, Mexico, and California, this beautiful docu-drama explores the life and heroic missionary activity of Blessed Junipero Serra. (Episodes 1 - 5 air 9:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 20 - 24. On Sunday, Nov. 24, in honor of the 300th anniversary of Serra’s birth, episodes 1-4 will re-air beginning at 7:30 pm ET and episode 5 will premiere at 9:30 pm ET).
This was sent in:  "We Knights are pleased to announce the recent re-launch of our website,  Take an interactive journey into the heart of St. Francis and a community dedicated to a renewal of Eucharistic adoration and the noble service of holy knighthood. Enter into our knightly Franciscan court and explore our member blog, the Eucharistic library, the take part area where you can add your prayer requests and obtain a free magazine, and much more! It is our part in the simple revolution of Pope Francis.

Monday, November 18, 2013


A couple of years ago a skunk moved into the neighborhood.  We sensed his presence immediately if you know what I mean.  But fortunately it has mostly been a "I won't bother you - you don't bother me" relationship.  We humans all understand this.  The dog: not so much.  Which makes this story all the more amazing.
At night I usually walk the dog around the campus (late) without a leash and turn off lights and pick up trash and in general make sure all is right with the world.  I few years ago when Fr. P was still here he sometimes joined me.  One particular night, after making sure nobody was walking around the property, we let Sebastian out for our walk and he took off like a shot.  He wasn't barking but making a "Whoohoohoo" sound that he conjures up when in hot pursuit of a woodland creature. 
He was making a bee line for the end of the drive in front of the parish hall when Fr. P asked, "What is that thing out there?"  We both came to the awful realization at the exact same moment.
And miraculously he did!  Inches from the animal!  The tail was up and pointed but Sebastian stopped and the skunk froze.  Of course we were screaming our fool heads off.  "Come here!  Stop!  Get away from there!  Nice kitty!"  Sebastian did his version of shrugging his shoulders and walked away and the skunk very slowly swaggered across the street like it had something to prove.  "I aint afraid no dog."
This happened a couple of times.  (I know, stupid priest - put your dog on a leash.)  Now I recognize the signs; the "Whoohoo" noise, the funny skulking run.  So I try the old "there's something even better over here" routine.
This happened again just two night ago.  Sebastian ran right up to the skunk - the scene was set for disaster, and they just parted and walked separate ways.  Either I have the most clever dog in the world or Akron has the kindest skunks ever.  That is all I can figure.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Lumen Gentium paragraph 51 (the conclusion of the chapter on the Pilgrim Church)
Catholics garner poor publicity when we misunderstand our own traditions and (even innocently) abuse them.  Take the cult of saints.  One of the mightiest reasons to develop a relationship with the saints is that they might influence you to live a better life.  We grow to know them and their situation better and try to emulate their faith and bravery in our own milieu.  Sometimes, however, individuals can become sidetracked with the various activities associated with the saint and miss out on what is truly important.  For example, instead of praying through the intercession of St. Jude, learning more about him, and trying to live a life in Christ more like he did, a person might become focused on some particular action such as finding a prayer with the instructions, “make 10 copies of this prayer and leave it in the church once every week for 5 weeks and then your prayer will be granted.”  So you check off that action and go on your merry way.  Where is the spiritual growth in that?  How did that bring you closer to Jesus?  How dangerously close that is to superstition such as “never walk under a ladder or you’ll have bad luck.”  “Run 10 copies of this on a copy machine and leave it in a church and you will have good luck.”
We are to grow closer to the saints in order to be more like them who strive to be more like Christ so that, rather than taking away from the worship of God, it will lead us more deeply into worship of Him Who is the glory of the saints.  By working together this Body of Christ shall all be united at the banquet of the Lamb.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I know I get stuck on one topic every now and then.  For those whom that annoys I apologize.  Currently I am on this whole atheist compared to Catholic kick.  It simply fascinates me. 
If you watched the video on Tuesday you witness one of the world’s most famous atheists and one of the princes of the Church . . . compare and contrast I suppose.  I understand why the cardinal wants to use any opportunity to express his beliefs – he has what believes is a divine mandate to do so.  What motivates the atheist?  Why would it be important to him that everyone understand him?  I suppose there are two main reasons – one, that he wants to be understood, and two, he must to some extent enjoy it.
The most interesting part of the interview for me is the “why” of the universe.  I interpret his question as to why there is anything as opposed to nothing.  Why should there be matter and space and such a thing as life?  The whole universe and everything in it would be equally as mysterious if it were the size and composition of a tiny pebble.  Why should there be something that can form structure, have energy – no – why should there be anything at all?  Why should there be existence?
Of course, for the Christian, the universe is full of meaning and purpose and direction and everything means something.  Where we came from, where we are, and where we are going are all very significant.  “Why” is based on a benevolent God who created all there is out of love and Who desires to share that love with those who freely choose to accept it.  All of creation is aiming toward that love.  So bringing others on board is very important. 


Unfortunately most of the self proclaimed atheists with whom I get the opportunity to speak are either not really atheists at all or have a very shallow understanding of the underpinnings of their atheism.  (I am sure they can be matched man for man with similar Catholics – probably outnumbered and in vast numbers – but such is my current experience.)  As one of my favorite Catholic speakers once said, “There are many good reasons to be an atheist, but most people don’t know enough to be one.”


So we turn to Dawkins.  Firstly I was disappointed that a lot of his argument was based in ridicule.  There was the dismissives, “Surly you don’t believe . . .” and his misleading presentation of the Christian position that then made it easy for him to ridicule.  But such is life.
What was truly interesting to me was his turn on the “why” of the universe.  He believes there is a scientific why to the universe.  Something caused it to form.  It can be explained.  It can’t be explained yet, but science will eventually tell us.  (Here he we see a basis of atheistic “belief” the same as the Christian “belief.”)  But as to the deeper why of the universe – the meaning behind it, he calls an absurd question.  There is no meaning to the universe.  It is not achieving any perfection.  It simply is.  So what does this debate matter unless you do it out of personal joy? 
So then he rejects social Darwinism and declares it wrong.  But how can he declare it absolutely wrong if there is no meaning to the universe?  The only way I can see is to say, “I have declared it wrong, I have the power (or the majority or what have you) and have decreed it so.”  Is that not, in effect, a form of Social Darwinism?  It can’t be both ways.  The universe cannot be meaningless and full of inherent good and evil at the same time.
So we both look at a pebble.  For both of us it is an amazing thing.  Scientifically it might reveal tons of information.  It might bring joy or be useful.  We could instill meaning into it such as, “This is the rock I picked up on my 25th birthday and I keep it as a happy remembrance of that day.”  But after that, if I read things correctly, for the atheist, all else is meaninglessness.  For the Christian, there is further meaning in that pebble with the power of a nuclear explosion.  There is a Who, what, where, when, and why of its coming into being and just as much to where it is going. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The first determination if you are going to decorate a sanctuary is not, “is it pretty?” but rather, “is it liturgically fitting.”  It may be that a blue altar clothe would be smashing with the Easter lilies rather than white flowers against a white altar clothe, but there is no excuse for blue as an altar clothe in the Easter season.  It will then cease to have liturgical meaning and simply become eye candy.  That is Okay for the Easter banquet, not the Mass.  It will have to be back to the drawing board. 
Though much of the language is loss to moderns, flowers have a very deep symbolic language.  We still know some of them, lilies, as stated above, are associated with the resurrection while poinsettias are strictly Christmas.  Keeping them in their liturgical season can be very helpful.  For the savvy person who is decorating, there is a year (or years) long attack plan in decorating.  I will admit to being a little overly scrupulous in this regard.  But even if nobody else gets it, I do.  But I do hope that it makes a difference in people’s experience of parish life even if on a subconscious level.
For example, the day that the Christmas season is over every poinsettia is removed from the church.  “Adopt a plant and take it home or its going out into the cold.”  There are places that will leave their seasonal plants up because they still look nice.  Why waste the money?  Right?  This I understand.  But I want someone to walk into this parish and say, “Guess that’s over.  We must be in another season.”


Having a yearlong idea of what might work saves the person who decorates from having to overcompensate for not having planned how transition seasons.  Because there may not be much of a change from ordinary time to the Lenten season for example, rather than un-decorating for Lent, parishes decorate like mad to let us know that we are in a time of desolation.  So sanctuaries are strewn with dead branches, cinderblocks, barbwire, giant purple banners, and sand (just to name a few) to help us experience bareness. 

Only the laundress knows just how peculiar I am in this regard - reaching even to the type of shirt I wear to Sunday Mass.  (I doubt anybody notices, but it puts me in a right mind.)  When we hit this coming advent, I will wear an ordinary, standard black clerical shirt under my robes.  When we hit Christmas, I will switch to the more formal white.  The following ordinary time (this is where I might need some psychological help) I change back to black but half way through change to white so that when we hit lent, I can make the change back to black.  (I never admitted this to a soul before.)
Sometimes people do pick up things that I think nobody will.  Often it is teenagers interestingly enough.  During most of the year, at the elevation, I will “piece together” the host before saying, “Behold the Lamb of God.”  In lent and advent I’ll the broken half host giving a different look and feel.  Doing it either way is neither right nor wrong, but it can be made to signal something.
All this is to go to say the first question is not, “Wouldn’t it be pretty if . . .” but rather, “How would doing “X” tie in to the liturgical life of the parish?”

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT MAY BE FOUND:  "Tis' the ill-doers (who) are ill-dreaders."  form Sir Walter Scott's, "Guy Mannering"

QUOTE II:  "You'd be surprised how interesting people become when they think you're really stupid."  from the movie "Disturbing Behavior"
Happy belated Veteran's Day to all veterans out there.  From the Diocese of Cleveland Enewsletter:  "WASHINGTON, D.C. - His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, issued the following statement on the occasion of Veterans Day (Monday, November 11, 2013)."  Read more here.
From Fr. Ference:  "A few years back a prayer journal written by Flannery O'Connor was discovered among her papers. It will be released on Tuesday. (It'll be an excellent stocking stuffer.... for yourself!) I reviewed it for Word on Fire. If you're interested, check it out here."
Here are some Christmas gifts from the American Chesterton Society site.  Go here.
Someone suggested this video of George Cardinal Pell and famous atheist Richard Dawkins.  Its an hour long.  But it is interesting.

Monday, November 11, 2013


The time finally came to retire my car.   I was not particularly excited about the idea.  At one time, the idea of going out and picking car seemed like it might be thrilling but I must admit that I find the whole thing rather a bother.  But my old Buick, a decade old, starting to rust, and having well over 100,000 miles and needing the investment "significant funds," was ready to go on to its next life.
So this is how I pick out my cars:  A dealer is given the vehicular requirements and asked to call me when they have a car.  This time's list consisted of this: a used car for a 6'3" person, not red and not white, 4 doors, and preferably stick shift but that's optional.  A number is also listed but, of course, it's never less than I hope to spend.
There was only one other request; NO CLOTHE SEATS.  I have nothing against them except that Sebastian has vindictive hair that I can only assume has something against the auto industry.
His hair drills its way into the upholstery and must have little claws that make it virtually impossible to dislodge.  I've gone to stores and car cleaning places and they just shake their heads.  "Get a car seat cover" they say.  I did!  But his hair is so insidious that floats around until it finds a bare patch of material and then weaves itself in defying removal.
So I get a phone call saying that they have found a car for me (for just slightly more than I was intending to spend.)  And it is a very nice car but a little confusing to me.
So I asked if we could find something a little more simple.  Just a car.  Not the Swiss Army Knife of automobiles.  "I'm sorry," said the dealer, "but once you have leather seats, all this pretty much comes standard."
"But I didn't say I want leather seats.  I just said I wanted non-clothe seats."
"Father, there is only leather and clothe."
So here I am with a car with so many gadgets we are still at the point where I don't know how to use more things than I know how to use.  My sister and cousin sat in the car during a drive to Cleveland the other day and spent the time re-adjusting the clock during the last time change.
So guess what.  I am old.  I finally admit it.  At least I am old as far as technology is concerned.  It took three priests here last week to get my ithing set up and it was supposed to be easy and intuitive.  I remember my grandparents not having a phone in their house because the technology was too intrusive.  HA!  If they only knew.
So am I much better?  This is how I remember things when I was a kid:
And of course this is how things are:
Pretty soon there will not be any such thing as owning devices, there will be one universal device that will do everything from showing movies, to making calls, to doing your banking, to making your orange juice in the morning.  (Wait!  Isn't this already happening?)
Maybe I should take up knitting.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Continuing our look at Lumen Gentium paragraph 50

Growing up we heard stories about our grandparents coming to the United States from the “old country.”  Though things have changed dramatically since then, back in “the day” the little mountain village from which they came was rather cut off from the rest of the world.  There were no phone lines, electricity, nor indoor plumbing.  The priest only came to the remote village a few times a year for Mass both because it was so remote and because there were so few people. 
So one set of grandparents came over to the “Promised Land.”  During the Second World War, news reached the family in the U.S. via snail mail that there was a family member ailing and they needed penicillin.  The further problem was that the hospital would only give the penicillin to our cousin if enough was sent for everyone.  So, my grandparents were able to obtain the needed medicine here in the U.S. and ship it back and bring healing to our cousin as well as others.
Now imagine that (remembering that all analogies limp) as being a metaphor for our faith journey.  We who are in this life struggle as best we can in Christ with our eyes firmly set on the new life waiting for us in the Promised Land.  Some of us have already made the trip.  And though we must do without the physical presence of those brothers and sisters, we are somehow still united in Christ and in His one Body.  We can still get messages to them.  But unlike a letter we might send by ship, these missives are called prayer.  Those already passed over are before the throne and still make intercession with us and in such a manner are able to send back help if you will.  They are of our merry band who are already close to the warming fire.  But we are not divided between us and them; we are one and we work together to bring the whole Body into holiness.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


What is the most basic difference between a Catholic funeral and most of the Protestant world’s funerals?  You might point to having the body taken to church (which to some people just seems odd at best) or any other number of things.  But these are mostly symptoms of what is different, not what, at heart, is dissimilar.
It is most evident during this month when Catholics celebrate All Souls Day and place a special emphasis on praying for the poor souls; those in Purgatory awaiting their entrance into heaven, all month long.


For most of the Protestant world (and it is the same for atheists,) we have no real connection (prayer wise) with those who have died.  For Protestants this is true because at death you have gone to your reward (one way or the other) and are no longer in need of prayer even if it were possible.  For the Atheist this is true because after death there is simply nothing.
For Catholics, there is a more unified understanding of what it is to be the Body of Christ.  There is only one Body of Christ.  Christ is its head.  That singular body cannot be divided up even by death.  Somehow we are still mysteriously united and our prayers may still benefit each other.  There is also the idea of being purified prior to entering before the face of God, which requires being purged of one’s sins.  Whatever this is, we call Purgatory.  The Protestant world does not have a teaching about this.  So for them, even if prayer could flow back and forth, it is unnecessary because once you are in heaven for what do you need prayer?  You’ve made it to the top.
So basically, (painting with a very broad paintbrush) at a non-Catholic funeral the idea is to encourage each other (either with the Word of God and/or the support of the community etc.,) and to remember the one who passed away.  There is an additional element understood among Catholics for over two thousand years: that we can also pray from the deceased.  We ask God that they be sped to heaven (which is the tragedy when someone says, “I’m sure they are already in heaven.  You may be denying them some prayers they could use!)  And if we can pray for them, we may also ask them to pray for us, that we remain close to Christ, follow in His ways, and be better prepared for entrance into heaven when we leave this life. 
So get on it Catholic!  Remember to pray for you deceased loved ones and for the poor souls this month inparticular.  And hopefully in doing so, we will lead by example and others will pray for us when we need it!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


This is kind of a silly post, but I’ve been thinking about this for awhile.  It begins with a message to God. 
God, if my vote has any meaning whatsoever, I would like to nominate that the following individuals have significant time off in Purgatory for the inventions and ideas they gave us here on earth that made life Oh so much better.
No, not the computer.  Not advances in medicine.  Not Global Positioning Systems (as good and helpful as these things are) I mean things that really make life easier by getting rid of petty annoyances. So, with no further ado, my list of inventions that should get people out of purgatory quickly:

Intermittent Wipers:  Back in my day there were only three settings for windshield wipers on your car.; (4 if you count broken)  1) Off  2) Normal  3) So bat crazy that you shouldn’t probably be on the road if you need this speed.  Why was it SO annoying when it was just spitting rain to turn the wipers on, wait to they squealed like a screaming banshee, turn them off until there was just enough rain to make seeing difficult, and then repeat.  Thank you Intermittent Wiper person for making significant advancement in driving joy.
Half Size Paper Towels:  I grew up in a thrifty Slovenian household.  The conserve and “use till it’s worthless” mentality reigned.  This included paper towel use.  “Did you really need a WHOLE paper towel for that little drip?” was not uncommon from my father.  Neither was half a ripped paper towel laying on top of the roll.  Of course you never got the good half and you would end up ripping another towel in half to finish the job.  Thank you Half Size Paper Towel Person wherever you may be.  I think of you almost every day.


Retracting Dog Leashes:  Unless you were a person of means and had money to burn, if you wanted a dog leash you didn’t go to a doggie boutique you went to the laundry department and bought clothesline.  Walking a dog with clothesline is not the proverbial “walk in the park.”  Let out the leash, quickly gather it up, let it out, try you best not to let it get wrapped around the dog’s legs, stopping every couple of minutes to try to untangle his legs from the rope.  Retractable Dog Leash Person, you made the relationship with man’s best friend even better.  Thank you.
Stick ‘em Notes and the closely related Non-Sticking Tape:  How on earth did we ever live without you?  Stick ‘em notes are everywhere – reminding me to do things that I would otherwise forget.  They are on forms that are mailed to me that say, “Sign here.”  I even write my homilies on them.  I used to write them on index cards but you know what; index cards fly away, slip off of the ambo, shuffle out of order.  Not so the Stick ‘em note, not so!  For they, like a honey kiss, cannot be driven away by the wind.  They are also of use in liturgical books when you need to remember names which I am particularly not good at.  “Markianus Broklowkowski Alexander, I baptize you in the Name of the Father . . .”  Of course, all advances can also be used for evil such as using them for advertisement on the front of my newspaper.  Thank you person who invented sticking things that don’t really stick.
Do you have any nominations for the “Get Out of Purgatory Early Inventions Awards”?  They qualifications are these:  1) It must be a mechanical device.  2) It made a petty annoyance better.  3) You wonder why nobody ever thought of this before.  3) It is with us to stay – it is not a fad.  4) It is such a part of our lives that we take it for granted.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


FINDING TRUTH WHEREVER IT CAN BE FOUND:  "He has the real disadvantage which has arisen out of the modern worship of progress and novelty; and he thinks anything odd and new must be an advance."  from G. K. Chesterton's, "The Club of Queer Trades
QUOTE II:  "So long as you progress fast enough it seems a matter of indifference to him whether you are progressing to the stars or the devil."  same source

Fr. Kaz sent this in to hear the Mass of the Immaculate Conception.  Wow!

I like this dog's Halloween costume!
Here is a great 4 minute video sent in by Lynn:

Monday, November 4, 2013


I have never had a lot of luck with mascots.  I am emotionally scarred by it.  It stems back pretty far in my life.  It all started back in the '70s when I attended Highland Junior High School in Barberton.
Don't get me wrong.  Scottie Dogs are great.  They make great pets.  They are cute.  The tie in nicely with the whole "Highland" theme.  That being said, they seem to elicit the idea of "play with me" rather than "fear me."  

I thought that was bad.  Then I went to High School.
I can't tell you how much a bunny rabbit coming out of a hat intimidated the Jaguars, or the Panthers, or even the Bees.  True, there was also the muscle bound CIGAM, a magician who sometimes shows up as a mascot, but mostly it was the rabbit.

Then there was college.
Yes, I was proud to be a Zip, and have our team play in the Rubber Bowl (the team and the stadium being named after those old fashioned rubber galoshes with the zipper on them), and have Zippy as our mascot, a kangaroo with a zipper that ran across his pouch.  I marched that field with great pride.

But just once . . .

In seminary we were the St. Mary Canons.  Yes, that is spelled correctly.  Named after canon law.  I know.  Scary huh?

Then I became pastor of St. Sebastian Parish
I guess I shouldn't be too hard on that little dog.  After all, this past weekend the St. Sebastian Terriers became the first team from Akron ever to win a diocesan wide football championship!  So there must be something to that whole "noble hunting dog" theme that people try to assure me with.

And besides, I could take pride in our city teams right?  There is hope as the Rubber Bowl (a stadium I always liked) is being sold to a developer that wants to start a new football team.  There's hope for a great mascot there right?


I am an absolute jinx.  There is no hope as long as I am around.  As much as I would like "Avenging Angels" or "Bullets" or "Charging Bulls," we will probably something cute and cuddly.

Don't believe me?  Ha!  I have PROOF!  Our local baseball team just changed their mascot.  Want to know what it is?  Go here.