Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Outreach Means to Actually Reach Out

Maureen Martin is in a bit of a friendly competition with Der Tommissar to see which blog can raise the most donations for disaster relief for the victims of Katrina.

Tom has chosen The Saint Vincent de Paul Society, and Maureen has chosen Catholic Charities, both worthy organizations.

Especially since I work at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Durn the two of you for making me choose, and I might have done the Christian thing and given an equal donation to each charity and called it a draw except for this little piece of biting commentary I found on Tom's blog:

Now come on men, surely those among you who’ve climbed aboard the Express can outperform a bunch of Advent Wreath maker hangers-on.

If Tom is going to drag gender AND creativity into this little challenge, he has a fight on his hands. I will have to send my money to Catholic Charities.

Do what you can. Even if prayers are all you can afford right now.


The Sister Knew A Thing Or Two

A quote from one of my favorite saints:

The devil will try to upset you by accusing you of being unworthy of the blessings that you have received. Simply remain cheerful and do your best to ignore the devil's nagging. If need be even laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Satan, the epitome of sin itself, accuses you of unworthiness! When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!

St. Teresa of Avila

from Today's Mass readings on ewtn

Now let me just add a disclaimer here. Saying one of my favorite saints is like saying one of my favorite chocolate candies. How does one choose? I love them all in their own way.


Wondering Wednesday

I wonder if all those celebrities who fall all over themselves when there is an international cause to support will be reaching into their deep pockets and making impassioned speeches to help out the victims of Hurricane Katrina?

I wonder if their philanthropy is only activated by international strife? I wonder if the loss of lives and homes in Mississippi and Louisiana is just not far enough away? I wonder if we will see beautiful movie stars touring sights of the devastation, or better yet helping to clean up the debris? Or even better, working on crews to build new housing to replace what was lost?

I trust that everyone will support causes like the Red Cross , which is an organization that has proven to give immediate and much needed aide in times of disaster. I have seen this happen in my own city when a tornado came through. The Red Cross had a shelter up and running in a matter of hours and housed and fed families for days.

Do what you can, pray for the victims and survivors, and marvel at the stories of God's grace that will come out of this tragedy.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I admit it

If, as you live your life, you find yourself mentally composing blog entries about it, post this exact same sentence in your weblog.

via Martha Martha

The New Priesthood . . .

has a wife.

This is a story about a transitional deacon in Kentucky who will, God willing, in a year be ordained a Catholic Priest owing to a little known canonical exception used to allow Episcopalian Priests who convert to Catholicism to also remain in the priesthood if they are married so long as they do not pastor a parish. The article says there are 70 such priests already actively in ministry within the church.

This may cause a firestorm of debate about celibacy and the priesthood. It certainly will bring us into interesting times.


Angelmeg's Theology Lesson for the Week

Today children I want you to read a short reflection by Justin Torres, the brother of Jason Torres. I especially want to highlight this passage:

I have to admit, I'm still not sure what to make of everything that happened. This column is just one attempt to figure it all out. I am convinced that God was guiding the entire process to some definite end, for some ineluctable purpose. I don't know why we were handed this task, but I do think of it as task. I believe my family was given the job not simply of bringing Susan's baby into the world, but of testifying in this very public way to the preciousness of life and the importance of fighting for the most vulnerable among us.

Why us? I have no idea. It certainly would seem to prove the proposition that He writes straight with crooked lines, since the Torreses are no collection of saints but a ragtag assortment of lunatic brawlers. Peggy Noonan once described herself as a good bad Catholic, utterly believing but full of all sorts of flaws that make for interesting confessions. That's us. There's a lesson here: Be prepared, you never know what life will require of you. He comes like a thief in the night. (By contrast, 20/20 will call your cell phone six times day.)

Of course, this story isn't finally about lessons or testimony to abstract truths. It's about a mother who gave everything for her baby. That baby, my niece Susan, lies right now in an incubator, gaining strength and weight and taking in the world around her. What will her life be like? Will she fall victim to the melanoma that took her mother? Will she live a full and happy and innocent life, or will it be overshadowed by the amazing circumstances of her birth?

I don't know the answers to these questions, any more than I knew on May 7th that my family would be famous around the world. And there is a sense in which I do not care, though I of course wish the best for her. I'm just glad she is here. Because, you see, in the end, it really was all about a baby. As it always should be.

This is a really great example why self reflection is a good idea during our spiritual journey. If we don't stop and look back we miss the chance to marvel at all the grace filled moments that God places in our pathway. We miss the hand of God that weaves the tapestry that is our lives because we are so intently looking at the one broken thread with which we are personally trying to sew.

Justin Torres was given the grace to see some of those connections in what happened to his family. I hope you too will be able to see them when they happen in your family as well.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Stepping Up to Take Up the Slack

My internet Pal Mark Mossa SJ is in the middle of a silent retreat. I tried to decide what I could do for him to show my solidarity, and as an act of sacrifice that his retreat would go well.

After much prayer and discernment I decided that I would make the supreme sacrifice of talking more than usual all weekend while I was at Gradual School, in an effort to take up the slack left by Mark's silence. I know, you are all shaking your heads and saying how brave of me to step up and take on such a huge sacrifice, but I care deeply for Mark and want his retreat to go well. I am willing to put in that extra effort, even if it taxes me.

Just ask my friends at St Meinrad, I did everything I could to keep up my vigil of talking more than usual (a mean feet as I am a marathon talker). I stayed at the party on Saturday evening until everyone else had gone to bed, and then I called mrangelmeg and bugged him by cell phone for another half hour, just to make sure that I had overtalked enough to assure that I had done my part for Mark.

Whew. I am exhausted. I am really glad that this was only an 8 day retreat. I don't think I could have kept up this pace had Mark gone on a 30 day silent retreat. My voice may have given out, but most assuredly my friends and family would have banished me.

Hey, do you suppose that those people who wander around on the street talking to themselves are taking up the slack for someone who is on a silent retreat?


Friday, August 26, 2005

My Starbucks Days Might Be Numbered

A friend told me about this a week ago, and now I have seen more proof of the link between Starbucks and a Homosexual Agenda. I don't think I want to frequent a place that is promoting something I don't agree with. Epsecially in the case of the "Gay Pride Day, because of some of the children's activities.

I will certainly have to do some serious prayer and discernment on this issue. Especially since I use a card that I purchase from the Catholic School at the parish where I work every time I go into Starbucks, and each time I purchase something, 5% of the total is payed back to the school. Do the benefits outweigh the mixed messages? I don't know. How does one decide something like this?

I will have to rethink my weekly trip to Starbucks. Perhaps it is time to find a locally owned coffee shop to frequent. What will I do without my Hazelnut Latte?

I would appreciate comments from anyone who has an opinion on this one way or the other.


Ball State Students Will No Longer Be Able To Take a (Keg) Stand

In a shocking development which has an entire college campus reeling, Muncie Indiana Liquor retailers have decided to drop the sale of kegs, due to the low profit margin.

NOT because young people have died in Muncie as an indirect result of overconsumption of alcohol in just the past few years. NOT because Ball State is consistently rated at the top of every list of Party Schools put out by every organization that generates this type of list. And of course not because they want to be better stewards, and help young men and women make good choices in their lives.

Oh well, I have been known to do the right thing for the wrong reason myself.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What Makes My Day?

I have to tell you all about one of my favorite blogs.

If you love parody, as I do you should check out Catholic News.Org.. Maureen Martin (her pen name) has compiled here the most outrageous bunch of stories that one could ever want to read about faith and morality and truth and life. Some hit so close to home that they make you want to cringe, and some are so darn funny that you laugh yourself sick. Just ask the people in my office.

I highly recommend that you not only read the posts and comments, but stop back every few days and follow the comment threads as people add to their thoughts. It is a lot like when Congress and The Senate revise and extend their remarks, the laughs just keep on coming.

For instance in the story on Brad Pitt the comment section continues on to tell of a young woman's willingness to become a martyr by dating him, now that takes courage.

I am such a total fan of Maureen's work that I can't say enough good about it. I want all two of my loyal readers to become loyal readers of Maureen's work as well.

I wish I had an ounce of her wit.


Mr Robertson Has Lost His Way

This Story about Pat Robertson's comments concerning The Comunist Leader in Venezuela is frightening to me. What has happened to Mr. Robertson? He no longer sounds like a man of God, he now sounds like a full time politician. Perhaps his run for the Presidency has changed him.

Violence is never the answer, it only begets more violence. As a man of God he should know that. The only way to combat pure evil of this kind is through prayer.

I know that I will begin praying for the conversion of Mr Chavez, and a change of heart for Mr Roberstson. I hope you will all join me.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Shape Up! The Boss is Back!

My Boss got back late last night from WYD and acutally came into the office for a bit to tell us some stories about his trip.

He told us the story that goes with this picture actually. He was told right before the cruise that he would be doing the homily, only they didn't bother to tell him which readings they would be using for the Mass. Knowing him as I do, the homily was probably filled with the Holy Spirit. He also said that they unloaded eveything they needed from the bus for the Mass, and then the bus driver reloaded everything back onto the bus and drove away, so that there were only enough hosts for the priests. Everyone else was asked to make a Spiritual Communion. Such are the sacrifices one expects to make on a piligrimage.

He said there were nearly 8000 clergy in attendance at WYD. He also said that he brought me (and the other staff members) a rosary blessed by the Pope.

I am so glad that he is back safely. Thanks for your prayers for him.


World Misspent-Youth Day

The Curt Jester has a wonderful parody, for those of us 1) too old for World Youth Day and 2)who wandered from the fold in our youth.

It hits a little close to home, but parody that cuts close to the bone is often the funniest.

enjoy, learn, and rejoice in God's unconditional love. As Augustine said so eloquently "Late have I loved thee"


One Small Step For Man One Giant Leap For Thomas Aquinas

In the New York Times today you can find the headline Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science. ( you may have to register to follow the link, but it is free and worth the effort for access to the NY Times stories every day in my opinion) I was encouraged to see that men and women of science and faith are finally finding their voice. Perhaps the work of Thomas Aquinas all those years ago, when he was trying to bring together Faith and science will finally come to pass.

When I was taking a class in Medieval History early in my Gradual School Career I wrote a paper on Thomas and posed the question; what might the world look like if he had been able to reconcile Aristotelian Science with Belief in a Loving God? Perhaps the moral quagmire about when life begins and when it ends wouldn't be an issue. A fundamental regard for human life would be the benchmark for every scientific decision no matter how inconsequential it might appear to be. There would no longer be grey areas or slippery slopes to be dealt with.

It could happen. If enough people of faith raise their voices the truth will have to be heard. At least that is what I am praying for.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Why I Can Never Be Of This World

I heard today on The Daily Buzz This morning that GQ Magazine is going to give Kevin Fedderline (That is Mr Britney Spears to the unhip among you) their Father of the Year award. Now this young man has two children, by a previous relationship, and now is preparing to be the father of Ms Spears (whom he married a few months ago) still unborn child.

When I think of all the other fathers that could have been chosen for this honor in the past few months. Jason Torres comes to mind, the young man who had to fight the hospital to keep his wife alive long enough so that his little daughter could have a chance at life. Any serviceman fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, or stationed in any port away from his wife and children is more deserving of the term Father of the Year.

I don't mean to sound judgmental or crass, but sheesh, sometimes I just don't understand this world. How can they honor someone for being the kind of person this young man has been? I saw about ten seconds of that stupid "reality show" of theirs, and all I could think of was that isn't real love. People who are really in love don't act that way, don't feel compelled to tell the entire world the intimate details about their lives. It made me sick, and sad.

So you see, I live in this world, but I will never be of this world. The news today proved it to me yet again.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

B16 The Great Equalizer

This is why I love B16.

Twelve young pilgrims were invited to eat lunch with the Pope. They were given plates of omelet while he was given a plate of trout. He quickly returned his meal and demanded that he be brought exactly what they were given. He doesn't demand to be treated any differently than the young people. In fact he is doing everything he can to make them feel at ease in his presence.


Friday, August 19, 2005

You Think You Get Your Way, Then God Laughs

In October of 2003 I made an agreement with the Director of the Lay Degree Program at my Gradual School. If he fixed it so that I didn't have to take a class on Thomas Merton, I would buy him lunch. We had just spent the entire morning setting up my program of study for the next four years, and in order to graduate on time it appeared that I would have to take a class on the Spirituality of Thomas Merton.

Don't get me wrong. It isn't as though I have any personal aversion to Thomas Merton. I have read The Seven Storey Mountain, and Thoughts in Solitude, and Spiritual Direction and Contemplation. I had even gained a lot of insight about my spiritual journey from them. I just didn't think that I wanted to study Thomas Merton in a Masters Level class.

My mistake came when I made my feelings about this known out loud to another person, namely the director of the Lay Degree Program. God took that as His opening, as is His way -- at least in my life -- to make sure that no matter how carefully I tried to avoid taking the class on Merton I would have to take it.

Lucky for me, I guess the Gradual School doesn't pay the Lay Director enough, or he doesn't have enough to keep him busy, because he rose to the challenge and was determined to earn that lunch I had dangled before him. He set out to find another class that I could take, or some other way for me not to have to take the Merton class.

Fast forward a few years, and due to a circumstance that neither of us had imagined or even considered, the Nun who had taught the class on Merton was reassigned by her order and left the teaching staff of the Gradual School. The Merton Class was withdrawn from the Schedule.
Oh Happy Day
I was free! And more than happy to pay up my debt of a free lunch to the Lay Director on the first weekend of class this fall, which will be September 9-11.

Yesterday I got the Syllabus for the class I will be taking this fall. It is a class called Human Development and Christian Maturity, taught by one of the Monks at the Monastery, that is connected to our Gradual School, who also happens to have a PhD in Psychology. What a shock it was to my system to read it, and all the time hear God's great belly laugh from heaven as I saw, and I am cutting and pasting these word for word from the syllabus:

1. The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton (1998 Harcourt Brace edition)
2. Selected articles and book chapters (copy fee will be assessed)


7-12 page written project: Identifying aspects of human development and
Christian maturity in the life of Thomas Merton

Okay God, I get it, You are in control of my life. I surrender. I give up. I submit to your Divine will.

You can stop laughing now, really.

If the Lay Director thinks he is getting his free lunch he has another think coming.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Patrick Madrid Workout

We had the pleasure of hosting Patrick Madrid of Envoy Magazine for a one evening Seminar at our parish tonight. He was funny, insightful, and well versed in his subject matter. (I hope that was kind enough Pat?)

Actually he did give one piece of advice that I want to share with everyone. It had to do with a spiritual workout that will only take ten minutes a night and involve the lifting of two books.

If you take the time to read one chapter of the Bible and three paragraphs of the Catechism every evening before you go to bed you will build such strong spiritual muscle that you will have no problem at all becoming a defender against anyone who tries to attack your faith. It really isn't all that much to ask of yourself.

It is at least worth an experiment. If you start now, just think how spiritually strong you will be by Christmas.

Oh by the way, in case you are interested in bringing Patrick to your parish, school or organization for a seminar, click here for Contact Information.

This message has been a shameless plug for Patrick Madrid


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

He's Down With WYD

You Have to check out todays post on Musum Pontificalis. Papa Ratzi has posted a preview of his proposed message to the youth, complete with slang and a bit of a hard rap edge. The comments are about a funny as the post.

This is one of my favorite blogs, just for the sheer fun of finding out what the next topic will be.

Keep up the great posts Papa, we love them. And for those who can't take the joke, well we know what they need.


Breaking News

In what can only be called a stunning announcement on the Today show yesterday, Sean Puff Daddy P. Diddy Combs announced that he has again decided to change his name.

"I'm just Diddy now; one name, five letters. You see the P was comming between me and my fans. Some was calling me P. Some was calling me Diddy. Even I got confused sometimes when I was introducing myself to people."

Well, that clears everything up, and makes all the difference in the world. Wouldn't want any of that nasty P between him and his fans.

Just thought you might want to know. I do my best to keep you up on all the really important news.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

1 2 3 4 5 6 If I Ever Learn This Piece I Will Be Sooooooo Good

I have played the flute since I was in the fourth grade. I would like to tell you that I chose the flute for some amazing reason like a call from God or an affection for some stirring piece of classical music. What actually transpired was when the music instructor asked me which instrument I wanted to play I looked at all the cases I might have to lug around and chose the one that was the smallest. I'm no dummy.

I played flute through high school. My senior year I quit the band in order to take a drama class that conflicted with the band class time. Since I wasn't playing in an organized band (and consequently my grade didn't depend upon it) I stopped practicing. When I moved into the dorm in college I didn't even bother to take my flute with me.

My brother decided to go to South America on a University exchange program and had to raise some quick cash to pay his air fare. Since I wasn't currently using my flute, he decided that he could pawn it, which he did. I never forgave him. Well not for a good long while anyway -- but don't tell him that, I might still be able to milk a few guilt gifts out of him, you never know.

To be really honest I didn't miss playing the flute all those years I didn't play, but when folk groups with guitars and flutes and other instruments would play at Liturgy I would feel a pang of regret that I couldn't offer my gift to the parish in that way.

(pause to allow the more conservative readers time to groan about folk music at Liturgy)

About two years ago I mentioned at a professional meeting that I would love to start playing the flute again, and had actually been pricing flutes at the local music store where my daughter was taking viola lessons, but a new flute was just entirely out of my budget for the foreseeable future. Someone at that particular meeting happened to have a flute that had belonged to her daughter who had played in high school but had left it behind when she went to college and didn't want it anymore, having moved on to a much nicer quality instrument. She was willing to sell me this perfectly serviceable instrument for well within my price range.

So here I was, a 44 year old woman with a flute who hadn't actually played a flute in about 20 years. I was really bad, but with some determination and a beginners fingering chart I began to catch on pretty quickly. After a year of working on my own I actually began to take lessons, realizing that I would never get really good unless I had someone who knew what they were doing to tell me what I was doing wrong.

Once a week I take lessons from a wonderful teacher who has no problem telling me when I totally suck. But she also tells me when I am doing a good job. With her help I have gained the confidence I needed to join with my fellow students at St Meinrad and play for Liturgy.

Each weekend that we have a Gradual School Class since last spring, we have had a Liturgy at which a group of us have provided the music with yours truly on the flute. It has completely transformed my understanding of the importance of music in Liturgy. It has helped me to become so much more attentive to the entire process of the Liturgy, and don't even get me started on how transformational entering into the Liturgy has become for me since I have been playing music.

This month the Liturgical Music coordinator, an amazing woman in our class, has chosen a beautiful song for us to play that I absolutely love, but so far after weeks of practice I still can't play. It is in 6/8 time and for some reason my head can't wrap itself around the key signature. I can play all the right notes, I just can play them at the right time.

So I practice. Each night I practice, like prayer I offer my failings and wrong timing up to God. And when I get it wrong I start again.

Maybe this is why Augustine said singing is like praying twice, because with all the practice it takes twice as long. But in the end it will be worth all of the effort.

Back to the metronome. 1 2 3 4 5 6


Amy Welborn on Showbiz Tonight!!!

What a shock! I sat down for what I thought was going to be a bit of mindless showbiz news and got a CNN report on The DaVinci Code Movie Project complete with our own Amy Welborn in about a 3 to 5 second head shot. It must have been the one she blogged about taping last week.

I thought they did a good job of discussing the concern of the Church that the movie be characterized as a fictional account and not based upon facts in any way. Which is the concern as I see it. I still don't think I will bother to see the movie when it comes to theaters, but you can count on one hand the number of movies mrangelmeg and I see in the theater in a year anymore.

If they try to portray, as Dan Brown always has, that any amount of what is in the book is based on fact, then I won't be going to the movie, but I might be picketing outside the theater.

It was so cool seeing Amy on TV, even if it was only for a few seconds. Sure wish I had DVR.


Who Knew: A Nun with, well, Nunsense!

Doing my Holy Blogs of Obligation I came across this story about Sr Mary on Unam Sanctum. What do you know, a nun who is protesting something that really matters for no other reason than that it matters to God, not the press, not her offended liberal sensibilities, just her sense of justice and truth.

I am in awe. and I want to give what my kids would call a shout out to Sr. Mary

You Rock my World!


A Man Who Became Pope

If you didn't catch the Hallmark Channel movie Karol A Man Who Became Pope last night, don't despair, it will be on the air again on Sunday the 21st at 9 a.m. and well worth taping or setting your DVR if you have that capability.

I don't know what I expected last night. I know that I was cautiously optimistic going into this biopic of the young Karol Wojtyla. I was so mesmerized that I made my devoted husband stay at my mothers much longer than we had expected to so that we could watch as much as we could. The acting is superb, and the writing is very insightful. It is easy to see how from the experiences he had during the war and the Communist occupation, how he came to his philosophical and theological understanding. There was even a scene which showed the beginnings of his theology of the body discussions with his beloved young people.

All I can say is, Wow, see this movie if you get the chance it is worth the time. One scene especially for me caught the tension of the time, when Karol is speaking to his friend Thomas who has become a priest and has just heard the confession of a German soldier who is visibly distressed. When Karol confronts Thomas for consorting with the enemy, Thomas tells him that it is for these men even more that he is here, for they need him more. What a witness to the power of the priesthood and repentance and trying to do what is right in ones life when thrust into an insane world.

Again, see this movie if you can. It will not disappoint you.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Angelmeg's Theology Lesson for the Day

Thanks to The Peeping Thomists who have a wonderful post by John Henry Newman on the Assumption in honor of the Feast day. So I encourage everyone to take a stroll over there and read away.

Oh by the way it also happens to be one of my favorite Priest's birthday today

Fr. Daniel Donohoo of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, recently pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Indianapolis is another year older today. How fitting that I recognize the day of his birth by linking to a reflection by Cardinal Newman, one of his favorites.

Happy Birthday Fr. Dan.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

When is Holy Day NOT a Holy Day?

Tomorrow, obviously in the United States at least. The Bishops have decided that since The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mother falls on a Monday it will not be celebrated as a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States. Most parishes do not have Mass on Monday because that is the pastor's day off, so in most cases there won't even be a regular daily Mass.

Luckily our pastor was looking out for us. He was going to be away on the World Youth Day Pilgrimage, but he thought it was important enough to have Mass on that day, so we are actually having 2 priests come, one to say a daytime Mass and another to say an evening Mass. We listed them as celebrations of the Feast without mentioning that it wasn't a Holy Day. What they don't know won't hurt them right.

If the congregation comes to mass thinking they are obliged to do so nothing is harmed. If they come to mass because they want to celebrate the Feast all the better.

My thought on the matter is if you have the mass they will come.


More Blessed Than I Thought I Would Be

Not only did I get to worship with my family, at my home parish today, but because of vacations, I got to be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion as well! This is one ministry that I am not often asked to perform at the parish where I work, but I was on the regular scheduled rotation at the parish where my family worships before I took the job. It is the one ministry I really miss.

When Father asked if there were any extraordinary ministers in the congregation who could help out at Mass, Mrangelmeg practically shoved me out of the pew because he knows how much I love this ministry. There is something about being able to share the act of Communion with the congregation, as we all consume what we become so as to become one Body in Christ, is so meaningful to me.

As I was standing there offering the cup to each person, making eye contact and saying to each one in turn "The Blood of Christ", naming what they would become when they consumed from the cup, my heart could hardly contain my joy.

Then I went back to help with the duties of the ministers, cleaning up the vessels. The other ministers all said I didn't have to help but I said that it wasn't fair of me to do the fun part without doing the busy work as well. I enjoyed every moment of it.

It was really hard to keep the tears from welling up in my eyes. This is what liturgy is all about.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Another Sunday to Worship with my Family

As some of you may know, I am a Faith Formation Ministries Coordinator (aka Director of Religious Education) at a small parish about 30 miles south of the town in which I live. I love the parish, and I love the programs, in fact three of my children have received sacraments through the programs in the parish where I work because for them the programs were more well suited to their needs. I love my job and the people in the parish to whom I minister, but this job is really not the most family friendly job on the planet.

I usually work about two evenings a week on a good week, and on some weeks, like VBS week or Parish Mission week, or Holy Week, I can be expected to be at the Parish four or five nights. When we have a full complement of people preparing for baptism in our RCIA process I can be expected to be at the parish every Sunday for Liturgical Catechesis sessions. So, needless to say, I really enjoy the times when I can actually worship with my family.

This past few weeks I have been blessed with Sundays where there was no pressing need for me to be at the parish, so Father allowed that not only could I worship with my family, but in his words: "We would be hyporcrites if we didn't allow you to worship with your family as often as possible".

It has been so very nice for me to enjoy sitting at Liturgy with my family. Though I must admit I do feel a bit like a visitor. There are even people in my home parish who will make comments like "What are you doing here?", I hope in jest.

Tomorrow I will again be attending Mass with my family, banking up the feeling so that when the RCIA gets into full swing and I go for months without being able to sit next to my daughters, or hold hands with my husband I will remember what it was like.


Friday, August 12, 2005

On What Planet Does This Woman Live ?

From THIS Article about Planned Parenthood renting the Indiana Governor's Mansion and the ensuing protest that happened outside the gathering, comes what has to be the most absurd quote from a Planned Parenthood worker I have ever seen.

I quote it here:

Despite that Cockrum defended their overall mission. "Nobody does more to reduce the incidence of abortion than Planned Parenthood in this state, in this country and on this planet."

Would that be the planet "In her dreams"?


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Only in Catholic Blogdom . . .

Can Mark Shea at Catholic and Enjoying It! post twice since April 20th and still rack up 198 comments.

We miss you Mark, hurry up with that editing already and get back to your blog for heaven sake!

Oh, by the way, Mary Potter and the Purpose Driven Life sounds like a winner title to me.


So Does This Mean I Like Happy Endings, or Just Being Done?

The final book of Narnia, you're a sometimes disturbing story about the end of the world and the beginning of a new one. Your characters include an evil monkey, a misguided donkey, stubborn dwarves and all the human characters from the previous books. You manage to be heartbreaking and beautiful at once.

Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.

Karen Torres is my Hero

Here is another article about the Torres family, and a mystical experience connected to the experience they had surrounding the events that led up to the birth of their granddaughter Susan Anne Catherine Torres.

Karen, the Mother of Jason, and Grandmother of Susan Anne Catherine is my hero for something you read later in the article, which I am shamelessly copying here entirely because I want to commit it to memory so that I can say it to my children:

Even given the strong faith of the family, however, both Karen and Sonny admitted that at no point was it easy. In early July, it is a little reported fact that Karen’s mother passed away after a long battle with cancer. “There were some days,” said Karen, “when it was difficult to put one foot in front of the other, especially with the death of my mother.”

“Our faith and the kindness of other people praying for us was the only thing that got us through.” She said that through it all she was reminded of a famous quote by president Lincoln given during the Civil War. “I’m driven to my knees by the conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”

She continued, “I tell my children, now do you understand why you must go to Church on Sunday’s and keep your spiritual life in order? You can’t get it in good order in the middle of something like this. Faith is the only thing that gets you through.”

With a mother like that, Jason will make a great father, I have no doubt.


John Paul the Great, Larger Than Life in Cologne

Click on over to Open Book, Amy Welborn's blog to see an awesome Photo collage of JP the Great at WYD 2005. How Amazing.


Prayers for my Boss

My new Boss, whom I think I have told you before that I love working for, is off to Germany for World Youth Day. So please if you get a chance today say a quick prayer for all of the pilgrims, and especially the ones from my homeplace, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Brandon Evans, one of the Criterion Reporters is their Blogmaster and will keep us informed on their travels throughout their trip.


This was Pretty Much Me in High School

But I have so evolved since then . . .

You scored as Loner.









Drama nerd


Ghetto gangsta






What's Your High School Stereotype?
created with

Now I am a loner with friends.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

There are None So Blind As Liberals With Bumper Stickers

I kid you not; the car next to ours in the Grocery Store parking lot this evening had the following two bumper stickers:

There is no excuse for domestic violence!

and right below that (I am not making this up, she says in her best Dave Barry impression)

Fight to Keep Abortion Legal!

My daughter and I sat there in the car, looked at each other and both said in unison:


That person will definitely be in our prayers tonight, what a hard heart God has to work on there.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sometimes it Takes Great Effort Just to Stay the Same

I just spent the last hour trying to get my blog to look exactly like it always has. I got the stupid idea that I should change the template, not knowing that in doing that I would lose all of the added stuff I have spent the last two months learning painstakingly how to add to my sidebar.

With much elan I placed all of my newly borrowed code into a word file and chose another template for the background of my blog, only to find that no matter how carefully I placed the code for my links and extras the sidebar looked hideous.

So I decided I would just go back to my old faithful look that I have had from the start, only to find that I had lost that setup as well. So because I had so serendipitously (is that a word? It is now) placed the codes in the word file, I was able to reconstruct my old blog template, but not without much consternation and effort.

This was a great moral lesson for me. Sometimes it takes great effort to stay just the way we are. Maybe I should have been content to be where I was. It was perfectly okay. I need to learn to be content with the status quo.

Now I am tired, and I am going to bed.


Lost Puppies

Our intrepid little five month old beagle puppies burrowed out of their pen some time last night and have gone on walkabout. We looked for them this morning running through our woods calling out their names, but no luck. Then after work the angelbaby and I took another trip through the woods.

We left food and water out by the back door. We prayed to God and all the Saints we could think of who might be of help in this situation: St. Francis and Clare of course, and St. Anthony, and St. Rita and Jude.

Tomorrow we will call the humane society and see if they were found, hopefully that will be the case, as they will most likely stay together. It is funny how close one gets to pets, even ones we have only had for a few short months.


Monday, August 08, 2005

I've Finally Joined the Home Team

I have decided to declare my allegiance on my blog sidebar. Thanks to Ash Wednesday I will from now on be known as one of Ratzinger's Rotweilers. I love the smell of leather Jackets.

One of my favorite priests has a pet Rotweiler named Bingo (great name for a priest's dog don't you think?).


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Planned Parenthood?

Click here for an interesting take on some maternal greeting cards Planned parenthood might want to stock.

Sometimes sarcasm is the only way to deal with this kind of truth.

Brava for speaking out.


The Lord Works . . .

in mysterious ways.

My beloved oldest daughter who is up at her college town trying to be all grown up has had what can only be called the biggest eye opening summer one young adult could have. She has worked very hard, and paid her rent, and paid for her own gas and taken care of herself pretty well. But she has also had to endure a roommate who refuses to work and thus mooches off of the other roommates, a house full of cats and a dog(she is allergic to household pets)who wander aimlessly through her room all the time, no privacy, and their apartment was broken into and some of her things were stolen.

Mrangelmeg and I have prayed that she would wise up and move out of this horrid situation, but we told her that so long as she paid the rent, she could live where she chose, so we could only watch and pray and hope that she would some day wake up and see what we saw.

In what can only be termed one of God's amazing wink and nudge actions, she also forgot to cancel her housing contract last spring, so she just happened to be assigned a dorm room for the fall semester. When she went in to see if she could get out of the contract the university told her it would be very difficult. When she told us that we would have to pay the fee for the housing, we told her if that were the case she would have to live on campus.

Today when I went up to visit her, she informed me that she wants to live on campus for this year. I tried to keep my composure as I was praising God and doing an internal happy dance. She has come to realize that she is being taken advantage of, and wants to get out of the unhealthy situation she is in. She also thinks she would like to be closer to work and class (the apartment is pretty far from campus). I told her if she lives on Campus dad and I will pay her room and board for the year so that she can bank her money from her job and get a little ahead.

So praise God for her forgetting to cancel her contract last spring, so that this door would open up now when she needed to have a way to get out of the situation she was in on her own without us making her do it.

And Thank God for giving us the patience to wait for Him provide this solution before stepping in and making this decision for her.

We love her, and we know that in her heart she wants to do the right thing, but we also know that at her age the right thing doesn't always look like the most appealing choice.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pinch Me, No Really

I just got out of a staff meeting and I am in a daze. Somebody pinch me quick. I have been praying for certain liturgical changes in my parish ever since I took this job and woo hoo, my new boss just instituted every single one of them at one staff meeting. I am in awe.

It is as if he and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to how things should be done. I don't even have to beg, or whine, or complain to get him to do the things I couldn't even get my previous pastor to consider.

I am sitting here wondering how I got so lucky. Things are going to change around here, and we have a pastor who is willing to stand up and say what needs to be said in order to make the changes happen.

Did I say I am in awe. Oh I think I did.

I actually had tears in my eyes at least twice as he described his vision for how things will be done in the sacramental programs. I know for a fact that after a month of his homilies the parish has come to expect the unexpected, and I have heard from the most diverse quarters that hearts are being touched by his message. The beauty of it is that as simple as his message is, it is all about getting back to our Catholic roots. We are the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, and if we don't teach that and live that at every turn then there is no point to anything we are trying to do.

And to add to my comfort zone, he completely understands about working in a messy office. In fact he thinks that his office will rival mine for messiness.

I think I am going to like working here.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Welcome to the World

Susan Anne Catherine Torres was born on August 2, 2005. This might have been just another story about the birth of a child if it weren't for the heroic story of the fight for life she has had.

If you haven't read about the story, click on the link above and read about how her mother went into a coma and was pronounced brain dead early on in her pregnancy and her father fought to keep her mother on life support long enough so that Susan Anne Catherine could have a chance at life.

This story has a bittersweet ending, after the caesarian section delivery of the baby, Susan, the mother was taken off life support and passed away after having been given last rights, and surrounded by family and friends.

Our prayers go out to the Torres and Rollin Families who are celebrating the birth of this child while grieving the loss of her mother at the same time. Life goes on. God is good, all the time.

You can read a statement from the families here.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Weighing in on the "New" Trend in Vocations Posters

I didn't mind when the vocations posters in my diocese showed Fr. Glen in his role as a pit crew member at the Indianapolis 500. That meant that a priest had a life outside of his priestly duties, it made him human and somehow more real. In fact I loved that poster, because I have always seen Fr. Glen as a model of the servant Priest mode: someone for whom the priesthood was a true vocation, chosen out of his love for humanity and his wanting to serve others first and foremost.

I really have a problem with this new poster that has emerged from my own diocese. I don't believe that it is the official vocations poster for the diocese, but it has been making the rounds, and in the past week I have seen it in the St. Louis Catholic paper, and mentioned on three blogs, two of which I have on my sidebar: Mark Mossa and Rocco Palmo have both mentioned it in posts.

My biggest concern with this particular poster, is the image of "Priest as superhero" instead of "Priest as servant". The past two pastors I have worked for have been the image of the servant priest. Neither of them put themselves above the work they did. The other staff members and myself would constantly have to pinch ourselves because we were so amazed at how little ego was involved in their thought process when it came to their ministerial decisions.

Perhaps the priest in this poster could be the same kind of man as my pastor, but I don't see that coming through in the text or the image. When I think of the lives I want someone to mediate upon before they consider the priesthood, I want them to think about men like Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, Oscar Romero or Padre Pio. That may be my own bias though. I hope posters like these do some good to bring good men to the vocation of priesthood.

I still believe that the shortage of priests will continue until we begin to look at how to uphold and strengthen the vocation of marriage, which as one of my favorite Bishops says in his prayer of petition for vocations is the source of all other vocations. In today's society marriage is so torn asunder that it is not surprising that so few husbands and wives feel that they are living a vocational call from God. I believe if they did feel that they were, they would want to make sure that their children were following God's vocational call wherever it led them, even if that meant sacrificing the possibility of having grandchildren to help a son follow God's call to the priesthood or a daughter follow God's call to religious life.

Faithfulness, not success has always been what Mrangelmeg and I have wanted for our children. This is what we should be teaching every married couple to want for their children, but you don't hear this kind of talk anywhere in the Church.

Oh well, I will continue to fight this battle, and I will pray for all vocations, especially the vocation of the single life, because I think it is the one that is the most ignored and least understood in the church.


Stealing a TAG: Movie Meme

I am going to help out Ash Wednesday and steal a tag from her blog, since she is in the midst of her move and all. I have wanted to do this movie meme ever since I saw it the first time.

How many Movies do you own on DVD or Video:

On DVD about 50 on Video about another 75 Some duplications though, does that count as double or do they cancel each other out?

Last Film I Bought on DVD: I think it was I am David which I really loved and would recommend to anyone. It was a great story of a journey to wholeness, and a great family movie.

It may have been What's Eating Gilbert Grape though, because I found it in a bargain bin and I love that movie as a post modern study on our search for communion and community. I am going to use it in a talk I am giving in September on Eucharist. Think about it, it will come to you.

Five films I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:

1) To Kill a Mockingbird. This is my favorite book, and possibly my favorite movie. I watch it about once a year. I have it in both VHS and DVD formats. I think Gregory Peck is Aticus Finch. There isn't much about the movie that they made wrong in my estimation.

2) Kate and Leopold : What can I say, I am a sucker for a good love story. Throw in a man with manners who looks like Hugh Jackman, and I am content. BTW: the Director's cut on the DVD is better than the cut that was shown in theaters.

3) A Knight's Tale: Okay, I have to admit that I watch this one for the Director's commentary track more than for the movie itself. Brian Helgland and Paul Bettany spend the entire movie talking about whatever enters their fertile minds. It is so entertaining. This is why I love the DVD format. Who Knew?

4) The Mission: This movie is touching and disturbing and moving on so many levels. I found that I couldn't stop watching even when I didn't want to watch anymore. De Niro's performance was so good.

5) Anything by Mel Brooks: They make me laugh, they make me cry, They move me Bob. (a Veggie Tale Reference for the uninitiated) I can't help it. The night before my surgery we watched a series of Mel Brooks comedies and laughed until we were sick. It was exactly what I needed to keep me from obsessing over what was to come. I highly recommend it.

Since I stole the tag, I will leave it up to someone else to steal the tag from me as well . . . if you dare.