Tuesday, February 3, 2015

And So It Is Happening

I woke up in the middle of the night missing my oldest child.  She has gone away on a trip with school until tomorrow night.  She left in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  There is no communication between then and late tomorrow night when she returns.

She has been gone before to summer camp but she was only twelve then and her adulthood wasn't as close on the horizon.  This trip is a dry run for next year and as I write this I want to cry that this part of our time is coming to an end.

I knew it would.  I have been preparing since she was born,

When we were living in Delmar, NY, my husband would go to work early in the morning and  until he returned late in the day it  was just she and me.  I was not a mother who sought out social opportunities, I let them happen organically, so though we may have gone to the library or whatever it was we did, it was usually just the two of us. I didn't want to forge any new relationships since it was our goal to return to our hometown.

A week before my husband secured a new job back home, I remember her giving me one of those nine-month baby love smiles...you know the ones...it is pure love and admiration.  We were looking at each other after coming back from a long walk, I was unlocking the door and I said to her,  "Things are going to change soon and it won't be just you and me anymore. I'm going to miss it. But it will be okay."  Though she obviously had no idea what I was saying, she just lovingly rested her head on my chest. And that is who she is. She is always looking to reassure me that she knows I love her with an extraordinary love and she appreciates it. Her kindness was clear even then.

This morning's temperature where she is. We can't chat but I can stalk via the weather app! 

So when she left the other day for the arctic tundra I made a point of knitting a new scarf.  It was knit in record time and my kids were laughing at me.  It was to remind her that she is always wrapped in love, it is covered in prayer, and it is given with a heart that wants her to move on when she is ready. As I said all those years ago, "Things are going to change... and it will be okay."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Article-and- Opinion

There is a lot on the social media feed about Gov. Cuomo's State of the State especially for education. My daughter, who was able to attend yesterday, said that the entire house went silent when he talked of education.  The entire place.  300 high schooler's in addition to everyone else.  That should send a signal.  But to hear the message in the silence one has to listen closely.

Likewise, the Catholic Church gets some silence from corners when we address the issues that face dwindling number of Priests.  So many of these affected communities are rural but alive and vibrant and following the rules of the church they simply have no Priest at the helm and so face closure. Complete and utter waste and nonsense in my eyes...and sin... because we are impeding the ability of people to be one with God through the Eucharist. We quibble (and despite the lofty declarations from the powers that be of this being "impossible", it is still quibbling) about whether someone has a "right" to serve as they feel God and community has called them.  We barely speak of charisms and when we do it is as though they aren't gifts/directives from God.  Perhaps the article below gives a little insight to this.

 For the Sake of the Priesthood...

Saturday, January 3, 2015


I just read the article below and beneath it is the comment I wrote.  I walked away from this conversation for a while just to take a breather and check and see how I really felt about all of this and to see if I was in line with what I practice and teach.  Well,  I apparently feel pretty solid about how I see this topic because the comment spilled out of me.

In all of these meetings about linking communities because there is a priest shortage, have any of us been afraid to speak about what really needs to be done in our church?  I don't know and maybe. Perhaps we need to pull up our bootstraps and get to work because what needs to be done is that people need to be served. What this woman (who I am sure has taken a lickin' because she had the temerity to believe in the mission of service) has done has been to remind me that this fight is worth having.

This is not about equal rights to me, I have always felt equal, (color me arrogant?) it is about letting the seed of our past fall and die so that something new and wonderful and timely can happen.  It is about  the kingdom of God coming and having a better chance at it when everyone is on board.  It is about believing that after going through the appropriate paces we can all speak with some authority because God dwells in every heart.  It is about everyone understanding that God has blessed us with "charisms" and we are to use them.  It is about healing the Body of Christ and about the resurrection of our church. But mostly, for me, it is about being like Mary, who only through her knowledge of scripture and her inner wisdom was able to understand in all the confusion of the moment that God was in charge and that God keeps his promises...always.

Ah, to be more like Mary.

The Catholic Church Needs Women Priests


We have been praying for vocations to the priesthood since I was a child.  I am at the edge edge of 49, I will not pray for vocations anymore. Instead I pray for the open heart that can see when God is answering our prayers.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to help our institution, for the sake of the whole body, to employ courage and wisdom in seeing that our prayers have been answered.  What Jesus intended, in my very humble opinion, was for people to be cared for and tended to and that it really didn't matter who got it done.  In his time the power was only in the hands of men but that is not the case any more, and I am convinced that it was never intended to be or the chain of events in the history of women's rights would have never happened.  We must believe enough in God's promise for all of humanity to go outside our own comfort zone

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Look For a Sign

Happy Birthday Jesus

(Please click the link for the story)

So, this is what we are offended by? Not poverty, war, abuse or destruction of the environment but by a little old sign on the corner of a street in south Utica (NY).  This is what makes National news in a bad way??

Utica, NY is a predominantly Christian city but even non-Christians are so connected to Christians in the community that no one would be offended by such a thing.

Except for one big attention seeking baby, of course.

I think in situations like this, it is a good thing to "call a spade, a spade".  That someone had time and inclination to complain about a sign like this when these men only serve and protect; when they literally walk into the "fires of hell" as a job and are simply showing gratitude for the protection they receive, completely blows me away.

One of my mentors was the Fire Chaplain before he passed away twenty-five years ago and I imagine that he would be so proud of Chief Brooks today. Watching from heaven I can see him smiling.  So, stand your ground and protect the faith of your men Chief Brooks.  It is a ridiculous discussion on many levels but apparently one that we need to have for someone's sake!

May the heart that is too hard be softened.

Hanukkah Blessings!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Challenges Ahead

So what about those roads that are bumpy and hard to travel?

The past several days have brought people who have said things that have shaken my confidence.  It has made me wonder if I have chosen the right path after all.

Several years ago when we were at Yosemite I remember my husband driving our little rental car filled with the five of us through the winding roads that outline the mountains.  Vying for space with travel homes and eighteen-wheelers, we were a little anxious as we wound in and out of the mountains.  But as we progressed  the view became more and more spectacular.  So much so, that it no longer was about the terrifying ride but more about the scenery.  Every turn was an incredible payoff until finally we were on solid, flat and wider ground.

I can't help but wonder if that is what now is all about.  I feel like the more deeply I dive into what I am doing the bigger the payoff.  I have a choice to either focus on how uncomfortable it is or how irritated I get or to focus on the beautiful scenery; the incredible payoff.  I know what it is, I know whether it is worth it to me.  I just need to remember that roads that present a challenge aren't all bad.  Sometimes they are quite the opposite.

So I remember this because this alone is all I need:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Advent - Day 4

I remember when I used this blog to walk through our liturgical seasons. I miss those days!  Here we are on day 4 of Advent and there have no indication on this blog we have transitioned into our season of waiting.  Why does this matter?

Well, because building my patience is a constant battle.  Advent is a wonderful exercise in adjusting ones understanding of our temporal world.  Of really sitting in the quote by Pierre Theilard de Chardin, SJ "trust the slow work of God." (full poem here)  It offers the opportunity to consider the players more fully.  It may be the only time we allow the confidences between Mary and cousin Elizabeth to bless us, and yet they are so rich and so real. It is when we give (at least I hope!) Joseph his due.  It is when we get to linger inside our history before the world exploded with hope and it is vital to our understanding of Gods deep and lasting love for us.  

When I take time to prepare my heart, I feel my heart grow.  If I didn't utilize the liturgical seasons as they are meant to be used, I would be terrified by the events in the world, I would believe what I am told by the news outlets, commercials for medications or articles telling me everything I have been doing is wrong. But all of those things are traps set up to draw us farther away from God. Our invitation to trust is always present and available.  It is in this season, in Mary's surrender that I find the truth that allows me to simply ignore the hype of the age we live in while living in this age.

May this day bless you as you make time to wait.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings

For too many people that I know, this Thanksgiving will be a little less joyful.  Some have lost a parent and will have to to take over as the main provider of memories.  Others have lost siblings which brings a myriad of emotions and change in their lives.  A family member is nursing her son for the past month after he was in a very serious accident and suffered brain damage.  The blessing here (and it is enormous), is that he is alive at all.

Yesterday, my oldest daughter had her annual doctors appointment as hoped and expected all is well.  Since we had to make our way there in the midst of a nor'easter, I commented to my daughter how grateful I was that we had a dependable car..."Remember last year"  "Yeah, it's kind of nice not having a heart attack every time we are on the road."  "I agree!"  As I checked out from her appt, I said, "Thank God we have insurance!  Remember last year??"  She smiled and said, "Yes." We got in the car and I said, "I am so grateful you are well."  "Me too."

As we trudged through the nor'easter with the roads full of greasy slush we made our way up and down the hills...slowly.  In my rear-view mirror I saw a man (who was right behind me) go off the road.  He wasn't doing anything in particular to make that happen, he just hit a spot.  Thankfully, there were no cars coming in the opposite direction.  I just stayed focused and kept praying.  As we approached my hill (my road is at the bottom), the worst of them, I came to a spot where cars get stuck going up and coming down.  They end up in the ditches that are on either side (much like the man in the truck). The cars going up don't have enough verve and traction to make the steep incline and the cars coming down, trying to avoid them sometimes over correct and sometimes they just have no choice if they want to avoid the other car. But there is a tiny side street that I try to catch as I head down which lets me bypass that particular stretch and come down to my street gently. I always give thanks for this little side road...and I do again today. I also give thanks for low gear.  As we finally pulled into our driveway, I just said, "Thank God we can stay home!"  And we laughed shaking all the way inside the door.

Today, I am grateful for how far we have come in the past year even though it really may not seem it.  I am grateful for a loving family that constantly increases and I continue to pray that we get to stay together a lot longer.  I could not imagine losing any one of them but I know it is possible. Today, I am grateful for the modern medicine that has enabled our dear one to still have her only child...her baby.  Even at twenty, he still is.  I am grateful that we are both gainfully employed and that our children want good lives and try to make choices based in that goal.  I am grateful for all of the people who encourage others everyday, especially those who read this blog.   I am deeply grateful for my beloved mothers who spend the week every year preparing the meal we look most forward to!

May every one of your days be guided by a heart full of gratitude and may you know how richly blessed you are! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Ultimate Enticement

Yesterday in the middle of a conversation I was asked, "So, how do we entice kids to want to go to church."  The man who asked  is a Priest.  He has offered his life to bring people closer to God.  I can understand and appreciate the depth of his question.  But I will be honest, I am just plain tired of that question and this is why,

After taking part in the conversations (which are now going on years) of hammering this out and walking away with very little that is of us I can't help but think we miss the main point. We jump through hoops, we twist ourselves in knots trying to offer something that will spark the desire to get closer to God.  What about this program or that program? This approach or that approach?  I am guilty of it too! All of it is done with a true purity of heart, a deep desire to be used as the instrument of God's will.  We are disciples after all.

But even the original disciples quite often missed the point.  There are passages where I swear I can see Jesus want to bang their heads together! Sometimes I feel like he would to us if he were here.  My image of Jesus is a very real person, can you tell?

Here is what I have noticed.  Kids demand authenticity and they will call you out when they see that you are being hypocritical. The reality is that the kids of this generation, in a way that never happened before, are informed well beyond their years of experience to process it. The reality is that as an institution we talk out of both sides of our mouths.  We talk about living our baptismal call to the fullest but we keep 75% of our baptized from doing just that.  We talk about the freedom that only Christ can give but we bind that up in rules of receiving it. We don't always own our history, which is a huge error in judgement. The person gaining the most ground in reaching people is Pope Francis and yet look how nervous he makes so many in our church.  But why is he making ground?  Because he is preaching and living the Gospel.

Last night President Obama took executive action to move on Immigration Reform.  My Facebook feed went nuts.  Half of the people thrilled and applauding and the other half aghast and quite frankly rude.  This is something that our Social Teaching supports and has pushed for and yet there are so many people who simply do not want to share.  They have been given everything....literally everything and yet they do not want to share. But they are "devout" Catholics. Or self congratulating Christians.    Guess what, I would run as far as I could from such hard-hearted  people too. I almost have on occasion.

If we do not back what we claim to believe with a life that shows we mean it then the Gospel message is simply not alive.  If we say one thing but act in another way it negates the value of what we said.  It is not rocket science.

So, how do we entice young people to come to church.  Well, stop creating road blocks, stop fretting about the finances or even the building.  If you say you believe in the power of a creative and loving God then trust God.  Trust that maybe the constructs that we have are not the only way to access God's love.  Trust that it is good that what works for us may not work for everyone.  Trust that our one church is not the entire story of Gods magnificence and creation.

"My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

That is how we will entice the generation that is coming. If we live in the Spirit of Christ...if we live in the Spirit of God who is the ultimate enticement.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Mother

Today is my mother's 80th birthday.  She was waitressing as she does every Monday- Thursday at my sister's restaurant.  She was lavished with love and flowers.  She was reminded how much she matters.  She deserves  every bit of it.

When I was growing up we had very little.  My mother though, as a true Irishwoman does, had a fighting spirit that made her keep making more out of what she had.  She made many of our clothes, cooked all of our meals, made every Christmas, birthday and Easter happen.  She is still our Thanksgiving house. But back then, it was harder as she tried to make do with the little she had for the then six of us.  Later when my youngest sister was born, my parents divorced and she went to waitress full time because the money was immediate.  She also got her real estate license but that is a tough business when you don't have any money. So she remained a waitress with a very keen mind.  I remember her coming home from work at 8:30p exhausted and still making snickerdoodles for a bake sale at school.  I remember her staying up all night finishing a skirt for me, and when I said I didn't think it would be done she simply said, "when have I not finished something on time?"  I am sure on those days she waited for us to go to school and went to sleep.  At least I hope she did.

Even at a young age I remember feeling bad for my mother. I knew she was given a very big load to carry. A farmers daughter, she worked hard from the start.  I was number 6 so I watched as my siblings grew up and went off.  I never considered what that really meant to her. Now as an adult and a mother myself, I see what a gift she was also given.  She is adored (there is no better word) by all of her children and some others that were gathered along the way.  She is beloved by her grandchildren who call her Grandmamemo and who she spoils each holiday with special cookies just for them (and us!) She is respected immensely especially by all of those who have watched her live her life with dignity and grace...most of the time.

Eighty makes me nervous because I cannot imagine a world where she isn't present and touchable. But, my eldest child keeps reminding me that not only is she healthy as an ox, she is also part of a family known for their longevity.  Her own mother died at 105.  She is right!  My mother isn't going anywhere soon as far as we can tell. Her spunk and humor will keep her going for a long time to come.  Thanks be to God!

Happy Birthday MOM!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Some Times....

Lately, I have had some "time".  It has been a real gift to slow down to get things done. I have gone from three jobs to two and have flexibility to some extent in both of those.  This "time" that I feel is just returning has allowed me to look around a little more.  Here is what I see:

1.) My house is a mess.  I am not sure how because I feel like I am perpetually cleaning. Of course the odds are against me, as it is five against one around here. But, I have taken this time to not only do inventory on the outside but also on the inside and I have to admit what someone said to me the other day, I am a "slob".  I hate that word, it is beneath me and yet it is me.  But, as I told this person who really was talking about my office where I am in the process of cleaning out 15 years of crap (JUST CRAP that was not my doing!) I am also the only one who seems to clean.  I am not sure if it is the duality of my nature that I mess and clean at the same pace but I envy those who can pick a lane...a clean lane. I have also decided that the time my house stays clean for a week will be the time to worry because that will mean all of the activity of my life will have dwindled dramatically and I will have nothing else to do but clean.  God forbid.

2.)  I love thinking and writing.  I have had so many things in my head lately since I didn't have the mental wherewithal to muster anything up when I was swirling in work and life madness the last two years. But now I do, and the quiet of my house with the kids at school and my husband at work, the only other sounds being the heater and fireplace and my bunny makes for a very peaceful place.  Winter is the only season that allows this.

3.) I really missed my people.  Because time was so limited I focused on my husband and kids and immediate family.   I was interacting with people constantly but not always "my people"  so when I got to get back to that, I felt whole again.  So grateful for their patience.

4.) My prayer increased and my joy increased. My prayer increased and my surprise blessings increased.  My prayer increased and my ability to detach increased.  My prayer increased and my sense of peace increased. My prayer increased and the understanding of others around me increased. You get the picture.  "I can do all things through God who sustains me."

5.) Returning to my 3.5-5.0 mi walks most days has been a real gift.  Doing it with my husband has been even better.  I missed that time.  I have a plaque, "Nature is my medicine" and it is true.

6.) I still need to control my distractability ....it is pretty bad.  So my new prayer is for focus.

7.) Gratitude is the only way for me.  Sometimes it is a real struggle but mostly I can see God where I need to.

I am grateful for any experience that leads me into a deeper appreciation of my life.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sacred Threads

It was no easy task watching my friend bury his sister, the mother of two, daughter of one, friend of my family.  But it was made so much easier with the feeling of deep love and compassion that intermingled with the sadness.  The surprise of a picture of us that made me feel that I had been hugged through the veil.  The coming together from all corners of the state, all over the country of friends who simply wanted to let her brother, her only sibling, know that we loved her too.

It was beautiful.  And cold.  We stood outside in a line that lasted upwards of two hours to see our friends.  We hugged in that line, we laughed and wept.  We questioned and shook our heads.  We remembered as we snaked in and out of rooms and lined up chairs.  Until we met with my boy, J.  It rained love.

We gave thanks for thirty years of knowing such an exceptional person.

We met afterwards with the out-of-towners to process and laugh. The next day, after the funeral, I was talking to a friend,  a dear friend, and  mentioned how fortunate we were that we have this sacred thread.  That we are allowed to weep and mourn as much as we laugh.  There is nothing superficial in our friendship.  We have buried others that we have loved after laughing til our sides hurt.  How can we not see that as the blessing it is?  Watching each other's children grow, seeing our parents age and some pass.  Wearing our hearts in such a way that the others can see.  It is sacred, what we have.  I love them dearly, whether near or far.

At one point during the funeral, our beloved priest who celebrated her life challenged the people assembled and said, "It will be up to all of you to show these two children, her children, the love, mercy and compassion of God."  At which point, my friend had his arms outstretched linking his father and his nephew between him and nodding his head yes.  It was a moment that I hadn't expected.  The unmarried uncle  who has no children of his own clearly picking up the mantle to continue the love that he was given. I am immensely proud to be his friend.  He carried it all.  The women in his family are gone but he can do it. He has always had an enormous heart but that day it seemed to explode in a way that blessed everyone in the room. Which he told me later had been his hope to make it okay, to make it happy.  Our happy J.

My prayer is that what was unspooled will continue to grace his family with strength and love as they move forward through all the times to come.

RIP Sue z

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Counting My Losses

Another friend has gone to heaven.  This one a mother of school age children, whom she adopted. The circumstances around all of this is so tragic that it is hard to even think about it with a clear head. Another friend from high school.  Another avoidable death.

And yet, I have this vision of her laughing and throwing big hugs to all the people who she has missed, especially her mother.  As sad as I am for the family, I am happy for her.  She is at peace. They, though,  will have to figure it out.

My heart breaks for her children. And for the rest of us.  But not for her.

Rest in peace my SueZ.  Our last hug is not our last hug and we will laugh together again.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

When the Holy Spirit Plays...

 Click the link to the Facebook post from Vatican Radio-English Edition.

Pope Francis during his general audience today concedes to the playfulness of the wind.  If you look, you can see him holding his cross.  When I do this, I am praying to someone.  My guess is that this is the secret to his joy and his humility. In the final picture I feel him chuckling, like "you win!"

Imagine, if each of us in our own way, gave over to that which we are called.  If we surrendered the moment to God the way our Papa does.  The whole world is watching him, hardly anyone is watching us, and yet...pride, arrogance and insecurity tend to amplify when things don't go as we hoped. What kind of peace would come to us if we just chuckled and admitted "you win".  Something for me to work on for sure!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

And the Emmy Goes To....

....Brother Luke for best portrayal of absent monk in a documentary!

Life is so random!  There we were, my friends and I, finalizing our purchases at the bookstore of our monastery when we overheard a long conversation about homemade fudge between some ladies and Brother Luke.  I had been joking that we weren't special enough to warrant some fudge or the complimentary paddle to go along with it as the ladies left. Then in the midst of our transaction, Br. Luke got a little excited and said, "I have a great story for you.  He pointed to a DVD, The Everyday with which we were already quite familiar. (He wasn't yet at the monastery when this was filmed).
The documentary goes through the day in the life of a Benedictine Monk at Mount Saviour Monastery in Elmira, NY.  It is wonderfully made and when we are missing our spiritual home away from home, we have been known to watch it and long to return.

The long and the short of this story so as not to betray a place of privacy and reflection was that after a visit, Kells, (who became friends with these men and went on to produce the Rachel Ray show) sent this to Br. Luke to be enjoyed by the very people who allowed the vision he had to be brought forth in this video.  His note said,(essentially) "Return when you get tired of looking at it."  Which is how, in the randomness of life, I got to hold a real live Emmy award.

Now, here is what I find interesting. In our society that holds up these awards as something to be coveted, this person found more value in the sharing of it.  What a gift to have this place to "recalibrate", what an even better gift to have a heart that knows that all of this is better when shared.

Though the monks are amused I am sure, (they are getting a little more press these days then when I first went there some 30 years ago!) I can't imagine it would hold their attention for long.  Even for us, it was an, "Okay, that was fun and novel" moment but we really just wanted to hurry up the hill for the final hours of our retreat.  Still, this is what makes our place of refuge so extraordinary.  How cultures collide on those hills for the Glory of God is remarkable and I learn more and more about it every time I visit.

Friday, October 24, 2014

So Many Blessings!

So,  I have been thinking and thinking about writing on my blog. I have really missed it.  Then I decided to pop on and friend Lynda sent a note of encouragement!!  Thank you Lynda, I have missed you too!

Where to begin.  Well,  I have taken on the whole faith formation program at my parish and am still working here and there at the school. Our LIM program is currently stalled which is its own blessing because I feel like my family is no longer being ignored a couple of days a week. We are preparing to send the oldest to college (Janine, if you are reading, ESF is a top contender) which is taking some time and emotion that is new.  The girls are growing into young women before my eyes and I have to sometimes catch my breath when I realize that I have been privy to bringing such wonderful human beings into the world. I hear everyday from someone about my girls and that is such a huge payment to me!

Much of my time has been spent cleaning and organizing for the program at church.  I have an old and sentimental parish and it is hard to sometimes move forward.  They are the most extraordinary and giving people and I am happy to be part of it and to be in a position to build it. But there is a lotta lotta work to catch up on.

There have also been some people in my world who have experienced big losses.  Parents, siblings or friends and it has been a very hard time to watch them as they move through their grief.  In a conversation yesterday, one person told me that their husband just stopped believing when his mother died.  It is so hard to be grief-stricken and my heart has been so heavy for this excellent individual who has now taken another blow to his family.  Another blow and an unwillingness (or inability?) to be consoled.  In the meantime, a couple of friends lost parents and their great consolation through their pain is the faith that there is so much more and that they are at peace with their loved ones.

It's funny how we all process so differently.  It is interesting how perceptions vary. 

There is so much more to write and I will. I am back. I feel like writing again.  Maybe someday I will gather something and try to make something coherent out of it!  Haha!

I hope that whoever is reading is well.  Please say hi!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Forgotten Blog and Summer Life

My poor little blog has been ignored for some time now. It makes me a little sad to think how much I am not writing on it. I have stopped writing altogether in an attempt to weed something out of my "must do" mindset.  In reality, I only enjoy doing the blog...it isn't  a must do.  But, in leaving my blog I left my enjoyment.  Oh the confusion!! :D

So what has been going on?  So many things.

I will start with a return to my monastery.  I had not been there in two whole years and was blessed to be able to go back for three days! With my best monastery girl, no less!! And then an odd thing happened. 
St. Gertrude's Guest House

Monastery in summer.  Never was here at this time of year.
It felt like the same place we went to as young adults some 28 years ago! A few changes here and there and missing some beloved people, yes.  But the Spirit, the one that kept me returning, has come back.  I am not sure why...but I will take it.

I will be returning again in November.  Hopefully with a  full crew.

 On another note, we started looking at colleges for my oldest.  This was a little painful because of the clash of expectations but everyone will come around with time.  I believe these kinds of things work themselves out and that with prayer she will be placed where she should be.

This was the hands down winner for both teens UVM Burlington.

Then there has been extended family time with my adored sisters and brothers and my mother.  With my aunts and uncles. I am very fortunate to have such a large (and Thanks be To God), healthy family.

So, it has been a wonderful summer for me.  But in the backdrop is all of this madness.  The children at the border, the injustice that surrounds that whole situation.  The Israeli/ Palestinian craziness, ISIS and the Iraqi and Afghan refugees, Ebola, flooding, foolishness and the one that broke all of our hearts the other day, the suicide of Robin Williams.  A person who poured himself out....and made us laugh or cry sometimes for days. A beautiful mind and heart. 

If I don't focus on my own little world my anxiety would be off the charts as I ask, "So what do we do?" But in the back of my mind I keep hearing "My yolk is easy, my burden is light" I am not sure what I am suppose to glean from that in all of this...except maybe trust.  Be not afraid...trust. So I try to, sometimes I do better than others. 

I will be back here now as my password seems to be working and so is my mind.  I hope I hear from some of you, as I have missed your voices! 

Sending many blessings!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wow! Where Did The Time GO?

It has been a bit of a  whirlwind around here with work and life and work.  But, last night I was able to witness my first class of students be confirmed.  And what a beautiful group they are. 
Such promising young ladies and gentlemen and there in the back is one of the blessings I didn't expect, their teacher who has become my friend.  This group, as with any, came with their own set of challenges.  Who didn't want to continue the process, who was pregnant, who didn't care.  And yet, here they are in all of their beauty with Mary watching over them. I beam whenever I look at them.  They are also a very fun group who has dealt with my odd sense of humor well this year.  My threat last night was, "You know you aren't rid of me, right?"  I want them to know that this is not the end but the beginning.

What a blessing this year has been.  I am so grateful to be entrusted with these kids.  I am so grateful that the adults who have come to assist are steady and excellent role models themselves as well as fun playmates for the child in me and each with a very deep and welcoming spirituality.  I am over the moon that my best friend has joined me and I am still saying, "Where did that come from?"  But we all know where it came from, we all know that the gift of love that the Spirit provides cannot be measured or understood...but it can be savored and I do.

Last night, our Bishop (Bishop Cunningham) spoke plainly and simply to these kids and it felt from the heart.  He reiterated what we have said all year, that none of this matters if you don't continue to nourish it.  These kids need their faith, they need to be connected to their God.  Please say a prayer for them in this special moment.  Please pray that they understand, that just as the original disciples, they can bring people closer to Jesus through their own living.

And for Scott who gives always of himself  to them for the mission of Jesus the Christ.

Monday, May 19, 2014

3 random strangers make an awesome song

My husband sent me this video this morning. I think it is spot on cause sometimes "I just don't know" but as the one man said, I try to figure it out but if I can't I get down on my knees and pray that he will.  Paraphrasing of course.  But this is good stuff.

**pardon the expletive at the end...but it's genuine!

Thursday, May 15, 2014


There is a lady in our parish who helps tend the flowers.  She also cleans up the pews and around the church.  She also brings gifts for the priest; this woman who has virtually nothing.

She is Vietnamese and maybe 70 years old.  She wears what the women would have worn during the war.  She speaks no English but I can understand "Father".  She has very little but she has a deep faith.

There is something that draws me to her...not sure what it is.  I feel protective of her in my little way but she is uncomfortable letting me help her even though she lets me a little and smiles.

Yesterday she was planting pansies around the base of our statue of Mary.  One of my co-workers caught her sobbing.  When I wondered why I was told that her husband beats her terribly. It broke my heart and I have been thinking about her since.

Please pray for Lady and for her hard-hearted husband.  So many people live these lives but here she just tries to clean up the mess and make it lovely.

Unfortunately, this hits home as the trial for the local murder begins.  Please pray for those who are suffering.  Mary will protect...this I know.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers Day Love

Every Mother's Day since my girls were very small they would go out in our yard and gather a bouquet for me. Now, though they are not so little anymore they  still take seriously the task of my bouquet. There is nothing more beautiful to me and I give thanks for the loving hearts that have been put in my care. I hope this Mother's Day finds you well and duly appreciated. For at heart, we are all mothers to someone.