Saturday, May 31, 2008

Any Way Saturday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

News from the Diocese of Memphis TN
May 29, 2008

Seminarian Deacon
Dennis Schenkel
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Ordination of Newest Priest to be June 7

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Seminarian Deacon Dennis Schenkel will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Memphis on June 7. The following is an article written by Schenkel describing his journey to the priesthood.
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Though I waited until my mid-thirties to begin seminary, on some level I have known my whole life that I should become a priest. My own experience of being around priests who were good, holy men, in love with Jesus Christ, led me to see priesthood as a special role in the life of the Church.

The priests I knew growing up were excited about the Gospel. They brought us the sacraments, and they were good, trustworthy advisers. While priests do not marry or start their own families, they are part of every family.

Story continued HERE.
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Dennis maintains a blog [although not writing a whole lot lately - he cl
aims to be very busy right now] at
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Please pray for all the new priests being ordained this year.

My wife, Aunt Rozann, and I will travel to Memphis for the events next weekend.

uncle jim
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excerpts from an article by
Deal Hudson

May 27, 2008

Are Republicans and Religious Right headed for divorce?
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On May 22, 2008, a new era began in the history of what is called the Religious Right. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain rejected the endorsements of two of the leading Evangelical pastors in the United States, Rev. John Hagee and Rev. Rod Parsley.

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In my recent book Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States, I wrote a final chapter titled, "Can the Democrats Get Religion, Can the Republicans Keep It?"
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The new emphasis on discussing personal faith among Democrats appears to be working.
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Among Republicans, the move of religious conservatives to the campaign fringe has come about for two reasons, one intentional, the other accidental.
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The expectation remained, however, that through an effective faith outreach, the McCain campaign would bring reluctant religious conservatives into the fold.
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Then the unforeseen happened: Hagee, the mega-church pastor from San Antonio, was charged with anti-Catholic statements by Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
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The unexpected apology by Pastor Hagee to Donohue, and their subsequent warm meeting in New York City, appeared to have put the controversy to rest.
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"Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them."
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Hagee tried to beat McCain to the punch by withdrawing his endorsement.
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Controversial statements from leaders of the Religious Right are not new -- Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson all committed their share.
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There will surely be those who applaud McCain for distancing himself from the "fanatics" on the Religious Right.
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Ronald Reagan won Evangelical support with a now-famous line at a 1980 National Affairs Briefing held in Dallas: "I understand that you can't endorse me, but I'm here to endorse you."
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The unanswered question raised by McCain's words on May 22 is whether he will be viewed by Evangelicals as explicitly reversing Reagan's endorsement.
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Within the past two months, McCain has unintentionally aggravated both Evangelicals and Catholics.
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As things stand, I believe Catholics are still in play for McCain, if his campaign conducts a vigorous outreach.
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And this is no small thing: McCain will need religiously active voters over the next five months.
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The fact is, McCain's moderates can't beat Obama's adoring groupies.
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More likely, new leadership will emerge among religious conservatives propelled to the forefront by the national fight over gay marriage.
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Deal W. Hudson is the director of
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cause Way Thursday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
longing for some peace and quiet - and sanity - at mass?
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[ 2:09 ]

'CLICK-ON' the above > and travel back to the future
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Vatican II liturgical changes "irreversible," Archbishop Marini says

Rome, Apr. 28, 2008 (

Archbishop Piero Marini, the former chief liturgist for the Vatican, told L’Osservatore Romano that the liturgical changes following Vatican II are “irreversible.”

Archbishop Marini, who is now the president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, told the Vatican newspaper: “Liturgical reform was necessary because it was based on profound theological principles.” He added that the changes following the Council were “of perennial validity.” [read more here]

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Vatican asks for "good will" in interpreting motu proprio

Vatican, May. 9, 2008 ( - Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos has told an Italian magazine that diocesan bishops should show good will in granting requests for the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass under the terms of the motu proprio authorizing wider use of the extraordinary form.

In an interview with Jesus magazine, the president of the Ecclesia Dei commission declined to comment on reports that his office will soon issue a new document clarifying the motu proprio. Any decision on the release of such a document will be made by Pope Benedict XVI (bio -news), the cardinal said.

[read more here ]

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

News Way Wednesday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
For Dawn Eden fans
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an update from the darling herself
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008
All sewn up

I am very glad to report that my surgery yesterday morning went very well. I just got home and am dashing off this entry before getting into the serious business of resting up. Many thanks to those who answered my request for prayers.

As I wrote earlier, the operation was to remove the rest of my thyroid—a precaution in the wake of the removal of a thyroid nodule last January 29 that proved cancerous. My surgeon told me afterwards that it looks like the remainder of my thyroid was cancer-free, thank God. He did remove a few lymph nodes for testing, but it's my understanding from him that even if cancer is found in them, it won't mean that it has spread elsewhere in the body. The last part of my treatment will come in two months, when I will have to return to the hospital to take radioactive-iodine pills that will wipe out any remaining traces of thyroid tissue from my system.

Since, I promised my dad, who picked me up from the hospital, that I wouldn't blog at length until I've rested, I will leave it there for now, except to say that, as before, the experience reminded me how much of a difference it makes when people pray for me. The first 16 hours after surgery were much more of an endurance test this time around than last time, yet here I am now at home and really doing well. I was even able to walk the few blocks to my place on this beautiful sunny day. So, wishing blessings back at you and will write more soon.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Your Way Tuesday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
from Dawn Eden at the Dawn Patrol
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posted on Sunday, May 25, 2008
. . . . . Prayer request

I would be grateful for your prayers as I prepare to enter the hospital for the completion of my thyroidectomy this Tuesday. The operation is at 7:30 a.m. and I expect to be in the hospital until Wednesday afternoon. After that, I will have stitches in my throat until they are removed the following Tuesday morning.

I wrote previously about my first surgery last January 29, when a tumor was removed from my thyroid that proved to be Stage 1 cancer. Thank God it was caught before it could spread. Tuesday's operation is to remove the rest of my thyroid so that the odds of my having a recurrence of this type of cancer will be reduced to zero. No thyroid will also mean no Hashimoto's disease, a condition that was likewise diagnosed with the removal of the tumor. I can get along fine without the gland by taking thyroid hormone pills, which I have been taking for the past 15 years anyway due to a hypothyroidism.

[read rest of post here]

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impressive morphing video of women in the 100 year history of movie making.
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[ 2:27]

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just sign it
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[ 2:12 ]

'CLICK-ON' the above > and learn to 'sign' your thanks
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Way Sunday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tony stories #2
temptations come from strange places
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The temptations were there, for sure. A real easy way to skim some money for myself. Who would know? And it would still save the company a lot of money. I just couldn't do it.

I wish I could say absolutely that it was because of my upright and moral character. I think it was more from fear - and walking that close to 'the other side'. Money, greed - they're big tempters. Beware!
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A few days ago I wrote about a man I called 'Tony'. Tony was the source of many temptations. Many of them involved money - the making of money. Even baser was the vice of greed - wanting more than what was sufficient. This is another story from encounters with my alleged Witness Protection program acquaintance.
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On another of my evenings out with Tony, we went to an ethnic Mediterranean restaurant.

Tony had previously mentioned that if we needed any office equipment or other supplies that might be used in our business, to let him know - he might be able to help find it at really good prices. I did not know in advance that this restaurant would play a role in that offer of help.

The trucking company I worked for was in the process of building a new trucking terminal in the Gary, IN area to better serve our steel-mill customers there [Gary is on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, immediately east-southeast of Chicago].

Oh, yeh - Tony was going to be putting his vending machines in the new facility.

After the greeter had us seated, Tony said that we were going to meet with someone who could help me get things that might be needed in the new facility. Then he asked if "that was OK" with me. I was a little bit caught off-guard, which I was beginning to recognize as a pattern when meeting with Tony. He liked to be 'in control' of whatever was going on.

Not wanting to seem ungrateful, and as much out of curiosity, I agreed that it was "OK" with me.

The instructions that followed were something like this. "You just follow along with what I say ... you respond appropriately to indicate you might be interested in locating some office equipment, or whatever you think you could use. You got that? Just play along with me ... OK?"

I nodded my approval, and wondered just what was going to happen.

At this point, our waiter came by and introduced himself and presented us with our menus. He offered to take our drink order and give us a few minutes to review the menu before making our selections. Just as the waiter started to leave the table to get our drinks, Tony spoke to him.

"Is Petros in tonight?" he asked. The waiter affirmed that he was.

"Please tell him that Tony is here ... and if he's got a minute, I've got a friend I'd like him to meet." With that the waiter departed. Tony then informed me that Petros was the owner of this restaurant.

Moments later, the waiter brought us our drinks, and said that Petros would be out shortly.

We sipped on our drinks and small-talked as I was wondering what exactly was going to happen next. I was also trying to think of things that I could 'mention' as possibly needing to purchase. Just as I was really starting to question why I agreed to this, a gentleman came from out of the kitchen area and approached our table. He was very obviously of Mediterranean descent - he reminded me of 'Zorba, the Greek' - kind of large and worn and not prone to foolishness.

After polite introductions and conversation, Petros told Tony to wait a few minutes, then bring me and make our way back through the kitchen to his office. We followed his instructions and made our way through the kitchen.

When we got to the far rear corner of the food preparation area, Petros came out of a small office in the corner and and motioned us to follow him - I had thought we were just going to talk in his office privately or something - but not so.

We walked past a large walk-in cooler and around a corner to a doorway. Petros removed a ring of keys from his pocket, selected one, unlocked the door, and motioned for us to go on in. He came in behind us and relocked the door. We went down down a long a flight of stairs and entered a small room that obviously was merely a small office enclosed in glass. Petros flipped on several light switches.

Beyond the glass of the office, lit up like a gymnasium, was a small warehouse. On one side were racks of fur coats [still in fashion back then]. On another side were cases and cases of TV's and stereo record players [again, this was a few years ago]. On the near side but across to the far end of the warehouse, was a small office supply store: desks, file cabinets, calculators, typewriters, etc. You name it, it was there. And, in a special caged-in area, there were cases of watches and jewelry and various high-ticket small item goods.

Petros handed Tony a pen and note-pad. "If your friend here sees anything he likes, just write it on the pad. Bring it up when you're done and I'll let you know what I can get it to him for. If there are things he wants that he doesn't see here, just let me know what the items are and I'll see if I can locate them for him. Turn off the lights down here when you're finished. When you get to the top of the stairs, their is a button on the right - like a door-bell button. Press it. It buzzes in my office. I'll come and let you out."

Tony and I wandered around for 1/2 an hour or so. The more stuff I saw and looked at, the more uncomfortable I became. Tony kept reassuring me that I'd save a lot of money if I worked through him ... and I didn't have to report all those savings to the company, if I didn't want to. "If you know what I mean.", he said.

We wrote down a number of items then took the list up to Petros. Petros took the list and told Tony he'd get back to him tomorrow. We went back to our table in the restaurant, talked and had dinner - and Tony bought. I wish I could say it was a wonderful evening.

The net result of the outing was that the next day when Tony contacted me, I had concocted a story that our company's purchasing department in Detroit was already way ahead of me on this one. Because I was not directly involved with that aspect of the new facility, I had to yield to them...but I would gladly pass along to them the pricing he got from Petros. Tony was sharp. I sensed that he didn't expect me to bite on this. It seemed like he had other thoughts going around in his head. He said that he understood if I was a little nervous - don't worry about it - just let him know if we were interested.

I called him two days later and told him all the things for the project were already ordered and in the pipe-line...but "Please be sure to let Petros know that I appreciate his time - and if there is anything else in the future, I'll get ahold of you."
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And it really just looked like a nice restaurant from the front outside. The warehouse was behind and below - the property dropped off on a gentle slope in the rear - you couldn't see that from out front.
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hat was not the last time I saw Tony. There are more stories to tell.
[Previous Tony Story found on May 20 post]
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Any Way Saturday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
never walked before without assistance
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[ 2:29 ]

'Click on' the above > and see 11 yr old boy walk
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What do you think happened here?
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The Early Returns

Results from our Pulpit and Politics Poll

In the wake of the controversial comments made by Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright BustedHalo surveyed clergy to get their opinions on how they believe preachers should approach political issues of the day from the pulpit.

The poll attracted respondents from across North America—see below for the the early results.

Considering the facts that 2008 is a presidential election year and the role of religion in American public life is consistently a hot-button topic, this debate is sure to re-appear in the coming months (in just the past few days, Texas televangelist—and John McCain supporter—John Hagee has issued an apology for criticisms he made about Catholicism).

[read article and take surveys here]
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Denominations Join Episcopalian Diocese in Fight Over Church Property

Judge says Methodists, Worldwide Church of God, and others can participate in oral arguments.

Daniel Burke, Religion News Service
posted 5/20/2008 09:45AM

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Sixteen Protestant denominations and regional districts have joined a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in contesting a Reconstruction-era state law that governs church splits.

The post-Civil War splintering of Methodist and Presbyterian churches in 1867 prompted the Virginia law, which allows congregations to keep their property when seceding from a church or "religious society" that's dividing.

However, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA), two of the largest U.S. mainline Protestant denominations, side with the Episcopal diocese in saying that the law is unconstitutional. [read article here]
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cause Way Thursday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency

Denver Prelate Addresses Obama's Catholic Fans
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Voters Need to Be Ready to Meet Abortion Victims in Next Life

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DENVER, Colorado, MAY 20, 2008 ( The archbishop of Denver is wishing the group "Roman Catholics for Obama" good luck in their endeavors to change their presidential candidate's position on abortion. He says they'll need it.

Archbishop Charles Chaput dedicated Monday's column in the Denver Catholic Register to "Thoughts on 'Roman Catholics for Obama.'"
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ere is a link to the Archbishop's column.
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ead it and apply his reasoning to your position. Where does it meet and match? Where does it meet and oppose?
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one meme short of a bibliography

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Courtesy of Terese at the Aussie Coffee Shop
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The theme for this meme is: using the 26 letters of the alphabet, express who you are, what you do, your interests, what matters to you etc. You have to write it within 26 minutes. I haven’t seen this anywhere else before, though I’m sure it’s so obvious an idea that other bloggers have done it before!
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I AM a / an :

a. aged patriarch

b. boisterous overlord

c. cunning antagonist

d. dutiful husband

e. engaged learner

f. favorite grand-parent

g. grampa jim

h. honorary uncle

i. identical twin

j. judicious sage

k. kindhearted friend

l. levelheaded arbiter

m. malleable disciple

n. nostalgic traveller

o. open-minded confidant

p. prodigal son

q. quizzical examiner

r. reliable supporter

s. solicitous caregiver

t. trustworthy companion

u. upright citizen

v. valued contributor

w. wide-eyed pilgrim

x. x-cellent assistant

y. youthful minded

z. zealous believer

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Now it is your turn - I tag:



Lillian Marie


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Go on - try it - it is an easy one.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wrong Way Tuesday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tony stories #1
witness protection program
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No matter what my past is - good or bad or indifferent - I cannot hide from God. No witness protection program will keep me away from the judge. My past and my present and my future are all known ... and He knows where to find me at all times. I need to do a better job of not having to look over my shoulder - I need to look straight ahead towards the goal He sets for me. God can protect me from the onslaught of the evil one. I can choose to stay in God's witness protection program and witness for Him ... and, by my own choice, I can leave that protection behind and be picked off by the enemy - to my death.
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what was his real name?
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Years ago, in what sometimes seems like another life, I met and did business with a man named Tony [not really the name he used at the time - I changed it to protect his real identity]. The name certainly might have suggested Italian or Sicilian ancestry. That was a good thing for the business he was in. He operated a food services business ... in a city near Chicago.

I was the operations manager for a trucking company terminal. We used Tony's services to provide vending machine services for the truck driver's break room. Tony's company provided the usual variety of machines: soft-drinks, coffee and hot chocolate, sandwiches, salty & sweet snacks, frozen desert treats [ice cream]. The price for the items was very reasonable - not over-priced. Tony would come in and refill the machines daily, to make sure everything was full and fresh.

Our arrangement provided that a percentage of the income from the machines was paid to our business. Whenever Tony came in to refill the machines, he would bring the coin receptacle box from each machine into the office. He'd dump the coins on the desk and count out the money. He took 50% and we received 50%. This was the absolute highest pay-back arrangement I had ever encountered. When I entered into the original agreement, I asked how he could pay out that kind of money. He responded it was merely a matter of competition, and his ability to keep his overhead low.

I was naive...although over time I got a little more 'street-smart'. I had accepted Tony's explanation at face value. We had been doing business with him for a couple of years when I was promoted and transferred to our company's headquarters in the Detroit area.

My new job eventually had me in the Chicago area a lot. I would visit our company's terminal there as part of my regular responsibilities. One trip I was there when Tony came in to refill the machines. We chatted and arranged to go out for dinner together that evening - for old times sake. After all, I was the one who gave him our business as an account.

In the time I had been away from managing that terminal, I had occasions to ask other local managers what kind of arrangements they had with the vendors of similar machines. Ours was the best - by far.

During dinner conversation with Tony, I asked again. How could he afford to give such a high pay-back on those machines? He gave me a quizzical look, like maybe I was joking with him. He finally decided I was serious. So, this time he responded to the effect that, yes, it did have to do with competition...and yes, it did have to do with keeping overhead low. He then let me in on the reality of the whole thing.

It was one of those "Duh!" moments.

He commented that certainly I realized that in his particular trade, especially in this part of the country, that there were organizations and groups that helped small businesses like his. Like any business, the cost of goods sold was a major factor in setting his prices and paying the 'commission' he paid. Well, the costs of goods sold in his business were extremely low. If I understood the 'wink' that went with his explanation, I began to understand what kinds of organizations he was referencing.

We shared a few drinks and talked for hours. At one point I asked him what his last name was - all I knew him by was Tony. It was then that he went into this long elaborate story about how he had been a witness against a major organization head in another part of the country. As a result, the Feds put him in the 'witness protection' program and he now lived under an assumed identity. Tony was his business moniker. His real and former name was Thomas Jablonski [this is not the name he gave me, but I'm not sharing that one] - not any where near being Italian or Sicilian. To be active in this trade he knew he needed to use a name that suggested an ethnicity like those who ran the trade in that area. So, he was now 'Tony'. He was hiding from his past. It was a matter of life and death. And all it took was an evening of drinking and I became his best friend and confidant.

Was that his 'real' real name? Was that all true? I suspect that it was not. What a way to live.
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After that get together with 'Tony', I would see him occasionally on my trips to that area. I'll share some other stories from time to time. I was naive in many ways before I worked in the Chicago area. I thought all that stuff was for television and movies.
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Way Sunday
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A 3-leaf clover - St. Patrick of Ireland is said to have used a three-leafed clover to explain the 3 parts of the Godhead as: a) the Father; b) the Son; c) the Holy Spirit. The problem is that if you tore off one leaf you no longer had a three-leafed clover.

An apple - An elementary school teacher once used an apple to try and explain the mystery: a) skin; b) fruit; c) core. The same problem arose as with the three-leafed clover. If you remove one element, you no longer have an apple

Marriage and 'Doublemint' gum - I once used this to try and explain something similar, though consisting of two elements. Wrigley's 'Doublemint' gum was flavored with the essence of two different mints. The essence of two mints is factual - BUT when blended together they become a new flavor; the original two elements can no longer be distinguished. In marriage, we have two elements - a husband and a wife. The two do create a new entity - a oneness takes place ["...and the two shall become one flesh"], YET their individual essences are still distinguishable ... like the three elements of the Godhead, the Trinity.

A hologram. This may not be very well understood except by those who have experienced the phenomena. If you place a photo on a stand in front of you, and take a piece of paper, punch a hole in the paper, then view the photo on the stand through the hole you punch in the paper, you will only see that part of the picture that is visible through the hole - the portion visible will vary in completeness based on the size of the hole and the distance it is held from the eye. If you place a hologram in front of you and view it in the same manner, you will see the entire hologram and not a portion of it. Much more like the Trinity - we see the whole thing and not just one element or portion of it. [ask a physicist]

I have heard all of the above used as simplified means to try to explain the reality of the sacred concept of the Trinity. While I still find it something of a mystery, I accept and experience it by faith.

Have a great Trinity Sunday.
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May crowning
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This past Friday our parish school celebrated a traditional May activity - a May Crowning. An opportunity for the students to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary during the month of Mary - May. One female student is selected to place a crown of flowers on one of the several prominent statues of Mary on the school and parish campus - the parish is, after all, St. Mary Parish and St. Mary School - her likeness is prominent. Songs dedicated to Mary are sung, and the Rosary is recited. Many parents and parishioners attend - it is a long-standing tradition.

This morning, the Religious Education Program for public school students held a May Crowning of their own. These students are significantly less in tune with the traditions surrounding Mary. They come to class for one hour a week, 25 times a year. The parish school children get taught daily on 181 days of the year.

The school has paid staff, albeit for minimal wages.. The Religious Ed program is served by volunteers [there is one paid Coordinator of Religious Formation on the Parish staff - she oversees this and many other Religious Formation activities for both adults and children]. I've been one of those volunteers for probably 20 years plus. I really commend those serving in this capacity.

This morning, as the current Coordinator concluded the ceremony, a parent in the gathering stood and publicly solicited a round of applause as a show of appreciation for this woman's efforts in the Religious Formation of the children, and the Parish - two weeks ago she announced her departure from the role of Coordinator of Religious Formation in our Parish. I don't know what she will be doing to serve the Lord next, but it will take a very big heart to replace her heart. She always gave it her all.

And with that, I appreciated all the more all those who work so tirelessly serving our parishes in all the many volunteer service capacities that exist. It is all part of our application of and our understanding of stewardship in the church.

May the graces of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be upon each of them.
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bed-time prayer
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I reflect on my day ... I express sorrow for my sins and ask forgiveness of God. Then I pray:

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for this sinner,
now, and at the hour of my death.
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cause Way Thursday
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How Obama's Catholics Will Dodge
the Infanticide Question

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by Deal W. Hudson


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When Obama's Catholic supporters attacked Catholic League president Bill Donohue for his criticism of their candidate, they did not mention Obama's support for infanticide.

The question will inevitably arise for the distinguished group of Catholics supporting Obama as to how they can defend his preference for infanticide in cases where a child survives a botched abortion. The fury Obama's Catholics vented toward Donohue will only force them to face that question sooner than they may have expected.

Unfortunately, they plan to dodge the question. Click here to find out how...

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I hope you'll take some extra time and read some of the comments this article has generated.

uncle jim

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meeting a fellow blogger

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Yesterday, Wednesday, I was concluding my attendance at a 3-day conference out-of town. I was fortunate, through a mutual acquaintance with whom I was able to meet while there, to have lunch with him and a young woman who is an occasional blogger, and also an occasional commenter here at my site.

She is a delightful woman of dedication and purpose. She exhibits a strong faith in Christ, and lives it out daily. She works in a homeless shelter, serving the less fortunate. She comes from a rather large family in PA, is University of Notre Dame educated, and lives to serve others. She humbly walks her talk.

I am so blessed to have met her and heard some of her story.

uncle jim
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sunday through Wednesday

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Any Way Saturday
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What happened to popular Catholic fiction?
by Todd M Aglialoro
published on InsideCatholic
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As an editor for a Catholic publishing company, I see hundreds of manuscripts and proposals every year. Many of these are for works of fiction.

For a long time we rejected these as a matter of habit. "We can't sell fiction," was the conventional wisdom. "The market doesn't want it."
. . . . .
It was a tough point to ponder. There's no question that Catholic fiction these days is pretty slim pickin's. Those of us yearning for novels with Catholic themes, supported by a Catholic moral universe, are generally forced to go back fifty years, to Waugh or Greene or O'Connor.
. . . . .
It's also evident that Protestants have it all over us in this department. Evangelicalism offers a selection of music, TV, film, and yes, books that gives a pretty fair imitation of the kind of self-contained religious counterculture that Catholicism was once noted for.
. . . . .
Now, what happened to Catholic fiction, and how do we effect its renewal?
[read entire article here]
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Readers have left 96 comments.
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Be sure to read through comments. Some are written by Catholic writers with varied and interesting points to make.
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Patriarch: Modernity Demands Christian Unity

Zenit News Agency (

"Faithful to the holy Church fathers and their legacy, we shall place greater importance on that which unites us,"
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ROME, ( - The Armenian Apostolic Church and the Catholic Church have a duty to be ever more united in their defense of human rights, said Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.
. . . . .
"Faithful to the holy Church fathers and their legacy, despite our differences and unique characteristics, we shall place greater importance on that which unites us," he said.
. . . . .
The Armenian patriarch said that in a globalized world with its political, social and economic challenges, "the greater consolidation of diligent efforts and partnership are an imperative for Christian Churches.
. . . . .
Christianity in Armenia traces its roots back to the preaching of the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus. [read entire article here]
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Methodists Vote To Retain Policies on Homosexuality
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he United Methodist Church held to its traditional rules on homosexuality Wednesday (April 30), refusing to support or celebrate same-sex unions and maintaining language that calls homosexual activity "incompatible with Christian teaching."

While many Methodists gathered here acknowledged sharp disagreement within their church on sexuality and biblical interpretation, delegates voted down efforts that would reflect that division in church rules or social policies.

A measure to remove the "incompatible" phrase and replace it with a mandate to "refrain from judgment regarding homosexual persons and practices as the Spirit leads us to new insight" was defeated 517 to 416.

. . . . .
Many Methodists rose to speak in favor of a clear continuation of traditional teachings, especially for the purpose of evangelizing to a world that they said is beset by moral confusion.
. . . . .
Delegates also refused to commit to support civil unions in wider society.
. . . . .
"Sanctioning homosexual unions would give the church's approval to homosexual behavior and relationships, which would be inconsistent" with church teaching. [read entire article here]
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cause Way Thursday
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how much is a life worth?
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The Indiana primary is now history. So is North Carolina. Depending on which pundit you're listening to, so is Hillary. She carried Indiana, barely. She got trounced in North Carolina. It would appear that Sen. Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee to run against John McCain.

I cannot count how many friends, relatives, acquaintances I have talked to that were backing one or the other - Hillary, or Barack. The issues were similar: jobs, economy, Iraq, 'get rid of Bush'. None of them said anything about "...because he/she is pro-choice".

Abortion was not even on their radar. Try to talk about it and they get defensive, and have rationalized 'that issue' because of the other issues which both of these candidates have 'promised to fix'.

How much money in my pocket does it take to get me to back one of these two, and let thousands of lives be sacrificed? The amount being offered must be enough, because millions have sold out for it.

Mea culpa, my dear little brothers and sisters. You die so I can keep my die so I can have cheaper die so I can get rid of the guy currently in die so I can do better than before - at least that's what they promise.

Mea maxima culpa.

[Read USCCB articles at this web-site: ]
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Oppositional Defiant Disorder [ ODD ]: The War at Home
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When Hunter was a baby, Pat never imagined parenting him would mean becoming trapped in an argument that would last 15 years. From the time he was old enough to express himself, it seemed that he was looking for a fight with her.
. . . . .
Recently, Hunter was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Pat finally has a name for the behavior that’s been exhausting her all these years. Now, she needs a solution. How does a parent stop the arguments with a child whose primary way of communicating is arguing?
. . . . .
James Lehman:
A day with a child who has Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a series of battles in an undeclared war. It starts when they wake up, continues at breakfast, intensifies when they have to get dressed, and doesn’t end until they fight with you over bedtime.
. . . . .
Parents dealing with ODD need a powerful mix of determination and strength. You can have a child with ODD and a peaceful home. The key is to decide: Are you going to change the world for your child or teach him to cope with it? It’s not practical or effective to try to change the world for your kid. But by setting limits consistently, concisely and clearly, you will teach your child to cope with the world and succeed in it.

[read entire article here] - oh, and be sure to read the comments at the end of the article.
. . . . . . . . . .

James Lehman is a behavioral therapist and the creator of The Total Transformation Program for parents. He has worked with troubled children and teens for three decades. James holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Your Way Tuesday
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and this from the Dawn Patrol

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"in catholic schools we do not get taught that contraception is not evil but rather it 'saves' embryos from abortion."

Even if one puts aside the double negative, the idea that students are taught "rather" that contraception "'saves' embryos" is disturbing. It recalls the Canadian bishops' infamous Winnepeg Statement dissenting from "Humanae Vitae"— which pro-life leaders recently urged Canada's bishops to retract.

More information on the campaign to retract the Winnipeg Statement is available from The Rosarium.

[to read the entire post, go here]

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D.C. bound
. . . . .
ixteen 8th grade boys and girls.
Two Middle school teachers.
Four volunteer parent chaperons.

At 9:15pm EDT
last evening [MO], the luxury bus coach departed from the front of the parish Middle School building and headed for the highway. By approximately 9am EDT this morning [TU], they will be arriving in the heart of our nation's capitol at Washington, D.C.

Six days and evenings touring the sights and attractions in and around this very
historical area. After wearing themselves out, they will depart next Saturday evening at approximately 8pm EDT. The following morning, Sunday May 11 [Mother's Day AND Pentecost Sunday], at approximately 8am EDT, they will arrive back in front of the Middle school. Their Social Studies Field Trip will be finished except for the paper work [reports].
. . . . .
me - the social butterfly
. . . . .
Parents and siblings will be welcoming them home. A few of us will be welcoming our spouse. My wife, Aunt Rozann, is one of the Middle School teachers accompanying the group. My main task will be to have my bed made, the laundry done, the sink empty of dirty dishes. That, my friends, will entail a little extra effort.

On the evening before [SA], I have invited 19 friends [husbands, wives, children] for a carry-in family-style dinner. We'll eat and chit-chat and play games with the kids and have a grand time - and probably let it go on a bit too late. Morning will arrive early and with a vengeance.
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Way Sunday
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
y wife and I babysat two grandchildren Friday evening - a 5 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. They and their mother, our daughter, came to town for the week-end on short notice - they live approx 3-1/4 hours east of us in central OH. We were already committed to be gone out-of-town all day Saturday, even though they were staying at our house until Sunday afternoon.

We arrived home Saturday evening, and again provided babysitting services while our daughter spent time with her elementary school through college best friend who was here in town from south of Nashville TN.

Ergo, no Saturday post.
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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
inistry is oft-times not even recognized. This week-end our parish is holding a 'Ministry Fair'. The purpose and intent is to draw more parishioners into mutual service. While my wife and I participate in many different facets of our parish life, I was still taken back by the number of different groups and organizations there are in our typical parish which are there to serve others.

Here is a listing for our parish from a hand-out that was made available.


Liturgical Ministries
Altar Servers
Children's Liturgy of the Word
Liturgical Environment
Mass coordinators
Ministers of Communion
Ministers of Hospitality
Resurrection choir

Sacramental Preparation
Baptismal preparation couples
Marriage preparation couples

Religious formation program
Vacation bible school
Grade school formation program
Youth / High school formation program
Adult formation programs
Sacramental preparation for school aged children
[First communion, reconciliation, confirmation]

Parish School

Classroom activities
Enrichment activities
Hot-lunch program
School library
Substitute teaching

Ongoing Formation & Spirituality
Spirituality groups
Women's bible study
Women at the well reading group

Parish Life Ministries
Garden ministry
Men's athletics
Parish athletics
Parish archives
Parish facilities and grounds
Parish library
Parish picnic
Parish School parent teacher association
Stewardship committee
the Voice parish newsletter
Women's association

Homebound & Hospital
Ministry of the fibres
Parish nursing
Sister parish
Rainbows for all God's children
Seeking Evangelization through Eucharistic Adoration [ S.E.E.D. ]
Welcome new members committee

Boy Scouts
Girl Scouts
Cub Scouts

TRI-PARISH GROUPS and MINISTRIES [ collaborative works between the 3 local parishes ]

Daughters of Isabella
Harvest soup kitchen
Health care centers & nursing homes
Knights of Columbus
Legion of Mary
Prison Ministry
Secular Franciscans
St. Vincent de Paul Society
Youth ministry
Deanery-wide Middle School

Local Christian Community Groups

County-wide Christian Ministries
Church women united
Crop walk
Ecumenical Sunday Prayer Service
Habitat for Humanity
Walk for Life

Time & Talent Volunteer Opportunities

Artistic or photography skills
Babysitting & childcare
Baking & cooking various needs
Bingo worker
Cleaning skills
Computer and related skills and support
Desktop publishing help
Facilities maintenance
Seasonal facilities work
Grounds maintenance
Season grounds clean-up
Laundering & Ironing
Mending & sewing
Musical talent
Parish bulletin & mailing
Parish office
Religious formation office
School office

Miscellaneous others - name your talent or skill and make it available
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How do you share your time & talent?
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Friday, May 2, 2008

extra edition - DETROIT time
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Detroit Tigers sweep 3 game series with the Yankees - at Yankee Stadium.

Detroit Red Wings
sweep best-of-seven series against the Colorado Avs - at Denver.

Detroit Pistons
deep-six the 76-ers in 6th game - in Phillie.

Who says road games aren't fun?

Care to comment?
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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cause Way Thursday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Why Are the Christians Leaving the Holy Land?
by Deal W. Hudson
. . . . . . . . . .
Catholics in the United States have been slow to grasp the problems facing Christians living in the Holy Land. Many Catholics don't even know they are there, or that they are Arab Christians. Most Americans equate Arabs with Muslims, in spite of the fact that Arabs were Christians long before they were Muslims.
Arab Christian communities have existed in the Middle East since the second century a.d. and perhaps earlier. These were Christians whose language was Arabic and who would leave a vast and rich literature of Christian thought and spirituality in their native language. Before the rise of Mohammed in the seventh century, Arab Christians constituted 95 percent of the population in West Asia and Egypt, numbering more than 15 million (9.1 million in Iraq, 4 million in Syria, and 2.5 million in Egypt). [ read entire article here ]
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Latin Patriarch’s Easter Homily: Security Cannot Be Achieved by Inflicting Insecurity on Others


“For the people and for all our political leaders, the situation has become deadlocked, or still worse, a routine of death that the latter think they must only govern without ever giving it life. The recent events of these past few weeks, Gaza, the murder at the yeshiva in Jerusalem, the young people killed in Bethlehem, and many others, are no more than sterile repetitions of the events of all the past years. And we will not stop repeating that security cannot be achieved by inflicting insecurity on others. New means must be found…” [Read the Article]
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Purdue Catholic Parish hosts :
'Climate Change 101' - a call to get involved

Panelists representing “green” organizations speak at a “Climate Change 101” program at St. Thomas Aquinas, West Lafayette. They are, from left, Diane Damico, Rae Schnapp, Christina Carbajo, Michael Rebbec and Don Scheiber. (Photo by Kevin Cullen)

by Kevin Cullen
The Catholic Moment

WEST LAFAYETTE — Pope Benedict XVI is speaking out about global warming … the Vatican is “going green” … and U.S. Catholics are being urged to do more to protect God’s fragile gift of life on earth.

A panel of experts provided ideas on how to recycle, cut energy costs and reduce pollution at the third of three “Climate Change 101” presentations, held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center on the Purdue University campus April 16.

[ read entire article here ]

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