Monday, March 30, 2015

Grey and Sad

The Pope said that a society without children is grey and sad.  Well, the Latin Rite priesthood for the most part is without children.  Is that why so many priests are grey and sad?

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Today is my birthday and a Saturday, a day I could goof off from work and just play.  But I am working all Saturday morning and glad that I am doing so.  God gave me the gift of another day and year for some reason.  I think it is to be of service to others, to offer what I can.  To be seventy two is a gift.  Use the gift.  I don't want to "retire," whatever that is for a priest.  I am grateful that I have something to do and a place to work.  Now if no one shows up for my talk this morning it might be God's way of saying, "Retire.  You are out of gifts."  I hope not.  Even if I am low in content, Lord, I can still be pretty entertaining.  I better pray for content!

Friday, March 27, 2015


Tomorrow is my birthday.  It still is an important day to me because my Mom made it important.  We had a chocolate cake for me.  There were presents.  I blew out candles after the family sang Happy Birthday.  I thought it was this way for all families.  No it is not.  Many a priest had nothing much, so they do not know what they are missing.  Birthdays are no big deal to them.  I have endured many a normal rectory dinner on my birthday.  I think birthdays should be celebrated, or at least mine should, but I cannot celebrate with people who don't agree.  It is pointless.  I tried avoiding disappointment by staying away from non-birthday people on my birthday.  Avoid the office or rectory dinner.  But that was no good.  Now I am into acceptance that I live in a church world where many workers do not care all that much about birthdays.  They had sad upbringing, but don't know what they don't know.  Thank you Mom for raising the bar on birthdays.  We had a good run.  But I still keep hoping for that chocolate cake.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Child Focus Education

In 1884 the American Bishops decided to build Catholic schools so that every Catholic child could get a Catholic education.  With that decision two things happened.  One, priests obtained power based upon their skills with money, since they had to build and maintain schools.  Being able to teach adults  was of no importance if you wanted to get promoted.  Second, Catholic education in this country would be child focused.  Catechisms were written with children in mind.  Adult education fell by the wayside.  The Paulist Fathers were and are into adult education.  For most parishes, the only time adults might receive anything was in the yearly parish mission, but often these were dreadful as well. Speculative thinking, searching, questioning, historical study were not good things.  The Catholic church had the truth and would explain it in a way a child could grasp it.  Trouble was it did not speak to college educated adults who embraced secular learning, science, and modern ideas.  It is not that the Catholic church did not have something for such people.  But the treasures were either buried, or ignored, or poorly presented.  Adults had to feed off a faith that a child might understand.  I still see this today in my travels.  Thinking is not much encouraged. Loyalty is the virtue.  If a good book is written to explain the faith, but reveals a lot of history or theology newly presented, bishops were not about to promote it.  If a ten year old might have problems with it then it must not be good.  Look in a Catholic bulletin and see how much adult education, not indoctrination, is offered.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


My task here in our Paulist Vero Beach home is to sort out all the "stuff" of dead and transferred Paulists.  These guys saved unopened third class mail!  What a mess.  Lots of stuff went to charity or other "used stuff" locations to be resold.  I think these priests threw out next to nothing.  So why do we keep our memorabilia?  What good is it to you?  If you don't give stuff away it will just get thrown out or given to someone who never knew you.  Let grandkids or other relative have it.  If they don't care, let them throw it out.  It won't hurt your feelings since they won't tell you they dumped your memorabilia.  One Paulist got transferred and left his boyhood pictures.  I am not sending them to him, but to his relatives who might be somewhat more sentimental and interested.  Or not!  Anyway, our garage is looking good now and we soon can put a car in it instead of "stuff."  If you want someone with tough love to toss out your stuff, I am your man.  Rates vary.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Vanishing Goodness

It is hard to stay good all day.  In the Hebrew Scriptures one of the prophets (Hosea) says our piety is like the morning dew that early passes away.  This is me!  I often pray early in the morning and have resolve to be good that day.  I am all fired up!  Then the day unfolds and my resolve weakens, fails, and good intentions become not so good deeds and attitudes.  Hosea has me pegged.  Actually, he was quoting God.  I think I must need a booster shot of piety during the day.  I am weak.  My sister Maureen says I am bad!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Saturday Blogs

I wrote a blog on "Feelings" and posted it on a Saturday this month. It got 37 hits, which is blah for a blog.  So I said to myself, "Guess no one cares about that topic."  By mistake, I posted the same blog a few days later with the same title, "Feelings." Double the hits.  It was a weekday.  This brief survey says that my readers have better things to do on Saturdays than read my blog, and they forget easily.  No one noticed that I had posted the same blog only a few days apart.  Fess up.  Who is losing their mind?