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Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family

Month

June 2007

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Acts 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He had him taken into custody and put in prison
under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each.
He intended to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.

2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial,
Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying,
“Get up quickly.”
The chains fell from his wrists.
The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.”
He did so.
Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”
So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
They passed the first guard, then the second,
and came to the iron gate leading out to the city,
which opened for them by itself.
They emerged and made their way down an alley,
and suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter recovered his senses and said,
“Now I know for certain
that the Lord sent his angel
and rescued me from the hand of Herod
and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel
Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Left Behind…

By the way…the girls did get popsicles, and a walk with Granddad!

Laus Deo!!


From Rorate Caeli:

OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE

“A meeting took place yesterday afternoon at the Vatican, presided by the Cardinal Secretary of State, in which the content and the spirit of the expected “Motu proprio” of the Holy Father on the use of the Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 were explained to the representatives of several episcopal conferences. The Holy Father came to salute those who were present and maintained a deep discussion with them for about one hour. The publication of the document – which will be accompanied by a thorough personal letter of the Holy Father to the singular Bishops – is predicted for within a few days, when the document itself will be sent to all Bishops with the indication of its successive coming into effect.”

Let us praise God!

Te Deum

Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.

V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.

V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.

V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

Motu Proprio!!


The motu proprio liberating the Tridentine Mass for the entire Catholic Church has been given to about 30 bishops from all over the world in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone

Vatican (kath.net/DieWelt/closedcafeteria.blogspot)
Die Welt report that the motu proprio liberating the Tridentine Mass for the entire Catholic Church has been given to about 30 bishops from all over the world in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.

The bishops had been invited to Rome for that purpose. At the end of the meeting, in which the motu proprio was introduced together with a letter of explanation by Pope Benedict XVI., Pope Benedict met with the bishops. The document is about three pages long, the accompanying letter about four. From Germany, Cardinal Lehmann had been invited. The circumstances of the procedure make clear that the Pope was very interested to personally inform the bishops, in collegial manner, of the content rather than from the media. The publication of both documents will take place on July 7th. It emphasizes the unity of the Roman Rite which will consist of an ordinary and an extraordinary form which are supposed to inspire each other. The ordinary/regular form will continue to be the new rite of 1969. The extraordinary form will be the Missal of Bl. John XXIII. of 1962.

Carnival of Homeschooling


There is a new carnival in town…the Carnival of Homeschooling – Surgery Edition! For those of you who are unfamiliar with blog “carnivals” – a blog carnival is a type of blog event. It is similar to a magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic, and is published on a regular schedule. This latest Carnival of Homeschooling contains many topics of interest for home educators of every style.

Catholic Family Vignettes is one of the participants…so please join us this week for the Carnival of Homeschooling – Surgery Edition.

Blessed interruptions

Today I purchased eight clear, plastic bins, looked at paint chips and proceeded home to begin a major renovation of my younger daughters’ room. I had planned to eliminate the stuffed animal menagerie that had taken over the shelves in the corner of their room, condense their toy box into smaller clear bins for easier organization and scale down their summer wardrobes. Having accomplished that, I would proceed to scraping and painting their room. Those were my plans…but they were not God’s!

Instead of slaving away in a very hot, poorly ventilated upstairs bedroom for several hours, I was given the privilege of hosting three adorable young children, while their mother tended to needs of their infant sister who is currently hospitalized.

My five youngest children were delighted at the prospect of new playmates, and my oldest son became the devoted slave of the three visitors. Arthur fixed drinks, prepared sandwiches, and even let one of the little girls press the “launch” button on his Estes rocket.

The children were accompanied by my dear friend, Krislynne, and her daughter, Erin. They were tired, a little stressed out and a bit withdrawn–understandably so, considering what they had just experienced.

But children are amazingly resilient. Within an hour, they were chattering away, playing in the sandbox, swinging, climbing, riding bikes…a joy to behold.

Thank heavens for these “blessed interruptions”–I wouldn’t have traded this afternoon for a roomful of organized, clear plastic bins!

The culprit


Things that go “bump” in the night…overturned trash cans…an injured cat. These are the mysteries that are a daily/nightly part of life in the country. The mystery has been solved thanks to a “catch’em alive” trap provided by a dear family friend (thanks Tom!). Meet Rocky Raccoon, cat mangler and garbage eating marauder extraordinaire!

As inconvenient and annoying as the trash issue has been, our greater concern has been for our sweet kitty, Cookie. Cookie has nearly been “eaten” several times…and bears the scars from each attack. This sweet kitty showed up about two weeks after we moved in, apparently a victim of “drive-by donation” – you know, when some nice person from the city decides that every farm needs another stray cat…

Happily for us, Cookie is a great mouser and does all he can to rid the property of other pesky garden pests. We are grateful.

Unfortunately for Cookie, outdoor life in the country can be hazardous to a feline’s health, particularly if the predator is considerably larger than you are!

Well, there’s one less raccoon on the rampage tonight…and probably fifty more waiting in the woods!

Vigilante obstetrics…

Beware Cytotec! What is Cytotec?

Misoprostol or Prostaglandin E1 used to ripen a woman’s cervix and induce labor. Cytotec is a small pill that can be taken orally or broken in pieces and inserted vaginally.

This article, provides additional information on this potentially life-threatening means of labor induction

Homeschool and the toddler


Sometime ago, I received a letter from a young mother outlining her concern that she was not providing adequate learning opportunities for her young daughter.

Like many young mothers, she was already contemplating home education for her child and wished to provide as firm a foundation as possible.

I’m so encouraged by the dedication and desire of these young women, to create an environment of creativity and exploration. At the same time, it is a good idea to establish a “mission statement” – a concise statement that outlines the ultimate goal of your homeschooling endeavor…and to remember that “play” is education, too.

Here is the letter and my response follows:

Hi,

My name is Margaret and I have a 22 month old child. I am a new mom and am thinking about home schooling. I see a lot of material for pre K for home schooling, but I don’t see a lot for toddlers.

Presently, we spend most of our time reading and talking. She’s like a sponge. At this point, my daughter can recognize her numbers and alphabet. She knows her left foot from her right foot and knows her colors. She loves to read and when I say we read, I mean we can read non stop for a hour. She loves it. But I want to make sure I’m living up to my potential as her mom and want to do everything possible to help her. It’s like she’s craving for more. Do you have any suggestions?

I have a friend who was excited when she heard her say her first sentence, I didn’t have the heart to tell her she’s been it saying for weeks. I need to know, too, if possible, is she developing at the same rate as other children in her age group?

Any help would be greatly appreciated; sometimes I’m not sure if I’m doing enough.

Margaret (last name withheld)

Dear Margaret:

Your letter was forwarded to me by CCHE Director, (name withheld). Allow me to introduce myself…my name is Kimberly, Assistant Director of CCHE. I am the mother of nine children and have been homeschooling for an aggregate of seven years. My children range in age from 23 to 20 months. I hope that my experience will bless and encourage you as you seek to provide the best possible environment for your little one.

“Precocious learning” is most common among, though not exclusive to, first children. Your little girl is blessed to have nearly all of her socialization and intellectual stimulation provided by an adult. The fact that you are also attentive to her natural desire and proclivity to learning, will accelerate her latent abilities as well as make evident areas of giftedness. I will give you an example, by using one of my own children! My oldest daughter, Jane, sounds very much like your little one. Jane was walking by 8 months, potty trained by 12 months, talking in complete sentences at 18 months and reading by 3 years of age. Yes…this is somewhat unusual. Jane does have a genius level intellect and is extremely articulate, as well. I must admit, that as a first time mom, I spent an incredible amount of time doing many of the things that you are currently doing – reading, shape, number and letter recognition. For a very long time, I believed that my efforts were the most important part of helping Jane “be all she could be.”

Then I had another child. And another. And another. Amazingly, as my time became more and more compromised, I felt that my other children would suffer as a result (not having the same concentrated effort that
Jane did). This has been proven, for the most part, wrong. All of the children have a variety of gifts and talents, some more than others. I’ll contrast one of my children, for example. My oldest son, Jane, was incredibly different from Jane. Arthur never spoke a word until he was two years old…and then he spoke in complete sentences, no baby talk! He was not potty trained until he was nearly three, but by 26 months he could name all of the planets in the solar system, recognize simple words in print and completely disassembled the carburetor on his father’s roto-tiller. There were times when Arthur was very young, that I worried about his abilities…I did not read to him nearly as often as his three older sisters (he didn’t like to sit still for very long), by four he was no longer interested in learning to read and I began to doubt that he would ever read well, despite his early “prodigy like tendencies”. Needless to say, those fears were all unfounded and Arthur has a mind like a steel trap! He is now 11 years old, reads at an 8th grade level, is an inventor of sorts, and can take apart and put back together nearly anything he puts his hands on. He has taken the lead in his own development, from a “giftedness” standpoint. His father and I simply provide the necessary tools to encourage him in whatever is his current interest and let him go!

Children are DEFINITELY like sponges!! They soak up everything, good and bad! Jane’s learning continued to remain accelerated throughout her life…and it is certainly a challenge keeping up with a young person whose intellect eventually exceeds yours! I would caution you, however, in your endeavors. Do make sure that your daughter has plenty of time to PLAY!! This is critical…she is more than a computer to be programmed…she must develop in stages, and sometimes the acceleration of the natural learning abilities of the gifted child can lead to difficulties in relationships…the child spends so much time “learning” that she is not “living” and interacting as a child. God created all of His children with a body, mind and soul. It is necessary to balance all of these aspects to meet our full potential. The gifted child will excel and succeed in spite of efforts to restrain her. Just take it one day at a time and remember to love her, hold her, tickle her and enjoy playing with her! It is just as easy for you to burn out as it is for her.

Homeschooling is, without doubt, the best option available for the gifted child and dedicated parent. The child is able to progress at his or her own pace and can even branch off into new interests at the drop of a hat! These options are simply not available to public school children, nor are they available within the various gifted programs offered. There are many programs available to encourage your precocious toddler and will also provide a fun learning environment. Before Five in a Row by Jane Claire Lambert, is an excellent literature based thematic learning program for your 2 to 4 year old. This program is available through Amazon books, Rainbow Resources and nearly every other homeschooling company. The web address is http://www.fiveinarow.com and has a lot of additional information regarding this program. Since you are currently doing a lot of reading with your daughter, this program would reinforce what you are already doing as well as show you how to implement literature to provide information on a variety of subjects.

Remember to seek fellowship with other moms! They can offer a variety of ideas, support and encouragement. And lest I forget…academic excellence is just one of the “perks” of homeschooling, and is only a small part of why I homeschool. It is an awesome task and tremendous blessing to be able to provide your child with a faith-based education, wholesome fellowship and socialization and build family relationships at the same time. I thank God everyday that I’m able to do this great thing! Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist you! I know this is a much longer response than you were probably looking for, but when inspiration strikes…you just go with it ;-D

In Christ,

Kimberly

Welcome, Catholic-Tube!

A hearty welcome to Catholic-Tube! “Broadcasting Christ and His Church to the world!

“{God’s people also share in Christ’s role as a prophet. […] Priests, laity, and religious can all colaborate in the church’s missionary and evangelization activity, catechetical ministry, the teaching of theology, and the use of all forms of contemporary media.”- U.S. CC for Adults – pg 118

May God bless your efforts to propagate the faith!

Yet another reason to homeschool

A simple case of poor judgment? Or yet another reason to keep your children as far away from public education as possible?

Here is an excerpt from a recent CNN news report (the full text accessible below):

“The visit was part of the YMCA’s STAY program, for students considered at risk of dropping out of school, abusing drugs or getting into trouble with the law. The trip, a week ago, was part of a tour of several social service agencies in the city, to show the students where they could go for support and recreation during the summer.”

Now, just exactly what part of a visit to Planned Parenthood would be deemed “recreational.” May God have mercy!
After-school trip to Planned Parenthood prompts investigation
POSTED: 3:39 p.m. EDT, June 13, 2007 CNN

Under construction…sigh…


Or perhaps I should say destruction…alas, my html skills are lacking.

Having followed all the instructions for a nice little “tweak”, including backing up my previous template, I have lost a few things here and there. Sigh…oh, well! You live, you learn and you read the instructions a little more closely…

Onward and upward!

Lost in translation


Una voce. One voice. This is the cry of the Traditional Catholic. Give us the beauty of the liturgy in the “voice” of the ancients–Latin!

English, too, is a beautiful language. It is our daily speech, our words of love and encouragement. It is Shakespeare, Keats, Browning, Shelley and others. Rhyme and reason.

Despite it’s beauty, English (other languages as well) continues to be problematic when translating the Liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from the original or ancient “voice” to the “voice” of a particular age or culture. Simply put, too much has been “lost in translation.” The ongoing struggle to undo some of the more unfortunate “translations” are evident as the “ICEL attempts to restore the sacral vocabulary and linguistic rhythms of the Roman Rite” within the confines of the Novus Ordo Mass.

The following op/ed article from George Weigel, a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. illustrates the tendency to “dumb down” the translation of the Mass.

We are not morons
By George Weigel

Writing in the May 21 issue of America, Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, called the lay people of the Church to the barricades, urging us to “speak up!” in response to the new translations of Mass texts being developed by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. I’d like to take the bishop on his generous invitation, even if my remarks may not be precisely the kind he intended to provoke.

Bishop Trautman worries that the new translations are just, well, too darn much for “John and Mary Catholic,” whose participation in Sunday Mass will, he suggests, be impaired by a translation of the Creed that describes the Son as “consubstantial with the Father” and “incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” But that’s hardly the end of it. Will “John and Mary Catholic,” Bishop Trautman asks, “understand these words from the various new Collects: ‘sullied,’ ‘unfeigned,’ ‘ineffable,’ ‘gibbet,’ ‘wrought,’ ‘thwart’?” What will “John and Mary Catholic” make of the Collect for June 27, which hails St. Cyril of Alexandria as “an unvanquished champion of the divine motherhood”? Can they grasp the depiction of St. John of God on March 8 as “suffused…with the spirit of mercy”?

My hunch is that they’ll do just fine. “John and Mary Catholic,” in these United States, are among the best-educated Catholics in history. In my rather typical parish, “John and Mary” can understand legal contracts, Russian novels, architectural plans, IRS forms, the Atlantic Monthly, columns by George F. Will, the calculations necessary to compute an Earned Run Average, their children’s math homework, the Federal Register, New England Journal of Medicine articles on osteoporosis therapies, the fine print of their pension plans, and Sports Illustrated stories on the Cover-2 Defense; they’re not going to come unglued over “unfeigned” or “consubstantial” or “thwart.” In a word, they’re not morons.

John and Mary are also smart enough to have figured out that the present translation of the first Collect for Trinity Sunday is heresy (it’s addressed to the Father, who’s informed later in the prayer that he is “one God in three Persons”). Having read Paul’s letter to Titus, John and Mary may wonder why, at each Mass, the translators Bishop Trautman evidently prefers have transformed a theological fact (“our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” [Titus 2.13]) into an emotional condition (“…as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior…”). And no matter what Latin John and Mary may have forgotten — or never learned — they’ve been scratching their heads for forty years over how “Et cum spiritu tuo” became the supremely clunky “And also with you.” The list could be multiplied ad infinitum and ad nauseam — phrases John and Mary Catholic readily understand.
A witty, post-Vatican II Anglican convert to Catholicism was once asked what he missed most about his former ecclesiastical home. “The Mass in English,” he immediately replied. Bishop Trautman is clearly a man of intelligence and learning, so it’s all the more puzzling why he seems to defend the indefensible. For how can anyone with a sense of the majesty of the English language defend the See-Spot/See-Spot-Run vocabulary and syntax the new ICEL translations are intended to replace?

Are there clunkers in the new translations? Undoubtedly. But will ICEL’s attempt to restore the sacral vocabulary and linguistic rhythms of the Roman Rite to Catholic worship within the Anglosphere destroy our ability to pray as a community? Please; we’re not morons. I’d even venture the guess that prayers translated with far more fidelity to the Latin originals will be a step toward a deeper, more prayerful encounter with what Bishop Trautman rightly calls “the greatest gift of God, the Eucharist.”

Bishop Trautman would likely agree that, as a general principle, “pastoral” doesn’t mean “dumbed-down.” Yet that’s precisely the strategy many professional liturgists have advocated in the post-Vatican II translation wars. I, for one, am grateful that they’ve lost the argument.
Because we’re not morons, and we shouldn’t be treated as such.

George Weigel is a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Weigel’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic Register, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver. Phone: 303-715-3215.

What a glorious day –




The Path that leads to Nowhere
Corinne Roosevelt Robinson

There’s a path that leads to Nowhere
In a meadow that I know,
Where an inland island rises
And the stream is still and slow;
There it wanders under willows
And beneath the silver green
Of the birches’ silent shadows
Where the early violets lean.

Other pathways lead to Somewhere,
But the one I love so well
Had no end and no beginning —
Just the beauty of the dell,
Just the windflowers and the lilies
Yellow striped as adder’s tongue,
Seem to satisfy my pathway
As it winds their sweets among.

There I go to meet the Springtime,
When the meadow is aglow,
Marigolds amid the marshes, —
And the stream is still and slow. —
There I find my fair oasis,
And with care-free feet I tread
For the pathway leads to Nowhere,
And the blue is overhead!

All the ways that lead to Somewhere
Echo with the hurrying feet
Of the Struggling and the Striving,
But the way I find so sweet
Bids me dream and bids me linger,
Joy and Beauty are its goal, —
On the path that leads to Nowhere
I have sometimes found my soul!

Joe Kennedy’s First Marriage: Still On

Well, well, well. It appears that Joseph Kennedy was unable to obtain that annulment after all (article from 1997 here). The following article from Time Magazine outlines the details of the decision issued by the Roma Rota in 2005, and kept secret until the final written document was prepared.

This decision is good news for Catholics who feared the process of annulment was beginning to take on the appearance, of what many in the secular world, refer to as “Catholic divorce.” Interestingly enough, Sheila Rauch is Episcopalian, and many felt her non-Catholic status would not provide her with a fair appeal. Obviously, this was not the case.

On clutter…

Have you slain any dragons lately? The “dragon” I am referring to is a personal one, the one that is living in your home…clutter! There are some of you out there (God bless you Kristen – everyone, please read this post, and Margaret, for setting the stage for the rest us) who provide such an incredible inspiration and example by your minimalist perspective.

For those of you living with clutter, find out what your particular “dragon” is, and slay it today! I have long been of the opinion that we all live with our own “dragon(s)”, mine is a fabric dragon. Clothing, blankets, towels, sheets…all of the fabric that it takes to wrap the bodies of 9 people…and many yards more than any of us could ever need.

Two moves within the past two years have forced our family to greatly downsize our “stuff” – we have limited storage, but are still hanging on to far too much. So…here’s to digging out. God grant me the courage to continue to let go of these earthly “tethers” and as Holy Scripture so aptly puts it “store up treasure in heaven.”

Meet the parents…and my dear brother!

I love surprises. So do my parents. This past Sunday, we were most pleasantly surprised by my dear brother. My husband and I returned home from Mass to find his convertible parked out front. We quickly hid the car and my brother, as the parents were just behind us. Needless to say, mom and dad were touched by his desire to share the last few hours of their visit with all of us before their journey back to Kentucky.

I love him dearly…

He had been rather surprised himself, a few days earlier, when we all decided to video the absolute worst rendition of “Happy Birthday” ever recorded and presented it (via email) along with several hysterically funny cards and photos wishing him a most joyous “38th” (HAH!) birthday.

Thank you, dear brother, for the gift you are to all of us. We love you and are so happy you dropped in…

Dinner is late…


Dinner is late. A lovely Italian dinner. We would’ve eaten nearly an hour ago, but my men are hunting an illusive beast…an escaped emu.

Two hours ago, Gareth comes inside in a panic to inform us all that “there’s something strange in the field…it has two legs and it’s not a person!” Hubby and I were slow to respond to this strange declaration, but the boys quickly bolted to investigate this claim.

Two minutes later, four very agitated boys are yelling excitedly that there is some kind of giant bird, “like an ostrich” at the edge of our yard. Arthur arms himself with his air rifle, dreams of a big-game hunt dancing in his head (he seems to have overcome his previous squeamishness). Dad and I noticed quite quickly that the giant bird, is in fact, an emu and definitely a domesticated bird, belonging to one of the local farms. Problem is, we don’t know which farm.

The bird has attempted to head toward the road, so the boys have continued to herd it toward a safer location. This has been going on for quite sometime. So dinner is late.

I’m not quite sure what their goal is. I think, at this point, it is simply the thrill of the chase. After all, it’s not everyday that a large bird roughly the size of a llama shows up in your yard.

Curiouser and curiouser…

A father’s gift


This Father’s Day, my dear husband gave a precious gift to our youngest son, Gareth. Gareth made his first confession, with his father and grandfather patiently waiting for his emergence from the confessional.

It has always been a great joy to both of us to present our children to this beautiful sacrament. The boys, especially, have developed a great love for confession and frequently avail themselves of its graces.

Gareth is on his journey towards the reception of First Holy Communion. He will receive on the Feast of Christ the King, just as his brother Galahad did, last year. After making his first confession, Gareth could hardly contain himself as he contemplated the day he will receive Jesus. He told his older sister Clementine, “He’s really there, you know!” Such a simple statement, and yet how profound.

“He’s really there, you know!”

To Our Holy Priests…


A most joyous and blessed Father’s Day to our spiritual fathers…God’s Holy Priests. May your day be filled with happiness and the knowledge that you are loved and appreciated by your “children”.

A very happy Father’s Day to our own “father”…Fr. Kevin Lutz. We are blessed to call you Father…thank you for all that you do.

Father! – to God himself we cannot give a holier name.
~ William Wordsworth

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