I am writing to you from Philadelphia where winds left over from Hurricane Irene are blowing a mighty wind outside. I woke up early this morning expecting to hear pounding rain and howling winds. Instead, there was an eerie silence: neither rain nor wind. Parts of Philadelphia are flooded with water from the Delaware and the Schuylkill Rivers flowing into certain streets. Trees are blocking some roadways, and power lines are down. We had flashlights and candles ready for an eventual outage. Flickering lights last night seemed to foretell an outage. Yet, we still have electricity, running water and all the amenities that these provide. Tree branches and leaves cover the lawns and driveways, yet the huge branches we feared might crash on top of us are still intact.
A steady leak in the roof is under control. Our roofer has had so many calls lately that he has not answered ours yet. In the meantime we use buckets and a dehumidifier.
Watching continual news coverage of the hurricane did not help to alleviate any fears, so we chose to preview a film we will use for a Parish Movie Night. "Ladder 49" highlights the story of a young Baltimore fireman played by Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix and his fellow actors participated in an actual fireman's training program using real fire so as to make the movie as realistic as possible. The camaraderie and brotherhood among the firemen, their everyday heroism and humanity are well portrayed. Since our movie nights relate film to the gospel, we invite the audience to see threads of the gospel's values lived out/portrayed on screen. This film sets most of its characters as Roman Catholic, so a Catholic audience may find many gospel references as well as a certain "Catholic humor." Last night we enjoyed the bonus features offered and saw real fireman who assisted in the film's production, as well as their families. We will be hosting a Film night in a parish in Newark, Delaware in September. I will let you know the date soon.
My summer has been a full one with a long trip to Ohio, attendance at a diocesan Faith and Family Festival, and at the annual Holy Family Triduum in Ohio. As I return to my "blog desk" I will fill you in on what happened.Meanwhile thank God along with us for sparing us from any severe damage from Hurricane Irene.