Friday, October 28, 2011

Turning Leaves

Yesterday as we were on our way to Mass, a carpet of multi-colored leaves decorated the pavement. I almost hesitated to walk on it.
Glancing out my window I see our fig tree refusing to turn colors, our peach tree slowly surrendering its leaves, and our neighbor's gloriously scarlet maple leaves shimmering bright. For those who live in a warm climate, it is worth putting up with the cold to see at least once the variety of color that only comes with the changing of seasons.
Change is everywhere in nature this autumn. Soon the weather man says it will all be covered with a blanket of wet, heavy snow. Thankfully, the weather person is reassuring: the snow won't stick, at least not here.
All this change going on outside of us can question us: Am I changing for the better? As the leaves fall, am I letting go of things I don't really need. I notice a proliferation of storage units for rent. I wonder if the bins awaiting donations for the St. Vincent de Paul Society or other worthy charities are as frequented as the storage units which charge rental fees. The hymn "Abide with Me" says "Change in all around I see...Dear Lord, abide with me." Some have experienced loss of jobs, loss of homes, and other significant people in their lives. May we see God active in the changes. He is consant and unchanging "our rock of refuge."

Sunday, October 16, 2011


In my last blog I mentioned the "move night" in Newark, Delaware. About a dozen people attended our Faith and Film evening at Holy Family Church. The group held a very animated discussion after watching the film "Ladder 49" starring Joachim Phoenix and John Tavolta. None of the audience had seen the movie before. Many expressed amazement that such a wholesome film was produced by a Hollywood company. Filmed in Baltimore (about 50 miles from where we viewed the film), Ladder 49 portrays firemen on the job fighting real fires, as Dad's involved in their kids' school and sports, as husbands confronting wives anxiety and as faithful believers. Before we watched the movie, we began with a short prayer and a reading from St. John on the Good Shepherd. The word "sacrifice" came up often in the discussion. Characters in the film made small sacrifices daily. Some made the ultimate sacrifice. If you are interested in a Faith and Film night at your parish, please email me at You may also want to check out  Sister Rose Pacatte's blog and movie reviews
Today I was at a parish health fair. What has a media evangelizaer to do with a health fair? As I see it, a wholistic view of the person includes his or her spiritual and mental health. Pauline Books & Media offers a wealth of titles on the spiritual life, and several titles on healing and coping which attend also to the mental health of their readers.

Dome of Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral

Celtic Coss Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral
 This evening it was a pleasure to arrive at our parish church, Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to see many people--from grandparents down to grade schoolers--adoring the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The Forty Hours Devotion is being led by with a special preacher. It includes prolonged time for Eucharistic adoration and a closing celebration for the entire parish. St. John Neumann initiated the 40 Hours devotion in Philadelphia when the Catholic church was targeted by a group called "The Know Nothings." Their bigotry led to church burnings and other forms of persecution. Philadelphia's Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral Basilica has no street level windows because of fear that any windows in range of rock throwing rowdies would be shattered. When police would investigate criminal allegations against the group their answer was always: "I know nothing!" In our day the need for The 40 Hours" is more to fan the flame of our love and appreciation of God's presence in the Holy Eucharist than to ward off the Know Nothings. As one of the parish priests remarked tonight, the presence of the Lord is even more felt as the parish gathers as a family around the Center of it all.  May you  too enjoy the benefits of participating in Forty Hours in  your parish.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's New?

Today Sr. Cynthia and I will be traveling to Newark, Delaware to host a Faith and Film night at Holy Family Parish. I am excited to be able to once again participate in a movie night to see how the Spirit will work in the folks who come.
On our Philadelphia blog there is a description of the movie: Ladder 49.  Many films today are replete with CGI'/computer generated images. The producers and directors of Ladder 49  used "real" fire and the main actors underwent grueling training sessions with actual firemen to create a you-are-there sensation for the viewers. The movie increased my admiration for the self-sacrifice of all firemen and women. Pray that all goes well.
Also pray for Sister Neville Christine who begins a new assignment today in Redwood City, California.