Oct 26, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posting the last few...we've been busy, as a friend is dying and we've been picking up slack for each other and visiting the hospital as well.

Today's readings:http://www.usccb.org/nab/102606.shtml

St. Paul goes Oprah today...speaking of inner peace in a way.

But yet this passage from St. Paul gives me pause...I truly think this is what the crux of our faith life really ought to be.

I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Read that carefully...

He points out the need for kneeling in awe of God.

He asks for God to send us strength and that we may feel that presence of Christ in the "inner self"--a self- aware realization of the spirit.

And he states the need that for us to be rooted (note that word) in love is not merely enough. But that this rootedness needs to be linked to the actions of God's self-commuinication through Christ. And that this self-communicating love goes beyond our comprehnesion--but that the knowledge of Christ's love is indeed what brings us fulfillment.

Wonderful words...and words that I think really encapsulate the faith.

The gospel today also points out that this self-communication requires much of us--and even that God requires much of Jesus (or God demands much from Himself while on His earthly mission). God has come to be a divider and not a unifier. So some of us will not catch that self-communication...and indeed miss the message of love that God gives us and the message that we too are requried to love even those we have come to hate. A hard message indeed. Our own families may not accept that message and where does that leave us?

Jesus indeed seems sad...but yet he's forceful and almost resigned to the fact that not all of us "get it." So while divisions are inevitable..they don't have the last word. God does seek unity and want to save us all. And still, despite that knowledge, we do a good job of pushing God away.

Oct 23, 2006


Today's readings can be found at:

Ephesians is considered to have actually been written by a colleague or follower of Paul's because it lacks the personal or familiar quality one would expect him to have with the people he knew in Ephesus. Although referred to as the letter to the Ephesians, you'll notice that it lacks things you would normally find in a letter--news, personal message, intimacy.

A second note with regards to the Gospel: Divine Retribution was a key idea amongst the people of Jesus' time. Meaning...the rich have been blessed by God and their fortune is a sign for us to heed their holiness. Jesus turned this idea upside down.

These two aspects come into play in today's Gospel. The notion of grace is center-stage in Paul's (or whoever wrote it) letter to the Ephesians. It is not through works alone that we are saved (another central idea of the time), but rather because God chose to love us...a free gift of God dwelling amongst us, being part of us, dying for us, and then rising to new life so that we might one day do the same.

Jesus couples this idea by berating the farmer who saves up his harvest. The message seems to be "seize the day" for who knows what tomorrow may bring? But deeper is the meaning of this text.

God's love cannot be harvested or saved up. It is simply always being used and given and will never run out. The bountiful harvest is a symbol for the love that God has for His people--a love that is overflowing and never runs out.

How does that knowledge of God's overflowing love change us--or does it?

Do we feel the love of God and horde it for ourselves, patting ourselves on the back because we believe and often feel the love of God in our lives tangibly? Or does this love empower us to love in return...to love without limit, without stopping to make sure that we have enough love to give. Yes, the harvest is generous indeed...but are we generous enough to stop counting the cost of our own love? Or do we choose who to love and who to hate?

All the parables are inevitably about God's kingdom. Here the kingdom of God is indeed the plentiful harvest. The resources that never run out--so indeed there is no reason for hording but rather we are encouraged to share that harvest with each other, knowing that in that sharing we are becoming more and more like the God who has led us to till the fields of our own heart in hopes that our harvest will be shared in full.

Taking a Leave

Upon further review...it seems that making comments on personal matters get me in trouble. Therefore, I will cease blogging on such things. No further need for comments. Unfortunately, people are catty. Nuff said.

So I will merely post on matters of public knowledge without comment. I will also present some theological reflections on the daily scripture.

Probably once per day.

Oct 18, 2006

Archbishop Dolan next?

As Cardinal Egan nears retirement and the priests of the Archdiocese (while standing with him, of course) try to push him out a stained glass window...my man Rocco Palmo reports on rumors of the next Archbishop of NY. Archbishop Tim Dolan who is currently the Archbishop of Milwaukee. The papers also picked it up.

A funny story:

Dolan replaced the very liberal Archbishop Rembert Weakland (who ordained my old boss Fr. Brett Hoover to the deaconate) who retired amdist scandal unfortunately. When asked what difference there was between him and the slender, spry Weakland, Archbishop Dolan responded:

"About 100 pounds."

An employee of the Archdiocese recently related to me the following about their bishop:

"I like him a lot... He is a good man and excellent with people. He's not as conservative as he is sometimes is made out to be. Likes to have good administrators around him to keep him on task and works closely and well with them."

So a guy who knows how to give the media a good quote and who works well with laity and administrators and is reasonably well liked by his priests and employees...

Sounds like the right guy to me.

Other candidates include: Archbishop O'Brien of the Military Archdiocese, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of NY. I doubt that he would get it. The Military Archdiocese really would hate to lose him and he would be hard to replace unless they move up Auxillary Bishop Joe Estabrook--who everyone loves.

- Archbishop John Myers of Newark--who has also been rumored for Detroit's see and wants out of Newark in the worst way. Detroit's a better fit for him, thinkest I.

-Archbishop Henry J. Mansell in Hartford, who is a New York Archdiocese priest and is well liked by many in New York is also a strong candidate who some would put close to the top of the list.

Now THAT"S Addiction!

Have you ever known anyone to go to great lengths to get a fix? I'm not talking about the severe example of someone turning to prostitution to get drugs, or something along those lines but rather consider the following:

-Standing outside a restaurant in sub-zero weather to have a cigarette.

-An older man in a walker, who is moving at a snail's pace...stops dead in the middle of the street to take a drag. He can barely hold himself up to do so and nearly falls mid-exhale.

-A person standing at a bus stop who blots her cigarette out on a lamp post carefully so she can smoke the rest of the ciggy later.

Now THAT's Addiction!

What things have you seen?

Oct 16, 2006

Your tax dollars at work

Wonkette has named the top 10 DUMBEST Members of Congress. Please note that 7 of the 10 are republicans.

10. Sen Jim Bunning (R-KY)
9. Rep Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
8. Sen Conrad Burns (R-MT)
7. Rep Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)
6. Rep Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)
5. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
4. Rep. JD Hayworth (R-Ariz.)
3. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
2. Rep. Donald Young (R-AK)
1. Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.)

Smart Men love smart women

The hot new book for women who think it's never going to happen: Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.

Dr. Christine Whelan is a wonderful writer and a colleague of mine on BustedHalo.com.

She made an appearence on GMA this morning.

Buy her book here

Milennials in Australia Have Feeble Faith

A new study on Milennials (whom I refuse to call Gen Y) from the Austrailian Redemptorist John Flynn can be found here.

Oct 15, 2006

Racially Insensitive? C'mon.

DETROIT (AP) -- Fox baseball broadcaster Steve Lyons has been fired for making a racially insensitive comment directed at colleague Lou Piniella's Hispanic heritage on the air during Game 3 of the American League championship series.

Piniella had made an analogy involving the luck of finding a wallet, then briefly used a couple of Spanish phrases during Friday's broadcast.

Lyons said that Piniella was "hablaing Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" -- and added, "I still can't find my wallet."


If Lyons had said that to Joe Buck it would've been a passing glance in jest. Secondly, if Pinella got him fired then he's a bigger jerk than I thought.
There was nothing wrong with what he said. There was nothing wrong with him criticizing Shawn Green for not playing on a jewish holiday (even if I disagree). I also think while his comment about the blind fan with the digitally enhancing glasses was unfortunate, I don't think he'd say that again. He wasn't being mean to a blind man intentionally--just someone who he thought had bad fashion sense.

Willie Randoph blows it

The Mets now down 2 games to one to the Cardinals.

Why? Two words: Willie Randolph.

His first bad move was bringing in Billy Wagner to start the ninth inning in Game 2. You can't do that with guys like Wagner who thrive on the pressure situations. This was a tie game. Wagner was lackadasical and too careful with his pitch selection and thus, got shelled. Roberto Hernandez should've started the inning with Wagner ready in case he gave up a hit.

The second move was not moving up Perez to be the starter after a long travel night. Steve Trachsel is known for needing a lot of rest and he pitched like my sister last night. Actually, I take that back...my sister would've lasted longer and wouldn't have taken herself out of the game...diabetes and uncoordination and all.

Cardinals have "Mo" on their side now. Y'all know "Mo". MO-Mentum.
Congrats to the Tigers also--who crushed the A's a legit team. Gotta love Jim Leyland.

But what do I know? I picked the Twins.

Happy Birthday to the Founder

10/14 is the birthday of former Paulist Young Adult Ministries founder, Fr. Brett Hoover.

A happy birthday indeed to the man the myth and the legend out in "Berzerkely" California. For those who know him, he's finished his PhD coursework and is teaching two classes...one on young adults at a Protestant Grad School (he's TAing that one) and the other as an Adjunct Professor at the Jesuit School in Inculturation and Theology.

He's also being the superstar babysitter for his sister's 2 year old, Chase.

Oct 14, 2006

More on the Cardinal Egan Fiasco

Egan made another rash mistake...Rocco reports that he slated the emergency priests' senate meeting smack dab in the middle of a funeral for a popular priest of the diocese. Indeed he is out of touch with his men.

And yet, while the letter certainly paints an accurate portrait of how the priests of the Archdiocese feel...and in fact, paints a true picture of the Cardinal's priorities (financial over pastoral) two things should be noted.

1) Cardinal Egan was ALWAYS sent to NY for that very reason. From day 1, it was always noted that he was going to be sent here to clean up financial matters and then would be sent off to some little villa in Rome.

2) Secondly, while the presbyterate may be longing for the media friendly and extremely pastoral John Cardinal O'Connor...let's not forget (God rest him) that he bankrupted the Archdiocese essentially.

At the least, we need a balance of the two men or have a pastoral and visible bishop who's smart enough to bring in trusted financiers to handle the money affairs of the diocese.

Oct 13, 2006

Goodbye Aunt Sis

I buried my mother's sister this morning. I'm such an invisible person to my mother's side of the family. I have no cohort group since most of the family members are my sister's age (16 years my senior--I'm sure she loves me saying this) or they are the children of my cousins who are 10-15 years younger than me.

To be fair, I have four cousins who are close to my age. My cousin Mary is a year older, Ricky and Stacey are a year and I believe three years younger than I am respectively. Lou-Ann was 2 years ahead of me at the local High School. She possibly was the only one that I had a lot in common with and she's clearly also the friendliest.

It's kind of a shame...I don't really know my extended family and nor do I feel invited to get to know them. Quite frankly, I don't care to really. I don't have a lot in common with them. Hey. ya can't pick your relatives.

I think my mom was offended that the family chose to have a prayer service and burial instead of a full funeral. A Capuchin came by and did a very brief service consisting of an Our father and his best attempt at a eulogy (and not a very good one I might add). I offered to do the prayer service myself but was declined. Ah to be a lay minister shunned by his own family. I really understand what Jesus meant when he stated that a prophet is not honored in his native land. He wasn't kidding.

I updated my "dead file" today. It's a file I keep in case of my accidental death which states how I'd like my funeral to proceed (I selected preachers and presiders, ministers of the word and eucharist, and also keep a running list of people who should not be admitted to the funeral home! And priests who should be nowhere near the altar as well!

It's kind of morbid...but I value ritual and if I'm not going to be around to "produce" this...I'm not living it in some half-wits hands who'll take advantage of the grief of my family. In short, easy-going me has stated: "You will execute this liturgy exactly as I have stated."

I'm so picky...even from beyond.

Great Falls Jeff

On BustedHalo's blog--The Spiritual Smackdown we read:

Quoting the letter address to Cardinal Egan:
"As you would understand, because of the severely vindictive nature of Cardinal Egan,this committee must remain anonymous."
Jeff writes:
"This smacks of a certain immaturity and lack of courage that I am disappointed to find in our clergy. Imagine if the Founding Fathers decided to issue the Declaration of Independence without signing it. They were in mortal danger but chose to sign it because a very public statement lacks power without knowing the names of those who support it. So it goes with the clergy behind the anonymous letter. If they truly believe that their argument has merit and they are convinced that they are acting correctly, why not sign the letter? If they are coming from a position of truth and righteousness, they would be protected by the Magesterium as well as the body of the Faithful from the "wrath" of Cardinal Egan. In light of the issues in the Archdiocese of New York, I can only say, "Shame on you" to the men behind this letter. Shame on them for demonstrating to the Faithful that the way to address problems with leadership, etc is to skulk around in shadows, hiding your face while allowing others to take the heat for your complaints. I certainly hope that the next letter they write is one of apology to the people of the Archdiocese for being party to such scandalous behavior. Maybe by then they will have grown up a bit and sign that one."
My comment:
I can't say I disagree, but if these men actually get revenge taken on them...and I'm not certain that this wouldn't happen...what good will they do anyone if they can't minister to their congregations?

Two great Egan stories

My friend (who I'll call Rachel) was on a short flight from NY to Rochester and the good Cardinal was on her flight.

So she texts me to this fact and another priest friend as well.

His response: "You should ask him if you could wear his miter...just for the flight!"

Story #2:
While listening to the Cardinal in his first homily to NYers...yours truly remarked to a friend...

"Why does he sound like Kermit the Frog on 'Ludes?"

Vote of No Confidence

My main man Rocco Palmo has the scoop (Scroll down to "Mutiny")on an anonymous letter circulating to the priests of the NY Archdiocese asking for a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in Cardinal Egan's leadership. The letter (printed in its entirety on Whispers) seems to confirm what I have heard myself anecdotally from several priests in the Archdiocese regarding Cardinal Egan's relationship

Egan is turning 75 in April and I have it on good authority that the Cardinal himself expects and hopes that his resignation will be accepted swiftly. So the letter is basically insuring that this takes place. I also am suspicious...I wonder if the Cardinal might have planted the letter himself.

I wonder what this all means for The Catholic Channel on Sirius now? Up until now it's been referred to as "The Cardinal's Baby."

As a NYer, I have no relationship with the Cardinal. He has never contacted our ministry and other Bishops have been the presider at Paulist ordinations I have attended. I served mass as a lector and an acolyte with Cardinal O'Connor several times and found him to be a delightful man...albeit a bit conservative for my tastes on some matters..but not most. I thought he had a good sense of humor and was quite a pastoral figure. Stories of his great care for the Archdiocese abounded when he died.

As always, my question regarding these matters is who's the replacement.

My 78 year old mother often said: "Ya know the one ya got...you don't know the one you're going to get!"

True enough, mom. Rumor has it that the current Archbishop of Milwaukee, Tim Dolan is all set to jump in the chair. So sez the Googler's sources.

Oct 11, 2006

Corey Lidle

New York Yankee Pitcher Corey Lidle was on the plane that crashed.

This reminds me a whole lot of Thurman Munson who crashed his plane in Ohio.

Plane Crash

Everyone here shuddered when we heard a "small plane" had crashed into a building on Manhattan's East Side.

My first thought:

"They said the first plane was a small plane on 9-11 also."

The culture of fear continues.

Your thoughts?

On "Youth Ministry"

Amy Welborn has a great post on Youth Ministry in which I agree with much of her sentiments.

While I am an expert in young adult (20s and 30s) ministry...I think that I've seen some good and badly executed youth ministry in the church and then I get to serve them as their young adult minister and need to re-appropriate some of their misgivings.

Some things that I've noted:

One thing that the post raises is the marked difference between milennial (born after 1980) culture and GenX (1964ish-1979ish) culture.

GenXers, who had a serious suspicion of institutions often DID come into the church (and still do) through service or community activities...or simply because there was a more vibrant and emotional type of liturgy and a sense of relevance in the preaching (e.g. Father talked about matters that were connected to things in their everyday life--and not a theological treatise or a diatribe against modern society).

The Milennials however are markedly different. Why? Their longing is not for community but rather for security. The big events in their lives are Columbine, 9-11, and recently the natural disasters of Katrina and the Tsunami. For immigrants the experience of crossing the boarder may also be significant.

Therefore, they will react in kind to stronger messages that "make sense" of moral decisions and give them a sense that the time spent in church is not merely "well-spent" but a time that is unlike any other time.

They long to be "moved to awe"--why? Because nothing ever shocks them. And everything is at the touch of a button for them--so they are powerful as well.

The problem that exists is that young people often expect God to work instantaneously...and when that doesn't happen--they are loathe to continue with prayer or ritual. They simply move on to the next "church store."

This is also why the eucharist is so key for this age. We have what nobody else has--the bread of life! The good news is that we don't turn it into another commodity for them...but we give them as many experiences as possible with Jesus in the Eucharist. But they need at least some simple Catechesis on the Eucharist or it falls into being "just another magic trick." When catechesis of the eucharist is done well--the result is indeed profound.

What youth need more than anything (and some earlier posts reference this) are mentors. How many youth ministers really prioritize their time with the members of their youth ministry so that each gets some individual attention instead of just programmatic busy work? How many of them make sure that they understand the essentials of the faith? How many know what's really going on in their lives?

The challenge for us as ministers is simply that. To bring Christ's mentorship to the world...so that when these youths begin to form their own narratives about "the way the world works" the church will be at the center...

Because we have been active in the center of their lives and placed Christ there to be with them.

Much peace...great post, Amy.

Old Friends

I had drinks with some old radio friends: Chris Thompson who continues to work at WOR Radio, is a womderful guy who made my time at WOR bareable. We worked closely together on the Food Talk program before he got kicked upstairs and I took his producing gig. Loads of fun.

Becky Bennett who now works for Buckley Broadcasting...the parent company of WOR, and is basically a personal assistant to the head honchos. Becky's just a fun person to be around--a real kick in the pants. She simply tells it like it is. I hope soon she makes some guy an incredibly happy man.

Heather Cohen was my beautiful and talented co-producer and cubemate. She now is the bigwig at a new radio network for women called Greenstone Media. What a lovely woman she has always been and it's good to see that she hasn't changed one bit--with the exception of her being very skinny now (flattery will get you everywhere). Her hubby, Michael, is a lucky man indeed.

Paul Cavalconte is now hosting a jazz show on Sirius Satellite Radio--so I hope to see him around the shop. Nice guy, quirky, but funny. And is always thinking of others and tries to be helpful.

Larry Fonseca is someone who I never worked with but was the sports director at WFUV a few years before I took that same job at Fordham. We've been shadowing each other as he worked at both WFAN and WOR not long after I was at both places. I expect him to work at either Sirius or here with the Paulists at some point in the near future if tradition continues to follow form.

In all, a great night out with the old friends.

Oct 10, 2006

My mom's sister

My Aunt Sis died on Sunday evening. Please pray for her--Cecilia Ryan and for her children.

In general, my extended family and I are not terribly close. This wake on Thursday is probably the first time I'll see many of them in about a decade. We were once a close family but in recent years have drifted. When my mother's sister Rita died, the family began drifting apart. I'm not sure what caused this drift but it began a downward spiral that never really healed.

My mother is now 78 years old (dad too!) and has not been in great health for over 25 years (since I was about 8-9). She's been close to death herself on more than one occasion. Unbelievably, she is now the oldest member of her family. She outlived all of her sisters and her youngest brother is the only other sibling left of 9 children.

My mother and her sister were close. They talked nearly every day although she moved to Missouri recently with her daughter's family. She just talked to her the other night and got the chance to say goodbye. I remember a huge fight they once had which ended with them not speaking for about 2 years. I asked my mom what they had been fighting about and she couldn't remember. So she figured if she couldn't remember what the issue was, then they should be speaking. SO she called her and they began to get close once again.

The Irish sure know how to hold a grudge, don't they?

My aunt was nice to me and a good woman. She had two children and a slew of grandchildren. I served as a altar boy in her husband's funeral nearly 25 years ago...so she lived a good deal of her life as a widow. She worked for the phone company for ages and was happy to retire.

Please keep her in your prayers.


Oct 8, 2006

Prayers for Aunt Sis and more

I was just informed that my mother's sister, Cecilia Ryan (Aunt Sis)is close to death. Please keep her and her daughter and grandchildren in your prayers.

Also a directee that I've been corresponding with, has been diagnosed with brain cancer...this may explain the host of mental problems she's been having...but it also means she has about a 30% chance to live. She's had suicidal tendencies, so let's pray that she may not be overwhelmed in the coming days.

Let us pray for healing of both body and mind...may those who are destined to leave this world be given a peaceful death and rest in the arms of our loving God. Amen.

Rehearsal for BustedHalo Show

So we did a "rehearsal show" the other day for the Catholic Channel. The break down of our show as opposed to the podcast is as follows:

Fr. Dave is basically the ringmaster...the main voice and host of the show.

Natalia Imperatori-Lee is the co-host and brings the estrogen to the show.

I'm sort of a hybrid. I'll be doing "resource updates" once or maybe twice per hour and doing features like "view from the pew." Otherwise I'll be screening your phone calls for the show and helping our producer get guests.

Funny thing, isn't this the job I left radio for ministry for? And yet...here I am back producing shows with a bonus on-air role.

In honesty, I'm a bit jealous of not being on the air all the time. But I also value the aspect of having a woman being on the air. It's something that is needed in our church and Natalia is funny and bright and can hold her own with Fr. Dave...and I helped find and select her...so I'm happy the show's in good hands.

When we reviewed the show with the Archdiocese's Director of Communications he generally liked it. He pointed out my update as something he thought was really well done...so I took some pride in that. He liked my energy and the good information.

As usual, I knew my role and performed it well...so most likely I'll be stuck in that role forever now. Not sure if that's good or bad. As per my earlier post...I'm looking to shine a bit more and do more of a primary role as opposed to a secondary role. So I'm not sure if I relish the role I'm in right now...but Fr. Dave hears my concerns and values me and is trying to get me more involved in the show. I'm sure they'll be other opportunities at Sirius anyway for me to contribute more, both with our shows and with others.

No word yet on a launch date...but we'll let you know.

Oct 6, 2006

Soul Searching

I've been thinking a lot about my present life situation these days. Over the past 6 years I've become one of the experts in my ministry field, built a national web presence for the Paulists, started and co-hosted a podcast, and led a very successful retreat program (probably what I'm most proud of). I also have been a husband for just under five years and am hopefully going to become a father in the coming year, if adoption plans go through. I've travelled to three different countries and two of those countries I've now been to three times (Nicaragua and Canada-Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver and Victoria). Oh yeah, I got a Master's Degree and I wrote a book.


So what am I longing for in my life these days? Seemingly I have lots of accomplishments--that I am indeed proud of. Yet, I have a burning hunger for more. BustedHalo has grown up and is basically under the more than capable hands of Bill McGarvey. I still contribute to the site and produce the blog and the ask father joe series...but it certainly has been a reduction in the need for me to hover over day to day operations.

Since I'm not a priest, I often get overshadowed by my boss, Fr Dave..who is very gregarious and extroverted. Like me, he likes control, has strong expectations, and loves the limelight. Because he's a priest, he naturally gets more pastoral opportunities--and people are more naturally drawn to him for counselling and pastoral work. Like me, he's a great presenter...and I mean lights out. He's funny, charming, and always on.

Somehow it all feels like a competition for pastoral attention...which is good and bad. Competition by design pushes us to be better. So I think I demand excellence of myself. At the same time, I feel that we sometimes have a less than collaborative relationship...not that we don't work well together...we do. It's more of a ownership issue. I often get to play the secondary role, or a visioning role --while someone else gets to finish the project or flesh out an idea I began. While I don't mind having my ideas twisted and turned and I have the ability to "be in the room" and let others pick away at the brainstorming sessions where we debate ideas--I often don't feel like I'm owning any of it for myself--where my compadres seem to grasp more tightly to a project that they can own for themselves and are given full credit.

I'm sure I'll feel differently when my book actually is in print. But that's a year away. Sigh.

I've given some thought to becoming a deacon. My thinking is that maybe I earn more respect with ordination and maybe more doors open for me ministerially. The lay person is often looked upon by the laity as "secondary". And in some ways rightfully so. And there are many restrictions on what I can and can't do as a lay person and professional minister in the Catholic Church. Recently, I had to turn down a request by someone to officiate at their wedding. I was touched that they even considered asking me--but obviously that's something I can't do. I led a wake service for my wife's family once and while sad...it was one of the great joys of my life to bring comfort to those in pain. Ironically, the wake was for my wife's uncle Andy who was a Deacon and a big inspiration to me.

So in the coming year, I'm giving thought to where I feel most called and what I have to contribute. What can I do that's uniquely me? I'm putting myself in my own life coaching program and asking myself the big question:

If I could do anything tomorrow, what would that be like?

I'll be blogging about this from time to time. So stay tuned and weigh in with your own thoughts...I'm sure to find that helpful.

Oct 5, 2006


Much like the great example that John Paul II gave when he forgave his assassin, today we look to our Amish brothers and sisters who have openly forgiven the man who killed 5 Amish women in a senseless act of revenge over a 20 year grudge.

Thursday's funerals were scheduled for Naomi Rose Ebersole, 7; Marian Fisher, 13; Mary Liz Miller, 8; and her sister Lena Miller, 7, according to The Associated Press.

Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12, is to be buried Friday, AP reported.

Five other girls who were victims of the shooting remained hospitalized -- three in critical condition and two in serious condition. They ranged in age from 6 to 13.

Roberts, 32, shot the 10 girls Monday and then committed suicide as police stormed the schoolhouse. The truck driver brought lubricating jelly and plastic restraints with him, and may have been planning to sexually assault the Amish girls, police said.

I wonder what is going through the minds of those families today and yesterday while they prepare the bodies in their home (as is their tradition) for the funeral and burial? Somehow their FIRST thought was one of peace and forgiveness.

Today let us pray that we all may be able to be inspired by their example and be able to overcome the grudges in our own lives and forgive the petty things that we encounter in our lives.

New Look

OK--so I re-did the look of the Blog again....

Any thoughts--I kind of like this--especially since orange is the new black!

Halo bangin' to Slayer

What's next? The BustedHalo.com mosh pit?

An absolutely awesome column by Dave Nantais about Slayer's new album on BustedHalo.com.
A lot of my high school friends were metal-heads so I listened to a bit of this stuff growing up...not my thing really but I do think the lyrics of a lot of these songs are brilliant.

Oct 3, 2006

Hijackers claimed to be protesting Pope's comments.

From Reuters Today:

"A Turkish airliner flying from Tirana to Istanbul has been hijacked and flown to Brindisi in southern Italy in an apparent protest against the Pope."

Soon after....

"The two hijackers of the Turkish Airlines flight that was forced to land in Italy on Tuesday have surrendered and will ask for political asylum, an Italian police official said."

"They have surrendered and are about to get off the airplane," Brindisi Police Chief Salvatore De Paolis told Reuters. "They will request political asylum."

Off to the playoffs!

The baseball playoffs start today...

Lucky me...my (now)main man, Kenneth Wright, spiritual director extrodinaire, has invited me to Game 1 of the Yanks/Tigers. I'll be having a hot dog for dinner.

Some background on my baseball past:

I used to cover the home games for the Mets and the Yankees for both WFAN and then later WOR. I was the backup reporter for Suzyn Waldman, the famous sports beat reporter and one of the first women to really break down barriers for women in sports. She is also just a wonderful woman to be around...and she taught me a lot. I would basically fill in for her when she returned from the West Coast swing and needed some time off to recharge or when she just needed a day off. Since I had a season pass, I would go to the games when she was working and I'd cover the visitor's locker room and if I got anything good, she'd use it and give me credit. It was great experience for me--no money--but great, great experience. Later at WOR, I was their main reporter--again no money--but I got to go to a full season of home games for both squads. (it was 1996 and the Yanks won the whole thing!)

Now...I grew up a Mets fan in the late 70s. I was the only kid in the neighborhood who hated the Yankees and Reggie Jackson. I thought Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Lee Mazzilli were awesome.

So now I get into the business and I get to cover the Bobby Bonilla, Vince Coleman, Brett Saberhagen Mets...who were God-awful and I got to see Fred Wilpon's operation up close. Yeesh did they treat us media guys poorly. I would say that both Bobby Valentine and Steve Phillips were pretty good to me...and always pretty polite. But the experience pretty much soured me on the Mets.

The Yanks conversely were wonderful to be around. Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Wade Boggs, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Paul O'Neill, heck, even David Wells were all pretty good guys to be around. Joe Torre was just a class act. And while Steinbrenner was and still is CRAZY, I never saw him be rude or condescending to anyone in the media while I worked there. I can't say the same about Fred Wilpon.

But I could never bring myself to be a Yankee fan. I'd rather chew my right arm off. But let me tell you these guys were hard to root against.

So I took some time off from "rooting" and became what I call an "observer" of the game. I admit feeling good about the 2000 Mets team. I later adopted the Cubs as a team I could root for...while visiting Wrigley Field in Chicago (which I claim as the greatest ballpark in the majors). The Cubs are annoying. They are so up and down..it's no wonder that Wrigley is basically the world's biggest outdoor tavern. This year there was no reason to do anything there but drink. They stunk up the place.

I leave you with some predictions for the post season:

Tigers over Yanks in 5.
Twins over A's in 4.

Dodgers over Mets in 5.
Padres over St Louis in 3.

Twins over tigers
Padres over Dodgers

Twins over Padres.

Oct 2, 2006

Pastoral vs Theoretical

Fr. Eugene Lauer had a curious comment during his after dinner comments at Fordham's Garduate School of Religion and Religious Education dinner.

He mentioned that the National Pastoral Life Center is not really interested in high fallutin theological theories...but rather, they are focused on how to serve people at a basic pastoral level. How do we translate our message to those who simply come to church.

It seems to me, that this is also the work that BustedHalo.com does. We're translators. We link the riches of theological and spiritual wisdom with everyday life.

If only this could be everyone's mission.

Fordham's GSRRE Dinner

This was a lovely affair with over 225 people attending. Fr. Eugene Lauer of the National Pastoral Life Center provided after-dinner comments and accepted the Gaudium Et Spes Award on behalf of the deceased Msgr. Phil Murnion and the center.

Jesuits Joe and Vin Novak were glowng and Dr. Jack Nelson, his wife Kathy and the rest of his family looked genuinely touched and honored. Nelson and the Novak's received the founder's award...and the award henceforth will be given in their name.

The mass beforehand was first rate liturgy, thanks in part to the liturgical planning of Dr. Marilyn Kravitz, a recent grad of the school. Possibly the most beautiful offertory procession I've ever seen. As the choir played "One Bread, One Body" those in procession lifted high the gifts that came forth from the community.

The dean of the school, Fr. Tony Sciorra gave a very moving homily based on the selected readings, weaving in the fact that "we indeed are standing on the shoulders of giants, not merely from our school, but from our faith. And that all begins with Jesus and the 12 he chose to lead us. When Jesus ascended into heaven, I'm sure all the saints and angels wondered if Jesus had a 'plan b." But those 12 simple men truly were the right people for the job...and we are indeed here today in this church because of them. And their gifts were all of different varieties."

I was proud to have proclaimed the 2nd reading...and really felt the appreciation of many who thanked me to proclaiming the word well.

One of the highlights of my evening was meeting Zeni Fox, of National Catholic Reporter and other publications fame. She was the epitome of grace and class and made my wife (who often knows nobody at these things) feel remarkably comfortable. I hope I have the honor of spending more time with her again soon.

A second highlight was seeing Fr. Joe Constantino, Sj. When I was still a young radio producer, a priest-friend encouraged me to talk to Fr. Constantino about possibly working with his retreat center as a volunteer and working towards changing my career to directing retreats. He gave me about an hour of prime direction and allowed me to see that I had plenty of experience and gifts to be able to venture on my own in retreat ministry. While he had no positions on his staff available, he did invite me to keep in touch and encouraged me to look to other places to find a place to serve in this capacity. The Paulists, not long after this, found a job for me and I confidently came forth to land the position. So I owe Fr Joe big time.

In all...a fine evening. Next year on October 20th at Fordham! Be there!

Googling God

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