Monday, November 29, 2010

"The Mystery of Advent"

some excellent Advent posts over at the Friar's Blog; I'm only about half way through the first one, but thought I'd post the links.

The Mystery of Advent
by Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, O.P.

In 2007, some of the priests and brothers at the Dominican House of Studies prepared a series of reflections on the four weeks of Advent. As the Church begins the new liturgical Year of Grace with the season of Advent, we present again these reflections.

Mystery of Advent, Week One
Mystery of Advent, Week Two
Mystery of Advent, Week Three
Mystery of Advent, Week Four

Friday, November 19, 2010

New book

A new book on Bl. Margaret of Castello is out.

Well, actually more of a pamphlet... It's from the Catholic Truth Society

From the back cover:
Patroness of the disabled and marginalized Margaret's story shows how God has a purpose for even the most unfortunate and disadvantaged; that his gifts may shine strongly in any of us, whatever our situation in this life. Young, small, blind, lame, unattractive, a hunchback who was rejected by her parents, in today's world she would certainly have been another victim of abortion. Yet, despite her severe disadvantages, 'Little Margaret' emerged as an exemplary model of selfless love. In recognition of this she was beatified, and now the cause for her canonization is recognized in Rome. Invoked as the patroness of the disabled and unwanted, there are shrines to her in America where she is revered as patron of the disabled and the marginalized.

Alan Frost has authored other titles for CTS, including St Louis-Marie de Montfort.

Old Book - "From Luther to Hitler"

My next read came in - "From Luther to Hitler, The History of Fascist-Nazi Political Philosophy", 1941, by William McGovern.

I found this in the references pages of "Philosophies at War", 1943, by Fulton J Sheen, and decided to check it out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dominican Sisters on Oprah, Nov 23

Dear Friends,

The Dominican Sisters of Mary will be featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday, November 23rd.

This is a new show that includes interviews with Mother Assumpta, Sr. Joseph Andrew, Sr. Mary Samuel, Sr. John Dominic and other Sisters; as well as on-site filming of the First and Final Profession Masses and this year’s Entrance Day, during which we welcomed 22 Aspirants.

The show will feature the experience of a Sister entering religious life and the meaning of religious profession as being ‘married’ to Christ.

You may recall that Oprah first reached out to our community on February 9th of this year due to an interest in the hidden aspects of religious life. Click here to watch an excerpt from that program.

The response from the first show was so positive that the Sisters were asked if we would be open to another opportunity to share our life. We have accepted this invitation in the hopes of reaching an audience we might not otherwise reach with the witness of our life and the Gospel. Please join us in praying that the show will be for the good of souls and the honor of God.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, let us give thanks to God for His bountiful goodness. May God bless you and your families during this holiday season.

In Jesus and Mary,

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

p.s. To learn more about supporting the Sisters’ ongoing formation and education, click here.

4597 Warren Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 930-4222

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book plug!

Zaccheus Press is pleased to announce the release of two new titles by Abbot Vonier: The Human Soul and The Life of the World to Come.

See below for our special sale offer.

Abbot Vonier was a bestselling author in England of the 1920s. After decades of neglect, Vonier is today recognized as a masterful spiritual writer whose work "is as inspiring and fresh as ever." Zaccheus Press is bringing his finest books back into print for a new generation of Catholic readers.

The Human Soul: In the eyes of God the human soul is a jewel of infinite worth, of more value than the whole world with all its glory and treasure. But what do we think of the soul so highly prized by God? What do we know of our own soul?

Abbot Vonier's first and most popular book, The Human Soul was written to open the eyes of readers to the tremendous frontiers of their true country: the immortal soul. Written with "a youthful freshness and vigor," it is a work of rare inspiration, "such as to make one hold one's breath at the beauty and grandeur of what we so lightly, without thought, call our soul."

The Human Soul features a Foreword by Ralph McInerny.

The Human Soul by Abbot Vonier
240 pages . $14.95 (paperback)

The Life of the World to Come: We all want to go to Heaven - but what will Heaven actually be like? Drawing on sacred Scripture and Catholic doctrine, The Life of the World to Come pulls back the veil to give us a closer look at the dazzling joys, the reality of eternal life. With simplicity and good humor, this "marvelous little book" achieves the goal Abbot Vonier set for all his works - to open the eyes of men and women to the splendors of the Catholic faith.

The Life of the World to Come features a Foreword by Edward T. Oakes, SJ.

The Life of the World to Come by Abbot Vonier
128 pages . $11.95 (paperback)

Special Introductory Offer: The Human Soul for only $12.95 (regular price: $14.95), and The Life of the World to Come for only $9.95 (regular price: $11.95). Sale ends December 31.

Early-Bird Special: Order one or both titles by Tuesday, November 23 and receive free shipping!

Please note: The Human Soul and The Life of the World to Come will ship on or about November 24.

Sorry, we can only offer free shipping to customers in the United States. Orders are shipped via USPS Media Mail, and will usually arrive within 7 business days, but please allow up to 21 business days for delivery. As we get closer to the Christmas season, longer than usual delivery times can be expected. Please plan ahead and place your order accordingly.

Place your order for The Human Soul at our webpage here.

The Life of the World to Come may be ordered here.

If you have trouble with the embedded links, please copy and paste the following into your web browser, one at a time: [The Human Soul] [The Life of the World to Come]

You will automatically receive free shipping on orders placed by November 23.

Our secure webpage now accepts PayPal, as well as all major credit cards.

You can also phone in your credit card order. Call 970-416-6672. Orders may be placed Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5:00 pm, mountain standard time.

To arrange expedited shipping, please call 970-416-6672, Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm, mountain standard time.
For Canadian orders, please call 970-416-6672, Monday-Friday, 9 am - 5 pm, mountain standard time, or email:

Other Christmas Sale Offers
This Christmas season we are offering special sale prices on all of our previously released titles. Please see our webpage for details.

In addition to the sale prices on individual titles, we offer free shipping on orders of any combination of 3 books or more (not including The Human Soul or The Life of the World to Come until after the early-bird free shipping offer ends on November 23).

Our books make wonderful Christmas gifts. Please go to the Zaccheus Press home page for details, and place your order today!

Praise for Abbot Vonier
"Those seeking spiritual wisdom will find it here. Vonier was a master, and his work is as inspiring and fresh as ever."
-Matthew Levering, author Christ and the Catholic Priesthood

"Abbot Vonier has a serious right to be considered one of the great Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Here is the theology of St. Thomas translated into a contemplative idiom and communicated with a wonderful clarity and simplicity of expression. These new editions of his works, after decades of neglect, are warmly to be welcomed."
-Fr. John Saward, author Cradle of Redeeming Love

"Turning new lights on old truths and making application of revelation to life, Abbot Vonier 'digs down into the meaning of Catholic dogma.' His thought is so simple, clear, and practical that no formal theological training is needed to follow him with profit and delight."
-Fr. C.C. Martindale, SJ, quoted in Commonweal

"Gifted in his capacity to write of sublime things in terms that all could understand."
-The American Benedictine Review

"Abbot Vonier was the most gifted dogmatic theologian writing in England during his lifetime. The Vonier revival is a highly encouraging sign of the return of classical doctrine in the Church."
-Aidan Nichols, OP, author The Shape of Catholic Theology

Forward this Sale Offer
Please forward this message to friends and acquaintances who
may be interested.

This email was sent by:
Zaccheus Press
1331 Red Cedar Circle
Fort Collins, CO 80524 USA

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

This is from an inlaw's inlaw:

From: Stanley
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 7:47 PM
Subject: Coho

Dear Friends and Acquaintances,

There are few things in this world that encourage me more than the annual Coho Salmon run here in the South Umpqua Elk Creek watershed. It seems to simply wash away the deep concerns of life when I see those giant flashes of red going against the tide of the stream. They are relentless and unwavering in their determination to keep the cycle of life going. The return of the salmon is an ancient reminder that so much is going on in this world that is not under our control. A reminder that greater things than us mold our existence.

So rejoice with me at this years very early run of Coho in Elk Creek!

high regards,


O O O 0 0 0 o o o . . . >< )))(*>
Stanley Petrowski
South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership (SURCP)
Tiller, Oregon

Saturday, November 06, 2010

More on recent travels

Time to catch up a bit on traveling - a reflective moment after arriving in Bantry, Ireland. Germany... remember Germany?

A week before we'd attended the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart, Germany. Here's a view from the giant ferris wheel:

The "beer tents" are at the very far upper left in this picture; you really can't get a sense of their immense size, reputedly they hold 5000 each! here's a view which shows the size:

Yes, there are three of them shown. "Tent" is a stretch, although the roofs are actually canvas. Inside there is some serious pouring going on!

Which means, better get some food under it. marvelous at that!

The Germans there seem to be very friendly...

Although there was one dick-head:

Generally, a happy and enthusiastic crowd enjoying the live music.

and as the evening wore on (we arrived around 4), folks got even livelier, moving from the floors to the tabletops!

Live music from Tina Turner!  Oh wait, thats... well, a really good impersonator by voice if not looks

As the evening wore on, my young photographers seem to have lost something in their photography skills as they gained something in beer consumption! oh wait, did I take that picture? hummm. Second-hand alcohol at work here! Yeah, that's it!

All things considered, not a bad vacation day, considering that 24 hours before Emily had been in Kampala, Uganda...

Thank you Stuttgart, Dorothy, Tina Turner...

Friday, November 05, 2010

Truth Be Told issue #13 - Newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The thirteenth issue of "Truth Be Told," the newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus has been posted to the web.

The newsletter is available for download at the provincial web page here:

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Bombing of Cathedral in Baghdad

Church bombings in Iraq since 2004

from Google translate:

Statement issued by Prince El Hassan about the terrorist attack on the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Baghdad

Amman - Npras News - His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal, a statement Wednesday night about the terrorist attack on the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Baghdad.

And, consequently, the text of the statement:

What is the guilt of the resort to the house of God to seek tranquility and peace of mind and to communicate with his Creator ... What harm even thrown in hell is no longer a worldly known range, shape, or from any point of burning fire?!

What is sin even destroy the houses of God and claim the lives of command within Creator to Nsunha and to protect and make ourselves in order to respect the sanctity of life?!

Did this manipulation of religion to reduce the affect upon the Almighty in the houses of worship from churches and mosques, and a terrible disregard for His creation, who assumed they were safe all the security in those houses?!

The recent terrorist attack on the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Baghdad, which has killed Muslims and Christians, and other previous terrorist acts against mosques and other churches, is a serious indicator of the degree to which he arrived thinking exclusionary and mobilization blind ideologies politicized is not a religion at all, and not of our heritage for anything.

The sanctity of human life are hung on the gallows industry, hatred, ill-treatment is the ugliest pictures every day and means the most bloody.

"We sent thee but as a mercy to the worlds." What kind of mercy in the killing of worshipers were Inajon Lord, and raising their hands to pray?! Any mercy in the destruction of places of worship, which is supposed to be no shelter of refuge for him, but not a place to fight over, conflict and settle political scores and sectarianism?!

The Mercy truth exists in our history and our heritage in the teachings of our Islam and the teachings of Christitna. I was born Christian, and Islam was born among us and in Arab lands. And spread both in the world from our churches and mosques. Muslims and Christians are brothers and sisters in this part of the universe throughout history. Together they built a civilization still bright effects even today in various fields of life.

This is a cry of every human soul Distressed what happened: Where is the mercy, love and rationality in this bloody scene. Where is the mercy, love and rationality in our view of our family members as the historical one, Bchristiera and Muslims?

Go back to Allah and fear Him in worship and in His creation, "and equipped themselves with the best provision is piety."

بيان صادر عن الأمير الحسن حول الهجوم الإرهابي على كنيسة سيدة البشارة ببغداد

عمان - نبراس نيوز- اصدر صاحب السمو الملكي الأمير الحسن بن طلال بيانا مساء الاربعاء حول الهجوم الإرهابي على كنيسة سيدة البشارة في بغداد .

وتاليا نص البيان :

ما ذنب من يلجأ إلى بيت من بيوت الله طلباً للسكينة والطمأنينة والتواصل مع خالقه... ما ذنبه حتى يزج به في جهنّم دنيوية لم يعد أحد يعرف مداها أو شكلها أو من أي جهة تشتعل نيرانها؟!

ما ذنب بيوت الله حتى تدمّر وتزهق داخلها أرواحٌ أمر الخالق أن نصونها وأن نحميها وأن نبذل أنفسنا في سبيل احترام قدسية حياتها؟!

هل وصل التلاعبُ بالدين إلى هذا الحدّ من تطاولٍ عليه سبحانه وتعالى في بيوت عبادته من كنائس ومساجد، ومن استخفاف فظيع بخلقه الذين يُفترض أنهم آمنون كلّ الأمان في تلك البيوت؟!

إن الهجوم الإرهابي الأخير على كنيسة سيدة البشارة في بغداد، والذي ذهب ضحيته مسلمون ومسيحيون، وغيره من أعمال إرهابية سابقة ضد مساجد وكنائس أخرى، لهو مؤشر خطير على الدرجة التي وصل إليها التفكير الإقصائي والتجييش الأعمى لأيديولوجيات مسيّسة ليست من الدين في شيء، وليست من إرثنا في شيء.

إن قدسية الحياة البشرية أصبحت معلقة على مشانق صناعة الكراهية، ويتم التنكيل بها كل يوم بأبشع الصور والوسائل وأكثرها دموية.

"وما أرسلناك إلا رحمةً للعالمين". فأيّ رحمةٍ في قتل مصلّين كانوا يناجون ربهم ويرفعون أيديهم إليه بالدعاء؟! وأي رحمةٍ في تخريب أماكن عبادته التي يفترض أنها ملجأ من لا ملجأ له، وليست مكاناً للاحتراب والنزاع وتصفية الحسابات السياسية والطائفية؟!

إن الرحمة الحقيقة موجودة في تاريخنا وفي تراثنا وفي تعاليم إسلامنا كما في تعاليم مسيحيتنا. لقد ولدت المسيحية، كما ولد الإسلام، بيننا وفي أرضنا العربية. وانتشر كلاهما في العالم انطلاقاً من كنائسنا ومساجدنا. والمسلمون والمسيحيون أخوة وأخوات في هذا الجزء من الكون عبر التاريخ. بنوا معاً حضارة مشرقةً لا تزال تأثيراتها حتى اليوم في مختلف ميادين الحياة.

هذه صرخة من روح إنسانية يؤلمها كل ما حدث: أين الرحمة والعقلانية والمحبة في هذا المشهد الدموي. أين الرحمة والعقلانية والمحبة في نظرتنا إلى أفراد أسرتنا التاريخية الواحدة، بمسيحييها ومسلميها؟

عودوا إلى الله واتقوه في عباده وفي خلقه، "وتَزوّدوا فإِنّ خيْر الزّاد التّقوى".
Hat tip to Abouna Imad Twal

Monday, November 01, 2010

For All Saints

The Dies Irae

My attempts at Irish Soda Bread

humm... breadmaking trial; not nearly ready for prime-time.

I have a long way to go!