Friday, December 26, 2008

He's Singing My Song

Sarah Palin, small town America, elites versus real people, the four year future and having a woman at the TOP of the ticket.

Happy Feast of St Stephen

His expression is frightened but resolute.

May we be ready for martyrdom when it may come.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Alexander kids

Anastasia 18, Rose 17, Andrew 15, Nathaniel 13, Tim 11, Stephen 7, Edmund 5 and Rebekah 3.










Unclassified. Please Protect Accordingly.

I. (U) Summary: Imperial efforts to register the residents of Judea for tax purposes have been complicated by local political events. Client-"king" Herod has taken an unnecessarily pro-active approach regarding a child predicted to be a challenger to his position, and ordered the killing of all unweaned children in and around Bethlehem. Imperial and local security forces are watching border crossings for the three Persian astrologers implicated in the instigation of Herod's suspicions. End summary.

II. (U) The astrologers appear to have traveled into Judea by night, over less-frequented roads. According to local contacts, they were carrying undeclared baggage full of precious metals and aromatics, and chose their routes and timing to avoid paying Customs duties. Little is known about their activities. They were observed by locals in Jerusalem asking about the welfare and whereabouts of a child born to be "King of the Jews." Herod's steward (strictly protect) told us that the "king" met the astrologers in secret, and instructed them to find the child so that he could worship him.

III. (U) The astrologers were apparently tipped off regarding Herod's mala fide intentions regarding the child, and may have slipped out of Judea by avoiding daylight travel and mandatory Customs posts. (Note: Post plans to make up for the lost revenue by imposing a one-time regional death-registration tax for children under the age of two. End note.)

IV. (U) Although generally amenable to Roman demarches concerning Judean governance, Herod is known to be touchy about threats to his position. His half-Nabatean, half-Idumean ancestry has inspired local concerns about his qualifications to "rule" (even as our client) the Jewish people, and further fed Herod's fear and suspicions. His killing of children under two years of age in and around Bethlehem is another example of his tendency to take matters into his own hands in a manner prejudicial to the peaceful ordering of Roman governance. Post requests language from Rome to make an official demarche against such behavior.

V. (U) Comment: As in all areas where Roman concepts of the rule of law have not taken firm root, local actors, especially those in high places, feel no compunction in wrecking Rome's plans for fiscal registration and revenue, in pursuit of their own private vendettas. Parents in Bethlehem who are concerned about the treatment of their children have proved to be uncooperative in registering for and paying taxes. Several have made threats against local and Roman law enforcement authorities. Unknown actors have daubed "Romans Go Home" and other graffiti on the perimeter wall of the chancery. In light of these actions, Post believes that this is an opportune time to raise again the requests made earlier this year for another cohort of well-trained Roman or Gallic troops, and for four extra denarii per month for working-level staff, in the form of danger pay and hardship allowance. End Comment.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa Claus? Yes or No for the Traditonal Catholic.

I can tell you why Catholics question the notion of Santa Claus.

Because we have learned not to trust the Culture.

When the culture is secular, expedient, selfish and materialistic you tend to become reactionary. (or maybe it is just me)

But, when Chesterton speaks, who can help but listen?

Catholic Culture
had a piece of teaching your children about Santa Claus.

I have nothing to add: Voila:

Chesterton tells us why we should believe

By Father John Dietzen
Catholic News Service

Q. My question isn't very deep, but with Christmas coming I am
concerned about the attitude of some friends who don't want their
children to "believe in Santa Claus." From almost infancy, they
tell their children there isn't really a Santa and that it was all
made up to sell more things at Christmastime. I think they're missing
something, but I'm not sure how to tell them. (Florida)

A. I too think they are missing something - very big. It's always
risky to analyze fantasies, but maybe it's worth trying for a moment.
Fantasies, perhaps especially for children, are critical ways of
entering a world, a real world that is closed to us in ordinary human
language and happenings. They are doors to wonder and awe, a way of
touching something otherwise incomprehensible. Santa Claus, I believe,
is like that.
No one has ever expressed this truth more movingly and accurately,
in my opinion, than the great British Catholic author G.K. Chesterton
in an essay years ago in the London Tablet. On Christmas morning, he
remembered, his stockings were filled with things he had not worked
for, or made, or even been good for.
The only explanation people had was that a being called Santa
Claus was somehow kindly disposed toward him. "We believed," he wrote,
that a certain benevolent person "did give us those toys for nothing.
And ... I believe it still. I have merely extended the idea.
"Then I only wondered who put the toys in the stocking; now I
wonder who put the stocking by the bed, and the bed in the room, and
the room in the house, and the house on the planet, and the great
planet in the void.
"Once I only thanked Santa Claus for a few dolls and crackers, now
I thank him for stars and street faces and wine and the great sea.
Once I thought it delightful and astonishing to find a present so big
that it only went halfway into the stocking.
"Now I am delighted and astonished every morning to find a present
so big that it takes two stockings to hold it, and then leaves a great
deal outside; it is the large and preposterous present of myself, as
to the origin of which I can offer no suggestion except that Santa
Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic good will."
Are not parents of faith blessed, countless times over, to have
for their children (and for themselves) such a fantastic and playful
bridge to infinite, unconditionally loving Goodness, the Goodness
which dreamed up the Christmas event in the first place?
Call Santa Claus a myth or what you will, but in his name parents,
and for that matter all of us who give gifts at this special time of
the year, are putting each other in deeper touch with the "peculiarly
fantastic good will" who is the ultimate Source of it all. Plus, it's
I hope your friends reconsider.

12 Twelve Days of Christmas: for the Bollywood Lovers in all of us

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Migrant Mother- story behind the image

I saw this article from CNN that explains the story behind this famous photograph. The photo was taken by Dorothea Lange at a Migrant work camp in 1936. The mother pictured was 32 year old Florence Owens Thompson. She was the mother of 7 children.

Katherine McIntosh (pictured on her mother's left) was 4 years old when this picture was taken and she had this to say about her mother:

"She was the backbone of our family," McIntosh says of her mom. "We never had a lot, but she always made sure we had something. She didn't eat sometimes, but she made sure us children ate. That's one thing she did do."

The message from the McIntosh is to work hard and live within your means. Meanwhile everyone is saying that on the one hand but the next minute we have commercials for "no payments until 2010", no credit, no cash, no problem. Save but spend to help "save" the economy.

I read an article recently about a mother who had lost her job and was feeling guilty that she could not spend $600 on her one daughter for Christmas. Yes, $600 on ONE daughter. I've spend $500 on 5 kids and felt guilty about that. It's interesting to read about what people consider "hard times".

I'm reading this great book: "We Had Everything but Money: When Banks Closed and Hearts Opened: Stories of the Great Depression".

And what you come away with after reading this is that no money did not equal misery. People were happy. They struggled. They worked hard and sometimes they were disappointed but life went on, they were able to prevail and most of all the children remember those times as filled with the love of family.

So which would you rather have- money, financial security or the love of your parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and aunts and uncles?

N.B. This is a clue for those struggling with the issue of "family size". Please see my last post and the anonymous commenter.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

True Love

A dear friend, or one who I count as such but have never met in real life has a new baby.

This baby is the 10th child in the family. Of the 10, 9 are adopted. Most of the children have profound needs. In this beautiful family their needs are more than being met and they have all surpassed the expectations of the "professionals". They never do seem to account for love. Especially true love.

Lesa and her new baby.

This is a picture of all the children.

This is not a family of extravagant means but they are certainly extravagant in the way they love.

When you start to worry about the future, the economy, how God will supply your needs and those of your family think of this family and their incredible faith. It is not for us to doubt God's providence, or second guess His provision.

A little boy came to the world at Christmas time. And this family said, "There is room at the Inn."

Monday, November 24, 2008

By Request : Happiness

In "this brave new world that has such people in it" I give thee happiness. It is only a chemical concoction away. Or a television broadcast. Or a cable TV subscription.

And if you haven't read Brave New World by Alduos Huxley- well you simply must. When I started reading it I could not put it down and read all night until daylight. It's that kind of book. Required reading.

Since the election and the devastation loss of a dear friend, a sister really it is hard to know how to go on. What to think.

My current coping mechanism is that the next 4 years will be but an anomaly, a blip and soon forgot and repented of.

Yes, I do believe in Fairy Tales. I recommend Grimm's.

But life goes on, unrelentingly. Mum 2 Twelve will soon be Mum 2 Thirteen. Our children still need their oatmeal in the morning. They still need to be educated. And we place all our hopes in THEM. Perhaps in a very unfair and intense way.

Will it make them better? More capable? Courageous?

Can we transmit to them what our generation lacks? Self preservation at the expense of morality. Also Known As expediency.

From Don McLean’s lyrics:

Starry starry night
paint your palette blue and grey
look out on a summer’s day
with eyes that know the
darkness in my soul.

Shadows on the hills
sketch the trees and the daffodils
catch the breeze and the winter chills
in colors on the snowy linen land.

And now I understand what you tried to say to me
how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.

They would not listen
they did not know how
perhaps they’ll listen now.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voter Intimidation in Philadelphia

With thanks to Thomas Shawn.

When I voted this morning in Townsend, MA I followed one of the links provided by the McCain link and went to Memorial Town Hall (where I had voted in the past). When I got there it seemed no one was voting and there was a sign outside that said vote at North Middlesex High School. I got back in the car and drove down there. When I entered to vote I was told that I had to take my Sarah Palin button off (?). And then I indicated to the election workers that the polling place advertised online is Town Hall. The election workers tried to tell me well that is the information from the campaign right? Exactly I said and that is what THEY were told.

Then I learned that the decision to change the election location was only made in October. Now wasn't it in October that McCain started winning? (probably just a coincidence.) Then I learned that a postcard was supposedly sent out to every voter telling them where the polling place was. Guess what- we didn't get it.

Crooks. I will be writing a letter to the Town Clerk. Townsend is a pretty conservative town and I think largely going for McCain.

Keep voting and don't let anyone intimidate you.

The Victory Feast is in the Oven

We're preparing a home-raised turkey, and there will be mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, butternut squash, homemade bread and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We are thinking optimistically here. "Claiming it" as the Southern Baptists would say.

The questions that will be answered today:

1. How many votes for Obama are a result of "white guilt"?

2. How wrong were the polls who have had Obama as high as 15% points over McCain. As if.

3. How much of a fool of herself will Katie Couric make this time? (Remember when she almost burst into tears when Kerry conceded?) I enjoyed that far too much.

4. Will there be rioting? My daughter is in Chicago so I told her to get home from work early and lock the dorm doors in case things get lively in Chicago- "the murder capitol of the country". (The effects of Community Organizing are still being felt it seems.)

5. How much voter fraud will be revealed? My daughter has 2 friends from Indiana (white Catholics from a battleground state who are breaking for McCain)who requested absentee ballots. They never received them. When they called to inquire about the status they were told they never received their information. I think those votes have probably already been cast if you know what I mean.

6. What will Meghan McCain do now? I've enjoyed her blog- McCain Blogette for all the important reasons- great photos, great fashion and great music. Spirit, Dedication to her family, and hard work- what a great role model she has been. The Cindy and John McCain must be as proud of her as she is of them.

7. I'm listening to something really funny- The Manning Report. Reverend Manning is a Manhattan minister who is African American and opposed to Obama. Warning this is very politically incorrect and very hilarious. I've just hit replay. (perhaps some of the humor is in bad taste and the language is strong but I'm in a forgiving mood today). (you can find it on YouTube).

8. Which Thrift store will get Sarah Palin's campaign wardrobe? Will that information be released to committed Republicans who had 3 yard signs, attended a Sarah Palin rally, conducted sign waves in NH and defended the ticket fearlessly online? (There may be a sizing challenge but in my euphoria at McCain's victory I expect I won't eat for several weeks.)

9. What will McCain's Cabinet look like? My social and professional calendar can be cleared at a moment's notice. I hate to leave New England you know but for my country I could make the sacrifice.

10. If Obama wins (and I've left this possibility last because I believe it is so remote) how long will it be before we are attacked and Obama does absolutely nothing to defend us? And at that point will the people voting for him who have said, "We should be okay as long as Obama doesn't go all radical on us." realize they've made a mistake.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy Halloween a little late...

Because I need something to keep my mind off the election. Though this helped. And I don't know anything about Bob Krumm except that he is right ;).

The house all decked out.

The kids dressed up for a night of Trick or Treating. The only one not pictured is Rose who was Taylor Swift. Andrew is a Celtic's player, Nathaniel an Indian, Tim is batman, Stephen is a gladiator, Teddy is Optimus Prime and Becca is a Princess. (in real life too, not just for Halloween.)I put a snowsuit on Becca under her costume because in New England you just never snow. One minute it's 70 degrees and the next minute it's snowing.

A better view of the pumpkins.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Civilian National Security Force

Sort of like the KGB I imagine.

Third Party Voters- keep those feelings of moral superiority coming. It may be all you have to hold on to if you get your way.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hank Williams Jr weighs in

Was there ever any doubt?

And according to Drudge gun sales are up in FL in fear of an Obama presidency.

I think given this and the stunning, truly stunning polling data (if we believed them we would think that Obama's lead as shrunk from 15 pts to 2 in just a day or 2) we can say that the sleeping giant is waking up. And he's not a morning person.

Abortion and the "Negro Project": Margaret Sanger the Founder of Planned Parenthood

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Real Danger in Dissing Sarah Palin

Those conservatives who have sought to distinguish themselves by dissing Sarah Palin have proved themselves empty vessels and eager tools for the media and cultural notables who have expressed their disdain for Palin as Vice Presidential nominee.

When I saw this effigy hanging in West Hollywood, CA I naturally thought about the fact that this is "protected free speech" and even more significant to the cultural elites "art". Now if this same effigy featured Barack Obama the artistes who were only looking for "a voice" would be guilty and no doubt charged and convicted of a hate crime.

Yet, I was not sorry to see this display. I was glad to see some honesty, some bareknuckled, riveting honesty. Because it is not the double standard that struck me most acutely. That observation has become so commonplace that it hardly bears noting. What struck me was the depth of hatred we have seen expressed for Sarah Palin. And I don't believe that hatred is directed towards her as a person. (not yet anyway). That hatred is directed towards what she represents and to her opponents she represents a pro-life outlook, even a radically pro-life outlook.

Sarah Bernhardt said that if Sarah Palin came to New York City she would be gang raped. An effigy is hung and no moves are made to remove it. A joke about incest is made on SNL, about the Palin family and really anyone Alaskan. A tee shirt is circulating that I won't dignify by describing. I trust everyone knows to what I am referring.

Just as Joe-the-plumber has been held up to scrutiny (with the use of government computers no less) and criticism and every attempt has been made to tarnish and discredit him, he is also hated for what he represents- a citizen who dares to question a liberal, African-American, "Messiah" who is running for president. Toe the line comrades or see how you will be treated by those in power.

The criticisms of Palin are revealing in that she is assigned opposite attributes- she is naive and inexperienced or she is cold, calculating and self serving. She is uninterested in the world around her and lacking ambition to become anything more than Governor of Alaska, but she has manipulated an incredible ascent to national politics. She is a mommy-housewife-hockey mom or she is a feminist who is neglecting her family. She brings her children with her while she travels the state or she is pursuing political glory while abandoning her family.

This shows so distinctly that it is not Palin who is being discredited and that the criticisms of her are not substantive. It is the essence of what she represents in her political views that is so hateful. So when you hear the Left criticizing Palin for being stupid and inexperienced, naive and sheltered, ignorant and provincial, and best of all vulgar, what they are really saying is that someone who is a solidly pro-life is stupid, inexperienced, naive, sheltered, ignorant,provincial and vulgar.

We're participating in our own demise people.

I attended a political rally in Salem, NH a few weeks ago at which Sarah Palin appeared and spoke. We waited in line for 2 hours along with 10,000 other people who had come to hear the vice presidential nominee speak. Now to those from NY or LA who think 10,000 is not a large number- recognize that in New Hampshire for a rally that was planned with 48 hour advance notice, 10,000 is a lot of people.

In the audience I saw a good cross section of America. I also saw two babies with Down's syndrome. I admit that made me cry. There was a recognition by the parents of these children that they have been given legitimacy. That there is someone on the national stage who believes their babies have the right to live. Even among conservatives there are far too many who would not give a baby with Down's syndrome, life.

The next day, Joe Biden appeared in NH. I don't know how long the advance time was for the organizers, or how convenient the venue was for people to attend. But either it was such short notice, or so inconvenient or else no one cared enough except for 700 supporters of Joe Biden that showed.

People like Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, Christopher Buckley and lesser knowns are saying that John McCain's defeat will be the responsibility of Sarah Palin. But can anyone really make that claim in seriousness? Aren't they just hedging their bets?

If McCain loses, and I am not yet convinced that he will- if we believed the polls we would have been ruled by John Kerry and Queen Theresa for the past 8 years, but if McCain loses, it will be the result of the difficult economy. Given the economic climate I think it is nothing short of miraculous that McCain is as close as he is.

Charles Krauthammer said that he would rather lose an election than his bearings.

So, go ahead and give people like Katie Couric legitimacy. Suspend your distrust of the media in this one self-serving situation. Reorient yourself to the detractors of the conservative movement and then when you wake up on November 5th ask yourself what exactly it is that you have gained? It won't have been your bearings. And your short lived popularity may seem surprisingly hollow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anything that makes me Laugh Out Loud

automatically gets put on my blog. Remember when George Bush's dislike of broccoli ignited such controversy? Another vegetable has become a rallying point: Arugula. I had heard arugula referred to as a reason not to support Sarah Palin (she only eats meat she has killed herself and has probably never seen a salad in her life according to some detractors). But I didn't know about Barack Obama citing the price of Arugula at Whole Foods as the foundation of his economic policy. Well done.

This is from a new blog that I was not aware of. We populists do not get out much unless it's to stand barefooted on our own front porch with a baby on our hip.

Thanks to Catholic Redneck for a good laugh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Senior pics!

Veronica's pictures came in the mail and I'm so happy at how well they came out!

Thanks to Jane McDonagh a wonderful photographer!

Colin Powell's endorsement proves one thing

That this election has always been about abortion. For the left even more so than for the right- who seem to have become distracted by arguments about Sarah Palin's lack of intellectual credentials. Strangely I can think of no university professor that I would vote for as president. (Populist fool that I am!)

Colin Powell has said that specifically, he would have a problem with 2 or more Republican appointments to the Supreme Court. This is code for 2 or 3 judges who would overturn Roe versus Wade. No one enforces the litmus test as much as the liberals.

I never considered Colin Powell a Republican anyway. His announcement was spitefully timed and he will not "campaign" read engage or defend his endorsement.

It troubles me to see the Left fighting more vigorously to expand the right to kill. And the Right acting so passively, looking for reasons to vote (God help us) Third Party.

I got an email from a woman in Western Massachusetts last week. Her eleven year old son had been in a terrible car accident and the doctors have declared him "brain dead". She was fighting to get him moved to a rehabilitation hospital where he could be cared for and treated. But naturally the doctors at the hospital want his organs. (I wonder what Plato would think of that?) In court the judge said to the hospital's attorney, "This is about money isn't it?" The mother won a reprieve and the hospital cannot remove her son's life support so they decided to removed his nutrition.

Life isn't intellectual repartee, clever bantering, the proposing of obscure historical defenses and deriding the practical in favor of the ethereal.

G.K. Chesterton said, "You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it."

Using logic or intelligence to come to the wrong conclusion is not a parlor game. There is a reality, a responsibility and all too real consequences.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Foolish Things

1 Corinthians 1:27

But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong.

According to Peggy Noonan, Sarah Palin isn't smart enough, intellectual enough, experienced enough or good enough to have been chosen by John McCain as his running mate.

I think Ms. Noonan would be disappointed to find that I don't care a bit. The Republican base doesn't care a bit. And in the end the voters won't care a bit.

And have you notced that even with all the mounting criticisms against Sarah Palin, I have yet to hear a better candidate proposed.

If running for office were a matter of who had the highest marks in school, the most graduate degrees, and who read the must erudite works then maybe Ms. Noonan might have a point.

I've never seen a problem solved by an intellectual. They pose them, yes. But solve them? Never.

It is somewhat surprising for me to see Christians oppose the candidacy of Sarah Palin on the grounds that Peggy Noonan uses. Surely having read the Bible, understanding the Gospel and having read the lives of the Saints we have some understanding that God chooses the weak to do His Will. The mighty, the proud, the rich usually have better things to do and they certainly know better than God what must be done.

From the simple shepherd boy who became King David to the illiterate fishermen who transformed the world to the reclusive St Catherine of Siena who commanded the Pope, God's standards are in marked contrast to ours. We can wonder at them but dare we question them?

Friday, October 17, 2008

"They had many children, who grew up knowing the priceless beauty of such a life."

Given the economic crisis, the hotly contest presidential election, the prosecution of 2 wars at once that must now be won, and the uncertainty of the world in general I have responded the way those who lived during the Great Depression did- retreating into a fantasy world. The fantasy world of the Great Depression was comprised of musicals acted by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers but I have retreated to the fantasy world of children's literature.

Two new favorite books.

We checked out "Iron John" by Mariana Mayer and Winslow Pels. This is a beautiful book rich with Christian symbolism. The boy Hans, who is the hero exhibits self effacing humility, earnestness, honor and goodness. Of course he wins the Princess, Terre (her name denotes the Earth and she is the symbol of humanity while Hans is the salvific Christ figure. There are also parallels to David and Goliath which will be obvious. My favorite part of the book though, is when the Princess and the Prince, turned Gardener/Warrior/Knight marry. The description of family life sums up the goal of the Catholic family.

"Hans and Terre lived out their lives in the lush green woodland. There they built a handsome shelter from which every view of the wildwood was a picture beyond compare. As the years passed, they had many children, who grew up knowing the priceless beauty of such a life. And those fortunate enough to know the place where this good family dwelt could say with conviction that it was indeed a paradise on earth."

I couldn't help but notice how the good, the truly good things in life are valued by the family. They live in "a shelter", they have "many children" and they have achieved "paradise". They do not live in a castle, though they might have. They do not have 2 children, though they could have.

The second book we liked was "The Biggest Soap".

This is also a beautiful story of family life- sacrifice, unselfishness and service. The life described is simple and the days involve laundry, make believe, construction, storytelling and foundationally family.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Phil Lawler, author of The Faithful Departed Book Signing at Immaculate Heart of Mary Bazaar Oct 11 from 12-1 pm

Saturday, October 11 from 12-1pm

Phil Lawler, author of The Faithful Departed will be on hand to sign copies of his book. This book has been ranked as high as #2000 on the Amazon list and will be available for $20. (normally $25.95).


Immaculate Heart of Mary School
282 Still River Rd
Still River, MA 01469

Phil Lawler is the editor Emeritus of Catholic World Report and the editor of Catholic Culture, formerly Catholic World News.

There is a blog
dedicated to promoting the book and explaining why you may not have heard about it; the book has been banned in many bookstores and at least one book signing canceled at The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

Phil has come under fire by Fr. Neuhaus and others for his "sympathetic" (read accurate) portray of Fr. Feeney and contrasting of Fr. Feeney's case with that of Fr. Drinan. This book makes an excellent gift for any serious Catholic who wants to understand what happened in Boston and why we should never give up hope.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Country Cottage

My sister kindly took a picture of our little country cottage. I'm especially excited about the whiskey barrel my parents found in Pennsylvania. In the Spring there are lilacs in bloom around the edges of the cottage.

This is a side view and shows an antique push lawnmower and the grape arbor my son Nathaniel built for me. We are growing concord grapes over the arbor, or starting to.

Wilderness Cottage.

The cottage now lies empty,
and overgrown with weeds,
A large walled garden at the rear,
long past has gone to seed.

Many tiles have fallen off,
broken gutters and hanging gate,
Doors and many windows,
with cracked and peeling paint.

The family that once owned it,
now long disappeared from view,
Reflects bygone nostalgia
through the walls that that it once knew.

And as the sun begins to set,
with the last embers of the day,
The little cottage lives in hopes
that some one just might stay.

by Nicholas Windle

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Human Experience

This looks like a movie everyone should see.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Obama : Let the Little Children Come Unto him

The setting looks like a public school library.

But I think this next video is even more enlightenting.

This message from Kenyan cannot be embedded- that option has been disabled. It's short but I think there is an important message here. Here's the link:

And something more contemporary.

It's just wonderful to see how Obama has inspired the youth isn't it?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lake Michigan, Chicago

My daughter is a freshman at Loyola University and sent me these pictures of the lake. She can't wait to get an apartment next year and bring her Saint Bernard out to swim in the lake. There is a beach with a dog park where the dogs can go swimming!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The VP Debate

1. Gwen can't-wait-to-publish-my-probama-book Ifill doesn't even know that the House rejected the bailout.

Oh wait, was it racist to say that?

2. Palin asked Biden if she could call him Joe????? But that's still Governor Palin to you buddy.

3. Biden is going to focus on the Middle Class- first lie of the night.

4. Sarah's looking strong in the economy response and Biden is looking afraid. Don't blame him.

5. Biden has a lot of friends on the Republican side, you're not Joe Lieberman, I knew Joe Lieberman and Joe Lieberman was a friend of mine.

6. Sarah is hepped up! She seems strong, forceful and Biden looks like he's overdue for a nap.

7. Biden looks horrible. The bags under his eyes. I think he was up all night studying. He seems tired, old, too reserved. He's used to the bully pulpit of the long time Senator.

8. I think Biden has gone under the knife. The skin around his eyes looks a little tight and upward bearing.

9. Biden is talking about his plan to "Double Foreign Assistance". He may have to slow it down given the economy. I think this is his terrorist-bribe plan. If we give you a few million and arms will you stop killing Americans. History has shown how effective that is, in places like Afghanistan.

10. That sound system is bad. Boom. Boom. Boom.

11. She just called Achmadinajad unstable and not sane. hehehehehehehe.

12. The invocation of Kissinger and why we are hated around the world- democracy, tolerance and women's rights is a home run, by Sarah Palin.

13. Biden's response, "Did not. Did not." Telling.

14. Biden is becoming shrill.

15. The what-if-you-become-prez-thru-assasination question came up. It just seems so tacky to even ask the question.

Oh, wait was it racist for me to say that?

16. In the answer why is Biden running against Bush? Bush is not running.

17. She's happy and smiling and he's grim and forbidding, even in Home Depot apparently (?)and so very disapproving. I feel like a teenager that has stayed out too late and has to come home to Daddy Biden.

18. "Doggone it!" on education. They told her to be herself and she just was.

19. The Vice President joke- America is falling in love with Sarah Palin.

20. Taking on my own party- good strong message. For both of them.

She's so ready

... I can just feel it.

Picture from Drudge.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah Palin and Katie Couric

On the question of what newspapers you read someone on Free Republic found this pithy comment from Thomas Jefferson:

I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.

-- Thomas Jefferson

Of interest are Palin's views on abortion where she also opposes the Morning After Pill. She makes NO EXCEPTIONS for abortion and states that life begins at conception.

Notice when Katie badgers her by prosecutorially repeating the same question trying to rattle Palin, I remember this tactic from being on the stand and Palin handles it masterfully. And remember these are clips, edited quotes that are designed to make Palin look bad. I think Katie failed.

Bring on the debate Baby- we're ready!

Monday, September 29, 2008

U.S. Senator Mike Gravel D, Alaska on Palin

You might be surprised.

If you enjoy watching interviewers befuddled and put in their place- you might like this piece.

It's nice to see someone in political disagreement with Palin but who still has the ability to be fair.

I found it at Ann Coulter's website.

Daniel X by James Patterson

Order at Amazon.

On Saturday night I opened this book just as America's Most Wanted began on TV. Don't ask me who is "America's Most Wanted" this week because I have absolutely no idea. By the time I went to bed I was on Chapter 68.

Daniel X is an orphaned Alien Hunter who uses his super powers to hunt evil aliens inhabiting and threatening the Earth. With a penchant for gourmet cooking, an interest in elephants and an eagerness to play sports so desperate, he creates imaginary friends and then volunteers himself as the soccer ball, Daniel is lonely but makes the best of it. It is this characterization of Daniel X as unselfish and generous that gives this book a good message for teenagers who so easily become self absorbed.

Like all of Patterson's books this is a fast read. The story is compelling and the chapters are short- some a couple of pages. It makes the reader feel as if he is making rapid progress.

Contrasting it to the Maximum Ride series, I would say it is not quite up to that level. The fact that this book has been co-written, or ghost-written with another author can be felt. The storyline is not as smooth and the dialogue, a little more forced.

However, it is a book, for the most part wholesome, interesting and exciting enough to capture the attention of its audience which is teenage boys and girls. I would consider it a step up from a comic book without pictures and who doesn't like to read comic books? The plot and vivid characters are of the same intensity. If you have a comic book reader who has shown no interest in anything beyond that milieu this may do the trick.

The sequel is begun at the end to ensure future interest. If you are looking for a book for a reluctant teen reader this will serve nicely. And to begin the habit of book reading is so crucial and this book makes it so painless.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate


1. In spite of taking a few days off from the campaign to deal with his job as SENATOR during the economic crisis, Senator McCain looks confident, at ease and presidential. Obama started his day at the gym. And he's still nervous.

2. Obama is sweating and the veins in his face are bulging. I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.

3. If Obama continues to call SENATOR McCain, "John" I think I will burst a blood vessel.

4. Have you ever heard Senator McCain call Barack Obama, "Barack"? Class- that's what it is.

5. Barack Obama keeps interrupting, "John". I think he's a little nervous that "John" has the goods on him.

6. Barack is talking about sending 2-3 more "brigades" (WTH?) into Iraq, b/c "There was no Al Qaeda before we went in there"???? He's self destructing.

7. Hey Barack- what's with the pink tie?

8. Obama on Pakistan, "Hey I went to a Madrasa there...." Just kidding. Notice the pronunciation by Obama- "Puk-i-stan". We know you're a native son. Really, you don't need to convince us.

9. Obama is trying to provoke McCain. It won't work.

10. McCain's face is screwed up. Even he doesn't know what "Senator Obama" is talking about.

11. McCain has a record going back to Lebanon and Somalia. I think Obama was still in diapers, or was still a community organizer or something.

12. If Barack Obama says, "When I'm president, I will...." one more time...

13. How many times has Obama travelled to the Middle East?

14. In speaking of Iran, has Obama aged 20 years during this debate or what????

15. With the discussion on Iran, McCain is now winning the Jewish American vote- and that's FL.

16. Does Obama realize how impotent he seems when he keeps saying, "When I'm president of the United States...." It looks pathetic. Delusional. Ineffective. Laughable.

17. Obama, "Iran is a global regime." WTH?

18. Is anyone doing a count of how many times Obama says "Uh"? I really hope so.

19. McCain just said, he doesn't have have a presidential seal yet. LOLOLOLOL

20. Russia comes up and Obama is too distraught to respond. McCain plays the Naivete card. Very effectively.

21. Obama is just working too hard. He thinks b/c he can say all these things, with the proper pronunciation, that people will think he knows things. Crimea, petro dollars, throw in a few states in Georgia and Obama thinks he's something. Newflash- you're not all that.

22. McCain is summarizing, "If we fail in Iraq it will encourage Al Qaeda...."

23. When Obama says, "Now look..." Do you want to jump down his throat? Or is it just me?

24. I think Obama is starting to believe that he is the Messiah, the media, the rhetoric surrounding his campaign, the Obama phenomenon.

25. McCain is now linking Obama and Bush. Brilliant.

26. Closing comments: McCain brilliancy- he knows how to end the war, heal the wounds of war, etc... and thus the debate ended. Sorry Obama, with an air of resignation he acknowledged Michelle- what is she wearing????

Verdict- McCain won. No question.

Was it Aliens?

A farmer in Whitehouse, OH had an artist and a John Deere Tractor create this. I just love it when the Artsy crowd and the blue collar farmer gets together. Here's the article.

The farmer Duke Wheeler said of the image, "I think she's be proud".

No question.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First Week at School

Stephen started school this week. A friend sent me this picture. I was relieved to see that 1. He is behaving himself. 2. He doesn't appear a bit homesick. 3. The photo is from this angle because from the other side the hole he managed to tear in his school sweater already would have been visible.

Stephen has the looking good and behaving down and now he just needs to work on keeping track of his homework long enough to hand it in.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Over at Latin Mass Network

... my red-headed-step-child of a blog, I've written about "Voting Catholic in this Election Year".

If you want to come on over and say "Hey" or "What the heck" please do.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Good Twin/Bad Twin [Isn't this picture just the creepiest?]

...from the


where this intellectual giantess is threatening to report me the IRS (?) and I don't even think she knows about my anti-Semitism. Maybe I'll clue her in and she can report me to the Justice Department at the same time.

Non-Catholic, Anti-Catholic, No-longer-Catholic heretics:

Pacifists (aka cowards)
Call to Action
Pax Cristi
Anyone who quotes MLK Jr on their blog
Anyone who calls soldiers murderers (if only we had know that BEFORE we canonized St. Martin).
Anyone who links to the Maryknolls
Anyone who has this attractive picture of Sr. Helen Prejean on their website:




But don't worry- I can take it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who's Afraid of Sarah Palin?

Hearing of Holofernes' plot, Judith, a widowed resident of Bethulia, put on beautiful clothes and jewelry and entered the Assyrian camp, purporting to be a spy against the Jewish people. She promised to tell Holofernes how to destroy the Jews; but when Holofernes became drunk at a celebration, she followed him into his tent and cut off his head.

This election is one that will separate the men from the boys and the boys from the eunuchs. I'm hearing men say to my astonishment, that they will not vote for the McCain/Palin ticket because Palin is a woman. That seems to me to be taking your own inferiority complex a little too far.

And by this attitude some husbands seem to believe that their wives are at home, tending to the children, cooking and sewing and cleaning because they are fit for little else and they are at home because of their "inferior" talents. Frightening isn't it? And that makes big strong men feel bigger and stronger.

Do these same men have a problem with the Co-Redemptrix of mankind? Is it possible that they miss the analogy of a woman defeating evil as part of God's plan?

As a good friend of mine has said, we've sent plenty of "pro-life" men to Washington and they have accomplished little to nothing. Perhaps God wants to try something different. The thought of a pro-life mother in the White House gives me the chills. What an opportunity.

Couched in a veneer of compassion I've heard people say, "If only she didn't have all those children." or "If only she didn't have a special needs baby."

If only! If only! That is the whole point! She has her babies because she is PRO-LIFE- get it?

So for those of you with your one talent (your vote) who are intent on burying it in the sand lest you lose it, you go right ahead. We don't need you. It's time for the rest of us to stand up for what is right. If you want to join us and stop hiding behind your own insecurities it would be a good time. Or carry on and insist upon your feelings of superiority. But let me tell you- you're not fooling anyone.

There are few things that irritate me more than misogyny disguised as respect for femininity.

And for those of you so "determined" to show your respect for the role of women, the role of mothers by not voting for someone who is pro-life, when is the last time that you refused to watch a movie because the leading actress had young children? Listen to music recorded by a singer with young children? Refused to watch a sitcom because the starring lead had young children that she was neglecting to pursue her acting?

That's exactly what I thought.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Totally Worth It

I realize there are some images here that one could quibble with but why do that when something so important is at stake. (You know who you are ;).

I think this is really masterful in what it conveys and the emotions it stirs as I watch this.

And for the person who has been steadily accusing me of anti-Semitism on his blog and in the many anonymous and pseudonymous comments- I hope you are satisfied. And I really hope you didn't think that I didn't know that you use a variety of aliases to attempt to post here and to actually post on your own blog. You're right it's not about you- it's about being a poster child for mental illness. Sir you have my sympathy and my pity but sadly not my respect.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Five Favorite Books I've Read This Year

I know it's early in the year- September but I think my reading cycle is just about down. Now I'll go back to reading only the Angelus, Yankee Magazine and Country Living. School is starting and things will get hectic and harried.

So, # 1 is [drumroll please] The Faithful Departed by Phil Lawler. Personally I don't understand why this book isn't getting more press. I guess because it has been blacklisted by so many bookstores, Daughters of St Paul (but true to their principles they will ORDER the book for you) maybe if Phil writes a book about Medjugorje he will get top billing. The National Shrine bookstore in D.C. also blacklisted the book and cancelled a book signing. Freedom of speech, isn't it wonderful?

But anyway, order the book and you'll find that you end up ordering half a dozen and giving them out as gifts. The book is that good.The blog is pretty good too.

2. Swimming With Scapulars by Matthew Lickona.
This book has been around for a while but I only got to read it after my brother gave it to my sister who read it and then gave it to me. Very interesting book. While some of it was "too much information" and he does reveal a sentiment that he himself proclaims "monstrous" this is a useful book and says a lot about the young, orthodox Catholics emerging from schools like Thomas Aquinas. I'll give it 3 1/2 stars.

3. The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan.
Don't know why but I went on an Amy Tan reading spree this summer. Found this book at a book store and it was really a good one. Love the theme of the old world informing the new and how what seems like irrelevant superstitions are really figurative reality. If someone can figure out what that means let me know. I mean I know but am I the only one?

4. Master of Hestviken by Sigrid Undsett. Man was this great. Tragic, dramatic, brilliant and leaves Kristin Lavransdatter in the dust. (sort of). Reminds me a little of Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy.

5. Fix it and Forget it- A Recipe book for Slow Cookers (because that sounds so much more refined that "crock pot" doesn't it?) This book has helped me reclaim hours during the day, my husband's adoration and at least 10 lbs and that is as mixed a compliment as you can get. Money saving too.

Physics Rap

Science is cool. This was written by a graduate student, Kate McAlpine. And I feel like if I just keep watching this video over and over again I might understand Physics.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah "Barracuda" Palin

It's a Cinderella story and America loves a Cinderella story. I wasn't even going to vote Republican this election (was going to vote Right to Life party) but I think I've just changed my mind.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Senior Pictures time

My 17 year old daughter Veronica had her senior pictures taken by Jane McDonagh.

She has these 2 of the photos she took on her blog that you can see here.

We are so happy with the way these pictures came out and I can't wait to see the rest of them. Jane only takes photos in natural light and outside. These pictures were taken at Minute Man State Park in Concord, MA. She is very talented and Veronica really enjoyed her photo shoot.

I am going to try to have a family portrait done next summer so if you are looking for senior pictures- check out Jane McDonagh Photography based in northern Massachusetts.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A friend sent me this picture of my Becs who is almost 3. This picture really says summer, childhood and innocence and it's a reminder to appreciate it because it's all too fleeting.

Nature's first green is gold.
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

"Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


My sisters went sky diving together and here are the videos.

Deb, whose idea this was anyway:

Kath who went along with it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Romantic Homes Magazine Giveaway

When I first saw this headline I thought actual Romantic Homes were being given away!

But it is the magazine from My Cottage in the Making blog.

I am posting this not only to offer you all (all 5 or 6 of you) a chance to win but because I get a second chance to win by posting this! I may be mercenary but I am scrupulously honest.

I hope I win! I hope I win! I hope I win!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy 20th Anniversary to Us!

To celebrate we went to dinner at The Sole Proprietor, a restaurant I have wanted to go to for years! The food was wonderful. The shrimp from the shrimp cocktail was so big I felt like I should have been using a knife and fork! I also had the tomato basil (pronounced TOE-mato Bay- Zeal)soup, lobster for a main course and for dessert the 2 Chocolate Sauce Terrine.

Here's to the next 20 years!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Saved by the Blog Meme

Well, just when I thought I couldn't think of a single thing to post, I remembered that I had not yet participated in this Blog Awards by Lily Thorn.

Lily is a talented writer, good mother and has the distinction of having re-connected me with a dear college friend. (I am in her debt). And then, she awarded me the Excellent Blog Award, undeserving as I am. But I am appreciative. So I will duly post my most favorite blogs, you may be surprised and you may be horrified but I attempt honesty at this late stage in my life.

1. Steve Skojec- he has taken on the responsibilities of family life imbued with Catholicism. He struggles, he sweats, he bleeds, he is human but without all the self pitying blogging that I abhor. (and yes I have been banned from that blog)

2. Brocante Home- a transcendant writer who has struggled and continues to make life beautiful for her own family and those of us enraptured with her writing. She writes for the "Traditional Housewife who keeps a perfect home." As if.

3. The Crescat- in spite of an earlier disagreement, I have come to expect the highest level quality of images of the saints, religious life, and you know all that good Catholic stuff).

4. Maryskeys- uncompromising and "take no prisoners" in her theology and Catholicism. What more is there to say?

5. Orwell's Picnic- ah Hilary, this reminds me of the song in "The Sound of Music" How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? Well, Hilary is a writer for Lifesite, brutally honest (and there is no exaggeration in this statement!). She is "Liveblogging the Apocalypse". And why not?
She is "English, Catholic, Conservative and not at all sorry". N.B. I am not currently banned from this blog.

I'll do the other 5 tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Count on me to belabor the point

Amma Bernhoft with her husband and 15 children.

From the Bernhoft Family Ancestry page.

Someone was batting this photo around on facebook and when I saw it you can imagine my reaction.

Another irresponsible providentialist.

God bless her!

You might wonder how Amma fared after raising 15 children.

Here is a picture of the poor,broken down woman. Mrs. Bernhoft was born November 14, 1874 and died October 31, 1968. That would be a mere 94 years.

Only imagine how much longer she might have lived had she not ruined her health, tempted God's providence, and exhibited such a shocking lack of self control.

One other small point on the issue of large, generous families (or so some call them). Take the analogy of a philanthropist who donates a million dollars to build a hospital. Generally speaking there is a press conference, gratitude is shown for the donation. People at this event are smiling and congratulating the donor and the recipients of donation. There are stories lauding the event. And never in such a scenario have I seen the following angle explored,

"Well not everyone can make such a large donation. Indeed for some people only a dollar or fifty cents is all they can manage to give. And we should think no more of someone who gives a million dollars than someone who puts a penny in the donation box."

Now obviously it is correct that not everyone can give a million dollars. You can only give what is in your capacity to give. But that sentiment never obscures the greatness of the gift at hand. The person making the gift is never admonished for arrogance or corrected in their generosity. That sentiment is one of defensiveness and often defensive is the result of guilt.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Thoughts Exactly

This article is about Home Repair- the joys and challenges and accepting reality. And keep in mind her house is ONLY 102 years old. In my present domicile we're talking about 137 years,baby.

The author writes:

I had moved from Brooklyn to Philadelphia for many reasons, but mainly to reduce expenses so that I could write more of what I wanted, less of what would pay the rent.

Before the ink on the mortgage papers had a chance to dry, however, I discovered that this house offered incontestable proof that the universe has a sense of humor.

All the details that drew me to the property in the first place hung to their functionality by a thread. The wood-sash storm windows fell apart if I thought about repainting them, the tiles of the master bath floor had come so loose I could vacuum them up, and that sunny little mudroom off the kitchen sucked in frigid winter air like a sponge.

In my Pandora's Box, something fell apart every week and at every turn. The water line leaked when I tried to shut off its valve for winter, and the basement wall crumbled when I accidentally bumped into it with a laundry basket. One day, the dryer drum just refused to turn altogether.

But the whole thing is worth reading and as I type these words a wall in the living room has been torn down leaving part of the ceiling exposed (and without those cute little beams), a chasm between 2 wood floors that are naturally of two different types of wood and the hallway going up the stairs has had some of the wallpaper removed. The banister has been painted brown and streaked to "look like wood" but my husband thoughtfully bought me a can of stripper. What a guy.

And all that remains is to sheet rock the ceiling and wall, strip the rest of the wallpaper, paint the stairs and stain the to-be-stripped banister, paint the wood trim, sew curtains and find slipcovers, a rug, stair treads and a tv stand. It will done any year now. Inshallah.

Let the Pandering Continue: Obama make sure your children can speak spanish

I guess I should take some small comfort in the fact that Obama is not calling for our children to learn Arabic. (probably thinks it's too hard for Americans)

A change I don't believe in.

Free Early Christian Music from Amazon

Free from Amazon

Funny aside was this review I read:

By D. Acosta "desertdancer" (Las Vegas, NV United States)

As a Christian and a belly dancer/instructor, what a surprise and delight it was to find a baladi-based version of "Kyrie Eleison (Lord, have mercy)" -- for free, even! Rest assured I'll be belly dancing to *this* song. I've already checked out iTunes for more from Oni Wytars, and bought another song, LOL. The rest of the album is well done and worth a listen, even if it's not quite as danceable.

I'm all for the arts even folk art but there is something very very wrong when you are belly dancing to "Kyrie Eleison".

Lord have mercy indeed.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Objections to Serial Motherhood

I know that's a weird headline, but hey that's me.

What are some of the objections to serial motherhood?

And by that I mean having more than 2 children. Specifically having more children than a boy and a girl (mini-mes of Mom and Dad) spaced exactly 3 years apart.


I give you the Holy Family.


Sanity is overrated and largely arbitrary.

Poor health of the mother.

Well, I admit I have led you into a trap. A friend of mine has just borne her 13th child. Now when I think of the mother of 13 children I think, medieval Europe, a woman scuffling along with a cane and a cape of rough wool clad about her shoulders. She does not make eye contact because she is too impoverished, dejected, despondent.

But just look at this amazing photograph!

Now you may be thinking to yourself, well NFP has saved us from THAT. (the folly of having 13 children!). Think again my friend and reconsider who is engaging in folly.

Someone better inform Mrs. Karen Kasprzak and Mrs. Duggar because I guess they didn't get the memo. The one that says "having a lot children is for those who want to be unhappy and in ill health and ignorant and depressed." Don't be like St. Catherine of Siena's mother who bore 23 children.

That is not allowed anymore.

I look at that picture and I do not see despondence. Depression. I see triumph!

Oh no! Now we are going to be accused of "Triumphalism". Well, I don't think I have ever defended myself against that charge as much as gloried in it.

So there you are.

Well, I just couldn't help myself and I hope that you draw the same conclusion that I have. You can have 13 children. Or 23. Or 18 and be healthy, happy, unimpoverished and photogenic. (because that is what is REALLY important).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I just have one more thing to say about Holy Trinity closing....

... if it wasn't a naked cash grab- why wasn't the Church offered to the Institute of Christ the King or the Fraternity of St Peter?

Why was the Latin Mass Community forbidden to advertise the existence of the Traditional Latin Mass?

I guess the answer is obvious.


And yet there is something about the idea of hardworking German immigrants saving and scrimping pennies to build Holy Trinity, and current parishoners, some who have large families, trying to support the parish, the German people, so proud of their heritage, and the homeless, at-risk-youth who are served by Holy Trinty being told to "take a hike".

It rankles.

More on Holy Trinity's closing- I didn't think they would get away with it.

Holy Trinity Closing, But Welcoming Doors Not Opening – Yet

No German, Latin Masses for Displaced Parishioners; Reopening of Homeless Program Delayed

BOSTON – June 26 – On Sunday, June 29, Holy Trinity parishioners will hear for the first time the decree that formally closes the 164-year-old South End parish effective the following day, June 30. Despite the short interval between the formal announcement and the closure, parishioners will immediately appeal the decision to Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

The decree, signed early this week but yet to be formally read, will designate the Cathedral of the Holy Cross as the welcoming parish for Holy Trinity. At a parish council meeting Tuesday night, parishioners learned, however, that the Cathedral parish will be unable, at least in the near future, to offer Masses in German and English and in the traditional Latin (now known as the extraordinary form). In addition, parishioners learned that the Cardinal Medeiros Center , a day program for homeless older adults that had been run from the hall in the lower church, has been delayed in reopening in its new location.

Masses in English and German the extraordinary form have defined the life of Holy Trinity, and parishioners requested that they be part of the life of their welcoming parish. Holy Trinity, the Archdiocese’s oldest ethnic parish, was founded by German immigrants and has continued to offer readings and hymns in German at Mass. From 1990 to 2007, when special permission was still needed for its celebration, Holy Trinity was the only parish in the Archdiocese to offer the extraordinary form, the Mass used before revisions following Second Vatican Council in the mid 1960’s. In response to recently expanded papal permission, celebration of the extraordinary form resumed at Holy Trinity in February.

Cardinal O’Malley first announced his intention to close Holy Trinity in May 2004. The closure, which was originally to take place on June 30, 2005, was delayed for three years because the parish shared its facilities the Cardinal Medeiros Center and another group, the Bridge Over Troubled Waters residence for at-risk youth. The latter group moved this month to a residence in Brighton .

The Medeiros Center closed its doors at Holy Trinity on May 29 to move to the basement of Our Lady of Victories Church on Isabella Street . The program expected to reopen there on June 9, but it has yet to reopen because it does not have the necessary occupancy permit. According to Joe McPherson, the outgoing director, misunderstandings about the permitting process led to the delay. The group has received assistance from the Archdiocese and is working with them to resolve the remaining issues. As a best case, the program could reopen next week, three weeks behind schedule.

McPherson, who leaves the program after thirty years on Friday, is grateful for the twenty-five years it spent at Holy Trinity. “It [the program] was a continuation of the good works they had always done, such as the orphanage and the school, and I felt appreciated by the parishioners,” he explained during a telephone call. The parish founded an orphanage and home for the poor in Roxbury in 1888 and founded the first of three schools in 1848; all were closed in the early 1960’s.

The inability of the Cathedral to offer additional Masses in the near future will leave Holy Trinity parishioners scrambling to find Masses at other parishes. The closure of the 131-year-old church building, designed by renowned architect Patrick Keely and filled with stained glass windows and statuary from Germany , combined with the absence of the German/English Mass, effectively ends the German heritage in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The closure of Holy Trinity also again leaves the Archdiocese with only one Sunday Mass in the extraordinary form, celebrated at noon at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton . Attendance at that Mass, which draws about 300 people, is all but impossible for those without cars and difficult for people living northeast and southeast of Boston . Although expanded Vatican permission for the extraordinary form allows its celebration in every parish, establishing new locations, whether at the Cathedral or elsewhere, could take months. Attendance at the extraordinary form Mass at Holy Trinity has grown fifty percent in just four months, from 100 to 150 parishioners, as interest in the extraordinary form has grown throughout the Catholic Church.

These parishioners are keenly watching developments with the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a group that broke with the Church in 1988 after it consecrated more bishops than allowed by the Vatican . Although it has used the extraordinary form exclusively since its founding in the 1960’s, that is not the reason for the break. According to reports in the Italian and French media, the SSPX has been given until June 28 to accept five preconditions for its return to full communion with Rome . If the SSPX does return, it may be offered a personal prelature, an arrangement where it, and not the local bishop, runs its parishes. Holy Trinity is considered an ideal church to be given to a potential personal prelature because it was never permanently altered to accommodate the post-Vatican II form of the Mass, is accessible both by automobile and public transportation, and has a reputation for fostering the extraordinary form.

For now, Holy Trinity parishioners will concentrate on the appeal process. They will have ten days, not counting Sundays, to appeal the closure to Cardinal O’Malley. If he rejects their appeal, they will then have recourse to the Vatican . Because the parish will be under appeal, Church law will forbid its dismantling or sale. The Holy Trinity property could be a prime candidate for redevelopment, just as the nearby Boston Herald and its parking lot have been recently reported to be. In fact, according to the South End News, developers have already approached the Archdiocese about Holy Trinity.

Throughout their four-year struggle, they never received an answer to the questions originally posited by the Parish Council: “Why was Holy Trinity designated for closure?” and “How does the loss of the Archdiocese’s German Catholic Heritage, relocation of the Traditional Latin Mass [extraordinary form], and the eviction of the Bridge Over Troubled Waters and the Cardinal Medeiros Center serve the best interest of the Archdiocese?”

Now, their questions have become, “What do they have planned for our beautiful buildings? Why are the buildings going to sit there when they could still serve our parishioners, our homeless, and our youth?”



Committee to Preserve Holy Trinity Parish

Christine M. Quagan, Media Coordinator

617-325-5905 (home); 617-852-0315 (cell)

NOTE: Please refer all questions about the Cardinal Medeiros Center to its main number, 617-619-6960.