Archive for Current Events

Quote for the day

“And now let us begin this journey, [together] as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity. It is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood may be created. I hope that this journey of the Church, which we begin today and in which my Cardinal Vicar who is present here will assist me, will be fruitful for the Evangelization of this beautiful city.”

– His Holiness, Pope Francis

Dear Lord,

Please bless Your servant Francis as He embarks on the journey You have set before him.  May the laity pray for him as he asked and turn their hearts toward You.

Amen.

A time to wait

I was born in 1965.  I can remember Pope Paul VI, both John Pauls, and Benedict XVI.  I was a teenager when the John Pauls were elected.  I didn’t really care at all about the conclave or what it meant. Having been poorly catechized in the post Vatican II, throw the baby out with the bath water, era I had no understanding of the momentousness of what was happening.  I watched the EWTN coverage in 2005 and shouted “Habemus Papam!” when they showed the white smoke and waited to watch the announcement of the new pope.  This time, I find I am sad that Benedict XVI has left the chair of Peter open, but I am looking forward to this conclave with a better understanding than ever before.  I am praying for the Holy Spirit to guide the cardinals and for the Lord’s will to be done.  I will not forget my “German shepherd,” but I look forward to the guiding hand of the one who will be elected.  It is a bittersweet time for me.

Here is a great guide to how the conclave works.

white-smoke-conclave-sistine-chapel-390x285White smoke rising from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel

Dear Lord,

Please send forth Your Spirit on the college of cardinals as they gather for the conclave.  May the man You desire to fill the Chair of St. Peter be chosen to lead Your church.  Please grant peace to Your servant Benedict XVI as he enters into a life of prayer and solitude.  Not the will of man, but Your will be done.

Amen.

Corporal works of mercy?

I was listening to an afternoon talk show on the radio the other day.  The host and his guest talked about the administration of the welfare system and how it used to be administered on the local level by the cities and towns.  They were discussing the how the attitudes regarding welfare have changed, also.  One of the callers was a teacher at a technical school and he was relating the way his students compared their welfare benefits to one another.  They bragged about the amount they get in “food stamps,” which are now in the form of an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) cards, and in other benefits.  Apparently a man was arrested in the eastern part of the state and there is a recording of a phone call he made demanding that the person on the other end get his EBT card and go to the ATM to get money to get him out of jail.  He made the call from a cell phone.  The cell phone was one of his welfare benefits.

I don’t know much about the arrest or the man who was arrested, but it sounded from the conversation that he has been arrested before.  He was arrested for drug possession with intent to distribute.  He lives fast and “high off the hog” so to speak.  He flashes cash around.  Yet he has a cell phone paid for by the state and an EBT card.

The host recalled the way people felt ashamed of having to be on welfare at all when he was growing up, and indeed, that is my recollection of how people felt about the system when I was growing up, too.  He also recalled that the neighbors knew who was on welfare and they watched out for fraudulent claims.  People also lent a hand to each other.

I wonder what has changed.  Have people become tired of watching others get a free ride and decided they should also get a free ride?  Are more people less able to care for themselves?  Is it simply lacking that the survival skills necessary to make through tough times have not been passed on?  Maybe it isn’t that the skills were not passed on, but rather complacency and the idea that the skills are no longer necessary.

I know there are many people whom are supportive of the welfare system because they believe in social justice.  I don’t believe that keeping people down with handouts is social justice.  Giving each other a hand up in times of need is social justice. The corporal works of mercy are social justice.  People seem to have lost sight of how to care for one another, though.  Community no longer exists.  Sure there are neighborhoods, but are the people living there really neighbors?  Do they come together when someone is hurt or ill?   From what I have seen in my own life, the answer is no.  While sharing the same street or block, people no longer shares their lives with one another.  They no longer care for one another.

I don’t know how I can make a difference in this.  I don’t have answers.  The only thing I am certain of is that I will try to live my life caring for others and assisting those in need where ever I can.  I will try to instill in my children the truth that it is right to help others when we can.

Pro-Life Movie comes to Springfield, April 13, 2012!

OCTOBER BABY shines a light on a real but little-known topic, the survivors of attempted abortions. Survivors themselves say there are thousands of individuals who survived attempted abortions, though statistics are rarely tracked. Many of these survivors have grown up to speak out on life-related issues. OCTOBER BABY follows the dramatic, humorous, romantic story of 19-year-old Hannah, who goes on a road trip to find answers after learning she is adopted and the survivor of an attempted abortion. OCTOBER BABY is opening at Springfield’s Entertainment Cinemas on April 13, 2012.
Discount tickets are available at St.Catherine of Siena in Springfield and St. Stanislaus Basilica in Chicopee.
For more information, see OctoberBabyMovie.net, or contact Karen Ford, Action Squad Leader for Springfield, at kfordwork@comcast.net or 413.301.6499.

What we’ve been up to…..

Things have been quite busy here. Between all of our school work and household chores, we have been fund raising for DD15 to go on a trip. She is leaving on Wednesday for the National Catholic Youth Conference. She is quite excited. I am happy that she is excited, but I am also a little nervous about the travel. The last time she traveled without me she was in an auto accident and it took her all summer to recuperate from it. I guess she is statistically less like to have any issues this time, but I am a mom, after all.
We participated in the making of several “drive thru dinners.”

We also participated in several bake sales, an M&M’s mini change fundraiser, a Knights of Columbus “tootsie roll drive,” a couple of pancake breakfasts, a craft fair, “Celebrate Ludlow,” a Tupperware fundraiser, and one day of “rent a teen.” There was also a fundraiser which included putting plastic flamingos on people’s lawns. We only did this once as it seemed a little like participating in graffiti to me. We had to raise about $1000. We paid a little bit out of pocket toward that goal in the form of the initial deposit.
We have worked toward this goal for the last eight months.
I am sure that the next several days will be wonderful for DD. She will be surrounded by 20,000 other young Catholics. They will celebrate the Holy Mass together and participate in Eucharistic adoration. She will be immersed in her faith. I pray that this trip draws her closer to our Lord.

Dear Lord,
Thank You for the opportunity for DD. She is excited. Please keep her safe as she travels. Please draw her closer to You and to Your Sacred Heart. May Your truth be all that she seeks. Please be with the other pilgrims on the journey. May all of their hearts be touched by Your love and grace. There are a couple of young people who desperately need You to touch their lives, Lord. It is obvious in what they say and how they act that they are searching. Touch them particularly, please.
Mother Mary, please lay your mantle over the pilgrims and keep them safe from harm.
Amen.