Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Remembering Past New Years Eve gigs

Taking a few minutes to reflect on the past gigs I played on New Years Eve.  Some were sure doosies, I'll tell ya.  There were more than I'd like to remember at the Ontario Fire Hall.  One year, while playing there, the bass players wife grabbed my wife and away they went, bar hopping, only to return near midnight.  When the bass player's wife walked in, I asked her where  my wife was.  She mo
motioned to the outside.  I found her passed out in a snow bank.  Happy New Year to you, too!

There was at least one, maybe more, at the Geneva Moose Club.  My wife did not pass out that year.
Most New Years Eves were more drudgery than fun.  The life of a musician is not the glamor and glitter people would expect.  Most of it's driving long distances, hauling heavy equipment, all while watching others make fools of themselves. 

There were a few, at the California Brew Haus.  They were not too bad, as the distance wasn't so bad.  Then there was the all memorable one, solo at the Brew Haus, six long sets, ending at 0330.  That was the most money I made, $ 150.00. 

The last one I played was 2004, just before I moved outa Palmyra at the local Moose Club there. 

Wow, it's been ten years!  I don't miss it.  Tonight, after Mass, some take out Chinese food, a bottle of ten year old Bordeaux, and some Asti Spumonte, if'n I can stay awake for midnight!

Happy New Years to all and be safe out there!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28, 2013 - Thanksgiving Day

 Feast day of St James of the Marche
Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances.
James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence.
With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching.
To combat extremely high interest rates, James established montes pietatis (literally, mountains of charity) — nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects.
Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James was canonized in 1726.


James wanted the word of God to take root in the hearts of his listeners. His preaching was directed to preparing the soil, so to speak, by removing any rocks and softening up lives hardened by sin. God’s intention is that his word take root in our lives, but for that we need both prayerful preachers and cooperative listeners.

"Beloved and most holy word of God! You enlighten the hearts of the faithful, you satisfy the hungry, console the afflicted; you make the souls of all productive of good and cause all virtues to blossom; you snatch souls from the devil’s jaw; you make the wretched holy, and men of earth citizens of heaven" (Sermon of St. James).

Reading 1 Sir 50:22-24

And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
to deliver us in our days.

Click on link below to hear Psalm

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R. (see 1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.

R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Reading 2 1 Cor 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ
our Lord.


Gospel Lk 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Holidays

Yep, the holidays are upon us once again.  The time when little old ladies turn into demolition derby drivers with their shopping carts in the super markets, and the Black Friday shoppers spend the night out in front of the shopping malls so they can rampage in as soon as they can. 
A time when the majority of parents "buy" their kids love with lavish gifts instead of teaching them the real meaning of the time.  A time when you have to get your father a new sweater to add to the 109 sweaters you've gotten him in the years past.  The poor and homeless folks could use those 108 sweaters, but most people will get larger dressers and enlarge their closets to make room for more stuff they can't possibly use in their lifetime.  A time of peace and good will to mankind, but God forbid you get in front of them on the highway, where you get the sharper image of peace and good will.  A time to re-market the most idiotic gifts, such as the Chia Pets, the Clapper, canned cookies that have enough preservatives in them to last into the next millennium, and a time when desperate people try to rob the bell ringers.  A time when we bring back to life the pagan traditions that really have nothing to do with Christmas;  the mistletoe, the Yuletide logs, the Christmas tree and Santa.  A time when gifting and re-gifting is more important than attending church with your family, and a time for our illustrious leaders to deny us the fellowship of saying "Merry Christmas"  Now, it's all about money, monthly sales quotas, and helping to make the retail industry richer. 
We all are effected by these ridiculous efforts to plunge ourselves into gluttonous pigs.  Each year, we must "top" last years gluttony. 
This is what I wish for Christmas:
For folks to slow down and embrace the true meaning of the holidays.
For families to look forward to fellowship, rather than the drudgery of shopping, cooking, and complaining about the pair of mittens Aunt Suzie is going to hand out (again)
For my children to bring me no tangible gifts, but the gift of their love and fellowship, not out of obligation but yearn.
For people to cut back on the gluttony of the season and be more generous to the poor and needy people going without.
For people to go to whatever denomination of church to worship with their family.
For people to thank God for what we do have, rather than what we feel we must have.

Is this too much to ask?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The 1957 MGA

My first car, a 1961 VW lasted only about a year and of course, I knew little to nothing about maintainence or repairs.  I moved on to a 1965 Dodge Coronet 440.  It was in great shape, but to me, plain boring. 

One day I answered a sale post for a 1957 MGA.  My friend Lonnie and I drove out to Rochester to kick the tires.  It was in pretty rough shape, but to me, beautiful.  It was a convertable, missing the entire top.  The guy let us tow it around to try to start it, but no luck.  I offered him $ 200.00 and off we went back to Ontario. 

We were more than halfway home, passing through Webster, when I heard a loud bang.  Looking in my rearview mirror, Lonnie and the MG were totally engulfed in thick black smoke.  Unbeknown to me, Lonnie had put the car in 3rd or 4th gear and had the ignition key on.  I had been pulling it all the way from Rochester, to Webster with the clutch out.  In Webster, it decided to start!  The smoke cleared and Lonnie sat there with this tongue n cheek look.  After the car started, he put it in neautral and let the engine idle the rest of the way home. 

It only ran on three cylenders, having a cracked head.  I got one from Andy's junkyard and the Benneway brothers changed it for me. 
A guy I worked with, from England, took it home one weekend and tuned it up for me. 
It was a thrill a mile! 

There were many isuues to overcome, but I enjoyed the MGA until I went into the Navy.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Things Have Changed

There was a time when I was classified as "The Wild Child"

Sorry, "A Real Wild Child"

Mind you, I did not quote myself as a real wild child;  That was the general feel as far as the Yearbook Staff was concerned.

Certainly, I embraced Rock N Roll, and Guitars, and coming from the city to the country, maybe I was a real wild child. 

Of course, we'e talk'n 50 years ago.  Notice the high water pants, London Loafers, and the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Special.

Time marched on, and life evolved, and as my good friend "Ugly" would say "Excrement Occurs"
That was his version of it.  Now I realize, it was a testing and tempering of my soul.  I didn't do to well, looking back on my choices, but that's water over the dam. 

They say you grow wiser with maturity;  I don't feel any wiser.  But I do feel that the speed of life has moved up to a level far faster then the speed of life in my youth. 

The contemplation of that phenomena leads to much soul searching.

My strength and my courage is the Lord.
For He has been my Saviour.

I have had to cut myself off from distractions like TV, Movies, Radio, and secular tastes.

Now, I use the time to contemplate on the Daily Scriptures, continue to compose the Psalms, read more, write more, praise God more.

My activity on Facebook consit's of posting my Daily Scripture Readings, My Daily Psalm, sarcastic remarks where I can't help it, and photos of our Gardens.

May the Lord Bless you and keep you in His Kingdom.  Amen
So our elected officials have decided to come out of their corners pouting and go back to work.  They fit right into yesterday's Scripture readings.  The scribes, and chief priests, and lawmakers, all greedy, pretending to carry out in public what is righteous but their hearts, rotten with desire and willing to do whatever they had to for the sake of their own entitlement to power.

I was under the impression that the government was in place for the benefit of the country.  Silly me; I got it backwards.  Surely they must realize the impact their precious shutdown had on the country.  What do they care, with their padded bank accounts and mansions?  What do they care about the little people that are stepped upon and crushed deeper into a land, seeping with the blood of the inflicted? 

This used to be a country that grew strong under the leadership of men who were God fearing men, relying on the guidance and strength of God to govern our people righteously.  Now, sadly, God is not present in our leadership for we have become a worldly, secular nation of greed and sin.  Woe to us and our future generations who will pay for this with their toil and blood.

Wake up O US of A and see what you've done.  You've turned our great country into Sodom.  Oh how many times will we repeat these sins of our fore-fathers? 

Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

St. Hedwig

St. Hedwig

Feastday: October 16
1174 - 1243

Duchess and widow, the patroness of Silesia, a region of eastern Europe. Also called Jadwiga in some lists, she died in a Cistercain convent, having taken vows. Hedwig was born in Andechs, Bavaria, Germany, the daughter of the Duke of Croatia and Dalmatia. She was the aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. At the age of twelve, Hedwig was marrie to Duke Henry of Silesia, the head of the Polish Royal family. She bore him seven children, and they had a happy marriage. Henry founded a Cistercain convent at Trebnitz, as well as hospitals and monasteries. Henry died in 1238 and Hedwig became a Cistercain at Trebnitz. She had to leave her prayers to make peace among her offspring, and she buried a child who was killed fighting against the Mongols. She died in the convent on October 15.Many miracles were reported after her death, and she was canonized in 1266.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Saint of the Day:  St. Jerome




Most of the saints are remembered for some outstanding virtue or devotion which they practiced, but Jerome is frequently remembered for his bad temper! It is true that he had a very bad temper and could use a vitriolic pen, but his love for God and his Son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and St. Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen.

He was above all a Scripture scholar, translating most of the Old Testament from the Hebrew. He also wrote commentaries which are a great source of scriptural inspiration for us today. He was an avid student, a thorough scholar, a prodigious letter-writer and a consultant to monk, bishop and pope. St. Augustine (August 28) said of him, "What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known."

St. Jerome is particularly important for having made a translation of the Bible which came to be called the Vulgate. It is not the most critical edition of the Bible, but its acceptance by the Church was fortunate. As a modern scholar says, "No man before Jerome or among his contemporaries and very few men for many centuries afterwards were so well qualified to do the work." The Council of Trent called for a new and corrected edition of the Vulgate, and declared it the authentic text to be used in the Church.

In order to be able to do such work, Jerome prepared himself well. He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic. He began his studies at his birthplace, Stridon in Dalmatia (in the former Yugoslavia). After his preliminary education he went to Rome, the center of learning at that time, and thence to Trier, Germany, where the scholar was very much in evidence. He spent several years in each place, always trying to find the very best teachers. He once served as private secretary of Pope Damasus (December 11).

After these preparatory studies he traveled extensively in Palestine, marking each spot of Christ's life with an outpouring of devotion. Mystic that he was, he spent five years in the desert of Chalcis so that he might give himself up to prayer, penance and study. Finally he settled in Bethlehem, where he lived in the cave believed to have been the birthplace of Christ. On September 30 in the year 420, Jerome died in Bethlehem. The remains of his body now lie buried in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.



Jerome was a strong, outspoken man. He had the virtues and the unpleasant fruits of being a fearless critic and all the usual moral problems of a man. He was, as someone has said, no admirer of moderation whether in virtue or against evil. He was swift to anger, but also swift to feel remorse, even more severe on his own shortcomings than on those of others. A pope is said to have remarked, on seeing a picture of Jerome striking his breast with a stone, "You do well to carry that stone, for without it the Church would never have canonized you" (Butler's Lives of the Saints).


"In the remotest part of a wild and stony desert, burnt up with the heat of the scorching sun so that it frightens even the monks that inhabit it, I seemed to myself to be in the midst of the delights and crowds of Rome. In this exile and prison to which for the fear of hell I had voluntarily condemned myself, I many times imagined myself witnessing the dancing of the Roman maidens as if I had been in the midst of them: In my cold body and in my parched-up flesh, which seemed dead before its death, passion was able to live. Alone with this enemy, I threw myself in spirit at the feet of Jesus, watering them with my tears, and I tamed my flesh by fasting whole weeks. I am not ashamed to disclose my temptations, but I grieve that I am not now what I then was" ("Letter to St. Eustochium").

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life and times of the Anthem PA

After relocating from Virgina Beach back to Rochester, I ran across my endearing Laney Anthem PA system, complete with light stands.  It was used then and I think I paid about $ 149.00.

It didn't boast a ton of power, but is clean and bright.  I used it playing out solo and had room for a couple more mics or guitars. 

It fit the bill 99 & 9/10's %, letting me down only once in almost 30 years.  That was the time, I left it at a bar in Newark because I played there weekly and I didn't have to load out to the car every week.  Course, others were using it during the week, and one night it was dead.  It ended up being an internal fuse.

I had it serviced a few times at a shop, and I also went into her and cleaned the pots at least twice.

When I wasn't using it solo, I used it for our monitor system in various small bands.

Both speakers have been replaced over the years.

Since I retired playing out, I am selling it.  I just got a call from a school in the city.  They want to buy it for a portable systems in different rooms of the school.

The school happens to be the same neighborhood my parents, uncles, aunts, and many Italian folks settled.  One street where two uncles lived, is now part of a Coke plant  The famous brothers Chuck and Gap Mangeione came from that street, two doors down from my uncle.

Good luck, my little friend,  you've done me great service, and I trust you will continue to serve your next family!!

PS, I hooked it up just now to test everything and she is rarr'n to go!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Feast of St. Mathew  Sept.21

Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the "tax farmers" got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as "publicans," were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with "sinners" (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers.
Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that "many" tax collectors and "those known as sinners" came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus' answer was, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I did not come to call the righteous but sinners" (Matthew 9:12b-13). Jesus is not setting aside ritual and worship; he is saying that loving others is even more important.

No other particular incidents about Matthew are found in the New Testament.


We imagine Matthew, after the terrible events surrounding the death of Jesus, going to the mountain to which the risen Lord had summoned them. “When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them [we think of him looking at each one in turn, Matthew listening and excited with the rest], ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age’ ” (Matthew 28:17–20).
Matthew would never forget that day. He proclaimed the Good News by his life and by his word. Our faith rests upon his witness and that of his fellow apostles.


From such an unlikely situation, Jesus chose one of the foundations of the Church, a man others, judging from his job, thought was not holy enough for the position. But he was honest enough to admit that he was one of the sinners Jesus came to call. He was open enough to recognize truth when he saw him. "And he got up and followed him" (Matthew 9:9b).

Patron Saint of:

Tax collectors

Friday, September 20, 2013

National Shrine Basilica Our Lady of Fatima Lewiston, NY

The Meaning of Fatima

Fatima is the name of a small town north of Lisbon, Portugal. There, in 1917, Our Lady appeared to three little shepherds: Lucia, and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco (now Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Francisco) - then, seven and eight years old. The “Beautiful Lady dressed in white and more brilliant than the sun”, asked for prayers and sacrifice, so that “ Our Lord may save humanity from all calamities and bring peace to the world..."

A prayerful life consists of doing everything in God, with God, and for God. She emphasized a daily simple formula of paying called the Rosary, during which one reflects upon God's personal love for us. She stressed the fulfillment of one's daily duty according to the Gospel principles. This is the Fatima message and makes Fatima one of the 20th Century’s most pressing heavenly Invitations to an authentic Christian life.

Fatima, New York

In 1954, the Barnabite Fathers, newly arrived from Italy, conceived the idea of offering to their new country a devotional center in honor of Our Lady, where people could come and be refreshed. Fatima U.SA. was therefore born, and the Barnabites became the promoters of the Gospel message urged by our Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal.

The idea was enthusiastically accepted and fostered. Many people made our dream possible by their generosity and their dedication. First among the Shrine benefactors were Mr. & Mrs. Walter Ciurzak. In 1954, they donated 16 acres of their farm land and with God’s help and the support of many, the Shrine has slowly become what it Is today. Thousands of people are the beneficiaries of the peaceful and sacred surroundings of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Saint of the Day September 13

St. John Chrysostom
(d. 407)

The ambiguity and intrigue surrounding John, the great preacher (his name means "golden-mouthed") from Antioch, are characteristic of the life of any great man in a capital city. Brought to Constantinople after a dozen years of priestly service in Syria, John found himself the reluctant victim of an imperial ruse to make him bishop in the greatest city of the empire. Ascetic, unimposing but dignified, and troubled by stomach ailments from his desert days as a monk, John became a bishop under the cloud of imperial politics.
If his body was weak, his tongue was powerful. The content of his sermons, his exegesis of Scripture, were never without a point. Sometimes the point stung the high and mighty. Some sermons lasted up to two hours.

His lifestyle at the imperial court was not appreciated by many courtiers. He offered a modest table to episcopal sycophants hanging around for imperial and ecclesiastical favors. John deplored the court protocol that accorded him precedence before the highest state officials. He would not be a kept man.

His zeal led him to decisive action. Bishops who bribed their way into office were deposed. Many of his sermons called for concrete steps to share wealth with the poor. The rich did not appreciate hearing from John that private property existed because of Adam's fall from grace any more than married men liked to hear that they were bound to marital fidelity just as much as their wives were. When it came to justice and charity, John acknowledged no double standards.

Aloof, energetic, outspoken, especially when he became excited in the pulpit, John was a sure target for criticism and personal trouble. He was accused of gorging himself secretly on rich wines and fine foods. His faithfulness as spiritual director to the rich widow, Olympia, provoked much gossip attempting to prove him a hypocrite where wealth and chastity were concerned. His actions taken against unworthy bishops in Asia Minor were viewed by other ecclesiastics as a greedy, uncanonical extension of his authority.

Theophilus, archbishop of Alexandria, and Empress Eudoxia were determined to discredit John. Theophilus feared the growth in importance of the Bishop of Constantinople and took occasion to charge John with fostering heresy. Theophilus and other angered bishops were supported by Eudoxia. The empress resented his sermons contrasting gospel values with the excesses of imperial court life. Whether intended or not, sermons mentioning the lurid Jezebel (1 Kings 9:121:23) and impious Herodias (Mark 6:17-29) were associated with the empress, who finally did manage to have John exiled. He died in exile in 407.


John Chrysostom's preaching, by word and example, exemplifies the role of the prophet to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. For his honesty and courage he paid the price of a turbulent ministry as bishop, personal vilification and exile.


Bishops "should set forth the ways by which are to be solved very grave questions concerning the ownership, increase and just distribution of material goods, peace and war, and brotherly relations among all people" (Vatican II, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops, 12).

Patron Saint of:


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

St. Rose of Viterbo

Rose achieved sainthood in only 18 years of life. Even as a child Rose had a great desire to pray and to aid the poor. While still very young, she began a life of penance in her parents’ house. She was as generous to the poor as she was strict with herself. At the age of 10 she became a Secular Franciscan and soon began preaching in the streets about sin and the sufferings of Jesus.
Viterbo, her native city, was then in revolt against the pope. When Rose took the pope’s side against the emperor, she and her family were exiled from the city. When the pope’s side won in Viterbo, Rose was allowed to return. Her attempt at age 15 to found a religious community failed, and she returned to a life of prayer and penance in her father’s home, where she died in 1251. Rose was canonized in 1457.


The list of Franciscan saints seems to have quite a few men and women who accomplished nothing very extraordinary. Rose is one of them. She did not influence popes and kings, did not multiply bread for the hungry and never established the religious order of her dreams. But she made a place in her life for God’s grace, and like St. Francis before her, saw death as the gateway to new life.


Rose's dying words to her parents were: "I die with joy, for I desire to be united to my God. Live so as not to fear death. For those who live well in the world, death is not frightening, but sweet and precious."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Martyrdom of John the Baptist

The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist. The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him: rejection and martyrdom. The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life?
This great religious reformer was sent by God to prepare the people for the Messiah. His vocation was one of selfless giving. The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of Yahweh. “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power. John never allowed himself the false honor of receiving these people for his own glory. He knew his calling was one of preparation. When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus: “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’ The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus” (John 1:35-37). It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ. John’s life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people. His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions. His heart was centered on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart. Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation or repentance, of salvation.



“So they came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.’ John answered and said, ‘No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said [that] I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease’” (John 3:26–30).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

St. Augustine of Hippo

A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience.
There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love.

Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism.

In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).


Augustine is still acclaimed and condemned in our day. He is a prophet for today, trumpeting the need to scrap escapisms and stand face-to-face with personal responsibility and dignity.


“Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you—things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace” (St. Augustine, Confessions).

Patron Saint of:


Monday, August 26, 2013

Saint Monica

The circumstances of St. Monica’s life could have made her a nagging wife, a bitter daughter-in-law and a despairing parent, yet she did not give way to any of these temptations. Although she was a Christian, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had some redeeming features, but he had a violent temper and was licentious. Monica also had to bear with a cantankerous mother-in-law who lived in her home. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety, but always respected her. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his baptism.
Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine (August 28) , is the most famous. At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy (all flesh is evil) and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact, she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted.

When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead, he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine’s trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan.

In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, St. Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her (see Quote, below). Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste.

She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.” She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death.

Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of St. Augustine, especially his Confessions.


Today, with Internet searches, e-mail shopping, text messages, tweets and instant credit, we have little patience for things that take time. Likewise, we want instant answers to our prayers. Monica is a model of patience. Her long years of prayer, coupled with a strong, well-disciplined character, finally led to the conversion of her hot-tempered husband, her cantankerous mother-in-law and her brilliant but wayward son, Augustine.


When Monica moved from North Africa to Milan, she found religious practices new to her and also that some of her former customs, such as a Saturday fast, were not common there. She asked St. Ambrose which customs she should follow. His classic reply was: “When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday, but I fast when I am in Rome; do the same and always follow the custom and discipline of the Church as it is observed in the particular locality in which you find yourself.”

Patron Saint of:

Married women

Monday, August 19, 2013

Our Weekend Get-Away

We just got back from a spectacular Finger Lakes Weekend Get-Away!
We stayed two nights in Watkins Glen, but the scenic trips, both down and back, were wonderful in their own rights.
We did not begin our journey, striaght to Watkins Glen.  Oh contrare, many roads will lead to the same destination.  Having other "bussiness" to atend to along the way, made for a wonderful trip down to the Glen.  My first stop was Gorham, NY, SE of Canandaguia Lake, to purchase a Regal Guitar, from yesteryear.  Taking Rt 65, we meandered through Mendon, Bloomfield, through Canandaguia, to Rt 247, then 245 East, then south towards Potter.  We got there and to my dismay, the man was not home or answering the phone.  I headed back to Rt 245 and continued east to14A.  My plan was to head to Geneva and down the east side of Seneca Lake.  WE skirted Geneva, along the Seneca Lake and got on 96A.  So far, no rain!  We did not spot any White Deer along the way and headed to Ovid where we stopped at Meyers Distillery for some Wheat Vodka.  We continued on towards Ithica;  I wanted Theresa to see the famed Taughannock Falls.

They say it's the highest freefalling falls in North America!

These are views from our balconey at the Glen Motor Inn.  This motel, offers the best pannaramic views of Seneca Lake!


St John Eudes

How little we know where God’s grace will lead. Born on a farm in northern France, John died at 79 in the next “county” or department. In that time he was a religious, a parish missionary, founder of two religious communities and a great promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
He joined the religious community of the Oratorians and was ordained a priest at 24. During severe plagues in 1627 and 1631, he volunteered to care for the stricken in his own diocese. Lest he infect his fellow religious, he lived in a huge cask in the middle of a field during the plague.

At age 32, John became a parish missionary. His gifts as preacher and confessor won him great popularity. He preached over 100 parish missions, some lasting from several weeks to several months.

In his concern with the spiritual improvement of the clergy, he realized that the greatest need was for seminaries. He had permission from his general superior, the bishop and even Cardinal Richelieu to begin this work, but the succeeding general superior disapproved. After prayer and counsel, John decided it was best to leave the religious community. The same year he founded a new one, ultimately called the Eudists (Congregation of Jesus and Mary), devoted to the formation of the clergy by conducting diocesan seminaries. The new venture, while approved by individual bishops, met with immediate opposition, especially from Jansenists and some of his former associates. John founded several seminaries in Normandy, but was unable to get approval from Rome (partly, it was said, because he did not use the most tactful approach).

In his parish mission work, John was disturbed by the sad condition of prostitutes who sought to escape their miserable life. Temporary shelters were found but arrangements were not satisfactory. A certain Madeleine Lamy, who had cared for several of the women, one day said to him, “Where are you off to now? To some church, I suppose, where you’ll gaze at the images and think yourself pious. And all the time what is really wanted of you is a decent house for these poor creatures.” The words, and the laughter of those present, struck deeply within him. The result was another new religious community, called the Sisters of Charity of the Refuge.

He is probably best known for the central theme of his writings: Jesus as the source of holiness, Mary as the model of the Christian life. John's devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary led Pius XI to declare him the father of the liturgical cult of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


Holiness is the wholehearted openness to the love of God. It is visibly expressed in many ways, but the variety of expression has one common quality: concern for the needs of others. In John’s case, those who were in need were plague-stricken people, ordinary parishioners, those preparing for the priesthood, prostitutes and all Christians called to imitate the love of Jesus and his mother.


“Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desires and his disposition live and reign there. All our religious exercises should be directed to this end. It is the work which God has given us to do unceasingly” (St. John Eudes, The Life and Reign of Jesus in Christian Souls).

Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter


Reading 1 Acts 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
“Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
“This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.”
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
“If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.”
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm PS 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.

All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth.

He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth.

God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth.

Gospel Jn 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”


Sunday, March 31, 2013

So, Lent has made it's way for Easter!  We, the faithful have just celebrated the Holiest Week of our Church year.

Last night's Easter Vigil Mass so beautifully depicted the scripture readings from all the Prophets of centuries before Christ, predicting His coming, life, and Crucifixion, to a "T" 
Christ's new church is now over 2,000 years and still growing. 
As in His day, He was rejected and eventually, murdered for His proclamations, just as scriptures indicated.  All predictions have come to pass but one.  The final prediction will come to pass with His second coming to judge the living and the dead.  is our faith.

His beloved Apostles, most certainly did not understand what they were witnessing with their very own eyes.  Even after they witnessed His Crucifixion and found His tomb empty, there was doubt and confusion.  It still took His appearing to them over the next 40 days, wounds and all, eating and drinking with them to fully make them aware of what really had happened. 
Much of today's beliefs and understandings have resulted in denial and disbelief.  Much of the world is celebrating Easter today by watching their favorite movies, making special meals, recognizing meaningless traditions like the Easter Bunny, candy and colored eggs, without acknowledging the true meaning of the moment.  Still, the churches were packed to capacity for Holy Week, and many of the attendees, may not attend church on a regular basis.  The fact that they attended for Easter is still encouraging. 
There will always be hope that someone will be renewed in faith and seek God's mercy and forgiveness. 
God sent His only Son into the world to be flesh of human, and to sacrifice Himself for ransom for our sins.  We have the King of Servants, as an example to us, a role model to follow.  We all are sinners;  We stumble and fall, backslide, and hide, but we only need get back up, ask forgiveness, and know how much we are loved.