20 September 2018

On the History of Bagpipes in the Fire Service

"If you've ever been to a firefighter funeral, or even down the street from one, you've heard the Great Highland Bagpipe. Their beautiful music captivates the listener and sets the somber tone for another hero being laid to rest.

"Like many staples in our society, you may not have even wondered how the Scottish instrument achieved such an integral role at firefighters' funerals - and other responders for that matter - in the United States.

"Turns out, it all started over 170 years ago with the Great Potato Famine."

A FireRescue1 article reported on the history of the use of bagpipes in the fire service.

To access the complete FireRescue1 report, please visit:

FireRescue1: The history of bagpipes in the fire service (30 AUG 17)

Related video:

YouTube: RI Professional Firefighters Pipes & Drums

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways in which You encourage us as we focus on our heavenly goal.

Br. Simon Teller, O.P., on Heavenly Participation Awards

"By God's grace, you made it to heaven, and now you're at the Awards Ceremony of the Heavenly Banquet.

"St. Peter's the emcee of the event. He's been calling out the names of the elect and handing out awards for what feels like the last forty days and forty nights. There have been prizes for all kinds of saintly feats. In the last ten minutes alone, he's announced the Most Zealous Preacher (St. Dominic, of course), Most Improved Player (St. Paul), Most SPIs (Souls Prayed In), Most Hours Spent Hearing Confessions in One Day (St. Padre Pio, who held the record at thirty-six, but he had been bi-locating), and Most Devout First Communion (Bl. Imelda). Now St. Peter calls your name and from the back table you can hear your great-aunt give a loud, encouraging hoot. What award will I get? you think, as you make your way to the front of the room. Most Penitential Morning Commute? Most Meritorious Diaper Change? Silliest Spontaneous Prayer? 

"'Congratulations on receiving the Participation Award,' St. Peter says, and hands you an eight-by-eleven paper certificate."

In a recent commentary, Brother Simon Teller, O.P., reflected on why the blessed in heaven are praised for their participation ("it best describes the way that the saints [and all creatures, for that matter] relate to God").

To access Br. Simon's complete post, please visit:

Dominicana: The Participation Award (13 SEP 18)

Reflection Starter from Theodore Roosevelt

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month." - Theodore Roosevelt

19 September 2018

Pollution Prevention Week

This week, the week of 17-23 September, is being observed as Pollution Prevention Week, an observance designed to be an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and government to emphasize and highlight their pollution prevention and sustainability activities and achievements, to expand current pollution prevention efforts, and to commit to new actions.

Background information:

National Pollution Prevention Roundtable

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the healing wounds You send our way as we struggle in our spiritual lives.

Msgr. Pope on Our Spiritual Lives as Reflected in Job

"I am teaching out of the Book of Job for our parish bible studies. Consider the following insight by Job on the spiritual life: 

"God is wise in heart and mighty in strength;who has withstood him and remained unscathed? (Job 9:3)

"At first glance, we might read this to mean that we don't dare talk back to God or resist Him lest He punish us, but this would be a superficial interpretation. The text surely speaks more richly, of the spiritual life and the journey we must make with God."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on how our relationship with God is not merely about pleasantries and how God must work to break sinful, selfish, and harmful drives within us.

To access Msgr. Pope's complete post, please visit:

Community in Mission: A Picture of the Spiritual Life from Job (16 SEP 18)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"It takes effort to always do good. . . The road to holiness is not for the lazy!" - Pope Francis