27 April 2017

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of the good humor.

Catholic Chaplain's Ministry to Circus Workers on Final Tour

"The congregation, numbering about 50, gathered for their last Easter Mass together on the DCU Center's arena floor.

"The chaplain, Father George 'Jerry' Hogan, borrowed one of their colorful boxes to use as an altar. The altar cloths and his chasuble sported circus images. Costume designers had sewn pieces of old elephant blankets together to make his stole.

"The backdrop suggested the reason for such an unusual liturgical environment: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had come to town to offer shows on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

"But it isn't all 'fun and games' for performers and other circus workers, some of whom attended the Mass before the Easter shows. While 'they've always performed during Holy Week,' they are now going through the paschal mystery themselves, Father Hogan told The Catholic Free Press, newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester.

A recent Catholic News Service article carried by the Boston Pilot, the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, profiled Father Hogan's ministry.

To access the article in the Boston Pilot, please visit:

Boston Pilot: Catholic chaplain accompanies anguished circus workers on final tour

Reflection Starter from Grenville Kleiser

"Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment." - Grenville Kleiser

26 April 2017

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 28 in C Major

It's time for some classical music. This is a presentation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphony No. 28 in C major by the Danish National Chamber Orchestra (conducted by Ádám Fischer):

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many blessings You are bestowing on us as we continue to celebrate the Easter season.

Fr. Longenecker on Danger Signs of (and Antidotes for) Cult-Like Behavior

"One of the creepiest things about religion is the tendency for those involved to drift into cult-like behaviors. When I say 'cult-like behavior' I don't simply mean a crazed, enclosed group who commit mass suicide, set up a 24/7 watch for aliens or who live on berries, granola and meditation.

"Those are the wacky extremes. The underlying behaviors can manifest in every sort of religion. A subgroup develops and the members and leaders start behaving in a particularly recognizable way. They may not be extremists outwardly, but their group behavior is still cult-like.

"How can you tell if a religious group is operating like a cult? It's difficult because the people in a religious group can behave like a cult without them becoming a full-blown, identifiable religious cult." 

In a recent commentary, Father Dwight Longenecker (parish priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Greenville, SC) reflected on some of the danger signs that may indicate the presence of a cult or a cult-like attitude. He also offered a number of antidotes for this type of behavior.

To access Fr. Longenecker's complete post, please visit: 

National Catholic Register: Blogs: Fr. Dwight Longenecker: 4 Danger Signs of Cult-Like Behavior, and 4 Antidotes (23 APR 17)

Background information:

Dwight Longenecker - Catholic priest and author

Reflection Starter from Charles Schultz

"If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation; it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself." - Charles Schultz

25 April 2017