15 January 2019

Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Great Boston Molasses Flood, which occurred in the North End of the city. A large storage tank at the Purity Distilling Company facility, 529 Commercial Street, burst and sent a wave of molasses through the streets at an estimated 35 mph. (The tank held 2.3 million gallons, or 8706 tons, of molasses.)  This tragedy resulted in the death of 21 people; an additional 150 were injured.

Related reports:

Wikipedia: Great Molasses Flood

Celebrate Boston: Boston Molasses Flood, 1919

History Today: A Sticky Tragedy: The Boston Molasses Disaster

History.com: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919

Mental Floss: 100 Years Later: Remembering Boston's Great Molasses Flood of 1919

Terry MacAlmon: "I Just Want to Praise You"

As we continue to live this week, I offer this version of Terry MacAlmon presenting "I Just Want to Praise You":


On First Responders and Their Mental Health

"First responders see a lot and the public wonders how they deal with it all. The reality is that first responders don't always deal with what they've seen in a healthy manner and many have traumatic stress issues that they try to keep quiet.

"Oftentimes the stress manifests itself at home, affecting family relationships. The divorce rate for law enforcement personnel is around 75 percent. More than 80 percent of firefighters experience symptoms of mental health issues. Almost 25 percent of dispatchers have symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"Much of the time, first responders feel they can't reveal their feelings to co-workers or management for fear that they might be considered weak or lose out on a promotion. Often, there is a code of silence about such issues at work and the fear of reprisal."

A recent article in Emergency Management reported on efforts being made by first responders to address their mental health.

To access the Emergency Management complete report, please visit:

Emergency Management: First Responders Are Beginning to Address Their Own Health (October 2018)

Related document:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: First Responders: Behavioral Health Concerns, Emergency Response, and Trauma (May 29018)

Media report:

EMS1: Study reveals roadblocks to mental health counseling in first responders (10 JAN 19)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for blessing of good priests, each with his own special gifts/charisms.

Bishop Tobin on the Holy Name of Jesus

"Like lots of other little kids, when I was growing up I had some pets at home. I have to confess, though, that I wasn't very creative in naming them. In fact, I was pathetic. I had a little black dog named 'Inky,' a hamster I named 'Hammy,' and a goldfish named - yep, you guessed it - 'Goldie.' It's a good thing, I suppose, that I never had a son or daughter - they probably would have been named 'Boy' and 'Girl.'

"But names are important, and none more so than the names found in the Bible which often carry special meaning. And at the top of the list of significant names of the Bible is, of course, 'Jesus!'"

In a recent commentary, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Diocese of Providence (RI), reflected on the importance of the Holy Name of Jesus.

To access Bishop Tobin's complete essay, please visit:

The Imitation of Christ: Jesus: The Name Above Every Name (20 DEC 19)

Reflection Starter from Madame de Staël

"Sow good services: sweet remembrances will grow from them." - Germaine de Staël (Madame de Staël)