06 December 2021

139th Street Quartet: "A Good Old Barbershop Song"

It's time for some more barbershop harmony. Here is a presentation of "A Good Old Barbershop Song" by the 139th Street Quartet:


Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the call to repentance, to a change of heart, that comes to us in a special way during Advent.

Bishop Tobin on the Message of John the Baptist

"Along with the prophets of the Old Testament, particularly Isaiah, and with our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, one of the lead characters of the Advent Season is John the Baptist. In the liturgy of Advent John appears in the Gospels especially on the second and third Sundays.

"John the Baptist is one of the most colorful, eccentric characters of the Bible. . . . He was very popular and people flocked to the wilderness to hear him preach. John is the bridge between the Old Testament and the New Testament. He preached like a prophet of the Old, but we read his story in the pages of the New."

In a recent commentary, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Diocese of Providence (RI), reflected on the preaching of John the Baptist, including his call to repentance.

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

The Imitation of Christ: The Preacher of Advent: John the Baptist (2 DEC 21) 

Reflection Starter from Earl Nightingale

"It's amazing what a goal, a purpose, will do for a person. The day he or she gets it, if one was lacking it before, it's as though one has been reborn, secretly connected to some enormous source of vital energy and good health." - Earl Nightingale

05 December 2021

A Blast from the Past'

From a number of years ago, brother Jan with his son Daniel (Daniel's first Christmas):



"On Jordan's Bank"

As we continue our Advent Sunday celebration, I offer this version of "On Jordan's Bank":


Second Sunday of Advent

Today the Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Advent. The assigned readings are Baruch 5:1-9; Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11; and Luke 3:1-6. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 126 (Psalm 126:1-6). 

For one version of the Responsorial Psalm set to music, please visit:

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 126 The Lord has done great things for us

The Gospel reading is as follows:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, 
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
    "A voice of one crying out in the desert:
    'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.
    Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
    The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth,
    and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: Second Sunday of Advent December 5, 2021

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Second Sunday of Advent December 5, 2021

Crossroads Initiative: Advent as the Season of Hope - 2nd Sunday Advent C

St. Paul Center: The Road Home: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday of Advent

Magis Center for Catholic Spirituality: Second Sunday of Advent

Word on Fire: The Historical Reality of Jesus (Cycle C * Advent * Week 2)

National Catholic Register: Sunday Guide: Advent: Will We Be Spiritually Ready for Christmas? (3 DEC 21) 

Spirituality of the Readings: Prepare the Way (Second Sunday of Advent - Year C)

In Exile: Advent - Preparing for the Sublime (Second Sunday of Advent - Year C)

Glancing Thoughts: The End of the Story (Second Sunday of Advent - Year C)

The Perspective of Justice: Fulfilling God's Promise (Second Sunday of Advent - Year C)

The Word Engaged: Happiness in Hard Times (Second Sunday of Advent - Year C)

Let the Scriptures Speak: The Incarnation, Still Dawning upon Us (Second Sunday of Advent - Year C) 

Historical Cultural Context: Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins (Second Sunday of Advent - Year C) 

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Origen of Alexandria (Second Sunday of Advent - Year C)

Birthday Blessings, Jan!!!

Birthday greetings to my brother Jan, whose birthday is today!!! May this day, and each day of the upcoming year, be filled with the Lord's choicest blessings!!

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of the ministry provided by men and women religious.

Nationwide Collection Supports Retirement Needs of U.S. Religious Orders

The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be held in most U.S. Catholic parishes on the weekend of 11-12 December. Coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), this fund-raising appeal helps hundreds of religious communities care for aging members. The U.S. bishops initiated the collection in 1988 to address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious orders.

Distinct from collections that dioceses hold for their retired diocesan priests, this nationwide effort benefits U.S. religious orders. Known collectively as "women and men religious," most senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious-order priests served for low wages in such ministries as Catholic schools, parishes and social services. Today, hundreds of religious orders face a critical shortage in retirement savings.

At the same time, the income of religious engaged in compensated ministry cannot keep pace with the growing cost of eldercare. According to NRRO data, retired religious outnumber younger, wage-earning members by roughly three to one, and the total cost of care for senior women and men religious exceeds $1 billion annually.

Since the collection was launched, U.S. Catholics have donated a total of $919 million. The 2020 appeal raised $20.7 million, and financial assistance was disbursed to 321 eligible religious communities across the nation. Communities combine this funding with their own income and savings to help meet eldercare costs. Collection proceeds also underwrite educational and consultative initiatives that help communities improve care delivery and plan for long-term retirement expenses.

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"We, as the Church, are asked to be yeast that leavens patiently in hiding within the dough of the world, thanks to the Holy Spirit. The secret of the Kingdom of God is found in the little things, things that are often unseen and don't make noise." - Pope Francis

04 December 2021

Santo & Johnny: "Blue Moon"

As this blessed week draws to a close, I offer this version of Santo & Johnny presenting "Blue Moon":