30 April 2010

Drinking Water Week 2010

Drinking Water Week, which is being observed during the week of 2-8 May, is a national event that takes place the first week in May every year.

A safe, reliable water supply is critical to the success of any community. It creates jobs, attracts industry and investment, and provides for the health and welfare of citizens in ways ranging from disease prevention to fire suppression. We often take water supply for granted until it is threatened, either by drought, water main breaks, or some other event.

For more information:

This website, by the American Water Works Association, is designed to provide consumer information related to water; it includes a number of activities for children:

  American Water Works Association: Drinktap.org

This video is part of an American Water Works Association grassroots and media campaign to help water systems and local officials communicate about the value of tap water service to consumers, media, and other stakeholders:

  AWWA Video: Only Tap Water Deliver

Different Gifts

"If someone should ask why God made melons bigger than strawberries or lilies larger than violets, why the rosemary is not a rose or why the carnation is not a marigold, why the peacock is more beautiful than a bat, or why the fig is sweet and the lemon sour, we would laugh at his questions and tell him, 'Poor man, since the world's beauty requires variety, it is necessary that there should be different and unequal perfections among things and that one thing should not be another. This is why some things are small and others large, some bitter and others sweet, some more beautiful and others less so.' It is the same with supernatural things. 'Each one has his own gift, one in this way, and another in that,' says the Holy Spirit." - Saint Francis de Sales

Thank you for the gifts You have given me, Lord. Thank you for the many attributes, spiritual and natural, with which You have entrusted me. Please guide me and help me to use these gifts well - to praise You and to serve You and whoever You have entrusted to my care in any way. Thank you.

29 April 2010

3-alarm Fire Destroys Three Buildings in Milford, CT

A three-alarm fire at 38 Laurel Avenue in the Walnut Beach neighborhood of Milford, CT, early Sunday morning destroyed the vacant building in which it started as well as two occupied exposures. The fire also damaged an additional three exposures. The Milford Fire Department was assisted by companies from West Haven, Orange, and Stratford.

Media Reports:

   New Haven Register: Massive Milford fire displaces 11 residents (25 APR 10)

   WTNH-TV: Milford blaze leaves 11 homeless (25 APR 10)

   Milford Mirror: Firefighters expect to be on scene of Laurel Avenue fire throughout the day (25 APR 10)

   Connecticut Post Video: Milford Fire

   New Haven Register: Three homes destroyed, 11 people displaced in huge Milford fire (26 APR 10)

   Connecticut Post: Fire still under investigation (26 APR 10)

   WVIT-TV: 11 Milford Residents Displaced After Fire Spreads to Several Homes (26 APR 10) 

   New Haven Register: Milford fire officials continue probe of Sunday blaze (27 APR 10)

Background Information:

   Milford Fire Department

   IAFF Local 4260, Milford Professional Telecommunicators Association

   Wikipedia: Milford, Connecticut

   Google Map of 38 Laurel Avenue, Milford, CT

Saint Catherine of Siena

Today the Church celebrates the memory of  Saint Catherine of Siena, a Third Order Dominican and a Doctor of the Church. In response to a vision she received in 1370, she left her secluded life and became engaged in public life in the world. She wrote letters to many major public figures and carried on a long correspondence with Pope Gregory XI, in which she urged him to reform the clergy and the administration of the Papal States. As an ambassador, she was an instrument in bringing peace and harmony between cities. She also fought hard to defend the liberty and rights of the Popes and did much for the renewal of religious life. While doing all of this, she dictated books that have been lauded as full of sound doctrine and spiritual inspiration. She died on 29 April 1380.

For more information about Saint Catherine of Siena, visit:

Quotes attributed to Saint Catherine of Siena:

   "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."

   "To a brave man, good and bad luck are like his left and right hand. He uses both."

   "No one should judge that he has greater perfection because he performs great penances and gives himself in excess to the staying of the body than he who does less, inasmuch as neither virtue nor merit consists therein; for otherwise he would be an evil case, who for some legitimate reason was unable to do actual penance. Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true discretion without which the soul is worth nothing."

Saint Francis de Sales also referred to St. Catherine: "So long as we tackle all our troubles ourselves, we shall be always worried and tired, and Our Lord will leave us to our own devices; but when we leave everything to Him, He will look after all our troubles Himself. The interest that God will have for us will be in proportion to the degree that we abandon ourselves to Him. I am not just speaking of temporal things, but also of spiritual ones. The Lord Himself taught this same truth to His beloved Saint Catherine of Siena: 'Always think about me, my daughter, and I will think about you.' Oh, how happy are those loving souls who know how to observe this rule, thinking only about the Lord, faithfully keeping themselves in His presence, listening to what He has to say to their hearts, obeying His divine inspiration and attractions, and not living or aspiring for anything but to please Him." 

Day in the Life of a Priest

This morning I "happened to" come across a video, Day in the life of a priest, by Father Nels Gjengdahl. Father G., as he is often known, is a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis (Minnesota) and serves as associate pastor at Saint Odilia Parish in Shoreview.

The video was originally made for a youth minister, but it has picked up a much wider audience. It may be seen here:

Fr. G also has his own blog, Voice of the Vicar:

       Blog: Voice of the Vicar

Saint Odilia Parish also has its own web site:

       The Church of Saint Odilia

28 April 2010

Thought Starter

"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs." - Vaclav Havel (writer, dramatist, dissident, human rights activist, and president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic)

27 April 2010

Thomas Sowell on Filtering History

Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institute in Stanford, CA, and an active writer on a number of subjects, recently wrote a newspaper column on delving into history with a single point of view in mind.

To read Mr. Sowell's essay, "Filtering History," visit:

     Thomas Sowell: Filtering History

4-Alarm Fire Detroys Home in Wakefield, NH

A four-alarm fire on Sunday (25 April) destroyed a 1 1/2-story wood frame dwelling on Province Lake Road (Route 153), near Pickpocket Road, in Wakefield, NH. The 19th-century farmhouse previously served as the Stage Coach Inn.

The initial alarm was transmitted at approximately 10:30 AM. Mutual aid assistance was provided by companies from Milton, Effingham, Freedom, Ossipee, Center Ossipee, West Ossipee, Ossipee Corner, Madison, Tamworth, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro in New Hampshire, as well as from Acton, Newfield, and Kezar Falls in Maine. The mutual aid response was coordinated by the Ossipee Valley Mutual Aid Association.

Media Reports:

   Foster's Daily Democrat: 4-alarm blaze leaves Wakefield man homeless

   WMUR-TV: Man Displaced After Fire Destroys House

   WMUR-TV Video: Red Cross Helps Wakefield Fire Victim

   WMUR-TV Slideshow: Fire Destroys House In Wakefield

Background Information:

   Wakefield (NH) Fire Department

   Wikipedia: Wakefield, NH

Bishops Launch Campus Web Site to Promote Catholic Social Teaching, Life, and Dignity

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has collaborated with eleven Catholic organizations to create a new web site, “Transforming Our World: Our Catholic Faith in Action,” to help college students and campus ministers promote Catholic social teaching on campus.
Site elements include principles of Catholic social teaching, prayer materials, small group resources, tools for action, and multimedia such as videos and podcasts. The home page features quotes from Church leaders, ideas of the week and an invitation to site visitors to submit resources and ideas for possible features on the Web site. Collaborators hope the Web site will become an online clearinghouse featuring “best practices” to promote Catholic social teaching on campus.
Development of the site was initiated to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the U.S. bishops’ statement Sharing Catholic Social Teaching. The spring 2010 launch of the site responds to Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for World Youth Day 2010, in which he mentioned challenges such as respect for the environment, just division of goods, solidarity with poor countries, promotion of dignity in labor, building a culture of life, and promoting peace.
Collaborators involved in the Web site include Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Catholic Campus Ministry Association, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Catholic Relief Services, Fellowship of Catholic University Students, The National Association of Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry, National Council of Catholic Women, National Catholic Student Coalition, National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association, and Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The web site:

     USCCB: Transforming Our World: Our Catholic Faith in Action

Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops on Catholic Social Teaching:

     USCCB: Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions

Themes of Catholic Social Teaching:

     USCCB: Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

26 April 2010

Thomas Aquinas and the Contemporary Catholic University

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., of Vancouver, British Columbia, delivered a lecture at the University of Saint Thomas - Houston on 28 January 2010.  Excerpts of his talk were published in the 14 April edition of L'Osservatore Romano, and may be read by following this link:

     The Church's "Common Doctor": Aquinas and the Contemporary Catholic University

25 April 2010

Nun Finds a Ministry at Haverhill Doughnut Shop

The Eagle-Tribune (of North Andover, MA) recently ran a article about a Sister of Mercy who has taken on a ministry to people in a Haverhill (MA) doughnut shop. Sister Rachel Dumont, who had taught in Catholic schools for over thirty years, has been reaching out to people who visit the coffee shop and has been a blessing in a variety of ways.

For the full Eagle-Tribune article, visit:

     Eagle-Tribune: Atkinson nun finds a new ministry

John Michael Talbot: Holy Is His Name

Reflection: Proud to Be Catholic

An item I "happened to" come across today (while researching something else) is this blog post, which includes excerpts from an essay by a Jewish businessman (from Cleveland) who was encouraging Catholics to be proud of being Catholic:

     A Bit of the Blarney blog: Proud to Be Catholic

John Michael Talbot: Come Worship The Lord!

Today I "happened to" come across this video of John Michael Talbot leading the song, "Come Worship the Lord!":

     John Michael Talbot: Come Worship The Lord!

Thanks to Sue and Dave, parishioners of one of the St. Matthew's parishes in North Carolina.

Why Go to Mass

Why do I go to Mass? At one point in time it was probably because I had to - either because my parents or aunt or grandmother said so or because the Church said so. But now I go because I want to, because it is important for me to do so.

It is important for me to do so for a number of reasons, and I offer them in no particular order. In a real sense after the consecration, I am in the very presence of God Himself, just as the angels and saints are. At the same time, I am also present in a special way at Calvary as Jesus is offering Himself for me and for each of the other people throughout the world - present, past, and future. It is a time (especially after I receive Him in Holy Communion) to spend "quality time" with Him. It is a time to praise Him in a special way and to thank Him for all of His many blessings for me, for family and friends, and for people throughout the world. It is also a time to place the day, and (on Sunday) the upcoming week, in His hands and asking His blessing and guidance for the of all the various things that will be happening and for all of my interactions with anyone I come in contact with. It is a time to listen to what He wants to tell me, whether through one of the readings, through the homily, or through an inspiration He may send me.

On a related note, many years ago I taught CCD classes at St. Agnes Parish in Providence. I started when the pastor was Father Anthony Robinson, and continued when a pastoral team (Fathers William McCaffrey and Raymond Theroux) took over. One evening I was assisting Father McCaffrey with a Confirmation class, and Father talked about participating in Mass. Father mentioned how many people talk about getting something out of Mass as in "That was a good Mass, I really got somthing out of it,." or "That Mass was so boring." However, Father continued, what really counts, what really makes it a good Mass is what we put into it.

This is probably the first time I ever stopped to think about participating in Mass from that perspective. I had previously tried to be an active participant, but I don't think I previously thought about it from the point of view of getting something out of it. I guess I figured the appropriate blessings would come. But, over the years, I have heard many people comment on a Mass they had just attended or participated in (as the case may be), and many times the comments were were about what they got out of the Mass.

Others have written about the importance of going to Mass, including participating in this Holy Sacrifice. The following are just a few of many, many examples.

In a reflection published in Youth Update (which is published by St. Anthony Messenger Press) and aimed primarily at young people (with most of the points equally valid for adults), Jim Auer offers several reasons for going to Mass (Mr. Auer, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a retired high school religion and English teacher and the author of sixteen books, as well as several hundred articles and pamphlets, most of which are aimed at teenagers and young adults.):
     Jim Auer: Top Ten Reasons for Going to Mass

In an essay for Holy Spirit Interactive (which is is a Catholic apostolate under the authority of the Vicariate Apostolic of Arabi), Steve Hemler also addresses this question (Mr. Hemler has been involved in youth ministry, pro-life political activism and religious educatio, and he has written for several publications, including America, Liguorian, Church, Modern Liturgy, and Liturgical Catechesis):
     Steve Hemler: Why Go To Mass?

In an essay for parents reprinted by the Catholic Education Resource Center, Thomas Lickona gives several reasons for young people and adults to particpate in the Mass (Dr. Lickona is a developmental psychologist and professor of education at the State University of New York at Cortland, and, a past president of the Association for Moral Education, he is a frequent consultant to schools on character education and a frequent speaker at conferences for teachers, parents, religious educators, and other groups concerned about the moral development of young people.):
     Dr. Thomas Lickona: 8 Reasons to Go to Mass

The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses this issue by explaining what the liturgy is all about:
     Catechism: The Sacramental Celebration of the Paschal Mystery
     Catechism: The Sacrament of the Eucharist

Reasons to Be Early for Mass

I have previous mentioned a blog by Jamie McAdams, a Kansas City police officer. In his blog (Roman Catholic Cop), Jamie recently wrote a commentary on why it is good to be early for Mass.  He had some great (and humorous) comments, which were the result of his taking time to encourage himself not to be regularly just on time or late for Mass.

Jamie's post:
     Roman Catholic Cop: Top Eight Reasons to be Early for Mass

On a personal note, I ususally prefer to be about fifteen or twenty minutes early for Mass (although it often doesn't happen that way). I use this period of time to place my entire self in the Lord's presence, to focus on the upcoming sacrifice and to get into a spirit of prayer, to ask the Holy Spirit to lead me through the Mass, and to empty into the Lord's hands any concerns that may be within or swirling around me (whether I am aware of them or not). If I am running close to on time, I still try to do these preparations, but it is a disjointed effort (but I leave that in the Lord's hands).

24 April 2010

Adding Contact Information to All Family Members’ Cell Phones

The Richmond (Virginia) Ambulance Authority requests area residents to input "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) contact entries into all family members’ cell phones – theirs, their children’s, even their elderly parents’ – to help emergency responders in the event of an accident or incident involving the phone’s owner. 

Th authority's chief operating officer got the idea from a paramedic in the East Anglian (United Kingdom) Ambulance Service, who had started the ICE initiative in his response area in 2005 after years of discouraging efforts in trying to quickly reach relatives of people he was treating.

The ambulance authority recommends listing two to four ICE contacts per cell phone.  The following are examples of information to input, as recommended by the ambulance authority:

For adult’s phone:
ICE: Name (husband)
         Contact numbers: cell, work, home

ICE: Name (friend)
        Contact numbers:

For child’s phone:
ICE: Dad (First and last name)
        Contact numbers:

For elderly parent’s phone:
ICE: Daughter (First and last name)
        Contact numbers:

ICE: Name (Caregiver)
        Contact numbers:

An ICE contact or a smart-phone app can provide life-saving medical information about the patient such as medical history, previous medical conditions, allergies, and prescription medications the patient may be on at the time of injury.  It also helps family members and/or friends to be promptly notified of the patient’s involvement in an emergency.

(Statistics show that more than 80% of the U.S. population owned cell phones as of 2007.  According to a Pew Internet Study, as of September 2009, 75 % of children in the 12-17 age group owned cell phones.  That is up from 45% when the study first began in 2004.)

Related news report:

     WWBT: ICE up your cell phone

For more information:

     ICE Your Phone™ Campaign

     Wikipedia: In case of emergency

The Jesus Prayer

I recently "happened to" come across a reflection on the Jesus Prayer by Brother Luke Clinton, O.S.B., of Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey in Elkhorn, Nebraska. Brother Luke's reflection is entitled :The Simplicity of The Jesus Prayer Belies its Depth," and it may be found by visiting his blog via this link:

     Bro. Luke: The Simplicity of the Jesus Prayer

I first became acquianted with the Jesus Prayer many years ago, and, although I pray and/or mediatate on it periodically, I especially offer it up when I am in line to receive our Lord in Holy Communion.

Related links:

     The Jesus Prayer Project

     St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary: Saying the Jesus Prayer

Thought Starter

"Your mind is like a garden. If you plant seeds of love, compassion, truth and integrity, then you reap the rewards. If you choose not to plant anything, then weeds will overrun your garden; the weeds of hate, anger, negative thoughts and actions." - Barry Gottlieb

Barry Gottlieb is a motivational speaker, writer, and business coach. He has his own blog, TGIT...Thank God It’s Today, which has the stated mission "to make TGIT (tig-it) a national catch phrase. One simple word that will remind each of us to have an awareness and appreciation for each and every day."

Barry's blog:

     Barry Gottlie: "TGIT...Thank God It’s Today"

23 April 2010

U.S. Government Unveils New Design for the $100 Bill

Officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury this week unveiled a new design for the $100 bill. Although it retains some of the bill's traditional features, the new design for the $100 note includes two new items, a 3-D security ribbon and the "Bell in the Inkwell." These security features are designed to be easy for consumers and merchants to use to authenticate their currency.

The blue 3-D security ribbon on the front of the new $100 bill contains images of bells and 100s that move and change from one to the other as you tilt the note. The Bell in the Inkwell on the front of the note is another new security feature. The bell changes color from copper to green when the note is tilted, an effect that makes it seem to appear and disappear within the copper inkwell.

The new design for the $100 note continues to use three effective security features from the previous design: the portrait watermark of Benjamin Franklin, the security thread, and the color-shifting numeral 100.

For a more detailed description of the redesigned $100 note and its features, including an animated video, an interactive note, and other multimedia resources:


Related news report:
Christian Science Monitor: US Treasury: New 100 dollar bill needs 3D tech

22 April 2010

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, an observance that was first proposed by U. S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (from Wisconsin) in 1962. In 1970, Earth Day was first observed throughout the nation, as over twenty million people participated in various events of the day.

Many people have politicized the day. However, there are also many community efforts going on during this time to clean up parks, rivers, and other areas.

It is also a good time to remember that we have been entrusted by God with the stewardship of this world and its environment. It is good to look at how we have handed that stewardship and to recommit ourselves to appropriately caring for God's creation.

May the Holy Spirit guide us in our reflections and in our efforts to follow up on this ministry the Lord has given us, whether it be just for our home and its yard or anywhere/any level beyond.

This Is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

This week, 18-24 April, is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which has been designated as a time for Americans to learn about victimization, to reflect on the cost of crime to society, and to promote laws, policies, and programs to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.

This year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week theme is "Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect." This theme is designed to remind us of the core rights that all crime victims want and deserve – the right to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect. The theme also helps bring to mind the ideals that inspired the decades-long struggle of the crime victims’ rights movement.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week serves to remind us that crime can strike anyone. Whether it’s a drive-by shooting, a campus massacre, an identity theft, or a purse snatch, we are all vulnerable to crime. In this sense, victims’ rights are everyone’s rights. As the National Association of Attorneys General reminds us, over the last 25 years, improvements have been made in the advancement of crime victims’ rights through legislation and awareness. As of 2010, every state has passed victims’ rights laws, each state has a victim compensation fund, and more than 10,000 victim assistance programs exist throughout the country. Such changes have made available resources and assistance available to crime victims as they rebuild their lives.

For information related to National Crime Victims' Rights Week, visit Crimevictims.gov:

Presidential Proclmation:
     Presidential Proclamation-National Crime Victims Week

Reminder: It also is a good thing to pray for crime victims, those who are ministering to them in any way, and the perpetrators of these crimes.

21 April 2010

A Thought Triggered by Today's First Reading

Today's assigned first reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles (8:1-8), and it covers the period immediately after the martyrdom of Stephen (the Church's first martyr):

"There broke out a severe persecution of the church in Jerusalem, and all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him. Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment. Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Thus Philip went down to (the) city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city."

This scattering of many early Church members throughout Judea and Samaria led to the spread of the Church. No longer concentrated in Jerusalem, it has now begun making itsway throughout the world. It is a reminder how tragic events often lead to good consequences, of how God works through evil or through difficult circumstances to accomplish His purposes.

19 April 2010

Dominican Teaching

As a Providence College graduate, and thus a recipient of Dominican teaching, I was very interested in hearing this interview, and I appreciate the truth of it.

Father Terence Keegan, O.P., Professor of Theology at Providence College, discusses Dominican aspects of teaching in this informal interview:

     Fr. Terence Keegan, O.P.: Dominican Teaching

18 April 2010

How to Worry Scientifically

Our parish bulletin has a regular column by our deacon, Rev. Mr. Thomas Boutier. In this week's column, he had a list of ways to "worry scientifically." He credited the parish bulletin from Saint Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Mount Clare, PA, as a source, and the list has also appeared (in 1991) in The Examiner, published formerly by Truth & Freedom Ministry, Inc., Chattanooga, TN. The author is unknown. The list goes as follows:

How to Worry Scientifically

1. Never worry over rumors or what "'they" say. First get the facts.
2. Know definitely your worry problem. Write it down. Face it.
3. Worry about only one problem at a time.
4. Set a definite day, afternoon, or night for worrying.
5. Never worry in bed, in the dining room, living room, or when serving God.
6. Select an air-conditioned room. Lean back in an easy chair.
7. Set a time limit. If you must go beyond it, give yourself credit for time-and-a-half.
8. Never worry with a frowning face. Smile, sing or whistle.
9. Never worry when you are tired, sick, angry, or depressed.
10. Never worry while working, playing, visiting, shopping or gossiping.
11. There are two times never to worry: when you can help the situation and when you cannot.
12. Never worry alone. Take it to the Lord and leave it there (Proverbs 3:5,6).

Taste of the Neighborhood

Myrna and I recently picked up a couple of tickets for a fundraising activity our parish (St. Maria Goretti, Pawtucket, RI) was holding. The event, called "Taste of the Neighborhood," was held today at a nearby Knights of Columbus hall, and tickets were $10 each.

The event sort of reminded me of the Taste of Rhode Island event held annually in Newport (which I have read about, but never attended). However, that event goes on for two days, and our parish event was for two hours.

What a great event ours was! Several local eating establishments each provided one or two staff members who were at the hall with a large batch of one (and in a few cases two or three) of their dishes. For example, The Lodge (a great restaurant in Lincoln) brought a large pot of its New England clam chowder, and Dragon Villa (a Chinese restaurant that we often frequent, usually for takeout) brought a batch of fried rice and two other dishes. Among the other establishments represented were the Cafe @ Fairlawn, Antonio's Cafe, Ralph's Bull & Claw Tavern, the local Chelo's, and an area pizza establishment.

It looked like an effort was made to include only one of any particular type of eating place, and the variety of foods was great.  During the event, one of the chairpersons commented on the excellent food, and strongly encouraged us to visit the establishments, and, while enjoying the fine food there, let them know we were introduced to them at this event.

We thought this was a great idea for a fundraiser, and that seemed to be the thought of everyone I was listening to. It was good for a parish community social event, and it is a way to potentially support the local economy. I hope the results confirmed this, and I also hope they plan a repeat next year.

The Easter Season Continues: Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!

As the Easter season continues, we continue with our sung "Alleluia"!

The hymn, "Alleluia! Sing to Jesus," dates back to 1867 and was inspired by Revelation 5:9 ("They sang a new hymn: 'Worthy are you to receive the scroll and to break open its seals, for you were slain and with your blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation'")

     Gods Country, QVT Productions: Alleluia Sing To Jesus Hymn

     Cathedral Choir,Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, CA: "Alleluia,Sing To Jesus"

     CyberHymnal: "Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!"

2-Alarm Vacant Mill Fire in Fall River

A two-alarm fire in Fall River (MA) on Friday night destroyed a two-story vacant mill building at 420 Quequechan Street. The granite structure was the site of the former Parker’s Candy Company.

Media Reports:

     The Herald News: Fall River's Quequechan Street fire contained to former Parker’s Candy building

     The Herald News Photo Gallery: Parker Candy Co. building fire

     WPRI-TV: Mill fire in Fall River

     WJAR-TV: Fire destroys mill complex building

     NECN: Crews put out Fall River mill fire

     Southern New England Fire Photos: Fall River, 420 Quequechan St Parker Candy

Background Information:

     Fall River Fire Department

     Google Map Location of 420 Quequechan Street, Fall River, MA

Origins of the Papacy

Today's assigned Gospel reading (John 21:1-19) includes another appearance of Jesus to some of His apostles after His resurrection and it includes a special conversation with Peter. It this dialogue, Jesus is telling Peter to take care of His sheep; He is entrusting Peter (and his successors) with the responsibility of caring for His flock.

For a good commentary on Jesus appointing Peter to the position that we now call the Pope, read this essay:
     Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio: The Origins of the Papacy

17 April 2010

The Simple Truths of Service

I "happened to" run across this video today (after checking out the source of another video that was sent to me), and I offer it on as a thought starter.

The company that produced it, Simple Truths, calls itself a provider of inspirational gift books designed to reinforce core values. As part of their outreach, they have produced a number of free short inspirational movies.

     The Simple Truths of Service

Last Maine Sardine Cannery Closes

The Stinson Seafood sardine cannery, the last such cannery in Maine (and in the United States),  has closed its doors for good for economic reasons. The cannery, owned by Bumble Bee Foods LLC, employed approximately 130 people.

The first sardine cannery in Maine (and in the United States) opened in Eastport in 1875. Eventually an estimated 400 of these canneries were operating in Maine.

Although many people turn their noses up at sardines, I'm not one of them (actually there are very few foods that I do not like). I remember Mom preparing sardine sandwiches many times for my lunch at school ( I do like the California sardines - packed in tomato sauce - a little better).

News reports on the closing:

     Kennebec Journal: Last Maine sardine cannery shuts today (15 APR 10)

     MSN: Last US sardine cans being packed in Maine (14 APR 10)

Background Information:

     Maine Coast Sardine History Museum, Jonesport, ME

     Prospect Harbor, Maine

     New England Fishery Management Council

Vending Misers saves town $1,200 in electricity costs

Carl Swanson, member of the Winthrop (Maine) Green Committee, suggested that the town use Vending Misers to cut their electricity use in its vending machines. The units paid for themselves within six months and continue to save the town money.

Follow this link for the full story from the Kennebec Journal (Augusta, ME):

      Kennebec Journal: Vending Misers saves town $1,200 in electricity costs

2-Alarm Fatal Fire in Fall River

A two-alarm fire in a three-story wood frame tenement at 257 Tecumseh Street in Fall River, MA, early yesterday morning has claimed the life of a four-year old girl. Three firefighters, one police officer, and one civilian were also injured in the fire that destroyed the building.

Media Reports:

     The Herald News: Four-year-old dies in Tecumseh Street house fire

     The Herald News: Second floor tenants at 257 Tecumseh St. woke up to flames

     The Herald News Photo Gallery: Tecumseh Street fire

     Boston Globe: Fall River fire kills 4-year-old, injures 5

     Boston Herald: Child dies in Fall River blaze

     WPRI-TV: Child, 4, dies in Fall River house fire

     WPRI-TV: House torn down after fire kills child

     WJAR-TV: City demolishes house where girl, 4, died in fire

     NECN: House fire kills four-year-old child in Fall River, Mass.

     WCVB-TV: Girl, 4, Killed In Apartment Fire

     WellInvolved Photo Gallery: Fall River, MA: 01-16-10 Tecumseh Street Fatal 2nd Alarm 

     WellInvolved Video: Child Killed In Overnight Fall River Fire

Background Information:

     Fall River Fire Department

     Google Map Location of 257 Tecumseh Street,Fall River, MA

3-Alarm Apartment House Fire in New Haven

The New Haven (CT) Fire Department fought a three-alarm fire on Friday, 16 April. The fire, at the Eli Apartments, 517 Dixwell Avenue in the Newhallville neighborhood, began in the three-story brick and wood building and extended to two exposures.

Media reports:

      New Haven Register: Dixwell Ave. building destroyed, others houses damaged in 3-alarm fire

      WTNH-TV: 20 to 30 victims homeless after blaze

      WTNH-TV: Building to be demolished after blaze

      WVIT-TV: Fire Damages Buildings in New Haven

      WFSB-TV: Massive Fire Burns In New Haven

      WFSB-TV: 25 Displaced By Raging New Haven Fire

      WFSB-TV Slideshow: Flames Rip Through New Haven Buildings

      WFSB-TV: Flame-Ravaged Elm City Building To Be Demolished

      First Due Fire Photos: Three Alarm Structure Fire in New Haven

      FirstDueFirePhotos: YouTube: NHFD 4.16.2010

Background information:

      New Haven, CT, Fire Department

      Box 22 Associates

      Google Map Location of 517 Dixwell Avenue, New Haven,CT

16 April 2010

The Master's Touch

Some time ago I sent out a narrative edition of this story to persons on my email list. I offer this enhanced version for my readers:

      The Master's Touch

Volcanoes and Aircraft

The  grounding of flights throughout Europe this week due to clouds of ash from a volcano in Iceland have led to few interesting articles about volcanoes and their effects:

Background information related to volcanoes in general and their effects on aircraft:

13 April 2010

Father James Schall, S.J., on Scandals, Sinners, and Stones

Father James V. Schall, S.J., is a professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University. As an author, Father Schall has written hundreds of essays on political, theological, literary, and philosophical issues as well as a number of books on social issues, spirituality, culture, and literature. This week he has come out a thoughtful essay on the sexual abuse scandals currently embroiling the Church. The essay, "Hatred of the Church? On Scandals, Sinners, and Stones," can be read by clicking on this link:

      Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.: Hatred of the Church? On Scandals, Sinners, and Stones

12 April 2010

National Library Week

This week, the week of 11-17 April, is being observed as National Library Week. This year's theme is "Communities Thrive @ your library." First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country each April, usually during the second full week, as a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

During the current recession, libraries throughout the U.S. have been enjoying an increase in patronage for the various services they offer. On the other hand, because of the economic realities of the recession, libraries have been forced to cut back on personnel and on the hours in which they are open.

On a historical note: in the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers formed,  in 1954, a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee to encourage more reading. In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme "Wake Up and Read!"

Atyourlibrary.org is the public Web site for the American Library Association’s public awareness campaign, "The Campaign for America’s Libraries," which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.The campaign's goal is to provide information and recommended resources that everyone can take advantage of at their local library. Check it out:
      At your library.org

On Wednesday, 14 April, many libraries and their communities will mark the inaugural celebration of National Bookmobile Day @ your library, which honors the role of bookmobiles and direct-delivery outreach services in fulfilling the mission of libraries. Part of National Library Week, National Bookmobile Day is designed to highlight how bookmobiles help "communities thrive @ your library."

11 April 2010

Everything I really need to know I learned from Noah's Ark

On a lighter note, I pass this along (a recent post I saw elsewhere referred to it):

      Everything I really need to know I learned from Noah's Ark

The Sexual Abuse Crisis and Pope Benedict XVI

This morning I "happened to" across a blog that I had never seen before: Roman Catholic Cop, which has the subtitle "Thoughts and perusings of a Catholic Cop on his spiritual journey." It is written by Jamie McAdams, a police officer in Kansas City, Missouri. Before a couple of comments related to the initial entry I read, I must recommend checking it out:

      Roman Catholic Cop

The subject Jamie was addressing in the first entry I read (which was his most recent entry) focused on the sexual abuse crisis facing the Church the past few years. His opening statement reminded me of a few conversations Myrna and I have had about the topic.

Although what is going on with this whole scandal saddens and pains me because the Church is being hurt by this and because so many individuals are being directly or indirectly hurt, I usually don't say much about the subject. There are a lot of factors involved, and there is quite a bit more to the story than is being reported on in the media (no matter which media). There have been some serious abuse cases, and the Church in the United States has taken some important steps to address this issue, as have religious orders and dioceses in other countries.  However, it is an ongoing issue that will continue to affect the Church and its relations with others (both in the Church and outside if the Church) for some time to come. It is something that must be addressed by each of us (including our bishops on whatever level) with a lot of prayer, fasting, and openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Here are Jamie's comments on the issue:
      Roman Catholic Cop: Defending Pope Benedict XVI

In Wednesday's "Daily Ignatian Reflection," Father Michael Maher, S.J., as part of his commentary on the day's Gospel reading (Luke 24:13-35 - Jesus meeting with two disciples on the road to Emmaus), wrote, "As criticism mounts concerning the church and subsequent expressions of confusion and hurt become more openly discussed, we need to gather with greater fervor and prayer together on Sundays (and every day) to receive that gift of strength and hope that was received by the first disciples on the road to Emmaus."

Father Dominic Legge, O.P., a Dominican priest teaching theology at Providence College and a former U.S. Department of Justice lawyer who worked on constitutional issues, writes commentary on theology and liturgy in the daily lives of contemporary Catholics. He addressed this issue in a recent column, saying, in part, that the truly Catholic response is to implore the Lord for his grace to be more faithful, more chaste, more loving and more holy:
      Fr. Dominic Legge, OP : Hope in the Midst of Trial

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, R.S.M., director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently wrote a column that was published in the Washington Post:
     Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM: Media decides, then reports

 In a recent essay in Newsweek, George Weigel, a Catholic theologian and author, addresses aspects of the issue (especially related to priestly celibacy and to Catholics becoming more Catholic):
      George Weigel: What Went Wrong

Here, also are some essays from the journalism weblog, GetReligion, which comments on journalism issues related to religion. These are written by Mollie Ziegler, a journalist who usually covers the management of government programs for the Federal Times (she happens to be a member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod):
      GetReligion: Priests aren’t the problem
      GetReligion: Lost in translation, Vatican edition
      GetReligion: Differing papal perspectives     

In addition, former New York Mayor Edward I. Koch has a blog in The Jerusalem Post in which he makes various observations about the American scene. His latest post addresses some of what has been going on in the U.S. related to this issue (and others):
Ed Koch: He that is without sin, let him cast the next stone - enough already

10 April 2010

Divine Mercy Sunday

The Sunday after Easter, the second Sunday of the Easter season, is called Divine Mercy Sunday. It was named by Pope John Paul II at the canonization of Saint Maria Faustina on 30 April 2000 (ten years ago), when he proclaimed to the world that “from now on throughout the Church this Sunday will be called Divine Mercy Sunday.”

The Marians of the Immaculate Conception, in their explanation of Divine Mercy Sunday, tell us:

"Among all of the elements of devotion to The Divine Mercy requested by our Lord through St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, the Feast of Mercy holds first place. The Lord's will with regard to its establishment was already made known in His first revelation to the saint, as recorded in her Diary. In all, there were 14 revelations concerning the desired feast. . . .

"Liturgically the Easter Octave has always been centered on the theme of Divine Mercy and forgiveness. Divine Mercy Sunday, therefore, point us to the merciful love of God that lies behind the whole Paschal Mystery — the whole mystery of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ — made present for us in the Eucharist. In this way, it also sums up the whole Easter Octave. As Pope John Paul II pointed out in his Regina Caeli address on Divine Mercy Sunday, 1995: 'the whole octave of Easter is like a single day,' and the Octave Sunday is meant to be the day of 'thanksgiving for the goodness God has shown to man in the whole Easter mystery.'"

In addition to the regular Masses, there are a number of special observances in observance of Divine Mercy Sunday.  The most noted observance may be the one at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, which this year is celebrating its Golden Jubilee. In addition to this one, there are observances at cathedrals, churches, shrines, and other holy places throughout the world. Each of these observances encourage us to sincerely repent of all our sins (and go to confession), to place our complete trust in Jesus, to receive Jesus in Holy Communion, and to be merciful to others (through our actions, our words, and  our prayers for them). May we listen to our Lord as He calls us, and really embrace this message!

Speaking of the shrine in Stockbridge, Myrna and I had a chance to drive out there many years ago. It is a beautiful shrine, and I am always glad to encourage others to visit it.

For additional reflection/information:

Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD: Divine Mercy Sunday: What's This Feast All About, Anyway?

Homily of Pope John Paul II at the Mass for the Canonization of Sister Mary Faustina Kowalska

National Shrine of The Divine Mercy

Maine Fire Destroys Former Dance Hall

On Thursday, 1 April, the Newport (ME) Fire Department was faced with a fire that destroyed the former Bar-L Ranch (and a former dance hall) on Bar-L Hill Road, just off Route 7. The building was currently being used to store antiques.

The initial alarm was called in at approximately 9:30 PM, and companies were still on the scene at what was left of the 4,000-square foot wood frame building Friday afternoon. The Newport department was assisted by companies from Corinna, Detroit, Dexter, Plymouth, Pittsfield, and Stetson.

Media Reports:

Bangor Daily News: Newport blaze destroys former Bar-L Ranch site (3 APR 10)

Kennecbec Journal: History-packed dance hall succumbs to fire (3 APR 10)

Bangor Daily News: State can’t determine cause of Newport fire (6 APR 10)

Background information:

Newport, ME, Fire Department

Wikipedia: Newport, Maine

Google Map Location of Bar-L Hill Road, Newport, ME

St. Francis de Sales and Troubles

"Take courage, and turn troubles which you cannot remedy into material for progress and maturity." - Saint Francis de Sales

This seems like it could be his version of a quote we often hear in these times - "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In either case, though, it calls for prayer and discernment on how to turn apparent obstacles into opportunities.

Related to this is a quote by the prolific writer, Anonymous: "The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them."

Also related is a quotation attributed to Thomas Edison: "Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward. . . ."

09 April 2010

A Reflection on Stewardship

Today's "Three Minutes a Day" reflection from The Christophers focused on Rick Bernstein, a Baltimore investment analyst, who loved gardening and knew he wanted to do something more with his life. Mr. Bernstain started to give produce to local food banks around the time he started reading the Bible and considering his spirituality more seriously.

After prayer and discernment, he and his wife bought a 42-acre farm and, with the help of volunteers, turned it into a non-profit program. Bernstein continued working his bank job, but works as a farmer after hours. Since its start, First Fruits Farm has given away millions of pounds of fruits and vegetables to food banks and soup kitchens.

The reflection the Christophers offer with this example: "Be willing to open yourself to God's plan for you." They also offer this Scripture quote: "A generous person will be enriched." (Proverbs 11:25)

Today's Office of Readings touches on a related note with an excerpt from 1 Peter: "As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4:10-11)

By the way, First Fruits Farm (in Freeland, Maryland) has its own web site:
      First Fruits Farm

08 April 2010

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

This week Dennis Vecchiarino emailed a link to a clip of Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance. (Thank you, Dennis.)

Those of us of a certain age remember Red Skelton as a comedic entertainer (in live performances and on radio and television). However, he did have his serious moments, one of which was his recollection of one of his teachers explaining the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class.

A few years ago, I emailed the text of his Pledge of Allegiance to a number of people - I don't know if I was aware there was a video of his presentation. The link below goes to the Red Skelton site, which has the text as well as audio and video versions of his presentation on 14 January 1969. For those interested in knowing more about Red Skelton, the links at the bottom of the page will lead to additional background information.

      Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

9-Alarm Fire in Boston

The Boston Fire Department fought a nine-alarm fire at Beacon Towers, 483 Beacon Street, a 10-story brick/wood condominium in the Back Bay yesterday afternoon. Built in 1895, the building was formerly the Hotel Cambridge.

Media reports:

NECN: More than a hundred displaced by 9-alarm fire in Boston (7 APR 10)

NECN: Fire chief: We had heavy fire on seventh floor, extended to eighth floor (7 APR 10)

NECN: Boston firefighters describe high rise rescue (7 APR 10)

WCVB-TV: 9-Alarm Fire Rips Through Boston Condo Building (7 APR 10)

WBZ-TV: 9-Alarm Fire At Beacon Street Condo Complex (7 APR 10)

The Backstep Firefighter: Boston Box 1583; Jakes’ save better than Sox (7 APR 10)

Milford Fire Photos: Boston-9th Alarm-483 Beacon St. (7 APR 10)

Boston Globe: Firefighters battle 9-alarm blaze in Back Bay tower (8 APR 10)

Boston Globe: Photos of 9-alarm fire (8 APR 10)

Boston Herald: Firefighters save 4 in Back Bay blaze (8 APR 10)

WHDH-TV: 2 firefighters, 3 others hurt in Boston blaze (8 APR 10)

Background information:

Boston Fire Department

Boston Fire Fighters, Local 718, IAFF

METROFIRE (Mutual Aid District)

Boston, MA, 9 Alarm Fire: Audio 1 of 2 - 7 APR 10

Boston, MA, 9 Alarm Fire: Audio 2 of 2 - 7 APR 10

Elliott Belin: Boston Fire Department Activity Report - April 2010

Rap Music Videos Hype New Hampshire

This past Sunday, the New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester)  published an article about a couple of rap music videos that "hyped" the Granite State:

"How not one, but two, NH-themed rap videos achieved 'viral' status"

Congratulations Joe!

Congratulations to son, Joseph, who has become one of Massachusetts' newest Certified Public Accountants!

Well done, Joe!!! I know you put an awful lot of work into your studies at school and your preparations for your exams.

May the Lord's grace continue to be with you.

07 April 2010

National Public Health Week 2010

This week (5-11 April) is being observed as National Public Health Week, which is designed to recognize the contributions of public health and also to educate the public, as well as policy-makers and public health professionals, about issues important to improving public health. This year’s theme is “A Healthier America: One Community at a Time.”

Public health, as defined by the Association of Schools of Public Health, is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. People involved in the public health field work in a variety of areas designed to protect the health of communities and the individuals and families that make up the communities.

I would like to take this moment to express my appreciation for all those involved with public health, especially those here in the New England area – both at the local level and state level. Often their efforts go unnoticed – until something happens that brings there work into the limelight, like the recent efforts against the H1N1 virus.

The first full week of April has been observed as National Public Health Week since 1995. The American Public Health Association serves as the organizer of this event, and the association leads a national campaign focusing issues related to the year’s theme. This year the association is asking everyone to champion public health by making healthy changes - big and small - in their families, individual neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools.

In a related note: to help people gain a better understanding of the various roles public health professionals play each day to ensure a healthy American public, the Association of Schools of Public Health has developed a website, What is Public Health?

This website works to show what public health encompasses, the impact public health has on our lives, and the types of careers available in the field of public health.

Click on this link to go to the site:

06 April 2010

Flood Follow-up: Rhode Island

A variety of scenes from this past week’s flooding in Rhode Island (which included the highest level the Pawtuxet River has reached since record keeping began in the 1930’s):

WPRI-TV: Cranston orders dozens to evacuate (29 MAR 10)

WPRI-TV: East Bay flooding worse than hurricane (30 MAR 10)

WPRI-TV: Evacuations ordered in Prov., E. Prov. (30 MAR 10)

WPRI-TV: Sewage spills into Warwick flood waters (30 MAR 10)

CNN: Rhode Island flood clip reel (30 MAR 10)

Cozzi Video Productions: Pawtuxet River 2010 Flood (30 MAR 10)

Bristol Phoenix: Flood waters alarm officials, residents cope with sewage-filled basements (30 MAR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Innundated (30 MAR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Regional flooding from theday.com readers (30 MAR 10) 

CBS News: Rhode Island's Record Flood (31 MAR 10)
CBS Evening News: Flood of the Century (31 MAR 10)
CNN: Rain is over but not problems in water-logged Northeast (31 MAR 10)

WPRI-TV: Warwick Mall shut down due to flooding (31 MAR 10)
WPRI-TV: Flooding closes I-95 causing gridlock (31 MAR 10)
WPRI-TV: Warwick faces tough cleanup (31 MAR 10)

WJAR-TV: Hundreds evacuate downstream of bridge (31 MAR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: A flood for the record books (31 MAR 10)

NRI Fire Photos: Flooding...... (31 MAR 10)

AP: New England flooding drowns homes and dreams (1 APR 10)

Fox News: New England Floodwaters Recede, but Danger Remains (1 APR 10)

WPRI-TV: West Warwick church damaged by floods (1 APR 10)

NECN: Rhode Island bridge threatened by floods is holding (1 APR 10)

WJAR-TV: Flooding Aerials (1 APR 10)

WJAR-TV: More Flooding Aerials (1 APR 10)

WJAR-TV: Lakewood Section Of Warwick (1 APR 10)

WJAR-TV: West Warwick Flooding (1 APR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Dramatic aerial images from area flooding (1 APR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Trying to recover from the floods (1 APR 10) 
NECN: FEMA setting up disaster recovery centers in Rhode Island (2 APR 10)
NECN: Painstaking cleanup begins in Rhode Island (2 APR 10)

WPRI-TV Video of Flooding in Rhode Island (2 APR 10)
Warwick Beacon: Bringing the Sewers Back Online (2 APR 10)
Warwick Beacon: The Great Flood (2 APR 10)

Chris Walsh Productions: Westerly Flood - 2010 (2 APR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Following the flood, the hard work begins (2 APR 10)

WPRI-TV: Flood clean up underway at Warwick Mall (5 APR 10)

WPRI-TV: Johnston neighborhood still submerged (6 APR 10)

WPRI-TV: Slideshow: R.I., SE Mass. flooding

Westerly Sun: Scenes from historic flooding
WCVB-TV: IMAGES: Rhode Island Flooding

WCVB-TV: Slideshow: New England Flooding Drowns Hopes, Dreams

Flood Follow-up: Massachusetts

A variety of scenes from this past week’s flooding in Massachusetts:

WBZ-TV: Major Setback In Littleton Flooding (28 MAR 10)

NECN: The anatomy of a flood (30 MAR 10)

WBZ-TV: 1000s Of Sandbags Prepped To Hold Rivers At Bay (30 MAR 10)

WBZ-TV: Littleton-Ayer Water Supply Threatened By Floods? (30 MAR 10)

The Standard-Times (New Bedford) Photo Gallery: Rain pounds SouthCoast (30 MAR 10)

The Standard-Times (New Bedford) Photo Gallery: Reader Flood Photos (30 MAR 10)

The Herald News (Fall River) Photo Gallery: Storm damage in Fall River (30 MAR 10)

The Herald News (Fall River) Reader Photos: Damage, flooding widespread (30 MAR 10)

WBZ-TV: Flood Weary Victims Share Their Rain Stories (31 MAR 10)

WBZ-TV: River Watch: Forecast Flood Levels (31 March 10)

WBZ-TV:Fall River Road Shut Down For Weeks And Cars Stuck (31 MAR 10)

WBZ-TV: Floods Leads To Evacuations, Closures In Peabody (31 MAR 10)

The Standard Times (New Bedford) Video: State Police use amphibious vehicles to transport trapped Assonet residents (31 MAR 10)

The Herald News (Fall River) Photo Gallery: Swansea storm aftermath (31 MAR 10)

CNN: Rain is over but not problems in water-logged Northeast (1 APR 10)

WBZ-TV: Family Says Town Needs To Help With Flooding (2 APR 10)

WBZ-TV: Contaminated Flood Water Concerns In Freetown (2 APR 10)

The Herald News (Fall River) Photo Gallery: Flooding at South Watuppa Pond (3 APR 10)

WJAR-TV: Floodwaters take out Forge Street Bridge (5 APR 10)

Boston Globe: Flooding Scenes

WCVB-TV: Photos: Flooded Cars, Basements

WCVB-TV: Weather Photos and Videos on u local

WPRI-TV: Slideshow: R.I., SE Mass. flooding

WBZ-TV: Slideshow: More March Flooding

Springfield Republican: Massachusetts faces rising waters

Boston Globe Special Section: A record-setting March

Flood Follow-up: Connecticut

A variety of scenes from this past week’s flooding in Connecticut:

WFSB-TV: Yantic Crests At Third-Highest Level Ever Recorded (30 MAR 10)

The Day (New London) Video: Flooding in Montville and Norwich (30 MAR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Innundated (30 MAR 10)

Hartford Courant.Fox-CT: Flooded Sewage Treatment Plant, Jewett City (31 MAR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: A flood for the record books (31 MAR 10)

CNN: Rain is over but not problems in water-logged Northeast (1 APR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Dramatic aerial images from area flooding (1 APR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Trying to recover from the floods (1 APR 10)

The Day (New London) Photo Gallery: Following the flood, the hard work begins (2 APR 10)

Hartford Courant: Pictures: March Flooding

Hartford Courant: Pictures: Flooding on Yantic River, Norwich, and Old Mystic

WFSB-TV: Viewer Flooding Photos 1-50 (CT)

WFSB-TV: Viewer Flood Photos, 50-100 (CT)

WFSB-TV: Mudslide Threatens To Devour Apartments

WCVB-TV: States Of Emergency Declared As Flood Waters Rise

WCVB-TV: Slideshow: Flooding Photos

Flood Follow-up: New Hampshire

A variety of scenes from this past week’s flooding in New Hampshire:

WMUR-TV: Flooding Possible Along State's Rivers (29 MAR 10)

WMUR-TV: Several Rivers Projected To Rise Above Flood Stage (30 MAR 10)

WMUR-TV: Water Starts Receding After Latest Round Of Flooding (31 MAR 10)

Manchester Union Leader: Floods blog (31 MAR 10)

WMUR-TV: Cleanup Continues from Flooding (1 APR 10)

Manchester Union Leader: As waters rise, a couple of close calls (1 APR 10)

CNN: Rain is over but not problems in water-logged Northeast (1 APR 10)

05 April 2010

A Thought Starter (and Reminder)

"May He be blessed by all, for I have seen clearly that He does not fail to repay, even in this life, every good desire." - St. Teresa of Avila (from web site of the Benedictine Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery, Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Praise God for the truth of this statement!

04 April 2010

An Easter Music Celebration

In celebration of the Lord's Resurrection, I offer these hymns of praise:

      Hymn: Jesus Christ is Risen Today

      Hymn: Jesus Christ is Risen Today (acoustic guitar)

      Hymn: Jesus Christ is Risen Today (trumpet)

      Conception Abbey: Easter Hymn (chanted First Vespers)

      Hymn: Thine Be the Glory

      Gloria.tv: Jesus Has Risen from the Dead!

Easter East and West

This weekend, Christians from various faith traditions, Western and Eastern Orthodox, celebrate Easter (or Pascha, as it is sometimes called) is this weekend (4 April) for both . Because of differing church calendars, the two branches of Christianity often celebrate Easter on different dates. The beliefs behind these celebrations, though, are shared.

This weekend's broadcast of Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly, which originates on THIRTEEN, the flagship public television station of the New York City area, has a story on the Easter celebrations of these faith traditions. (This story was originally broadcast in March 2008).

This link leads to this report:
      Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly: Easter East and West

An Easter Prayer of the Church

"O God of unchangeable power and eternal light, look kindly upon your sacrament that is the Church in this world, and carry through the work of salvation smoothly according to your eternal plan.

"May the whole world see and experience how what is fallen is stood upright once more; what was corrupted by age is once more made new; and how all things are made whole through Christ, to whom they owe their creation, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen."

May it be so, dear Lord.  Thank you.