30 April 2012

Harbor Friendly Yards Program

Clean Up Sound & Harbors (CUSH), a non-profit environmental group in Southeastern Connecticut striving to clean up and protect Fishers Island Sound and its coves, inlets, bays, rivers, and harbors, has initiated an initiative, Harbor Friendly Yards, designed to encourage and educate property owners to discontinue the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and to plant native species and sediment-filtering trees, shrubs, grass, and groundcovers.

Media report:

The Day: Sound Friendly Yards green in more ways than one (30 APR 12)

Background information:

CUSH: Harbor Friendly Yards

Clean Up Sound and Harbors

National Water Safety Month

May is National Water Safety Month. National Water Safety Month is jointly sponsored by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, the American Red Cross, the National Recreation & Park Association, and the World Waterpark Association. The month is observed in recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities in the United States and of the resulting need for ongoing public education on safer water practices.

Natl Water Safety Month Logo

As part of the observance of National Water Safety Month, there will be a number of educational programs, public service announcements, and dealer and business promotions,  as well as distribution of water-safety-themed materials throughout this region (and the nation).

For more information and related resources, please visit:

National Water Safety Month

Facebook: National Water Safety Month

Background information:

National Recreation and Park Association

American National Red Cross

National Drowning Prevention Alliance

Association of Pool & Spa Professionals

World Waterpark Association

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for Your continued shepherding of us, no matter how often we try to get away from You (inadvertently or deliberately).

Msgr. Pope on Listening to God Through the Din of Everyday Noise

“[A designated video] takes an interesting twist on the usual cell-phone commercial which emphasizes strong signals, numerous ‘bars’ of signal strength, and the memorable question, ‘Can you hear me now?’ . . . The signal strength is more about the strength of the world to hold us captive. And the incessant question ‘Can you hear me now’ comes to represent the din of a world that never stops its intrusive distractions and the need to hear another voice, the voice of God.”

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on the noise that permeates our lives and the voice of God that continually reaches out to us.

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

Msgr. Charles Pope: Can You Hear Me Now? What a Commercial has to teach us about listening for God (27 APR 12)

Reflection Starter from John Henry Newman

“Let us take things as we find them: let us not attempt to distort them into what they are not. We cannot make facts. All our wishing cannot change them. We must use them.” – Cardinal John Henry Newman

29 April 2012

Brigham Young University Singers: “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”

As our celebration continues on this Good Shepherd Sunday, I offer the Brigham Young University Singers singing “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”:

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Today the Church celebrates the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The assigned readings are Acts 4:8-12, 1 John 3:1-2, and John 10:11-18. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 118 (Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29).

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

YouTube: Psalm 118 The stone which builders rejected has become the cornerstone

The Gospel reading is as follows:

Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father."

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Fourth Sunday of Easter (April 29, 2012)

Msgr. Charles Pope: The King of Love My Shepherd Is: A Meditation on the Gospel for Good Shepherd Sunday (28 APR 12)

The Deacon's Bench: Building God’s kingdom: a homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter (28 APR 12)

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.: The Way, The Truth, and The Life - Jesus Only

The Sacred Page: The Scandalous Jesus: The Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (27 APR 12)

Dr. Scott Hahn: The Shepherd’s Voice (April 29th 2012 - Fourth Sunday of Easter)

New Theological Movement: Love the shepherd, beware of the wolf, tolerate the hireling (26 APR 12)

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem: 4th Sunday of Easter – Year B (27 APR 12)

The Word Encountered: Other Sheep (Fourth Sunday of Easter B)

Dominican Daily: Word to Life: Sirius XM: Fourth Sunday of Easter (B)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of laughter and the many ways in which You work in our hearts with this gift.

Matt Archbold on Raising “Alleluia" Kids in Today’s World

“. . . I think cynicism, ironic detachment, and hopelessness are prevalent in children today. It's odd that a generation to whom has been given marvels of technological advancements, such widespread bitter unhappiness has resulted.”

In a recent commentary, writer Matt Archbold reflected on the attitude of many young people in today’s world and what he believes is a good antidote.

To access Mr. Archbold’s complete post, please visit:

NC Register: Blog: Raising "Alleluia" Kids in a "Whatever" World (26 APR 12)

28 April 2012

Providence, RI, Library Receives Better World Books Award

Better World Books and the National Center for Family Literacy recently announced that the Providence Public Library (Providence, RI) was one of three library programs that received this year’s Better World Books/NCFL Libraries and Families Award. Each library program will receive a $10,000 award.

The Providence Public Library’s Chace Children’s Discovery Library features hands-on activity centers focused on key elements of early childhood literacy development. The grant money will be used for critical outreach for the library to non-native English speakers by identifying, training, and utilizing immigrant parents as guides for the hands-on activities. They also will recruit families to the library and support their ongoing use of the library. In addition, the trained guides will help develop an outreach plan to engage immigrant families, provide recruitment, and outreach strategies for immigrant families, and serve as spokespeople for the library in their communities.

Funding for the program comes from the Better World Books for Libraries program, a free service that is designed to help libraries manage their unwanted books. Better World Books sells those books online, sharing the revenues with the libraries and its nonprofit literacy partners

Media report:

Providence Business News: PPL earns Better World Books award (27 APR 12)

Background information:

Providence Public Library

National Center for Family Literacy

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways in which You encourage a spirit of excellence within each of us.

Dr. Edward Sri on the Virtue of Magnanimity

“When faced with choices in life, do you tend to pursue what is most noble – what will form you in excellence and benefit others most? Or do you tend to shy away from things that may push you out of your comfort zone – even if they are good for you – either because you fear failure or because you tend to avoid doing what is difficult and challenging?”

In a reflection written some time ago, Dr. Edward Sri (professor of theology and Scripture at the Augustine Institute’s Master’s in Catechetics and Evangelization program in Denver, Colorado) offered some encouragement for cultivating the virtue of magnanimity in our lives.

To access Dr. Sri’s complete essay, please visit:

Catholic Education Resource Center: Called to Greatness: The Virtue of Magnanimity

Reflection Starter from Pope Benedict XVI

“The ways of the Lord are not comfortable, but we were not created for comfort, but for greatness.” – Pope Benedict XVI

27 April 2012

Students Start Social Media Initiative to Counter Cyberbullying

Two students at Edward Little High School in Auburn, ME, recently initiated a social media-based effort to counter cyberbullying.

Media report:

Sun Journal: Auburn students launch strategy to fight cyberbullies (27 APR 12)

The #NoBull Project website:

#NoBull Project

Background information:

Edward Little High School

Auburn School Department

City of Auburn

Wikipedia: Auburn, Maine

New England City & Town: Education Issues: Bullying

Cyberbullying Research Center

Fourth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, (28 April). The free event will be held from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. As of this writing, there are 618 collection sites planned in New England, including 78 in Connecticut, 163 in Maine, 192 in Massachusetts, 89 in New Hampshire, 42 in Rhode Island, and 54 in Vermont.

Public health, law enforcement, and other government and community representatives will be working at these sites to collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs that are potentially dangerous if left in the family’s medicine cabinet.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is designed to address a vital public safety and public health issue.  More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

DEA, in conjunction with local and state law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, conducted National Prescription Drug Take Back Days on 25 September 2010 and on 25 April and 29 October 2011.  Almost 4,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in these events, collecting more than 309 tons of pills.

To locate a collection site, please visit:

National Take Back Initiative Collection Sites

For more information and resources related to National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, please visit:

Drug Disposal – National Take Back Initiative

DEA: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Toolbox

Background information:

Partnership for a Drug Free America

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: SAMHSA: 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Victor Borge: "Phonetic Pronunciation"

It's time for a piece from Victor Borge. This is his presentation of "Phonetic Pronunciation":

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for bridge builders who design and build the bridges that allow us to get from one point to another. Thank you for the ways You continue Your work of creation through them and for the ways in which they minister to Your people through this work.

Msgr. Pope on the Dignity of Humanity as Observed in Points of Light

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on how a visual representation of Worldwide Airline Traffic in a 24 hour period (with each plane signified by a small dot of yellow light) serves as a reminder of the mystery and the dignity of Humanity.

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

Msgr. Charles Pope: The Dignity of Humanity as Observed in a Thousand Points of Light (26 APR 12)

Reflection Starter from Edmund Burke

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

26 April 2012

Lung Association State of the Air Report Finds Air Quality Improvements in Nation's Cities

In a recently released report, the American Lung Association found that, in America’s most polluted cities, air quality was at its cleanest since the organization’s annual report began 13 years ago. This year’s report, State of the Air 2012, details the trend that standards set under the Clean Air Act to cleanup major air pollution sources – including coal-fired power plants, diesel engines, and SUVs – are working to drastically cut ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot) from the air we breathe. Despite this progress, unhealthy levels of air pollution still exist and in some parts of the country worsened.

The Lung Association’s annual air quality report grades cities and counties based, in part, on the color-coded Air Quality Index developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to alert the public to daily unhealthy air conditions. The 13th annual report uses the most recent, quality-controlled EPA data collected from 2008 through 2010 from official monitors for ozone and particle pollution, the two most widespread types of air pollution. Counties are graded for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution levels. The report also uses EPA’s calculations for year-round particle levels.

Meanwhile, State of the Air 2012 finds that nearly four out of 10 people in the U.S. live in counties that received an F for air quality because of unhealthy levels of ozone air pollution, which can cause health problems that day, and even days after. When inhaled, ozone irritates the lungs, like a bad sunburn, and can cause wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks. It can also shorten life.

The report also finds that nearly 50 million Americans live in counties with too many unhealthy spikes in particle pollution levels, and nearly six million people live in areas with unhealthy year-round levels of particle pollution. According to the American Lung Association, particle pollution is the most dangerous and deadly widespread air pollutant in America. This mix of microscopic bits of ash, soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals, and aerosols can lead to early death, heart attacks, strokes and emergency room visits. Only eight counties received a failing grade for year-round particle pollution, further evidence of the continuing improvement even since last year’s report.

To access the complete report, please visit:

American Lung Association: State of the Air 2012

To access individual state reports for the six New England states, please visit:

State of the Air 2012 Report Card: Connecticut

State of the Air 2012 Report Card: Maine

State of the Air 2012 Report Card: Massachusetts

State of the Air 2012 Report Card: New Hampshire

State of the Air 2012 Report Card: Rhode Island

State of the Air 2012 Report Card: Vermont

Background information:

EPA (et al): AIRNow Website

AIRNOW: Air Quality Index (AQI) - A Guide to Air Quality and Your Health

AIRNOW: Air Quality Index (AQI) - A Guide to Air Quality and Your Health (brochure)

American Lung Association

San Miguel Master Chorale: “How Great Is Your Name, Lord”

As our Easter celebration continues, I offer the San Miguel Master Chorale singing “How Great Is Your Name, Lord”:

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

The week of 22-28 April is being observed as National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the first such national observance. During this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide information to the public about the hazards of severe weather and steps people can take to ensure they’re prepared.

Every year, thousands of people are impacted by severe weather threats such as tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Last year was the most active year in disasters in recent history; there were more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities and over 8,000 injuries.

2012 National Severe Weather Preparedness Week

For additional information related to National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, please visit:

FEMA: Ready.gov: Severe Weather

NOAA: Severe weather: Know your risk, take action, be a force of nature

NOAA: Weather-Ready Nation: Building a Weather-Ready Nation, one kit at a time

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for dessert treats.

Vatican Offers Reflection on the Vocation of the Business Leader

“When businesses and market economies function properly and focus on serving the common good, they contribute greatly to the material and even the spiritual well-being of society. Recent experience, however, has also demonstrated the harm caused by the failings of businesses and markets. The transformative developments of our era – globalisation, communications technologies, and financialisation – produce problems alongside their benefits: inequality, economic dislocation, information overload, financial instability and many other pressures leading away from serving the common good. Business leaders who are guided by ethical social principles, lived through virtues and illuminated for Christians by the Gospel, can, nonetheless, succeed and contribute to the common good.

“Obstacles to serving the common good come in many forms – lack of rule of law, corruption, tendencies towards greed, poor stewardship of resources – but the most significant for a business leader on a personal level is leading a ‘divided’ life. This split between faith and daily business practice can lead to imbalances and misplaced devotion to worldly success. The alternative path of faith-based ‘servant leadership’ provides business leaders with a larger perspective and helps to balance the demands of the business world with those of ethical social principles, illumined for Christians by the Gospel. This is explored through three stages: seeing, judging, and acting, even though it is clear that these three aspects are deeply interconnected.”

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace recently released “Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection,” which is designed to offer Christian business leaders a resource to consider how they are promoting human dignity and the common good in their sphere of influence.

Media report:

Catholic News Service: Can business lead to holiness? Promoting virtue in the executive suite (4 APR 12)

To access a copy of the booklet, please visit:

University of St. Thomas: Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection

Background information:

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Reflection Starter from Vance Havner

“The vision must be followed by the venture.  It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.” - Vance Havner

25 April 2012

Administrative Professionals Day

Today is observed as Administrative Professionals Day. It is a time to offer our appreciation for and our gratitude to the to the hard working executive assistants and other office workers who make such a great difference to the administration of government functions, churches, schools, various businesses, and non-profit organizations.

National Autism Awareness Month

April is being observed as National Autism Awareness Month, an observance designed to help increase knowledge and understanding about autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause social, communication, and behavioral challenges. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1 in 88 children in the U.S. has an ASD. While there are no proven cures for autism spectrum disorders, research has shown that early treatment can greatly reduce symptoms and increase a child's ability to grow and learn new skills.

Background information:

National Autism Awareness Month

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Autism Information Page

National Institute of Mental Health: A Parent’s Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Society

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of our conscience and the ways in which You guide its right formation.

A Look at the Effects of Catholics Working Against the Death Penalty

“Soon, probably next week, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy will sign into a law a bill that abolishes the death penalty in his state. When he does, Connecticut will be the fifth state to enact such legislation in as many years — and the third with a governor who was raised Roman Catholic.

“As a younger man, Malloy supported the death penalty. But after working as a prosecutor in Brooklyn, he saw the possibility for human error in the justice system and changed his mind.”

A recent article in the Washington Post reviewed efforts, and the growing influence, of Catholic death-penalty opponents in the United States.

To access the complete article, please visit:

Washington Post: Catholic activists pushing politicians to turn tide against the death penalty (19 APR 12)

Reflection Starter from Dr. Peter Kreeft

“The first rule for prayer, the most important first step, is not about how to do it, but to just do it; not to perfect and complete it but to begin it. Once the car is moving, it’s easy to steer it in the right direction, but it’s much harder to start it up when it’s stalled. And prayer is stalled in our world.” – Dr. Peter Kreeft

24 April 2012

National Crime Victims' Rights Week

This week, the week of 22-28 April, is being observed as National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Observed since 1981, NCVRW was initiated as an observance to promote awareness of victims’ rights and services and to honor crime victims and survivors.

The theme for NCVRW 2012 is “Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim.” It is designed to expand the vision that inspired the movement for the rights of crime victims and to celebrate the progress achieved to date. It also is designed to capture the spirit and resolve needed to realize the goal of reaching each victim in need of hope and help, one victim at a time.

2012 National Crime Victims' Rights Wekk Poster

For more information about National Crime Victims' Rights Week, please visit:

U.S. Department of Justice: Office for Victims of Crime: National Crime Victims' Rights Week

Station QV Opens New Dispatch Center

The Quinebaug Valley Emergency Communications (Station QV), which serves Northeaster Connecticut, recently celebrated the opening of its new dispatch center in the former Our Lady of Peace Mission Church on Route 101 in East Killingly. The dispatch center previously operated out of the Connecticut State Police Troop D barracks in Danielson.

Media reports:

Norwich Bulletin: Dispatchers show off new East Killingly home (24 APR 12)

Norwich Bulletin Gallery: QV Dispatch opening

Background information:

Quinebaug Valley Emergency Communications

This Week’s New England City & Town Weekly Dispatch

To access this week’s issue of New England City & Town Weekly Dispatch, please visit:

New England City & Town Weekly Dispatch - 24 April 2012

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of the greening of plant life during the season of spring.

Msgr. Pope on Rash Judgment

“On of the most common sins committed, and yet, one of the sins least confessed, is the sin of Rash Judgment. . . . We may, on account of rash judgments, harbor grudges, resentments, fears, and unjust anger. We may allow rash judgment to foster our pride as we feel superior to others, and we may carry deep hurts, or even seek revenge, all based on misinformation, or misinterpretation of what others do. And gossip is usually the daughter (or son) of rash judgment.”

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on what rash judgment is and how it affects us and others.

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

Msgr. Charles Pope: On the Sin of Rash Judgment as Humorously Depicted in a Commercial (20 APR 12)

Reflection Starter from G. K. Chesterson

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – G. K. Chesterson

23 April 2012

“God Alone”

As our Easter celebration continues,I offer this Couples for Christ, Doha, Qatar, presentation of “God Alone”:

43rd Annual Municipal Clerks Week

The week of 29 April-5 May is being observed as Municipal Clerks Week, the 43rd such annual observance sponsored by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. It is an observance designed to increase the public’s awareness of municipal clerks and the services they provide for local government and the community.

For more information about this observance, please visit:

IIMC: 43rd Annual Municipal Clerks Week

Background information:

International Institute of Municipal Clerks

New England Association of City and Town Clerks

Connecticut Town Clerks Association

Maine Town & City Clerks’ Association

Massachusetts Town Clerks’ Association

New Hampshire City and Town Clerks Association

Rhode Island Town and City Clerk's Association

Vermont Municipal Clerks' & Treasurers' Association

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of early morning quiet moments for prayer and reflection.

Carl Olson on Why He Became a Catholic

“‘How can you join a church that tells you how to think?’

“The question, uttered with equal parts puzzlement and anger, surprised me. In hindsight, it should have been about as surprising as an afternoon drizzle here in Eugene, Oregon, in early spring. The question - almost an accusation, really - was made one early spring day over fifteen years ago. It was said in the middle of an intense discussion about the reasons why my wife and I had, both graduates of Evangelical Bible colleges, had decided to become Catholic.”

In a recent editorial, Carl E. Olson, editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight, reflected on, among other things, why it is important that he became a Catholic, a member of the Church “founded by Jesus Christ, the household of his Father, infused with life by her soul, the Holy Spirit.”

To access Mr. Olson’s complete essay, please visit:

Catholic World Report Editorial: On Fifteen Years a Catholic (20 APR 12)

Reflection Starter from Peter Kreeft

"Our culture has filled our heads but emptied our hearts, stuffed our wallets but starved our wonder. It has fed our thirst for facts but not for meaning or mystery. It produces 'nice' people, not heroes." - Dr. Peter Kreeft (in Jesus-Shock)

22 April 2012

“He’s Risen”

As our Sunday (and Easter) celebration continues, I offer this version of “He’s Risen”:

Third Sunday of Easter

Today the Church celebrates the Third Sunday of Easter. The assigned readings are Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; 1 John 2:1-5; and Luke 24:35-48. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 4 (Psalm 4:2-4, 7-9).

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

YouTube: Psalm 4: Lord, Let Your Face Shine Upon Us (Haugen setting)

The Gospel reading is as follows:

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you."

But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have."

And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Third Sunday of Easter (April 22, 2012)

Msgr. Charles Pope: Just What the Doctor Reordered – A Reflection on the Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Easter (21 APR 12)

The Deacon's Bench: Homily for April 22, 2012: 3rd Sunday of Easter (21 APR 12)

Dr. Scott Hahn: Understanding the Scriptures (April 22nd 2012 - Third Sunday of Easter)

The Lectionary: Preach repentance, forgiveness in the name of Jesus (19 APR 12)

The Word Encountered: Glorified Bodies (Third Sunday of Easter B)

Dominican Daily: Word to Life: 3rd Sunday Easter (B)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gifts of fortitude and other graces You bestow on Your people who are being persecuted throughout the world.

A Look at Persecution of Christians Throughout the World

In a recent post, Thomas L. McDonald offered a reminder of the persecution of Christians going on throughout the world. In his post, Mr. McDonald presents, and comments on, a video of a talk given by National Catholic Reporter Senior Correspondent John L. Allen, Jr., at the recent Los Angeles Religious Education Congress 2012 on the global war on Christians.

To access Mr. McDonald’s complete post, please visit:

God and the Machine: The Most Pressing Issue in Global Christianity (18 APR 12)

To access the video, with related comments, please visit:

YouTube: Los Angeles Religious Education Congress 2012 | Period 2 | John Allen Jr.: "The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines"

Related information:

Aid to the Church in Need

Reflection Starter from Saint Charles Borromeo

“Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.” – Saint Charles Borromeo

21 April 2012

Soweto Gospel Choir: “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

It’s time for something a little different: in this presentation, the Soweto Gospel Choir sings “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”:

Providence Police Officer Dies in Line of Duty

For the third time in eight days, a New England public safety official died in the performance of his duty in connection with an active incident. On Thursday, 19 April, Patrolman Maxwell Dorley of the Providence, RI, Police Department was killed in an automobile accident at the corner of Admiral and Eva Streets as he was responding to a disturbance call on River Avenue.

Media reports:

Providence Journal: Community, police mourn Providence officer killed in car crash Thursday (19 APR 12)

WPRI-TV: Prov. officer killed responding to call (19 APR 12)

WJAR-TV: Providence police officer killed in crash (19 APR 12)

WPRO: Providence Police officer dies after cruiser strikes pole (19 APR 12)

YouTube: Providence Police Chief Clements talks about fatal crash

WLNE-TV: Fallen Providence police officer inspired 13-year-old boy (20 APR 12)

Officer Down Memorial Page: Sergeant Maxwell Dorley, Providence Police Department, Rhode Island

Background information:

Providence Police Department

City of Providence

Wikipedia: Providence, Rhode Island

Smart Growth America Issues Report on Redeveloping Underground Storage Tank Sites

Smart Growth America recently released a new guide for town, city, and county leaders that is designed to be a tool they can use to build the financial and political support needed to reclaim and redevelop the thousands of abandoned gas stations, auto body shops, and industrial facilities nationwide.

The report, “From Vacancy to Vibrancy: A guide to redeveloping underground storage tank sites through area-wide planning,” focuses on underground storage tank (UST) sites – properties with buried or partially buried tanks that have been used to store petroleum or other hazardous substances. When gas stations, auto body shops, industrial facilities, or other types of development close down, these tanks are often left behind. As they age, the tanks are prone to leakage and can contaminate both soil and groundwater, posing a serious environmental threat. This guide takes aim at one of the primary reasons these types of properties remain vacant for so long: many officials often do not know what to do with them.

The regulatory issues associated with vacant properties containing a UST, as well as the time and money involved in cleanup, often makes revitalization seem like more trouble than it is worth. These challenges are overshadowed, however, by UST sites’ potential for neighborhood revitalization. As noted in the report’s Executive Summary: “UST sites are often both small and centrally located, and both these traits make them unique opportunities for revitalization. As demand rises for housing in neighborhoods close to town and in city centers – persisting in spite of larger challenges in the real estate market nationwide – UST sites are in a position to catalyze reinvestment and redevelopment initiatives.”

From Vacancy to Vibrancy provides an overview of tools and strategies available to leaders who want to transform vacant properties with USTs into economic and community assets. The guide also includes information about state and federal brownfield program requirements, brownfield redevelopment financing strategies, and multi-site planning techniques. An annotated list of resources is included at the end for further exploration.

To access the complete report, please visit:

Smart Growth America: From Vacancy to Vibrancy: A guide to redeveloping underground storage tank sites through area-wide planning (March 2012)

Background information:

Smart Growth America

New England City & Town: Environment Services Issues: Underground Storage Tanks

New England City & Town: Environment Services Issues: Brownfields

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the specific milieu in which You have placed me and for the tasks You are guiding me to do within this milieu.

Brianna Heldt on Practicing Our Faith Within Our Culture

“I had a conversation with a friend recently (on the way to IKEA, because that's when all good conversations happen) that I've been mulling over, off and on, ever since.  She said something about how God has each of us here, at this particular time and place in history, for a purpose.  We weren't born in the 1800s, nor were we around for the Trojan War.  We're here now.  Now.”

In a recent commentary, writer Brianna Heldt reflected on our presence in the particular milieu in which God placed us and some practical ways we can “practice our faith within the context of our culture.”

To access Ms. Heldt’s complete post, please visit:

just showing up: Be Here Now (19 APR 12)

Reflection Starter from Dr. Albert Schweitzer

“If a person loses reverence for any part of life, he or she will lose reverence for all life.” - Dr. Albert Schweitzer

20 April 2012

NFPA Launches Program to Help Fire Departments Fund Fire Safety Education

The National Fire Protection Association recently initiated a new program designed to help fire departments fund the purchase of fire safety educational materials. The program, “Sparky’s Wish List™:  Partnering for Fire-Safe Communities,” invites fire departments to create a free online wish list for Fire Prevention Week materials. Businesses and the public can fulfill departments’ lists and provide these critical educational materials for their communities.

Fire departments may create a wish list by creating a profile and clicking the boxes to indicate the materials they need. Donors can purchase those materials by searching for their hometowns and opening their department’s registry. The materials will be sent directly to the fire department.

To access a video related to this program, please visit:

NFPA: Sparky's Wish List: Partnering for fire-safe communities

For more information about the program, please visit:

NFPA: Sparky’s Wish List™:  Partnering for Fire-Safe Communities

Background information:

National Fire Protection Association

NFPA: Fire Prevention Week

NFPA: Sparky the Fire Dog

Earth Day

Sunday, 22 April, is the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, a day that was established to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Initially the focus on Earth Day was on the United States, but, twenty years later, it became an international event.

This year there were and are a number events that have been held or will soon be held throughout New England, the rest of the United States, and numerous other nations throughout the world. Some of these are sponsored by local  (or other) governments, others by non-profit organizations, others involve citizens doing specific projects on their own.

To access some of the Earth Day events in New England, please visit:

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection: Earth Day Events in Connecticut

Maine Cleanup - Hermon Bangor Earth Day 2012

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection: Earth Day 2012: Events in Massachusetts

2012 Manchester Earthday  (NH)

What Grows On in Rhode Island: Earth Day & Arbor Day

Putney Vermont Earth Day 2012: Unearth Your Passion!

Background information:

US EPA: Earth Day

Earth Day Network

Earth Day Network: A Billion Acts of Green

Wikipedia: Earth Day

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources: Earth Day Every Day Ten things you can do to help keep Vermont green

Gloucester Cathedral Choir: “The Day of Resurrection”

As our Easter celebration continues, I offer the Gloucester Cathedral Choir singing “The Day of Resurrection”:

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for opportunities You provide us to learn more fully the truths of our Faith.

U.S. Bishops Offer New Resource for New Evangelization

In an effort to provide an opportunity for all Catholics to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has published Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization, a document that focuses on reaching out to Catholics, practicing or not, who have lost a sense of the faith in an effort to re-energize them.

“Every Catholic has a role in the Church, and every Catholic is called to spread the Gospel,” said Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, in a prepared statement. “But in order to evangelize, a person must first be evangelized. This is really the heart of the New Evangelization.”

The document examines what the New Evangelization is, its focus, its importance for the Church, and how dioceses and parishes can promote it.

“The New Evangelization is a call to each person to deepen his or her own faith, have confidence in the Gospel, and possess a willingness to share the Gospel,” the document states. “It is a personal encounter with the person of Jesus, which brings peace and joy. The New Evangelization provides the lens through which people experience the Church and the world around them.”

The document strives to highlight the call of Pope Benedict XVI to pursue the New Evangelization with renewed vigor and joy. It also provides dioceses and parishes with resources to assist Catholics in renewing their faith and sharing it with others.

To access a copy of the document, please visit:

USCCB: Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization (2012)

Reflection Starter from Pope John XXIII

“Nevertheless, in order to imbue civilization with sound principles and enliven it with the spirit of the gospel, it is not enough to be illumined with the gift of faith and enkindled with the desire of forwarding a good cause. For this end it is necessary to take an active part in the various organizations and influence them from within. And since our present age is one of outstanding scientific and technical progress and excellence, one will not be able to enter these organizations and work effectively from within unless he is scientifically competent, technically capable and skilled in the practice of his own profession.” – Pope John XXIII

19 April 2012

EPA: Traveling Environmental Photo Display

New England is the first stop on a national tour by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s traveling environmental photo display, “Documerica.” This is an exhibit of photographs depicting environmental conditions of the nation’s past and present.

The exhibit will be visiting these New England locations as follows:

Background information:

National Archives: Archival Research Gallery: Environmental Studies: Documerica

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for opportunities that appear to be small helping hands for others, but that have a deeper effect than we are aware of.

Recognition for Army Chaplain from Korean War

"US Army chaplain Father Emil Kapaun stole, suffered and sacrificed his life for his fellow soldiers in a Korean prison camp. Six decades after his death, he is being considered for the Medal of Honor - and sainthood."

In a recent article, BBC News Magazine profiled Father Emil Kapaun, a Catholic priest from Pilsen, Kansas, who served, and gave his life, as a chaplain in the U.S. Army.

To access the complete BBC article, please visit:

BBC News Magazine: Recognition finally for a warrior priest's heroics (16 APR 12)

Background information:

Website Dedicated to the Cause of Sainthood for Father Emil J. Kapaun

Reflection Starter from Viktor Frankl

“Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” – Viktor Frankl

18 April 2012

National Safety Council Releases State of the Nation Report on Cell Phone Distracted Driving

In conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council recently released its 2012 State of the Nation Report of Cell Phone Distracted Driving, which addresses improvements made to combat cell phone use while driving. In the three years since NSC called for a nationwide ban, progress has been made in legislation and enforcement, corporate policy, public perception, and technology. The report addresses these five key areas while emphasizing the need for further improvement.

To access the full report, please visit:

National Safety Council: State of the Nation Report of Cell Phone Distracted Driving

Background information:

National Safety Council: Distracted Driving Awareness Month

New England City & Town News Notes: National Distracted Driving Prevention Month (7 APR 12)

National Safety Council: Distracted Driving

National Safety Council

New Resource for Better Understanding of Effects of Earthquakes

A recent report on NBC Nightly News reviewed a new resource being used to help scientists understand the effects on buildings. This, in turn, is planned to lead to the construction of buildings better able to withstand earthquakes.

To access this NBC News report, please visit:

NBC Nightly News: Preparing for ‘the big one’ (17 APR 12)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for scientists who help us to better understand the world You have created.

Cardinal Pell and Richard Dawkins on the Existence of God

“A week ago Cardinal George Pell publicly debated atheist celebrity Richard Dawkins on the subject of God’s existence. When Mr. Dawkins was asked about the cause of the universe, and how something could come from nothing, he replied that while his own theory cannot sufficiently answer this question, any answer would be better than something as complex as God. ‘Nothing is very, very, simple,’ Dawkins says, ‘but God as a creative cause is very complex.’”

A recently post in Dominicana, a publication of the Dominican Students of the Saint Joseph Province who live and study at the Dominican House of Studies, offered an overview of and some commentary on a recent debate between Cardinal George Pell (Archbishop of Sydney, Australia) and atheist Richard Dawkins on God’s existence.

To access the complete post, please visit:

Dominica: Cows, Quarks, and Divine Simplicity (17 APR 12)

Media reports:

Eureka Street: Bruises all round in Pell-Dawkins street fight (10 APR 12)

YouTube: Richard Dawkins vs Cardinal George Pell on Q&A (10-4-2012)

Background information:

Thomistic Philosophy Page:On the Proofs for the Existence of God of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Reflection Starter from Saint Francis de Sales

“When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.” – Saint Francis de Sales

17 April 2012

Redding, CT, Brush Fire Leads to Death of Firefighter

Another New England public safety servant recently died in the line of duty, again a reminder of the hazards and stresses faced by the members of the regions’ emergency services.

First Lieutenant (and former Chief) G. Marshall Sanford, of Redding, CT, Fire & EMS Company No. 1, was stricken and died during operations related to a brush fire at the Redding Country Club, 109 Lonetown Road, West Redding, on Sunday, 15 April.

Media reports:

Redding Fire & EMS Co. #1: Passing of First Lieutenant and Past Chief G. Marshall Sanford

Redding Fire & EMS Co. #1: George Marshall Sanford

The News-Times: Redding firefighter dies in the line of duty (17 APR 12)

NECN: Conn. firefighter dies preparing for brush blaze (16 APR 12)

WVIT-TV: Veteran Firefighter Dies Responding to Brush Fire (16 APR 12)

Weston-Redding-Easton Patch: Fallen Firefighter's Tribute To Take Place in Redding (17 APR 12)

Background information:

Redding Fire & EMS Company Number 1

Town of Redding: Fire Departments

Town of Redding

Wikipedia: Redding, Connecticut


As the Easter Season continues, I offer the Dordt College Concert Choir singing Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia”:

http://www.dordt.edu/ is located in Sioux City, Iowa; it is associated with the Christian Reformed Church.

Financing the Future: The Critical Role of Parks in Urban and Metropolitan Infrastructure

The National Recreation and Park Association and the Urban Institute, in cooperation with the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties, hosted a Roundtable in the fall of 2011 for an invited group of decision makers from a wide variety of disciplines including health, real estate, tax policy, conservation, urban planning, academia, and others disciplines to examine the critical role that public parks and recreation play in urban and metropolitan infrastructure.  One goal of this roundtable was to examine the future viability and sustainability of public funding for parks and recreation. The discussions of the roundtable focused on the fiscal pressures facing cities, counties, and metropolitan areas and the challenges created by demographic, economic, environmental, and social changes.

The results of this roundtable were published, and are available by accessing this report:

NRPA: Financing the Future: The Critical Role of Parks in Urban and Metropolitan Infrastructure

To access a video of the first roundtable session, please visit:

NRPA: Economic Roundtable

This Week’s New England City & Town Weekly Dispatch

To access this week’s issue of New England City & Town Weekly Dispatch, please visit:

New England City & Town Weekly Dispatch - 17 April 2012

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of siblings.

California Parish Striving to Participate in Community Revitalization Project

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, in the Newhall district of Santa Clarita, CA, is working on a renovation project designed to be part of an initiative to help redevelop its neighborhood. This “On the Way” project, which involves the demolition of six homes, will result, upon completion, in a new pastoral center, a new church, a new rectory, and a new parish hall. It is anticipated to cost approximately $20 million.

Santa Clarita is located in Los Angeles County. The parish has over seven thousand registered families.

Media reports:

California Catholic Daily: Catholic parish plays big part in small town’s revitalization project (2 JAN 12)

Santa Clarita Valley Signal: Church aims to expand with rest of Newhall (31 DEC 11)

Santa Clarita Valley Signal: A calling for expansion (14 JAN 12)

Santa Clarita Valley Signal: Priests dance for building fund (20 NOV 11)

Background information:

Our Lady of Perpetual Help: On The Way

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Wikipedia: Newhall, Santa Clarita, California

Wikipedia: Santa Clarita, California

Reflection Starter from Louis Nizer

“When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.” - Louis Nizer

16 April 2012

National Volunteer Week

This week, the week of 15-21 April, is being observed as National Volunteer Week. It is designed as a time to inspire, recognize, and encourage people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities.

Background information:

Corporation for National and Community Service: National Volunteer Week 2012

Presidential Proclamation - National Volunteer Week, 2012

Corporation for National and Community Service

Points of Light Institute

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for Your unceasing offering of Your gift of mercy to each of us.

Nathan Kennedy on Humility and Greatness

“Most of the time I assume myself to be a person falling into the same category Churchill found himself in when dealing with people he didn’t like: ‘He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.’ People rub me the wrong way, and they will continue to do so until the day I die. But at least I try to keep an eye on my own prejudices; that someone rubs me the wrong way might not be a problem with the other person, but a problem with me.”

In a recent commentary, Nathan Kennedy reflected on the role of humility in one’s quest to be great.

To access Nathan’s complete post, please visit:

Ignitum Today: False Greatness and its Remedy (11 APR 12)

Reflection Starter from Thomas à Kempis

“A life without purpose is a languid, drifting thing; every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves: This day let me make a sound beginning, for what we have hitherto done is naught!” - Thomas à Kempis

15 April 2012

The Blessings of My Siblings

One of my brothers will be celebrating what is considered a milestone birthday this week. While reflecting on this and on the blessing he has been to so many people over the past years, it was a natural progression to reflect on the blessing that each of my siblings has been, and still is, in a host of different ways.

Whether it be Mark and the people he has touched with his music, Martin and his work as a sexton in the parish in which I grew up, Jan and his involvement in youth sports, Richard in his work as Chief of Data Processing for the Town of Southington, Mary and her helping calm anxious concerns of people stuck in elevators, Barbara and her artwork, Paula and her work with the Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut, Gregory and his ministry as an arborist, James and his information technology work for the State of Maine, Alan and his work at the Loxahatchee River Environmental Control District in Florida, or David in his U.S. Navy service, each has been a positive influence in the lives of a multitude of people.

Actually, I only touched the surface with just one item for each sibling. Each of my brothers and sisters is an individual with a variety of creative abilities and dedication in his/her own field. Whether it be in a ministry in a church or faith-based organization, dedicated competence at work, and/or involvement in service organizations, each one is a real blessing to the individuals they interact with or otherwise reach out to. I am very proud of each of them, and I truly value each of them.

May the Lord continue, to bless, guide, help, and be with each of them and each of the members of their families.

The Maranatha! Singers: “Sing Halleluja”

As our Sunday (and Easter) celebration continues, I offer this version of the Maranatha! Singers singing “Sing Halleluja”:

Divine Mercy Sunday

In his homily at the canonization of Saint Faustina on 30 April 2000, Pope John Paul II declared: "It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church, will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday.'"

As noted in the previous post, the Gospel reading for today focuses on Jesus giving His apostles (the first priests and bishops) the power to act in His place and forgive sins (and sending them to do so) – what Sister Grace Coffey (who formerly taught at Saint Patrick School in Providence, RI, and is now at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Nasonville, RI) calls Jesus’ Easter gift to us.

As noted in the following resources, this ties in perfectly with the message of Divine Mercy.

For more information:

Pope John Paul II Encyclical: Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy)

Apostles of Divine Mercy: Pope John Paul II's Homily on the first universal celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, 2001

Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.: What is Divine Mercy Sunday?

Video: Fr. Seraphim on The Octave of Easter - Why Divine Mercy Sunday?

Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.: The Divine Mercy

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio: Divine Mercy Sunday and the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)

Today the Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday). The assigned readings are Acts 4:32-35, 1 John 5:1-6, and John 20:9-31. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 118 (Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24).

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

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 118 Give Thanks to the Lord for He is Good

The Gospel reading is as follows:

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."

But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe."

Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Second Sunday of Easter (April 15, 2012)

Msgr. Charles Pope: Don’t Block Your Blessings – A Meditation on the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Easter (14 APR 12)

Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.: Oh Ye of Little Faith - Doubting Thomas

Catholic Online: Divine Mercy: The Happy Priest Reflects on the Wounds of Jesus and Our Wounds (14 APR 12)

The Deacon's Bench: A revised homily for April 15, 2012, 2nd Sunday of Easter (14 APR 12)

Dr. Scott Hahn: The Day the Lord Made (April 15th 2012 - Divine Mercy Sunday)

Dominicana: V.I.P. Access (13 APR 12)

A Concord Pastor Comments: 5 pictures worth 5,000 words! (14 APR 12)

The Word Encountered: Community Transformations (Second Sunday of Easter B)

Dominican Daily: Word to Life: Sirius XM Radio: Second Sunday of Easter (14 APR 12)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for Your great gift of mercy and the many ways You offer this gift to us.

Msgr. Pope on the Lord Reordering Our Lives Through the Liturgy

“The very familiar passage about Jesus’ encounter with the disciples on the road to Emmaus is rich with many themes and teachings. I have commented elsewhere that the whole passage is, essentially in the structure of a Mass. . . . In this reflection it is worth considering how, in the context of what is essentially a liturgy, Jesus reorders and orients two disciples who have, in effect, lost their way. Through this liturgical encounter, Jesus gets these disciples moving in the right direction again.”

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on how the Liturgy, especially the Mass, has “a way of reordering our disordered lives and restoring our lost orientation.”

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

Msgr. Charles Pope: Through the Liturgy the Lord Reorders our Lives. A Reflection on the Road to Emmaus (11 APR 12)

Reflection Starter from Blessed John Paul II

“There is nothing more man needs than Divine Mercy – that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which raises man above his weakness to the infinite heights to the holiness of God.” – Pope Blessed John Paul II ( at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, Cracow, Poland on 7 June 1997)

14 April 2012

“Alleluia No. 1”

As our Easter celebration continues, I offer the Trinity Lutheran Church Choir (community – ?) singing “Alleluia No. 1”:

Greenland, NH, Police Chief’s Death Highlights Dangers Faced by Police Officers in New England and Beyond

Chief Michael Maloney of the Greenland, NH, Police Department was shot and killed and four other police officers were injured when gunfire erupted as members of a drug task force attempted to execute a search warrant at 517 Post Road in Greenland on Thursday, 12 April.

There have been a number of police shootings throughout the U.S. in recent months, and, and this incident shows, the dangers, are in this region as well as in other parts of the nation.

Media reports:

Portsmouth Herald: Greenland police chief killed, 4 cops hurt; suspected shooter found dead (13 APR 12)

WHDH-TV: Police chief killed, 4 officers shot in Greenland, NH (12 APR 12)

WCVB-TV: Police Chief Killed, 4 Officers Shot In Standoff (12 APR 12)

WLBZ-TV: Greenland, NH shooting press conference uncut (13 APR 12)

WCVB-TV: Beloved Chief Killed Week Before Retirement (13 APR 12)

WMUR-TV: Fallen Greenland Chief Michael Maloney Remembered (13 APR 12)

Portsmouth Herald: Chief: One thing left to do before retirement (14 APR 12)

New Hampshire Union Leader: Drug task force came to search residence (14 APR 12)

Concord Monitor: Community mourns chief's death (14 APR 12)

Background information:

Greenland Police Department

Town of Greenland

Wikipedia: Greenland, New Hampshire

“Irene” Retired from List of Atlantic Basin Storm Names

Irene has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical storm names by the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee because of the fatalities and damage it caused in August 2011. It will be replaced by Irma.

Storm names are reused every six years for both the Atlantic Basin and eastern North Pacific Basin, unless retired for causing a considerable amount of casualties or damage. Irene is the 76th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954.

Irene became a hurricane on Aug. 22 and intensified to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale on 24 August while centered between Mayaguana and Grand Inagua in the Bahamas. It gradually weakened after crossing the Bahamas, making landfall in North Carolina on 27 August as a Category 1 hurricane. Irene made another landfall the next day as a tropical storm near Atlantic City, New Jersey. The center moved over Coney Island and Manhattan, New York, the same day.

Irene caused widespread damage across a large portion of the eastern United States as it moved north-northeastward, bringing significant effects from the mid-Atlantic through New England. The most severe impact of Irene was catastrophic inland flooding in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

Hurricane Irene Track.Large

Irene was directly responsible for 49 deaths: five in the Dominican Republic, three in Haiti, and 41 in the United States (including seven in New England). For the United States, six deaths are attributed to storm surge/waves or rip currents; 15 to wind, including falling trees; and 21 to rainfall-induced floods.  Including flood losses, damage in the United States is estimated to be $15.8 billion.

Background information:

Wikipedia: Hurricane Irene

Boston Globe: The Big Picture: Hurricane Irene

CNN iReport: Irene's aftermath

NOAA: National Weather Service: National Hurricane Center

U.S. National Weather Service: Weather-Ready Nation

World Meteorological Organization

Fire Destroys Barn in Douglas, MA

A three-alarm fire destroyed a 19th-century barn behind 76 North Street in Douglas, MA, on Wednesday, 11 April.

The initial alarm was struck shortly after 10:00 AM. Additional tankers were called because of issues related to a fire hydrant.

Media reports:

Telegram & Gazette: Fire flattens barn in Douglas (12 AUG 12)

NECN: Fire destroys historic Douglas, Mass. barn (11 APR 12)

NRI Fire Photos: 3rd Alarm Douglas, MA 76 North Street April 11, 2012

Providence Fire Videos: Barn destroyed by fast moving 3 alarm fire in Douglas, MA (11 APR 12)

Background information:

Douglas Fire Department

Town of Douglas

Wikipedia: Douglas, Massachusetts

Google Map: 76 North Street, Douglas, MA

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the works of art You inspire that grace our churches, chapels, and shrines.

Restoration Work at Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, Stamford, CT

Restoration work was recently completed at the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Stamford, CT. included in the restoration was the uncovering of paintings (dating from late 1920’s to the late 1950’s) on the walls of the altar and church.

My aunt, Sister Christine Marie (Lopatosky), C.S.J., served as the parish’s Religious Education Coordinator for over twelve years in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Media report:

Stamford Advocate: St. John's marks end of interior restoration (6 APR 12)

Background information:

Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church