31 March 2019

Evangelization Billboard

In a recent post, Deacon Greg Kandra offered a look at an evangelization billboard sponsored by parishes in Darien, New Canaan, and Norwalk, CT.

To access the post, please visit:

The Deacon's Bench: Billboard of the Week - Maybe, the Year (28 MAR 19)

Background information:

Diocese of Bridgeport (CT)

L. Joseph Hebert, Jr., on Music and the Education of the Christian Soul

"In Plato's Republic, Socrates leads a group of ambitious young Athenians on a search for the best way of life. Their verbal construction of a perfectly just regime is not motivated by idealism, real or feigned, but by genuine perplexity about the one thing human beings cannot help desiring: happiness. Glaucon, Adeimantus, and their companions want to know what benefit justice provides in the soul that could possibly outweigh the riches, powers, and pleasures intelligent and enterprising men such as themselves expect to acquire through artful injustice."

In a recent commentary, Dr. L. Joseph Hebert, Jr., who teaches Political Science and pre-law at Saint Ambrose University, reflected on the role of great works of music in assisting us as we "advance virtue by virtue to the brightness of the saints, pointing us to the sources of heavenly aid without which even the mightiest among us can do nothing."

To access Dr. Hebert's complete essay, please visit:

The Imaginative Conservative: Music and the Education of the Christian Soul (5 JAN 19)

The Unexplained Disappearnce of a Young Girl's Brain Tumor

"In June 2018, Roxli Doss of Central Texas was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG.

"According to Dr. Virginia Harrod with Dell Children's Medical Center, DIPG is very rare and causes 'decreased ability to swallow, sometimes vision loss, decreased ability to talk, [and] eventually difficulty with breathing.'

"All the Doss family could do was pray for a miracle - and, to their astonishment, their prayers were answered."

A recent presentation by the Magis Center reported on how this 11-year old's brain tumor went "from inoperable to invisible."

To access the complete report, please visit:

Magis Center: Doctors Can't Explain Why this Texas Girl’s Tumor Disappeared (8 JAN 19)

"God of Mercy and Compassion"

As our Sunday celebration continues I offer this version of "God of Mercy and Compassion":

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Today the Church celebrates the Fourth Sunday of Lent. The assigned readings are Joshua 5:9A, 10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; and Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 34 (Psalm 34:2-7).

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

YouTube: Psalm 34: Taste and See (Haugen setting)

The Gospel reading is as follows:

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."

So to them Jesus addressed this parable: "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,'Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.'

"So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."'

"So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.

"Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'

"He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: Fourth Sunday of Lent (March 31, 2019)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Fourth Sunday of Lent (March 31, 2019)

Community in Mission: There Was a Man Who Had Two Sons - A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent (30 MAR 19)

Crossroads Initiative: Atonement and the Prodigal Son

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: Lenten Reflections with the Priests of the Basilica - Fourth Sunday of Lent (30 MAR 19)

The Sacred Page: A Whole New World: Readings for Laetare Sunday (26 MAR 19)

The Sacred Page: The Parable of "the Prodigal Son" (The Mass Readings Explained) (25 MAR 19)

St. Paul Center: Found Alive Again: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fourth Sunday of Lent 

Word on Fire: Theonomy (Cycle C * Lent * Week 4)

Spirituality of the Readings: Cowering (Fourth Sunday of Lent C)

In Exile: The Prodigal Son's Brother (Fourth Sunday of Lent C)

Let the Scriptures Speak: The Ministry of Reconciliation (Fourth Sunday of Lent C)

The Word Engaged: Lost and Found (Fourth Sunday of Lent C)

Historical Cultural Context: Forgiven (Fourth Sunday of Lent C)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by John Chrysostom (Fourth Sunday of Lent C)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for inspirations for gratitude toward You and others in our lives.

Msgr. Pope on the Relationship Between Gratitude and Other Virtues

"The Gospel for Mass on Tuesday (of the third week of Lent) featured the parable of the servant who owed a large sum to the king that he could not repay. The generous and kind king forgave him the entire debt. Strangely, the man then proceeded to treat a fellow servant who owed him a small amount with severity. When the king learned of the servant's behavior, he grew angry and sentenced him to the very punishment he had meted out to his debtor.

"For our mid-Lent purposes, let's consider the heart of the parable, for it is aimed at our hearts!"

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on the relationship between gratitude and other virtues.

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

Community in Mission: How Gratitude Equips Us for Many Other Virtues (27 MAR 19)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"Every human being has the right to life, to dream and to find his or her rightful place in our 'common home'! Every person has a right to the future." - Pope Francis

30 March 2019

Louis Armstrong: "A Kiss to Build a Dream On"

As this blessed week draws to a close, I offer this version of Louis Armstrong presenting "A Kiss to Build a Dream On":

The Beadniks Museum of Beads and Cultural Artifacts in Brattleboro, VT

"Descending 20 feet below Main Street to visit Beadniks Museum of Beads and Cultural Artifacts, you feel as if you have gone back in time.

"There is something magical about the 600-square-foot space as you enter through huge antique doors. Brian Robertshaw, owner of Beadniks and the Museum, explains that each bead contains stories from our ancestors. He says beads were one of the first trade items that made it into the Brattleboro area and recounts, 'Native peoples who lived around Mt. Wantastiquet traded furs for beads. They used to have Truck House here where native people might have traded as many as four beaver pelts for one bead.'"

A recent Brattleboro Reformer article profiled the Beadniks Museum and its offerings.

To access the complete Brattleboro Reformer report, please visit:

The Brattleboro Reformer: Unlocking history one bead at a time (11 MAR 18)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the dignity and beauty You have placed in each individual person You have created.

Matt D’Antuono on What It Means to Be a Person

"There has been a push in recent years in the world of education to make learning more personalized. What educators and administrators usually mean by this is that each individual student should be able to learn in the way that best suits his or her learning style, personality and interests. That way, the learning that is taking place is styled to the person at hand. The implication, which is sometimes explicitly stated, is that other forms of learning are impersonal; i.e., a factory model of education where content is delivered the same way to all students does not take into account the person-ality of each individual. Things are made in factories all according to the same model by the same processes. Individuals, on the other hand, are all different and, so the argument goes, require different methods of instruction.

"As a teacher, I have come to find that there are merits to this point of view, and there are some who might take it to an extreme. But I do not want to discuss the pros and cons of any particular method or methods of education here. Instead, I want to reflect on the meaning of the phrase 'personalized learning' and the redundancy it contains."

In a recent commentary, writer Matt D’Antuono reflected on waht it means to be a person and on its related dignity and beauty.

To access Mr. D’Antuono's complete post, please visit:

National Catholic Register: Blogs: Matt D'Antuono: What It Means to Be a Person (29 MAY 19)

Reflection Starter from Psalm 51

"Lord, you will open my lips; and my mouth will proclaim your praise. For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it; a burnt offering you would not accept. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn." - Psalm 51:17-19

29 March 2019

Ideas to Catch Up on Lost Sleep

"There are lots of reasons why many of us don't get the recommended seven hours or more of sleep each night. Travel schedules, work deadlines, TV bingeing and - a big one - having young children all take a toll.

"Research published recently in the journal Sleep finds that up to six years after the birth of a child, many mothers and fathers still don't sleep as much as they did before their child was born. For parents, there's just less time in the day to devote to yourself.

"So, can you catch up on sleep? That partly depends on how much sleep you've missed."

A recent National Public Radio report reviewed some of the ways a person may catch up on lost sleep (including taking a caff nap).

To access the complete National Public Radio report, please visit:

NPR: Sleep Deprived? Try These Strategies To Catch Up (24 MAR 19)

Issues Raised re: Use of Wastewater Sludge on Farmlands

"More than two years after learning drinking water and milk tanks on his 100-year-old Stoneridge Farm were contaminated with a class of chemicals linked to cancer and other health concerns, farmer Fred Stone still can't sell his milk and is losing hundreds of dollars a day, every day.

"Stone said he never knew the wastewater sludge he was licensed by the state to spread on his fields and other fields across York County contained PFAS, a class of industrial chemicals linked to cancer, fertility issues, hormone disruption and more."

A recent Bangor Daily News article reported on the dangers of the use of wastewater sludge (previously deemed to be acceptable) on farmlands in Maine (and, by extension, potentially elsewhere).

To access a copy of the complete Bangor Daily News report, please visit:

Bangor Daily News: Maine dairy farm plagued by chemical contaminants may be ‘tip of the toxic iceberg' (23 MAR 19)

Background information:

Environmental Health Strategy Center

Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor,op.16

It's time for some classical music. This is a presentation of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor (op. 16) with pianist Julia Fischer:

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of Your teaching about the two greatest commandments.

How Al Smith Faced Anti-Catholicism (Part 2)

 In my last column, I shared some background about Al Smith, the New York Governor in the early1900s, who went on to become the first Catholic to run for president in the U.S. But he faced opposition due to a thread of anti-Catholicism that still ran through his own Democratic party. The main person who helped him overcome that bias was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who Smith dubbed "Frank."

In his biography Frank and Al, author Terry Golway notes how unlikely an alliance this was. Smith grew up in New York's working class. Roosevelt, on the other hand, came from money and prestige. And when FDR was first elected to the New York Assembly in 1911, the two men didn't think much of each other.  Golway notes that the young FDR "didn't have that empathy and warmth that many people associate with him as president." Someone else described him as a snob "walking around the corridors of the state capital with his nose in the air." During an interview, Golway told me that polio humbled Roosevelt, who came to appreciate all the traits that made Smith a successful politician who was beloved by so many.  The two became friends. And without Roosevelt's support, Smith might not have been able to convince the Democratic Party's Protestants to vote for him. That's why Golway believes, as his book's subtitle states, that Smith and Roosevelt's friendship created the "modern Democratic party."

Golway explains, "The notion of 'modern' doesn't mean today's Democratic Party . . . The Democratic Party of the 19th and early 20th century was very much free market - the government should stay out of the economy . . . It was small government . . . The party was also very much a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant party. Because of Al Smith - and because Franklin Roosevelt was open to this - the Democratic Party became, in the 1920s and '30s, the party of Catholics and Jews."

"The most dramatic part of my book," continues Golway, "happens in 1924 when Smith is running for president. He doesn't get the nomination. He gets it four years later. The convention in 1924 is in New York. Roosevelt is Smith's campaign manager. The largest contingent at the Democratic National Convention was the Ku Klux Klan. They were determined to make sure a Catholic never became president of the United States. By 1928, a Catholic is nominated for president. The Klan lost. Al Smith and Franklin Roosevelt won. That, in my telling, is where you see the creation of the modern Democratic Party, so that Jews and Catholics have this home, have this civic space that they had been denied in the period before 1928."

Smith, of course, didn't win the presidency, but it was still a groundbreaking effort. Though the friendship between Smith and Roosevelt soured for a time during the 1930s, there was a coming together again during World War Two. And the two men died less than a year apart in 1944 and 1945.

What message does Golway hope readers take away from his book? "I hope they're reminded what a great man Al Smith was. He suffered through the most bigoted campaign in American history in 1928. He was deplored around the country because of his Catholic beliefs. I think that many Catholics may have forgotten that part of history, the history that affected maybe their grandparents and their great grandparents. I hope this reminds them of what it was like to be a Catholic in the United States 100 years ago. It wasn't easy."

This essay is a recent "Light One Candle" column by Tony Rossi, Director of Communications, The Christophers; it is one of a series of weekly columns that deal with a variety of topics and current events.

Background information:

The Christophers

Reflection Starter from Sit Wilfred Grenfell

"The word of God is the Christian soul's best weapon, and it is essential to have it with him always. In doubt it decides, in consultation it directs; in anxiety it reassures; in sorrow it comforts; in failure it encourages; in defense it protects; in offense it is mightier than the mighty." - Sit Wilfred Grenfell

28 March 2019

Big Blue Truck 'Ministry' in Mystic, CT

"Lots of people Uber to the train station or airport, but for Mystic passengers who ride in Old Blue, it's a journey of positivity, laughter and human connection that's spreading across Instagram and around the world.

"Easily recognizable, Old Blue is a big, double-cab pickup truck owned by Uber driver Moira Deasy (pronounced 'Dacey') and her husband, Ryan Deasy, of Mystic.

"Last Monday, while seated at one of the tables at Mystic Depot Roasters, where she often picks up passengers, Moira Deasy said she started driving for Uber three years ago for the enjoyment of being on the road and the pleasure of conversation."

A recent article in The Sun (Westerly, RI) profiled Ms. Deasy and her Uber "ministry."

To access the complete Sun report, please visit:

The Westerly Sun: Enjoying the Ride: Mystic woman's big, blue truck a vehicle for spreading positivity (11 FEB 19)

Fr. Longenecker on Ideologies and False Religion

"t seems to me that the only thing more commonplace than religion is false religion, and the most convincing form of false religion is an ideology.

"What is an ideology? An ideology is an idee fixe.. good idea believed as the only idea…an idea that has become an obsession.

"Everyone wants something to believe in. We all want a cause to live for and we naturally seek an explanation for all that is - especially ourselves. The Catholic faith provides that, but the Catholic faith, like life, is messy. There are uncertainties and rough spots and sinners and not everything fits and matches all the time. The Catholic faith is like a big family with crazy uncles, stupid adolescents, eccentric aunties, darling mothers, strong funny fathers and cool cousins.

"The Catholic faith provides an overarching belief system and way of life that is possible. This is what a true religion offers."

In a recent commentary, Father Dwight Longenecker (parish priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, Greenville, SC) reflected on false religion and the challenges it makes for Catholics..

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

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Ideologies, Ideas, Idols and Insanity

Background information: 

Dwight Longenecker - Catholic priest and author

Thank You, Lord

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

Dr. Jeff Mirus on Steps Every Bishop Can Take to Renew the Church

"Everyone has a role in Catholic renewal, but there can be no question that the greatest spur to an authentic renewal of the Church is episcopal leadership. If results throughout the long history of the Church are any guide, however, even bishops often do not know the concrete steps they should be taking to move their dioceses closer to this perennial goal. Well, they can all breathe a sigh of relief now, because I am here to help.

"More seriously, before any bishop should embark on these ten steps, I would recommend he follow the example of Bishop Fulton Sheen by making a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament each and every day of his episcopal ministry. This is even more important than reading my precious list. On that assumption, then, here we go:"

In a recent commentary, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus, President of CatholicCulture.org, reflected on some steps bishops may take to help lead renewal of the Church in their diocese and beyond. These recommendations in include manifesting the power of the sacraments, attracting and forming seminarians, attending to Church business - not the business of the world, teaching faith and morals clearly, and turning dead parishes into missions.

To access his complete post, please visit:

Catholic Culture: Ten steps every bishop can take to renew the Church (26 MAR 19)

Reflection Starter from Psalm 95

"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts." - Today's Responsorial Psalm (Thursday of the Third Week of Lent, from Psalm 95)

27 March 2019


As we continue to live this week, I offer this version of "Hosea," written by Gregory Norbert, OSB:

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many good people You have placed in our lives and for their kind words, sharing of joy/laughter, and acts of kindness.

Amy Welborn on Sahring One's Personal Faith Stories

"The world of Catholic ministry is dominated by a central question: Why don’t they come? Followed by the related question: How can we keep them?

"Everyone has an answer and (most importantly) a program centered on the question. Articles, books, blog posts, talks. 

"Why don’t they come?

"Isn't the answer pretty self-evident? 

"Because they don’t believe it matters."

In a recent commentary, writer Amy Welborn reflected on the importance of sharing one's personal faith stories.

To access her complete essay, please visit:

Charlotte Was Both: Fall, perish? What? (24 MAR 19)

Reflection Starter from William Penn

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

26 March 2019

Fr. Edward Meeks on Chriatian Unity

"How is the world supposed to take Christianity seriously when it's so divided? Jesus himself prayed in John 17 that his followers would be one as He and the Father are one, so that the world would know that Jesus was sent by God. For Fr. Edward Meeks, who left the Catholic Church and became an Anglican priest, this question holds special and personal meaning, and was at the heart of his journey back to the Catholic faith."

A recent Coming Home Network presentation offered Father Meeks' reflective comments on the issue of Christian unity.

To access the complete presentation, please visit:

The Coming Home Network: The Mandate for Christian Unity - Fr. Edward Meeks (15 MAR 19)

On the Effects of Music on Cheese

"The creation of good cheese involves a complex dance between milk and bacteria. In a quite literal sense, playing the right tune while this dance unfolds changes the final product's taste, a new study shows. Denis Balibouse and Cecile Mantovani at Reuters report that hip-hop, for example, gave the cheese an especially funky flavor, while cheese that rocked out to Led Zeppelin or relaxed with Mozart had milder zests.

"Last September, Swiss cheesemaker Beat Wampfler and a team of researchers from the Bern University of Arts placed nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese in individual wooden crates in Wampfler's cheese cellar. Then, for the next six months each cheese was exposed to an endless, 24-hour loop of one song using a mini-transducer, which directed the sound waves directly into the cheese wheels.

"The 'classical' cheese mellowed to the sounds of Mozart's The Magic Flute. The 'rock' cheese listened to Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'. . . ."

A recent Smithsonian article reported on the effects of different types of music on cheese.

To access the complete Smithsonian report, please visit:

Smithsonian: Smart News: Scientists Played Music to Cheese as It Aged. Hip-Hop Produced the Funkiest Flavor (18 MAR 19)

Nino & the Ebb Tides: "Those Oldies But Goodies"

It's time for some more doo wop. Here is a presentation of "Those Oldies But Goodies" by Nino & the Ebb Tides:

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of hearing which allows us, among other things, to hear beautiful music.

Br. Paul Marich, O.P., on the Music of Beethoven

"On this day in 1827, the renowned classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven passed away. He spent his life writing music that has captivated listeners, from the stern opening sounds of his Symphony No. 5 to the stirring Für Elise and, perhaps most famously, his Symphony No. 9, which concludes with the famous 'Ode to Joy.' Beethoven was gifted with remarkable musical genius, standing as one of the greatest composers of all time. What makes his work all the more remarkable is that for much of his career he suffered from loss of hearing. This disability grew progressively worse throughout his lifetime, until he was completely deaf in the last decade of his life. While we are able to relish in the beauty of Beethoven's music, it's troubling to recall that he was unable to hear many of the masterpieces that he created. Surely his mind allowed him to imagine the sound and movement of his music, yet he was not able to sense the full beauty of his work when it was actualized by other musicians."

In a recent commentary, Brother Paul Marich, O.P., reflected on the music of Ludwig van Beethoven.

To access Br. Paul's complete post, please visit:

Dominicana: Songs of Joy (26 MAR 19)

Reflection Starter from Benjamin Disraeli

“Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” – Benjamin Disraeli

25 March 2019

Happy Birthday, Adam!

Birthday greetings to son Adam, whose birthday is today!!! May this day, and the upcoming year, be filled with the Lord's choicest blessings!!

"Hail Mary - Gentle Woman"

As we continue our celebration of the Annunciation, I offer this version of "Hail Mary - Gentle Woman":

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. The assigned readings are Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10; Hebrews 10:4-10; and Luke 1:26-38. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 40 (Psalm 40:7-11).

The Gospel reading is as follows:

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."

But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end."

But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?"

And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God."

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." 

Then the angel departed from her.

Dr. Edward Sri, provost and professor of theology and Scripture at the Augustine Institute Master's program in Denver, CO, has written an interesting reflection on the life of Mary before the Annunciation. To access this reflection, please visit:

Dr. Edward Sri: Our Lady’s Life Before the Annunciation (24 MAR 11)

Additional reflection:

Community in Mission: A Woman Wrapped in Silence - A Meditation for the Feast of the Annunciation (24 MAR 19

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for Mary's "Yes" that opened the way for Your coming to live among us in Your human nature.

Bishop Tobin on Our Calling as Servants of the Word

"One of the outstanding communities of religious women serving in the Diocese of Providence is named the 'Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Word.' The community, based in Mexico, is committed to evangelization and catechesis, especially among the Latino community. The sisters do great work, and we are grateful for their presence.

"'Servants of the Word.' While it’s the title the sisters use to describe their specific charism, it's a title that should apply equally to every Christian. We are all 'servants of the word' - the Word of God - and attention and obedience to the Word are building blocks of the Christian life."

In a recent commentary, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Diocese of Providence (RI), reflected on our calling as Servants of the Word.

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

The Imitation of Christ: Servants of the Word (21 MAR 19)

Reflection Starter from H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"Be as polite to the custodian as you are to the chairman of the board." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

24 March 2019

On Using Modern Tech to Recreate/Preserve Ancient Treasures

"High-tech meets timeless craft in the Madrid workshop of Factum Arte, where they're re-imagining the art of preservation. There, they are finalizing a 21st century version of a 16th century B.C. sculpture. It's utterly realistic, yet not real.

"There's no artistic license; a sarcophagus of Seti I is a reproduction, accurate to one-tenth of a millimeter."

A recent CBS Sunday Morning story profiled Factum Arte and its preservation mission.

To access the complete CBS Sunday Morning report, please visit:

CBS News: How Factum Arte uses modern technology to recreate and preserve ancient treasures (3 FEB 19)

Background information:

Factum Arte

Wikipedia: Factum Arte

"Seek the Lord"

As we continue our Sunday celebration, I offer this version of:the St. Paul Young Adult Choir and Ensemble (The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, New York, NY) presenting "Seek the Lord":

Third Sunday of Lent

Today the Church celebrates the Third Sunday of Lent. The assigned readings are Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; and Luke 13:1-9. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 103 (Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8, 11).

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

YouTube: Psalm 103: The Lord Is Kind And Merciful (Haugen setting)

The Gospel reading is as follows:

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. Jesus said to them in reply, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them - do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!"

And he told them this parable: "There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, 'For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?' He said to him in reply, 'Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'"

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: Third Sunday of Lent (March 24, 2019)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Third Sunday of Lent (March 24, 2019)

Community in Mission: Sooner or Later Judgment Must Come - A Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent (23 MAR 19)

Crossroads Initiative: Lenten Fasting and the Barren Fig Tree

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: Lenten Reflections with the Priests of the Basilica - Third Sunday of Lent (22 MAR 19)

The Sacred Page: Bearing the Fruit of Repentance: 3rd Sunday of Lent (21 MAR 19)

The Sacred Page: The Fruits of Repentance (The Mass Readings Explained) (18 MAR 19)

St. Paul Center: Fruits of the Fig: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Third Sunday of Lent

Word on Fire: Why the Burning Bush is Such Good News (Cycle C * Lent * Week 3)

Spirituality of the Readings: An Angry Savior? (Third Sunday of Lent C)

In Exile: The Slow, Imperceptible March Of Goodness (Third Sunday of Lent C)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Burning Bush, Barren Fig Tree (Third Sunday of Lent C)

 The Word Engaged: Holy Ground of Being (Third Sunday of Lent C)

Historical Cultural Context: The Barren Fig Tree (Third Sunday of Lent C)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Augustine of Hippo (Third Sunday of Lent C)