30 June 2019

Dr. Tom Neal on Loving Someone without Tring to Improve or Regulate

"Just for today, I will not try to improve or regulate someone else. (Al-Anon's 'Just for Today' bookmark)

"Shortly after I got married, a friend who had been married for years said to me, with a wry smile, 'The trouble with marriage is women hope it's going to change their husband, while men hope it won't change their wife - and both are disappointed!'

After we laughed, he said, 'The key to marital success is, first love each other as is, warts and all. Then each work to change yourself to be better for the other. Only then can real influence begin.'

"The human compulsion to control others' lives, for better or for worse, wreaks havoc when it's not informed by freedom-honoring love. Love does not coerce or manipulate others - through shame, guilt, deception, or fear - to become what we want them to be or think they should be. Love proposes, never imposes. The 'otherness' of others can be all-at-once painful to accept and a joie de vivre. Live in the tension."

In a recent commentary, Dr. Tom Neal,  Academic Dean and Professor of Spiritual Theology at Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, LA, reflected on the importance of loving someone without trying to improve or regulate him/her.

To access Dr. Neal's complete post, please visit:

Word on Fire: If You Love Somebody, If You Love Someone… (15 JAN 19)

Kathryn Scott: "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

As we continue our Sunday celebration, I offer this version of  Kathryn Scott presenting "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus":

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The assigned readings are 1 Kings 19:16B, 19-21; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; and Luke 9:51-62. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 16 (Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11).

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

YouTube: Psalm 16: You Are My Inheritance (Mark Haas)

The Gospel reading is as follows:

When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."

And to another he said, "Follow me."

But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."

But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home."

To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God." 

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time (June 30, 2019)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 30, 2019)

Community in Mission: Five Disciplines of Discipleship - A Homily for the 13th Sunday of the Year (29 JUN 19)

Crossroads Initiative: Theology of the Body, Spirit vs. Flesh? 

The Sacred Page: The Cost of Discipleship (The Mass Readings Explained) (24 JUN 19)

St. Paul Center: Taking the Call: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Word on Fire: Walking Truly and Completely with Him (Cycle C * Ordinary Time * Week 13)

Sister Mary Madeline Todd, OP: A Radical Call for a Total Response to Follow Christ: User's Guide to Sunday, June 30 (26 JUN 19)

Spirituality of the Readings: Toward Jerusalem (13th Sunday of Ordinary Time C)

In Exile: On Becoming Post-Liberal (13th Sunday of Ordinary Time C)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Jesus - Gentle and Demanding (13th Sunday of Ordinary Time C)

The Word Engaged: Holy Commitment (13th Sunday of Ordinary Time C)

Historical Cultural Context: Luke's Jesus & the Samaritans (13th Sunday of Ordinary Time C)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Hilary of Poitiers (13th Sunday of Ordinary Time C)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways in which You touch hearts through music.

Msgr. Pope on the Power of Music to Touch Hearts

"In my life, I have learned that music is extremely powerful, often doing what mere words alone cannot.

"There have been several times in my life when my soul was asleep morally, and it was music that called me back. Although I joined the church choir when I was young in order to meet girls, it was through the music that the Lord showed me a deeper desire in my heart for goodness, beauty, and truth - indeed, my desire for God Himself. The music awoke my sleeping soul to God.

"More recently, and in a particular way, music awakens my soul to the deeper meaning of Sacred Scripture. I hear or read a Scripture passage that in the past has had only a marginal impact on me, but then when the choir take it up in song it is pressed indelibly into my heart. Through the music, my heart and soul are awakened to the deeper meaning of a particular text.

"With humility I have also learned that though I may preach boldly, it is often the choir's sung response that makes the words catch fire. I have learned to link what I preach to what is sung and to work carefully with the musicians, for while the spoken word may inform and even energize, the sung word strikes even deeper, imprinting the message into the deepest parts of the heart. 

". . . music can often reach where mere words cannot." 

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on the power of music to touch people's hearts in church, in health care situations, and elsewhere. 

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

Community in Mission: Reaching Past Dementia Through Music (27 JUN 19)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"We all go through difficult days at times, but we must always remember that life is a grace. It is the miracle that God drew forth from nothing." - Pope Francis

29 June 2019

Mariah Carey: "Make It Happen"

As this blessed week draws to a close, I offer this version of Mariah Carey presenting "Make It Happen":

On Students Learning to Speak Latin

"The Roman gladiators entered the cafeteria in a single-file line, thumping elongated cardboard tubes against duct-taped cardboard shields. They wore helmets, wrist cuffs, shin protectors.

"'Sanguinem!' the eighth-grade spectators chanted from the sidelines, pounding the tables. Blood!
The annual gladiator battle at Ottoson Middle School is not only about whacking enemies with recyclable swords. It's also about bringing a supposedly dead language to life by doing something unheard-of in Latin classes of the past: speaking it.

"In schools across Massachusetts and the country, teachers are throwing out the memorized charts of verb conjugations and noun declensions that were once essential to a Latin education, and instead emphasizing the spoken word. The goal is to make Latin more inclusive and more engaging for kids in 2019.

"About 20,500 students statewide study Latin, the third-most popular language after Spanish and French, according to The National K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey Report. It might seem strange that students are still signing up, but Latin teachers have a way of illuminating the language's charms: It is the foundation of fields from medicine to music to poetry, and it offers a portal to 2,000 years of history and literature."

A recent Boston Globe article reported on the some of the Latin language classes in Boston and Arlington, Massachusetts.

To access the complete report, please visit: 

The Boston Globe: Students learn to speak Latin, 'the un-dead language' (23 MAY 19)

Michele Debczak on New Words in Merriam-Webster Dictionary

"The editors of Merriam-Webster's dictionary know better than most people how quickly language evolves. In April 2019 alone, they added more than 640 words to the dictionary, from old terms that have developed new meanings to words that are products of the digital age."

In a recent commentary, writer Michele Debczak offered a look at some of the new words in the  Merriam-Webster dictionary.

To access her complete post, please visit:

Mental Floss: Merriam-Webster Just Added Hundreds of New Words to the Dictionary - Here Are 25 of Them (24 APR 19)

On Computers and Increased Sitting Time in US

"There's a key culprit in the battle against sitting. Time spent watching TV and videos has remained consistently high in the United States over the past 15 years, but time sitting at a computer has increased dramatically, new research finds.

"Leisure-time computer use increased between 4.8% and 38% for various age groups between 2001 and 2016, said Yin Cao, senior author of the new study and an assistant professor of surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"Overall, up to 43% of the US population used a computer for two or more hours a day and up to 25% used a computer for three or more hours each day in 2016.

"The result of these increases: Teens spent about 8.2 hours a day sitting while adults sat for 6.4 hours a day."

A recent CNN report examined the growing use of computes and their effect on one's inactivity.

To access the complete report, please visit:

CNN: Computers, not TV, are to blame for increase in US sitting time, study says (23 APR 19)

Deacon Greg Kandra on a 'Hail Mary' Presentation at Disney World

"Here's something you might not expect to encounter at Walt Disney World: a father offering a stunning rendition of 'Ave Maria' in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort Hotel. It's quickly gone viral - and understandably so, especially when you watch his daughter watching him."

In a recent post, Deacon Greg Kandra shared a video of this presentation.

To access his complete post, please visit:

The Deacon's Bench: 'Hail Mary' at Disney World? (28 MAR 19)

Rachel Lu on St. Peter and St. Paul

"St. Peter was a fisherman. Fishing nets and tilapia were his daily reality. Born without distinction in a backwater of the Roman Empire, he presumably would have lived and died in total obscurity, had not Our Lord called him to a higher ministry. The green hills of Galilee might have been his entire world.

"St. Paul was not a fisherman. He was a man of education and status, who was quite possibly being groomed for an authoritative office or distinguished profession. Some speculate that he may have been a relative of Herod the Great. Whether or not that is true, the New Testament clearly presents him as a Roman citizen, well versed in law and philosophy. He spoke at least three languages (Greek, Hebrew and Latin), and was actively involved in political affairs in Jerusalem at the time of his conversion. We don't know as much as we might like about his lineage and early life, but the broader picture is reasonably clear. St. Paul was brilliant, and a member of the Jewish elite.

"Both of these men were titans. They were the movers and shakers of the Apostolic Age. One was provincial, and the other thoroughly cosmopolitan. One lived his early life in poverty, while the other was born to privilege. On their joint feast day, it's interesting to reflect on this remarkable pairing. God evidently needed both of these men to establish Christianity in the ancient world. Why was this necessary? What did each bring to the table?"

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles. In a recent commentary, writer Rachel Liu reflected on the attributes of these two "pillars of the Church."

To access her complete commentary, please visit:

National Catholic Register: Commentary: Peter the Apostle, and Paul the Teacher of the Gentiles (28 JUN 19)

Anthony Esolenon the Solemnity of the Marriage Vow

"'If only I had been there with my Franks!' said the warlord Clovis when he heard the story of how Jesus, innocent of all wrong, had been condemned to death and crucified.

"It's easy to be the hero in your own imagination. Eleven men eager to get out of the jury room and get on with their business vote to convict, but you, more attentive than they are, hold out and demand that they examine the evidence again. You do what you have sworn to do. Most of the men in town want you, the marshal, to leave while you can before the bad men arrive by train at high noon the next day. A few men promise to stand by you, but one by one they fall away, and they beg you to get out. But you stay, and you do what you have sworn to do. You are the president of a nickel-and-dime lending company, left to you by your father. You don't like the work, and you've had to set aside your dreams of world travel. Your father's inveterate enemy, seeking to swallow you up, offers you a lucrative job; it would mean no more worries about how to pay the bills and no more worries about your old home in constant disrepair. You are sorely tempted, but you refuse. You do what you have sworn to do.. . .

"Consider the one sacred vow that the great majority of people will make: the marriage vow. . . ."

In a recent commentary, Anthony Esolen, Professor and Writer in Residence at Northeast Catholic College in Warner, New Hampshire. reflected on the solemnity of the marriage vow.

To access Professor Esolen's complete post, please visit:

Crisis Magazine: Treat the Marriage Vow with the Solemnity It Deserves (19 JUN 19)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of our families.

Pastor David Sanborn on Understanding Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

"As a nondenominational pastor, David Sanborn understood the idea of the love, mercy compassion of Jesus, but was a little taken aback at the idea that Catholics had a devotion to a body part of Jesus in the Sacred Heart devotion. However, the more he came to understand that the devotion flowed forth from an understanding that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, the more he came to realize just how profound it was to meditate on the fact that Jesus has not only a spiritual heart that breaks for us, but a physical heart that bled for us."

In a recent video commentary, Pastor David reflected on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

To access his video, please visit:

The Coming Home Network: Understanding Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus - David Sanborn (28 JUN 19)

Reflection Starter from Psalm 34

"I sought the LORD, and he answered me,delivered me from all my fears." - Psalm 34:5

28 June 2019

On Coastal Cities Addressing Zoning Vis-à-vis Sea Level Rise

"As severe weather has increased, more and more coastal cities from Boston to Miami have revamped their flood maps and placed more scrutiny on zoning decisions in order to protect homes and property from the long-term impacts of sea level rise. According to a 2018 study published by the National Academy of Science, the sea level will rise by more than two feet by the end of the century."

A recent Governing Magazine article reported on the efforts of Boston and other coastal cities to address the issue of anticipated sea level rise.

To access the complete Governing article, please visit:

Governing: Coastal Cities Rethink Zoning Regulations in Fight Against Climate Change (June 2019)

"O Sacred Heart, O Love Divine"

As we continue our celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I offer this version of"O Sacred Heart, O Love Divine":

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The assigned readings are Ezekiel 34:11-16, Romans 5:5B-11, and Luke 15:3-7. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 23 (Psalm 23:1-6).

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

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 23 "The Lord, the Good Shepherd"

Today's Gospel reading is as follows:

Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes: "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance."

Reflections on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: 

Fr. Burke Masters: Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 8, 2018) 

YouTube: Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - Gospel Luke 15:3–7 - JMT Gospel Reflection 

Ignitum Today: The Heart of Jesus… Sacred and Human (28 JUN 19)

YouTube: Fr. James Kubicki on the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Background information:

Annun Sacrum: Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Consecration to the Sacred Heart

Haurietis Aquas: Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the special graces You bestow of those who honor Your Most Sacred Heart.

A Deacon Follows a Star Over Uganda

"I'm feeling fit and ready to do God's work." So says Deacon Don Grossnickle, who received a diagnosis of acute congestive heart failure a few years ago that had him facing the potential of imminent death. But the deacon, from the Archdiocese of Chicago, has responded well to rehab (he credits "the grace of God") and is still going strong, so he is committed to using his remaining years to serve God in any way possible. And right now, that way involves cows and pigs.

During a recent interview with me on Christopher Closeup, Deacon Don recalled becoming good friends with a Ugandan seminarian who was studying at his Chicago parish, St. Mary of the Lake. When that seminarian was ready to be ordained back in Uganda, he invited Deacon Don to concelebrate his first Mass with him. The trip was eye-opening for the deacon, who visited orphanages and one day, St. Luke Clinic, run by a nurse named Teophista. There, he saw six mothers and babies slowly dying from malaria fever. Malaria is preventable and treatable, but the people of Uganda had no money to afford those resources in many cases. The deacon broke down in tears and said, "God, help me do something to help those people who are too poor to afford medicine."

The solution that Deacon Don came upon involved microfinancing. He explained, "That means people in the United States are sponsors or donors, and my job is to go to Africa and develop projects that the people can use in order to produce funds for medicine. So essentially what I do is I loan them cows."

The idea was adapted from the Heifer International model, which had been adopted years earlier by the bishop of the Masaka diocese. Deacon Don began his project with cows for 18 individuals and families who own at least two acres of land: "We loan them each one cow, then they care for the cow, milk the cow, and sell the milk. Ten percent of the milk that they get, they are supposed to give to the clinic to buy medicine. . . . And when a baby cow is born, if it's a female, they pass it on to another person.  . . . The monies are generated in order to fund a clinic. Then the clinic can serve the farmers themselves and the entire village." The program has now expanded to include a pig farm as well.

The good that we do in God's name often comes back to us in unexpected ways, and that is certainly the case with Deacon Don, who has found his own faith greatly increased. He said, "We're saving lives, we're helping people gain their own integrity, their own worth. And it's contagious! There are hundreds now that have been participating in our organization. Our real strength is to form alliances, bridges with others so that this can grow."

Deacon Don continues to hope that more people will join him in his mission. He concluded, "I listened to God call out to me, and I found an epiphany. There was a star over Uganda for me. I went there. I'm laying down my gifts at the feet of other people, where the presence of God is so alive. And I encourage everyone to have this experience. . . . The people [of Uganda] are very hopeful, hope filled, but they also are suffering greatly. And our presence amazes them. To work together, side by side, with them and walk in their shoes, it's a beautiful experience."

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

Heifer International

Reflection Starter from St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

"Keep your heart in peace and let nothing trouble you, not even your faults. You must humble yourself and amend them peacefully, without being discouraged or cast down, for God's dwelling is in peace." - Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

27 June 2019

Florida Cyclist Completes Journey to "Ameica's First Mile"

"Despite an up-country journey that at times included aggressive motor vehicle traffic and at one point a giant highway-slithering snake, cancer warrior Robert Bryant successfully rode a bicycle more than 2,000 miles from Key West, Florida, to the America's First Mile monument in Fort Kent, where he arrived on Saturday.

"Bryant set out on his bicycle in late March for the 2,369-mile journey on the longest north-south stretch of road in the country to raise funds for cancer research."

To access a Bangor Daily News report on Mr. Bryant's adventure, please visit:

Bangor Daily News: Florida bicyclist completes nearly 2,400-mile journey to America's 'first mile' (23 JUN 19)

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

This week, the week of 23-29 June, is being observed as National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. This observance is designed to to educate the public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives (including the dangers of mosquito-borne illnesses) and the service provides by mosquito control workers throughout the nation.

Background information:

American Mosquito Control Association

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of telephones.

Rick Becker on Hoky Scripture, Tradion and the Teaching Office of the Church

"Got your Bible handy? Good. Turn to John's Gospel, Chapter 5. We’ll get to it in a minute.

"I grew up evangelical Protestant, so I spent a lot of time with my Bible, naturally enough. As a firm adherent of sola Scriptura - the Reformation principle of 'Scripture alone' - I relied on the Bible as the exclusive authority for what I believed and how I tried to live. Paul's words to Timothy were at the core of my Christian identity: 'All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness' (2 Timothy 3:16).

Consequently, I read my old Revised Standard Version regularly, underlining especially inspiring and challenging passages, jotting down thoughts in the margins. For me, that old RSV was a personal link to God, and so I wanted to immerse myself in it, to know it inside and out, to make it part of me - because I wanted God to be part of me and in my life. It seemed so obvious and direct: If the Bible was our primary connection to the divine, then I had to thoroughly connect with my Bible. What could be simpler?

"Then I got older, went to college, and started asking questions I hadn't asked before - like which Bible should I be reading, and was it all right to take for granted the scholarly integrity of those who translated it for me? It also meant reading the footnotes and grappling with their implications."

In a recent commentary, writer Rick Becker reflected on how Scripture, tradition, and the teaching office of the Church each work together and individually under the action of the Holy Spirit.

To access Mr. Becker's complete post, please visit:

National Catholic Register: Blogs: Rick Becker: Sola Which Scriptura? (25 JUN 19)

Reflection Starter from Mark Twain

"We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter." - attributed to Mark Twain

26 June 2019

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of the many good people You have placed in my life over the years.

Br. Luke VanBerkum, O.P., on St. Josemaría Escrivá and the Work of God

"Time is passing into eternity, and it’s happening every day.

"The Church marks the passing of time with the liturgical year, which makes each day bear more significance than simply another cycle of 24 hours. With the proclamation of the Gospel at daily Mass, the mysteries of the life of Christ are made present to sanctify our very lives. Yet, the Church extends her claim over the temporal even further: 'The Liturgy of the Hours … is the daily prayer of the Church, marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer.' Monks had a different name for the Liturgy of the Hours: opus Dei, or work of God. It is one realization of St. Paul's exhortation to 'pray without ceasing' (1 Thess 5:17) that still constitutes the hourly rhythm of the Church. In her wisdom, the Church provides a way for sanctifying every hour of one's life, of allowing every minute of the day to be drawn up into the eternity of God through prayer.

"The Church has acknowledged another way of seeking sanctification in the hour-to-hour of one's ordinary day-to-day life. She has done this by recognizing the special founding grace given in 1928 to St. Josemaría Escrivá, whose feast day we celebrate today. . . ."

In a recent commentary, Brother Luke VanBerkum, O.P., reflected on St. Josemaría Escrivá and his encouragement of prayer and sacrifice in the life of each Christian.

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

Dominicana: The Work of God (26 JUN 19)

Reflection Starter from Pope John XXIII

"Do not walk through time without leaving worthy evidence of your passage." - Pope John XXIII

25 June 2019

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week

This week, the week of 23-29 June, is being observed as National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.
Summer is the peak season for what is considered one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena – lightning. However, lightning strikes year round. In the United States, an average of 47 people are killed each year by lightning. To date, there has been four deaths in 2019.

In addition, hundreds of people are permanently injured each year. People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including (but not limited to) memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, chronic pain, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, and depression.

For more information related to lightning safety, please visit:

National Weather Service: Overview: Lightning Safety

National Weather Service: Lightning Safety Tips and Resources

National Lightning Safety Council
Lightning Protection Institute: Lightning Safety Awareness Week

Insurance Information Institute: YouTube: Beyond Thunder Dumb: When Lightning Strikes…

"Give Thanks"

As we continue to love this week, I offer this version of "Give Thanks":

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of magnifying glasses.

On the Combat Rosary of the Pontifical Swiss Guard

"In the early part of 2016, Fr. Richard Heilman became aware that the Commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard had seen and very much liked Fr. Heilman's creation: The Combat Rosary, which is based on the original WWI Military Issue Rosary. Fr. Heilman asked if he could donate one for each of the Swiss Guard. This offer was gratefully accepted by the Commander."

A recent post by Fr. Heilman offered a speech given by Colonel Christoph Graf (Commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard) on the Combat Rosary.

To access the complete post, please visit:

Roman Catholic Man: Combat Rosary of the Pontifical Swiss Guard (i JUN 19)

Reflection Starter from John

"Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" - John 8:12

24 June 2019

Edith Avila Olea on a Special Role of Immigrant Families

"This is the time of the year when students are graduating from high school, college, graduate school and so on. It has me reflecting on my own graduation coming up. My entire family will be traveling 12 hours to come see me walk on stage.

"Graduation isn't just my own triumph, it is our triumph!

"I started my master's program because of the encouragement that my family gave me. My family is in the midst of a long and difficult battle with the immigration system. Because of the stress and uncertain future, I found myself doubting my ability to pursue the degree.

"My anxiety felt overpowering. This fear is one that many families know. What will happen if my family is broken up? Would we have to move? Who would take charge of the rest of us? The questions go on and on."

In a recent commentary, Edith Avila Olea, associate director of justice and peace for the Diocese of Joliet, reflected on the role immigrant faithful are playing in "bringing back peace in a divided world."

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

The Pilot: Echoes: Edith Avila Olea: An ode to immigrant families (14 JUN 19)

The Five Satins: "In the Still of the Night"

It's time for some more doo wop. Here is a presentation of "In the Still of the Night" by The Five Satins:

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the prayers that are offered for us - those we request and those that are offered without our knowledge.

Bishop Tobin on Praying for Others

"'Keep me in your prayers.' Those are words my mom used all the time, especially as she got older, at the end of one of our visits, or in the cards and notes she sent to me. In fact, they are the final words I heard my mom speak when I visited her in the hospital the night before she died. 'Keep me in your prayers,' she said, as I kissed her forehead and prepared to leave.

"I'm not sure why those words became such a regular part of my mom's conversation. . . .

"Asking for someone's prayers, or praying for someone else, is a beautiful and Catholic thing to do. But it's an instinct that transcends our Catholic Faith."

In a recent commentary, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Diocese of Providence (RI), reflected on how praying with or for someone else accomplishes several things, including reminding "us of the presence and power of God in our lives," connecting us to another person in need (thus "affirming the solidarity of the human family"), and sharpening "our sensitivity to the suffering and needs of others."

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

The Imitation of Christ: "Keep Me In Your Prayers" (20 JUN 19)

Reflection Starter from Ephesians

"Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord." - Ephesians 5:15-17

23 June 2019

The Priests: "Panis Angelicus"

As we continue our Sunday celebration I offer this version of The Priests presenting "Panis Angelicus":

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The assigned readings are Genesis 14:18-20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, and Luke 9:11B-17. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 110 (Psalm 110:1-4).

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

YouTube: Psalm 110: You Are a Priest (Mark Haas)

The Gospel reading is as follows:

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured.

As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, "Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here."

He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves."

They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people." Now the men there numbered about five thousand.

Then he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty." They did so and made them all sit down. Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: Body and Blood of Christ (June 23, 2019)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: The Body and Blood of Christ (June 23, 2019)

Community in Mission: esus Wants to Feed You! Corpus Christi (22 JUN 19)

Crossroads Initiative: Corpus Christi - Eucharist, The Body of Christ

The Deacon's Bench: Corpus Christi: 'It Is Astounding to Consider What Bread Can Become' (21 JUN 19)

The Sacred Page: Eucharist and Priesthood: The Feast of Corpus Christi (18 JUN 19)

The Sacred Page: The Body and the Blood of Christ (The Mass Readings Explained) (17 JUN 19)

St. Paul Center: Blessed and Given: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ

Word on Fire: Corpus Christi (Solemnities * Corpus Christi)

Catholic News Agency: Pope Francis: The Eucharist is Jesus Alive (21 JUN 19)

Sister Mary Madeline Todd, OP: Corpus Christi: Food for Our Deepest Hunger, Strength We Need for the Journey (21 JUN 19)

Spirituality of the Readings: Why Go to Church? (Body and Blood of Christ)

In Exile: Eucharist as God's Physical Embrace (Body and Blood of Christ)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Paul on the Lord's Supper (Body and Blood of Christ)

The Word Engaged: In the Beginning Was Covenant (Body and Blood of Christ)

 Historical Cultural Context: Meals (Body and Blood of Christ)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by John Chrysostom (Body and Blood of Christ)