30 June 2020

FEMA Issues COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for 2020 Hurricane Season

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently issued a document designed to provide actionable guidance to state and local officials to help prepare for response and recovery operations for the 2020 hurricane season and to encourage personal preparedness measures amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (While the document focuses on hurricane season preparedness, most planning considerations can also be applied to any disaster operation in the COVID-19 environment, including no-notice incidents and spring flooding and wildfire seasons.)

Media report:

American City and County: FEMA releases operational guidelines, hosts webinars on accommodating COVID-19 during hurricane season (June 2020)

To access a copy of the complete document, please visit:

FEMA: COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for 2020 Hurricane Season

Duke Ellington: "Mood Indigo"

Music of various types has been interwoven into the history of the United States (going back to the original thirteen colonies). Among this music is "Mood Indigo," presented here by Duke Ellington:

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of the Communion of Saints.

Br. Bartholomew Calvano, O.P., on Sports Fans and Saints

"Growing up, I did not think much of professional sports and rarely watched them. During college, I eventually started to follow them since they were a useful conversation starter. The more that I followed sports, the more I began to enjoy rooting for various teams. Now I am (to some degree) happy when my team wins and sad when it loses. It is this association of happiness with the success of our sports teams that can point us a little bit toward heaven."

In a recent commentary, Brother Bartholomew Calvano, O.P., reflected on the similarities of fans sharing in the success of their teams with saints sharing in the joy of other saints.

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

Dominicana: Root, Root, Root for the Home Team (13 JAN 20)

Reflection Starter from Robert Quillen

"There are glimpses of heaven to us in every act, or thought, or word, that raises us above ourselves." - Robert Quillen

29 June 2020

"The Church's One Foundation"

As we continue our celebration of the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, I offer this version of "The Church's One Foundation":

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles. The assigned readings are Acts 12:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18; and Matthew 16:13-19. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 34 (Psalm 34:2-9).

The Gospel reading is as follows:

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”"

Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Reflections on this feast day:

Franciscan Media: Saint of the Day: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

National Catholic Register: Pope Francis on Feast of Saints Peter and Paul: 'Only Prayer Unlocks Chains' (29 JUN 20)

Magis Center for Catholic Spirituality: Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Whispers in the Loggia: On Peter and Paul, "Tradition," "Temptations"... and "Empty Triumphalism" (29 JUN 18) 

Community in Mission: Five Lessons on Faith From Peter's Time in Jail (28 JUN 18)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for those people who are lifting up, in prayer, this broken world.

Anthony Lilles on Saints in the Public Square

"People of prayer are witnessing to the religious dimension of humanity. Even in the face of an angry crowd, the gentle tenderness of holy humanity is a sign that helps everyone return to their senses. The one thing all the politicians, experts and mobs have in common is that they do not understand the religious dimension of humanity. That is why saints are so important. The witness of someone praying the rosary even as rancor is begin incited reminds everyone of their own humanity. We are not beings whose meaning is ever exhausted by the latest political cause or social agenda, no matter how noble. We are spiritual creatures who need to be reminded of the deeper truths in which we live, and move and have our being. Saints signify what the nihilistic conventions of the moment obscure."

In a recent commentary, Dr. Anthony Lilles (assistant professor of theology at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, CO) reflected on the role of holy, prayerful people durng these challenging times.

To access the complete post by Dr. Lilles, please visit:

Beginning to Pray: The Saints in the Public Square (June 2020)

Reflection Starter from John Lubbock

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time." - John Lubbock

Thank you, Richard Kless, for the tip.

28 June 2020

"Bless the Lord, O My Soul"

As we continue our Sunday celebration, I offer this version of "Bless the Lord, O My Soul":

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The assigned readings are 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16A; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; and Matthew 10:37-42. The Responsorial Psalm is from Psalm 89 (Psalm 89:2-3, 16-19).

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

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 89 Forever I will Sing the Goodness of the Lord) June 28, 2020

The Gospel reading is as follows: 

Jesus said to his apostles: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

"Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple - amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."
Reflections on these readings: