31 May 2021

The Statler Brothers: "More than a Name on a Wall"

Remembering Lance Corporal Clement Dupuis (a member of my Troop 16 Boy Scout patrol), a U.S. Marine who died 31 March 1969 while serving in the Vietnam War, and each military member who died in the service of this nation, I offer this presentation of "More than a Name on a Wall" by The Statler Brothers:

Memorial Day

Today is being observed as Memorial Day, a day designated to commemorate the men and women who died while in the military service.

We lift up to the Lord the souls of each of these men and women. We also thank Him, and them, for their sacrifice.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
                  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

YouTube: Memorial Day 2019 - Freedom Isn't Free

Community in Mission: A Memorial Day Meditation on Honor (24 MAY 20)

Paul Greenberg: Remembering, We Forget (30 MAY 11)

Community in Mission: On the "Memorare" of Memorial Day (27 MAY 18)

Dominicana: Memory (27 MAY 19)

Aleteia: Philip Kosloski: Catholic prayer for Memorial Day (31 MAY 21)

Community in Mission: America, I Gave My Best to You - A Reflection on the Virtue of Patriotism (26 MAY 19)

John McCrae: "In Flanders Fields"

YouTube: Memorial Day

YouTube: National Memorial Day Concert 2021 | PBS

Presidential Proclamation:

Presidential Proclamation:Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2021

Related media reports:

USA Today: Memorial Day: Remembering the Civil War's United States Colored Troops (31 MAY 20)

The Boston Globe: 76 years later, a World War II veteran pays tribute to the man who saved his life (29 MAY 21)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of each person we honor today as we observe Memorial Day.

Bishop Tobin on the Spirit of Unity

"In praying to the Holy Spirit, as we do more with more intensity on Pentecost, one of the gifts we should long for is the unity of the Church. And it's a very timely petition.
"When the Spirit descended upon the Apostles on that first Pentecost, he brought them together in a new and marvelous unity, so much so that we sometimes refer to Pentecost as the 'Birthday of the Church.' It's true that Jesus, in his divine wisdom, established the Church as a source and sign of salvation. But it was the Holy Spirit who perfected, sealed and 'confirmed' that unity on Pentecost Day.

In a recent commentary, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Diocese of Providence (RI), reflected on the Church's need to be purified and renewed and on the related need to pray to the Holy Spirit for the unity of the Church.

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

The Imitation of Christ: The Spirit of Unity (20 MAY 21)

Reflection Starter from Jennifer M. Granholm

"Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well." -  Jennifer M. Granholm

30 May 2021

"Sing Praises to the Living God"

As we continue our celebration of Trinity Sunday, I offer this version of "Sing Praises to the Living God":

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The assigned readings for the Mass during the day are Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Romans 8:14-17; and Matthew 8: 16-20. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 33 (Psalm 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22). 

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

YouTube: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (feat. Krystl Buesa)

The Gospel reading is as follows: 

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: Trinity Sunday May 30, 2021

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: The Most Holy Trinity (May 30, 2021)

Crossroads Initiative: Trinity Sunday - Is it Relevant?

St. Paul Center: Family of Love: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Magis Center for Catholic Spirituality: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

The Gregorian Institute at Benedictine College: This Sunday, the Only God Worth Believing in (27 MAY 21)

Word on Fire: How To Understand the Trinity (Cycle B * Ordinary Time * Week Trinity Sunday)

National Catholic Register: Sunday Guide: Trinity Sunday: Oneness and Threeness| (27 MAY 21)

Catholic News Agency: Pope Francis: The Holy Trinity invites us to grow in unity as Christians (30 MAY 21)

Spirituality of the Readings: Holy Trinity (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - Year B) 

In Exile: Finding God in Community (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - Year B) 

Glancing Thoughts: Persons All the Way Down
(Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - Year B)

The Perspective of Justice: Being a Person (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
- Year B)

The Word Embodied: At the Bottom of Reality (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
- Year B)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Revealed in Story (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - Year B)

Historical Cultural Context: Trinity (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - Year B) 

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Nicholas Cabasilas (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - Year B)

Anniversary Blessings to Alan and Jacqueline!!!

Anniversary greetings to brother Alan and his wife Jacqueline, whose wedding anniversary is today!!! May this day and the upcoming year be filled with the Lord's choicest blessings!!!

Anniversary Blessings to Jim and Dawna!!!

Anniversary greetings to brother Jim and his wife Dawna, whose wedding anniversary is today!!! May this day and the upcoming year be filled with the Lord's choicest blessings!!!

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of quiet moments in busy days.

Msgr. Pope on Love, Disappointment, the Church, and Her People

"As a priest and pastor I work very closely with others: clergy, religious, laity who work for the Church, and laity who volunteer. We all work for the Church because we love her and her people.

"At times, though, there is disappointment, hurt, or even disillusionment. Perhaps these feelings result from issues in the wider Church: sexual abuse by clergy, the lack of courage and leadership from some bishops and priests, the scandal of dissent at the highest levels, questionable partnerships with anti-life and anti-Catholic organizations, the breakdown of discipline, and the strange severity of response to some infractions contrasted with the almost total laxity in the face of others. Perhaps they are the result of local problems found in any group of human beings: gossip, hurtful actions, hypocrisy, power struggles, misplaced priorities, favoritism, and injustice. 

"While these things happen everywhere, many hope that there will be fewer occurrences in the Church. . . . Alas, such hopes are usually dashed quickly. We are, after all, running a hospital of sorts; and just as hospitals tend to attract the sick, so the Church attracts sinners and those who struggle. Jesus was often found in strange company, so much so that the Pharisees were scandalized. He rebuked them by saying, People who are well do not need a doctor, sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not the righteous (Mk 2:17)."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on the Church, her people, and the related love/disappointment issues, and he offers a related meditation.

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

Community in Mission: Love and Lament Alike - A Brief Reflection for All Who Care About the Church (28 MAY 21)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"The Holy Spirit is the Gift of God who helps us to be free people, people who want and know how to love, people who understand that life is a mission to proclaim the wonders that the Lord accomplishes in those who trust in him." - Pope Francis

29 May 2021

Denver Brass and Others: "God Bless America"

 As this blessed week draws to a close, I offer this version of the Denver Brass, Celtic Colorado Pipes & Drums, and others presenting "God Bless America":

'A Blast from the Past'

This weekend (Memorial Day) is considered, among other things, the beginning of the picnic season. Even though today's weather in New England, (rainy, drizzly) may not be especially conducive to picnics, many are looking forward to enjoying them at some time over the next few months.

From "a number of years ago" - Lucy, Mary, and Adam at a family picnic (I'm not sure of the location) :

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of these four truths of Your Catholic Church.

Fr. Longenecker on Why He Is a Catholic

"I had a request yesterday to be interviewed by some folks for a podcast they do discussing big questions. She said she was an Evangelical Protestant. The other two interviewers were to be a 'religious agnostic' and an atheist. They wanted to ask why I am Catholic.

"The best answer if that the Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic."

In a recent commentary, Father Dwight Longenecker (parish priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, Greenville, SC) reflected on these four attributes of the Catholic Church.

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

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: To an Inquirer: Why I am a Catholic (21 MAY 21)

Background information:

Dwight Longenecker - Catholic priest and author

Reflection Starter from Anthony J. D'Angelo

"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine." - attributed to Anthony J. D'Angelo

28 May 2021

José Plà and Juan Batista Plà: Trio Sonata in D minor

It’s time for some classical music. This is a presentation of José Plà and Juan Batista Plà's Trio Sonata in D minor, as played by the Pacific MusicWorks:


National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

This week, the week of 24-30 May, has been designated as National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2021. The observance was formerly known as Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week.

The annual observance is designed to focus on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone. It also focuses on the role of swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials in preventing drowning, pool chemical injuries, and outbreaks of illnesses; and it highlights swimmer hygiene and the need for swimmers to take an active role in helping to protect themselves and prevent the spread of germs.

Background information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy and Safe Swimming Week


Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of opportunities to love through patience, listening, courtesy, and forgiveness.

Ways to Say, "I Love You"

In a classic Christopher Closeup interview, theologian Dr. Doris Donnelly said that forgiveness is "the linchpin that holds a family together." Father John Catoir later wrote a News Note entitled "Ways to Say I Love You: Charity in the Home," in which he relates this bit of wisdom to a real-life story exemplifying how forgiveness not only brings healing but creates a chain reaction of love.

Father Catoir recounts the story of Jon West of Georgia, who learned about forgiveness from his father. When he was 10 years old, Jon was playing with a tree branch near where his father was working on a ladder. The youngster accidentally caused his father to fall and break his arm. Jon’s father's response was to say, "Let's forget it. I'm going to be fine, and we'll cut more limbs together, okay?"

This response made such a profound impression upon Jon that it caused him to treat his mother with the same forgiving attitude some time later when she spilled milk on him at dinner. Jon quickly responded "That's okay, Mama," and he later wrote an essay in which he called forgiveness "a sign of kindness and love."

Father Catoir explains that forgiveness is one of the best ways to say, "I love you," and he adds that listening and courtesy are great ways to express our love for others. He tells of one family in which generations were changed by having their hopes and dreams heard in one grandmother's kitchen in Ohio. Father Catoir writes, "Courtesy. Consideration. Kindness. These help create feelings of warmth, caring and acceptance in the home. All are facets of love." He quotes Letitia Baldridge, who was social secretary to two U.S. Ambassadors and said that good manners are good sense "with a little extra dose of love and consideration."

The love we show one another has a ripple effect that can profoundly impact many lives. Father Catoir tells of one couple who said that they "put one another first," explaining, "Because of this we have developed a unity of spirit apparent not only to us, but to our children."

Father Catoir notes that showing patience with children is one of the best ways to teach them lasting lessons, quoting Fred Rogers, who once said, "The only real discipline comes from love, not fear." To exemplify this axiom, Father Catoir recounts the story of a woman who was marveling at a friend's seemingly infinite patience with her three-year-old child, who kept interrupting her housework to call her outside to see a butterfly, a flower, or an ant. The woman asked the mother, "Don't you ever want to scream?" The mother responded, "Well, I brought her into the world. The least I can do is let her show it to me."

What a different way to look at the interruptions a child brings into the home, to see them as a gift that might enable us to view the world in a new light. And this is how we must see each individual we cross paths with and each situation that seems to interrupt our lives: as an opportunity to discover new ways to love through patience, listening, courtesy, and forgiveness.

We all have people in our lives to whom we want to say, "I love you," and the best way to make that statement is through our actions. And when we act on love within our homes, we plant seeds of hope that can transform the world.

This essay is a recent "Light One Candle" column by Father Ed Dougherty, M.M., The Christophers' Board of Directors ; 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 Pope Francis

"When we become aware of our distractions in prayer, what can help us confront them is to humbly offer our heart to the Lord so that He may purify it and refocus it on Him." - Pope Francis

27 May 2021

Jonathan Moody Band "Wagon Wheel

One of the treasures of New England is the great variety of music in our region. Some of this music (of whatever genre) is provided musicians from the region; other music is provided by artists visiting the region from other areas.

One such example is the Massachusetts-based Jonathan Moody Band.

Background information:

Jonathan Moody Band

In this video, the Jonathan Moody Band is presenting "Wagon Wheel":


Birthday Blessings, Bob!!!

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

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of opportunities to offer short prayers throughout the day.

Fr. Jack Loughran, OSFS, on Memorial Day

"I became the pastor of St. Alphonsus Church in Deerfield, MI, in 2000. In participating in the village observation of Memorial Day, I deepened my appreciation for the real reason we observe this holiday. Deerfield is a small farm community in SE Michigan. In the year 2000, the population was around 890 souls. In some ways, it is a typical American community, but in other important ways, it lives, closer to the heart, some things reflecting what it means to be American. Memorial Day is one of these things."

In a recent commentary, Father Jack Loughran, OSFS, reflected on Memorial Day and on the importance of taking time to remember, to thank, and to keep in prayers those who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service of our country.

To access his complete post, please visit:

De Sales Weekly: Provincial's Reflection: Celebrating Those who Laid Down their Lives (27 MAY 21)

Reflection Starter from St. Philip Neri

"It is an old custom of the servants of God to have some little prayer ready and to be frequently darting them up to heaven during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the mire of this world." - Saint Philip Neri, whose memory the Church celebrates 26 May

26 May 2021

Showing Mercy ((including to Those Who Hurt Us), Why We Should Thank God for Wverything, and Other Catholic-related Topics

A number of articles/posts have recently been published on a variety of New England-related subjects worth considering.

To access some of these, please visit:

Relevant Radio: How to Show Mercy - Even to Those Who Have Hurt You (20 APR 21)

New Advent: Why should you thank God for everything? (25 APR 21)

Public Discourse: What Pope Francis Teaches Us about Free Markets (29 APR 21)

The Catholic Thing: Groaning to Be Set Free (24 MAY 21)

Thy Geekdom Come: Life Lessons in Child Loss (26 APR 21)

U.S. Catholic: Personal devotions can guide us to God (March 2021)

Seton Magazine: The Most Important Lesson You Will Ever Teach (May 2021)

National Catholic Register: Pope Francis: Jesus Entrusted Mary to Us as a Mother, 'Not as Co-Redeemer' (24 MAR 21)

Anniversary Blessings to Jan and Alison!!!

Anniversary greetings to brother Jan and his wife Alison, whose wedding anniversary is today!!! May this day and the upcoming year be filled with the Lord's choicest blessings!!!

Cannonball Adderley Quintet: "Work Song"

It's time for some jazz, a genre of music I enjoy. Here is a presentation of "Work Song" by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet:


Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of those who pickup, process, and deliver our mail.

Theresa Civantos Barber on Ways that Pentecost Changes Us Forever

"[Recently we celebrated] the feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles in the upper room and emboldened them to courageously share the good news of Christ. The story sounds incredible in Scripture, with the 'strong driving wind' and extraordinary 'tongues of fire.' But what's most incredible is that each one of us has participated in Pentecost ourselves, and it's changed our souls forever.

"The Apostles' experience of Pentecost is the origin of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Just as at Pentecost, this sacrament is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

"All Christians are members of God's family by virtue of Baptism, but receiving Confirmation strengthens and completes the graces first received at Baptism. . ."

In a recent commentary, writer Theresa Civantos Barber reflected on some of the ways Pentecost changes us.

To access Ms. Barber's complete post, please visit:

Aleteia; Theresa Civantos Barber: 7 Ways that Pentecost changes us forever (23 MAY 21)