Sunday, April 23, 2006

Hand It Over

News from the Vatican about yet another problem. According to the Washington Post, the Catholic Church has launched a battle against gum and graffiti as it launches a year-long celebration of the 500th anniversary of St. Peter's. Apparently, many of the 30,000 or so basilica visitors each year leave their mark.
Visitor numbers have swelled further since the death of Pope John Paul II last April and thousands daily queue for hours to visit his tomb deep in the bowels of the church -- some of them dropping gum and scribbling on the marble as they wait.
I can't imagine what would inspire someone to scribble on the walls of a sacred space created by Michelangelo, Donato Bramante, Raphael and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Of course, it's hard enough for me to imagine chewing gum in any church. Thanks to my fine Catholic education, I learned that life-long lesson at a young age. If there was an 11th commandment, this would be it: You never chew gum in church.

Maybe the vatican should have retired Catholic school teachers stand outside the gates of the basilica with an outstretched palm and that "look" that says "Hand it over. Ditch the gum (and graffiti tools) right now!"

Problem solved.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Holy Week Prayers

Found this at

Dearest Son, where will You be on Holy Monday:
Dearest Mother, on Holy Monday
I will be the son of a meek cavalier.

Dearest Son, where will You be on Holy Tuesday:
Dearest Mother, on Holy Tuesday I will be the son of a
meek Prophet.

Dearest Son, where will You be on Holy
Dearest Mother, on Holy Wednesday I will be the son of a meek

Dearest Son, where will You be on Holy
Dearest Mother, on Holy Thursday I will be in the Garden of Olives
to pray and to sweat Blood.

Dearest Son, where will You be on Holy
Dearest Mother, on Holy Friday I will be tied up on the

Dearest Son, where will You be on Holy Saturday:
Mother, on Holy Saturday I will be the King of the whole


The on-site instructions are to say this prayer 3 times a day on Holy Monday through Holy Friday, and nine times on Holy Saturday.

I'm there.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I have no doubt that Mother Teresa was an absolutely beautiful, saintly woman who, in her day, may well have been a head-turner. That said, this is a bit too much. (Where do I find this stuff?)

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Paris Hilton is being considered to play the part of the prospective saint, Mother Teresa, in an upcoming movie to be directed by T. Rajeevnath.
"Her features resemble Mother Teresa," he said, explaining that a computer generated image showed a close facial match between Hilton and the Albanian-born nun.
Uh-huh. I don't see it. How about you?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Seize the Daylight

Happy Daylight Saving Sunday. For most Americans, this is one day when we deposit an hour of our lives in return for five months of defying Mother Nature and Father Time to make the afternoon sun stretch into the evening. The good news is, we get that hour back on a chilly Fall weekend when an extra hour of sleep seems like a great idea.

For me, these two "Spring Forward/Fall Back" days really mess me up. Now, I can hop on a plane, cross several time zones and wake up the next day with the sun. But, when time changes in the comfort of my own home, that's something else. Today, that "lost hour" has seemed to multiply! 7:00 am became 8:00 am before I got out of bed. Thinking I'd have lunch around noon, I looked at the clock and it was 1:00 pm. Hoping I could get a little blogging done this afternoon, I sat down to the computer only to see it's already past 4:00 pm! It feels like I've lost three hours already today.

Things change next year, as DST starts earlier (in March 2007) and last longer ('til November), all in the hopes of saving more energy, preventing more traffic injuries and stopping more crimes. There's even a book on the history of DST: Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time. Check it out.

The book reminded me of one grammatical "pet peeve" of mine: It's Daylight Saving Time. No "S". And, the calendar reminded me of another: Today the first anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death. Not -- as we'll see and hear countless times today -- the one-year anniversary.

Now, it's almost 5:00 p.m....already! Time to go enjoy this extra hour of daylight.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


There's something very nice about this story of two Nevada Catholic Church programs that are designed to help "fallen away" Catholics find their way back to the church.

Re-Membering Church is offered by St. Teresa of Avila in Carson City. Landings is a similar program at Immaculate Conception in Sparks. Words like "non-judgmental" and "understanding" describe the programs, which are referred by one lay program leader as a "listening ministry."

The happy ending is somewhere in the middle of the story, with a report of a Catholic woman who stepped away from the church after her divorce. After going through the Re-Membering program, she celebrated her "second First Communion".

Three cheers to this wonderful ministry.