Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Always knew it

You are Marylin Monroe. You were loved and
appreciated your whole life but something
inside still felt empty.

Which dead celebrity are you?
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Monday, June 27, 2005

haircut 100

My husband gave the boys their first ever crew cuts this weekend. It has been awful hot here lately and I got tired of the two of them looking so warm. We took them outside, DH shaved their heads with the clippers and then we hosed them off (refreshing since it was 97 degrees yesterday). They look infinitely cooler (in a temperature sense), but the little one has these eyes as big as saucers and he looks a little like a cancer patient (his hair used to be long, but not in a girly way-or a Joey Lawrence on "Gimme a Break" way either. just shaggy). DH tried to get the front of their hair to stick up yesterday with some gel, but there wasn't much to stick up. So the elder boy took it upon himself to put what must have been nearly 1/4 cup of this stuff on his peach fuzz this afternoon. At least it smells good. And it washes out.

The cherries are in (on sale) and so are the bluberries and corn. Ah summer.


I let my subscription to "America" magazine run out. I did it sort of unwittingly. They started pissing me off, so when I got the renewal notice, I tossed it. BUt when I heard that Thomas Reese had resigned, I thought, Well, maybe we'll see how this goes. Funny how the last issue I got was the last one he edited.

I find that I miss getting riled up on a weekly basis. Weird, isn't it? Like breaking up with the boyfriend I fought with all the time and finding that I don't miss the boyfriend-only the fighting.

Supreme Court lets us down again

First the emininent domain debacle. Now the 10 commandments aren't always OK. I'll post the link to the AP news story when I get to a PC-I'm on the Mac at home now. Oh boy. Can't wait to hear what the bloghood has to say about this.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

ODing on T.O.

Terrel Owens , star wide receiver (thanks for the correction, Der Tomissar) for my beloved Philadelphia Eagles wants more money.
Because you just can't feed your family on $3 mil a year. ugh.

Miracle in Ethiopia

I read an AP report in yesterday's Star-Ledger about a 12-year-old girl in Ethiopia who was abducted from her home. The group of men who took her wanted to force her into marrying one of them. Apparently, they had beaten her severely in the wilderness over the course of a couple of days. The miracle part is that the police and the girl's family found her, surrounded by 3 lions. The lions had chased the men off, and protected her until the rescuers got to her then, the policeman said, the lions got up and "left her, like a gift."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Exxon Valdez and Catechesis

I have to talk about catechesis in the Church today, since Arthur brought it up. As you can tell from the URL, I am a DRE (Direector of Relgious Education) in a large-ish (3000 families) parish in NJ. We have 620 kids in our CCD program, which is 200 more than in the thriving parish school.

I find that our families and children need evangelization with their catechesis. I ask: what good is it to know the definition of transubstantiation if you don't believe that Jesus is God, that He loves you so much that He became a human being and died for you and that he gives you Himself in the Eucharist at every Mass?

We had first grade parents sitting in on classes this year to learn how to talk to their kids about God. Those parents in that class were the bravest parents of all those in our program. Know why? They were willing to acknowledge that they didn't know as much as they thought they should about Christ, and they were trying to get the message, too.

It is my firm belief that most parents want to talk to their kids about God, but they don't know how. They don't feel qualified because they are not priests or nuns, who, they feel are the only ones with a lock on God. These parents don't really know God themselves. These are men and women who were not well catechized. They are searching, but they aren't sure, so they don't talk about Him at all.

A colleague at another parish told me about a lady who called her from Minnesota because she wanted her daughter confirmed at the NJ parish. After 2 different telephone conversations, my colleague came to find out that the family had been attending a nondenominational church in MN and that the child had not been in Catholic Religious ED since her First Communion. "Why," my colleague asked, "do you want her to recieve Confirmation, if you're not even worshiping in a Catholic Church?" "Because it's tradition," was the reply. NO. It's NOT tradition. It is a Sacrament (an efficacious symbol institued by Christ to give grace)!

Some complain that the kids leave CCD without knowing anything. Well, if their parents don't foster a sort of home life will allow a child to grow in Christ, what are we supposed to do? There was a 3rd grader in our program this year who has a very troubled home life. One of his parents registered him for CCD. The other one would HIDE HIS TEXTBOOK and the Rosary the teacher gave him, and tear up the works he colored in class. When he was asked at the end of the year what he had learned, he said "that they care." Who? Jesus and Mary. I don't care if he didn't memorize the Apostle's Creed-that boy knows he has a Mother and Father in Heaven who love him and will protect him. That is a triumph.

I had a little girl tell me that her mom dropped her and her sister off early for class because she had to go to her friend's house to see if they could sleep there that night. We are not simply religious educators. We are also social service agents.

I think that some in the Church took the wonderful opening of the windows of the Second Vatican Council to the wrong extreme. The truth was diluted and the relativism that JPII and BXVI talk to us about crept in (and let's not forget that some let Satan creep in too.). "All Christian Churches are basically the same," some were taught. "Jesus is equally present in the assembly and in the Eucharist," others heard. And now those of us in professional catechetical ministry have a lot of cleaning up to do.

But we need the help of the faithful in the pews. I cannot teach 620 kids by myself. I rely on 35 catechists to help me do it. There are many who would criticize those of us in catechetical ministry, but how many of them have taken it upon themsleves to approach the DRE at their parish to offer their time as a catechist? All you have to do is love Christ and His Church and be willing to share that love with the children and their families. We can teach you how to teach. But the kids need the example of teens and adults who will say to them: "I have experienced God's love, and I want to tell you all about it." It takes about 2 or 3 hours in a week to prepare and teach the class. And you get your summers off to recharge.

Yes, we catechists have a lot of cleaning up to do. The "It's all ok beacuse Jesus loves you" catechesis of the 70's and 80's is rather like the Exxon Valdez disaster. It caused a really big mess and it takes many years and giving one duck at a time a good bath to get it cleaned up. The question is, who is going to get in here with us DREs, a bottle of Dawn, and a toothbrush to scrub these ducks?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The coolest animal.

You are pretty much the coolest animal, a Liger.

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
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OK. In the interest of full disclosure, I came up as Trisha (Who I don't even remember from the movie) the first time I took the quiz. But when I saw I could have been a liger, I had to go for it.

I'm so...

I was reading the archives of "A Saintly Salmgundi" by Fr. Bryce Sibley and came across this quiz. He is a B52. I'm a Cosmpolitan. I think that they picked that for me because I said I'd rather be a cat than the other lame choices they offered me. Truth is, I'd rather be a liger. It's pretty much my favorite animal.

You're a cosmopolitan!  Your drink is made up of vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice.  The ultimate style guru your other loves are cats and eating out.  A sophisticated little star!
""Which cocktail are you?""

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

On being a young DRE

So, on June 1 and 2 I went to an in-service that the Cathechetical office ran for the Archdiocese's DREs. The presenter was great. The topic was stimulating, and all around it was a great 2 days.

However, (you could feel it coming, couldn't you?) I always feel a little out of place when I gather with my colleagues from around the Archdiocese. I am younger than many of them by a lot. (The late 60-year-old presenter singling me out as a young'un didn't help either) I do not yet have my Masters degree in theology. I am, as some of my colleagues might say (though never to my face) one of those people who is not qualified to be a Director of Religious Education.

But as I type this and realize how sorry I sound, I thinkabout all of the young people that God has called throughout history to do great things which, on papaer, they were probably not qualified to do. Jeremiah didn't feel qualified to be a prophet. David wasn'tl qualified to be a king. Joan of Arc was not qualified to be a general. Bernadette, Marta, Jacinta, Dominic Savio-all were yound, younger than me, and look at their lives.

I think all of this is starting to pile up on me since I turn 30 at the end of this year. Christ started His Public Ministry at this age, so I feel like I should really be getting moving, you know? Then again, He IS God, so I should cut myself some slack.

Anyhow, I came into Catechetical ministry by God's plan, because it was certianly not anything I would ever have chosen for myself. And if God thinks me capapble, and my pastor hired me--then why do I let those other people intimidate me? Joan of Arc stood up to the King and his lackeys. Those people are not as lofty as a king. And my life is not on the line. Ugh. What a coward. Get over yourself!

Missing you JP2

I found myself missing John Paul the Great last night. I got the Summer issue of Faith and Family last week and it was dedicated to him with really well-written reflections on his papacy and what it meant to other folks my age. And I got sad. I love B16, please don't get me wrong. But, like I wrote around April 19. the conclave was like your uncles electing a new grandfather for the family after the orginal one died. I miss my first grandfather. It's still weird to hear the priest say "Benedict" in the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass. I will get used to it. But I didn't expect to feel the loss of JP2 this way. I know he is doing more for the Church in heaven than he could do on Earth, but, ah, I don't know.

Monday, June 13, 2005

On Ordination

May 29 was the date of ordination here in Newark. A friend of our family (Hi Fr. Colin) was ordained and we went. It was not my first ordination. I worked for the rectory in my parish in PA and one year we had a transitional deacon invite us to his ordination. Fr. JIm's ordination did not stir me like Fr. Colin's did. I think it has more to do with the fact that I was a self-absorbed 13 year old than the quality of the liturgy.

But I dirgress.

This was a beautiful bilingual liturgy (English and Spanish). And I was enormously proud, not only of Colin, but of all of the men who were ordained that day. Truly, I felt like all 12 of them were related to me. How beautful is their sacrifice and thier response to the Lord's call. I found myself seeing my sons on the altar (please, God!) and I was moved to tears. I pray often for the Lord to call my sons to the priesthood. And I pray that they will answer the Lord with the "Yes" that those 12 men gave on May 29.

Please pray for the newly ordained priests all ove rthe US. but also please pray for boys like my sons, that they might hear God's call, and that they might have the courage to answer.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Going on Vacation

The Fam is going to Cape Cod for the week, so I'll post again after I recover, probably Monday the 13th. Have a great week. God bless you! Viva Christo Rey!