Tuesday, May 30, 2006


When I came downstairs after I got dressed, I heard:

Primo: Hey mom, nice overalls!

Bubba: Mom, nice square pants!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

From the pews

Bubba: Is this a couch?
Me: No, it's called a pew.
Bubba: A PEW!!!???

After Fr. Bryan's Thanksgiving mAss

Bubba: Are we done in this place?
Me: Yes, Mass is over.
Bubba: Is it party time now?


Mom and I went to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart yesterday for ordination Mass. Our diocese ordained 17 men yesterday, one of whom we have known since he did a semester long placement at our parish 4 years ago. Fr. Bryan Page is a great guy, and Our Lady of the Lake in Verona is lucky to be getting him.

We went to his Thanksgiving Mass with the whole family last night at St. Francis in Hoboken. Now, Hoboken is the birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra. Ol' Blue Eyes was baptized at St. Francis, which was cool, but not the coolest thing about being at St. Francis last night.

Fr. Bryan's family was there (duh) and when he processed in beind all of his conclelebrants, They all got weepy. They were so proud of him. I have to say I choked up too. I can't rule out the role of my hormones in the crying, but I just imagined myself in maybe 25 years and perhaps I would be sitting in Mrs. Page's place as one of my sons said his first Mass and the misty eyes began.

At the end of Mass, before the final blessing, Fr. Bryan took a moment to give a gift to his mom. When a man is ordained, the bishop anoints his hands and binds them with a white cloth to demonstrate the man's ties to his local church and to God. Fr. Bryan presented this cloth (the name of which escapes me) to his mom saying that newly ordained priests give this to their mothers and that when it is the mother's turn to met her maker, she is buried with it wrapped around her hands. The story goes, that when she meets Our Lord, and He asks her, "What did you do for me in your life," she can show Jesus the cloth and say, "I gave you a priest."

That was the coolest thing about being at St. Francis last night.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Update on Nancy's family

Their second eldest child, stationed with the Navy in Hawaii, has started a website with the family's side of the story in dealing with Arizona CPS. If you are moved by the family's ordeal, you can make a donation through Paypal at the website for Nancy's and James' legal defense. Please continue to pray for all those who are involved.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Found this on Open Book Yesterday and I can't get it out of my head or off of my heart.

Alicia the midwife's friend and fellow midwife Nancy's family is in a large pickle. It's horrifying. Every bit of it. Read the original post here on Alicia's blog, Fructus Ventris. Go here for the update from 5/19 and here for today's post with the photo of the 13 month old baby who was taken from his parents and briefly returned to them bruised and swollen.

Anyone who knows media people in Arizona who reads these entries and can get these people some help, please do. Maybe some print media attention will help. If you don't know people, please pray for them. That will help too.

Holy Family, pray for them. St. Michael, protect the children.

UPDATE: The family has contracted an attorney, but they are not wealthy. There is a link to a PayPal account for their legal defense at Alicia's blog. Follow this link.

I don't feel like this woman right now

I am so sick of people telling me, "I don't think you're going to make it to August! You're getting so big!"

It's at the point where, if I were not the nice person that I am, I would reply thusly to the following question:

"Oh, when are you due?"

"I'm. not. pregnant."

I really haven't gained that much weight so far, compared to the first 2 pregnancies. I was overweight to begin with, so it makes a difference. And I popped over the weekend. Well, really, I exploded.

I just deleted a very whiny sentence.

Anyway. My blog. My rant. It's over. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, May 22, 2006

But I'm feeling Happy.....

No, I'm not dead yet. Just not much to say. and very busy.

What does a girl have to do to get a shrubbery around here?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

80's music quiz

H/T to Barb
Did you know there is a real Electric Avenue in PA, just northwest of Harrisburg? Don't remember what town it's in...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

really big bummer

Not only is our pastor retiring, I found out today that my friend, sometime spiritual director, advisor, and confidant, Sr. Jane Marie Smith, O.P. is being transferred away from our parish school at the request of her community to serve in their infirmary.

I just don't know what I'm going to do without her there in her classroom all the time. I am really sad.

Monday, May 15, 2006

email about my homeschool rant

I posted a rant (2 entries below) about a diocesan level meeting where homeschooling came up. I decided to email the Director of Catechetics in our Archdiocese about it. Here is the text:

Dear Mr. Director Man,

I have been doing a lot of thinking about homeschooling since the Council Meeting last Thursday. For what it’s worth, I wanted to give you some of my thoughts.

It seemed as if you and certain other members of the council were uncomfortable with how these children were being catechized and prepared for the sacraments. It also seemed that certain members felt that these are families who isolate themselves from the larger Catholic community of their parishes. I don’t think that’s always true. There are some who fit that description, sure. But on the whole, most of these families are extremely active in their home parishes, homeschool associations, and town athletic programs.

There is a sizable group (6 or 7) of Catholic homeschoolers in our parish who meet monthly with one of our retired priests in residence. They use the Seton Home School Curriculum. The kids are prepared by their parents for the sacraments. I have given some of them the texts we use for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist Prep when they have asked for it. We had a young man from that group prepare with his mother to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. He did everything that the kids from the parish school and religious ed programs did (retreat, service hours, interview with a priest, mom came to meetings). His mother prepared him using the Baltimore Catechism. He was probably the best-prepared candidate that year.

I don’t tend to think that just because the Baltimore Catechism is 150 years old that it is useless (Is there no use for the National Catechetical Directory now that we have the NDC?). We joke about having memorized the answers to the questions when we were young, but at least then we knew what the Church teaches. Can we really say that about everyone who was catechized in the 1970s and 1980s? I think that the Baltimore Catechism is a fine resource. It presents the fullness of the teachings of our Church in terms which are easy for people to understand. In these instances, the family’s life is the primary textbook for the children. Everything else is a supplement.

Maybe the concern of certain council members is that older texts don’t present enough of the Church’s other teachings, such as on social justice. I have to tell you that most of these boys and girls are getting a better education about social justice issues from their parents than they could from the newest textbook series out there. These are families for whom Catholicism is a way of life. They go to soup kitchens regularly. They support various Catholic charities by visiting them and giving hours of their time to them. These are families who attend Mass at least weekly.

I know that you will be fair in drawing up a policy on homeschooling for the Archdiocese of (blank). I know you will draft the policy in accordance with Section 61.3 of the NDC, which discusses the parish catechetical program being a help to the parents (I didn’t see a distinction between parents as primary educators and parents as catechists in that section). Please consider this information from a homeschooling acquaintance of mine:

Brian Ray did a study of about 7,000 adults who had been homeschooled, and 5,000 of them had been homeschooled for several years. (I forget the exact number of years which put them in the long term homeschooled category.) One of the interesting things he found was that about 93% of homeschooled adults were active in religion, as compared to about 50% for the American population. And about 96% of homeschooled adults held the same religious beliefs as their parents. (Home Educated and Now Adults, Brian Ray, 2004)
Those are some pretty good numbers.

Please also consider something else I read recently. Before the dawn of public education, most American children were taught by their parents. The American literacy rate was much higher then than it is now. Faith literacy among homeschooled children seems to be much higher than among the general population as well.

Finally, please respect that there are many, many homeschooling parents in our Archdiocese who feel that some textbooks do not present enough of the meat and potatoes of our faith (ie: Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist, that the Catholic Church is the only Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself). If they are not choosing texts or primary sources (such as catechisms and encyclical letters) which are at odds with Church teaching, they should not be prevented from using them.

Thanks for reading my (lengthy) email. I’ll be praying for you as the policy moves through its draft phase and into its final phase.

Viva Christo Rey!

Amy Giglio

Opus Dei strikes Back at Opie

Opus Dei Response to Director Ron Howard"Catholics Are Victims of an Offense" ROME, MAY 15, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The press office of the Opus Dei Prelature sent this statement to ZENIT on Friday in response to comments by the director of the soon-to-be-released film "The Da Vinci Code."

* * * On Thursday the Italian press published interviews with Ron Howard, director of "The Da Vinci Code" film. In statements attributed to him, Howard said that "to deny the right to see the film is a fascist act," and also "to tell someone not to go see the film is an act of militancy and militancy generates hatred and violence." The Opus Dei is mentioned several times in these interviews. The phrases seem to refer to recent statements by Church authorities.

I would ask Ron Howard to keep calm and express himself with respect.

It is not wise to lose sight of the reality of the situation: This film is offensive to Christians. Howard represents the aggressor, and Catholics are victims of an offense. The one offended cannot have his last right taken away, which is to express his point of view. It is not the statements of ecclesiastics or the respectful request of Opus Dei -- to include a notice at the beginning of the film that it is a work of fiction -- which generates violence. It is rather the odious, false and unjust portrayals that fuel hatred.

In his statements, Howard also repeats that it is simply a film, an invented story, and that it must not be taken too seriously. But it is not possible to deny the importance of the movies and literature. Fiction influences our way of seeing the world, especially among young people. It is not right not to take it seriously. Artistic creativity certainly needs a climate of freedom, but freedom cannot be separated from responsibility.

Imagine a film that says that Sony was behind the attacks on the Twin Towers, which it promoted because it wanted to destabilize the United States. Or a novel that reveals that Sony paid the gunman who shot the Pope in St. Peter's Square in 1981, because it was opposed to the Holy Father's moral leadership. They are only invented stories. I imagine that Sony, a respectable and serious company, would not be happy to see itself portrayed in this way on the screens, and that it would not be satisfied with an answer such as "Don't worry, it's only fiction, it mustn't be taken too seriously, freedom of expression is sacred."

In any case, those who have taken part in the film's project have no reason to be concerned. Christians will not react with hatred and violence, but with respect and charity, without insults or threats. They can continue to calculate tranquilly the money they will make on the film, because the freedom of financial profit seems to be in fact the only sacred freedom, the only one exempt from all responsibility. They will probably make a lot of money, but they are paying a high price by deteriorating their prestige and reputation.

I hope the controversy of these months will not be sterile but serve to reflect on the relative character of financial profit when high values are involved; on the importance of fiction; on responsibility, which always supports and protects freedom.

[The statement added:] The plan of Opus Dei's Communication Office in regard to this case may be found on the Web page www.opusdei.org, which explains in detail its position over these months.

[From] Manuel Sánchez Hurtado, in charge of relations with the international press, at the Opus Dei's press office in Rome.

I particularly like this: In his statements, Howard also repeats that it is simply a film, an invented story, and that it must not be taken too seriously

From Open Book, an excerpt of a 2003 interview with Dan Brown:

WERTHEIMER: You're trying not to get too fictional with the facts here?

Mr. BROWN: Absolutely. The only thing fictional in "The Da Vinci Code" is the characters and the action that takes place. All of the locations, the paintings, the ancient history, the secret documents, the rituals, all of this is factual.

love it. I'm of two minds on this whole DVC nonsense. I wonder: Would this film and the book disappear if no one paid any attention to it? Or, is it time Catholics started standing up for ourselves when we're being maligned? Because if you look at the world and its constant attacks on our faith, You've got to get upset about it and want to say something so people will know the truth. On the other hand, you have the examples of Jesus and of the saints who did not stand up for themselves when they were persecuted. The saint who comes immediately to my mind in this instance is St. Gerard Majella, falsely accused of rape and ultimately vindicated even in his silence.

What do you think?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Catechetical Rant

Yesterday, I attended my last Parish Catechetical Leaders Council Meeting. I was invited to join the council last year. The council is made up of all of the members of the staff of the diocesan Catechetical Office and at least 2 representatives from each county our diocese serves. I was supposed to serve a 2 year term, but this little girl on her way later this summer has gotten me out of my term of service a little early and none too soon.

I was the youngest person in the room by at least 15 years. That means that I am the only one not full of the "Spirit of Vatican II." And I mean that in the worst sense. I don't think that the Second Vatican Council was a bad thing. I also don't happen to think that everything that came out before the Council should be thrown out. We have a thing called Tradition in our Catholic Church, people. 2000 years of it. Pentecost didn't happen in 1963.

So, at some point, the conversation turned to homeschooling and sacrament preparation. Apparently, our Archbishop has asked the Director of the Catechetical Office to draft a policy on homeschooling. The director's comments were not really friendly to homeschoolers, in my opinion. Someone mentioned that some homeschooling families are using the Baltimore Catechism to prepare their children for Confirmation. She and he snickered at the idea.

Well, is there anything in the Baltimore Catechism that contradicts the faith? I mean, it was only used for 150 years with great success. People make jokes about still being able to remember the questions and answers verbatim from the Catechism. What's wrong with that? At least you knew what the Church taught! It's more than I can say for people in my generation who grew up pretty clueless about the basic tenets of our faith. Those who grew up learning "Jesus loves me" and making felt banners.

And people who homeschool tend to really live their faith, practicing great works of charity and praying daily. You cannot make the argument that they can learn how to practice their faith any better from a "new" textbook.

There was also some discussion between these two about the kids being isolated from the wider parish community and the world. Well, these are kids who are at Mass at least once a week, who are altar servers and who interact with other homeschooling families on a daily basis. They play sports, they go out, they run around. They have fun. What's so wrong about growing up in an environment where your faith is nutrured by other people who share your faith? More specifically, I'd like to ask them, what's so great about American culture that these kids are missing out on? The sexualization of our culture is rampant. Entertainment is garbage. There is next to nothing decent on TV for kids. You can't even turn on PBS and let it run. You just never know what's going to pop up on the screen (hello, Postcards from Buster!). When was the last time there was a rated G movie out that was truly worthy of the rating; one which had no objectionable content? Probably 1967.

Now I'm not saying that these families don't have to engage our culture. They do. How else are they going to change it?

I'd be very interested in seeing in the next few years as the kids who are in this homeschool boom become adults what the percentage of them who become priests and religious is compared to the general Catholic School and Public School population. I'll bet it's higher. Know why? Because they have been immersed in their faith and they have more interaction with priests and religious on a regular basis than their counterparts have.

I'm just glad I don't have to listen to this crap from these middle-aged women and men anymore. I'm glad I don't have to worry about my blood pressure four times a year. I'll pray for them. And I thinkI'm going to put some of this into an email for mister director man. I think he could stand to hear some of it. Mostly my defense of homeschooling. Not the most ranty parts of my rant.

/end rant

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Master of Disguise

A woman named Ave posted this in a comment box over at Penni's blog: Gosh, life would be easy if satan was a tatoo covered snake with a piercing in his tongue. We could recognize him slinking down the street and stay out of his way. But the Father of Lies is the master of disguises.

Made me think about the first time I ever served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. The priest who trained me warned me especially of my duty to make sure that everyone who came for Communion consumed the host in front of me. Unfortunately, there are people who hate Our Lord so much that they would steal Him in His Eucharistic Presence and desecrate Him.

That first Sunday, I was assisting next to that same priest who trained me and I was caught up in prayer, "Thank you Lord for giving me this opportunity to serve you. I am not worthy to do this. Please help me to serve you well." I also found myself thinking about what someone who would steal the Eucharist from a church would look like. Probably a young man wearing black clothes and a mohawk, I thought.

An older woman appraoched me, in her white pants and pink sweater. "The Body of Christ." "Amen," she said. She took Our Lord in her hands and walked away.

I walked right behind her, "Excuse me. Excuse me!" I called as I caught up to her, half-full ciborium in my hand. The organ played loudly. I tapped her on the shoulder. She turned and said, "Don't embarrass me." She kept walking. My heart pounded in my chest, blood pulsing in my ears. I caught up to her again, at the back of the church and held her arm. "I must watch you consume the host." "Don't embarrass me," she said, "I have a scratchy throat and I want to take it home to eat later." "No. I have to watch you consume the host." She did and then she said, "I'm going to talk to the Monsignor about this." "I wish you would," I replied, then I went back to the front of the church, very much shaken, to finish distributing Communion to the rest of the church.

At the credence table, I asked the EMHC who had been holding one of the chalices if she had seen what had just happened. She didn't notice me walk past her. After Mass, I asked my family if they had seen me chase the lady down. They hadn't noticed me leave the front of the church. A couple of days later, I asked Father if he had seen me leave the front to chase that woman. He hadn't noticed either.

I was starting to doubt if she was real. I honestly felt, and still feel, that I had wrestled with the evil one that morning. And he wasn't a surly teen. He was a sweet little old lady.

This is more of Ave's comment:
We can recognize Christ, though, by the wounds in His hands.

This reminded me of the story of a saint, I'm not sure which one, but the devil was tormenting him and he told the devil to buzz off. Later, he had a vision of Jesus in his cell, but the saint refused to bow down to Jesus. When the vision asked why he would not bow down, the saint replied that this was not Jesus at all, but the devil appearing as Jesus to try to trick the sint into payin homage to the evil one. Immediately, the vison changed shape into the devil and he asked the saint how he knew it wasn't Jesus. the saint replied, "There were no wounds on your hands. You are too selfish to allow yourself to be hurt as Jesus was." The devil immediately departed from that saint.

He's mighty tricky, isn't he, that satan?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


You all have been so helpful before, I'm hoping you can help again.

Someone close to me is a survivor of Breast Cancer. She is doing a walk for the cure to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which, I am 99% sure gives to Planned Parenthood. I don't want any of my money to go to PP, but I would like to help the cause. Do you know of any breast cancer related organizations that don't give money to PP? Thanks!

C'est une fille!

Yes, the ultrasound was (finally) today and it is for sure a girl. My husband has been able to do what no Giglio man has done in 2 generations: Produce a female child!

Now, what to name this poor girl? My DH has not been very helpful in this area. He is very slow to decide on anything important (Careful thinker), and most of what he's been doing is shooting down my suggestions. We've got a few months to decide. I'm pretty confident we'll have a name for her before we bring her home from the hospital. If you'd like to leave a suggestion in the combox, you're welcome to. The last name is pronounced JILLY-oh. Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A blog about my nieces!

My brother Frank has graciously permitted me to post a link to "The Girls," his blog about my nieces, the preemie twins in the post below. You can see pictures of them and get daily updates about their conditions. Isn't he smart to start a blog about them so that our family doens't pester him and Coleen (my lovely sister-in law) all the time about new information?

If you will continue to keep them in your prayers, all of us would be so grateful.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I am a sad, sad specimen of a woman

I have been craving Lemonheads candy and I can't find them anywhere.

It all started a few weeks ago. Hmm... she thinks, I would sure love some Lemonheads, candy of my youth. Maybe they have them at Shoprite.

No Lemonheads at Shoprite.

Two weeks later: Hmmm... Maybe at Target?

No Lemonheads at Target.

Today: Maybe at Rite Aid?

No Lemonheads at Rite Aid.

An hour and a half ago: I wll drive across town to the Dollar Tree where I found them last July. Surely they will have Lemonheads 10 months later!!!!

No Lemonheads at Dollar Tree.

To DH on the cell phone: "I am looking in this store and there are no Lemonheads. And no other candy will do. For Mother's Day, I want to you to go online and order me some Lemonheads!"

At least I can avoid blogging about my other craving: the Turkey Club sandwich. I will be ordering one from one of the local diners for dinner tonight.

But now that I'm thinking about candy from my youth, Alexander the Grape was sure a great candy....


In the past year and a half, I have witnessed 2 marriages break up over the husband's infidelity. Especially heinous about the situations were that each family had small children (Couple one had a 7 year old and a baby on the way; Couple 2 had a seven year old and a 2 year old).

It ripples all over the place, doesn't it? My husband and I talk about it: "How can he leave her pregnant like that? How can he force her to sell their house as part of the settlement? Can you believe he told her so matter-of-factly, 'I'm leaving and I've been seeing someone else for over a year?' I guess now she'll have to get tested for STDs." People all over the place talk about it. It makes you grateful that your husband isn't "like that." It makes you grateful your wife isn't "like that." But it makes you wonder, would you even know if your spouse was "like that?' These women didn't.

You see the man take his son to little league and think, "There's the adulterer. There's the guy who cheated on his pregnant wife and then left her." You see the woman in the grocery store and think, "Poor her. Now she has to raise them alone." There are separate pews at First Holy Communion. There are the folks who were friends with both of them. To whom do they give their allegiance: the betrayer or the betrayed? Then the friends of the friends thinking, "How can they still talk to him after what he did to her and his kids? How can you be friends with someone so selfish?"

And then the kids. They're hurt and confused. They become pawns between warring spouses, no matter how amicably they try to work out the details of the divorce. And one can't help but wonder, "Will the boys think this is OK to do to their wives? Will the girls grow up to expect this from their husbands?"

There are also times when one person chooses wrong once. They repent and then the couple should try to work it out. But here, we're talking about relationships with other wonen that they are leaving their families for.

The fact is, we don't know what was going on in that house across the street. And we can't judge his sin. Yes it is objectively wrong. But as for the judgment, we must leave that up to the Perfect Judge. You don't know what's in another man's heart. And get the plank out of your own eye first, right?

Isn't it interesting how so many claim, "What should they care? What I do in my personal life doesn't effect anyone." What we choose to do extends so far beyond our family. You neighbors and friends question how solid their own marriages are. Your kids grow up without 2 parents. What about the impact on your grandchildren from your divorce and infidelity? What about your own parents and in-laws? What we do in our personal lives does matter to other people, it does directly effect them.

It matters a lot.