Thanksgiving Meals mmm–mmm, good!

A dreamy Thanksgiving Dinner
• Flavored Ginger Ale and Pitchers of Cold, Filtered Water with a bit of Lemon and Lime
• Roast Turkey
• Giblet Gravy
• Oyster Stuffing (see recipe)
• German White Wine (Lieb·frau·milch)
• Mashed Turnip and/or Candied Yams
• Creamed Corn with bite of Tabasco sauce
• Select Green Beans with Mushrooms and Almond slices
• Cranberry Sauce with a little blended orange peel
• Green and Queen and Black Olives Mints Nuts on the table
• Coffee
• Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream
• Butterscotch sauce of rich vanilla ice cream and mint leaf.
• A couch

A Maryland Recipe: Oyster Stuffing
INGREDIENTS 4 cups finely diced celery 2 cups boiling water 1/2 cup minced onion 1/2 to 3/4 cup butter (or margarine) 1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning and also of salt 1 teaspoon pepper 4 quarts lightly packed day-old bread crumbs 1-1/3 cups chopped, drained raw oysters
Details Yield Above a stuffing for 10 pound bird. Prep Time: 45 minutes Difficulty: • • •
DIRECTIONS Simmer celery in boiling water, covered, 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup liquid. Cook onion in butter or margarine over low heat until tender but not brown. Combine seasonings, crumbs, and oysters. (Liquid drained from oysters may be used as part of 1 cup liquid.) Add celery, 1 cup celery liquid, and onion; mix up with fork.

IMG_20140713_200654_356 The setting sun over the Chesapeake near Baltimore

IMG_20150131_145326_383IMG_20150131_145243_262 A lil’ football watching later. (Not rooting for the Cowboys!)

Christ the King Homily

Homily Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe November 22, 2015

Here’s my first point today…
I. The Kingdom of God is found by listening to the directions and to the Director. It will lead to a second point that this feast today, on this last Sunday of the Church year, is an appropriate time to do a little looking back, as well as some looking forward.

But first, one needs to have directions of where they are going, and to be getting them from a good director. It will take some listening and following to Jesus. He is reliable. The guy in the Tom-Tom GPS device that I owned a few years ago, he wasn’t so reliable. I was with a parishioner driving up on Interstate 95 and we got hungry for a meal that wasn’t a fast food, rest stop one. We programmed Tom Tom to find us a restaurant off a New Jersey exit. He spoke to us in our car to take his directions to get to a hotel restaurant, which sounded good, and so from the highway exit we turned where and when he told us to turn. Tom Tom took us all over this remote Jersey countryside, with left turns, right turns, left turns and driving through meadow lanes– until finally we got to the restaurant, which turned out to be right back there near the highway exit again. We had wasted 20 minutes following Tom Tom, and the restaurant wasn’t taking customers. I don’t follow Tom Tom anymore, but I am still following Jesus.

The Kingdom of God is found by listening to Jesus and His guidance for us, and to try and follow what He says. Hear the gospel today as Jesus is saying how “everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My Voice.” So, if the Kingdom of God is everything that is truth (everything that is true and good–hence, the directions for living), then we need to get with belonging to the truth by being good listeners and followers to Him. We listen to Jesus because He IS Truth itself. So, as Christ the King Sunday is at this end timing of the Church Year, we can ask ourselves: What have we been hearing and following and practicing (from Jesus)? Or what might have we missed, in because we were not listening to the True and Living Lord Jesus? Or did we get lost following a different voice?

The kingdom of God is found by listening to the Director. Jesus claims to be your path of success, even the holy road map or GPS to the full human life, which also leads us eventually for Glory and our perfection of life in God. He is the Director to that destination and a good driving of life to it. In John 15 it proclaims that Jesus said: I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life. Now in today’s gospel of John 18, our Redeemer Lord continues to explain how He will be The Way among us, even providing the Spirit of God for our help. If we but follow Instruction #1. (Listen. And Act upon the Lord’s guidance), then we act true to who we are, and become new in Christ even unto the Kingdom of Glory. Christ the King says so today in His Holy Word. Believe it. Why? Because you won’t get lost or misled. Most people do not pay much head to Instruction 1, of listening to The Director Jesus, so all other instructions steps after that are moot. They want to be a self-guide, by pride.

Last weekend in the homily I reminded you of how we are in the dichotomy of the already and not-yet experience of salvation. We are already “in the Lord” but we are not yet in the experience of Glory and the full realization of God’s promises and entrance into His Glorious company. We are pilgrims on the road of life. We have our calling already and our destination, but our way of getting to Heaven has its challenges. Thus, we really could use guidance. And Jesus came to give it. He says that we have a destiny which is His Father’s House: Heaven. So we have a foot in the door of Glory already–at least spiritually. Yet we have to traffic this world by using faith and those spiritual aspects of our being that gets us into contact with God. We people of today have found that God has put His GPS– the Glory Positioning System— into our lives of faith.

That connects us to my second point. God’s GPS doesn’t just show what’s ahead, it also helps us to know how to live by some helpful looks back. We can learn by it. God may also need for us to reconcile with Him over some sins in that looking back. He wants our past to be at peace, so that we can move forward. On this last Sunday of the Church Year, just take a bit of time to look back on the past months, all the way to Advent 2014, and see what God has been doing in us. And then, to where is He leading? Even in our humanity, there is His holy purpose. For Christ was one of us in humanity, and He choose to live in our own flesh and blood today, and in our minds and souls. He is our foundation; He is the ground of experience for us. He wants us to realize that a blessed humanity will lead to a blessed eternity.

Do you 40 yr. olds and up remember the famous dj Casey Kasem and what he would say at each American Top 40 music countdown show, in ending each show with the same sign off? Casey would sign-off saying: “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching to the stars.” I guess it was Casey’s way of talking about that already and not-yet part of life. About being grounded so to also be looking up to Heaven. We are earthly creatures but born for greatness (or, better said, born-again for greatness and great possibilities). Our souls want to reach out and reach up! Why so? Because we are made in the image and likeness of God. Speaking of Kasem, Casey was a Catholic in practice, and he knew that music lifted people up to consider new things, and perhaps, then, of what lay beyond and ahead of us all. Casey maybe had hoped that some song’s lyrics or inspiration sound could have listeners to ponder the greater realities of the existence of God. Rest in peace, Casey, I hope you are in Heaven now among the stars, indeed the angels and saints, in the Presence and Light of God and in Christ the King’s high realm.

If “the end is near” on this last Sunday of the Church year, then what is in sight ahead? Well, Advent is next week, and soon begins a Year of Mercy in the Church. Jesus will want to guide us into more meaning and experience of His Divine Mercy. We can listen to God and wonder: What is God’s Spirit telling the Church in this theme of Mercy? What will God give us through Pope Francis as we journey the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy? What are our personal lives going to do in highlighting God’s Mercy? Do we realize a need in our hearts for deeper experiences in Mercy?

In the communal sense, how will we act as a parish for a Year of Mercy? In St. Edwards, you will see a physical change, as the parish church will changed inside with some Mercy symbols and words and posters. You will be given next Sunday in the bulletin a schedule of Advent, we more confession times available to you here. We also have booked two priests and a lay evangelist to come to our parish during the year to call us to know Mercy. One will be a priest-monk to speak of The Cross of Jesus. Another priest will come at another time and speak of how the 12 Steps program has been a help to him and many of who he’s counseled through the years onto a healthy self, and how the conversion stories all are about Mercy. Thirdly, we have a three-evening retreat lined up in Lent with a layman-evangelist-retreat master, and he is speaking on Mercy. He will apply the everyman experience of Mercy, and the parish spirituality of it. Last Friday evening, we got a jump start on the Year of Mercy with a concert and testimony by Kathleen Fowle (Catholic musical artist). She gave us a beautiful evening of meditating on Mercy through her songs. I hope you were there. Mercy was in the air! (The Spirit.)

Happy Christ the King to you all. Make Christ guide us all under His reign and home to The Father in Heaven.
KFowle Kathleen Fowle photo

List of Blogs November 2015 back to mid-May 2015

List of Blogs Late November 2015 to mid-May 2015
Kathleen FowleIMG_20150905_220711
Nov. 2015 +An Evening of Mercy Concert Kathleen Fowle +Creation Psalm +Some Recollections of the Week +Happy Odd Day +Divine and Human Jesus +St. Leo +Goin’ On Lately +Generosity Lesson +Spotlight on “Spotlight” +All Saints +Series: Were the Apostles Rich? Parts 1,2,3, 4

Oct. 2015 +Halloween Pics +Seeing It Bartimaeus Style +Thoughts on the Family +School Hallway in October +School Masses +Christ’ Disciple is Always a Servant +Vanning Ad +CWA Retreat +St. Edward the Confessor, our Patron +Lighten the Burden So to Soar to God +Pawn Sacrifice +Pro-child, Pro-life, Pro-God’s Honor +(Married) Love is 2 fold +Oreos Calm Pontiff +Catholic High School Football Top Ten Teams

Sept. 2015 +Preview of The Martian +The Holy Archangels +Let’s Go with God’s Plan (Mission of Love) +Papal Mass of Canonization +Becoming a Saint (Serra) +Prepping for the Pope +Views of The End +Our Lady of Sorrows +Sports Monday +Francis is Coming Soon (Serrans readying) +Sports Wednesday +Sports Tuesday +Ghana Missionary at Parish +Lunar Looking +Labyrinth

Aug. 2015 +A Eucharistic August +A Friendly Exchange +Year of Religious Life +The Eucharistic Jesus +Bread of Life +Church Pray-ers +The New Ark of the Covenant +Gregory of Narek and Holy Thursday +Warning Lights +True Colors +St. Gregory’s Christian Cross Living +What Kind of Cross

July 2015 +Transformative, Lamentive Suffering +New Doctor Gregory +Cross of Christ Poem +Photos inside Baltimore’s Cathedral +More Reflections on Cross +Redemption by The Christ’ Blood on The Cross

June 2015 +The Candidates Running +Just Jesus or Just Jesus +Gay Marriage or Gay Unions +The Lion and the Lamb Parts 1,2 +Live Christ/Share Christ and Remembering Pope Francis’ First Homily +Father’s Day +Live Christ/Share Christ +Added Perspective on The Lord’s Prayer +On The Body and The Blood +Body and Blood Reflections +Trains Goin’ By

May 2015 +The Pope and His Uninvolved Niece +Holy Trinity +More Holy Trinity Thoughts +A River Runs Through Here +David Letterman Leaves the Air +Psalms 40, 43 and 47 Bible Study on The Ascension +A Story for the Ascension +Ascension Thoughts +The Paschal Mystery and The Ascension

Evening of Mercy: Concert and Talk with Kathleen Fowle Friday 7 p.m.

Kathleen Fowle

To all Parishioners. Hello from Fr. Barry.

We have a Contemporary Catholic singing artist coming to the parish on Friday night. Her name is Kathleen Fowle. She is pretty cool and really a good Catholic. I think you would benefit by coming to hear her at church. It’s Friday night (11-20) at 7 to 8:30. It’s free.

This is someone that I think will help you grow in Mercy, which is the theme for this year in the church, as set by Pope Francis. The pope has asked us to do things like this in our parishes (aka Friday’s event on Mercy and music) and he wants Catholics to follow his example in involvement. Parish involvement–like such an event here– is such a step forward. God is stirring us up in His Mercy. He has persons like Kathleen Fowle to encourage us in it.

Come on by. pope KFowlepopejeep

Fr. Barry

Creation Psalm

GOD OF THE UNIVERSE , A PSALM

We praise and thank You God our Creator,

God of Heaven and Earth,

God of all that is visible and invisible;

You have created the Sun and the Moon and the millions of Stars.

You have created our beautiful world, our home, our Earth;

Your creation is beyond our comprehension.

You have given us life, we are your children, and life to the millions of men and women, in ages past, still today, and with hope and trust in the future,

Your providing care is beyond limit.

You have given us your only begotten Son, Jesus,
to save us, to redeem us and show us the way to You.

We praise and thank You without end for the world, for the universe

which we can see only very dimly and in part

far beyond our sun and its planets

far beyond our Milky Way or Galaxy.

We are fascinated by the millions of galaxies way beyond us,

in particular the Galaxy closest to us, in the Constellation of Andromeda,

visible to us humble mortals, and giving us a tempting look into that far beyond of other more and innumerable galaxies like our own and worlds unseen.

Give us the grace and strength and will to preserve
and take care of our beautiful and unique planet Earth, ever grateful and sharing,

for ourselves, our unique place in it and in the universe, and for future ages of people, all willed and loved and created by You.

We will praise and thank You for all the days You give us to live. AMEN.

Some recollections of the week…

In nice things in the life of this priest and parish or Church…

We had a beautiful parish wedding here yesterday for Lisa Conto to Joseph Saverino. I was the clergy witness… We also had a wonderful trip of teens to the Basilica Shrine on last Wednesday and a Vets Day Mass. It is a Confirmation Year activity, of which Mrs. Curtis and I arrange for the confirmands…IMG_20150919_144414_965 We had a nice day in St. Pius X School on Tuesday (my visit day–things were great there). I visit a Pre-K class, two K classes, and two 4th Grade classes… I got a chance this week to again be on a live radio show, again on Tuesday EWTN’s Morning Glory show (heard nationally and on cable and phone apps)–what joy to me! In the show I reviewed a great Catholic concert in mid-Maryland of a few days earlier (of Matt Maher’s Saints & Sinners Tour) of which I had attended and enjoyed…
The daytime weather has been very good. I got in a couple of nice walks outside… Friday the 13th brought some generous people to the parish for some support to offer– a complete and wonderful surprise. (The 13th’s usually a blessed day for me, anyway. Maybe due to my prayers to St. Matthias–the 13th apostle.)…. Earlier a few days ago, too, something got fixed in the parish that had been broken for months. Hurrah. I am happy to see things done, even if it takes longer than I want. Saturday the 14th saw six persons attending our RCIA program in the morning, preparing for an Easter 2016 of full initiation in The Church. Our session was on prayer, led by myself and a parish member helping the program. IMG_20140216_112157_710
…In a peaceful occurrence in the week, too, someone’s Dad passed away, but in a prepared way for God, having received his Last Rites first, at the hospital. I and another priest saw him hours before his going Home…. And, in hopes for a good next Friday night, for our Evening of Mercy in the parish, we were able to get a Catholic who is a national speaker/singing artist to come to our parish for it. That made me happy (and it will make you happy, too, if you come to hear her!), and her name is Kathleen Fowle. KFowle I also was happy to be able to get some other speakers lined up for our Year of Mercy program for the parish, including two priests….
In parish or parish-related meetings, I met with the Parish Council this past week, as well as with the St. John Neumann Assembly (Knights of Columbus)…. In some alone time, I was able to teach myself the chords to a new Matt Maher worship song, so I can sing it in prayer sometimes and play it on my guitar.

Today, Sunday morning, I have two more Masses to pray for the weekend schedule, as I heard confessions and prayed the Vigil Mass last night. Yet the early morn Mass today (the 730), I have Fr. Mallari celebrating it, so I could start the morning a little easier. The coffee is nice, and the review of the week is full of thanks.

That’s a nice recollection of the week.

Happy “Odd Day” Enjoy it–for it’s the last one of the century!

Is November 13th a holiday or something?! What’s that ‘magic’ in the air?!

It’s Odd Day. Look at the calendar. It’s the eleventh month and thirteenth day and fifteenth year. Do you notice something numerically?

Yes. It’s 11/13/15.

What’s up with that? Well, this oddity is really an oddity! We have dates on the calendar in odd sequence. Now, think about it in your head– or get out a calendar. When will consecutive odd days repeat in sequence on the annual calendar ahead? (I can wait…while you check in your noggin or on your Snoopy Wall Calendar….) Yes, it is not going to happen again for a very long time to have a odd sequential date. (Did I use sequential correctly? As in 7-9-11 or 79-81-83? Do you catch on?) Now, the months in the year only have the odd numbers that go from 1,3,5,7,9 and 11. The days go from 1,3 and up to 29,31. And the years go from 1 to 99.)

Do you note how 11/13/15 is the end of such a date of odd numbers in-a-row, until well, I think, 01/03/05! Is that right? January 3rd, 2105!

There are only six Odd Days in a century–so you see, today was a big deal, because it was the last until next century. Did you have your “Happy Odd Day” today?

Well, we have other dates on the calendar that also bring us quirky, curious numbers on the calendar. For instance, September 9th, in 1981 was a date of multiplication. 9/9/81. Yes, nine times nine equals 81. Wow. Yes, I know you are amazed here!
There have been other Happy Multiplication Days. On February 2nd in 2004, it was 02/02/04. Uh huh.

Some other dates have used all the same number. Number One Day was 1/1/1. Oh year. Numero uno only in the date. So was 11/11/11 just four years ago. It was a wonder (One-Der)!

Two’s had their occasion, too (or er, also). 2/2/2 was an unusual Ground Hog day of two’s. And if you happened to be looking at your digital watch at 2:22 a.m. or p.m., at 22 seconds past, then you were Two-Two Cool.

Same with three’s and four’s and such….up to twelve’s. Well, we had our jollies, but it now is 2015, so now the rest of the century won’t give us any more “one number days.” I hope you can bear it. baby “Fascinating , Papa John!”

Divine and Human Jesus

This is the union of the two natures (Divine and human) in the person of Jesus. Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8). He is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9); thus, He has two natures: God and man. He is not half God and half man. He is 100% God and 100% man. He never lost His divinity. He continued to exist as God when He became a man and added human nature to Himself (Phil. 2:5-11). Therefore, there is a “union in one person of a full human nature and a full divine nature.” Right now in Heaven there is a man, Jesus, who is our Mediator between us and God the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). (For related information on Jesus and His two natures, see Incarnation and the errors concerning His natures known as Eutychianism, Monophycitism, and Nestorianism).

Jesus as God Jesus as Man

He is worshiped (Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33). He worshiped the Father (John 17).
He is prayed to (Acts 7:59). He prayed to the Father (John 17).
He is sinless (1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15). He was tempted (Matt. 4:1).
He knows all things (John 21:17). He grew in wisdom (Luke 2:52).
He gives eternal life (John 10:28). He died (Rom. 5:8).
Fullness of deity dwells in Him(Col. 2:9). He has a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).

Tuesday’s St. Leo Saint of the Hypostatic Union

If you were Pope Leo, living in the 5th century, and two popular heretics came along (with lots of duped followers) and said that Jesus as fully God and fully man together can’t exist. What would you say to them? Leo says: Believe in the “Hypostatic Union.” What’s that?!
It sounds like the name of a band, doesn’t it? This Friday, playing at the downtown civic center, The Hypostatic Union! And the Opening Act: Moon Pie! (Seems like a good show!)

No, really, Hypostatic Union is a theological term describing the Incarnation, the full and perfect blend of Christ as the God/man. Hypostasis means, literally, that which lies… and for us Catholics, knowing Jesus beyond a surface look. Hypostatic Union, refers to the amazing reality of the full blend in Jesus of being both God and human. Our core belief as Catholics.

Now, I say that a full and perfect blend is God’s Son in Incarnation, and, of course, it gets us to thinking of coffee. What with the Starbucks story of their red cups, and all that, let’s say that you walk into a Starbucks run by St. Leo, (ok–maybe not until he gets the franchise to add a Christmas cup!) and then let’s say you go up to the counter for your morning joe and the heretic Nestorius is working the counter and acting as barista. He is ready to take your order. Leo is taking a 15 minute break on the side.

Nestorius the heretic, by the way, is the one who said (erroneously) that the human and divine side of Christ had a non-essential or “accidental” mixing in Christ. Nestorius separated Jesus’ natures as not essential to one another, reducing Christ’ role as being both God and man in one for us. Nestorius got it wrong. I’ll show you. Go ahead and order a Misto (Starbucks version of Café au Lait), which is made of just two ingredients–warm milk put into strong coffee. The heretic Nestorius would be a barista who wouldn’t put it in the same cup for you; you’d get warm milk in a cup, and you’d get strong coffee in another cup. You see–he wants to separate the natures of Christ, and un-relate them. You’d say: “I want my Misto in the same cup.” He’d say: “that can’t be ordered. Humanity and God really can’t be one and mix from the start, like Jesus’ human and divine nature can’t, nor then can this coffee and hot milk. Drink both separate, from different cups, and swish it together in your mouth. But they’ll be no such thing as it being served in one cup,” says Nestorius. That is, Jesus can’t be two natures in one person. Oh boy. Heresy in the coffee shop.

St. Leo would swing around the counter, become the barista, and would say. The God/man is always served together, fully, in Jesus Christ. Here is your right theology, served fresh and hot. Here you go and have a nice day with your Misto.

Got it? Then the other heretic Eutyches is working there at Starbucks the next day. He’s the heretic in Leo’s time that said that the two natures in Jesus were only commingled or fused. By result, that reduces either one’s belief in the divinity or humanity of The Lord. So, I warn you, Eutyches will conclude by his off-theology, that you can’t have a full cup, ever, of Jesus Java. It’s like ordering a Macchiato, which is supposed to be a full cup of the combo of Espresso and Frothy Milk Foam. The barista Eutyches and his heretics would serve you a half-empty cup, saying that “you can never be given a proper serving of warm milk nor a fairly full supply of espresso in the cup, because God can’t be fully there as God (the coffee) nor man (the milk foam). He’d serve you a half-empty Macchiato grande for $4.00—and that’s what you get. Cheated!

St. Leo the barista, or any faithful barista of the Catholic Church would be nicer to you at Starbucks. He’d say—give me back that order! You should get your full order. You’d get a full cup of Macchiato. And piping hot and tasty. The God/man is served together, full cup, fully, in Jesus Christ, as Jesus IS True God, true man. Why the full cup? Because Jesus is “consubstantialem,” from Latin to English, “the same substance of the Father.” Jesus is Divine, and Jesus is human, too, even begun as the babe of Bethlehem. God and human. Our Risen Lord, too, Ascended and Gloriously seated on His eternal throne, but now as Savior and Redeemer to Humanity.

And that–in a coffee shop parable– is St. Leo and the Hypostatic Union. So, there you go, with a full cup of Christology and coffee, so you can go and have a nice day.

So that’s why we Catholics now use the word “consubstantial” in our Creed, as it’s about Jesus’ full identity? Yes, it’s why we say the Son is consubstantial with the Father, because we want our coffee and theology order done right. And serve it in a cup that says “Merry Christmas” too!
[We can thank St. Leo for all this. But he would say: that’s alright, I was just doing my job. The Church wants you to get your order right. Jesus is all that! The God-man.]

Goin’ on lately

Past week or so…

Big event: Arch. of Wash. DC Clergy Convocation. 2 1/2 days in the middle of this past week. Our ongoing fraternity of priests met and received addresses from our Archbishop and from special guest presenters.

Wedding, yesterday. It was a validation (civil marriage elevated to Christian Sacrament marriage). This union had some degree of difficulty for the couple to marry here in church, but they overcame obstacles and prepared for marriage in the Lord and they celebrated Holy Matrimony here and baptism of their daughter, too.

Personal training: I completed a two-month course of action for my own needs. It felt good to see it through. Life is good to have some goals and purposes and plans for our living, and to actually meet some goals and/or works for ourselves.

RCIA Class Number 5 was held on Saturday morn. We are moving along well. I am leading it this year for the first time at St. Edwards, as the team went through some renewal/change. This is my 5th parish to have been the RCIA leader in it. Yet the past few years were in a team’s hands that had done it fine for many years here.

The Confirmands had a Saints Fair last Tuesday and Wednesday for all our Rel. Ed. program youth. As part of their prep for the Sacrament in April, they presented a “station” on their saint for Confirmation, with posters or computer illustrations or dressing up and getting into character to explain about their saint. The youth going around to the stations really enjoy it.

The children’s choir at my 930 Mass had about a dozen children singing at it. They were a joyful bunch too. A Catholic guest at the Mass, with his wife, was a former candidate that ran for President. I said hello to them after the liturgy. My 1130 Mass had the parish adult choir. They had a good sound, too. My 430 Sunday afternoon Mass had the Commingos choir, a group of about a dozen, singing contemporary and classic songs from our “Breaking Bread hymnal. I had a retired priest pray the Saturday vigil Mass and I had a Franciscan priest from DC pray the 730 Sunday Mass.

The leaves are mostly fallen off the trees. Perhaps 3/5th’s off the trees. Yet on Friday, with our maintenance man clearly the property with leaf blowers and leaf collectors, it was something to see how many leaves fell in the next 24 hours onto the clean lawns of the church and residence and office.

I went to a Matt Maher concert across the state on a weeknight in this past week. It was one of the best concert evenings in Contemporary Christian music I have ever enjoyed. Matt makes us Catholics who like Contemporary Christian music quite happy and proud for his successes in it. He brought a lot of musicians on his national tour, and we enjoyed hours of Christian music.

We had an emergency anointing/ hospital visit this week. The person also died in the following hours. May Leo rest in peace.

We had a Mass of Christian Burial for a person this week. They were laid to rest at a Veterans Cemetery. Bertha was a determined woman who accomplished a lot in her government job, and enjoyed life with a passion, and was a regular for decades at St. Luke’s Catholic Church on East Capitol. In this ending of her life, she leaves behind siblings and an only son who lives out this way.

I was back on EWTN Radio a couple of times for their national broadcast of “Morning Glory,” a live show on at 7 to 8 a.m. It broadcasts from studios in DC overlooking Capitol Hill.

I got a nice haircut from a new stylist on Monday–just in time for a clergy picture on Wednesday.

With the World Series over a week ago, I am in withdrawal pains. I loved watching MLB baseball in the 2015 season. As the KC Royals won (and not our local favorites Orioles and Nats–who even missed the playoffs!), I remembered how this surprising Royals team was a ballclub some people were talking about in Spring Training as pretty good. In fact, I saw them in Spring Training, at a game at their home ballpark. Do you know the name of that ballpark? (Get ready.) It is Surprise Stadium (In Surprise, AZ). So the Royals from Surprise lived up to their town name.

Saturday night I had some surprise free time, so I went to see the movie “Spectre: James Bond 007.”
It delivered the goods for a Bond film. One has to not count the people shot or hurt or exploded to bits in this spy series. That would not be the way to view the film. You just want the world safe (in its imaginary story of doom coming on); you want James Bond to make it through alive through to the final credits. (P.S. A composer named John Barry wrote many of the Bond movie music themes through the years. I am quite aware of that. 🙂 I like the spy songs.)

I turn my sports attention now to the Packers and the NFL. The Packers lost today and they lost last weekend. They are in a 6-2 record and in a tie for first in their division. The season is about half-way played. Oh, the Redskins lost to the New England Patriots today. Really, they did. We thought they had little chance of a win. Last weekend they did manage a Sunday without losing. (They had a bye week. None this weekend.)

In the SERIOUS category, I am keeping watch on politics and government and on the Supreme Court. They soon decide on cases involving the Archdiocese of Washington vs. Obamacare, which demands that we violate our faith practice in fully subscribing to the new health care law, which attached some things to pay for in insurance which we call immoral. Other lawsuits coming to Supreme are the Little Sisters of the Poor, EWTN, other dioceses, and other Catholic organizations. If we lose the appeal, then we either pay terrible fines for non-compliance or we give in or opt out of insurance, as we know it. We really need to win. Some people in America think we deserve to lose, yet they easily have forgotten that religious liberty was in our nation’s founding as a key principle. We have it as a right.