The third charm

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last Tuesday, Steven and I attended the monthly TX Tropical Trail  (TTT) monthly partner event at the Port Aransas Museum and Community Center.

On the agenda?

A bus tour of Old Town, including the Chapel on the Dunes.

At long last

Wow!  I salivated at the thought of finally entering the chapel.  Oh, glorious day!

After lunch, I boarded the small bus and took the seat behind the driver.   I tried to listen to the historical nuggets dropping left and right from Marcy Thomas, who stood talking right behind me; but I was too distracted.  No one had said anything about entering the chapel, but I was wishing and hoping nonetheless.  I was so focused on this great adventure that nothing, not even motion sickness, was going to spoil it.


Then we arrived.  I stepped off the bus and busied myself with my Coolpix.  Up, up, up I walked among the others, most of whom had never been there before.  We stepped aside for Marcy to unlock the chapel door with the inscription, COME, LISTEN TO TH   HISPERS OF GOD, over it.  We saw her reach for the key in her pocket and behind the scraggly bush by the door, as I wondered about the missing E and W.

“Do you have your copy of the key?” Marcy asked someone behind us.

I just knew that someone would say, “Yes.  Here it is;” but Betty Bundy, with us from the museum, said no.

Next time

At that moment, I chose to make the most of my third visit.  I explored the chapel all around, noticed details I’d previously overlooked, and enjoyed myself.  After all, “good things come to those who wait” (Nayobe, 1984).

And who knows?

Maybe next time will be the charm for me, and Mary B will be along to share it.

Links of interest…  Chapel: history / on the dunes…  Moynihan: Days of heaven…  Port Aransas: museum / things to do…  “Two chapels” exhibit (more)…  TX Tropical Trail Region

WP posts…  Dunes chapel…  Dunes chapel redux…  Elvis moment

St. Felix

From St. Anthony to St. Francis to St. Elizabeth and the Third Order, Franciscans fascinate me.

FcanOrder800a        W10913a-JT        FcanOrder800b


My great-aunt introduced me to St. Anthony when I was thirteen, though decades passed before I learned the rhyme:

Tony, Tony, look around.  My… is lost and must be found.

Cherished items

My Franciscan treasure trove includes the St. Francis framed glass prayer that a catechist friend gave me; the prayer booklet from the St. Lawrence Seminary; my cherished St. Anthony third-class relic that Father Roderick enclosed in his reply to one of my letters; and various prayer cards, booklets, and such that I just couldn’t possibly part with.

Gift: Wil Merkel, 2014

Gift: Wil Merkel, 2014

And my prized possession?  My Franciscan Crown, the seraphic rosary, known as the Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

St. Felix

Although I’ve never met a Franciscan priest or nun in person, I feel very much a part of their community.  So imagine my delight on reading about St. Felix of Cantalice for the very first time just days ago on his feast day, May eighteenth.

Known as Brother Deo Gratias, St. Felix of Cantalice was the first Capuchin Franciscan to be canonized.

SFO-pamphlet-a    SFO-pmphlt-b    SFO-pmphlt-c    SFO-pmphlt-d    SFO-pmphlt-e    SFO-pmphlt-f

September 19, 2016

“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance” (St. Francis of Assisi).

August 3, 2017

Francis prayed day and night that God would give all people the courage to be themselves instead of what others expected them to be.  He did not want everyone to enter the brotherhood or to join the Lady Clare and her sisters.  He only wanted people to be free, to be what they wanted to be in their own hearts.

For God spoke differently to each person, calling one to marriage, another to virginity; one to the city, another to the country; one to work with the mind, another with the hands.  But who was brave enough to look inside and ask: “Is this what I should be doing, what I really want to do with my life? (Murray Bodo, OFM in Francis: The Journey and the Dream).

December 31, 2017

Holy people are always  ready to show creation’s inner connections.  Knowing such people draws us closer to God, whose goodness was revealed through the life of Francis of Assisi.

We may be tempted to think that Francis lived at a time when holiness was easier.  An honest look at his life reveals a very different and grittier story.  Through God’s grace, Francis learned to make the most of the hand that was dealt to him.  He used his talents as best he could, but he knew, as Saint Paul had told the Corinthian Christians centuries before, “God gives the growth” (Pat McCloskey, OFM in Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi).


Links of interest…  Capuchins: friars / stigmata / mid-America (calendar – more) / St. Joseph / saints (more)…  Franciscan: 3rd order / calendar (national fraternity – printable – saintstraditional) / canticle notes onlinecrown rosary meditations & reflections / friars / instrument of peacelitany of saints / miracles & traditions / Mission Associates / “most sacred space of Franciscan spirituality” / order / prayer book for hospital & hospice chaplains / spiritual center (prayer requests) / tau cross / vocations…  Iconography in art & architecture (St. Felix’s bag)…  Prayer for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (feast of all saints)…  Relics: how to become a Capuchin saint: a piece of heaven with the Capuchins / holy relics / sisters of St. Felix…  Small “t” tradition & the peace prayer of St. Francis…  St. Anthony: prayer booklet (more) / shrine…  St. Elizabeth of Hungary: prayers…  St. Felix of Cantalice: 1st Capuchin saint / about (more) / biography (more) / Brother Deo Gratias (beggar – more) / confessor / ecard / feast (more / May 18) / friar (more) / holding the Christ Child (drawing) / homily / lay brotherpatron / prayer / relic…  St. Francis: about / biography / prayers…  Visits to Jesus in the tabernacle: Hours & half-hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament: e-book / St. Felix

WP posts…  Capuchin church stations…  Franciscan experience…  Franciscan treasures…  God’s master plan…  Grapes of generosity…  Holy relics…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  My Franciscan Crown…  Mercy and justice…  Powerful intercessor…  Prayer…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Solano, Solanus, Solani…  St. Anthony…  St. Bonaventure Church…  St. Elizabeth Church…  St. Peregrine relic…  Today’s Beatitudes


If you’ve ever wondered who Judas Iscariot’s replacement was, we now have our answer.

Mind you, I could’ve done an online search way before this.  But, honestly?  It just never occurred to me.

So imagine my delight at discovering that today’s saint, mentioned only once in the New Testament, is St. Matthias, the twelfth apostle and one of Jesus’s seventy disciples.


Lord God, you chose Saint Matthias by lot to complete the number of the twelve apostles.  By his prayer, include us among your chosen ones, since we rejoice to see that the lot marked out for us is your love.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

O glorious St. Matthias, in God’s design it fell upon you to take the place of the unfortunate Judas who betrayed his Master.  You were selected by the twofold sign of the uprightness of your life and the call of the Holy Spirit.  Obtain for us the grace to practice the same uprightness of life and to be called by that same Spirit to wholehearted service of the Church.  Then, after a life of zeal and good works, let us be ushered into your company in heaven to sing forever the praises of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

May 14, 2018

“As a hidden disciple— that is, one about whom little is known— St. Matthias points the way for us, most of whom live hidden lives” (Patricia Mitchell in A Year of Celebration).


Links of interest…  Judas Iscariot: about (more)…  St. Matthias: about (more) / apostlefeast (more) / holiness / lessons / martyr (more) / overlooked apostle / prayer (more) / liturgy (more)…  Twelve apostles: deaths / doctrineearly disciples (more) / fascinating facts / list / who were (more)… Universalis prayers: office of readings / morning / mid-morning / noon / afternoon / evening / night

WP posts…  Golden…  Morning exchanges…  Picturing God…  Prayerful messages…  St. Chrysostom