W 2013-15

SJC122312-56wFriday, 11.27.15

Advent (Nov 29-Dec 24): activities / articles (signup) / American Catholic / Bible Gateway / Bishop Robert Barron: homilies – daily email signupvideos / books (more) / Creighton Ministries / Daily Bread: pencil preachingsignup – devotionals (audio; pdf) / family: bookprayers & more / liturgical season / resources / Salesian Missions / St. Jude ShrineSundays / what is / wreath & traditional meanings


Thursday, 8.20.15

Today is the memorial of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, so imagine my joy at finding a link not just to his first-class relic, but also to more than fifty others.

Links of interest…  Saints & first-class relics…  St. Bernard of Clairvaux (more): about / first-class relic / memorial / prayers / quotes / ten Marian facts / theologian / writings…  St. Thomas More Church (Centennial, CO)


Sunday, 8.9.15

Links of interest…  Confirmed: The body of St. Maria Goretti will soon be brought to the USA…  Little saint of great mercy: about (more) / at St. John’s Churchlife (timeline) / martyrmiracles / official prayer / story / website…  Treasures of the Church (more)


Monday, 7.20.15

Links of interest…  Catholic Culture…  Catholic Education Resource Center (CERC)…  Catholic TV Magazine…  Francis Chronicles…  Global Sisters Report…  National Catholic Reporter (NCR; email alerts)…  Tradition in Action


Saturday, 4.25.15

The “petitions” and “praise” pages were part of the church website (2008-2009) and the church blog (2010-2015), which I created and maintained.  So, when I downsized the latter (April 21), I added the pages here.

SN22512But will visitors think me presumptuous? I wondered.

I immediately took down the pages and saved them on the external hard drive.  However, at Saturday evening Mass a lovely acquaintance, Olga Reyna at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Brownsville, gently, unknowingly, persuaded me otherwise mind, heart, and soul with her tearful sentiment.

“Thank you for adding my mother’s name [Belia Barron] to the list of petitions so that others can pray for her.”

I knew then that I had to add the pages to my personal blog to keep the prayers going.


Tuesday, 4.21.15

My service to St. Joseph Church (SJC) in Port Aransas has ended now that the parish has its brand-new, official website in place.  So, naturally, I downsized the blog to include just the widgets and this week’s two posts on the home page.

Although Steven and I left SJC at the end of January 2014, I’d continued posting the weekly readings and uploading the bulletin that Steven would make the time to pick up.  This was especially helpful to out-of-town visitors looking for Mass times and/or wanting to view archived photos.  But now Steven and I are both off the hook and free to focus our creativity elsewhere and/or to pursue pending projects with depth and complexity.

P.S. I transferred  “kids,” “prayer,” “saints,” and “St. Joseph” to this blog not because a lot of time and effort went into these pages, but because the links are a joy to explore.


Thursday, 4.2.15

A quote in today’s Crisis Magazine reminded me of Segy’s comment about his being “a cynic, thanks to my sixth grade teachers.”

What is a cynic?  A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing (Oscar Wilde).

So I looked it up online and found something totally unexpectedAnd serendipitous.

Tickled pink, I viewed “An epic Sunday run / Public displays of affection.


Sunday, 3.29.15

SMC32915-56aJoy in the morning!  Palm Sunday at Stella Maris!

In his very own words, based on M. D. Anderson’s latest findings in February, Fr. Ralph is “healed!”  And he’s so grateful— and excited— that he shares his wonderful news with everyone.

Just look at that smile!


Tuesday, 3.24.15

SIP2014-1a      SIP-2014-1b        SIP2014-3a      SIP2014-3b

SIP32414-2a      SIP32414-2b        SIP42115-1a      SIP42115-1b

SIP32415-3a      SIP32415-3b        SIP2014-2a      SIP2014-2b

Links of interest…  Amazon…  Communion with Christ (more)…  Everyday meditations (more)…  Hints of heaven (more)…  Ignatian Press…  Loyola Press  (more)…  On spiritual reading (Carmel books – booklets)…  Seeds on fire…  Sophia Institute Press…  The spiritual life…  Walking with Jesus…  Word on Fire


Thursday, 2.12.15

SJC31311-40Links of interest…  Celebrating the Passion of the Lord…  Christ inescapable…  Christ’s Passion shows us that the body matters…  Easter live from Lourdes…  From Good Friday sorrow to Easter joy (nine things to know)…  Jesus loves us without limits…  John Donne’s Cross…  Lent: attaining the power of holy victory / daily scripture / first four days / praying (book) / reflections / with Fr. Barron (about / browse season / homilies / seven deadly sins, seven lively virtues / videos)…  Meditations for Lent…  Ten ways to meditate on Christ’s Passion…  Things to know about Good Friday / Holy Saturday / Resurrection Sunday (Are you John, Peter, Mary, or Paul?)…  Via Crucis at the Colosseum with Pope Francis (videos)…  Walking with Christ in Gethsemane…  Way of Holy Week


Wednesday, 1.14.15

Daily I receive the Loyola Press three-minute retreat in my email inbox, so why not share?

Online retreats: 34-week (multilingual) / adult & teen / Catholics on call / Colleen Spiro / Ignatian: 3-minute / 8-week


Friday, 11.21.14

SJC42214s-21bLooking online for links on the Blessed Mother, I came across some tantalizing morsels.

Little Office of Our Lady: about / book (more) / consecrating the hours / hymns, psalms, & readings / introduction / prayers (more)…  Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: about (more) / explanation / feast (more) / memorial (more) / prayers / readings (more)


Wednesday, 11.12.14

Advent articles have started arriving in my email inbox, so I’ll simply add them here.

Links of interest…  10 things to know about Advent…  Advent gift of John the Baptist…  Advent meditation on hope…  Angels for Advent…  Be watchful…  Calling for God’s help in the midst of sin…  Christmas preparation: Jesus is coming…  Family, culture, holidays…  Five books…  History of Advent…  Honesty & authentic fellowship…  How to Advent…  Ignatian resources…  Joy of renewal…  Picturing Mary…  Preparing for the coming king (more)…  Resting in the womb of Mary…  Rorate Sunday…  St. Joseph: Living out Advent…  Waiting in joyful hope…  What are we waiting for


Wednesday, 11.5.14

This afternoon Jeane W added to her friend’s comment on the “Stella Maris” post.

Dear Felita,

I’m replying to your comment from last November regarding Fr. Ralph’s surgery and recovery, hoping that everyone who reads this will see that he is once again in need of prayers.

After being diagnosed cancer-free April 2014, he is once again battling lung cancer.  He has spent two months in Houston receiving chemo at MD Anderson, but he is still fighting the stage 4 lung cancer.

He has chosen to move back to Lamar and will go to Houston once a month to continue his treatment.  In the meantime, we are all praying that he can beat cancer for the third time.

We appreciate the prayers that you and the prayer warriors offered for him last year and your ongoing prayers now that God will renew his strength and deliver him from this illness.  We pray that anyone who reads this posting will join their prayers with ours on behalf of Fr. Ralph.  God bless you all.

Dear Jeane, what a caring, thoughtful person you are.  Thank you for your heartfelt petition.

Father Ralph is a trooper.  His positive outlook and bright smile warm my soul.

And so we pray…  Dear God, we give you thanks and praise for this fine, gentle priest— a true friend to all who call on him.  We entrust our beloved Father Ralph to your infinite wisdom, love, and care.  We walk in faith believing that you alone know what’s best.

Again I tell you, if two of you join your voices on earth to pray for anything whatsoever, it shall be granted you by my Father in heaven. Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst (Mt. 18:19-20).

Let’s continue to keep Father Ralph in our thoughts and prayers!

SMC71214-32      SMC71214-26      ??????????


Saturday, 10.4.14

Links of interest…  Blessed Miriam Demjanovich (more): about / blessed in the USA / & St. Thérèse / beatification (more) / “cured” blindness / en route to sainthood (photos) / Jersey girl gets wish to meet Pope Francis / Mass (10.4.14) / miracle (more) / nun from New Jersey (more)


Tuesday, 9.23.14

SMA92413-4bSMA92413-4aThe novena to St. Thérèse of Lisieux is prayed from September 23rd through October 1st.

Thanks ever so much to Sister, beloved Carmelite, for the lovely relic of the Little Flower!

Society of the Little Flower: about / feast day / homenovena / prayers & sharing


Tuesday, 9.9.14

Oh, yes!  Steven surprised me with Father Gabriel’s wonderful book of meditations.

FrG9914-DIa     FrG9914-DI     FrG9914-DIc     FrG9914-DIb

Divine Intimacy: Amazon (Kindle volumes: 1 – 2) / Baronius Press / Sisters of Carmel / Tan Books…  Father Gabriel, OCD…  Reviews:  comments / Examinerfacebook / Fr. Z’s blog


Friday, 8.1.14

Steven and I dropped by Our Lady of Corpus Christi on our way to Brownsville this afternoon.

While there we spoke with Fr. Jim Kelleher in admin, and he shared the story of his devotion to Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa.

CPC223-FrJ-bCPC223-FrJ-a“Every time I say the prayer on the card I get new adorers for the chapel!” he told us with childlike exuberance.  “When I get lazy and don’t say the prayer, I don’t get new adorers.”  So Fr. Jim keeps the card handy to remember his daily devotion.  “Maybe you can add the card to your blog?”


Fr. Jim was surprised that I could do this so easily.


Tuesday, 7.29.14

I went across the street to mail a letter to Father Ralph this morning and learned that USPS had already been by.  Oh, well.  It’ll go off tomorrow.

A lovely thank-you card from Sharon Shaw awaited me in our mailbox.  I smiled at the remembrance of our last time together at Stella Maris.  God allowed us special time with Father Ralph that evening.  He told us about his upcoming treatment. 

I hugged Father Ralph mind, heart, and soul at that moment; and I thanked God for Joe and Sharon taking such great care of Father Ralph.

Not long after I walked into the house, the phone rang.


“Joe Shaw called just now with news of Father Ralph!  He’s been downgraded to stage three!” Steven exclaimed.

“Wow!  Praise God!  That’s great news!”

I was so relieved and so overwhelmed with emotion that my eyes watered without my knowing.

Joe told Steven that Father Ralph “will undergo a different type of treatment this time.  He’ll take tablets instead.”  But first he’ll have a procedure in Houston on August 4th.  And that should take care of his cough.

So, all you prayer warriors out there, let’s continue our heartfelt petitions for our beloved Father Ralph!

Thank you, St. Peregrine, for all your intercessions!

Dear God, we are grateful beyond words!


Friday, 7.18.14

This is in response to the person who posed the question: “Does Stella Maris in Lamar, TX have special healing Masses for cancer patients?”

We attended evening Mass at Stella Maris this past Saturday, and Father Ralph was feeling poorly but in excellent spirits nonetheless.

SMC71214-1Before Mass Joe Shaw, sacristan, close friend, and caregiver, informed Steven and me that Father Ralph had insisted on celebrating Mass that evening because folks were counting on him to show up even though he’d “just come home from the hospital.”

As of that evening, Father Ralph has cut back on his morning Masses “and all the other extra activities,” including the healing services that he so enthusiastically makes time for so that we who visit Stella Maris can have that added blessing.

Moreover, Father Ralph said that anyone wishing to attend healing services and/or Masses should call ahead.  Father has no idea when he’ll be able to resume his normal schedule (duties) and doesn’t want anyone to travel a long way only to find out he’s not there.  The number at Stella Maris is 361.790.5277.

This time around Father Ralph will be undergoing treatment in Rockport so that he doesn’t have to travel long distances into Corpus Christi like before.  The first of his treatments took place Tuesday, July 15.

St. Peregrine, powerful ally, please intercede for our beloved priest who does so much for so many! 

Dear God, we give you thanks and praise for all blessings!  May your will be done! 

Let’s keep Father Ralph in our prayerful embrace!  Thank you!

SMC71214-6      ??????????      ??????????

??????????      ??????????      ??????????


Wednesday, 7.16.14

Deacon Greg Kandra posted a really interesting article on his blog.  And to think that Steven and I first heard about— and almost visited— Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church during our time in Detroit this past April!  A woman we met at the Solanus Casey Center told us “the church is just a few blocks away.  You have to see it!”  So it’s on our to-see list along with Br. Joseph Taylor’s mom’s parish, St. Charles Borromeo.

Links of interest…  The Deacon’s Bench: Detroit “Mass mob” fills city’s largest church (about – altar – article – facebook – festival – history – photos – video) / Detroit officially names St. Anne as its patroness…  Parish festival guide (blog)…  St. Charles Borromeo Parish (about – celebration)


Tuesday, 7.8.14

Today’s reflection from Aquinas College reminds us that St. Dominic’s feast day is August 8th.  A link to the novena (Jul 30 – Aug 7) is provided.

Links of interest…  Aquinas College…  Novena…  St. Dominic & the living word: reflection signup & archive


Saturday, 3.22.14DM6614

Searching for Father Lasance, I came across the Daughters of Mary website.  I was sad to discover that one of the Sisters, a beloved teacher, died on one of my personal landmark dates, December 27, 2013, but smiled on seeing her beautiful memorial.

The site’s “contact us” page has various options, so I took a chance and left a prayer request for my friend Martha and her family.

Imagine my surprise when I received a heartfelt response within a day’s time.  I replied and, again, the Sisters responded lovingly with the same thoughtful expression.

The experience was so special that I printed and mailed our email exchanges to Martha.  I wanted her to know that the Sisters really care about the well-being of her family.  I was also deeply touched that the Sisters included me in their prayers as well.

Links of interest…  Daughters of Mary: books by Father Lasance / Sister Mary Cecilia…  Father Lasance: about / books / memorial / Our Lady Bookwriter


Monday, 3.17.14

Last night Steven looked into the Divine Office, also known as the Liturgy of the Hours and the Breviary, and just now I came across the prayers in my daily email from Catholic Exchange.  Pretty amazing how God taps into our ramblings so promptly.

“Seven times a day I praise you” (Psalm 119:164).  “The Office is… the prayer not only of the clergy but of the whole people of God” (Apostolic Constitution Canticum Laudis).

Bible gateway / study tools…  Catholic Exchange…  Catholicize…  Divine Office…  iBreviary…  Liturgy of the hours: about / history / Lentwhat is


Tuesday, 3.4.14

SJC3313-7Lent for kids: activities (more)… devotions…  explaining the season…  games & more…  observances…  prayer: chain / pots…  resources (more)…  songs…  talking to kids (more)…  traditions & rituals

Lent: Ignatian workout…  in two minutes (YouTube)…  journey (more)…  meditations (more)…  overview…  passages…  prayers…  praying…  recipes (more)…  season (more)…  this time (YouTube)…  this year…  toward the light (videos)…  Veronica’s veil…  week: Shrove Tuesday / Ash Wednesday (more – story) / Thursday (more) / Friday / Saturday (more)

Seven penitential psalms (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, & 142)…

Stations of the cross for children & families: audio / download / fifteen candles / illustrated / prayer / printables / puppet show (YouTube) / resources / virtual walk / visuals


Monday, 3.3.14

The novena of grace with St. Francis Xavier, SJ begins tomorrow.  The Maryland Province Jesuits have provided the novena prayers along with the daily reflections.

British Jesuits: about / fight between carnival & Lent (article)…  Maryland Province: home / novena of grace page…  Thinking faith: online / facebook


Tuesday, 2.25.14

A few weeks ago I discovered a worthwhile article in Catholic Exchange online.  Naturally, I subscribed.  And, oh, the daily delights and added links, like today’s on Father Casey.

Links of interest…  Catholic Exchange (facebook)…  Open yourself to goodness…  Saints: ever wonder how a saint is made / patron saint list / who is a saint / why we love the saints…  Slaying your Goliath…  Venerable Solanus Casey


Monday, 2.24.14

What an interesting morning this turned out to be!

I telephoned Franciscan Mission Associates (FMA) and spoke with two very nice women: Theresa who took my number and Susan who returned my call.

I learned that FMA has been keeping my letters and cards to Father Primo because of the “stories” and photos I’ve sent.  Cool.  I also learned that every single item is blessed by FMA before it’s mailed.  Sweet.

“This means,” Susan told me, “that every St. Anthony relic you place on the chaplets you create is blessed.”

“I’ll be sure to share this.  Thank you!” I chirped.  “This way, if someone wants to request a relic, they’ll know their treasure is that much more special.”

To request a St. Anthony relic, contact Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598 / telephone: 914-664-5604.  The process is simple (free), although contributions are greatly appreciated, as the money goes toward various mission projects including orphanages, schools, and care for the elderly friars.


Tuesday, 1.7.14

Monday after work Steven arrived with an envelope from Sam and Ning.  Inside were the prayers with which to bless our home and two pieces of chalk.  Thank you!  Then, in my online searches for Saints André Bessette and Raymond of Peñafort today, I came across the perfect complement: A week’s worth of prayers starting on Epiphany.  Since the file was a bit of a challenge to open— too much wait time for those of us who prefer quick access— I modified it for easy sharing.  Enjoy!

SN1614-1b      SN1614-1a      SN1614-5

Links of interest…  Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide: Universal prayers: Jan 2014…  Epiphany: 2014 / about  / feast / meaning / prayers / seasonsymbol / twelfth day / what is…  Journey of the Magi (T.S. Eliot; audio)


Monday, 11.18.13

Couldn’t sleep ’cause the ol’ pea brain was working.  On what, I wasn’t really sure.  So, instead of lying there doing nothing but wondering what was keeping me awake, I got up to work on the “Saints” page on our church blog.  And, as usually happens around four-thirty in the morning, I fumbled across the answer to one of my questions.

Sunday evening I came across a link about the doctors of the church.  “Thirty-five?” I said rhetorically more than to Steven.  “But Tommy Ferris and the other sources I’ve checked over the years say thirty-three.  How can that be?”  And, just as quickly, I lost myself in the articles on St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (dOO shain), a fascinating Sister dubbed “Woman Who Always Prays” by the Potawatomi Native Americans.

This morning was a somewhat different story, though.  As I continued my saintly searches, the proverbial rose leaf bonked my Chicken Little’s head and made me smile.  Pope Benedict XVI has named two new Doctors of the Church: the 16th century Spanish priest, St. John of Avila, and the 12th century German nun, St. Hildegard of Bingen” (Catholic News Agency, October 7, 2012).  So this is why the Catholic Church now has thirty-five doctors!  Joy in the morning!

Doctors of the Catholic Church: audios / book (more – rating) / “faithful people” (more) / list (more) / two new (more)…  St. Rose Duchesne: about (more) / missionary / patroness (more) / prayer (more) / religious / resources (quotes & prayers) / shrine (reflections) / video / “woman who always prays


Monday, 10.21.13

Ooh la la!  What beautiful cards from Tom Muscatello with the Anthonians!

Anth102113-2a        Anth102113-2b        Anth102113-1a


Friday, 10.18.13

MB101813-1aA lovely card with a heartfelt message, saintly bookmarks, and a prayer leaflet arrived in today’s mail.

Thank you, Mother Bernadette, for sending prayer cards and leaflets that I would never receive otherwise!  Thank you for lighting a fire under me to learn more about Servant of God John Bradburne!  We greatly appreciate you and the Sisters at the Flower of Carmel!

MB101813-JBa  MB101813-JBb  MB101813-JBc  MB101813-JBd

John R. Bradburne: about / community (more) / gallery / holy man / memorial society / poetry / vagabond


Saturday, 10.12.13

Today’s mail from Tom Muscatello included not only a new St. Anthony prayer card, but also the December schedule for Father Mario’s next visit.  If you happen to be in New York, may I suggest Mass and the veneration of St. Anthony’s first-class relics?

Anth101213-1a      Anth101213-1c      Anth101213-3


Saturday, 10.5.13

Ever since meeting Martha at St. Anthony of Padua in Rockford, IL, we’ve been corresponding regularly.  And she always manages to surprise me.  This time she sent two prayer cardlets, my word for these prayer card/pamphlet combos. 

Thank you, Martha!  Happy day!

MR10513-2a      MR10513-2b      MR10513-2c

MR10513-1a      MR10513-1b      MR10513-1c


Monday, 9.30.13

Here’s something interesting I found today: free, downloadable Bible trivia games.  And no registration is required to access Bible passages, verses, lessons, quotes, and more.

Link of interest…  Know the Bible?


Monday, 8.26.13

MB82613-1aThis time around Mother Bernadette really surprised me!  Not only did she send a lovely St. Bernadette prayer card, but—  She also waxed poetic!

It is almost spring here, and the trees are putting out blossoms and some spring flowers.  I suppose autumn is almost there with you.  Both seasons are beautiful.  A little quote from an Australian poet…

September, the maid with the swift silver feet!  She glides and she graces the valleys of coolness… (Kendall, 1841-1882).

I love poetry, so this really hit the spot.  Thank you, Mother Bernadette!

Henry Kendall: about…  biography…  e-book (free)…  poems…  Milton, NSW, Australia…  September in Australia


Thursday, 8.15.13

Web links are like plants: They require meticulous weeding that sometimes yields surprising results.

As I searched St. Anne online this morning, I discovered Pray more novenas.  Managed by John-Paul and Annie Deddens, the site is user-friendly with lots of beautiful novenas, familiar and new.

Oh, and the novena starting on Sunday, August 18th?  To St. Monica.

Sign up if you’re interested!

Pray more novenas: about / news / novenas


Wednesday, 8.14.13

Today we attended the vigil for the Assumption; and, while Steven met with Father Kris, I took photos as usual before Mass.

Father Kris has been our pastor since July 1st (when Father Xaviour began his service at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Corpus Christi, TX).  Naturally, he’s been making some changes here and there.  So imagine my delight on seeing a familiar face on the second tapestry at St. Joseph’s.

??????????        ??????????

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, a Conventual Franciscan, created an evangelization center, the City of the Immaculata, near Warsaw, Poland where many friars were trained before setting off to preach the gospel in other parts of the world.  During WWII, he valiantly gave his life at Auschwitz so that the father of a large family could be spared.

SJC81413-15Immaculata, queen and mother of the Church, I renew my consecration to you this day and for always so that you may use me for the coming of the kingdom of Jesus in the whole world.  To this end I offer you all my prayers, actions, and sacrifices of this day.  Amen.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you and for all those who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of holy Church and all those recommended to you.  Amen.

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe: 1894-1941 / & the Immaculate Conception / apostle / faithful follower / Franciscan / Marytown (Libertyville, IL) / memorial (Aug 14) / prayers: (video) / priest & martyr / prisoner 16670


Monday, 8.5.13

I’m forever repairing (replacing) broken links on both blogs and, just now, came across these really great links to free movies I’d forgotten all about as well as some faves.

Links of interest…  DaySpring ecards…  E-Water inspiration…  I Can Only Imagine (song)…  Inspirational flash movies…  Knots prayer…  Simple truths (free videos)…  Walk the Talk…  White Christmas (animated)


Friday, 8.2.13

JTaylor8213Having uploaded Sunday’s post to our church blog, I had a few moments to check my inbox.

Oh, glorious day!  Joseph Taylor emailed!

Joseph accompanied us on our pilgrimage at the Solanus Casey Center on April 28, 2012—one day after submitting his application to the Capuchins—so, of course, he’s been in our thoughts and prayers daily.

What a gift to hear from him again!


Thursday, 8.1.13

A response in eight days’ time?  Yes!  Father Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates sent quite a treasure trove, including angel pocket coins and the perfect prayer card.  Impressive!  And gratefully appreciated!

FMA-H104a  FMA-H104b    FMA-angc-a  FMA-angc-b


Wednesday, 7.31.13

This month I’ve received “Sunday Scripture Reflections” from Catholic Theological Union (CTU) on a weekly basis.  As one would expect, the readings are linked to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops site; but what I really like are the reflections.  For instance, this upcoming Sunday’s is featured in The Word for Every Season (2008).

To subscribe to the newsletter, the box is in the top right-hand corner of CTU’s Catholics on Call.


Monday, 7.29.13

Here are World Youth Day highlights through tweets, pictures, videos, and more from Pope Alarm.

Links of interest…  50 corporal works of mercy ideas for your summer bucket list…  Bringing loved ones home: Practical steps in helping them rediscover the faith (free e-book)…  Focus (blog / pope alarm)…  Passing it on: Raising children to thrive in the faith (free e-book)…  Pope Francis: first encyclical (summarized)…  World Youth Day: recap / schedule with pictures


Tuesday, 7.23.13

Our evening at St. Anthony of Padua in Rockford, I saw a couple of little girls holding what I took to be prayer cards as they waited their turn in line to visit St. Anthony’s relic.

“I should’ve thought of that!” I told Steven.  “I could’ve brought St. Anthony cards to touch to the relic, so we could give them away later on.”

Too late, I mentally chided myself.  Next time.

So imagine my delight at receiving not one, but two St. Anthony cards from Tom Muscatello in today’s mail!  I wished, and I received.  St. Anthony knew.

Tom72313-2x2On behalf of the Friars from the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua in Padua, Italy, [Fathers] Mario Conte, Ugo Sartorio, and Luciano Segafreddo asked me to send their very best to you.

We hope you are having a peaceful… summer season.  We wish you and yours the best of health.

May Saint Anthony always be your intercessor!  May God keep watch over you!

SAP61413s-58        SAP61413s-77        SAP61413s-78

??????????        ??????????        SAP61413s-63

??????????        ??????????

St. Anthony: 750 years after finding St. Anthony of Padua’s incorrupt tongue / California / finding (loss & light) / irresistible attraction / Marytown / Scotland / stories / traveling with / two-week tour / visit Chicago area


Monday, 7.22.13

This morning’s mail brought a sweet surprise: A four-page letter from Martha, whom we met at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Rockford, IL last month.  I’m sending heartfelt prayers your way! I smiled, as I eagerly devoured the letter’s contents.

Minutes later I checked my inbox and found Sister Gladys’s newly posted “Transition.

Never one to be outdone, God has impeccable timing!

Sisters of the Holy Family: blog / website


Friday, 7.19.13

Today’s letter from Father Mario reminded me of the unexpected phone call I received from him on January 9th.  “I just called to ask if you have a petition for me to deliver to St. Anthony when I visit his tomb for vespers this evening,” he said.  I was blown away not just by the kind offer, but also by Father Mario’s having taken the time from his very busy day to call me, a stranger, all the way from Padua.

Mind you, until then I’d had a number of really great talks with Maria at the Anthonians’ Indiana office; and, once, a priest from there had called to thank me for a contribution.  Not something I ever would’ve expected.  I mean, one donates without expecting anything in return, after all.  I’d also written to Father Ugo (through Maria) a few times; but, when one receives an invitation, the relationship takes on new meaning as reciprocal.  What’s more, to have one’s petition taken to St. Anthony himself is a life-altering experience, not to mention a truly endearing gesture.  So, naturally, the Anthonians have made quite a heartfelt impression on us.

For this reason, I thought Father Mario’s letter (in part below) and his card in today’s mail hit the spot just right.

FrM71913-2bFrM71913-2aAs promised during my homily, I carried every petition that I received … back here to the tomb of Saint Anthony in Padua where I have prayed for all your intentions.

I am enclosing this picture that one of my brothers took of me praying for you beside the tomb.  It bears some words of blessing and encouragement on the reverse side.

If there is any other petition that is stirring in your heart, please entrust it to us here.  This is why we serve in Saint Anthony’s Basilica.


Saturday, 7.13.13

Receiving two letters, each with lots of photos, had me on Cloud Nine today!

How special of Mother Bernadette to send me Sister Stephanie’s letter related to her final promise!  What a beautiful peek into life at the monastery!  Thanks for the blessing!

MB71313-1    MB71313-2a    MB71313-2e

The second letter was from Tom Muscatello with the Anthonians in New York.  He plans and organizes the Holy Relic Tours in the U.S. for Fathers Mario Conte, Luciano Segafreddo, and Ugo Sartorio.

Father Mario and I have been busy touring the holy relics of Saint Anthony of Padua since February [and] went to numerous churches in NY and NJ.  In April, we toured southern California….  These past few weeks in June, we were in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and [in] Libertyville, Rockford, and Chicago, Illinois.

Father Mario asked me to share a few photos with you.  It was truly a blessing to be with so many devotees of Saint Anthony in the U.S.

Thanks to Tom’s captions, I now know who Maria is that I’ve spoken to by phone when I’ve called the Indiana office.  All good!

Tom71313-2        Tom71313-3        Tom71313-4


Monday, 7.8.13

Wow to the moon and back!  Father Sheehan sent me a treasured keepsake!

Greetings from San Antonio where it is humid, hot, and muggy.  Nothing new!

FrS7813aThis is a picture of my parish, St. Gabriel Catholic Church, in Chicago where the Sheehan clan was baptized, confirmed, and made first communions.  The big school there is still in business.

All goes well here as we age gracefully.  We had a funeral Mass here and burial of Father Mathew.  He was a teacher for many years, a very intelligent man.  He was a Yankee from Chicago.

Y’all be well and have a great summer….

Father Armand Mathew: community says farewell / dies at age 90 / obituary…  St. Gabriel Catholic Church: history / map / parishes online


Friday, 7.5.13

Wow!  Two surprises in one day!  First, news on the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII in the near future.  (Maybe Venerable Father Casey and others aren’t far behind?)  Then an unexpected card from Father Mario in Padua, Italy.  Truly special.

FrM7513a        FrM7513b        SAP61413s-81


Monday, 7.1.13

MB71313-2dAs always, Sister’s letter was filled with blessings and good news that touched not only on the monastery’s annual retreat presented by Father Luis, a Father of Mercy, but also on the cold winter weather.  Still, everyone’s doing well, including Sister Marie Anne, the Flower of Carmel’s timeless treasure at age ninety-one.

“Please continue to promote the devotion to the Holy Child Jesus,” Sister requested. 

Absolutely!  Thank you, dearest Sister, for your thoughtfulness, your prayers, your love, and all the prayer cards you included in your letter!  Thank you most especially for St. Pio’s relic prayer leaflet!

SMA7113-PP1      SMA7113-PP2

Links of interest…  Fathers of Mercy…  Flower of Carmel: home / our treasure / our history / daily work / happenings


Saturday, 6.29.13

This has been a very busy month for us.  Besides driving to Brownsville every other weekend, we’ve also traveled north out of state (and northeast again to Louisiana).  And, oh, the people we’ve met!  Simply delightful.

CH2013-PaceHSFor the first time ever, I received a high school graduation invitation from a student in the very last class I taught.  How priceless to get two for one: Missael, one of Chelsea’s fifth-grade classmates,
happened to be part of the ceremony, too.  In class I’d dubbed him “the Big M” to his calling me “the Great Os” (short for Ostrich Head, as in forever focused), and now he’ll major in business at UT?  Wow.  That Brownsville visit was memorable!

We also traveled to Chicago and Rockford, Illinois and to Detroit (June 14-17).

??????????Father Mario Conte visited with two St. Anthony relics from Padua, Italy to commemorate the 750th anniversary of
St. Bonaventure’s discovery of St. Anthony’s remains.  So how could we possibly pass that up?

We caught up to him— um, them at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Rockford, only an hour and thirty-eight minutes— not quite eighty-eight miles— northwest of Chicago.  (Related entries on this page: January 9 and June 3, 2013)

Of course, that also meant returning to the Dominican St. Jude shrine at St. Pius V on Ashland Avenue.  And how could we not visit, finally, the Claretian national shrine of St. Jude at Our Lady of Guadalupe on East 91st?  The same could be said for revisiting the Solanus Casey Center, so why not attend Sunday Mass at St. Bonaventure Church before leisurely spending the day with Father Casey?

And, oh, the photo opportunities!

??????????        ??????????        ??????????

SAP61413-142        ??????????        ??????????

SAP61413s-43        SAP61413-111        ??????????

StPV61513s-8        ??????????        ??????????

??????????      OLG61513s-18      OLG61513s-9

??????????      ??????????      ??????????

??????????      SCC61613-106      ??????????

??????????        ??????????        SCC61613-196


Thursday, 6.13.13

Pope Alarm cited three quotes from Pope Francis during his first ninety days:

“The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service, and love.”

“It’s not a problem that we’re sinners; it’s a problem that we aren’t ashamed of our sin and don’t seek forgiveness.”

“How marvelous it would be if, at the end of the day, each of us could say, ‘Today I have performed an act of charity towards others!’”


Monday, 6.3.13

You ever have sleepless nights when your brain’s too full of stuff that you can’t rest?

Well, my solution is to get up, read, write letters, and wear out the old noodle until I run out of oomph.

As I finished my letter to Sister at four o’clock this morning, I remembered this month’s FMA Focus that I wanted to share with her.  I looked for the quarterly newsletter, put it on my desk, and took note of its cover’s virtue: Silence.

Father Primo’s letter connected to the blog post on loneliness, silence, and quiet time alone that I’d read around two a.m.

In the silence of the heart God speaks.  If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you.  It is only when you realize… your emptiness that God can fill you with himself.  Souls of prayer are souls of great silence (Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta).

FMAJun2013a        FMAJun2013b        StAnthony-Chi

Closer to home, Father’s message reminded me of St. Anthony’s nugget, which is posted our church blog’s “prayer” page.

The Lord manifests himself to those who pause while in peace and humility of heart….

God, in order to be able to speak to the soul and fill it with the knowledge of his love, leads it to the solitude, detaching it from preoccupations of earthly things.  He speaks to the ears of those who are silent and makes them hear his secrets.

Links of interest…  Franciscan Mission Associates (FMA Focus)…  Irresistible attraction of St. Anthony of Padua…  Mother Teresa on silence…  Saint in California


Wednesday, 5.29.13

As I was searching for devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus this morning, I came across some really great finds that I’ve added to the new post I’m working on.

Just look at the vintage postcardsWow!


Sunday, 5.26.13

Today Steven and I attended Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Brownsville.  What a glorious sight!  The altar looked somewhat different, but I wasn’t sure until I saw the photos from our last visit, July 2011.  Still, I was easily, joyfully, enveloped by its heartwarming familiarity.

I can hardly wait to call this beautiful sacred space our home parish again.

??????????   ??????????   ??????????

??????????        ??????????

??????????        ??????????        ??????????

??????????        ??????????

??????????        ??????????

??????????        SHC52613-4


Thursday, 5.16.13

NOLA-PP2-bNOLA-PP2-aWe visited Steven’s brother in Madisonville, LA this week and stayed at the usual place.  Among the literature in the display case at La Quinta, this tasty morsel caught my eye even though it wasn’t on our agenda.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has an exhibit on the life and art of John Paul II that runs until June 16, 2013 at the museum of art.

If you’re in the area, maybe you’d like to see it?


Wednesday, 5.15.13

What wonderful news from Mother Bernadette!  A Father of Mercy from the U.S. will present a Pentecost retreat during which to “[ask] the Holy Spirit to increase his gifts and graces within us.”

Some Fathers come to Australia for a few months each year to give missions and retreats.  We were fortunate to have obtained Father’s retreat this year.

MB51513-1aAs for how the chickens fared after the flooding in March?

Sister managed to save them.  We lost three and had to give our two turkeys away, but the others are safe.

Mother Bernadette, thanks so much for your lovely letter; the photo of the flowers that grow at the monastery; the prayer cards you included; and, most especially, for sharing a bit of your world.  God bless you and the Sisters most abundantly!


Tuesday, 5.14.13

We traveled to Louisiana to visit with Steven’s brother, whose wife died on Mother’s Day; and, as usual, we stayed at La Quinta in Covington, a small, neighboring town.

??????????At breakfast we met a quiet, joy-filled man who, until I said “good morning” would never have spoken to us otherwise.

What a poet!  What an inspiration!  Allen Simms, a Korean veteran now a sheriff’s chaplain, has given This Little Light of Mine new meaning.  To think that, had we left the dining area five minutes earlier, we totally would’ve missed him.

Allen sang a couple of his poems, which I captured on my Sony; and he gave me permission to post them here once I transcribe them.  Sadly, I didn’t have my recorder when he sang “the rainbow promise,” though he did say I could find his poetry and songs on the F.A.I.T.H. Riders website.

I looked but found nothing, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we meet up again someday.


Monday, 5.6.13

Nine-thirty Mass at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin, TX yesterday was as beautiful as our first visit there.

Although the church is undergoing structural repairs, all else is just as we remembered from three and a half years ago: friendly folks, heavenly music, and a heartfelt homily that this time around focused on gratitude.

StMC5513-11        ??????????        ??????????


Wednesday, 4.24.13

Yesterday I received an email informing me that Oscar Romero’s path to sainthood is now “unblocked;” today, that Pope John Paul II will be canonized in October.

Two more saints in our lifetime?  Amazing!

If you would like to receive timely tidbits, you can sign up for email from Pope Alarm.


Friday, 4.12.13

Oh, my goodness!  Among the precious items in her letter, Sister included St. Teresa of Avila’s wonderful colloquy that I’ll be sure to add to a future post I’ve been percolating since last year.

Thank you so very much for your prayerful thoughts, dearest Sister!  Congratulations on your anniversary on Divine Mercy Sunday!  Blessings to everyone at the monastery!

SMA41213-1a        SMA41213-2        CM33013-1a


Saturday, 3.30.13

Perfectly timed Easter blessings from Sister arrived in today’s mail.  Yay!  She included two Blessed Mother Teresa prayer cards for my treasure trove, too.

Happy Easter season to everyone at the monastery, dearest Sister!  Thanks so much for including Steven and me in the novena of Masses! 


Monday, 3.25.13

Update: CFCA will change its name to Unbound effective January 2014, but will otherwise remain the same (Letter; November 6, 2013).

CFCA112113-2a       CFCA112113-2b        CFCA2013

April of last year we learned about the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) from Loren and Dotty Smeester and their longtime friend, Jerry, in Wisconsin.

When we returned from our trip, Steven got online to learn more; and we joined as well.

Through CFCA one can sponsor children and/or aging adults in twenty-two countries and receive not only correspondence, but also online news about the program, prayers, and more.

Contact CFCA by mail: 1 Elmwood Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66103-2118; by telephone: 1.913.384.6500 / 1.800.875.6564; or simply visit their website.


Thursday, 3.14.13

At 1:06 P.M. yesterday, I turned on the TV to watch my daily eighteen-minute dose of The Bold and the Beautiful that had recorded earlier.  But, instead of the hearing characters from General Hospital or a commercial, Diane Sawyer’s reporting had just begun.

White smoke was emanating from the chimney at the Sistine Chapel, she announced.  Then Archbishop Gregory, seated beside her, suggested that they listen for the bells as a sure sign that a new pope had been chosen.

What excitement!

The ol’ pea brain immediately went into sponge mode as I plopped on the sofa, forgot to check for the pope alarm email, and didn’t budge until the deacon cardinal’s announcement.

Habemus Papam!

PopeFrancis-4        PopeFrancis-2        PopeFrancis-3

Links of interest…  Pope Francis: about / activities for kids / address / against the Roman Curia / big heart open to God (reflections) / book / breaks another barrier as first Jesuit pontiff / call & response in St. Ignatius & St. Francis / call to shake up the church / cardinal of Buenos Aires, elected leader / cardinal to pope / celebrates first Mass / conservative / election / faults Church’s focus / first: Easter – Jesuit pope – Mass with cardinals / focus on gospels / for all species / Franciscan spirituality / Franciscum / from Latin America / Habemus Papam / Heroic leadership (book) / humble, authentic, & credible / humility / Ignatian spirituality / Ignatius & Pope Francis / imagine Catholics and LGBT rights complexly / impatience for scandal / Jesuits / Martin & Francis / meet the new pope / name choice “precedent shattering” / new pontiff / news / our prayer for Pope Francis / pontiff of firsts / poticaprayer, housekeeping / Sistine Chapel / South Texas Catholic (CNS videos) / starts first full day / story behind National Geographic’s story / welcoming & celebrating our new pope / white smoke / who is / witnessing the election


Tuesday, 3.12.13

I laughed when I heard ABC News report that “there’s even a pope alarm.”

Popealarm.com is the brainchild of Focus (fellowship of Catholic university students), which serves seventy-four colleges.

Check out the website if you’re curious.  And sign up for your pope alarm.  I did.


Monday, 3.11.13

MB31113-1aWhat news from Mother Bernadette today!

You ask about our weather.  We have had over thirty-five inches in the last few weeks with flooding rains around us.  We are in a high position sloping down to a lower level.  Our poor hen house is flooded, and sister has had to dig channels to keep the ground from being so muddy and wet for the chickens.

I can’t even begin to fathom what that must be like, especially with our drought conditions here in Texas.

You’re in our heartfelt prayers, Mother Bernadette, Sisters, Anne, and Erin!  Thank you for including us in your upcoming Easter novena Masses!


Tuesday, 2.26.13

Sunday we attended ten-thirty Mass at my most favorite sacred space, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville.  And, since I can never get enough of St. Anthony, I took his photo and wished I could take him home with me.

Then, this afternoon, Steven brought me a “surprise” from Betty at work— an absolutely gorgeous statue of St. Anthony with the Child Jesus— with a note and, later, an email.

He was saying your name Sunday when I saw him.  God works in special kinds of ways.  Have a beautiful day, Deli.

I was— still am— over the moon with joy.

??????????        ICC22413-121        ??????????


Wednesday, 2.13.13

??????????If you’re looking for inspiration, “Praying Lent” is chock-full of resources of— audios, articles, prayers, and more— not only for the Lenten season, but also for Holy Week and Easter.

Ash Wednesday is today; Easter, April 7.

Creighton Online Ministries: bulletin inserts / site index…  Lent: about / fasting / guide / history / overview / recipes (more)…  Stations of the Cross: fish eaters / for kids / prayers / printables / thinking faith…  Toward the light (videos)…  Veronica’s veil


Tuesday, 2.12.13

Talk about timely.  I was checking the blog’s dashboard and came across a perfectly-timed link to the Lenten fish fries taking place in the Corpus Christi Diocese.  How great is that?  Or maybe I should say delectable?  And— should you be in the Taft area— Immaculate Conception Church is offering options: chalupas, enchiladas, fish, and salmon patties.  Yum!


Sunday, 2.10.13

??????????This morning we drove to Immaculate Conception Church in Taft, TX for ten o’clock Mass and the veneration of Blessed José Luis
Sánchez del Río’s relic on the eighty-fifth anniversary of his death.


Tuesday, 2.5.13

This morning I received an email from Sister M. Heidi.  The Schoenstatt Center in Lamar is revamping its website, so she sent me the 2013 calendar of events to post.  The new links are on the “Marian devotions” post.


Monday, 2.4.13

FrM2413-23cOh, happy day!  I received not only four St. Anthony cards in the mail, but also a really nice letter from Father Mario that prompted me to call Maria at the Anthonians’ office in Mount St. Francis, Indiana.

Maria asked if we’d be able to attend the exposition of St. Anthony’s relics in New York City, February 15-23.  Sadly, no.  Or Los Angeles, April 15-20.  Too far.

Then Maria said she’d accompanied the Anthonians to San Antonio for the celebration at the San Fernando Cathedral a few years ago.  Wow.  How did I not hear about St. Anthony’s relics being there at the time?

So now the cathedral’s on my go-see list along with St. Anthony of Padua Church that Father Sheehan told me about recently.  Certainly, there’s much to explore online to learn more about these sacred spaces.

San Fernando Cathedral (also known as Church of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria y Guadalupe): about / archdiocese seat / church building / history / map / oldest U.S. cathedral / parish / resting place…  St. Anthony of Padua: about / church / map / website


Saturday, 1.26.13

Thanks to Father Mathias’s invitation to join him for five o’clock Mass, another of my wishes came true.

I visited the chapel at Sacred Heart twice in 2010, but couldn’t photograph the church because it’s locked during the week.  So, of course, I jumped at the chance when Father Mathias emailed to say he’d be celebrating Mass there this weekend.

??????????What a joyful experience!

Those we met— Deacon Benny Vargas, Celina (reader), the sacristan, and the woman (in the pew behind ours) with whom I spoke after Mass— were truly welcoming and extended an open invitation for us to visit anytime.  Wow!

I guess Landin’s magic of three’s is still going strong.  The third visit was the charm.


Friday, 1.25.13

Father Mathias from Holy Cross Church celebrated eight o’clock Mass at St. Joseph’s this morning and called to say hello.

Holy Cross Church is again hosting another ten-week Encounter beginning February fourth.  Should anyone be interested, please contact the office secretary.


Sunday, 1.13.13

Today we attended Mass in the chapel at the Oblate Madonna Residence and, afterwards, revisited the grotto and the sanctuary.

OLLGT11313-1a   OLLGT11313-1b   ??????????   ??????????


Saturday, 1.12.13

MB11113-1aWow!  I’m grateful for— drum roll, please— both the wonderful responses to my letters and the unexpected messages received this week.

For those of you who haven’t yet taken up the art of letter writing, you might want to reconsider, as it’s quite a rush to find noteworthy nuggets in one’s mailbox instead of the usual unsolicited, humdrum sales pitches and such.

Father Sheehan, we’ll see you at the Oblate Madonna Residence in San Antonio tomorrow.  Father Ralph, your touching thank-you card left me longing to revisit Stella Maris soon, hopefully with friends in tow.  Mother Bernadette, I can hardly wait to sample Sister Mary Paul’s macadamia biscuits, if we ever make it to Goonellabah.  And Father Primo?  Wow!  You knocked my socks off again today!  Thanks for believing in what I do and for all the smiles that will surely follow.


Wednesday, 1.9.13

What an incredible SURPRISE to have the phone ring, listen for the voice on the answering machine, and pick up on hearing, “This is Father Mario calling from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy.”

Messenger-Dec2012Father Mario is the executive editor of Messenger; and he called in response to a letter I included in my Christmas card to Father Ugo, the magazine’s general editor.  Amazing!

I’m still reeling with emotion!  Four minutes plus of unimaginable exhilaration!

For days I’d had a prayerful concern.  Only I didn’t know who to call on for assistance.  I guess it’s safe to say that St. Anthony paid me a visit through Father Mario today.

“All better, Lon!” to quote our grandson.

If you don’t yet subscribe to the Anthonians’ magazine, you’re missing out!


WP pages… Words 2010-12 / W 2016-18 / W 2019-21

© Deli Lanoux, Ed.D. and Shared thoughts…, 2008.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deli Lanoux, Ed.D. and Shared thoughts… with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 Responses

  1. You are such an inspiration to me and your shared thoughts help me so much. Finally found a statue of the Holy Infant through my brother who is a monk at St Leo Abbey in St Leo, FL. He is sending the statue to me so will have the statue soon.

    Miss you and your sweet smile and your encouragement.

    • How exciting! Your very own Infant? Oh, my gosh!

      Do you know that I, too, had a very difficult time getting mine?

      Every Sunday I spent time with the Infant at Sacred Heart Church until, lo and behold, he made it possible for Segy and me to visit the original at Our Lady of Victory in Prague. Wow!

      And, in three years time, I received a family heirloom that I’d never known existed! How amazing, right?

      So I’m beyond thrilled that your sweet, thoughtful brother has found an Infant for you. How special is that?!

      I hope you’ll send me a photo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.