Thursday, February 28, 2013

Il S'Agit De...

Évangile de Jésus Christ selon saint Luc 16,19-31. Jésus disait cette parabole : « Il y avait un homme riche, qui portait des vêtements de luxe et faisait chaque jour des festins somptueux. Un pauvre, nommé Lazare, était couché devant le portail, couvert de plaies. Il aurait bien voulu se rassasier de ce qui tombait de la table du riche ; mais c'étaient plutôt les chiens qui venaient lécher ses plaies. Or le pauvre mourut, et les anges l'emportèrent auprès d'Abraham. Le riche mourut aussi, et on l'enterra. Au séjour des morts, il était en proie à la torture ; il leva les yeux et vit de loin Abraham avec Lazare tout près de lui. Alors il cria : 'Abraham, mon père, prends pitié de moi et envoie Lazare tremper dans l'eau le bout de son doigt pour me rafraîchir la langue, car je souffre terriblement dans cette fournaise. Mon enfant, répondit Abraham, rappelle-toi : Tu as reçu le bonheur pendant ta vie, et Lazare, le malheur. Maintenant il trouve ici la consolation, et toi, c'est ton tour de souffrir. De plus, un grand abîme a été mis entre vous et nous, pour que ceux qui voudraient aller vers vous ne le puissent pas, et que, de là-bas non plus, on ne vienne pas vers nous. ' Le riche répliqua : 'Eh bien ! père, je te prie d'envoyer Lazare dans la maison de mon père. J'ai cinq frères : qu'il les avertisse pour qu'ils ne viennent pas, eux aussi, dans ce lieu de torture ! ’ Abraham lui dit : 'Ils ont Moïse et les Prophètes : qu'ils les écoutent ! Non, père Abraham, dit le riche, mais si quelqu'un de chez les morts vient les trouver, ils se convertiront. ' Abraham répondit : 'S'ils n'écoutent pas Moïse ni les Prophètes, quelqu'un pourra bien ressusciter d'entre les morts : ils ne seront pas convaincus. ' »

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Visite en France de John Kerry (Paris, 27... by francediplotv

The Language

of Lent and Love. The fact that christians around the world are a family is undescored by the language of lent in the western world where words all seem to etiomologicallly play and feed off each other. I came to this awareness teaching an english class to spanish and french native speakers. For example during lent we are to fast and give alms. The world alms comes from the french aumoniere meaning more or less the same thing. The Spanish world Alma is soul, the french word for soul is Ame. The french word for love Amour, to love Aimer and so giving alms seems to somehow demonstrate love and make the soul what it should be. I dare you to google it all. Alms, Soul, Love in all three languages. Tell me God isn't trying to tell you something. Warning "soul" in French means drunk. It only goes so far.



And in the 'what was he drinking' category....

Yoo-Hooo Over Here

I'm the one with the hat!

     Am I alone in thinking that those pointy conehead hats on higher catholic clerics looks like a saturday night live spoof on the Coneheads who came to dinner?   They look really wierd in America, don't they. They don't really resonate with anyone you see or think of in scripture -  Jesus walking along the Jordan dismantled his tall pointy top hat the size of an opened umbrella on his head and gave it to Peter to hold while he healed the blind man bending over his flowing lacey robes to pick dirt from the ground to make mud to smear on the man's eyes. Huh?  OK-you are right, I made that up. Jesus didn't wear tall pointy conehead hats.

   He probably did wear a yamulka- probably not a flaming pink one.  Shall I wear my fuschia yamulka or my hot red lipstick colored one? Hmmmm.

   I can't speak for the Fuschia Yamulkas (although I know no Jewish color regulation on them so-hey, go wild)- but I can imagine where the conehead hat tradition comes from.

   Before the days of great sound systems and microphones, when a preacher preached in a great huge gothic cathedral with high arches, the hat simply identified who was talking-because if you are sitting anywhere from the middle to the back you cannot see or identify who is speaking from the front. The hat mirrors the arched pinnacle above his head where he likely would be speaking. And likely there were a number of clerics surrounding him concelebrating or doing various other things on the altar-so you couldn't tell who in fact was talking. When you can see who it is who is speaking you can sometimes hone in and listen better.

   So the hat could have originally been a - Yoo-Hoo Over Here- I'm the guy talking! kind of visual aid.
It attached to the guys giving the sermons (homilies)- who were the highest clergy available in the area. When the church migrated from those magnificent European gothic cathedrals the hats went with them.
And that's when they started to look goofy as all get out. But if you go to a real Mass in a real European
Gothic Cathedral, and hear a guy in the hat, you start to appreciate that you can see who is talking by identifying that Cat in the Hat.

So that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

Here Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran wears more head appropriate gear in India with the Sikhs. By covering his head with a napkin. Like all the Sikhs around him there. When in Rome......

I like this guy.  click Here to learn a little more

So in Yankee Stadium a bishop should wear a baseball hat. Talking to a bunch of miners in West Virginia he should wear a miner's cap, in talking to policemen he can wear a police hat (no, you can't impersonate one.)     A cardinal in a baseball cap - that works if you are in America pretty well. Wouldn't you like to see it?

Thank God

For the Jesuits. Father James Martin graciously provided the archived livestream of the Christian Education Conference in California  on his Facebook page (where all the action is)  so I post  
HERE (click)----

     You might have thought all Jesuits the dry dull professorial type- but Father Martin proves that there are few more down to earth hilarious folk than those trained at the Gregorian in doing his order proud here at this conference and everywhere he lectures.

   You can also buy his book Heaven and Mirth. -or Living with the Saints- or a number of other great ones.



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

In the World. There are many many abandoned, neglected parentless children. They roam garbage dumps in Guatemala City, they are warehoused in orphanages in the Dominican Republic, they are war orphans, traumatized in Palestinian territory, they are desolutely existing in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Latvia and every eastern european eastern block country in conditions you wouldn't put a dog in some cases, understaffed, underfinanced orphanges. They are in China-there are pregnant women in China running from the one child policy. They are in India scraping off the streets. They are in orphanages and foster care in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are AIDS orphans from every African country on the continent. If you want to adopt a child. Faire un effort. Find one. They are everywhere. The debate over whether gay people can legally adopt is colored by the perspectives of the advocates on how hard it is to adopt. A french gentleman lamented that it was really hard to adopt in France because the child is not considered abandoned if a parent writes one letter in a year defeating any adopting procedure. Some laws can be tricky with regard to international adoption. If you believe there is a shortage of adoptable people and you are a heterosexual couple you want to make sure you and those like you have first bid in a limited supply. Fine. You want preference because you believe children should have male and female role models both and both gender parenting. Fine. But a child in an adoptive situation is already not in a best case scenario and there are far far more children in the world needing parents than there are heterosexual couples willing to adopt them. The fact of the matter is that heterosexual couples are not all lining up to go to Africa to get AIDS orphans, willing to battle the guatemalan government for the garbage dump children who are traumatized victims of violence in some cases. They are not lining up to wait in line in China for abandoned chineese girls (the disfavored gender there) and they are not visiting the eastern european orphanages at a rate that is emptying them. However, there is a population of people who are and will go to any length in the universe to find an unwanted child and make them wanted and loved-and those people are willing to do that because they cannot have their own naturally as they are gay. Or they are Angelina Jolie. If there is one child left sitting in an orphanage anywhere in the world every effort legally should be made to place that child in a stable home with loving parents- of any gender- And who are you to say that the child should not get the best care and attention because you don't like what the parents' sexual orientation is? How is that in the 'best interest' of the children of the world? And unless you are willing to adopt children what gives you the right to say someone else cannot have that child? Further, what gives totally childless clerics any right to say other people cannot care for children and take them in their loving homes? Something about this argument, and marching and manifestations and demonstrations strikes me as obscene. Have any of you visited an orphanage lately? Have any of you taken those children home?
Le plus grand parmi vous sera votre serviteur. Qui s'élèvera sera abaissé, qui s'abaissera sera élevé.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Its Not About You

Its About Them.

The Measure of a Man

and the Meaning of Honor.

     An honorable man. What does it mean? Intrinsic in the definition is someone who knows how
to treat women with respect. Someone who does not is simply not an honorable man. Some man who forces or coerces an abortion on a vulnerable woman, most people would agree is not an honorable man. Some man who brings unfounded disgrace on a woman or creates scandal toward a woman or maligns, slanders or abuses a woman is not an honorable man. There use to be a civil tort claim in American jurisprudence which may still be on the books, called 'Slander of Virtue' of a woman. Any woman who is slandered in her virtue, meaning called a slut, whore, loose, promisciuous, etc. who isn't in fact may sue the person who maligned them in that fashion. It may still be on the books-
The way a man treats a woman is integral to the honor of a man. Many societies hold this to be the case.

   The all male catholic church hierarchy, however, does not seem to. That is because it sometimes takes gossip for truth and peddles guilt as an occupational qualification. Women often get maligned unfairly, dissed and demeaned unfairly and this is completely OK according to any arbitrariness any priest wants to engage in for whatever ego protecting reason he wants to. He can act on what someone wants to convey in a 'confession' which can be thinly veiled slander and presume the correctness of it because the person came so repentantly- falling hook, line and sinker. Some people are quite devious that way.

     The all male, all SINGLE male priesthood and Cardinali won't use that definition of honor when considering who should reign over a billion people's spiritual lives. In fact it is sometimes considered virtuous to demean and destroy women when necessary in some circles when they pose a threat for whatever perceived reason, rightly or wrongly. Show me a priest who threatens women deemed too powerful and I'll show you a Bishop. I can name at least one.

  This is not the Joseph model of priesthood so much as the Herod model. Perhaps praying more to Joseph who took care to make sure Mary saw no social rebuke would be the better saint to pray to. Then perhaps more honor would come to the priesthood and church.



And in the Please Tell Me This is Not True


     The French legislative body it appears passed a constitutional amendment of sorts in which
all the sexual harassment laws were mooted or voided in such a manner that caused all the sexual harassment claims to be dismissed on constitutional grounds 'tout a coups'- all at once. So protection in France for sexual harassment claims is non-existent in the workplace. Dieu Tout Puissant.

  There was recently a documentary on French TV in which one particularly chauvinist gentihomme
lamented how a bad joke can be misinterpreted and bring scandal. That opinion prevailed apparently.
Nevermind the women who get mauled, groped and literally felt up while attempting to type.
Its now open season on 'do me or you are fired' in one of the most Catholic countries in the EU.
So what does that say about respect for women in traditional catholic societies???  Women's 'liberation' if you can call it that in the US has its benefits. People are allowed to do a job in peace, with dignity and respect for their talent and skill wholly aside and apart from their sex-appeal or desire to use it at work.  Moreover it says you have a right to a paycheck for the work you do, not the prostitution you won't.
    I beg and plead the French Ministry of "Excuse Me, You Have To Be Kidding" to set this right before we have to create an EU separate court to which these women can appeal as a fundamental matter of human rights and dignity.



James Martin

For Pope

  He jokes, sort of. Because secretly I think he wishes it could be so. "Can a Pope be someone NOT already a Cardinal?" my friend asked, as if I am any expert on the subject.  Ask Tom Reese-he's the expert. If someone could be
James Martin, SJ (meaning Jesuit) surely should be the prime contender.

  At the recent Christian Education Congress in Anaheim (near LA) California, dubbed by Fr. Martin as
"the Happiest Place on Earth" and, he resounded "Better than Disneyland" he described how God has a playful sense of humor and we should have fun with him in life. If you can get your hands on a copy of his talk which was live streamed watch it- it's both hysterical and insightful.

  For evidence that Jesus has a sense of humor he recites the passage where Nathaniel is introduced to Jesus and he says "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" which is a put down- and likely a snicker evoking common saying then given Nazareth's town character at the time. (currently it is a fairly unremarkable tradestown where factory supply places and quasi-industrial warehouses abound, known more for Jesus having come there than anything else supporting tourism.) And Jesus doesn't declare 'Nathaniel-it shall be better for you than if hellfire rained on your head 'or any such rebuke for making a dig at Jesus. He says-here is a guy with no guile in him. Basically-this is a guy I can work with. He was honest. Jesus didn't hammer slam him into the ground for the slight mocking dig-he didn't kick him out of his path and off the journey- that is something Herod might do or a haughty emperor who 'offed' the heads of anyone who didn't tickle his fancy. Jesus, it appears had Ha Ha moments.

  James Martin, SJ makes the stunning revelatory admission, something protestants have known for years, that God doesn't view any position in the church as a better more special place- we are all supposed to be servants -and all people really are equal in God's eyes. We are all in need of his Grace, Forgiveness and Blessing. It was a pitch for humility, as he joked that one can be too proud even in their humility and he is the No.1 most humble person qualifying him for Pope:-)  A prominent Presbyterian Pastor and Theologian now the President of Princeton University's Theological Seminary Craig Barnes once said that Presbyterian Ministers wear robes when they are giving a Sermon which are simple black robes resembling academic robes of higher established academia because the only thing distinguishing those people in the eyes of God and the people to whom they are preaching is that they are more learned and educated-they went to Seminary.
Jesus clearly thought that the greatest would be the one who served more- the greatest is the greatest servant. Jesus himself took this role as the servant of humanity in sacrificing everything to serve the need of their atonement and thus salvation. He starts his ministry turning water to wine- to "keep the party going" as Martin muses. He was there the God- bartender. Martin wonders how the church would have been different if priests at every Mass washed feet as Jesus did at the last supper. Wouldn't that get people thinking. Of course then it was a necessity because people wore sandals around dirt roads and so feet were always dirty. What would be the equivalent now?  Who has bad credit? Let me clean that up for you? Whose garage needs cleaning out? Garage sale anyone?

    He ended with a few classic jokes. I will tell you two more, he kept saying after finishing each one.
And they are all great, while you probably heard a few already. So find the link or better yet, get his book "Heaven and Mirth" which has lots of them in it. Amazon -or Booth number something at the Congress, as he kept reminding people:-)

  I vote for James Martin for Pope- and for Cardinal O'Malley.  If  I only had a vote. Sung to the tune of  'if i only had a brain' from the Wizzard of Oz :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2013


From God

  When the scribes and pharisees who didn't like that Jesus questioned his authority-because they were off the rails- and asked where on earth Jesus' authority came from....what was his answer.

    It's like the Supreme Court definition of obscenity- You know it when you see it.

To change the authority structure you cannot be co-opted by the authority structure.. When the authority is wrong it has to be challenged from the outside.

Where was Jesus' Theology Degree? From which Theological College or Rabbinical Institute did he get his diploma?

Mandatory Qualification

For Next Pope

When asked which is worse- a priest standing with women who wish ordination or a convicted jail inhabiting child rapist priest, he must answer the later is way worse without a question. The later is a moral reprobate beyond description. The former is doctrinally in disagreement.

     What total lack of respect for women and lack of appreciation for the gifts God gave them (as there are no male nor female in Christ Jesus and all the baptized have gifts of the spirit)- to be even slightly
morally confused about this.

   Yet apparently the last Pope was because Wuerl the DC Cardinal went on a PR rampage to justify the
theology of believing it was right to automatically excommunicate a priest who tried to ordain women while many child rapists and molesters priests sitting in jail are still priests under the 'once a priest always a priest' rubric.  And here's the kicker- they've actually done it. A priest, shortly after his father died, who had served his order faithfully for about 40 years with one curt letter told him he was excommunicated. His crime? Attempting to ordain a woman. They threw the book at him.

    Beyond twisted-its evil.

And someone who might be considered legally a co-conspirator shielding child rapist and molesters in California is getting to go hang out in Rome, sip wine in trattorias, schmooze and pick the next guy.

Batshine off their rocker Crazy.

Is it possible you still don't get that the 'what's a little child molestation amongst friends' mentality has to go.

That there would even be five seconds of deliberation over which is considered more condemnable- a child rapist or a woman who wished ordination- means we need new leadership- and it CANNOT be the same crappola we have had from the Dementican House of Studies.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


More Lourdes, Oui Oui Merci.

 The town of Lourdes proudly displays two flags in front of the Mayor's offices housed in what is called the Hotel de Ville complex: the French and European Union one. Stunning buildings against the backdrop of Pyraneese Mountains.


Below is the super friendly and very helpful front desk receptionist person where I stayed close to the Mayor's offices.

 Below is the female owner (with her husband) of
the bistro NAVARRE which was one of the best in town- their pasta San Jaques was a seafood pasta that was awesome.  The guy below is a super fun friendly and slightly flirty waiter:-) They take reservations for groups, and its a favorite priest hang out apparently.
click HERE

Bright Beautiful day in the Mountains-

Friday, February 22, 2013

People Who Throw

Women Under the Bus
Need Not Apply (Please don't apply)

This Cardinal put it nicely:
Polish Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, told the synod that the greatest obstacle a priest or theologian faces in becoming an effective evangelizer "is without a doubt pride, along with its natural ally, selfishness. The obsession with becoming great, original (and) important reduces more than a few to being 'pastors who shepherd themselves and not their flocks,'" as St. Augustine once said.

Egoism, Grandstanding, and all that pompous pretentious parading siliness (like we don't know where you came from) 
running around in red dresses in Rome. Give me a Break. 

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed some might say, ‘you have faith and I have works.’ Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.”
— James 2:14-18

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Hack Attacks and other Evils

     If you got an email from my email address that said click on this link where you were hit with an ad for Canadian generic pharmaceuticals or viagra or an all new insurance product or ranting heretically, this did not come from me. Trust me.   (well maybe the ranting heretically, but you want to ask to be sure).  I have had to change my password a number of times due to hacking. How do I know about this? Because the idiot cyber-hackers sent the same email to me with my email address on it or people emailed me and said WTF-is this you sending me this?  You get them too I am sure- its called email 'spoofing' because people misappropriate your email address and act like they are you. It is a type of identity fraud. Change your password immediately.

The Chinese are denying that they hacked sensitive US servers. There are criminali out there- not all or maybe any of them are chinese. Who knows. But immense damage can be done by it. So there should be a force of cybersleuth-security in the military staffed and budgeted as heartily as traditional military. More so.

This is the danger behind the blessing of new technologies-you do not know for sure who is sending anything to you. So if you have a question about "Did you really send this?" you should immediately email back and ask the person or better yet, call the person and say "Did you send this?" I have received a number of wierd emails from people I barely know with addresses of theirs I forgot I even had just because I might be in their email address book from five years ago peddling something I know that they have nothing to do with. If I have any question about it- I ask. I am an attorney. I do not have anything to do with Canadian generic pharmaceuticals. Here is another hint. I have never sent an email to anyone I did not know which started with "hello cutie would you like to see my picture, click here?"
Before you sabotage a relationship over it, just ask the person. Use a little common sense. Ask them in person.
     You should not hit "spam" even thought it is because the real email address will never get to you then. Tell the person to change their password. This is a way that someone can totally block the emails of anyone getting anything from that email address again- if everyone hits spam then no one will receive the emails from them any longer and they will wonder why no one is answering them. You should alert the person to the hacking immediately.

     There are very evil people out there- some even in the church who want to destroy other people in the church. Sickening I know. There are some who don't like the party political position of other vocal people, some who would like to destroy their reputations to dilute or discredit their message. They will use hacking if they have to. Some of these creeps are really cyper-sophistocated. Some cyberhackers have devised ways to put worms, trojans or devices loaded onto their emails which download malware and steal information from the recipient's computer.

     For the record, no, I never sent anything peddling canadian pharma, insurance, hello cutie photos of someone not me, and lets see what else .....emails that start with people pretending to me wierdly gratuitously opining on something you have to click to download, highly offensive material or other wierdness.

This isn't legal advice, its common sense advice- ask first.

Do to others what you want done to you. Would you want someone deleting you without asking it if was really you? Should people mistake you for the wierdo peddling Hello Cutie downoads? OBVIOUSLY there are ill intending people out there. The devil is real. Sometimes he sits in the pews.
Sometimes he even tries to stand guard at the front door.



Viva La France


      In tribute to great French patriots-  Here are some fun French markers I found, including a plaque on a hotel in Lourdes which indicates where the Germans surrendered to the French in that town, near the train station.

 DeGaulle's famous speech, we have lost the battle but not the war. ...Nothing is lost!...In the Free World, the immense (huge, vast) forced have not given in. One day these forces will crush the enemy.
On that day France will be there Victorious.  She will find again her freedom and grandeur. This is my only goal.  This is why I convoke all the French, wherever you find yourself, to unit with me in action, in sacrifice and in HOPE.  Our country is in mortal danger. Everyone fight to save it! Long Live France.  (speech given in London in 1940).
 Outside the magnificent mountain village gothic church in Carteret this monument, anchored by the Blessed mother, is to all the people of that town who lost their lives in the world wars. They name each person on the plaque to the left of the Mary medalion.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chaque Mot de la Bouche de Dieu

I bought a Journal

   So I don't have to bother P3 fans with every waking thought. But before I start journaling-
one thought if you will indulge me.
Is it too late for the Conclave to make Msgr Brouwet a Cardinal? Because his homily this morning at the Feast of Bernadette was one of the most inspiring I have heard. Its about a girl called "La Folle"-the crazy one- because who thinks really the Virgin Mary actually appears?  The Virgin Mary herself could have been called La Folle for thinking the Holy Spirit got her pregnant. Riiiiight. Go sit over there little missy- we know what you have been up to.

   The Virgin Mary is fond of people called crazy. The disbelieved visionaries. Those a bit ahead of their time perhaps. Those with eyes to see and do. Those who believe in the supreme overwhelming overcoming Love of God the Almighty.

  The homily noted that the Holy Spirit is guiding the church. This church in Lourdes was packed to the standing room only gills this morning for the Feast of Bernadette. The Holy Spirit is guiding it, and the fact that there will be a new Pope is being guided by the Holy Spirit. He called everyone to pray for the church and Benoit (as he applauded him).

 As I had my morning chocolate croissant I kept thinking "man can not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God." Thus the liturgy has both eucharist (bread of life) and liturgy of the Word (equally important.) Every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God. I actually kept hearing it in french. Chaque mot la bouche de Dieu. And this is the great function of the church- to disseminate every word that comes forth from God's mouth as well as eucharistic bread of life. The church is God's bibliopatisserie. It will carry on with fortitude and grace because God's word never goes out idle-  and it's God's desire that it be known in every corner of the world.

The homily stressed that God despises the proud- and raises up the humble. Like a little poor mountain sheepherding girl. How can anyone be proud in the sight or thought of God?  God uses the weak things of the world to confound the arrogant. On purpose. Because he can't stand snobs. The proud. Orgeille. Its not only a sin, its one of those so obnoxious God has to break it down. Because it rises to idolotry of
one's own ego.

What Great God we have who loves a poor little mountain sheepherding girl to send the Virgin Mary Blessed Mother to have a little grotto-side chat with her. Of all the people in the world that the Virgin Mary could pick to hang out with, she wants to hang out with a little slightly outcast peasant girl from an impoverished family in the mountains.

Who do the big great people usually want to talk to? Other great important people? God wants to send the Virgin Mary to talk to a little sickly poor mountain sheepherding girl in a remote small village in the Pyraneese.

Whoever you are then, God wants to reach you too.  And he wants his message to get to you. Because his Word is Life.
Every one of his Words. Chaque Mot qui vient de la bouche de Dieu.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

village of hope

Lourdes, Home town of

the girl they all thought was crazy.

She's Here

The Relics of Bernadette Soubirous

   Have landed in the local parish where she worshipped in Lourdes, France. Sorry the lighting was so dark lots of the pics didn't turn out well. The service was a moving chorale singing reception and liturgy with scripture readings.
   People prayed around the reliquary. Other annoying people like me took pictures. Not sure which parts of her are actually in this reliquary that the kind sisters from Nevers brought to Lourdes because she is mostly in Nevers incorrupt.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Vote Goes To


  of Boston. Of course I am completely disenfranchised, being female, under 80 and not a cleric much less a Cardinal.  Nevertheless....

  He's a Franciscan. He's from the South Hills of Pittsburgh (so are my parents), he speaks fluent Spanish (fastest growing area of the church is in Latin America) and he is Irish.

Any more questions?

      (Franciscans call themselves in all great humility the Friars Minor- because the Friars Major-e.g. Dominicans- can be intellectually snobbish in their zeal I have found-first hand experience trust me.)

    Franciscans follow the charism of the great peacemaker Saint Francis. You know the prayer- it was on my mother's fridge always- Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace.

  Franciscans missionized the world. Look at how many names are Franciscan that are in California alone- San Francisco for starters. Santa Clara after Saint Claire, etc...and all the other biblical names thanks to the Franciscans, Santa Ana, San Joaquin, San Bernadino, etc....

     As speculation abounds a Jesuit from Milan would be great but an irishman franciscan who speaks spanish from Pittsburgh- OH MY GOODNESS!! Sign me up.


voici, Lourdes, Fr

If this is the Off Season

I can't wait to come in High Season.

   Five priests from Chicago sat behind me in a bistro called Navarre. It boasts quite rightly some of the best basque regional cuisine. They are only here for three days and didn't know where anything was. I should be a guide of sorts I thought. Yes, there are two houses where Bernadette lived I informed them; the rather nice one where she was born and the prison holding cell pit of a residence called the Cachot where they had to live because her father became disabled-lost his sight due to an accident which meant before the days of social security, he lost all his income. A milliner could make a good living- except if you were blind and could not see the grains.  If you were disabled then you lost your income and ability to support your family. The town housed them all in a prison holding cell and you can see it to this day. Its tiny  Then another American priest, this time from Philadelphia entered seemingly just to use the bathroom. I told him Rigali could be Pope and he chuckled, then felt remorseful (guilty even) and said "maybe." A prophet is not without honor except in his own home I thought.

    This morning the town (above chatchkiville which is the souvenir part of town surrounding the sanctuaries and grotto) there was a huge market- think Eastern Market times ten on a Saturday. The real town, not the touristy part is a typical but more prosperous than some small french village town. Its charming. It has all the typical french town stores like the Monoprix (that's where you get underwear-better than Target), the Carrefour (supermarket) and boulangerie and pattiserie stores that make Paul's look like the McDonalds version of french pastries. But even the McDos here (as they call McDonalds) has croissants and colorful macaroons.
There was a stand at the outdoor market today overtly evangelizing, giving away tracks on the book of John and selling bibles and other spiritual literature. Try that at Eastern Market. There was a flower market, ski jackets for around $20, ski underwear, gloves, hats, vegetable markets, kiddies clothes (adorable)  the local cheese maker guy with rows of cheese, the guy who canes chairs and a woman who charmingly paints scenes on the mountain slate they mine in the region. If you just went to chatchkiville, you missed half the town's magic and charm. The above photo is one done by a woman who was born here- Carole Costes who has a blog at you can find HERE
The portrait of Bernadette was done on the local slate.

If you want her to paint anything she can and also works from photos. email:

She has a gallery called Galerie de Caro.
This is a woman
who makes honey at her local farm in all these varieties. Who knew honey
came in so many varieties and colors!
Here above is Carole- the true Lourdes native who paints on the local slate. Her stand is next 
to the provence tablecloths (because where do you think people from provence go in the winter:-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Actuellement présent Aucun pèlerinage officiel actuellement présent à Lourdes. Archives historiques Le 13 février 2013, Mgr Nicolas Brouwet a adressé une lettre aux habitants de son diocèse de Tarbes et Lourdes à l'occasion de l'annonce de la démission du pape Benoît XVI. Il les invite à la prière. L'INTÉGRALITÉ DE LA LETTRE DE MGR NICOLAS BROUWET Aux prêtres, diacres, religieux, religieuses, à tous les fidèles du diocèse de Tarbes et Lourdes Le Pape Benoît XVI a annoncé lundi 11 février sa renonciation à sa charge de successeur de Pierre. Nous avons tous été surpris par cette décision. J’y vois un acte d’humilité, de courage et de liberté. D’humilité parce que le Pape a su reconnaître qu’il n’avait plus la force physique nécessaire pour accomplir sa mission et qu’il devait laisser sa charge à un autre. De courage parce qu’il faut une véritable force intérieure pour prendre une décision si inhabituelle et oser affronter ce que personne n’avait envisagé, prévu ou organisé. De liberté intérieure parce que Benoît XVI a su discerner et accepter devant Dieu ce qu’il pensait être le mieux pour l’Eglise indépendamment de la manière dont cela pourrait être interprété. Nous rendons grâce à Dieu pour ces huit années d’un pontificat traversé par de lourdes épreuves mais qui a marqué la vie de l’Eglise par tant d’initiatives et d’écrits qui nous ont encouragés, fortifiés et dynamisés. Je cite quelques moments forts de ce pontificat : les JMJ de Cologne et de Madrid, la visite du Pape à Paris et à Lourdes en 2008, l’Année Saint Paul, l’Année sacerdotale et l’Année de la Foi, les encycliques sur l’amour et sur l’espérance, les synodes sur la Parole de Dieu et sur la nouvelle évangélisation, les efforts pour favoriser l’unité des chrétiens, les visites aux communautés juives, les livres sur Jésus, la béatification du Pape Jean-Paul II. Benoît XVI me surprend toujours par l’humilité de son intelligence, la profondeur de ses discours et de ses homélies, la clarté de ses propos. Au XXIème siècle nous avons besoin d’un Pape qui, pour faire la communion, nous aide à discerner ce qui est bon et juste pour l’homme et pour la société. Benoît XVI a, de ce point de vue, ouvert la route. Avec sa liberté intérieure et son immense culture, avec son esprit d’analyse et sa faculté de synthèse, avec sa modestie et sa courtoisie, il nous a montré comment chercher la vérité, comment chercher à grandir en partageant la vie de Dieu. Je confie les mois qui viennent à votre prière. Je demande aux communautés paroissiales, aux communautés religieuses, aux personnes qui ne peuvent plus se déplacer et aux familles de prier le chapelet – au rythme de leur choix - aux intentions de l’Eglise et du Pape. Confions à Marie, Notre-Dame de Lourdes, et à sainte Bernadette que nous fêterons ce lundi 18 février, le prochain conclave et le Pape que le Seigneur voudra donner à son Eglise. Mgr Nicolas Brouwet, évêque de Tarbes et Lourdes

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Adorable man carting a candle taller than he is to the Shrine. It says "Ireland" so I had to take a picture (he said 'Grazie' :-)

     Candles in Lourdes come in normal dinner table size, as long as your arm size, as long as your arm and torso size and bigger than your tallest friend size. Because you can never light too many prayers.