View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't participate in the abortion industry

We may not be directly involved in the abortion industry ourselves. We may not work for Planned Parenthood, or in an abortion clinic, or for a doctor who provides abortions (if we do, quit!).

But there are other job-related ways we help that industry and its providers to continue to do their dirty work.

We supply them, service them, provide for them.

We mow their lawns; plow their parking lots; sell them copy paper; fill their vending machines; rent them space; clean their offices; repair their plumbing; print their literature; deliver them pizza; bake them cakes for celebrations; and do so many other things that allow them to continue.

And they pay us: With blood money.

So, refuse to do business with them. Tell them why. Tell others not to do business with them.

I know I would not like to be paid in blood money.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Politico - Huckabee on top of GOP

The latest Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll is out, and it's good news for Governor Huckabee — who beats out all the other potential GOP candidates:

Favorable (Strongly and Somewhat)

1. Mike Huckabee (49 percent)
2. Mitt Romney (45 percent)
3. Sarah Palin (44 percent)
4. Newt Gingrich (39 percent)

Strongly Favorable

1. Mike Huckabee (23 percent)
2. Sarah Palin (22 percent)
3. Newt Gingrich (17 percent)
4. Mitt Romney (16 percent)

Unfavorable (Strongly and Somewhat)

1. Mike Huckabee (25 percent)
2. Mitt Romney (28 percent)
3. Newt Gingrich (39 percent)
4. Sarah Palin (49 percent)

Strongly Unfavorable

1. Mike Huckabee (14 percent)
2. Mitt Romney (15 percent)
3. Newt Gingrich (29 percent)
4. Sarah Palin (39 percent)

Analysis: While poll watchers rightly point out that both Huckabee and Romney do well (Gingrich and Palin, not so much), Huckabee is the clear winner. Particularly, his strong favorables are over 25 percent higher than Romney's, who comes in 4th — another indication that Romney's support is shallow compared to the rest of the field.

(from I Vote Huckabee )

Sunday, September 26, 2010

An amusing video - with dogs!

A Sunday Morning 40 Days Vigil

7:50 a.m.

I get out the 40 Days for Life signs and set them up at the 40 Days site near Planned Parenthood.

Low 50s.

The moon is watching.

I say a few prayers to start.

For the babies.

For the women.

For the workers.

For the people driving by.

I read the prayers for the day from 40 Days.

I listen to the birds, and watch a couple of squirrels.

A rosary - 5 decades, then some more.

Cars continue to pass. I consciously try to smile, to look friendly.

A man in a van slows down, looks at me. Eye contact. He pulls into the Planned Parenthood parking lot. A staff member? A craftsman come to do a job? I say a prayer for him.

I begin to quietly sing my version of the John Lennon song. "All we are saying, is give life a chance."

My hand cramps a bit from holding the sign. My fingers are cold.

I think of Jesus. He was on the cross for three hours, in agony, for me. I can put up with a little cold and discomfort. I offer it up.

That man in the van gets me thinking. What about all the people who may not work for Planned Parenthood, but who help to support it through supplying materials like copy paper, toilet paper, or coffee, who tend the grounds, who repair the building and parking lot, who deliver supplies, and so on? What if they refused to service Planned Parenthood? Is that an indirect way to stop the abortions? I say a prayer for all those people.

"All we are saying, is give life a chance."

Traffic is increasing. Some people look dressed up, like they are going to church. More people walk by. I make a point of smiling and saying hello to them. A man on a bicycle passes me and give me a thumbs up.

I say a prayer for them. I pray that my standing there might get some people thinking. Maybe just seeing me will change even one heart?

I keep on smiling.

9:05. The moon is still there, but further down in the sky and fainter.

I put away the signs.

Thank you, Lord, this opportunity.

Heal our hearts and minds and nation.



40 Days Haiku

40 Days for Life -
the moon keeps vigil with me
at Planned Parenthood


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Note to self: Smile!

“It is not fitting, when one is in God's service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.” - St. Francis of Assisi.

The other day, a parent remarked to the principal at my school that she thought I was mad at her. That came just moments after we'd had a brief conversation, but one which I thought was innocuous - and certainly without confrontation or harsh words. But I will admit that in my heart I felt annoyed at her for something she was doing (though without saying anything directly to her about it).

I was trying to figure out why she would say that when the principal added a comment about smiling.

A subtle suggestion?

The problem my be my face. Or, to be exact, the look on my face.

I tend toward "serious" looking expressions. People have commented in the past that I sometimes look mad or upset even when I'm not.

They have a point. I need to work at trying to look more friendly, more inviting.

I've got to keep trying to smile more!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

40 Days for Life - Day 1 Prayers

Day 1 - September 22


That we may use these 40 Days for Life to plead for God's mercy and grace upon all those involved in the sin of abortion.


Blow the trumpet in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly. Gather the people, notify the congregation. Assemble the elders; gather the children and the infants at the breast… Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, "Spare, O Lord, your people."
-- Joel 2:15-17


The toll of abortion cannot be measured. We hear estimates of almost 50 million innocent victims, but that's only one aspect of the harm that has unfolded in abortion's wake. There are also the mothers and fathers of these millions, as well as the grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. Unborn lives destroyed. Lives of the living shattered.

It's overwhelming and depressing, but even in the midst of such unfathomable darkness, the church teaches us to have hope. Yes, it was indeed Calvary that followed Christ's 40 days in the desert, but without Calvary there would have been no Resurrection - His victory over death that opened the gates of heaven to those who believe in and follow Him.

The psalmist encourages us to go humbly before God as we seek His will: "A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me… Give me back the joy of your salvation and a willing spirit sustain in me… O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise" (Psalm 51:12, 14, 17).

We are called to be God's messengers; or as the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians: "We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20). That is the true message to all we encounter at the abortion centers and in our communities who have been deceived by the Culture of Death. We don't bring condemnation; we bring God's good news.


Lord, we ask for the strength, courage, wisdom, determination and stamina to carry out this mission according to Your will. Guide us, we pray, as we go forth and proclaim Your truth, always doing so with a spirit of love and compassion, as was demonstrated to us by Your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray, amen.

David Brandao
Communications Director, 40 Days for Life

40 Days for Life underway!

The 40 Days for Life campaign has begun in 238 cities - including Rochester.

Last night, we held a kick-off at the Focus Pregnancy Help Cener, with a pot luck, music, a video of Abby Johnson (the former Planned Parenthood director who's now pro-life), and talks by various people, including a woman from Silent No More who'd has abortions (but now is bless with five children), and a great-grandmother who battled and saved two great-grandchildren from abortion - including one whose mother had begun the RU 486 regimen. The children were with us last night!
Now, to pray.
Go to for more information and to sign up for prayer times.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beard Etiquette

A nod to the Crescat.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

40 Days for Life Kickoff

The Kick-off Rally for Rochester's 40 Days for Life campaign is Tuesday from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at the Focus Pregnancy Help Center at 86 University Ave.

There will be a pot luck dinner, live music, and inspiring speakers. Please, join us (even if you can't be there the entire time).

And don't forget to sign up to pray outside Planned Parenthood. The campaign runs form September 22 to October 31.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

More Pro-choice Violence

Pro-Abortion Driver Escalates Abuse to Violence, Attempts to Hit Pro-Life Advocate With Vehicle

Huckabee tops Obama, all other Republicans

The latest Public Policy Polling monthly poll has Mike Huckabee defeating President Obama 47-42, and other potential GOP candidates trailing the President:

Mike Huckabee is the only possible GOP contender polling ahead of Obama this month, at 47/44. Going from arguably most pleasant to most angry across the spectrum of leading Republicans you then have Obama ahead of Mitt Romney 46-43, Newt Gingrich 47-43, Sarah Palin 49-43, and Glenn Beck 48-39.

Huckabee is the only candidate we polled this month to post positive favorability numbers, at 35/32. That's because he's relatively inoffensive to Democrats with only 44% having an unfavorable opinion of him. Mitt Romney's favorability numbers are only slightly negative at 33/35. The rest of the GOP folks are highly unpopular with Beck's favorability at 31/41, Palin's at 38/52, and Gingrich's at 30/50.

Among the possible GOP candidates, Huckabee has for a long time consistently fared best against Obama.

One of the reasons I'm not a registered Republican

Even the GOP candidate in my Congressional district, Tom Reed, a Catholic, is only partly pro-life (he'd accept abortion under some circumstances) and supports embryonic stem cell research. Thus he is supporting anti-life positions - and is at odds with the teachings of the Church.

A message for England - and Scotland

Once it is baptised a country, like an individual, can never cease to be Catholic it can only cease to be itself. - from "Laodicea a filthy puddle of popery"

Bad Haiku Friday: A Dream

joyful students race
into class ready to learn -
my alarm clock rings


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Metal Friar!

A new direction for Rock of Faith? (Blame Interstate Catholic for tipping me off to this one!)

Be not afraid, Scottish Catholics

Pope calls for vocal Catholic presence in Scottish public life :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Rock of Faith in a few years?

Or maybe the future of liturgical dance?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Liturgical dance update

In light of the possibility of some liturgical dance being included at an upcoming youth Mass at our parish, I sent to a staff member some information about liturgical dance not being appropriate for Mass. I hope that information will be shared with the rest of the staff.

Perhaps it will lead them to reconsider.

I am also considering what I should do if they go ahead. Our group, Rock of Faith, is scheduled to provide music for that particular Mass, and one option I'm weighing seriously is not playing that Sunday.

I'm hoping it won't come to that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Speaking of liturgical dance ...

In today's bulletin, there was a notice that they are seeking teen girls to train as ... liturgical dancers.



I'm not a fan of liturgical dance. It's usually adds little to, indeed, detracts from the Mass. And as for the quality, it's usually pretty lame. (ouch)

Plus, while it has been allowed under some special and limited circumstances (even at the Vatican) when it is part of the tradition and culture for worship, that is not the case in Western nations like the U.S.

So, technically, it's not supposed to be done.

Then again, neither is holding hands during the Our Father. (A no-no of which the parish is guilty.)

Not sure what I'm going to do about this one.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How's this for liturgical dance?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Stairway To Heaven (Gregorian version)

Hey, maybe for the October Mass?

Traditional sounding Church music

No rubrics were broken nor Masses desecrated during the filming of this chant.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Progressive Church Commercial

Reminds me of the old Corpus Christi - and a few other parishes/services I've walked out of.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

First poem of the day

up before dawn
dealing with various aches -
aspirin, prayers

Friday, September 03, 2010

Obama billboard spurs death threats

Well, the Obama administration does support the Culture of Death - so why not its supporters?

(Oh no, I asked a question about Obama supporters. Will I get more death threats - besides those sent my way by pro-choicers?)

Bad Haiku Friday goes to the mall

a new credit card
a mall in driving distance -
bad combination

a trip to the mall
is one of the five pillars
of consumerism

(A nod to Laura, the mother of Bad Haiku)


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rock of Faith - Church Rocks!/video/video.php?v=1407508392500

My band is in the first song snippet - "Great God." (I couldn't get it to directly link, so I posted several addresses that will get you to the video report).