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, March 30, 2011

Because we all need a chuckle now and then

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: "Take only ONE. God is watching."

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

Planned Parenthood head caught lying about mammograms

It's really an abortion business, not a provider of health care services for women.

Canon Law Limits # of Masses Priests Can Say

I've heard it said that priests in the Diocese of Rochester could say more Sunday Masses than the number permitted by the Bishop of Rochester (he said three). It's one way people attack the Bishop.

But then I was referred to the Code of Canon Law.

Can. 905 §1. A priest is not permitted to celebrate the Eucharist more than once a day except in cases where the law permits him to celebrate or concelebrate more than once on the same day.

§2. If there is a shortage of priests, the local ordinary can allow priests to celebrate twice a day for a just cause, or if pastoral necessity requires it, even three times on Sundays and holy days of obligation.

Three times on Sundays? Isn't that what Bishop Clark said?

If you celebrate a Saturday evening Mass, and three Masses on Sunday, that would mean four Masses. But then, if that Saturday Mass is counted as a Sunday Mass, would you only then be permitted to say two on Sunday itself? There may be some flexibility with that, and so four Masses might be permitted. I don't know: I need a canon lawyer's input on that one.

But still, if Bishop Clark says a priest should say only three Masses on Sunday, he's citing Canon Law.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Job? Bad timing?

There's an opening at a local Catholic school for a history teacher.


Alas, it appears the opening is an immediate one. I would not feel right just quitting my current teaching position, even if that postition is uncertain for next year - and there's a good chance I will not learn if I will still have that job until May or even June.

I will apply for the Catholic school position, but with the understanding that I could not start until the fall. And I may still have a job at my current school as it is. We'll see.

[LATER: Called the school. The job has likely been filled. Well, that resolves one potential ethical dilemma!]

Monday, March 28, 2011

Current Reading (and writing)

The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II - The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy by George Weigel.

Praying Constantly: Bringing Your Faith To Life by Father Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR

Tremendous Trifles by G. K. Chesterton

The Gospel According to St. Mark

Assorted magazine articles related to faith and haiku

As for writing - blog posts, Facebook posts, job applications, haiku, other poems, and that novel.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rochester Priest accused, placed on leave

The Diocese of Rochester announced today that it has investigated and deemed “credible” an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to the late 1960s against the Father Vincent Panepinto.

Father Panepinto was serving as the sacramental minister of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Rochester. He has been placed on administrative leave, and his priestly faculties have been withdrawn. He can no longer exercise public ministry in any capacity.

How sad. I pray that the allegations will ultimately prove to be false. But for now, I will pray for Father Panepinto and his accuser.

Senator Lautenberg: Pro-lifers don't deserve freedoms???

Wow! And the pro-choicers are watching us?! Can you say "Big Brother?"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fr. Corapi accuser promised to ‘destroy’ him after being fired

There are now reports that the person who accused Father John Corapi of various improprieties was a former employee who, after being fired, allegedly assaulted some coworkers and promised to “destroy” Father Corapi’s reputation.

According to, Bobbi Ruffatto, Vice President of Operations at Santa Cruz Media, Inc., which handles Father Corapi's media, declared in a statement Friday that the accuser's charges - the only sources of the claims against Father Corapi thus far - are contained in “the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to ‘destroy’ Father Corapi.”

Again, I have no insights or other knowledge of the facts in connection with this situation, but given Father Corapi's high profile, it would not surprise me if he is the target of false accusations created through the influence of the Father of Lies. (The accuser may be duped as well, and believe the charges.)

I hope this situation is resolved soon and the truth - whatever it is - comes out. We need to keep praying for Father Corapi and his accuser.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gallup: Huckabee up 7 over Romney if ....

Huckabee takes his biggest lead yet and takes a 7 point lead over Romney if Palin drops out according to Gallup's recent poll Values Voter News

At least I have a job, um ....

Well, our CEO dropped a stunner at school yesterday.

He announced that they are restructuring the way our private Christian school is operated. Our campus is being tied to five others, and there's going to be more interaction - and more virtual classes - involving the six campuses.

The virtual classes mean the six campuses as a group will likely need fewer teachers - one English teacher could cover three campuses, for example. As a result, there's a chance at our campus that some teachers will not be offered contracts for next year.

I have seniority at my school - I might even have seniority across several campuses - but in the world of private schools where contracts are year-to-year, seniority may not really mean much.
Or maybe it will. I have dual certification, and that might help. Or maybe it won't. I don't know.

That's part of what makes this difficult: The uncertainty.

None of us know if we have jobs for next year, and given the way these schools have operated in the past, we may not find out until almost the end of the school year. I didn't get my contract for this year until the final day of school last year. Learning that late makes it hard to find another teaching job. And at 55, with districts around here letting staff go due to massive budget cuts, I don't think my odds of getting another teaching position are good.

I have already applied to a solid orthodox Catholic-oriented school. I had been hoping to find a position there anyway. But I don't know if they will have any openings in my subject areas.

In the next week, I'll be applying to other schools as well.

Of course, I may still have a job at my current school.

Sigh. I don't like the uncertainty.

I think it's time to pray!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Huckabee on Charlie Rose

Check out Huckabee on Charlie Rose.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Illinois Planned Parenthoods Willing to Hide Child Rape

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Father Corapi accused, on administrative leave

Father John Corapi, one of the greats of contemporary apologetics, has been placed on administrative leave following accusations made by a former employee.

On his website, Father Corapi says:

On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. There seems to no longer be the need for a complaint to be deemed “credible” in order for Church authorities to pull the trigger on the Church’s procedure, which was in recent years crafted to respond to cases of the sexual abuse of minors. I am not accused of that, but it seems, once again, that they now don’t have to deem the complaint to be credible or not, and it is being applied broadly to respond to all complaints. I have been placed on "administrative leave" as the result of this.

I’ll certainly cooperate with the process, but personally believe that it is seriously flawed, and is tantamount to treating the priest as guilty “just in case”, then through the process determining if he is innocent. The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable, and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known. I am not alone in this assessment, as multiple canon lawyers and civil and criminal attorneys have stated publicly that the procedure does grave damage to the accused from the outset, regardless of rhetoric denying this, and has little regard for any form of meaningful due process.

All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.

I know nothing about the situation other than this report. I certainly don't know the accuser, or if the accusations have any basis. But I'll be honest: My first thought was that Satan was reaching out to try to destroy a powerful Catholic voice.

As Father Corapi requested, I will be keeping him and everyone involved in this situation in my prayers. I urge others to do so as well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Note to Readers (trinities)

Note to Readers:
Today's his broken Thursday
out the guilty
than nuclear
of the of
she within
pull Rodney
island that foremothers


Japanese Dog Stays with Injured Friend

One of the reasons I love dogs.

Planned Parenthood caught lying again

I doubt they will fix the problem - and will continue to deceive.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting ...

I've been in formation with the Secular Franciscan Order since 2008. I've just finished the final formation lesson, and profession is scheduled for July 9.

Along the way, I've kept myself in check: I tend to leap into things or grow impatient if things are not moving fast enough. (Alas, I also tend not to be as sensitive to the timetables of people who go too "slowly" for my taste.)

But now as profession draws nearer, I can feel the excitement building.

One day at a time, Lee. One day at a time!

I recognize that the formal formation process is simply part of the ongoing formation of Secular Franciscans. Indeed, I will now be able to rejoin the rest of the fraternity in its study of the writings of Ss. Francis and Clare. I also continue my own spiritual reading.

I'm so lucky for have a fraternity nearby, and to have them accept me as they have.

Thank you Lord.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

We Are The Youth - Great pro-life video!

Franciscan/Jesuit joke

A man walked up to a Franciscan and Jesuit and asked, "How many novenas must you say to get a Mercedes Benz?"

The Franciscan asked, "What's a Mercedes Benz?"

The Jesuit asked, "What's a novena?"

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Why Planned Parenthood should lose its funding

This piece so clearly compiles the reasons why Planned Parenthood should lose all government funding.

Here's how it starts - and there's so much more!

MIKE WALLACE: Do you believe in sin — When I say believe I don’t mean believe in committing sin do you believe there is such a thing as a sin?
SANGER: I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world–that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin — that people can — can commit.[ii]

Mike Wallace Interview with Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood, 9/21/1957 ....

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sunday Snippets (March 6)

This week for Sunday Snippets (hosted by the gracious RAnn at This That and the Other Thing.) I have a number of small posts (do you like haiku about slugs?), but only one that got me worked up: The death of a sparrow.

And as always, check out the other blogs participating. Some good reading for a snowy March morning!

Friday, March 04, 2011


As usual, I'm reading two books at the same time (sometimes it's more, but I'm keeping it simple right now!). (Okay, there's also formation documents, the newspaper, various magazines, school -related things, but I'm not counting them.)

For spiritual growth and nourishment, I'm reading Father Benedict Groeschel''s Praying Constantly. Some nice insights on how to recognize God's loving presence in my life and in the world, and using that as an aid to praying at all times.

I'm also reading George Weigel's The End and the Beginning - his sequel of sorts to his biography of Venerable Pope John Paul II.

The historian in me is enjoying getting a sense of what the future pope faced in Poland , especially the efforts of the government to keep an eye on him.

There are other book in the bedside stack awaiting reading, but I want to get through these two first.

And I do have to finish my formation reading - the last "lesson." And the latest issue of Gilbert. And the new St. Anthony Messenger. And a couple of haiku journals.

Lots of reading. At least it'll keep me out of mischief!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Your Mysterious Ways - Critical Mass

A little Catholic rock - from Canada.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Brother Sparrow

Yesterday I let the dog out into the backyard. After a few minutes, I went back out to bring her in.

She was hovering over something in the snow. At first I thought it was a piece of wood, or maybe some garbage. Then I realized it was a bird.

I picked up the bird. It was a small sparrow. It was cold and wet, and looked dead. I was beginning to consider where to put it, when its beak opened and closed.

I brought it into the house, holding it cupped in my hands. I examined it. It's feathers were ruffled, but I saw no wounds or signs of blood.

I was hoping that it was just stunned, or maybe cold. I spoke to it, softly. I kept both hands around it, trying to be gentle, trying to warm it up.

It began to move more, it's claws flexing a couple of times. It gasped a few times.

Maybe. Maybe.

It moved its head slightly. Its claws flexed again. It gasped a few more times, seemingly with more energy.

Maybe. Maybe.


It stopped.

I continued to hold it.


It was gone.

I wrapped it in some tissue and laid it to rest.

I hoped that at least in its final moments it had felt more comfortable, more cared for.

Later, I took my dog for a walk.

I thought of the sparrow. I bid him farewell.

I thought of my beloved dogs and cats and other creatures who had passed away over the years.

Maggie. Mollie. Scooter. Hannah. Mittens. Seamus. Duke. Itsy. Mathom. Sandy. Lucky. And others.

I was with some of them when they died. Holding them or petting them. Not wanting them to be alone.

Those beloved pets were loved, and they loved in turn.

I hoped that they were aware that they were loved. I hoped that was comforting to them.

And though I know they are not supposed to have souls, I still hope that maybe God in his mercy will let them be there to greet me when my time comes.

I thought of God's love for all living things. He gives them life. He feeds them.

Even the sparrows.

Perhaps in his dying moments Brother Sparrow felt bathed in God's love.

And perhaps he sang with joy as he passed into eternity.