Tears

On Thursday mornings I usually visit the jail.  I’ve been going for a while to Division 8, and today was no exception.  I hadn’t been on the 5th floor for a while, so I asked the guard accompanying me if we could go up.  We did.  The 5th floor is the top floor of Division…

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Facing your Fears

“Their ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror. They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end. “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves.”(Ps…

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Taking Kids Sailing II

This morning the plan was to go back sailing with a few more kids, in addition to the ones who went yesterday.  The wind was right, enough to push the boat around but not enough to kick up waves.  I called Ernesto early and let him know the plan.  He told me he’d let the…

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Taking Kids Sailing

What a blast.  A perfect day for sailing.  Not too much wind, clear skies, and no big waves on the lake.  You don’t want someone’s first experience on boat to be throwing up over the side!  We arrived at the boat at a little before 10 this morning, and did the usual drill.  There were…

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Children

What about Children? It must have been 20 years ago when this subject first caught my interest. I’ve been writing and talking about fertility for years! I first looked at this question when my dad pointed out to me that the world wasn’t overpopulated.  He was a science guy, so when he said that I…

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Getting out of our Silos

I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with some Polish immigrants.  We were talking about parishes and I am sure they don’t know the history of national parishes here in Chicago.  Maybe you’ve  never heard of a “national parish” either.  I’m old enough to remember some of this history, and I thought I’d…

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On Thinking

What?  I guess thinking about thinking is philosophy.  Or metacognition.  Talk about a big word!  In her re-issued book on thinking (Mindset), Carol S. Dweck writes about a couple of different kinds of mental structures we might have in our heads.  She calls them “mindsets,” and in the book she describes what she calls a…

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On Being BiCultural

A couple of months ago someone asked me what culture I identified with.  It may seem like an odd question, but it made sense to me.  You see, I’ve been working with Spanish speakers for my whole priesthood (38 years).  I’ve been a missionary priest even though I’ve been working in Chicago the whole time. …

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Occam’s Razor

A little philosophy is a good thing for this week, I think!  There was a Franciscan Friar who lived in Occam in England around 1347, and his writing lead people to name his theory “Occam’s razor.”  In a nutshell, the razor is used to cut away excess complications.  In other words, if there’s a choice…

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Moving the Pieta

At St. Adalbert Parish, one of the real treasures is the Pieta that is currently located in a side altar near the front of the church on the right.  This statue is a copy of the famous one in Rome, made by Michelangelo and currently on display at St. Peter’s Basilica.  If you’ve ever had…

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