Personal Reflections: November 2004 Archives

Happy Thanksgiving

to all!

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Abba Xanthias said, "A dog is better than I am, for he has love and does not judge."

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

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Her name is "Tori." Much like Maureen had indicated and what I read in some authoritative puppy books, I was looking for a simple two syllable name. The dog will never identify with it like we humans might; it will simply form a sound she will grow comfortable with and respond to.

She is named for Sr. Maria Giuseppa Pitorri, a close friend of St. Gaspar's. She is the niece of Bp. Francesco Albertini who was St. Gaspar's spiritual director. St. Gaspar served as her spiritual director, and she later gave a deposition at his canonization process.

I wore her out today. It is a bit traumatic for an eight-week-old puppy to be separated from Mom, make a two-hour drive and then get introduced to a new house. The Parish team threw a little welcome home party for her. Sr. Mary Joseph, OP and my sister Kathy came over later to meet her. I hope she sleeps well tonight.

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Restful day


It is fun being in Chicago again. There are great people here, and great experiences too. I celebrated Mass for the men here in the formation community this morning. Then it was off to the grocery store after breakfast. I am cooking for the house tonight. It will be seafood pasta with salad, bread, wine and conversation. I had lunch with Kathy and Betty at Calvert House. Then went out for some dessert with Patrick and Alice. Patrick had a great laugh over my choice of name for the puppy. He indicated it was natural for me to use the name to tell the whole story of St. Gaspar to every person I encounter. Now it is time for cooking, and then packing for the trip home tomorrow.

I will make a final determination of the puppy's name after consulting with the kindergarten.

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...there has not been much to blog about recently. Too much to do. "Swamped" has a completely new meaning. This parish is fast becoming known as the land of a million details. I have been struggling with the budget. The 2005 budget is showing a $203,000 deficit currently, but there is much help in trying to figure out solutions. I hope to have the budget figured out before December.

In the morning I leave for Chicago and will be back next Wednesday. There may be some blogging time from my old house on Monday.

I have acquired a puppy. She is seven weeks old and and is a Golden retriever/Border Collie mix. She is all black with a well placed white splotch that makes her look a bit clerical. (grin) I will pick her up next Thursday. She will contribute greatly to my exercise regimen, not to mention a bit of mental health in the midst of endless details. Any suggestions for a name? Pictures will be posted next week.

This is an important meeting of the CPPS in Warrenville, IL the next few days. Prayers would be appreciated.

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The Creche

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Yes, Advent is on the horizon. The weather is turning colder and the nights are darker early, and the month will end with the readings reminding us of the Lord's coming at the end of time.

Apparently my predecessor was not in to decorating the house for Christmas, much to the chagrin of the staff and other workers. I remarked that Grandma's handmade ornaments had been in boxes for the past three years and I could hardly wait for the tree so that they could see the light of day. Well, this remark caused great joy in the religious education staff. We will probably set up the tree on Dec. 17.

The creche has always been an opportunity for me, for reflection, for recreation, for inspiration and memory. Probably one of my fondest memories of childhood is my father lifting me up to see the Creche at St. Bede's when I was a small child. I will always be greteful to Fr. Ray Cera for finding for me the statement in depositions for St. Gaspar's canonization that he recieved a creche scene as a gift from some nuns and kept it set up in his room all year.

My Fontanini creche scene is a gift from a close friend. I have added several pieces to it in recent years, mainly because I was able to acquire so many pieces inexpensively when I was in Italy.

The creche tradition, a gift from St. Francis, is an everlasting reminder of the incarnation, that the Word was made flesh and lives among us. Each year as it is set up I am reminded how he came to us in the midst of ordinary daily life, hidden in the midst of sundry daily activities and commerce. These days as I celebrate the Eucharist I cannot avoid the sound of the cars going by on the busy street outside the church, totally unaware of the great mystery taking place so close to them.

Anyway, several people are involved in setting up the creche this year and providing various components to make it a beautiful scene this year. This is such a difference from the past few years in the formation community. Cruz and Ken have constructed a table large enough to hold it, Phyliss has hemmed a cloth to cover the table and provide a front for it. Many have provided materials for trees and other artifacts. The wreathe is being prepared and the candles puchased. It seems that we will be ready for Advent when it comes and the celebration will be a spiritual one for the Christmas feast. The progressive set up of the creche begins with Thanksgiving.

Christmas Eve and Day around here will be pretty hectic, 25 masses in three days, so the days in preparation will be very important. Advent is too important and too beautiful to limit to just the short season in purple. The readings and prayers turn to Advent themes at least two weeks before the beginning of the season proper. There is no reason to avoid the early celebration of the Lord's Advent.

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  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Personal Reflections category from November 2004.

Personal Reflections: October 2004 is the previous archive.

Personal Reflections: December 2004 is the next archive.

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