March 2006 Archives

Away for a few days


....I will be back on Monday.

Bookmark and Share

Not all quizzes are created equal. I am giving this quiz as part of the class in Adult Faith Formation tonight, and was amazed that some of the questions were confusing.

Check out question #3 and question #5 and tell me what you think.

Bookmark and Share

Music again

| | Comments (2)

Not too long ago I mention to someone that the congregation is growing and that the collection is up this year.

Her reply was basically, "You mean there are people who like what you are doing?"

Yes, there are people who are leaving because we are now being faithful to the liturgy, but there are many more who are coming back.

Actually my DRE has accused me a being one step ahead of the Pope.

Well, now the USCCB chimes in.

I am sure there will be people resistant to the idea.

Thanks to the Cafeteria is Closed and Argent on the Tiber for the link.

Bookmark and Share

Sidebar for today


The sidebar image today is taken at St. Gaspar's tomb in January, 1963. Blessed John XXIII made a tour to the tomb of all the Roman saints asking their intercession for the Vatican Council. Here he is pictured at St. Gaspar's tomb.

Bookmark and Share

Steven has the uncanny ability to stay out of news photos. I have not been able to find him anywhere, although I saw that this blogger mentioned his participation in the Mass today.

Bookmark and Share

Sidebar images


I figure that some of these sidebar pictures may need some explaining. I am delighted that RC did such a wonderful job of cropping the pics and setting them up to change everyday. They all have some connection to The history and charism of St. Gaspar and the Devotion to the Precious Blood.

The picture today is from the "Burro." In front of the facade of the Church of St. Ignatius opens out this seventeenth century scenario of the Palazzi of the Burro, a complex of five fifths of a building, a flowing and almost circular arrangment, forming one of the most unique piazzas in late baroque Rome.

The name "Burro" comes from the french office (bureau) installed here during the Napoleonic occupation near the customs offices. In one of these offices St. Gaspar refused to swear the oath of loyalty to Napoleon.

It was on the morning of June 13, 1810, St. Gaspar was summoned here and the famous words were uttered: "I cannot, I must not, I will not."

For this he endured four years of exile and prison.

This picure, looking toward the sky, was taken during a trip to Rome in 2003 when I spent the summer at the Formation Directors School.

Bookmark and Share



Ok, I was half asleep this morning, but was jolted awake hearing the commentator say they were ending with the "Salve Regina." What I was hearing was the "Alma Redemptoris Mater." Even EWTN can't be trusted with the facts all the time.

Bookmark and Share

More Latin

| | Comments (3)
Bookmark and Share


| | Comments (1)

lopes2.jpg I watched the consistory this morning for only one reason. I wanted to see if my friend Steven Lopes would show up on the television. Sure enough, there he was seated right behind Cardinal Levada. Unfortunately, I have not found that he showed up on any of the news photes found on the web. A glimpse of him is seen on the left side of this Reuters picture.

He can be seen more clearly in this photo of him with Archbishop Levada and Pope Benedict XVI taken several months ago.

lopes3.jpg Of course, I always delight in his presence. It was a joy to have him as part of the liturgy this past Christmas. He is pictured on the left here along with myself and Deacon Ernie Perez. Steven will be honored this summer as a distinguished graduate of St. Edward School.

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

We have Rev. Patrick Collins here for our annual Lenten Parish Mission. He is a delightful speaker, and a musician too. It was a pretty busy day. I was a bit behind on my other Blog answering questins for parishioners. If you want to take a look at the questions and the answers they are here.

Bookmark and Share

"But how is Jesus to be imitated? Look at him for just a short while. As an example to us, he is obedient to Joseph and to Mary and lives in the humblest of homes. He is employed in manual labor, shows himself to be a model of silence and is withdrawn from the world, a benefactor to all." …Seek, then, to be of service to the Society and respect the will of the Creator in his creatures. No task is menial if it tends to glorify the Almighty. On the contrary, your work is similar to that of Jesus Christ who aided his foster father, St. Joseph. Purity of intention alone is necessary for you to properly regulate your interior and exterior actions. Realize, too, that a hidden and humble life is a special shield against vanity and human glory."

From the Third Circular Letter

Bookmark and Share

One of the things I want to do this Lent is to return to making the Letters of St. Gaspar del Bufalo available on the internet for study and research. I am more than half finished and there are other documents and letters that can be uploaded after that.

Since St. Gaspar wrote many letters of Spiritual Direction there are many gems among the letters. Of course many of the letters are administrative in nature and only interesting from a historical perspective. It can be a bit boring to hear him speaking of sending books here or there, opening missions, sending stipends, or selling this or that. But occasionally there is a gem to be found among the administrative details.

One such gem was found in Letter 2598 written September 20, 1833 to Mother Maria Nazzarena De Castris:

You should remain calm, very, very calm concerning the past as well as your present status. Think no more about something that ought no longer to be remembered. God wishes to have acts of love. So, let us strive to love the one who loves us so very much. May the Heart of Jesus be the center of our lives, our mystical cell, our ark of refuge. If Jesus puts himself out in search of sinners, can you imagine that he would not seek and love the person who is faithful to him?

I find this helpful because I often encounter people in the confessional who are confessing again past sins that they have previously confessed, but about which they are still feeling some guilt.

The new letters uploaded today can be found here:

Letters 2501-2550
Letters 2551-2600
Letters 2601-2650
Letters 2651-2700
Letters 2701-2750

All of the letters can be found here.

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Catholic Carnival


The Catholic Carnival, a collection of reports on what is going on St. Blogs parish, is up at Herb Ely's Blog.

Beside what is going on here at Rifugio, it also has:

1. has five posts reflecting on scripture, literature and the spiritual life
2. has three posts on interacting with the world in our daily lives in ordinary and dramatic ways
3. has three posts on internal church matters
4. has two posts on natural family planning, and
5. Herb's own reflection on the Abraham and Isaac story

Bookmark and Share


| | Comments (8)

Today is my sister's birthday. Special prayers for you today. Everyone is invited to leave birthday greetings in the comment section.

Bookmark and Share

The Holy Cross is the mystical ladder to heaven, the cathedral of truth, the tree of life, under whose shadow we are to find rest in the peacefulness of the just.

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Ask, Seek, Imagine


Reading, meditation, prayer, contemplation ... is what normally occurs when we give it time to happen.

The story of Esther in the Old Testament from today's first reading is a remarkable prelude to the witness of Mary who also saved her people by her be it done unto me.

The apostle will exclaim, Glory be to God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we ask or imagine. The key is to ask, to imagine.

As Gaspar would say, It is impossible for God to abandon any one who trusts in him.

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

I have climbed lots of Mountains, mostly in my younger days: Yosemite, Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Red Peak, Mt. Sinai, St. Gaspar Mountain. St. Gaspar Mountain is the name given to a rather steep climb up the hill beyond Giano del Umbria in Italy, above the Abbey of San Felice where the Precious Blood Community was founded in 1815. Actually the proper name for this high place is Monti Martani, and just below the peak is a place called Rifugio San Gaspare. In the banner picture above, Monti Martani is the peak to the left, and in the clouds, if you look close is a faint hint of the cross that sits at the peak.

A few years ago I was at a meeting of 40 Precious Blood Missionaries from 17 countries. During the meeting we held a day of prayer. Our General bid us undertake a trek up the mountain as an image of the missionary life.

As always, with any mountain trek, the journey becomes a sacrament of the life we lead, the journey to the kingdom. When you climb a Mountain at first there is a distant glimpse of the summit. You know where you are headed but you cannot see what you will see at the summit. Further up the trail the view of the summit disappears. You can only see the road in front of you and the nearby rocks and flowers. You lose sight of the goal, but you remember seeing it from a far and you still take steps to reach the goal. The journey continues, but the trail gets tougher, steeper. At one point you are given again a glimpse of the summit and there is renewed focus, but soon all that is seen is the steps in front of you, the trees and rocks around you, and the companions who accompany you. There are vexing and bothersome moments on this journey. You have climbed so far and you turn a corner expecting a plateau, yet here you are faced with a steeper climb and you still cannot see the goal. But you climb. Eventually you come to a clearing above the tree-line, and there it is, not far. You still must climb but suddenly the goal appears to be within reach. Then you reach the summit. You are tired, but the struggle for the journey is suddenly unimportant as you see the splendor of the world laid out before you. It remains today a significant memory.

A few years after that meeting, I returned to Italy, this time with my sister and with Peggy Doherty, a Precious Blood Companion. As part of our stay in Assisi I took them over to Giano to the Abbey at San Felice and then we drove up to the top of Monti Martani. After exploring the peak where there is a large cross and an altar, we stopped into the little restaurant called Ristorante Rifugio San Gaspare. It turned out to be the least expensive but most expansive meal of the whole trip.

St. Gaspar continually invites us to this mystical mountain so that we may listen and contemplate God’s word in creation and return to the valley with this message of God’s generous love.

Our most loving God calls us to the mystical mountain. Moses of old received the supreme commandments of the Most High from the midst of the burning thorn bush so that he might later carry them out faithfully. In like manner should we upon the mountain of perfection heed the voice of our most affectionate Father so that we might afterwards be able to communicate his divine will to others. How should we not humble ourselves before God when contemplating our sublime calling and the responsibilities which we have in virtue of our sacred duties, our talents granted by the Lord, and the heavenly treasures entrusted to our care! (from the Second Circular Letter, 1827)
Bookmark and Share

This will be a place for prayer and study.

Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood seek to dedicate themselves to the service of the Church through the apostolic and missionary activity of the ministry of the word.

We are called to a faithful celebration of the Most Holy Mysteries in the Eucharist, the Sacraments and in the Daily Prayer of the Church.

We seek to be faithful to the charism of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, the teachings of the Fathers, and all that is handed down in Tradition, which the Church either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.

Bookmark and Share

This will be the last post of The New Gasparian. The changes are almost ready; we have worked out some of the kinks and we are almost ready for an unveiling. The blog will have a new name, a new look, a new direction and a new focus. As I said before it is time for reform and refounding.

The archives of this blog from July of '02 will remain here and may even take on the new look. You may have noticed that I cleaned up the links already. Thanks to RC of Catholic Light for all the hard work. For someone on the other coast whom I have never met in person, he has been a tremendous help and even a kindred spirit.

Watch this site in the coming days for the unveiling of the new blog.

Bookmark and Share

God draws straight with crooked lines. That really should be the title of my life story. There have been so many twists and turns in my life that it is enough to say that I am sticking around to see what is next.

It has been eight months since the demise of the province to which I belonged and in which I made my life long commitment. Many times since then I have asked the question, “why am I here?” or “why do I stay?”

Bookmark and Share

With today's Gospel it seem fitting to recall the tremendous gift prayer is. Gaspar would remind us that we accomplish everything through prayer; it is our anchor and our key to heaven.

"Let us offer prayers and let us become saints." 1820

"The more one prays, the more good can be done." 1821

"Let us develop everything by the use of prayer." 1821

"Prayers, and we shall see what the will of God is." 1823

"I prefer to pray than to speak" 1824

"Let us give life to everything through prayer, fons omium bonorum." 1825

"The fire of love which is acquired through prayer..." 1826

"...for everything comes about through prayer." 1827

"All is to be decided through prayer." 1831

Bookmark and Share

To live above with the Saints we love,
Ah, that is the unknown story.
To live below with the Saints we know,
Ah, that is the purest glory!

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

May the lilt of Irish laughter
lighten every load.
May the mist of Irish magic
shorten every road...
And may all your friends remember
all the favours you are owed!

'Sláinte chuig na fir, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo.'

Bookmark and Share


| | Comments (7)

The ten step Marty Haugen song writing program The former choir members would love it.

Today is Army Day: March forth!

Bookmark and Share

Excellent article by a Jesuit, no less. Different names, different places, different community, same problem.

Bookmark and Share

Think of it as part of the Lenten reform and renewal.

What this community needs is refounding. This is something that our General has stated many times over, but there is little discussion or energy behind it, at least within earshot of this writer.

So refounding must start at home and so I shall start with me, and this little blog will be part of it. Refounding energy is difficult in later years. My associate here is in his 70th year. He is a great help to me, yet he has no energy for this. He wants to just be as close to Jesus as he can be, and I will bless him for that. Actually it was a joy to hear that coming from him.

But for me, there has to be something more. In many ways it feels as if the foundations have been ripped out from underneath me. Moral failures, heterodox teachings and diregard for the liturgy have led to diminishing community. Last July, the Province to which I belong disappeared. Nothing is left but the shadows and the memories. So now I belong to the Cincinnati Province. I have been to Ohio several times, but to Cincinnati once. There is little in the name I can identify with. The name does not inspire mission, rather it localizes us in one place. Even seen as a home base from which we mission, it has little resonance with me.

The three pillars of this community are Spirituality, Mission and Community. These are the things I shall focus on and work toward. It does not happen by itself.

All of this is rooted in a primary and essential relationship with the Lord. For Gaspar, everything is decided through prayer.

So prayer it will be.

Watch for some of the external changes soon. The Blog will have new name, new focus, new look. The only thing to remain the same will be the address.

Reform, refocus, renew, refound.

Bookmark and Share

Rocco has an interesting article on the burning or buying of ashes for Ash Wednesday. We bought some last year because we had no idea if people would bring their palms back. This year we did not buy any as we had plenty of palms to burn. They smolder rather than burst into flame, he said. We had quite the opposite experience. The flames were huge, and it was good to have a screen to keep embers from blowing away. Also there was no need for paper or wood to start the fire. Cruz started the fire with a blow torch, so all we have is ashes from palm branches.

Here is a link to an article and picture in today's paper, although the link should only work for 14 days.

Bookmark and Share
  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

August 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Contact us

St. Gaspar's Letters

Who is St. Maria de Mattias?

Why Precious Blood?

What is a Precious Blood Missionary?

Our International Website

What the Pope said to us


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2006 is the previous archive.

April 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.