Archive: Personal Reflections

July 8, 2008

Ah, Roma

I'm here. It has been 25 hours of travel. I am exhausted, Ready for a good night's sleep and then the pilgrimage comences.

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Stop over in Paris after more than 15 hours on this plane. I missed my conection. Adventure awaits.

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July 7, 2008


Emergency landing in Salt Lake City. Apparent medical emergency. Passenger being taken to the hospital. I offered the sacrament. If the person was Catholic but there was no need expressed.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 7:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On my way

Greetings from San Francisco International Airport. Vacation has finally begun. I may blog occasionally if I have the connection. Prayers for all on this pilgrimage to the tomb of the great Apostle, St Paul.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 2:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 4, 2008

Blog by blackberry

This is just a test

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Another visit to Rome

Just to let y'all know: I am heading for Rome again. I am not sure if I will have internet access there, but I will be sure to post pics and a log of the journey when I return. Rome should be quiet. The Pope will be in Australia most of the time I am there and he returns to Rome the day I leave. I still have fond memories of my last trip there.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 7:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 1, 2008

The devotion of a Cardinal


UPDATE: my Roman source reports that the Cardinal pictured is Cardinal Vallini who was the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and has now replaced the indomitable Cardinal Ruini as Vicar of Rome.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 3:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Video cap

A few people here at the parish watched the Eucharistic Congress while I was away, and a couple of people said they caught sight of me during some of the liturgies. Well, today I was listening to one of the homilies again on-line, and lo and behold I saw the camera in this picture and thought it might be me (I took over 700 pictures). Nope, I am the one sitting to his left, on the far right in the picture.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 3:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Month of the Precious Blood

July is the month of the Precious Blood. Download what Blessed John XXII said about this month and make it required reading the the day.

Download file

Continue reading for the Litany of the Precious Blood

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

V/ Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
V/ Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
V/ Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
V/ Jesus, hear us. R/ Jesus, graciously hear us.
V/ God, the Father of Heaven, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ God, the Holy Spirit, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ Holy Trinity, One God, R/ have mercy on us

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, R/: save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God,
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament,
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world. R/ spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, R/ graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, R/ have mercy on us.
You have redeemed us, O Lord, in your Blood. R/ And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray. Almighty and eternal God, you have appointed your only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be appeased by his Blood. Grant we beg of you, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation, and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life, so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:15 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 24, 2008

The Procession through the Streets of Quebec


CNS Story is here.

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June 12, 2008



I will be away until June 23 at the International Eucharistic Congress.

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June 10, 2008

Cool Video

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May 8, 2008


Welcome readers,

oddly, with my limited posting I am somewhat surprised to see I still gett 300-400 readers every day. For an odd, unexplained reason, the other day the readers topped 500 for the day, AND they come from all over. The blog tells me they come from:

US Commercial, Japan, US Educational, Canada, Russian Federation, Italy, Thailand, US Government, Australia, Philippines, Ireland, Brazil, France, Romania, Norway, Germany, Greece, Austria, Czech Republic, US Military, Chile, Argentina, China, Pakistan, Poland, Ukraine.

I am curious about the US Government readers. I realize that is probably just computers in Goverment building, but I am still curious.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 5:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 1, 2008

The Month of May

May is a special month for me:


It is a month of special devotion to Holy Mary, the Mother of God

May 5th, 1961, I celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.

May 7th, 1961, I received the Most Holy Eucharist for the first time.

May 8th, 1990, Profession, Incorporation as a member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Province of the Pacific.

May 7th, 1991, Final Profession, definitive Incorporation.

May 17th, 1991, Ordination to the Order of Deacon

Having received a few rude emails recently questioning my belief, let me be absolutely clear who I am and what I believe:

I, Reverend Jeffrey Robert Keyes, C.PP.S., with firm faith believe and profess everything that is contained in the Symbol of faith: namely:

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the Word of God, whether written or 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.

I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.

Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.

I, Reverend Jeffrey Robert Keyes, C.PP.S., in assuming the office of Pastor of St. Edward Catholic Church, promise that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.

With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the duties incumbent on me toward the Church, both universal and particular, in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to exercise my service.

In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it.

I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.
With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith, declare, or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish.

I shall also faithfully assist the diocesan Bishops, so that the apostolic activity, exercised in the name and by mandate of the Church, may be carried out in communion with the Church.

So help me God, and God's Holy Gospels on which I place my hand.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 9:02 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 29, 2008

Searching Catherine

If you use the search bar on the right and type in the word Siena, you will see how much on this Blog is about St. Catherine.

My favorite post is here.

My article on her is here.

Don Marco's excellent homily in '06 on Catherine is posted on the blog here.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 11:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

St. Catherine of Siena

Don Marco always does his best when the topic is the Blood of Christ. Today is the feast of St. Catherine, who had a very strong devotion to the Blood of Christ.

Click here for Catherine and the Church.

And he has even more here.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 12, 2008

A Visit to Rifugio San Gaspare

Tori welcomes one and all to Rifugio San Gaspare:


One viewer of my blog thought the top bar was a picture of where I lived. Nope, though I surely would not mind living there. The picture on the top bar is a picture from my window at the Abbey of San Felice in Giano del Umbria, Italy. It looks toward the Mountain where at the top there is a special place called Rifugio San Gaspare. There is also a delightful restaurant there called Ristorante Rifugio San Gaspare.

So, to be clear, I live in Newark, CA where I am Pastor of St. Edward Catholic Church, a large multi-ethnic parish with a large school and Faith Formation program, and a few more than 6000 families. We have two daily Masses and nine weekend Masses in three languages. The Pastoral Team consists of 12 full time members, including two Dominican Sisters and three Precious Blood Priests.

The Rectory has a great deal of office space in the front, but there is a private section which is the residence. The portion of the rectory where I live I have personally named as my own private Rifugio San Gaspare. It consists of a bedroom, a private study, and a garden. It is a place I go to simply to be. It is a little oasis, a place of study, of retreat, of prayer, and of relaxation. The garden is also a place of community. Each Sunday there is a moment of camaraderie when we decide what it is we are going to grill this week, share life and stories, and even argue over everything from what the church does for liturgy, and our favorite baseball teams.

So here is a little tour of the Left Coast version of St. Gaspar’s retreat:

The Study:


Another view of the study with my shrine to St. Gaspar:

The view from the couch during compline, showing the Madonna del Soccorso above the fireplace, and my faithful companion, Tori:

What is currently my morning reading material:

The Garden:

The flowers:

the birds:

Does anyone know what species of bird this is?

Tori’s playground:

The herbs, lavender, sage, cilantro, oregano and rosemary:

The tomatoes and basil, I also grow thyme, and mint, also lettuce and arugula.:

The Garden is also a place of prayer. Here is the Irish Cross:

The shrine to St. Gaspar:

The Statue of the Sacred Heart:

The Madonna of the Precious Blood:


Our Lady of the Assumption:

La Virgen de Guadalupe

Hospitality is one of the marks of a Precious Blood Missionary. Every so often I host a six-course Italian meal:

But every week there is a BBQ in the garden:

Some scallops and shrimp for appetizers:

The best in hospitality and food as desired by St. Gaspar himself:

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, to 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.

"Our principle is that of St.Vincent de Paul: apostles out in the field, Carthusians at home." from the letters of St. Gaspar, Letter 1040 to Fr. Luigi Locatelli, January 24, 1825


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March 11, 2008

On The Blood of Christ

What a joy and delight to open the Diocesan paper today and see that the Bishop has dedicated his entire column to the Blood of Christ. You can find a copy here, or at the Diocesan site.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 2, 2008

Clarence's Funeral

The funeral Liturgy for Clarence Cushnyr was held Friday, February 1st at All Saints Church in Hayward, in the small chapel. It is the same place where I had presided at the marriage of my Mother and Clarence in August of 1996. His three surviving children, Joseph, Phillip and Regina were present with all the grandchildren, two of whom did a marvelous job proclaiming the first two readings. My sister Kathy brought Mom. Our favorite cousin, Craig, was also in attendance, along with many friends of Mom and Clarence from the parish. Many Precious Blood Companions came. I was also surprised by the presence of two CPPS priests from our house in Berkeley who came to concelebrate. The children had chosen the Beatitudes for the gospel and I invited Fr. David Matz, C.PP.S to proclaim it. Having done much preparation for this Sunday’s gospel, I was able to include some of that in my homily for Clarence’s rites. many members of the Parish team came to the funeral, along with some staff from the parish school.
I had asked our DRE to bring her camera because I wanted some pictures of the ossuary. The ossuary is one that I had built for use here at St. Edward. It just seems a bit more reverent to place the urn with the ashes in the ossuary for the service rather than a small box or urn on a table. Our friends at Angel Flowers did a fantastic job preparing the flowers. Donalyn took a few more pictures during the Mass, one of my favorites is a picture of me giving communion to my Mother.
After the service was a simple reception, then we went to the cemetery for the committal, and then out to lunch. I was back at the parish about 3:30pm, in time to prepare for the Evening First Friday Mass.

Requiescat in Pace, Clarence.

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January 23, 2008

Clarence Cushnyr

Clarence Cushnyr
August 6, 1926 - January 23, 2008
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord;
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 1:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 15, 2008

Prayers Please

Please pray for Clarence Cushnyr, my step-father who has today been placed in hospice care. He is 82 yrs old.

Also please pray for my Mother, Martha Cushnyr, who has recently been placed in an Alzheimer Care facility. Mom is also 82.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 5:17 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 30, 2007

Spe Salvi

Here is the new Encyclical.

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November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It is good to give thanks to the Lord.

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November 13, 2007


Check this out.

Thanks RC

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I am on retreat for a couple of days.

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November 2, 2007


Go see it. Take Kleenex. The DRE, her husband and I went to see it last Wednesday. Very moving.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 6:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 25, 2007

Ordination Anniversary


Jeffrey Robert Keyes
Missionary of the Precious Blood
Ordained October 26, 1991

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:08 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 11, 2007


My site was nominated for Best Religion Blog!

Get thee on over there and vote!

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August 14, 2007

All things come to an end...

So the vacation is drawing to a close. Tomorrow I will be in transit back to CA hoping to be rested enough to preside at the evening Liturgy.

Thanks to all the CT folks. It has been grand. It has been a joy to be in the same book, on the same page, and of the same mind. That does not happen all the time at home, but at least the choir loft at home has a kindred spirit.

I will try to get the pics uploaded and on to the blog before the weekend.

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When I get home I may have some more photos to add to the blog, but in the meantime you can hop on over to Catholic Light to hear Richard's report on yesterday's providential encounters. It is always a joy to meet up with others who are in the same book, on the same page, and of the same mind.

I have been enjoying being immersed in the mysteries of the Eucharist in the very prayerful context of the Monastery of the Glorious Cross in Branford, CT. It is curious that most of the time when Fr. Mark and I concelebrate we are most often wearing red.

On Saturday I gave a short conference to the sisters on the Motu Proprio, and then preached at the Mass. This morning I will be chanting the Mass with Fr. Mark and the sisters.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 4:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2007

St. Jerome

Hmmm.....It doesn't mention our devotion to the Word of God which we have in common.

You’re St. Jerome!

You’re a passionate Christian, fiercely devoted to Jesus Christ and his Church. You are willing to labor long hours in the Lord’s vineyard, and you have little patience with those who are less willing or able to work as you do. Your passions often carry you into temptation zones of wrath, lust, and pride.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

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August 9, 2007

Some things never change

This is me with our elder parochial vicar circa 1600. Ludites forever!

H/T American Papist

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August 6, 2007


I will be leaving for Connecticut in the morning. I do not think I will have much in the way of email access. I will be returning in time for the Feast of the Assumption on the 15th and my Birthday on the 17th.

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August 1, 2007

More on NFP

More videos from these seminarians here.

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They don't understand?

There was a news report last night about an ABC correspondent who announced she has breast cancer.

First of all, let us pray for her and for all who are afflicted with this disease. The news report said that 250,000 women will be diagnosed with it this year.

The video report stated that one in eight women will have breast cancer, up from one in 20 in 1960. It also stated that they do "not understand" why there is this increase.

Then the video said that one reason is that there is "more estrogen in our bodies for longer periods of time", and that "estrogen nourishes cancers cells like it was fertilizer."

They failed to mention that the reason for this increased estrogen for longer periods of time was ARTIFICIAL birth control.

It amazes me that in this world where we long for organic or natural products, we take for granted that the ONLY means for birth control are ARTIFICIAL.means.

Do we need any other proof that the news media does not give us the whole story, and that Paul VI was right.

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July 28, 2007

Madonna of the Precious Blood

is found here.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Blood of the New and Eternal Covenant found here.

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July 12, 2007

That Catholic Show

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July 10, 2007

On The Church

Here is the new CDF document.

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February 15, 2007


....blogging has been slow, and I still have a few more Roman days to blog about. But, Lent approaches, and I am swamped with stuff to do. One of these days I need a real full-time secretary to keep me on top of this stuff, but the parish can ill afford such a person, especially when the Diocese sends you in two days $10,000 in extra unbudgeted expenses. In just a short time they really trashed all that extra effort that went into the budget. I get back to things here when the desk clears a bit.....

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February 13, 2007

Catholic Blog Awards

I don't think I have been nominated before, at least that I remember, but there I am among many good blogs nominated for best blog by Clergy,Religious, or seminarian. So everyone click here and get voting.

It looks like my good friend has been nominated in six categories. Go over there and vote for him for best new blog.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 12:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 6, 2007

These quizes are just too easy!

You are a 100% traditional Catholic!

Congratulations! You are more knowlegeable than most modern theologians! You have achieved mastery over the most important doctrines of the Catholic Faith! You should share your incredible understanding with others!

Do You Know Your Baltimore Catechism?
Make Your Own Quiz

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 9:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 31, 2007

This was not difficult!!

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

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December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

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October 28, 2006

A Time for Feasting

A Visit to the Castelli Romani

Romans on holiday always seem to make it to the Alban Hills, also known as the Castelli Romani for an experience of relaxation and for the finest experience of dining. The Colli Albani towns produce some of Italy's most popular white wines, and almost anywhere you go you'll see signs indicating cantina, enoteca or osteria. This is where the Pope has his summer residence at Castel Gondolfo, near Albano where St. Gaspar had one of his first Mission Houses. When it is the time for feasting, the Rectory at St. Edward takes on traditional Gasparian hospitality and the table is set for the guests with the finest of wines and the best of Italian cooking. Often using the herbs and spices from my own garden, I recreate some of my favorite Italian experiences for family and friends.

This week with the feast of St. Gaspar and the anniversary of ordination, it was time for feasting. The Party time concludes with the great Parish Annual Feast tonight.

Here is what I prepared for family and friends last Thursday for my anniversary. The Tomatoes and Basil came fresh from the garden that day along with the Arugula, the Rosemary and a variety of other herbs and spices.

Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley

Pastina in brodo
Honig 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

Farfalle con Pomodori e Basilico
Santa Cristina 2004 Sangiovese, Toscana

Agnello con aglio, Garlic Crusted Roast Leg of Lamb
Fagiolini Rosmarino
garlic red wine gravy
Rosenblum, 2003 Syrah, Sonoma County, Hillside Vineyards

Insalata Caprese
Arugula con aglio Vinaigrette

frutta e formaggio
Brie, Pt. Reyes Station; Fiore Saldo, Italy; Garrotxa, Spain
Rosenblum,2004 Late Harvest Zinfandel, California

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 1:05 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 19, 2006

Feasts and Celebration

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of St. Gaspar del Bufalo. Next Thursday I celebrate the 15th anniversary of my priesthood ordination.

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October 17, 2006

A favorite quote

I no longer take pleasure in perishable food or in the delights of this world. I want only God’s bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, formed of the seed of David, and for drink I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish.

St. Ignatius of Antioch
Letter to the Romans

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 12:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 24, 2006

A Better View of the Pope and Islam

Our Daily rag ran another article on the Pope and Islam, again laying the blame on the pope, and crediting the liberal wing of Catholicism with speaking this blame.

A better look would be in a WSJ editorial forwarded to me by my famous Roman connection. I see that Gerard at Closed Cafeteri also has a link to it, so I will send you there.

Here is the link.

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September 19, 2006

American Papist Poll

I support Pope Benedict 100% and do not think he needed to apologize.

The Press needs to apologize.

Cast your vote here.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 3:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 16, 2006

The World We Live In

The New York Times will condemn this kind of speech, but they will not condemn this.

Actually, our biggest enemy is ignorance.

The popes speech was a pretty dense, academic speech, it was addressed to scientists, and it condemned violence. Let me get this straight.... The New York Times wants the pope to apologize for condemning violence?

via amy

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September 15, 2006

a favorite herb

Wow, I had no idea. It is my favorite herb and I have tons of it in my garden. My DRE is going to love this.

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September 2, 2006

Don Marco enters the Blogosphere

Occasionally I have posted a few things here from Fr. Mark, one of my Cistercian friends. Now he can be read more often on his own Blog. Welcome to Vultus Christi!

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 5:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 18, 2006

Good Friends

It has been a lovely birthday celebration. One delightful moment was a dinner at the Home of Barbara and Abilio, along with her son Steven. You have heard me speak here of my former student, Fr. Steven Lopes, STD, who now serves at the CDF and is Cardinal Levada's secretary. Fr. Steven is home on vacation and he brought me a nice little gift from a shop in the Piazza Navona. It is a decoration for the garden and is a beautiful Madonna. It took me a second to realize there was a cup in the picture and it was a rendition of the Madonna of the Precious Blood, and image designed by St. Gaspar. I guess a certain amount of surprise and delight registered on my face. These kinds of images are rare, and I was quite delighted that on seeing it they thought of me.

It is a delight to have good friends in Rome. Many thanks to Barbara and Steven.

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August 14, 2006


RC is moving the Blogs to a new server so that we can update the templates from time to time. He is also upgrading us to a new version of Moveable Type. There should be a day soon when the blog will be down because of the move. When this happens, just wait a day or so before trying to visit. Thanks for your patience, and thanks to RC for all the technical work.

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I'm Home

Well, vacation is coming to an end. Tomorrow I am back for the feast and for the anniversary of the Foundation of the CPPS (August 15, 1815).

I also have a new cell phone number. The old one will not work, so email me if you want the new one. People who leave brooms outside my door will get the new number when the LA team loses a game or two in a row.

It is going to be a busy week. School starts next week.

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August 8, 2006

More blogger meetings, Vacation Report IV

BMP.jpg Today is the last full day here in the East as tomorrow I head home to do laundry, re-pack and head to Austin. At least for two nights I get to rescue my puppy from those Dodger fans who have been dressing her in Blue. Today’s first trip was down to Rhode Island and a visit to Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton. BMP2.jpg

This was another meeting of fellow bloggers. Brian gave me a quick tour of the Church with a view of the recent history of the parish and shared with me some of the favorite pieces on the organ. Then we went out for a sandwich before I began the trek north again. It is always a great joy to meet people with similar ideas about music and ministry. It sounds to me that his parish has gone through a similar transition in music ministry as has my own. BMP3.jpg

Then I stopped by the Motherhouse of the Daughters of St. Paul. Their bookstore in Redwood City is a favorite of mine and these sisters have helped a great deal in bringing Catholic Books to St. Edward parishioners. They had asked me to review some inventory on Pastoral Ministry for them and so I stopped by to pick up my homework. They most graciously gave me a pretty comprehensive tour of their publishing and recording enterprise. I was able to see a proof copy of the new translation of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. One of the editors very animatedly gave us a tour of the book and some of the new things this book will have. BMP4.jpg

Even though I am on day four of this antibiotic regimen I am still hacking away. I am scheduled to head off to a sing-it-yourself Faure Requiem, but my voice is trying to convince me to stay indoors.

[UPDATE: Brian has his post here.]

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August 6, 2006

Neat Icon, Beautiful Worship, Vacation Report III

iconcup.jpgIn the morning we started at a little Melkite Church in Lawrence, MA. The priest was very welcoming and hospitable. He said next time he wanted me to concelebrate, though I am not sure how prayerful it would be as a concelebrant in a Rite with which I am not familiar. As it was, today, it felt like worship just to watch and participate interiorly. One providential thing for me was the Icon on the wall just next to us. It has a great deal of Precious Blood significance, and so after the liturgy I just had to photograph it.

In the afternoon we strolled around the sights of Boston. We headed into the North end and found ourselves in the midst of the Festival of Saint Agrippina. The Saint is one of these early century Roman Martyrs and her festival in Boston has been held for over 80 years. It was quite the sight, the parade with the Statue and the stopping at various spots and patrons showering her with garlands of dollar bills. She was carried by a large group of men in white who joined in songs and rhythmic chants as they bounced her rhythmically up the street. The Band was delightful, but it was a bit amusing to see her bounding up the street to the tune of “Deep In The Heart of Texas.? The event reminded me a great deal of the time several years ago on arriving in Siena, Italy we joined in a medieval parade celebrating that city’s saint. agrippina.jpg

We had a nice little lunch in an Italian eatery, and then headed up to Cambridge and Harvard. From there we headed over to Boston College and to St. John Seminary before heading home.

Tomorrow I may take a drive down to Rhode Island for the day, but be back in time for one of the local sing-it-yourself events.

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August 5, 2006

Vacation Report II

RC has the pictures and the report of how we ended our day yesterday with Vespers in Petersham. We spent most of the day driving, and the first goal was to get to St. Joseph Abbey in Spencer, MA. We arrived about the end of Sext, and spent some time in their chapel. Next we visited their shop where the monks make vestments. Holy Rood Guild is where I have purchasing all of my vestments. Actually it was a dangerous visit because I did not get out of there without spending about $1000. I ordered two altar server albs which will provide us additional albs in the sizes we need. I ordered a dalmatic and stole that will arrive at the parish in time for Advent. The Deacons are slowly getting used to me requiring them to be in Dalmatic for Liturgy.

The monks have a gift shop near the gate. We made the mistake of stopping there. They have a whole section of CDs, chant and otherwise, and it seems that nothing was more expensive than $10. I am currently listening to a 2CD set of Early Music that was only $9.98. I got out of there for a little over $100. There went my extra vacation cash.

Today I am taking it easy. I decided this cough was just a bit too consistant and getting worse. So I have been to a doctor, and have some new meds now. I am getting a lot of reading done today, and uploaded a few new chapters to the Life and Times page. Tonight will be the restful life of a chanting hermit, along with chopping garlic and boiling pasta.

Tomorrow it seems will be a visit to Cambridge, Harvard. Liturgy will be in the Melkite Rite. RC has been a gracious host and a pleasure to be around.

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August 3, 2006

Blogger Gathering

bloggers.jpgYou meet the most interesting people on these vacations. It seems that there were a few visiting bloggers from out of town, and the Boston Bloggers hosted an Italian dinner in one of the more popular eateries. It seems that RC has beaten me to the punch reporting on the event before I got back to my place. He also posts a picture I took of him yesterday on the New Hampshire seacoast.

Left to right we have Eric Johnson and RC from Catholic Light. Then Mark Sullivan of Irish Elk; Eric Ewanco of Christifideles, and yours truly of Rifugio San Gaspare.

All in all, it was a fine evening, good food, great conversation. Not bad for a priest, a writer, and a bunch of IT guys.

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Vacation Report

vacation06.jpgAs RC notes in a comment in a previous post, we had a great day visiting the seacoast towns of New Hampshire. I dipped my feet into the Atlantic for the first time, visited a beautiful turn of the century garden, sampled some chowder at a popular fishery, and made the acquaintance of a local Poor Clare Monastery. We even ventured into Maine briefly so now I can add that to States I have been to. I am several chapters into Neuhaus' book and am making progress on the Life and Times of St. Gaspar. Conversations varied from life in nthe IT sector to life in Community. RC introduced me to Open Office as you can see from the post below. This may speed up the rate at which new documents are posted to the St. Gaspar Letters site.

So far very restful and peaceful. Tonight, dinner with fellow bloggers. Reports and pictures to follow.

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July 31, 2006


So, for those who have been wondering what I decided on for vacation: I am taking a stack of books to a little motel in Tewksbury, MA. The agenda is to sleep, read, eat, sing, and just be. There seems to be some bluegrass festival within striking distance, and a few other choral opportunities too. Thursday seems to have scheduled a bloggers dinner at a local Italian Eatery. RC seems to be geared up to do some tour guiding around Boston environs. I am sure that one or the other of us may even post some pictures.

The New Adult Catechism from USCCB arrived today so that is going along for the ride. I will take along The Life and Times of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, as well. I also expect to finish Celebrating the Holy Eucharist by Arinze, A Treatise on Prayer from the Heart by Caussade, Catholic Matters by Neuhaus. I have three other books along for the ride to see if I can start on them as well. Imagine me most mornings with my feet up, a cup of coffee in my hand, and devouring a good book. Most evenings I will be chopping garlic, boiling pasta and sipping a good red wine. After Vespers it will be back to the books.

The computer is going along with a printer, so I can print out the boarding pass for the return flight and also do some blogging.

So, can anyone recommend a good place for Sunday Mass? It has to be a place where I can just pray without too much wierd stuff going on.

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June 19, 2006


I am leaving this evening for Washington, DC. It will be work, but it will be fun. The Computer is staying home, so this will be a Blog vacation as well. I be be sure to report on the event next Monday.

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May 8, 2006

Mary, Our Help

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
you have given the world its true light,
Jesus, your Son – the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely to God's call
and thus became a wellspring
of the goodness which flows forth from him.
Show us Jesus. Lead us to him.
Teach us to know and love him,
so that we too can become
capable of true love
and be fountains of living water
in the midst of a thirsting world.

Benedict XVI

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April 29, 2006

Siena Memories

On our Italian Tour in 1998 we arrived in Siena on her feast.

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April 15, 2006

The Day In Between

There is a brief moment in the scriptures in the Passion of the Christ that does not make it into the movie. It is just a brief reference in the scriptures, but the movie skips over it entirely. It is non-existent, unimportant, easily forgotten or dismissed.

This is the moment between the death of Jesus and the first appearance in the experience of the disciples. It is the moment hidden behind the locked doors of fear and flight.

These men had given up everything to join Jesus, to follow him and to become part of his company. They had given up family, job and future. Everything took second place to him. The women, too, had found in him the fullness of hope and salvation. Everything else had become as dust and ashes. Time with him had already transfigured their lives.

Now it had all turned to heartbreak and humiliation: there was no darkness as deep as this. The loss, the hurt, the chaos, the doubt, the guilt, every last bit of life had now been squeezed and crushed from their broken hearts. The very foundation of their life and energy had been cruelly torn out from underneath them. Only despair was humanly appropriate. There was no future, just emptiness and void. It was the deepest experience of shame.

His promise of life had become darker than the shadows in the home for the dead, and the hope he gave them for his victory had turned into a cruel joke. It was unrelenting hopelessness and the only options were to hide or to flee.

Sitting in total darkness, no light was permitted to penetrate the locked doors. Inert bodies may have littered the floor, but there was no one home. Maybe an occasional whimper or the anguish of tears had punctuated the silence, but the terror that they were next kept them in an unforgiving darkness and silence.

The Saturday morning must have been surreal. It had to have been a nightmare. The state of shock numbed them to the truth, but occasional brutal honesty filtered through the ringing in their ears to obliterate any vestige of hope that might linger in the corners of their injured hearts.

Approaching darkness may have filled them with anxiousness and dread, but a full day passing without food or happiness and the reality that there had been no further arrest or invasion may have given room for hatred, anger, resentment and rage to find some space. If sleep were possible, more than likely it was fitful and restless.

The third day dawns with the same barrenness. The earth was without form, empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit hovered over the waters. (Gen. 1:2) The invasion was abrupt and incomprehensible. He stood before them and in an echo of ancient birth he breathed over them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.?

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April 13, 2006

Blessed Triduum


Blessings to all during the Sacred Triduum.

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April 2, 2006

In Memory of John Paul II

Gerald has a great post over at his blog. It is a wonderful set of pictures with which to remember this great man.

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March 29, 2006

Away for a few days

....I will be back on Monday.

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March 24, 2006


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.

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March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

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March 14, 2006

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

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March 13, 2006


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

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March 9, 2006

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.

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March 8, 2006

Welcome to Rifugio San Gaspare

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.

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March 5, 2006

Ode for Peggy Doherty

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.'

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March 3, 2006

Reform and Renewal

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.

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January 25, 2006

January 24, 2006


How evil are you?

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January 22, 2006

Well, the Blog is worth more than I am

Listed on BlogShares

I found this by visiting Christus Vincit and he has a whole list of this fantasy worth stuff. Some people have too much time on their hands.

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January 6, 2006

Happy Birthday St. Gaspar

I am back from a little break. I headed down to a retreat house on Tuesday, got there by about 1:00pm, had an early dinner about 3:00pm, and turned out the lights at 5:30pm. Slept all the way through to 7:15am the next morning. Must have needed the sleep. It was restful and peaceful, but am back today to a pile of mail and messages.

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December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

During the new year may you have....

Enough happiness to keep you sweet.
Enough trials to keep you strong.
Enough sorrow to keep you human.
Enough hope to keep you happy.
Enough failure to keep you humble.
Enough success to keep you eager.
Enough friends to give you comfort.
Enough wealth to meet your needs.
Enough enthusiasm to make you look forward to tomorrow.
Enough determination to make each day better than the day before.

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December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

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October 26, 2005

St. Gregory on Priesthood

We must begin by purifying ourselves before purifying others; we must be instructed to be able to instruct, become light to illuminate, draw close to God to bring him close to others, be sanctified to sanctify, lead by the hand and counsel prudently. I know whose ministers we are, where we find ourselves and to where we strive. I know God's greatness and man's weakness, but also his potential. Who then is the priest? He is the defender of truth, who stands with angels, gives glory with archangels, causes sacrifices to rise to the altar on high, shares Christ's priesthood, refashions creation, restores it in God's image, recreates it for the world on high and, even greater, is divinized and divinizes.

St. Gregory of Nazianzus

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October 25, 2005


Tomorrow is my 14th anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood. (October 26, 1991)

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October 14, 2005


Lovely little quote from Jean Corbon OP over at Ignatius Press.

On the other hand, if we do constantly renew this offering of our sinful hearts, let us not imagine that our New Covenant with Jesus will be a personal encounter pure and simple.

The book by Corbon is one of my favorites. It was a gift from a friend in Rome.

I made the mistake of attending the charismatic prayer meeting tonight. The man speaking said the exact opposite. It was mostly "me and Jesus." I am still discerning what to do about that group.

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September 14, 2005

Cross (Happy Feast)

You are St Brigid's Cross: St. Brigid is an Irish
saint who hand-wove a cross,out of rushes she
found by the river. She made the cross while
explaining the passion of our Lord to a pagan

What Kind of Cross are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

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September 5, 2005


Mom's 80th Birthday

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August 25, 2005

I'm Baaaack!

Sorry for not blogging. I need to get back to this. I have been doing a lot a writing this week, but not all of it blogable. I got the insert ready for the bulletin this week, and now need to write the introduction to the parish assembly. The Season of Parish assemblies is beginning. For the next five Sunday's we are asking the parishioners opinions and suggestions on the state of the parish. The Parish Council is arranging the gathering of all the information.

I got some news today that the IRS has figured out my taxes, and I do not owe them any more after all. I sent them all my notes and files, and in the end they have agreed with everything I did.

I got my homily written and now it is being translated into Spanish for this coming weekend.

Other than that I have been busy getting things organized. All the laundry was done today, and tomorrow is the haircut. Next I need to clear off the desk and pay a few bills.

Vacation is over and it is back to work.

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August 16, 2005

Sad News

Br. Roger of Taize is slain.

I met Br. Roger in 1995 and have read many of his books and letters. Evening Prayer at Taize was truly a memorable event. Also a time in my mind that will endure...hearing confessions in English from 3:00pm to 7:00pm and then again from 10:00pm till 2:00am. I also had the opportunity to preside at the morning Catholic Mass.

I cannot imagine the sadness at Taize at the moment. I am sure that his witness shall endure.

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Yes, I am back in California and slowly returning to life. Today was a bit of a lazy day, having gotten in so late last night. I am still on vacation, taking care of some domestic duties.

The highlights of the retreat: the incredible hospitality of the sisters, the sleep, the reading (Cassian, Evagrius and Casey), the meals (ever so Italian), the beauty of the place, and last, but not least, the opportunity to chant the liturgy each day from the Graduale Romanum and the Editio typica. (Thanks, Don Marco).

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July 27, 2005

100 Days

Pope Benedict's first 100 days.

I think he is going to be (indeed, already is) another great Pope.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

Back from the Doc

Spent a good 20 minutes or more on the treadmill with a bunch of wires hooked up to me. Turns out I have a heart, and it seems to be in perfect working order.

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July 25, 2005

It's Back

St. Blogs server apparently died and it was impossible to blog today, even though I tried several times. It was nice to be missed. Peggy emailed me to ask what happened and even Brian went looking for me by way of his blog.

I was about to turn off the computer and go to bed when I decided to check one last time, and this time it worked. Now I do not even remember what it was I planned to say early. Maybe the new light of the morning will reveal it.

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July 6, 2005

IRS update

Two hours, forty-five minutes on the phone. Spoke with four people, one clueless, two who said I computed everything correctly, and one who said it was incorrect but could not tell me how.

Incompetence abounds. It is still possible I will pay more in tax than I earned. Everything is in the mail.

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July 5, 2005

On Hold

...with the IRS, 44 minutes and counting as I type this. It is pretty boring listening to them figure out this letter they sent me. If I am going to send them another $174, they had better be clear on where they think I made the error.

My adjusted gross income last year was $1833. The tax I paid was $1083.

My question: How does someone who is poor and does not have the resources I have deal with this?

I am on hold again, we are 50 minutes and 49 seconds into this.

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I'm Home

... and I am still tired. Of course there was a huge pile of mail waiting for me, but I went through it all this morning and threw most of it away. Late Saturday night I saw that the mass schedule had changed. It is a good thing I had not taken that extra Mass the Youth group had wanted because then it would have been five masses. Still, they invade my backyard just as I was ready to devour barbequed chicken, because they had failed to arrange for anyone to open the sacristy for them. The maintenance man is putting a lock on my backyard gate today.

July 4th was like a war zone around here. The sound of fireworks in the neighborhood resounded until the early hours of the morning. The puppy endured it well, sleeping soundly at my feet while I devoured a book with gregorian chant playing softly in the background.

Today, it is back to normal with the regular joys and sorrows of daily life.

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June 27, 2005


ummm... it looks as if the blog is not on Daylight savings time. That last post was posted at 7:36 in the morning, not at 4:36, so there is a three hour difference. I looked; I am not sure how to set the blog for daylight savings time.

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June 21, 2005

Fellow Bloggers

...come to find out that the classmate seated next to me at breakfast also has a blog.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 7:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 20, 2005

Greetings from Indiana

Arrived safe and sound. Just got connected. Tons of email. Off to class. More reports coming.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 17, 2005

Sorry for not Blogging

....It has been a week from hell. Tuesday was fun, the men in formation are a joy to have around. Wednesday was Council meeting, I think I would prefer a sharp poke in the eye, and Thursday I got a day off, but had to spend the day doing Domestic stuff. Meanwhile the mail piles up. Four funerals this week. The new music director who has been here more often in the past two weeks than the previous one had been in the last six months, is an absolute joy to work with.

I leave Sunday morning for two weeks in Indiana and Ohio. It is time for the Chant institute again. Yippeee.

In the meantime: Sick calls.

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May 25, 2005

Looks like a good book

I ordered two copies, one for me and one for our new music director.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 12:59 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 23, 2005

Blogs sounding off on Catholicism, new pope

Contra Costa Times has taken note of Catholic Blogging. You can find the article here.

Their premise seems to be captured in the following quote:

In a way, Benedict's election has done for Catholic blogs what the presidential election did for political blogs last year.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 12:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 19, 2005

Gross Ignorance


I am so tired of hearing some of this stuff. This talking heads are just filling empty space. Some of it is good but then it all changes when they only tell half the story. I am so tired of hearing Benedict XVI called a hardline conservative. He is not Conservative, he is Catholic. Until the media begins to understand what it means to be Catholic, they will simply categorize the New Pope in narrow terms in an effort to prevent us from listening to what he really says.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Notes from Rome

From my Roman Correspondent:

By the grace of God and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we have a Pope!!

The whole Church rejoices at the election of our Most Holy Father, Benedict XVI, the Bishop of Rome, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Servant of the Servants of God!!

As a student in Rome, it was my profound pleasure to meet Cardinal Ratzinger on several occasions. Not only does he have a brilliant mind and boundless abilities, but his is a truly pastoral heart. On each occasion, I was stuck by his humility, his gentleness, and, yes, his shyness. He lives his spirituality in a most direct way, and I have no doubt that he truly believes those first words spoken as Pope he sees himself as nothing more than Gods humble servant. What an inspiration to us all.

And how appropriate to take the name Benedict! With that choice, he evokes the richness of the Benedictine tradition and the great motto of the Rule: ora et labora. Prayer and work. Surely this will guide his service to the whole Church.

God bless Benedict XVI!!

Viva il Papa!!!

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Gasparian Echoes

There is something amazingly Gasparian about this. It is Gaspar who said that the Lord chooses the weakest instruments to accomplish his greatest work. It gives me great hope to hear this echoed in our new Pope.

Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.

The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.

In the joy of the risen Lord, trusting in his permanent help, we go forward. The Lord will help us and Mary his very holy mother stands by us."

Pope Benedict XVI

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Benedict XVI

We announce to you great joy, another shepherd to serve in the Vineyard of the Lord. What a blessing!

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April 9, 2005

Saint Gaspar Invoked!

My Roman correspondent indicates that the Litany of Saints was prepared especially for this event and wanted me to know that Saint Gaspar had been included in the Litany of Saints. Of course I heard it twice. I heard Gaspar's name sung when they were transpering the body to the Basilica, and also when they sang the litany of saints during the funeral. I got up and watched the funeral in its entirety in real time. Other correspondents also wrote to ask if I had noticed. (Thanks, Don Marco)

You can find the litany here: The Funeral Mass for Pope John Paul. The text here is in Italian and the other languages used at the Mass.

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April 8, 2005

Notes from Rome

A Priest friend in Rome writes:

There are no words to adequately describe the funeral Mass of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. The pictures and images were carried live around the world and will probably be played over and over but there is something to be said for the feeling of being present in that space and sensing the palpable grief of the crowd that video just cannot express. Rather than trying to narrate such an indescribable event, allow me to share some moments and impressions that stood out for me as capturing the moment with clarity and poignancy.

Santo Subito!

I was sitting behind the rows of bishops where I had a view of the entire Square. The moment Cardinal Ratzinger finished the homily, the crowd burst into applause and suddenly 30 or so large banners and sighs were unfurled in the crowd, all saying the same thing: Santo Subito! A Saint right now! The signs were spread out all through the Square and down the street. They disappeared for the Creed, but appeared again after Communion this time accompanied by a loud chant: Giovanni Paolo Santo!! To see those dozens of banners and to hear that chant! It gave me chills, and I started noticing the Archbishops and Bishops fidgeting, nervously looking at the College of Cardinals (particularly at Cardinal Ratzinger) and whispering to each other. One Italian bishop near me turned to another and said simply: Will he do it?

It was common in the first Millennium of the Churchs history to proclaim saints by public acclamation. It hasnt been done in centuries, but it is part of the tradition. Today I witnessed a true acclamation. Those 4 million people wanted John Paul declared a saint, and they wanted it now. Ratzinger paused for a while and let the crowd have its moment and voice its will. He then pushed on with the funeral rites, out of deference to prudence I am sure. The next pope will probably open John Pauls cause for canonization almost immediately and allow the scrutiny to run its proper course. I dont think the ultimate outcome is at all in doubt John Paul will be declared a saint. But I could not help but wonder what would have happened today if prudence gave way to boldness. As Cardinal Dean, Ratzinger could have polled the College for their opinion. He could have asked the nearly 600 assembles bishops for their assent. He could have made the proclamation and just asked the next pope to confirm the universal acclamation of the Church. Santo Subito! Though this did not happen, Cardinal Ratzinger did however make his own views on the matter very clear. In the homily, he made reference to the Pope standing at the window of the Fathers house, greeting us and blessing us. For the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, this is a huge statement! He told us where to look for our beloved John Paul: in the House of the Father, the dwelling of the saints.

Prayer of the Eastern Church

After Communion, Cardinal Ruini, the Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, led the Church of Rome in Latin litanies and prayers for the repose of the popes soul. Immediately after that, the Patriarchs of the Eastern Oriental Churches gathered around the coffin and chanted the prayers for the dead in Greek. The Greeks, it turns out, know how to mourn. The chants for the dead can only be deceived as wails of pain, heartrending yet hauntingly beautiful even of you dont understand a word of Greek. It was at that moment that the whole feeling of the crowd changed. From then on, the crowd of 4 million people was silent. This ancient expression of grief and hope in Gods power to save even from death opened up a cathartic moment for the people present in the Square. That is when many began to cry. That is when they started to say farewell. From that moment until the end of the Mass, the spectacle disappeared and was replaced with an intimacy that was always a hallmark of John Pauls presence. The priest next to me was looking out at the crowd, absorbing the tremendous waves of emotion that were pulsing up towards us. As he looked out, he spoke, probably not even realizing that he was saying the words out loud: You can just feel his absence. They certainly now know that he has gone. By that time, the Patriarchs had finished, and Cardinal Ratzinger began the Commendation of the Dead. It was time to say good bye.

The Last Farewell

As the Mass ended and the Cardinals processed into the Basilica for the burial, the pall bearers lifted the casket off the ground and carried it to the front doors of the basilica. There, they turned around and tipped the foot down so the body of John Paul could face the crowd one last time. One is not accustomed to seeing bishops cry, but at that moment they all did. As I wiped away my own tears, I thought of the appropriateness of that simple gesture of facing him out towards the crowd one last time. His was the window on the world. For twenty six years he looked out on the crowd like Jesus in the Gospels. Moved with pity, he spoke to them of Gods love, of the power of the truth, of the call to holiness and virtue. As his body looked out this final time, it saw the largest gathering of world leaders in history. It saw nearly 4 million people of every race, culture, nation, and way of life gathered in peace, in faith, and in charity. Even in death, John Paul the Great continues to unite people and promote peace. And that is not a bad sight to look out upon at all

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April 6, 2005

His Legacy

Commercial Media have spent a great bit of time discussing Pope John Paul II's legacy. I have been amused by the people I have seen reporting on who he is and what he has accomplished. I flipped on the TV in a spare moment the other day and there was Newt Gingrich reporting on the Pope's legacy.

Certainly, there is much to speak of:

Overcoming Communism
An approach to suffering and death
A dedication to culture of life
Ministry to Youth
use of the media
his writings of plays and poetry

In my opinion, without diminishing his importance in any of the above, the most important part of his legacy is overlooked.

Here is what will be, for me, the most important part of his legacy that will endure and will effect life and ministry for years to come.

1. The Theology of the Body, human love as part of the divine plan. The Audience addresses that he presented from 1979 to 1984. The Body as revealing the gift of Christ, the original meaning of human experience, the incomparable dignity of the human person, the person as gift in freedom of love.

All this may have been interpreted basically as of set of rules or part of his conservative agenda. He may be dismissed as someone who knows little about sex or marriage, but those who have taken up the task of listening to him, have discovered the freedom of the Gospel of Christ and how to apply it to their very selves. Human life, what responds to its essential dignity, authentic development: it is not about what we can do; It is about who we are!

His laboratory was the teaching of the church and the tools of philosophy, but his laboratory was also young people and conversation, camping trips filled with fun and prayer. This laboratory produced an new ethic of love and responsibility that is now celebrated the world over by those who have discovered its freedoms.

This is a man who knew love. He knew what it was, how it was supposed to be lived and shared, given and received. It was a learning born in a crucible of suffering of death and resurrection. He knew love, he knew love himself, Jesus Christ, He knew love personally, and he is still able to show us.

2. The remainder of his audience addresses, especially those on the Creed and on the psalms and Canticles of Morning and Evening prayer.

3. The Catechism of Catholic Church

4. The reform of Canon Law

5. His encyclicals. My favorite are Redemptoris Missio and Evangelium Vitae.

I have seen none of this discussed in the print or visual media. Certainly I have not had the time to sit in front of a Television set all day so I may have missed it.

So, what is the most imprtant and most significant aspect of his legacy? Let me know what you think of my list, and let me know what your favorote enclicals are.

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April 3, 2005

NY Times

Watching the coverage of the Holy Father has been both fascinating and frustrating. All I can say about reading the Times this mornng is, that if they were that ignorant if reporting on football, they would be fired.

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Happy Birthday Dad, 1920-1976 pictured here in 1929, front row, far left He would have been 85 today.

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April 2, 2005

Behave Yourselves

I was a bit shocked to see that my post on the Holy Father had 188 comments. Nothing I have ever said got that many posts. Then I was even more saddened to discover many were being mean and disrespectful. Certainly there were a few kind words there, but I simply did not have time to read 188 messages before this evening's mass. So I deleted them all.

To those who had the audacity to enter into my home and my blog and shout obscenities about this man who is truly a saint, you are forgiven, but you are challenged to find in yourselves some human dignity. It was sorely absent in you today.

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April 1, 2005

John Paul II

This is a picture I took of Pope John Paul II at his summer residence during the Wednesday audience in July, 2003. CPPS priests from around the world were present in Rome for the Summer workshop and we attended the Audience together. I have had many opportunities to hear the Holy Father speak. Those his vocal abilities decreased over the years, the power of his words were as strong as ever. I was present at Audiences in 1987, 1998, 2001, and twice in 2003. I have a framed picture taken in 1987 on my wall of him shaking my hand. Of course I have been able to read hundred's of his audiences on line and in various books published. My favorite book is the one known as "Theology of the Body" and I am sure that it will serve as significant resource for many years to come.

In spite of press reports, we are ignorant of the Pope's condition today. This is as it should be. We do not know when he will die. It is probably sooner rather than later. What is clear is that he will be missed. I am sure that we are seeing the passing of a saint. His words, his actions have been enormously significant to believers and unbelievers alike. I am sure that he will be known as John Paul the Great.

Many of us will have events and memories to share. The time will be a great opportunity for us to reflect upon our identity as family, the communion saints, the ministry of Peter and our experience as members of the Body that is Church.

In the meantime this is a time of reflection and prayer.

Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd,
look kindly on John Paul II,
your vicar on earth,
and grant him relief from his sufferings.

To this herald who has bravely proclaimed your Gospel,
give the consolation of your word.
To this faithful guardian of your Church,
send an angel to shield and protect him.
To this Priest who comforted and anointed the sick,
now bring peace in his own time of trial.

Hear the prayers of those who trust in you,
O Risen Lord and Savior,
who are seated at the right hand of the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Here are a few passages from his talks, memories that are significant for us:

Pope John Paul II, October 22, 1986:

"The spirituality of Saint Gaspar ... is truly at the heart of the Christian life: the Most Precious Blood of our Lord has always been the object of a special attention on the part of all the saints: it is the school of sanctity, of justice, of love... Never delve deeply into this mystery of justice and love: diffuse it into the whole world."

John Paul II, October 19, 1989:

I wholeheartedly bless these efforts, and encourage you to continue them, and to model on the cult of the Precious Blood the spiritual path of your lives and your apostolic activity. Be witnesses of that communion which Christ brought about through the gift of his Blood.

John Paul II, September 14, 2001

Two centuries later, another Pope summons the sons of Saint Gaspar to be no less bold in their decisions and actions - to go where others cannot or will not go and to undertake missions which seem to hold little hope of success. I ask you to continue your efforts to build a civilization of life, seeking the protection of all human life, from the life of the unborn to the life of the aged and infirm, and promoting the dignity of every human person, especially of the weak and of those deprived of their rightful share of the earth's abundance. I urge you to pursue a mission of reconciliation, as you work to rebuild societies torn by civil strife, even bringing together victims and perpetrators of violence in a spirit of forgiveness, so that they may come to know that "it is [the blood of Christ] that is the most powerful source of hope; indeed it is the foundation of the absolute certitude that in God's plan life will be victorious"

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March 25, 2005

Good Friday

For your reflection today. I have a different set of notes for today, I may get them typed up to add to last years notes.

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February 26, 2005


...joining the Church this Easter

We will have adult five baptisms, and one being recieved into the Church. Eight others will complete their initiation with First Communion and Confirmation.

Another large group of adults, 14, will be confirmed when the Bishop comes in May.

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February 13, 2005

Witness of Blood

Another Martyr of Charity

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February 11, 2005

Sad days

It has been a few sad days in the midst of very busy lenten activities. I heard the news originally from Amy Welborn's judgemental blog and with all her quick to judge commenters. Someone in the midst of it all would actually have a better take on things and even with his past infractions I knew Fr. Mike to be a good and effective priest. I found the best expression of all this from one of the students in the thick of things. I had watched Patrick's blog every day to see what he said, and he said it better than I expected. Indeed, I expected him to be kind and generous and he outdid himself.

I worked with Fr. Mike for two years as I directed the Gregorian Chant Choir at Calvert House. Regardless of what he did 15 years ago, I believe in forgiveness and redemption. I still have the greatest respect for Fr. Mike and for all he accomplished at Calvert House.

From my experience and conversations with Fr. MIke, I found the reports difficult to believe and fathom. He has admitted the infraction and it is a serious one. Perhaps he should never been assigned to Calvert House. Perhaps it is through the providence of God that he was assigned, and like Peter who expressed three times, "Lord, you know that I love you, " Fr. Mike deserves more credit today for the outstanding good he did at Calvert rather than blame for something that was dealt with 15 years ago.

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January 8, 2005

Baptism of the Lord

Today heaven and earth rejoice, watching the Lord being baptized and drowning in the water the great load of our sins. The human soul is illuminated because, delivered from the shadow of sin, she puts on a divine and incorruptible garment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Christ, announced by the law and the prophets, comes to regenerate us in his divine baptism. You are a mighty torrent, you who have created the sea and the water springs; you come to these waters to wash us yourself, who are to everyone cleanliness and purification. You are a gulf of truth, O Christ! You, the undefiled water source! how could the Jordan hold you? You are the sun that knows no twilight! You have illuminated your sacred flesh as a torch in the midst of the Jordan. You have found our image soiled with passion and sin, and have washed it through your baptism.

ancient text

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January 1, 2005

Witness of Blood

Martyrs of Faith in 2004

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Happy New Year

During the new year may you have....

Enough happiness to keep you sweet.
Enough trials to keep you strong.
Enough sorrow to keep you human.
Enough hope to keep you happy.
Enough failure to keep you humble.
Enough success to keep you eager.
Enough friends to give you comfort.
Enough wealth to meet your needs.
Enough enthusiasm to make you look forward to tomorrow.
Enough determination to make each day better than the day before.

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December 31, 2004

Happy New Year

May the new year be filled with Blessings and Peace for all.

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November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

to all!

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November 19, 2004

The Desert Fathers

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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November 18, 2004

New addition to the family

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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November 16, 2004

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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November 10, 2004


...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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November 4, 2004

The Creche

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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October 31, 2004


....of Halloween pasts.

More than 10 years ago, I was vocation director. It was an early morning. I was driving south to Monterey. It was a long drive to meet a possible vocation prospect. I stopped at a local McDonalds to get a morning cup of coffee. I was dressed simply. black slacks and shoes, and clerical shirt.

Kid behind the counter says, "Cool costume!"

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October 26, 2004

Ordination Memories

an MP3 file of the choir singing at my ordination. There were 108 voices under the able direction of Kathleen Flemming.

Alma Redemptoris Mater, Palestrina

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October 25, 2004


Ordained by Bishop John S. Cummins, Bishop of Oakland
October 26, 1991
St. Augustine Church, Oakland

Priests "must train the faithful to sing hymns and spiritual songs in their hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks."
Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5

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October 20, 2004

Redemption in The Blood of Christ

The Holy Father had a remarkable Audience Reflection last week on October 13.

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September 16, 2004


Transisitions are great producers of stress. One of these days I may actually be unpacked and moved in. Did I mention that this place has 5600 families, nine masses on each weekend in three languages? Then since Thursday is my new day off, this is the second day off in a row that I have missed. It was a day for all the priests to gather and the learn than in order to comply with the Diocese's Safe Environment for Children program that all Lectors and Eucharistic ministers, ushers and choir members, indeed any volunteer is required to be screened for Megan's law. It is not just the moving that is making me feel a bit overwhelmed.

One of these days I may actually have internet access again. My little laptop has not been connected to the internet in over two months. I am at the secretary's computer which I do not get much use of during the day.

Oh, did I mention that the parish has a bit of a debt that I uncovered? No one seemed to be aware of it, not even the finance committee. It is a mere $115,000. arghhh.

Slowly but surely, I am getting moved in. I bought another bookcase today.

The people have been most gracious and welcoming. They have actually been pretty wonderful. They always seem so happy to see me. Apparently the teachers, a bit in shock, I guess, over some liturgical inovations I have imposed (we stick to the book now) are rather pleased that I am at the school every day and showing such interest in the school. ( I gave them a liturgy preparation workshop yesterday.)

One of the Baptism candidates mentioned at Adult Faith Formation last Tuesday that suddenly the music in church was beautiful (The choir started up again last Sunday.) I snuck into choir practice tonight and they were indeed sounding pretty wonderful. There is no chant on the horizon yet, but I am being patient. The music director is new and started the same day I did. It is taking us all awhile to get settled, although he seems to be doing great. We have a new Young Adult Choir that is rehearsing, and the children's choir will be starting soon.

I understand we may have a new wireless router installed on the weekend, so I am hopeful. Regular blogging will continue once I get reasonably settled.

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August 26, 2004

I'm back

It was a restful three nights at Villa Maria Del Mar. The two days with the school faculty and staff was enriching. I am impressed with their youth, energy, drive, vision and gifts. The parish School opens its school year tomorrow. The Teachers will be gathering for Morning prayer at 7:40am and I will join them. As a gift for the new year I gave them a fontanini statue of St. Gaspar for the school office.

I am still unpacking. It seems that the desk has arrived and will be installed tomorrow. Tonight I hung up several pictures I had unpacked. The place is still a mess, but it is beginning to take shape.

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July 31, 2004


Greetings from Newark, CA. I am now sitting in the office of St. Edward Catholic Church. It may be weeks before I am moved in, but the guest room is comfortable. All the books still sit out in the storage shed in myriad boxes.

What with the whirlwind of my first weekend as Pastor, and then a 6:00am flight Monday morning back to Chicago, participation in a week long retreat dedicated to St. Gaspar del Bufalo held at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, IN, it does not seem like I will have any time for blogging this week. Besides, I plan on leaving my computer at home and will not have access to email while on retreat.

Three years ago when I moved to Chicago, I took nine days for a drive and camping trip to get there. After I was in Chicago for a few days I flew back to Oakland for a Retrouvaille weekend.

This time I took four days for the move from Chicago to Newark and after I am here fore a few days I will fly back to Chicago for a Retreat.

Sr. Madelene used to call me a boomerang since I kept coming back. It still seems to be true.

I would appreciate it if you would keep all the priests, brothers, sisters and Companions or associates in your prayers this week. This is a National Retreat given in honor of the 50th anniversary of St. Gaspar del Bufalo's canonization.

So, the Blog will be silent until August 9th.

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July 29, 2004

San Leandro, CA

I did 628 miles today, the longest day, but also the last day. I am here at the Provincial Center where I have had a second office these past three years. Tomorrow we have a Provincial Council meeting. That is one of the reasons I was in such a hurry to get here. I still have some work to do to get ready for the council meeting.

I go to my new parish on Saturday morning. It is located about 30 minutes south of here.

It was a long and boring trip, not the kind of thing that is fun to do alone. But I am grateful that I made it safely, and I look forward to the challanges and joys of being a pastor again.

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July 28, 2004

West Wendover, NV

563 miles today. Well, it has been a long day. The first 50 miles took two hours because more than an hour of it was sitting in a five mile long parking lot. A big rig had caught on fire and both lanes were closed. I was about two and a half miles from the accident.

Tomorrow maybe the longest day, but tomorrow may find me at home. I can hardly wait.

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July 27, 2004

Cheyenne, WY

485 miles today until exhausted. I am supposed to be on vacation, but this time crunch makes the miles grueling. There are some nuts out on the road and they are driving those huge rigs.

Gas was a variety of prices, 1.87, 2.09, 1.95, and 2.25. I made nine stops today. The back will not let me sit much longer than that. Two more days until home. I am looking forward to being with people again.

The trip was a bit monastic, talking with no one and praying the various daytime hours at each stop. Bach's B minor mass was the accompaniment again. I had some chant in but it was too relaxing and was putting me to sleep. The Gloria from the Bach mass is pretty exciting. It was a good thing I have speed control.

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July 26, 2004


I drove 486 miles today, and now have turned in for the night. Gas was 2.29 in Chicago, 1.85 in Iowa, and 1.73 in Omaha.

The ride was boring enough, but I listened to the B minor Mass by Bach a couple of times and it made time go by a bit faster.

I hope to make it to Utah by tomorrow.

Blogging will depend on Internet access. I will take advantage of it when it is free.

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July 25, 2004

One last night in Chicago

Okay, I am home from Cincinnati. It was a Reconciliation Conflict Management meeting with the Cincinnati/Dayton Retrouvaille community to clear up some problems they had been having. The meeting was held at a hotel in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky.

Flew into Chicago this morning, and now it is time to pack the car and head to my new home in California. I was going to start driving today but decided to get a good nights sleep before beginning.

Does anyone live close to I-80?

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July 22, 2004

A mis-named book

I got a few things done today and even enjoyed a bit of the Arizona sunshine. One thing I did today was read a book I had picked up on a lark in a half-price book store in Cleveland.

I had seen the book before but had avoided it. Reactionary, overly conservative books are not my favorite, but this one was only $3.00 and so I thought I would check out anf see, just for fun, what this guy thought was wrong with Vatican II.

The book is titled: "What Went Wrong With Vatican II" by Ralph M. McInerney.

Well, I was surprised. It is an excellent book. It would be better titled "What Went Wrong After Vatican II." The author fully supports Vatican II and everything it proclaimed. His thesis is that there is a crisis of authority after the council and that the faithful have been forced to choose between the authority of dissident theologians and the ordinary magisterium of the church. The book was a very balanced presentation.

Another proof that you cannot judge a book by its cover.

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July 19, 2004


The Giants had a great game and I came home with a souvenir, a foul ball hit into the second deck off the bat of SF Giant Ray Durham in the top of the seventh.

One more game tomorrow night we have the treat of seeing Randy Johnson pitch.

They said it was going to be 112 degrees tomorrow, too.

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From Phoenix, AZ. Well, I get a few days of quiet here for vacation, BUT!!!!, both Province and Retrouvaille have given me work that needs to be done by the weekend. Arggghhh. Oh well, I will squeeze it in.

Tonight I see the Giants/Diamondbacks game. Go Giants!

Retrouvaille went very well. The teams were excellent. We had 30 couples. Continue praying for them as they continue their journey of healing.

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July 14, 2004


Done, finished, complete, put a fork in it, it is done. It took the better part of two whole days. The experience of putting little numbers into little boxes. Some categories got divided 50/50, some two fifths/three fifths. It all balanced in the end, and I even figured out how to divide the remaining funds between two provinces. There was one two hour period where I searched in vain for the reason why I had a missing $3000 on the report. All the numbers were there, it just did not add up the same. It was such a relief to find that one figure, put a minus sign in front of it, and finally everything balances. I promise, I will never take another position where I have to be the one to compile the financial report. I am so grateful to be going to a parish with a fulltime book-keeper.

I am so ready for vacation.

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July 12, 2004


It has been a restful couple of days. I do not follow the American League much, so I did not know that the Cleveland Indians were so dominant when it come to the Oakland A's. I enjoyed the hospitality of some Cleveland fans when their team was winning, but I experienced some drunken near hostility in the section where I was sitting on the evening that the As demolished the Cleveland Bullpen with 13 runs and eventually finished the game at 16-7.

Sunday I attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The Rector was the presider and preacher. I appreciated his homily a great deal, but he was a bit loose around the edges with the text of the mass. The music was simple and beautiful. One curiosity was the communion hymn. They used the antiphon from "A Simple Command" by Peloquin, and the verses came from "No Greater Love" by Joncas. I thought it worked well, and that early morning congregation sang it very well.

I enjoyed the singing of the Gloria. It was a simple chant setting by John Lee, the same one that had been used at my ordination.

Today there are no baseball games to attend. I am just relaxing, making it a mini retreat out here in the wilds of Plainsville, Ohio. Today was spent reading some of the books I brought punctuated with th psalms of the liturgy of hours. It is a muggy rainy day, but I took a side trip to the Presidential home of James Garfield and did a little tour of Presidential politics around 1880.

Tomorrow I return to Chicago for a few days before taking off again. There I will hopefully conclude the annual summer penance of putting numbers into little boxes, otherwise known as annual Financial Reports.

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July 8, 2004

How I spent My Summer Vacation

Blogging will continue as Internet access is available

I leave in the morning (7/9/04) for Cleveland for a bit of vacation which includes three games with the Oakland A's and the Cleveland Indians. From Cleveland I head to Houston where I will be doing their Retrouvaille weekend. From Houston I go to Phoenix for more vacation, this time with a bunch of friends, and it includes two games with the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks. From Phoenix I go to Cincinnati for a bit of Retrouvaille business. I hope you are all keeping that troubled community in your prayers. On July 25 I go from Cincinnati to Chicago. On the 25th I will retrieve my car and drive to St. Louis. That will begin the drive to my new home in California. I hope to arrive on the 29th because we have an all day Provincial Council meeting on the 30th. On the 31st and August 1st I will be spending my first weekend at the new parish. August 2nd I fly to Chicago. I will be on Retreat in Rensselaer, IN August 2-6. It is a national Retreat sponsored by the five Precious Blood Communities of men and women on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the canonization of St. Gaspar del Bufalo. On August 6th I will fly back home to Newark, CA. August 7/8 is a busy weekend at the parish. On the 14th of August I fly back to Chicago as one of the men I have been working with these past three years will be making his final profession on the 15th. Also there is the whole process of unpacking, getting moved in and getting settled. I am hoping that by the end of August I will be getting back to sense of normality.

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July 6, 2004

A moving experience

It was very moving!

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Moving Day

The movers are expected today. I am still tieing up details, taping boxes, etc.

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July 5, 2004

Public Discussion

I am not entirely sure I want to do this, but it was a significant part of the discussion Sunday night at Calvert House. I am assuming that people have read the Bishop's document on Politicians in Public Life.

This is not a political blog, and I am loath to discuss politics here. So nothing here can be construed as support for any candidate for political office.

The thing that troubles me: the discuss of an individual's conscience in the public arena. Refusing communion to anyone should not be part of public discussion. A pastor has an obligation to address the conscience of any Catholic who public professes erroneous views, but I am not entirely sure that the public arena is the best place to address that conscience. It is not good pastoral practice to declare someone in error, if I as a pastor have not addressed that person individually first.

The following is a comment from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. I find it the best thing I have read on the subject recent ly. It is balanced and clear.

The line that intrigues me:

When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

Here is the whole document:

Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. General Principles

by Joseph Ratzinger

1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious
decision, based on a reasoned judgement regarding one's worthiness to
do so, according to the Church's objective criteria, asking such questions as: "Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?" The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," nos. 81, 83).

2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorise or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a "grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to `take part in a propoganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it'" (no. 73). Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God's law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it" (no. 74).

3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise iscretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

4. Apart from an individuals's judgement about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person's formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church's teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3- 4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgement on the
person's subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person's public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

[N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in
the presence of proportionate reasons.]

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Final Packing Day

The movers come tomorrow.

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July 4, 2004

Update on Mom

Kathy reports that Mom is home and they have given her some meds to relieve the pain and allow her to rest comfortably. Thanks for the prayers, especially for my sister who is taking some much needed vacation.

Happy 4th of July!

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July 3, 2004


Prayers would be appreciated for my Mother who was taken to Emergency this morning and is still there. Also for my sister who is attending to her needs at the moment. Mom will be 79 this September.

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An achievement

Budgets, bills, reports, myriad numbers in myriad little boxes. It is a monthly, quarterly and annual penance.

I have not been looking forward to these days. It is the annual chore. It is the beginning of July and I am trying to close the books on the year. So I spent the entire day paying bills, and balancing check statements. It is a $257,000 budget to run this place, not terribly large by the standards of the parish I am going to, but there will be a fulltime bookkeeper there.

Well, after all the numbers were in place, I let the computer generate a first draft annual report. The chief achievement is to get the bottom line on the report to match the check book balanced statement. I remember last year spending half of a day looking for $0.35 cents.

Well, everything balanced on the first run. Everything balanced the first time, all the numbers figure out.

Small things like this excite me.

I still have to generate three separate reports for the two provinces and the other religious community. (Did I fail to mention that I was the formation director for the Glenmary Missioners this past year, another Institute of Apostolic Life. )

After the reports are run, filed and the movers come, I am on vacation. Yippee!!!

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July 2, 2004


Moving is so detailed. Changed the info today for Gas, electric, phones, cable, and bank, booked travel for Cleveland, Phoenix, Houston, Cincinnati, and changed address on Credit cards. American Express messed up the bill for the third month in a row. They seem to do this every summer and it always seems to cost me money. United Van Lines is coming Tuesday. The place is a mess and I can't find anything. But there is a huge stack of mail and a bunch of bills to pay. I just love financial reports. They are next. Cleveland and Phoenix are vacation, using up some free tickets. Houston and Cincinnati are both Retrouvaille. I have Gregorian chant going through my brain, so ended up singing the psalms all day. Actually, it made all the details pleasurable.

Actually this morning started out very well. I found myself wide awake at 4:50am this morning and so found myself out on the deck at 5:00am as the sun rose, chanting psalms and listening to the birds sing. It was a piece of heaven.

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June 21, 2004


from Indiana. It is summertime here, and getting Internet access was quite an adventure especially as I had all these files I needed to forward to people in Rome and California.

Chant workshop is going well. I will sing the liturgy this evening. More later.

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June 19, 2004

turn around time

unpack, do laundry, repack. Greetings from Chicago. Today is the drive to Rensselaer, Indiana where I will stay until June 30.

It is time for Jeff Kirch's Ordination, and for the Chant Institute.

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June 8, 2004


Meetings with the current pastor of St. Edward, with the Executive Team of the Pastoral Council, interviewing candidates for the musician's job, all in all, very busy days.

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June 3, 2004

Packing up the computer, heading

Packing up the computer, heading to California. Please pray for the safe journey of all traveling to Fresno Retrouvaille.

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June 2, 2004

Ok, Where is that?

Suddenly, you know just where to find that passaage. Oh, all the books are in boxes, 41 boxes.

Ever heard of a needle in a haystack?

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June 1, 2004

Packing is Done

All the major packing is done. I still have stacks of work sitting here, but the road is calling.

June 2, Cubs and Astros, Going Away Dinner
June 3, Graduation
June 4-7 Fresno, CA
June 7-18 San Leandro, CA
June 19-30, Rennselaer, IN
July 1 Return to Chicago
July 1-7 My favorite, paying bills, balancing books, making reports
July 6, Movers Come
July 7-10 Destination undecided
July 11-18 Houston, TX
July 19-23 Phoenix, AZ
July 24, Cinncinati, OH (Work intrudes)
July 25, Chicago, begin drive to California
August 1, New Pastorate begins

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Thanks Steve

Steve has been a great help. We packed over 33 boxes of books the other day and to day is the art and incidentals.

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May 29, 2004


... is going slow. Threw out the back this morning. Finally found my brace this evening. Still, with help from one of the choir members, we packed 33 boxes today. It will be Motrin tonight.

Tomorrow is my last time at Bond Chapel. I will miss them.

Happy Pentecost everyone!

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May 26, 2004

Virtual Tour

Here are are some pictures of St. Edward Parish I took this week on a visit. I am looking forward to working here.

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Back Home

Back home for a brief respite. Greetings from Chicago. I am taking the day off. Our deacon and I are going to a White Sox game. I have been to Wrigley field many times but this is my first time at the South Side American League park.

[UPDATE: Excellent game, The Whites Sox defeated the Texas Rangers 4-0]

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May 24, 2004

A Visit

Today was spent visiting the parish. I become pastor of St. Edward Parish in Newark, CA on August 1st. I interviewed two applicants for the music job, visited the school and spent some time speaking with the principal, and then had dinner with the current pastor and with the provincial.

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May 23, 2004

Re: Special Prayers Wanted

Ahem. More that 200 people stopped by here in that past couple of days and only three people posted promises of prayer for Mike and David to see when they log on here from Iraq. Email addresses are not required, and you can post anonymously. Are y'all praying? A few posts here will give some encouragement to a few young men serving your country. Ahem. Ahem.

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May 21, 2004

Special Prayers Wanted

Mark and Betty Squier serve as the Resource Enrichment Team along with Fr. Jerry Foley. They are here in California serving on the International Board for Retrouvaille. All the while their sons are serving in Iraq. Recently Mike got a chance to cross paths with his brother Dave over in Kirkuk. Please keep these guys in prayer, and say one for their parents too. Mark and Betty are going to send this web address to Dave and Mike so they can see this and I am sure they would appreciate seeing you post prayers for them and their buddies over there.

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Greetings from California

It is a very busy time. I am at the Board of Directors Meeting for Retrouvaille International here in Pleasanton, CA. Meeting starts at 7:30am tomorrow and finishes with Night Prayer at 9:30pm, so not much blogging to be expected.

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May 18, 2004

Happy Birthday

I took this picture on his birthday last year during an audience the Holy Father had with the Precious Blood Community on the Canonization of St. Maria de Mattias.

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May 17, 2004

I'm home

Mountains of mail and email. Just a bit exhausted. I am doing busy work and working on next week's projects. But home after a good Retrouvaille experience. More later.

Oh yes, and today is the anniversary of my ordination to the Diaconate, 1991.

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May 13, 2004

Mission Country

Found over at Mark Shea's:

It's time to re-evaluate our involvement.

Every day there are news reports about more deaths. Every night on TV are photos of death and destruction.
Why are we still there?

We occupied this land, which we had to take by force, but it causes nothing but trouble.
Why are we still there?

Their government is unstable, and they have no leadership.
Why are we still there?

Many of their people are uncivilized, or at least don't speak English.
Why are we still there?

There are more than 1,000 religious sects and almost as many languages and dialects, many of which we don't understand.
Why are we still there?

We can't even secure the borders.
Why are we still there?

They are billions of dollars in debt and it will cost billions more to rebuild, which we can't afford.
Why are we still there?

It is becoming clear.

It was a good for a morning chuckle.

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May 12, 2004

Today, dusting, tossing, packing, and long theological discussions with seminarians who are delaying heading off to school. Oh yeah, and paying bills. ugh!

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May 11, 2004

Blogging in Freedom

Blogging as an experience of freedom.

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May 9, 2004

Sedes Sapientiae

One of the highlights of today was the blessing and the opening of the new Sedes Sapientiae Adoration Chapel at Calvert House.
Bishop Perry, the Episcopal Vicar for our region was the presider. Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR was one of the concelebrants along with Fr. Mike Yakaitis and myself. The chapel is in honor of the Servant of God Fulton Sheen. Members of his family were there. Fr. Apostoli is the procura for the cause of Fulton Sheen.

I had lunch with Fr. Bruce Harbert, the executive Director ICEL, along with Fr. Mike, Melissa, and fellow blogger Aristotle Esguerra. The discussion was fascinating and insightful as we got an inside look into the complexities of translating of the Sacramentary.

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May 7, 2004


One of the things about moving is that it is a trip down memory lane. Many files and papers get tossed. I think I have filled the dumpster once. Half the boxes in storage have been emptied and flattened. But then there are the pictures. I do not ever remember throwing away a picture. I think I have four boxes full.

Here is one I came across today:

It was taken May 17, 1991 before my ordination as a Deacon. It was held at St. Edward Church where I am to become Pastor on August 1st.

When I was a seminarian for the Diocese of Oakland, I was assigned to a year of Pastoral Internship. That was in 1978 and it was at St. Edward. The Pastor was Ricardo Chavez, a Diocesan Priest.

After I left the seminary and worked as a Music Minister, I was employed for four years as Director of Music for Parish and School at St. Edward. That was 1984-88. The Pastor was Marvin Steffes, CPPS.

Since ordination I have preached Missions and Retreats all over this country and in four other countries. In 1999 I preached a Parish Mission at St. Edward. The Pastor was Jeffrey Finley, CPPS.

In 2002 I was invited to give a Evening of Reflection as part of a series of six evenings on Precious Blood Spirituality. The series was designed to invite people to consider being Precious Blood Companions. The series was held at St. Edward.

On August 1, 2004 I become Pastor of St. Edward Parish.

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13 days

.....left for packing. Today, however, I am back to the dentist, and then back here for a meeting on the budget. (ok, why is all this lenten penance packed into the Easter Season?)

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First Communion

For me it was celebrated May 7th, 1961. This day is also the anniversary of my definitive incorporation as a Missionary of the Precious Blood. The anniversary we observe is generally the day we make our first incorporation (profession). (just a hint: that anniversary is tomorrow).

For those of you who have never heard of a Society of Apostolic Life, that is what we are as Missionaries of the Precious Blood. We do not make a profession of the three vows as Religious do even though the Evangelical Counsels are included in the one act of Incorporation. We make a promise of fidelity to the Bond of Charity and by that act are incorporated into the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. So, Religious celebrate the anniversary of their profession and Missionaries of the Precious Blood celebrate the anniversary of their Incorporation. Sometimes we use the term profession just so people have a sense of what we are talking about. Incorporation sometimes sounds like we are starting a business, but our Incorporation is something very different. We look on it as a fulfillment and completion of our Baptism.

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May 6, 2004

14 more

...still packing.

I wasn't a neat freak before, but now the place is a real mess. But this afternoon I will get some time just to lie there and let the dentist work on my teeth.

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May 5, 2004

15 days left

...still packing, cleaning, tossing, sweeping.

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May 4, 2004

A Moving Experience

16 Packing days left. I move on June 2nd. I am only in town 16 of those days between now and then. June and July I will be living out a suitcase in several cities. August 1st I land in a new parish, and August 2nd I fly back to Chicago. Go figure.

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May 2, 2004


I am planning my vacation. Does anyone have any ideas? I have a bunch of free tickets and can go just about anywhere in the USA. I am looking for a restful vacation after all the packing and moving and before I become a pastor again.

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April 29, 2004

More from Catherine

Deny yourself in the Blood of Christ crucified; drink deeply of the blood; fill yourself with the Blood; vest yourself in the Blood. If you have been unfaithful, be baptized again in the Blood; if the devil has clouded your intellectual vision, bathe your eyes in the blood; if you have been unappreciative of unrecognized gifts, be grateful in the Blood; if you have been a lax shepherd, forgetful of the rod of justice tempered with prudence, undo that in the BloodIn the heat of the Blood dissipate your tepidity. In the light of the Blood banish your darkness, so that you may be the spouse of the Truth and the true shepherd and guardian of the flock placed in your hands.

St. Catherine of Sienas advice to Priests

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April 28, 2004


...In Chicago. Tired, fatigued. ok...sleep!

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April 27, 2004


.... home to Chicago today

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April 24, 2004

Greetings from California

It is a restful day but there is much work to be done. So many projects.... I will be blogging again by Monday.

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April 15, 2004

Voice of the Faithful

Here's some more revealing information about Voice of the Faithful. Thanks to JohnH for pointing this out.

I have been pondering ways to meet people and to hear ideas about the future direction of the parish. I become Pastor again on August 1, 2004.

I was thinking of having a variety of town hall meetings over several months. I do not plan on making any immediate changes to the parish beside just the change of Pastor. My main question is going to be "How did you do it last year?" Obviously Fr. Finley and I are two different people, but he is much loved by the people and has done a great job over the past 14 years there.

I was thinking of having meetings with the Staff, and with the Pastoral Council just to hear their experience and ideas. Then I thought I would have town hall meetings, first with the elders in the parish, then with Young Families (child care provided) and then with the Youth, simply to hear their questions, their needs, and to get their ideas.

In order to have a voice, I also have to be able to listen. Listening is not something that VOTF seems to be doing. There has to be a better way than VOTF.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 1:05 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

A Great Example

Bishop Vigneron of Oakland writes a regular column in the Catholic Voice. He is planning to use the next several articles to provide some commentary on the coming ad limina visits of the American Bishops, and on the Holy Father's words to the Bishops.

I found his current (April 12) commentary very encouraging.

Pope John Paul II leaves us in no doubt about the path that will lead to the reconciliation and renewal he is prescribing for what ails the Church in America: a holier priesthood, a holier episcopate and a holier Church (Address # 1, sec. 1).

Effective reform can only come from interior renewal, from conversion from sin and turning back to obeying the Lords commandments. So, the first of our marching orders from our Holy Father the Pope is to recommit ourselves to putting off the ways of the old Adam and living the life of Christ in the Spirit.

In taking to heart the challenge of the Holy Father, I cannot help but think of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, which is the very means our Savior gave us to accomplish the goal the Pope says we must work for.

So, I intend to start a series of discussions with the consultative bodies of our diocese about how we can mobilize the resources of our local Church for the continued revitalization of the practice of frequent Confession. Peter, speaking through his Vicar John Paul II, has pointed out to us where we must begin. Now, we need to strategize about how to move forward on the path he has traced out.

I fully acknowledge that the Pope says the renewal of the Church in Oakland must begin with the reform of the Bishop of Oakland, that is, with me. If we are to become holier, I must become holier. It is my practice to see my spiritual father for direction and Confession frequently.

I am resolved to be more careful about being faithful to this commitment and to make the issue of my growth in holiness for the sake of our Diocese a regular theme of my dialogue with my confessor. I will begin again to follow Christ, so that I can lead you to Him.

What was encouraging is that this is the similar to the same conversation I had with my spiritual director today.

Also in the current issue of the Voice there were several letters to the editor criticizing Bp. Vigneron for not letting the Voice report on or advertize the local VOTF conference. His response to that is clear and direct

In these words of Peters Vicar I find clear confirmation of my serious doubts about any group or movement that seeks to build up the Church while withholding assent from the Churchs teachings.

I am looking forward to working in the Oakland Diocese again.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 12:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 14, 2004

Taxing Day

Yep, the taxes are due tomorrow. oh well, checking account is $500 poorer.

The other thing today is cooking, like I did not have enough of it Sunday. That was Calvert House, this is home, it is my turn to cook. But it is still Easter and every day is a solemnity, so...

Lamb Roast (special Garlic Marinade) Herbed Basmati Rice Mixed Veggies with garlic and Onions Cheese Tortelinni, marinara Tossed Salad Garlic Bread Wine

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Good News

Jenna is home from the hospital. Thanks be to God.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 1:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 13, 2004

Prayers Needed

My great-niece Jenna is in need of prayers. She is 9 months old and she is in the hospital fighting off a virus. Prayers appreciated. And say some prayrs for her mom, Julie, and for her grandmother, my sister who arrived home in California to find out about this.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 7:16 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Nope, not me, not here

A Voice of the Faithful petition was received in the mail today. While I have some sympathy for some of their views, I do not agree with their work. Only a Bishop and a Diocese can claim to represent the voice of the faithful. And yes, that bishop is a sinner, just like me. So, the petition went in the round file.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 3:32 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

April 6, 2004

A Little Grammar Problem

I saw this cute little thing in the Newsweek that showed up today. It was a short little sidebar on a book of grammar. One example of how grammar changes things is:

A woman without her man would be nothing.

Now just add a little punctuation and see how it changes.

A woman: without her, man would be nothing.


Me thinks that maybe it is just our punctuation that needs reforming.

Too often people sing in church:

Here I am, Lord.

when what they really mean is.

Here, I am Lord.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 7:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 5, 2004

Prayer Request

Urgent prayers needed. Christopher, whom I met with his family during a recent mission in Arizona, was just informed that his Father has had two heart attacks in the last 12 hours. His Father is only 45 years old. This is the first time something like this has happened to him. He has been in pretty good health. He is in critical condition in the hospital right now. I spoke with Chris a while ago and let him know we would be praying for him and his family, and that the intention of the mass in the morning would be for his Father.

Everyone else, leave your prayer notes in the comment box for Chris to see.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 7:02 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Great Perspective

I really enjoyed reading this post.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 11:13 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 3, 2004

Enter Into Holy Week

Deny yourself in the Blood of Christ crucified; drink deeply of the blood; fill yourself with the Blood; vest yourself in the Blood. If you have been unfaithful, be baptized again in the Blood; if the devil has clouded your intellectual vision, bathe your eyes in the blood; if you have been unappreciative of unrecognized gifts, be grateful in the Blood; if you have been a lax shepherd, forgetful of the rod of justice tempered with prudence, undo that in the BloodIn the heat of the Blood dissipate your tepidity. In the light of the Blood banish your darkness, so that you may be the spouse of the Truth and the true shepherd and guardian of the flock placed in your hands.

St. Catherine of Sienas advice to Priests

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:38 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


This promises to be an interesting blog to follow. He describes himself as a former Hindu being fully initiated into the Catholic Church next week at the Easter Vigil, and a future medical student. Welcome to the world of Catholic Blogs!

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:37 AM | TrackBack

Happy Birthday

Dad would be 84 today.

Francis W. Keyes is in the first row, far left. The picture was taken in 1929.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:02 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 2, 2004

Grand News

This won't make the news, for some reason.

150,000 will enter the Catholic Church at the easter Vigil this year.

Here is a link I got from Bill Cork's site.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 25, 2004

Precious Blood

There is a neat little prayer to the Precious Blood over at Ever-New. It seems to be loosely based on the Precious Blood Chaplet.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 2:43 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Amen, Amen, Amen!

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 9:16 AM | TrackBack


Greetings on the Feast!

This really is the central mystery of our faith:

Two things:

1. Flesh and Blood

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. God is near, available, personal. We can have a relationship with the creator of the universe in the flesh, and whatever we do to flesh and blood we to to God.

2. The will of God

This is the most we can say of her. She heard the Word of God and put it into practice. Here am I, I come to do your will. When Jesus said " Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and put it into practice," he was not diminishing Mary, but he was describing her. She is the first disciple. She is the one who responded first. This is what it means to have a devotion to Mary, we listen for God's Word, we fall in love with God's will, and we put it into practice, and then the Word of God becomes again, flesh and blood.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 24, 2004

Paschal Triduum

Hmmm...I think he goes a little further than the rubrics do.

He says:

This is made clear by the rubrics which, in one form of the rite, describe how this cross may be progressively unveiled, showing first the top of the cross but not the face, then the right arm, and finally the entire body

I immediately consulted a sacramentary. The rubrics are not at all clear, they never use the word crucifix, they always use the word cross, they never refer to arm, face or body.

Is he looking at a different book?

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 22, 2004

Lent is the time to kick the Catholic but...

This is really cool.

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March 18, 2004

St Joseph, Pray for us!

This prayer was written by Ed Gleason, a Retrouvaille husband from San Francisco, California. Ed Gleason was also responsible for having Retrouvaille International name St. Joseph as the patron saint of Retrouvaille.

Based on Matthew 1:18-25

We ask your prayers, St. Joseph, an upright man, a spouse who planned to divorce Mary in secret and who by God's grace was able to see his role in God's plan. We ask you in our behalf to pray to God that our marriage be healed.

We are enveloped in pain and despair as you must have been when you learned of Mary's pregnancy. Be for and with us, Joseph, in our hour of doubt. Let us listen to and heed the voice of God as you did.

Be our intercessor to your Jesus, to give us the blessings to change, to listen, to forgive and most of all to hope that our marriage will heal and our family remain whole and holy.

We give you honor, quiet St. Joseph, for you are a spouse like us, who while knowing pain, did not divorce. By God's grace you nourished the Holy Family and the Savior of all families throughout the ages.


Thanks to Dave & Maria Elena Byron, Oakland team couple and Interim San Francisco coordinators, and the couple who first introduced me to Retrouvaille, for forwarding this prayer.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 11:15 PM | TrackBack

Flipper Wars

It is not even Spring yet. We have Spring and Summer and a good chunk of Autumn before this is over. The Presidential Candidates are taking personal pot-shots at each other, and it is the issues that will suffer.

I think it is reasonable to change one's mind when new information or experience is available. This business of attacking someone for flip-flops is bogus on the face of it. It allows us not to discuss the issue.

All we will have then is a conflict between Bush's Flip Flops and Kerry's Flip Flops.

Also, I would encourage Catholic Bloggers out there not to become too closely defined by your identification with either candidate. Instead we should be identified with the respectful discussion of the issues and the search for truth. This election may turn into a schoolyard brawl. People who identify with Christ should try to do it differently.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 2:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Liturgy as Dance

What are people thinking and feeling about Liturgical Dance these days? One recent correspondent indicated she thought dance would eventually be approved for the liturgy.

Having been to the Vatican and participated in the opening liturgy for the Synod on Asia, I have witnessed movement that is integral to the liturgy. One moment that was exquisite was the offering of incense and flowers after the Eucharistic Prayer.

This is quite different from what I have seen in the US where Dance is a little performance somewhat separate and added on to the movement of the liturgy. Sometimes I have seen it done well, and sometimes it has been poorly performed and a distraction from the liturgy.

Our sense of reverence in movement, procession, gesture seems to be missing from our culture and I am wondering how it might be restored.

Movement should not call attention to itself. Movement that is focused on an offering of gifts to the altar or a presentation of flowers and incense, or a solemn procession for entrance and communion, should be done with care, reverence and beauty.

I would be interested in your thoughts and experience.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 9:48 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack