Perception, priorities, and possible paths

For the first 70 days of the pandemic when the area church’s shutdown, my days were long and demanding for a whole variety of reasons. Eventually we hit the steady-state of a new normal. I took a breath and decided to take up reading. I had long had Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” on my “I want to get around to reading” list. The promo for the book is “Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted.”  In other words, why did some societies collapse while other survived. It is not a short read, not overly academic, but was an engaging narrative even if “slow” at times. Continue reading

Figuring things out

It is Memorial Day 2020. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost a loved one who died while actively serving their country. In the morning, before the sun was up, I celebrated a private Mass (lots of those these days!) for all those we honor on this day, for my Naval Academy classmates who have already gone on to God’s bright glory, and in thanksgiving for all our parishioners who have served and are serving their country. God’s blessings be upon all. Continue reading

Finding our way

Today our parish will offer our first public Mass in some 60 days. It is not as simple as opening the doors to the church and celebrating in the usual way. There are limitations on the number of people that can be admitted. We have roped off every other pew (actually we used ribbon) and limited access to only the main aisle. We are required to have ushers at the door equipped with a counter so that once we reach the prescribed number of people, no further entry will be allowed. Continue reading

Vaccines, Antibodies, and Love

At the beginning of this time of pandemic, it was interesting to read stories of people on an extended wilderness sojourn as they returned to their normal life. In the several weeks away, they discovered there was nothing normal about the world they had left. They returned to find covid-19, masks, social distancing, sheltering at home, and a world reporting and tracking pandemic. Continue reading

In hours before dawn

I mentioned to some folks this week that the rhythm of my life seems to have re-adapted itself to life from my days in the submarine service. While underway, life unfolded in an 18-hour day. Six of the hours were spent on watch/duty operating the nuclear reactor or piloting the boat (submarines are always referred to as “boat”). The other 12 hours were allocated to rest, meals and the on-going work. For my part, I seem to remember 4 hours or so of sleep as the norm. That norm seems to have returned as I seem to routinely get about 4-5 hours a night. The parish business manager just smiles and tells me it is not a reversion to submarine duty, its old age. This is my blog, so you can just ignore his input. Continue reading

Images of empty

To be sure, every locale has its own set of “images of empty” – places normally teaming with life, people, and activity. This is one from Clearwater, Florida. On any given day the beach and parking lot are jammed by early morning. Not these days

Photography by Tampa Bay Times photographer Luis Santana

Covenant People

This Easter Vigil, the “homily” is presented in a different way. We chose to have an introduction before each Old Testament Reading that began to thematically weave together the homily message and then conclude during the homily proper. The picture above is our church during the procession of light. A reminder of the richness of the Vigil liturgy. Continue reading