Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Campion Center Art and Spirituality LIve-streaming

Join us for three Wednesday evenings in June of prayer and creativity. Sponsored by Campion Center. Session one focuses upon the importance of breath to root us and ground us for a more engaging prayer.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Update on Dara: May 28th

I spoke with Dara tonight and she gave me some good news. Last night, today, and earlier this week, the staff got her out of bed to stand up. She said that once she was helped out of bed, she stood on her own for a while. She feels that one day she'll be able to take some steps. She is feeling strong this week; last week she felt weak. We talked for twenty-five minutes, which is a long time, and she was mostly clear. We talked about our mother's would-be birthday tomorrow.

I know that when people have called her, they feel awkward because they cannot always understand her. Tell her to slow down and to speak more loudly. Speaking louder is good for her, and it helps her articulate better and speak more clearly. She is pleased with your calls, so don't feel funny that you can't always understand her. Just tell her, and do it when necessary. She won't get frustrated.

She is pleased with all the cards she has received, and she received a blanket as a gift from a Douglas friend. It has really lifted her spirits.

I'll just post her contact data again for informational purposes. If you plan to call her sometime in the future, please put the information in your phone or contact list so you have it for future reference.


Dara Predmore
2017 250th Street
Lomita, CA 90717

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Update on Dara: May 17th

Some good news is that Dara was able to be visited by her boyfriend, Dale, yesterday through a plexiglass window. She enjoyed being able to see him and to talk with him as she has been in two month seclusion.

I've talked with her nearly every day over the past week and she is talkative. I don't always follow her sentences, but she keeps going on with her story. Her voice sounds stronger and she is more articulate and when she puts volume into her words, she is understandable. The longer she tells the story, the softer her voice becomes.

She has been on a complaining tear. The CNA's are not responsive to her requests, staff members come into her room and take her snacks for their own enjoyment, they won't bring her outside, and she is bored. She isn't always able to know what she is eating for a meal, but she feels satisfied enough with having enough food.

I am happy with all the complaining because it is about her situation rather than her health. If she were too weak to talk about her health, she would talk about her headache. This complaining is qualitatively different and it shows that she is more in control of her situation. She is a fighter and she is determined to get stronger.

The amazing thing is that her mind and memory are sharp. She can tell you how COVID-19 is affecting each state, she is aware of birthdays and anniversaries, she can tell you something newsworthy about Tom Brady, she knows the weather, and she is aware of a lot. She is better informed of news items than many people.

Two points of note: The one year mark of her aneurysm is approaching. Though it is sad, she is still fighting. I just wish we could get in there to see her and that her therapy could resume. Tomorrow is the memorial of her former boyfriend, Dennis, who suffered a stroke early in his life. Dara was a loving friend and caretaker to him.

O, one more thing. When I talk with Dara, she remarks about all the pretty bird sounds. I usually call her when I go outside for a walk. The birds make her happy. Her sense of hearing in keen.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers of children, at whatever age you are.
Happy Mother's Day to those women who are soon-to-become mothers.
Happy Mother's Day to women of adopted children and Guardians.
Happy Mother's Day for all women who have raised children not their own and have accepted them as their own.
Happy Mother's Day to those women whose bodies were unable to conceive or carry new life.
Happy Mother's Day to women whose spouse or partner was unable help them become mothers.
Happy Mother's Day to those women whose circumstances in life, whether through choices, disability, timing, did not make motherhood possible.
Happy Mother's Day to those women hoped for marriage but marriage did not come their way.
Happy Mother's Day to those women who grieve the loss of their husband or partner.
Happy Mother's Day for those of us whose mothers have died and gone before us in the faith.
Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers who await reunion with their children in heaven.
Happy Mother’s Day to all those whose child did not come to full term. 
Happy Mother's Day to women for whom the timing for relationships did not align.
Happy Mother's Day to those women who remain single.
Happy Mother's and Father's Day to women who raise their children on their own.
Happy Mother's Day to men who raise children on their own.
Happy Mother's Day to our beloved sisters.
Happy Mother's Day to our dear aunts.
Happy Mother's Day to our grandmothers.
Happy Mother's Day to best friend and girlfriends.
Happy Mother's Day to all those women who loved and formed us.
Happy Mother's Day to those men in our lives who mothered and formed us in love and care.
Happy Mother's Day to everyone who has cared for us and nurtured us lovingly.
Happy Mother’s Day to all who loved.
Happy Mother's Day to everyone who tried.

Thanks be to God. This is your day. Let's help you celebrate.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Music for Holy Week

A Holy Week Gift

Holy Thursday
“Love One Another” (Dufford): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j00nL_6oAPQ
“As I Have Done for You” (Schutte): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9oBFRjmuIA
“Take and Eat” (Joncas): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYvp7w3Y4jU
“In The Shadow of Your Wings” (O’Connor) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umtxAxCS5R0
“Stay with Me (Berthier):” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0swtx9JUnQ

Good Friday:
“Into Your Hands” (Waddell): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diuvCJqbQr0
“Jesus the Lord” (O’Connor): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTz96YXl0aQ
“Behold the Wood of the Cross” (Schutte): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2FDIRvoHf8
“Behold the Lamb of God” (Dufford): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWFXEsFNSZM
“Jesus, Remember Me” (Berthier): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXP3oUatFt0

Easter Sunday:
“Jesus is Risen Let Us Sing”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glCv5zDx-2M.  
“This is the Day the Lord Has Made” (Haugen):
“Wake the World with Dawning Joy” (Warner),: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG7pgMeSIGk
“Out of Darkness” (Walker): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7Cw0peb0FE
“Jesus Lives” (Waddell): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA2HqlMHmvU.
“Jesus Christ is Risen Today” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT7dGcsrPkQ

Some other pieces:
Holy Thursday:
“Ubi Caritas” (Gjeilo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvI5sNucz1w/ 

Exultet:  We’ve done a number at St. John’s.  This is Roc’s version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r79O_Jq_MDc/ 
“I Have Been Anointed” (Warner): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZwUyWC5Cvo

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Praying Through Holy Week and COVID-19

Praying throughout Holy Week and COVID-19

In Boston, it is unfortunate timing that the surge in COVID-19 diagnoses happens during Holy Week, and yet it offers us an opportunity to align our plight with the suffering of Jesus. As we keep ourselves physically separated, it can be a time for increased prayer and deeper study of the Passion narratives.

The Passion unfolds for us each day this week. It might be a good practice for us to choose one particular synoptic Gospel Passion narrative to read each day so that we immerse ourselves in the depths of the passages. (We will hear John’s Passion Narrative in its entirety on Friday, and it is more complex.) This will allow us to hear the account of one of the Evangelists so we savor the points he is detailing.

As we pray, we read it slowly and we note the words and phrases that pique our curiosity or have strong feelings attached to them. When this happens, take some time for reflection and then return to that passage and read it again. Let the words sink into your consciousness. The Lord has something to say to you about this passage. When you have some energy about a passage, explain to Jesus what is happening to you as you read it. If you have questions about it, please ask him, even if it is at a crucial time of his suffering.

Each day may bring about a different set of questions. Each day may bring about a new grace. This is the grace I suggest you pray before each passage this week, as it comes from the Passion Week of The Spiritual Exercises: I pray for the grace to have sorrow with Christ in sorrow; for a broken spirit with Christ so broken; tears; and interior suffering because of the great suffering Christ has endured for me.

If you cannot ask for that, ask at least for the desire for that grace.

A by-product of receiving that grace is increased compassion. We want to go through this week by having compassion on Jesus and to be one who consoles him by being silently present to him. He has to go through his suffering; we want to understand how he suffers.

I’m embedding a two excerpts from Jesuit writers about the grace of compassion that is common during the Third Week.

Compassion consists in a certain spiritual empathy, such that the contemplation of the Passion is itself a passion for the one contemplating, a suffering which is ours but in and through which Christ makes us sharers in his own. It can exist only as a mode of intense love. It transforms one’s perception of every meaning of the Passion and the quality of every response to it, and it is the key to the contemplative union-in-action by which through his apostles Christ continues to labor and suffer in the mission of the Church in the world.

Understanding the Spiritual Exercises by Michael Ivens, SJ

Our third week meditations also teach us how difficult acceptance is. When we cannot change a situation, we are tempted to walk away from it. We might literally walk away; we are too busy to sit with a suffering friend. Or we walk away emotionally; we harden ourselves and maintain an emotional distance. We might react to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ passion and death this way. They describe something terrible and horribly painful, yet we might shield ourselves from the pain. We know the story of the Passion. Ignatius wants us to experience it as something fresh and immediate. We learn to suffer with Jesus, and thus learn to suffer with the people in our lives.

In the end, we learn that Ignatian compassion is essentially our loving presence. There is nothing we can do. There is little we can say. But we can be there.

What Is Ignatian Spirituality? by David L. Fleming, SJ

Dear friends, know that I am praying alongside you. As we practice spiritual communion with the Lord, we do so with one another. I am praying for my increased compassion upon your situation and that the Lord may bless you during this difficult time.

There is one thing I want you to remember: This week is about a celebration. This week is a celebration of God’s abiding presence to us and to Jesus. His heart is touched by the obedience of faith that Jesus proved as his love for us. God wants us to know that God will be there during our trials and struggles. Give never gives up on us. As we move to the vigil, it becomes clear that this is a moment of God’s victory. We hear the stories of how God always protected and remained faithful to us, and that God wants to share his joy with us. This week is one of celebration, even in the midst of pain and anguish.

God will see us through COVID-19. God will see us through our emotional journey through physical distancing. God will deliver us, and we will return soon when we can worship God together.

I look forward to that day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Maybe a little good news for Dara, my sister?

I'm hoping there is a bit of good news for my sister, Dara. On February 22nd, her voice started becoming strong again, but then it weakened for a while. It is back to fuller strength and she is more audible. She is working on vocal clarity and a stronger speaking voice and it is helping.

I called her yesterday around 3:00 p.m. her time and she asked if I could talk later because she was going to therapy? What? Did I hear that right? She was going to therapy?

Now, I tried to call her back yesterday and today and I have not reached her. I sent an email to her case manager to get an update, but then Dale, her boyfriend, called me to say that she is beginning therapy and that she is very encouraged by it. I believe it is physical therapy and not speech therapy. I'll find out tomorrow for sure. It has nearly been a year, but it is a new day if she begins this crucial step.

In the meantime, she is in isolation. Feel free to call her at 424-251-4724.

or send a card of encouragement to:

Dara Predmore
2017 250th Street
Lomita, CA 90717

Many thanks. Hold steady on this COVID-19 crisis. We will get through it.