Monday, December 5, 2016

Baroque Concert Afterglow

The Christmas concert is over and we are rightly proud of the gift we produced. The North Shore crowds were certainly very pleased with their holiday injection, and we are rightly energized and exhausted.

The Honors Youth Chorus, which we sponsor, moved the audiences to tears of wonder and tears of laughter. They performed a haunting song about Mid-Winter longings that stopped many a breath during their well-performed song. They followed it up with snippets from The Nutcracker called Nutcracker Jingles - all sung to words of Jingle Bells.

The soprano, Rachele Schmiege, sang Bach/Gounod's Ave Maria, which was heart-stopping. Her vowels and tones were incredible. The contralto, Stephanie Kacoynis, sang O Holy Night with the same precision while the chorus joined her for the response.

We sang, O Dulcis Jubilo, Vivaldi's Magnificat, Vittoria's Ave Maria, Rachmaninoff's Ave Maria, Gretchaninoff's O Gladsome Light, the Ukrainian Carol of the Bells, Schram's O Come Little Children, Mendelssohn/Kern's Angels in Seven, with Gruber's Silent Night.

As I sang, I was wish my mother and father could have been present. This could be my mother's last Christmas and I would have liked her to be comforted by Silent Night one last time. These concerts are gifts that keep giving the spirit of life. A lot of people do not know they need these types of concerts, but it is a balm that comforts and brings tidings of joy.

After the concert, I visited my mother in the Rehab facility. I wanted to bring her some of the song and joy we experienced. I came home exhausted. All I could do is watch TV, so I turned on the movie "Spotlight" to see a film that I could not get to during its run in the theaters. I'm glad I saw it. It reminds me of the need for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dakota Pipeline Access Resources

Many of you may have heard about the protests about the Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172 mile-long underground oil pipeline project being built by a Dallas, Texas company called Energy Transfer Partners. The route begins in northwest North Dakota and runs southeast through South Dakota, Iowa, and into southern Illinois. The project was expected to be completed by year end.

The pipeline’s existence is controversial regarding its necessity and the negative effect upon the environment. The Meskwaki Indians in Iowa and the Sioux in the Dakotas have opposed the pipeline.

The Standing Rock Indian Reservation petitioned the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for an injunction and protests have been ongoing. Some confrontations between groups of protestors and law enforcement officials have recently made the national news.

I am enclosing a Google Docs resource sheet that lists several informational and advocacy sources.

Perhaps our biggest step is informing ourselves about this topic and the negative environmental aspects of future pipelines. The president-elect has promised to bring back the Keystone XL pipeline project that was rejected last year after intense activism.

It is also helpful to learn more about the nuances of our U.S. history with native peoples. We have a history of treaties, broken promises, national hurts, but equally important is the power of Native Americans’ souls, with hopes and ideals. As one people, one nation, it behooves us to understand the enormous issues facing one another.

Note: The protestors have placed wish list items on Amazon for anyone interested in contributing to their efforts: 

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Get Involved with the Jesuits

After a month and half of intense communication, we have reached the end of the Congregation and, with it, we will be closing down this channel.

During the last 6 weeks we have been communicating with almost 10.000 users through our daily newsletter and with more than 175.000 different users (1,25 million pages viewed) through our website. Our channels have been so alive that now we want to suggest you how you can keep in touch with us at the different levels of the apostolic work of the Society of Jesus.

Even when we are not going to send you any more emails, you could subscribe to some of our world-wide communication channels:
Click here to subscribe
In any case, it has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you from Rome: now is your time. Be in touch. See you in the networks.


Jesuit Immigration Reform

This weekend, 1,800 young people from Jesuit and Catholic high schools and colleges in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and El Salvador gathered for the Ignatian Family Teach In to reflect, network, share, and advocate for a more compassionate and just world.

I am always moved by their optimism and commitment to justice. Now more than ever our world needs to learn from their example.

Today these young people will be meeting with their elected officials to discuss the importance of compassionate and humane immigration policy and criminal justice reform.

Please join me in solidarity with them by contacting your elected officials to advance policies that respect the God-given dignity of every person, be they immigrants, refugees, or prisoners. 

You can contact your members of Congress by clicking the links below:

Our young people give me hope. Let us pray for their success today and join them in building a better world.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Still even more

To see photos of Cape Cod and Metro Boston, click on the link below:

Some more photos

To see photos of DC in the fall, click on the link below:

Miscellaneous Photos

To see photos of Miscellaneous New England, click on the link below:


Craigville Beach Photos

To see photos of the area surround Craigville Beach in Centerville, Cape Cod, click on the link below:

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A widening perspective

I must say that I am enjoying the Spanish language masses. I still feel woefully inadequate, especially when I can only respond so elementary with the language during confessions. I made a breakthrough today with the parishioners. They accepted me as their priest. One child gave me a flower; three children grabbed onto my legs and hugged me; two older women gave me a blessings and hugged me. I wonder what I did to deserve it? The deacon preached today so it wasn't that they liked the homily.

Afterwards, I went to the South Boston Open Arts Studios. I had no idea these buildings existed. One of the buildings, The Rum Distillery, houses artists that live and work in the building. It is a great concept. I did not know there was a South Boston Artist Association. This building had six floors of artist galleries. I loved it and it is so close to home. This was an important find for me.

After that I attended a concert by the Seraphim Singers titled "Oppression, Exile, and Solidarity."

Jennifer Lester, the conductor writes, "All art confronts us with truths we have not quite fully seen or felt before and bring about some change in us. I have drawn together works bearing witness and standing with victims of oppression. The pieces are occasioned by events in different places - Chile, Nazi Germany, El Salvador, the U.S. Civil War, Palestinian exile, but they each confront us with suffering - and resistance - in a visceral way. The are achingly beautiful, powerful musical expressions of the complex reality of political violence and the spiritual struggle to overcome its dehumanizing effects.

A powerful weekend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Conference Summary