Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My Mother's Birthday

Yesterday was my mother's 85th birthday. We celebrated it last week and again this afternoon. With her dementia, every day is new. My sister in California called to wish her a happy birthday, and she said, "Thanks, and how old is your mother?" How dear!

I asked her if she wanted communion today, and she said "yes," then she began to yell towards her neighbor. She asked, "Would you like communion too?" Then she turned to me and said, "My friends here want to pray and they need this." I thought, "Wow." She gets it.

So, we began the prayer, and my mother began to weep, while her friend kept along with the prayers. Her friend said, "She needs God. She needs to be saved." At the conclusion, my mother asked her friend, "Wasn't this good? I get this all the time." Her friend said, "Thanks."

My mother started crying again and asked, "Am I saved?" I said, "Yes, you are, and so is your friend. Everyone here is saved." She wept deeply, and her friend said, "She needs to be saved. She needs to be happy." I then asked my mother, "How does it feel to be saved?" and he replied, "Wonderful."

Then I repeated the words my friend told me is helpful: I love you, Thank you, I forgive you, Please forgive me, and she said, "You have always been good to me. You don't need me to forgive you. I wish I could have done more."

She ate her dinner, going for the rainbow colored cake first, and we had a little ice cream for her birthday celebration. So, we talked, and her friend said, "Sometimes she gets sad and she needs to be tickled." So, I touched her legs and she squealed and laughed. Then we sang a few songs, and it was time for me to brave the traffic back to Boston. She and her friend sat there and talked. I guess it is all about communion after all.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Relaxing Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is one of surprises. At one Spanish-speaking mass last night, I arrived to find out I prepared a homily for Ascension but they were celebrating the Seventh Sunday of Easter. No big deal. The bigger deal was watching the bride and groom appear at the mass. After I gulped because I was so unprepared for a wedding, the pastor said he would come over and do the actual rite, which pleased me because I had no idea what to do with those coins and the super-sized rosaries that united the bride and groom. The coins were to represent the dowry and that the husband would always provide for his wife and family.

This morning, the Spanish-speaking was all set. It was announced that we would do an infant blessing at the end of mass. Previously, I prepared a whole ritual for the blessing and inserted it into the Roman Missal, but a visiting priest liked it and took it with him. Dismayed, I worked something out. However, I became a hero to the congregation when I held not one, but two, infants in my arms after the blessing and presented them to the parish. The six-day old girl was spitting up, which gave all the women a reason to get up from their chairs and assist the child, while the six-week old boy, just rested comfortably in my arms, content to pinch me repeatedly.

At the conclusion of mass, a five year old boy asked his mother if he could be baptized again so Fr. John could carry him around the church in the same way.

This evening's youth mass in English went smoothly. The youth did a nice liturgical dance, led all the songs, performed the readings, and functioned in each of the ministries. They participated well. Ah, now Memorial Day is to come - a washout but a day of rest.

Blessings to all who gave theirs lives in service to our country.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Jesuit's Bark

A must try:

Luxardo: Amaro Abano

Today I tasted an Italian liqueur that was infused with cardamon, cinnamon, bitter orange peels, and cinchona, a medicinal herb from Peru that has a bark known as "Jesuit's bark."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

For me, Mother's Day is more poignant as my mother is in the final stages of her earthly journey. Many graces to blessings to Connie Predmore and many thanks for the beautiful way you lived your life.


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 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 aunties.

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 everyone who tried.

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

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Stockholm, Sweden

To see photos of Stockholm, Sweden, click on the link below:

Worcester's Tower Hill Botanical Gardens

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To see photos of Worcester's Tower Hill Botanical Gardens, click on the link below: