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I’m heading off to the University of Notre Dame tomorrow for a week. I’ve never been and everyone who has keeps oohing and ahhing that I get to go.

I’m doing one of the evening workshops at the TRANSITIONS IN FAITH young adult ministry symposium. Over 300 campus, parish and young adult ministers will be there.

With speakers like Msgr. Ray East and J. Glenn Murray! I’m very happy to be included in the work the symposium will be doing and collecting. I’ll even get to see a few old and not so old friends.

And they tell me to “say hi to the Rock.” Whatever that means….

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In November 2002, my friend Colleen and I were at a meeting in DC when we decided to take the bullet train down to NYC for the day. We wanted to do two things: see a Broadway play on Broadway and visit the WTC site. We did end up seeing 42nd Street on 42nd Street but far and away the most moving point of the day for both of us was visiting the chapel mentioned in New York Region > Chapel Embraces Role as 9/11 Monument” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/28/nyregion/28trinity.html?ex=1398571200&en=1f92789dbce24122&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND”>this story.

The marks the rescue workers belts, and shoes, and tools made on the pews, were left there even after the cleanup of the chapel had begun. Those marks were a physical reminder of how the worst of human experiences could and did bring out the best of the human spirit. Those marks were left to remind us we are all marked by the events of 9/11.

Those scratches and gouges were a reminder of the goodness of the multitude, the cloud of witnesses, if you will, of volunteers and rescue personnel who stepped up to help their sisters and brothers. I believe in the goodness of the multitude. I believe in the cloud of witnesses.

I believe even when the world around is dark with the soot and ash of evil and the ongoing ravages of war; the dark of night and the dark of human depravity. I believe in the light. And I hope that one day we will see as our brothers and sisters all those around us who are hurting and hungry, cold and weary – no matter what language or culture or political viewpoint they may hold.

Like those pews were marked, so too, must have been all the people, the hundreds and hundreds who came through those chapel doors. And it seems to me, we are all marked by the choices we make to serve another, any other, along the way.

I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. –Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Now ain’t that the truth. I was never that fond of math, so I can really resonate with the kids at Huffman elementary school in Anchorage.

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See the story here.

Joan of Arcadia:

So, Barbara Hall, a Catholic convert, wrote these great 10 commandments about God for the writers of the show Joan of Arcadia. This one is my favorite.

10. God’s purpose for talking to Joan, and everyone, is to get her (us) to recognize the interconnectedness of all things — i.e., you cannot hurt a person without hurting yourself; all of your actions have consequences; God can be found in the smallest actions; God expects us to learn and grow from all our experiences. However, the exact nature of God is a mystery, and the mystery can never be solved.

From a Contra Costa Times article about the creator of Joan of Arcadia. You can find the other 9 here.

Pretty much, they’re great!

You are invited join a new initiative for peace and hope during this time of extreme violence and suffering in the world. In the spirit of Easter hope, we have initiated a global “Pause for Peace” to reflect and recommit ourselves each day to peacemaking and hope. This “Pause for Peace” initiative is being launched in the belief that prayer energy for good can overcome the forces of war and oppression in our world.

This is how the global Pause for Peace works: each person, wherever on our earth, is invited to pause and reflect for a very brief moment at 12 noon of each day, to renew her or his commitment to peace and hope by saying the following mantra (one or more times), in silence or out loud, alone or with others:

I renew my commitment to peacemaking in the spirit of hope.

In extending this invitation to you and to our sisters and brothers throughout the world, we hope that you will serve as catalysts in getting this Pause for Peace spread to other peacemakers. Please disseminate this invitation as widely as possible through your own networks, so it reaches our schools (students, faculties, parents and alumni), our co-workers and colleagues, our families, friends, and neighbors, and beyond. Just imagine what energy this daily pledge could unleash if we rededicate ourselves by the thousands around
the world, in different countries, cultures and languages, in different time zones, every single day anew.

This initiative comes from Religious NGOS at the UN:
Congregations of Saint Joseph,
UN-NGO Office Daughters of Wisdom,
UN Representative of DLC Dominican Leadership Conference,
UN -NGO Office Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
UN-NGO Office Intl Presentation Association Sisters of the Presentation
Sisters of Mercy, UN Office
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, UN-NGO Office
Society of the Sacred Heart, UN-NGO Office

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