You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2004.

A particularly good explication of the issues surrounding the denial (or not) of communion to politicians can be found here. It’s straightforward, comprehensive, and concise and seemingly unbiased. I’m not used to this in the news. Nice.

Yes, you read that right. Geese. (especially Canadian ones, honk honk.)

When you see geese heading back north for the summer or south for the winter, flying along in a V-formation, you might be interested in knowing what scientists have discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

Point: People who share a common sense of direction and sense of community get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the trust of one another.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds immediately in front.

Point: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept thie help and give our help to others.

When the lead goose gets tired, the goose rotates to the back and another goose flies the point.

Point: It pays to take turns doing hard jobs and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Point: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement – to stand by one’s heart of core values and encourage the heart and core of others – is the qualitiy of honking we seek.

When a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot or falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with that goose until it is either able to fly or until it is dead, and they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with the group.

Point: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong. None of us is in it alone.

(source unknown)

yeah, you’ve probably seen this before, but hey, it’s always good to be reminded of the communal nature of our lives together. What else can we learn from the world around us about living and being human? Oh aren’t we all such silly geese?

Been reading Dappled Things (Fr. Jim Tucker’s blog) recently. He has a link to his quiz results and it’s very interesting. I even went and tried a few – I love quizzes, dontchaknow? Here are two results. And you?

You’re Watership Down!
by Richard Adams
Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you’re
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You’d
be recognized as such if you weren’t always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Now I think I’d better read it. Hmmm?

What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

My friend, Denise, who has been horse crazy her whole life, will be glad of this result, I think.

No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river. (from The Five People You Meet in Heaven)

20 Questions to a Better Personality

You are a WRCL–Wacky Rational Constructive Leader. This makes you a golden god. People gravitate to you, and you make them feel good. You are smart, charismatic, and interesting. You may be too sensitive to others reactions, especially criticism. Your self-opinion and mood depends greatly on those around you.

You think fast and have a smart mouth, is a hoot to your friends and razorwire to your enemies. You hold a grudge like a brass ring. You crackle.

Although you have a leader’s personality, you often choose not to lead, as leaders stray too far from their audience. You probably weren’t very popular in high school–the joke’s on them!

You may be a rock star.

Wow – That was great Monday morning moment! With wisdom, ahem, like this, I’m set for the week. Check out the other fun quizzes too at Jenny Turpish slapped me

It’s all true – just ask the dust bunnies who follow me everywhere!


Sister Mary L. Kieffer, OP will be making her first (three year) profession as a Dominican Sister of San Rafael tomorrow. YAY! Mary rocks. And she’s a great companion on the journey of religious life. Some little known facts about Mary (okay, maybe they’re not all that little known, but, whatever.) She worked as a bartender for many years and even worked in NYC. She is deeply Catholic woman with a genuinely Dominican heart and spirit. She makes really great Vietnamese food (yumola!) She is kind to horses, dogs, sheep, and even sisters in community. She looks great in black and white which is good since she’s likely to wear it now and again as a Dominican! And she’s my friend as well as sister.

Prayers for Mary, please, as she continues the journey with my community. Prayers for all of us that we may be worthy companions for her. Blessings!

“He was my rat!” This line, uttered by Ron Weasely, in the new Harry Potter movie has stuck with me since last night. What a delightful movie! I kept muttering (silently, of course – we were in a movie theater!) to myself, “Oh, nicely done!” Little touches, reworked images, super acting, great direction, fun special effects (watch the clouds!) and a shrunken head or two – what’s not to like?

But back to the rat. I wonder if there’s something odd about me (other than the multitude of oddities my family has been taunting me with for lo these many years) in that another of my favorite movie lines involves a rat too. “Light the lamp, not the rat!” (name that movie!)

Anyway, Ron moans the line and I can’t help but think wistfully as he ponders the loss of his pet. I won’t go into details, cuz you may hate spoilers as much as me, but the loss of a rat – a spiritual moment for me. Yep – don’t we really hang onto those unhealthy little creatures when they’re really bad for us? We don’t even know the evil that lurks in our pets: pet projects, pet habits, pet opinions and prejudices. But oh do we hold onto them.

In other news, a performance artist and knitting designer in Australia is the focus of a great little article here

Here are two favorite quotes from it! (Have you noticed I like quotes?)

“There’s so many ways you can explore the scarf as a cultural item. ”
“A piece of cloth is fundamental….”
— knit-evangelist Brigette Cameron

I’m off to see Harry with Sisters Pat and Bernice. We’ve gone to each of the movies together – there are five of us in the house who read the books, but two haven’t kept up to speed….

My friend Fr. John bet me I wouldn’t wear a “happy birthday” hat to the last movie. He said he’d pay for the movie if I did – hey! I love to make people laugh. So, I did. They did. He did. And he paid for the popcorn too! This year it’s nowhere near my birthday, so, the movies on me.

I’ve been getting “happier and happier” all day as I’ve finished tasks which move me closer to the movie. I really like a good movie. Here’s hoping…. (perhaps I never will grow up – no matter how many birthdays.)


“It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.”

You are Desiderius Erasmus!
You have great love for others and will do just about anything to show it to them. You are tolerant
and avoid confrontations, so people generally are drawn to you. You are more quiet and reserved in
front of strangers, but around some people you open up. When things get tough, you like to meditate
alone. Unfortunately you often get things like “what a pansy,” or “you’re such a liberal.”

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

Don’t I wish. Erasmus was a linguist!

This one is special. And in my prayers.

“E.L. Doctorow once said that ‘writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard.” –Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird.

My next step is “back to school.” I’m heading back to graduate school in the fall to complete an M.A. in Theology. I’ll be studying at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and affiliated with the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Hoping one day to work with my brother friars of the Western Province in campus ministry, I am looking forward to the continued unfolding of God’s plan for ministry for me. “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord” (Jer. 29:11). What an exciting unfolding it has been so far. So many amazing twists and turns in the journey and it’s only one step at a time that one can even see it, let alone experience it. Where will I be in two more years? Who will I be ministering with? Don’t have a clue…. But, I’m hopeful.

June 2004