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Today be Talk like a pirate day and The Harlot has the knitterly scoop.

G’day, then.  I’m off to swindle me some grog!

From the Pope’s homily the day before: 

Judgement – doesn’t this word also make us afraid? On the other hand,
doesn’t everyone want to see justice eventually rendered to all those
who were unjustly condemned, to all those who suffered in life, who
died after lives full of pain? Don’t we, all of us, want the outrageous
injustice and suffering which we see in human history to be finally
undone, so that in the end everyone will find happiness, and everything
will be shown to have meaning? This triumph of justice, this joining
together of the many fragments of history which seem meaningless and
giving them their place in a bigger picture in which truth and love
prevail: this is what is meant by the concept of universal judgement.
Faith is not meant to instil fear; rather it is meant to call us to
accountability. We are not meant to waste our lives, misuse them, or
spend them simply for ourselves. In the face of injustice we must not
remain indifferent and thus end up as silent collaborators or outright
accomplices. We need to recognize our mission in history and to strive
to carry it out. What is needed is not fear, but responsibility –
responsibility and concern for our own salvation, and for the salvation
of the whole world. Everyone needs to make his or her own contribution
to this end. But when responsibility and concern tend to bring on fear,
then we should remember the words of Saint John: "My little ones, I am
writing this to keep you from sin. But if anyone should sin, we have an
advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one" (1 Jn 2:1).   
"No matter what our hearts may charge us with  – God is greater than our hearts and all is known to him" (ibid., 3:20).

In a speech about reason and the place of theology in the university, Pope Benedict XVI quotes part of the forceful argument (disputatio) of an ancient Christian.  He uses the quote to illustrate the depth of passion the speaker (that ancient Christian) in speaking to a person of another faith.  It is one sentence in a speech that is itself passionate about the role of reason in faith.  Aside from the arguably unwise insertion of that quote, the speech is quite interesting.  The academic and Scriptoral knowledge and articulation thereof is moving, interesting, intelligent, cohesive, coherent, thoughtful and profound. 

That quote, however, taken out of context and given emphasis manages to weaken the whole message.  Could the Pope have made his argument without the quote – absolutely, yes.  Would his argument have been as powerful – I think so.  Why, then, is it included?  Why would an intelligent, thoughtful, faithfilled person injudiciously say something that could be used against him, his Church and his persuasive argument?  Unless he tells us, we can’t know.  Here are some guesses, though…  He’s busy, harried, running ragged; he’s hopelessly academic and assumes others will understand the context and usage of the quote; he’s weak, he’s tired, he’s traveling, he’s excited to be back in a university setting, he’s talking to other academics…. ummm, he’s human? 

If using that quote in a university lecture, if the Pope’s using that quote in a university lecture is a sin… well, he alone will face the judgement of that.  (Though we may all suffer in the here and now.)  We all face the judgement sooner or later.  And I for one like the way this Pope articulates that. 

0760 Almighty God, we pray for peace in the world. Help the leaders of all the countries to make good decisions. Help us all to learn to live together and to try to understand each other even though we may seem very different from each other. Remind us when we forget, that we are all your children who share this earthly home. Help us to live in peace and harmony. Amen.

–Prayers written by Rev. Patricia Mitchell and provided by St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City. via

The three nuns and I are back at it in the halls of secondary and even primary education.  As the new director of campus ministry for a catholic school system which encompasses Montessori, elementary, middle and secondary schools, I find I’m getting back into the swing of the school groove rather easily.  Last week was ruff, but this week – much better.  Here are a few shots of some of the events to which I attended:

1. office space to set up: Dscn5728

Of course I had some help:

Some of the students from the high school enjoyed a wonderful meeting with Sr. Flo, an RSCJ from Uganda.  The schools have a ministry with the RSCJs and their Sacred Heart schools in Uganda.  It’s marvelous.  Here Sr. Flo taught us about singing, dancing and drumming in her country:

The next day… before the All School mass:


That’s not even half of the seats. 

Here  are some of the peeps:


This was undoubtedly the largest mass for which I had some reponsibility.  1200 people – ages 3 to lots older.  Yikes.  Fortunately for me there were buckets of people happy to show me the ropes and to assist with the liturgy (the work of the people, I’ll say!)

Meanwhile the best moment of the whole week for me didn’t happen at school/work/ministry.  It happened when the mobile home residents’ club honored my mom for her five years of service to the community.  She’s recently stepped down from the position of editor of the park newsletter, a role she dearly loved.  Anyway, the members of the residents’ club surprised her with gifts and testimonials.  This is how she took it:

happy tears.

Dear Ones,

There has been a hue and cry (okay, maybe just a hue) for the story behind the nuns and their bovine friend.  And so the story goes…like…this.  I have a wacky family.  And into my wacky family married wacky "in-loves," as I call them in my mind.  One such love, my sister-in-love, is a traveling geneticist.  Which, oddly, has absolutely nothing to do with the story.  (the geneticist part, that is).  Anyway, one day my SIL tells me she got me a present on her recent trip to "headquarters,"  which is conveniently coincidentally located in Des Moines.  Now I’ve been to Des Moines – only the bus station, but Des Moines, nonetheless.  It’s not so much a happening town as a town that happened.  (Okay, I just wanted to sound clever there.  Did I?)  Anyway, SIL while there apparently purchased the three nuns and the cow and decided it was just the thing to give me.  Can you say "random?"  I thought you culd.

Anyway, it took weeks for her to remember to bring them over and give them to me.  She brought them on the day we were enjoying playing with my neices and nephew and generally goofing off.  The whole wacky clan was there.  At least the whole wacky clan who could be.  And the wacky clan decided the nuns (and the cow) should travel.  And so they are.

And then… they were introduced to Sr. Mary of the Research who is also known as Sr. Mary, the Producer.  Sr. Mary of the SetUp…

She’s also Sr. Mary of the "Oh my goodness is that Mary Magdalene at the Last Supper???"

Other sisters got in on the act too….  Sr. Pat of the Photographical Contortions:

And Sr. Patty of the Sunglasses on a Plane fame: Rafter7_august_2006_009

Honest to goodness.  We are just that silly. 

As to the questions of where to find nuns of your own… Sr. Mary of the Research (see above) who is leaving Reno even as we speak to head to Portland for a CPE program (Susan, you just had to go this year, didn’t you?!)…. Sr. Mary received a gift of a "nun chuck" Seen here in it’s natural habitat:

Which leads to the question… where did the cow come from?  Well, glad you asked.  Check it out:

You can get your own Nun Chucker and your own Cattle Pulter at perpetualkid.  Or apparently in a bowl next to the register in some little shop in Des Moines, Iowa.  Good luck. 

Of course you can google them and find them at other sites too.  There’s even a flying nun refill packet as well.

And yes, Steph, there is a Benedictine nun too!!!  As they say in the movies, "Have fun storming the castle." 

You’ve Changed 72% in 10 Years

Compared to who you were ten years ago, you’ve changed a great deal.
In fact, you’re probably in a completely different phase of your life – and very happy about it!
How Much Have You Changed in 10 Years?

I’m just surprised it’s not more.  Dudes!
via Susan Rose

September 2006