Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chen Guangbiao-Philantropist Trying To Do Good

Chen Guangbiao, a very rich Chinese philanthropist, who some call eccentric, treated 200 homeless people to a fancy lunch today in a Central Park restaurant in  New York City.  A man of humble beginnings Chen amassed his wealth through hard work and perseverance (and a recycling business) and he's trying to give back.
Whatever his motives are, I think he's doing a good thing. Apparently there will be more luncheons in the future.
Craig Mayes, the executive director of the shelter where the participants live (the NYC Rescue Mission), said, "Our thought was if someone wants to treat them to an amazing event-something they would never experience on their own, maybe even a kernel of hope that life could be different again, we're in for that reason."
I think Chen has brought attention to the homeless people, who desperately need hope and change. I applaud his action and I think it will get people thinking and acting. There are certainly a lot of very rich people in NYC (in the entire tri-state area) and they can do more (though most are very charitable, they could do more).
Yesterday I participated in a reading program for young, disadvantaged children and I saw firsthand how important a hands-on approach to helping others is. It's easy to write a check to a charity, but not as easy to put the effort into actually doing something and putting in the time,  that makes a difference in someones life.
It's Christ's mandate to help the least of our brothers and sisters and the more we do that, the more we act like Christ and we help to bring forth the Reign of God.

"Whatever you do for one of the least of my brothers, you did it for me"  spoken by Jesus (Mt. 25:40)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Some Of My Favorite Art Work

I love visiting museums and living in New York makes it easy to view world class art at anytime. My favorite museum is the Met, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But every museum has it's own character and gems. I have some art on my phone which I photographed, none of which actually came from the Met, this time, but I'll share some of my favorite ones from places near and far.  Some come from Churches/Seminary in the NY area as well as the Museum of Modern Art, the Nassau County Museum of Art and some from a visit to Miami, Florida, like the first two below which are from the Perez Art Museum in Miami. God is creative, God has a creative spirit, and when human beings tap into that, beauty can abound. (One photo is not from a museum or church, can you guess?)
So here they are:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington-Garden Tour

One of the many things I do is to support the Seminarians studying in Dunwoodie, at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers.  The organization I belong to that helps the Seminarians through our prayers and fundraising also helps the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, Long Island which is now a learning and retreat center. In any event, I belong to the "Friends of the Seminary" a volunteer group of men and women who have been in existence for 25 years. I joined them about 8 years ago. My term as "President" just ended but I am still involved and love going to the Seminary in Huntington since it is such a beautiful, peaceful and spiritual place.  I love the chapel it is magnificent.
Yesterday we held a Garden Tour and Luncheon which we've done for the past three years.  Three homeowners in the area gave us permission to have "friends" tour their beautiful gardens and then everyone (over 140 people) went to the Seminary to see the beautiful rose garden and then have lunch and fun as there were raffles and auctions
Everyone had a great time. Msgr. Richard Henning, the rector was there to offer thanks and lead us in prayer.
Here are some pictures from the day: I'm not in any picture in case you're wondering...just friends.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pope Francis Wants Peace, God Wants Peace in the World! Do Those Involved Try Hard Enough?

Pope Francis, acting as a peacemaker,  held a prayer summit in the Vatican Gardens today on the Feast of Pentecost. He brought together Isreali President Shimon Perez and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the spirit of hope, prayer and respect. Having the prayer summit on the feast of Pentecost is bringing the God of peace and reconciliation into the prayer event in a powerful way. But are hearts and minds open to the will of God and open to negotiation? That's the key.
Unless we are open to the will of God and willing to think out of the box, then peace in the Middle East will always remain elusive. But if all parties are willing to be open, to compromise and be mindful that we are all God's children, then negotiations can move forward.
Pope Francis told the two men that he hoped the prayer summit would be a "new journey for peace."
From his mouth to God's ears! He told them that too  many children had been killed because of war and violence. So many scars, both physical and psychological.
I went to the noon Mass today and our pastor spoke about the prayer summit in his homily. He asked us to pray for its success and be mindful that it would be taking place at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. And so we prayed and I continued to pray as I left Church.
If only, through some miracle on the Feast of Pentecost, hearts will be softened, new ideas thought of and gestures of peace made, to finally bring peace to that troubled, holy land.

Prayer has a political strength that we maybe don't even realize and should be exploited to the full....Prayer has the ability to transform hearts and thus to transform history. 
(Cardinal Pietro Parolin-Vatican Secretary of State--quoted at the end of the Middle East trip)

Please God may prayer transform the hearts of those who can really make a difference and bring peace to the Holy Land!