Thursday, August 11, 2022

Bishop Barron-A Churchman for the Ages

 To state the obvious, Bishop Robert Barron is a gift to the Church. His success on social media, his engagement with the religious and secular world should be a model for all priests and bishops. He doesn't do it alone, he has a team that helps him make his Word on Fire videos and posts so engaging but its his personality too. He comes across as authentic and of course he's very bright and knowledgable. I've learned a lot from his videos and talks on Youtube.  

His recent appointment as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, and his installation on July 29th, is yet another honor in his remarkable priesthood. I think it was a sacrifice for him to have had to leave sunny California to go back to the Midwest, but he's familiar with Midwest winters as he is from the Chicago area. And as he was told at his installation Mass, he'll have to get his winter coat out of storage,,,,(I'm paraphasing!). But he will......its a big change in lifestyle for him. Part of the sacrifice priests make. 

And so what can other priests and bishops learn from Bishop Barron? I think they could learn a lot. Engage with the secular world, use social media to spread the good news, try to reach out to the "nones," as Bishop Barron always voices his concern about them and use the resources of the Church to evangelize and be creative. 

Catholics all over the world, who follow him on social media are praying for him and rooting for him. The people of Minnesota are thrilled!

NJA


Monday, July 25, 2022

Summer Can Be Both Joyful and Tragic

 Summer is a wonderful time to relax and enjoy the sunshine and flowers and I've been doing a lot of planting and caring for flowers. Gardening is good exercise but it is also rewarding in other ways..But I just saw a large black snake in one of my small gardens today so I will have to be mindful of that going forward. I live in the country now!!

Unfortunately, Summer can also be tragic for some because of children being near swimming pools. Sadly two children, one in my town in Ct and in another nearby town drowned this summer. I've decided to try to get the word out, with some women who are going to help me, that parties and swimming pools can be disastrous for children who can't swim and who wander into dangerous situations unknowingly. Parents can get distracted before, during and after a party and more has to be done to remind parents to be extra diligent at parties, especially where there is a swimming pool. 

The Monsignor at my parish was brought to tears this weekend at Mass, as it was a rough week for him and others.  One of those children who died from drowning, a 2 year old, had a Funeral Mass at the parish last week. There was a lot of crying and sadness, of course. There were other deaths as well, one personal that he had to deal with. We are praying for our pastor and for the families affected by tragic loss. 

Life is so paradoxical. Good and bad. Sorrow, pain and yet joy. War and peace. Gardening helps to get my mind off the seriousness of life and the problems that can arise so quickly. 

NJA



Monday, July 4, 2022

July 4th 2022-The Land of the Free.....And the Home of the Courageous

 On this July 4th 2022 I am grateful for my ancestors who came to America from Italy and made that courageous journey across the ocean, even though they were unsure of the path before them. They paved the way for me and my family to realize the American dream. With faith in God and hard work, they succeeded in America, because it was possible. 

I am indebted to my grandfather, a painter, who came to America in 1925 with a small amount of money in his pocket, as did most immigrants and who worked hard so that my father and his siblings could begin to climb up the ladder of success here in America. He bought a brownstone in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and we had it in our family until a few years ago. 

Faith in God, prayer and hard work, I believe is the formula for success and advancement in life. It worked for my family over the decades, it has worked for me......The story continues...

Happy 4th of July!!

NJA

"If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live in the land and be secure. If you delight in the Lord, the Lord will grant you your heart's desire...." (Ps.37:3)


Monday, May 30, 2022

Valuable Gold Tabernacle Stolen from Church In Park Slope, Brooklyn

Crime is up in major cities, that's not a secret. And now brazen thieves have stolen a $2 million silver and gold tabernacle from St. Augustine Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It was made of silver and 18 karat gold and had jewels as well. Why wasn't a replica made and put in the Church instead of the real thing? In this day and age, nothing is sacred to some people and obviously the thieves did not care about the sacredness of the tabernacle or the Body of Christ within it. What a sacrilege! How dare these criminals desecrate this holy Church and tabernacle and the Body of Christ....Sickening. I hope they are caught. But let this be a lesson to the Church, to all houses of worship.  Any object or religious article that is known to be very valuable, should be replaced by a replica, sooner than later.  Even security systems fail or can be deactivated. The tabernacle survived since 1888, when the Church was built. But this was the year...unfortunately, that it would be stolen. 

The Diocese of Brooklyn (which encompasses Queens as well), issued a statement, calling the burglary "a brazen crime of disrespect and hate." They should also add that the criminals who planned this horrible act and carried it out, will rot in Hell if they don't bring it back.

NJA

UPDATE: According to Church officials it was insured. 


Thursday, April 14, 2022

"Love One Another As I have Loved You"

If only humankind would have heeded Christ's words, "Love one another as I have loved you," this world would be such a better place. A simple and clear statement about loving those in our immediate family, our neighbors and those who are far away and yet in this century we still unfortunately, see hatred, war, violence, misunderstanding,  misinformation and even lies. So sad..as we approach the greatest of Christian feast days, the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, humankind struggles to love, to be noble, to give the benefit of the doubt, to be forgiving, to be compassionate, beyond measure. Not all people of course, there are those who know how to be kind, how to love those near and the unlovable, to give of themselves generously and heed Christ's words. 

If only there was love instead of hate, peace instead of war, kindness instead of harshness, goodness instead of wickedness, we would be closer to the world Jesus' imagined for us, a world close to the Reign of God. 

People of good will from all the religious faiths keep praying for peace, we keep praying for conversion of hearts and for love to overcome hate .....Lord, hear our prayer, during these holy days of the Triduum. The world needs an Easter Miracle. May the Easter Season be filled with hope and peace.

Happy Easter!

Nancy 

Saturday, March 5, 2022

God Weeps-Tragedy in Ukraine As War Destroys

We all pray for a peaceful, negotiated settlement to the crisis between Ukraine and Russia. At any moment, this whole tragedy can spiral out of control. It is truly frightening. Compromise must be achieved and agreed upon. God weeps, of course God is weeping whenever innocents are killed and bombs destroy and disfigure.

It is with sadness that I begin this Lenten journey. Being compassionate my thoughts are never too far from the people of Ukraine who are being forced to leave their beloved homeland, with little. These refugees are on the move, and thank God other countries of good will are accepting them. I especially feel for the poor innocent children, who don't understand war or bombs or evil intentions.

So during this Lent we are all praying for a ceasefire and peaceful solution to this crisis. I am sure God is not distant from this and God weeps with the men, women and children of Ukraine who have witnessed the worst case scenario unfold. May God Bless them and be near to them. 

NJA


Friday, February 25, 2022

Brave Ukrainian Soldiers-Some Giving Their Lives for Good

People of good will, all over the world are condemning Russia's aggression and war against Ukraine. Ukrainian Americans are worried and rightfully so about their relatives in Ukraine. People are praying, holding holy hours, attending Mass, begging God to turn Putin's stony heart and mind towards negotiation and peace. Brave Ukrainian soldiers are fighting for their freedom and their homeland. 

We are witnessing human bravery play out in Ukrainian soldiers who are fighting for their country and for democratic principles, to the death.  God bless them for such bravery and love for their fellow neighbors, their relatives, their home. 
There is so much good in the world, so many brave and courageous people, so many people that live out Jesus' teachings whether they are Christians or not. 
I pray that this war ends quickly, that negotiations begin and peace reigns in Ukraine once more. 
Please God hear our prayer for peace.
NJA
"I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  (Ezekiel 36:26)

"May the weapons fall silent. God is with the peacemakers, not with those who use violence ... It is the people who are the real victims, who pay for the folly of war with their own skin."  Pope Francis (2/22)