Wednesday, November 14, 2018

MATTHIAS ANTHONY BUR NOVEMBER 11, 2018


MATTHIAS BEGS ENTRANCE AT THE CHURCH DOOR SO THAT HE CAN BE BAPTIZED.   HE OUTGREW THE FAMILY BAPTISMAL GARMENT BUT IT SHOWS UP JUST AS IT HAS FOR A COUPLE OF GENERATIONS  IN THE GATHERING AROUND THE BAPTISMAL FONT (HOLY CROSS CHURCH, GARRETT PARK, MARYLAND).   THE PARENTS (MIKE AND LAURA) AND THE GRANDPARENTS (STEVE AND ANN) WERE SMILING MOST OF THE AFTERNOON.   THIS MUST BE A SOLEMN PART OF THE READING!


Saturday, November 03, 2018

Autumn Colors Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth Nov 3, 2018


Jesuit Center, Wernersville Pa

The Autumn Colors are suddenly upon us this year and already they are starting to wain.   Fortunately we have some sun today!












Sunday, October 14, 2018

Plowman-Kasper Wedding


PLOWMAN-KASPER WEDDING



The Wedding Cake with the Unity Candle ready for lighting.



Andrew Thomas Plowman and Jessica Helen Kasper






Great Uncle Frank with the bride



Some of my contribution to the wedding ceremony:   "....... while we in the congregation focus on this couple today, let’s not forget their parents: Kathleen and Keith and Tom and Ellen.   Without their steadfast love, without their commitment to their children, today never comes into being.   Yes, we celebrate today the blessings that these three couples are to one another and to us.    Be consoled because these marriages are God’s way that we, too, all of us witnesses get a share in their blessings both now and in the future.    Beyond these three couples representing two generations of family, we have present here grandparents.  And some of us knew great grandparents and great-great grandparents, all of these ancestors wonderful family members.   Jessica, I and some others here, when youngsters,  knew some of your great-great grandparents.   I have a photo of myself with your great-great grandmother, Elizabeth.   And photos, too, of myself with great grandparents, grandparents and parents.  You represent for me a fifth generation.     I just put on my personal bucket list a photo op with a member of the sixth generation.   But Andrew and Jessica, no pressure.   I’m feeling healthy.  But I am reluctant to count on the other fifth generation members in my family....."   


But here are some of the 5th gens with the bride; some of the family can certainly count on them but my time is relatively short!

    

Crypt Chapel at Wernersville


Crypt Chapel at Wernersville





Catholics very often honor  bishops and benefactors by burying them in chapels under the altars of much larger chapels.   The Main Chapel at Wernersville has just such a crypt chapel, a bit below grade level and windowless.   This is the site for the remains of Genevieve and Nicholas Brady. the generous benefactors of the building and grounds, built as a Novitiate and still used by the Jesuits for a residence.   But the large building now serves mainly as a retreat house.





This crypt chapel not many weeks ago was the site of a Mass celebrated for the Jesuits in the community by Father Robert McTeigue, S.J. with Father Ifkovits as his altar server.  

He celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form, the Latin Mass based on rituals approved and published after 1570 and commonly used until about 1962.   In certain circumstances in these days such a Mass is celebrated publicly.   Many Catholics find devotion in it.  Indeed it was the form of the Mass known to the Bradys.   For me it was a return to the experience of my childhood church in the nineteen forties and fifties.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Kingfishers and Dragonflies

Kingfishers and Dragonflies

Last year while off to the Abbey of the Genesee for retreat and rest, I was entertained by two Kingfishers actively feeding in a stream near the retreat house.  This year I happened to see one but it was quietly perched over the water.  Not feeding time?

But I did note the dragonflies.





One curiously attempted a landing on my head.    White patterns on its wings and body.   Another steel blue.  Another using a strong dry branch in the wind.   For twenty minutes on end it eyed its prey and did its own feeding.  And curious about me, too.

I was reminded of Hopkins' poem:

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame...
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same...
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

And reminded, too, of this simple Hiaku penned by a Gesu student about an unlikely sight there on North Philadelphia's Thompson St.

A butterfly lands on a leaf.
I look at it.
It looks back at me.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Chimney Swifts






CHIMNEY SWIFTS AT WERNERSVILLE JESUIT CENTER




An inactive chimney on our building  is the nesting place and night nest for hundreds of swifts.   These late summer, early fall evenings the ritual of floating into the chimney in great numbers takes about ten minutes.   Here is a portion of the show taking place each day between 7 and 7:30 PM.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1A-qRCI8vskw8rliBYmwMuGWUyLR7kYUi


Post Script:   Swifts left for the south most of them toward the end of the week of October 7.   It is said that some fly even to the Amazon.   We look forward to their return!



Always Partly Cloudy


ALWAYS PARTLY CLOUDY





Today partly cloudy.  The Future?
Ignore the foreshortened horizon, 
The clouds clumped in storm formation.
Tomorrow's forecast:
It's always partly cloudy.