Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cradling Chrstianity

Last Thursday I was invited to a fund-raising event at a suburban parish. "Cradling Christianity" seeks to raise awareness and funds to support Christians living the Holy Land. Thousands of Christians travel to the Holy land every year, pumping millions of dollars into the local economies. At the same time, the countries that receive tourist dollars from Christians are making it very difficult for Christians to live there. Here is an excerpt from one story about this problem:

Lamenting the effects of Israel’s security wall upon the Palestinian Christian communion, Patriarch Fouad Twal, Archbishop of Jerusalem, predicted that the number of Christians would dwindle from 10,000 today to 5,000 in 2016 because of emigration fostered by Israel’s security wall.

The wall has “enclosed many Palestinians in ghetto-like areas where access to work, medical care, schooling and other basic services have been badly affected,” he said. “We have a new generation of Christians who cannot visit the holy places of their faith that are only a few kilometers from their place of residence.”

At the event, Father Peter Vasko, President of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, exhorted us to support our fellow Christians especially through enabling higher education.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day on Lake Erie: Leisure and Loss

Up on the lake, Labor Day is traditionally considered the end of the sailing season. Yet September is a great month for sailing. Not too hot. Wind. Beautiful fall foliage along the shore. Less crowded. All that. Labor Day itself can be depressing. Around 4 in the afternoon Port Clinton looks deserted, as if the Ohio National Guard at Camp Perry had lobbed a neutron bomb into downtown. The overcast skies contributed to the mood. Light and variable winds boxed the compass. Forewarned by previous experience I returned to port early (the wind picked up as I headed back) and left town before total depression set in. Back to Columbus in time to help with computer setup in the convent.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Last month, cat #2, Pongo, took sick and died. One Saturday morning he came to the back door, moving slowly as if in pain, entered the house, looked at me and let out a slow cry, and slunk off upstairs to hide. I might have to take him to the vet on Monday, I thought. He went out Sunday night and on Monday morning I found him stretched out on the back lawn. Gone. There was no time to mourn as we were working full-bore on the convent renovation.

A few days later, I heard a powerful scratching at the back door and looked out to see another cat. For two days he beat on the back door and jumped up onto outside window sills, staring wildly through the glass. I gave up. Now he lives here. Mr. Martin, the original cat of the house, affects not to see him. The newcomer has been named Other Kat. O.K. for short.