I am off to the airport en route to Mexico City to meet with the Missionary Servants of the Word who will be sending sisters to our parish in August. I'll have the privilege of celebrating with them the 25th anniversary of their institute, and will meet their founder, Padre Luis, who started life with the name Luigi, being a good Italian. If I remember which language to speak I'll be fine. I'll take lots of photos and give you a report on my return.
Another young man from our parish is off to the seminary to try his vocation with the Institute of the Incarnate Word. Please pray for Julian who hits the road on March 24. That makes three young men from our parish aspiring to the priesthood. So far.
On this March 17, our staff wants to salute a special country. Home to the largest Guinness brewery in the world, this country today celebrates the feast of its patron, St. Patrick. It is a green and pleasant land, whose people are both colorful and musical. In the past most of its economy was based on traditional agriculture but in recent decades this has changed greatly. Let's take a moment, shall we, to salute ...
I have been thinking of buying an MP3 player, aka an "IPOD." But I don't want to buy an ipod. I used to have one, actually -- an Ipod shuffle, about the size of a pack of gum. It was made of bulletproof white plastic, cost almost 200 dollars, had no screen and a cool affect, as the clinicians say. It was imported because I bought it in London, Ontario. Oh, I almost forgot. When you shelled out for the shuffle, you also got a CD loaded with spayshul Apple software called "Itunes." This is what I don't want, really. I'd be happy to own an Ipod if the Apple overlords did not require me to lead Itunes on my hard drive. Listen, Apple people, and understand: you are trying to sell me a portable memory stick that plays mp3 files. That's all it is. I don't need special software for that. Windows already comes with copy and paste capability. Some people, by the way, claim that Itunes is buggy, but this is disputed by others who say that it works fine if you just, you know, chill, dude. What I find baffling is the widespread assumption that if you want an "ipod" you have to buy something made by Apple, when several gazillion other companies offer various objects that do exactly the same thing. And here is where I help millions of consumers everywhere by supplying a link to a site that backs up my claim.
Today I traveled by car to a far-flung suburb to hear confessions at the annual Columbus Catholic Men's Conference.The place was packed and it was inspiring to see how many men devoted their Saturday to growing in the Faith. It would have been the first good golfing day of 2009, too. After confessions it was time to get back to my parish for, well, confessions, but the conference organizers (who really know their stuff) insisted I take some lunch first. In keeping with the manly atmosphere of the conference I was hoping for raw meat but they had some very civilized sandwiches instead. As I picked up my sandwich I could hear that Mass was already underway in the adjoining church. That was the only jarring note of the day -- literally. The music selected was deplorable. Moreover, every song I heard included the accompaniment of a bell tree (click here to find out what a bell tree looks and sounds like). Who was thinking what? I felt sorry for the men who had volunteered to be in the choir. Not that you asked, but my advice is: if you want to sing bad Catholic music in a manly way, do it full-bore, like this. Hoo-ah! It was a great blessing to return to my little parish where the music at the vigil Mass was dignified and lovely. And not a bell tree in sight.