Sunday, August 29, 2010

School Bells Ringing

Another school year begins for youngsters these days.

Lots is learned in school.

Amid risk, many children enter the classroom.

As goals and objectives are set to raise the bar, educators will
strive to meet standards required of them.

Information will pour into children.

However, what stayed with me was the experience in school.

How a teacher shamed me in kindergarten gym class lingers long.
How a music teacher told me I couldn't sing.

Performance was the name of the game, it seemed in school.

Win. Suceed.

Little "inner" education was encouraged, however.

Years after my formal education, l learned that males are at risk.
They are not taught the mysteries of life: I don't get everything I want.
I may be excluded, rejected. I may not pass every test. I may lose or
be passed over for a position I wanted.
I may get sick. I will die, one day.

All the performance, and cry to win at any price is met with dire
consquences, however.

One's true self - one's soul - needs growing as well as one's mind and body.

This is the challenge for education today.

Unless the focus changes, we can continue to expect violence to win.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What if?

What if all the traditions of faith came together and built a site at the 9/11 horror?

What if Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews , amongothers, joined the Muslims and erected a holy site of prayer?

Friends suggested that the other day at the Woodward Cruise.

Wouldn't that be a real sign of solidarity of faiths?

Since the mosque has been so politicized, why not join together in faith and show solidarity of faith in God.

A place of prayer for all peoples this would be.

Who will lead?

Who will follow to build?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Deep Roots,Relations on Detroit's East Side

My dad would say that I think too much.

And, when he did, I'd leave my studies and go play some.

I ponder at times about growing up on Detroit's East Side near Lynch Road and Van Dyke, a stone's throw from the Detroit City Airport on French Road.

My parents drove us to that airport on Sundays to watch the planes land and take off.

Up until perhaps a decade ago, I could catch a plane from City Airport to Chicago and back home. My young nephews, Jeff and Tim, flew to watch the Pistons play the Windy City team.

Times have changed. Only comercial flights do business there now.

Nevertheless, family and neighbors were tight then. We knew each other well.
In fact, gossip served to keep us kids accountable. We knew how to behave or pay the price of punishment from dad or mom who would hear about my brother, his friends and me, raiding the neighbor's piegeon coop, for example on Tappan, the street through the alley from our Arcola Street home. We could be bad boys also! And, be disciplined when caught, however!

Alleys are a thing of the past also, however. Horse and buggy with driver would search them to recycle or cash in on selling the goods lifting from our garbage each week.

Mr. Kowalski, Mr. Suminski, Mr. White, Mr. and Mrs. Sakmar, Jesse and Red Edgette and Terry. A litany of names emerges for me. Many were Polish and Catholic Americans who loved this land and would spill blood for it as so many vets I know did.

Mrs. Lewandowski was a nurse who lived across the street from our aluminum, two-storied home that contained the nine of us, our dog, Chipper, and our harem of friends who gathered often when mom's home-baked apple pies filled the notrils and olfactory of hungry and hearty eaters who were growing fast.

That's changed also.

Few people I know cook from scratch these days like mom who made chocolate cake with flour, eggs, cocoa, eggs, baking powder and an oven. Creamy chocolate icing was indeed icing on the cake!

Sundays saw neighbors gather at the local parish church of Saint Thomas the Apostle on Miller at Townsend, further south on Van Dyke, or, Holy Name of Jesus just north of us near McNichols, off of Van Dyke.

Walking there often, we went past Forestlawn Cemtary (the Prostestant one), and, got very close to Mt. Olivet Cemetary (the Catholic one) where mom, dad, and our brother Lucas who was killed in Vietnam in '68 now rest, along with countless other relatives of Polish-American stock and heritage. Chipmunks in either cemetary fled from my brother and me. We poured a jug of water into their holes and bottled them for the trip home. God knows what we did with them after. I think we just let them go. Memory fails. (Wait 'til you get older!)

That's the past.

And, there's no future in it.

Yet, that past formed and fashioned my four sister and two brothers and me.

We learned the "courtliness" of Saint Francis. We grew the courtesy that was required in our daily discipline, or else.

That's seems to be a thing of the past for many today also.

Oh well...


I love it. Won't leave it. I will relish and savor it forever and squeeze every moment out of its beauty and awesomeness in the roots and relations that made me, praise God.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is Christianity Political?

Is it?

Is Christianity political?

The word, politics, means, people.

Where we find people in the public square, we will have politics.

Yet, what offends people, it seems to me, is when Christianity is "politicized" for one's own means, ends, and, agenda.

"I was out of the church on Eleven Mile Road in Warren when she (the leader) preached politics," my physician told me.

"She was supportive of creating a Department of Peace," I responded to my doctor as she listened intently.

Christianity is a fine line that crosses boundaries easily in the realm of politics.

Is abortion political?

It is a moral issue. Always was before Roe V Wade. Are same-gender unions political? Stem cell research? Euthanasia? Capitol punishment? Cheating in filing one's income tax? Gossip?
So . . .

Life, people and politics.

People want to be inspired, motivated to move from their center and soul within to morph and mend a broken and lost nation.

That's a tall order in itself, isn't it?

Entangling faith with politicis gets risky, and, gets people walking out of churches who cross the line from inspiration to politics.

Excuses may occupy the hearts and minds of many to walk from faith.

However, keeping one's focus on faith inspiring parishioners to make the difference in the public square may keep one from crossing the line.

What do you think?

Why do you believe and practice regularly at a synagogue, temple, church or mosque?

What irks you about preaching?

When does the preacher cross the line between faith and politics?

The Founders of this great Nation encouraged people to embrace religion, still, to keep
separation or entangling State and Church, no?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Teen, Taliban and Other Women Today Here and Abroad

Taliban orders sliced the nose and ears of an 18-year-old Afghan woman for fleeing her husband's home.

Innocent women and children caught in the fray of battles brewing in countries everywhere it seems these days. Violence put upon them everywhere.

But, by those who know better and won't lift a finger? A pope who could change the status of women with the mark of his pen. By men who could ban together to unite for women's rights?

Second class citizens? Are women?

What gives?

It has always been this way, in the story of females, you say?

What's in this for you, you ask?

If one human being is singled out for torture, could it happen to anyone?


My heart ached today as my mind turned to thoughts of the way women are treated.


Power and domination have always kept women down.

In my own Catholic community, I regret that only males may apply to lead parishes in worship.

And, it sounds often that marriage is second to ordination after baptism, of course.
If my parents weren't married for longer than fifty years in fidelity and commitment to each other and the seven of us siblings, this writer wouldn't have been ordained 35 years ago.


I wonder today.


What would it be like for me to be excluded?

I have no idea of the pain poking within the feminine who are tortured like Aisha of Afghanistan who arrived in California the other day for surgery to fix her severed limbs.

What is it like for young girls to be abducted like the high school lifeguard, Molly Bish, who was murdered in West Warren, MA., more than a decade ago?

All of the trafficking of youngsters pulls at my heartstrings also these days. And, the children who are abused at home by parents or pastors or other predators.

A fledgling Feudal system will finally bring down exclusionary postures toward women in my Church, I pray God. Banning them from ordination, or elevating women to higher posts in church settings would have stemmed the scandalous sexual abuse crisis, I'm sure.

After all, mothers and women are protectors of those they carried nine months. No man can appreciate that like a mom can.

Any system of brutality and exclusionary practices that box out gals and other women, have to go.

What are we afraid of?

Why won't we treat ALL human beings in and outside of the womb with the dignity God gave each of us?

Do economics drive this discrimination, horror, torture? What drives it? Why?

Aisha, my four sisters, Sister Mary Gonzaga, Eleanor Josaitis, Rosa Parks, the murdered in El Salvador, Haiti's most vulnerable, put a human face on our plate.

Will I work to outlaw absolutes that put a line and wall on women? Will I?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Roots, Relationships, People and Politics

Leaders, the likes of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. may need to walk again.

Walk together, that is.

In union.


Our U.S. constitution hardly called for attorneys and other holders of law degrees, to run this Nation I love.

Go look for yourself.

You'll see.

The various trades were among the founders. Not attorneys. Or, canon lawyers, running the Catholic Church for example. Go figure.

Why should you be wondering and walking in protest ... together?

That's what it will take to get our government back and its traditions in the spirit of the Founders, not lawyers from the Ivy-leagues schools who seem to be the only one's who matter when it comes to leaders and those eleceted to manage my homeland.

This primary election is a good example of the "learned helplessness" Americans are feeling when it comes to our government, its example, its lawyers, and it peculiar interpretation of who is to make up our governmental leaders.

Talk to me once you check out the U. S. Constitution.

Tell me what I say isn't so. . .