Sunday, February 27, 2011

Twenty-Somethings in the Catholic Church

They came.

They talked.

They still wonder.

These twenty-somethings came to New York's Fordham University 600 strong.

They're the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.

They wonder if their church is talking to them rather than with them.

They feel disconnected.

They're in the "messy" middle of their church's teaching on sex.

They want purpose and meaning in their lives.

They wonder.

Who will lead them?

Who will search them out? Who will seek the lost twenty-somethings?

Some wonder who is really lost? The twenty-somethings or the church itself?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fresh Leadership with the People of God

Persisting crises that lead to empty church pews has the Catholic weekly magazine, America, proposing more input by the laity for a fresh approach for reform in the U.S. Church today.

Criticizing a culture of clericalism, the article quotes the late Pope John Paul II who lifted a comment from St. Paulinus of Nola for "Novo Millennio Ineunte:"

"Let us listen to what all the faithful say, because in every one of them the Spirit of God breathes" (No. 45).

Calling for change in church structure, America suggests more women and married men participate in governance.

One proposal suggested is to change canon law to admit laypeople to the College of Cardinals.
Doing this would create the face of the church as described in the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

Also proposed is creation of a new body of an international council of laypersons to share functions with the College of Cardinals. Each body would have 100 members.

Vatican offices would be led by some laity while others would report to Rome for regular consultation. Both would administer the Vatican offices, advise the pope and select his successor.

A path of renewal must be forged afresh to invigorate a fledgling church.''

There is merit in this modest proposal that could have been imagined and implemented with
the Second Vatican Council.

Waiting for further crumbling with an all-male establishment only welcomes a deeper divide.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stengthening Family


It always needs support.

Family ties, roots and relationships are always ready for strengthening.

Thats what Rabbi Modehai Waldman, Imam Sayed Najah al Hussaini and myself will aim to do next Monday,February 28th at 6 pm in the Royal Canadian Post at 1101 E. Eleven Mile Road in Royal Oak, MI.

There were nine of us in my family on Detroit's east side by the city airport on Lynch Road and Van Dyke.

Two sets of twins enlarged us as we lined Van Dyke on the way to church or school.

Rules kepts us tight.

In by dark. Do your chores. And, your homework.

Dinner togehter. Talk. Yell. Laugh. Play. Communicate.

Family was the topic of the late Pope John Paul II who wrote a series of encyclical letters on community.

Family is a community of persons. Each member has his or her role to play to make family work well.

Society is developed by family.

"The family, which is founded and given life by love, is a community of persons: of husband and wife, of parents and children, of relatives. Its first task is to live with fidelity the reality of communion in in a constant effort to develop an authentic community of persons," John Paul II wrote.

He went on to say:

"The famil is the first and fundamental school of social living: as a community of love,it find in self-giving the law that guides it and makes it grow. The self-giving that inspires the love of husband and wife for each other is the modeal and norm for the self-giving that must be practiced in the relationships between brothers and sisters and the different generations living together in the family.

Amid epidemics of obesity, addiction, and crime, a does of strengthening the family will help.

Join me Monday or give me a call at 586 530 7576.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Teeming Up With Teens on Crime Reduction

More than a dozen folks gathered in St. Clair Shores, MI., Public Library in January to put a dent in reducing crime.

Clergy and citizens joined to brainstorm ideas.

Participants also shared how they were prevented from doing crime.

Neighbors were more watchful, people were more cooperative as eyes of the community, hell itself was a deterrent for others, and, others were afraid of jail.

In the end, the interfaith group decided to meet March 1 at 4 pm in the St. Clair Shores Library at Jefferson and Eleven Mile Road. Teens will be welcomed to share their ideas on crime prevention. They will also tell how they stay away from crime.

Clergy and other citizens are teeming up with teens in this initiative.

All are welcome.

Go to for more information, or, call me at 586 777 9116 please.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Falling Upward: Two Halves of Life

One has two halves of life.

Did you know that?

Much of life is spent securing an identity, a job, and, a mate.
Consequently, one thinks that this is all there is to life as Peggy Lee wondered in song.

Franciscan priest Richard Rohr present a spirituality (an awakening) for the two halves of life.
He offers a paradigm for understanding how one's failings can be the foundation for growth.

Heartbreak, disappointment, and weakness can serve as stepping-stones to the spiritual joys that the second half of life has in store. Rohr says, paradoxically, we grow spiritually more by doing life wrong than by doing it right.

He claims people "remain stymied in the preoccupations of the first half of life," unaware that the first half is the warm-up, far from the complete and full journey.

"If you realize that there is a further journey, you might do the warm-up act quite differently, which would better prepare you for what follows, he writes in his latest book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.

"My conviction is that some falling apart of the first journey is do not waste a moment of time lamenting poor parenting, lost job, failed relationship, physical handicap, gender identity, or economic poverty. Pain is part of the deal. If you don't walk into the second half of your own life, it is you who do not want it. God will always give you exactly what you truly want and desire. So make sure you desire, desire deeply, desire yourself, desire God, desire everything good, true, and beautiful."

One's roots and relationships are all about the journey of the two halves of life.

I don't want to miss the deeper journey that my roots drive me to explore. There awaits a fullness of life.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Yes, We Can, Will!

At least a dozen couples today will renew their wedding vows.


They will remind themselves and those listening in of their commitment to marriage.

Yes they will.

An arduous task, they will push ahead in the marital relationship.

They will keep their feet to the fire when there is little support for marriage and family.

In a time and culture when "it is easy come and easy go" they will choose YES.

That is remarkable.

They will keep their promise in good times and bad, in sickness and health, when convenient
and not, until death do they part.

Perhaps there is no lesson stronger than this to witness to young people watching married people today.


Congratulations to all married couples who continue their yes!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


It happens each year. The years go higher.

You would think that I'mready for this annual rite of passage.

Years mounts. Time flies.


Who would have thought I'd turn 62?

It is inevitable, nevertheless.

The page turns. We get older.

We grow up fast in our family with deep roots, relationships and more.

I've learned to relish life more now.

I know it won't be forever. Here on earth, at least.

As sure as the sun sets, I will pass over one day.

I am quick to add: Heaven can wait, however.

It can.

Life's longing is too precious to see it end. I savor it.

It is short. I squeeze all I can out of the life I am blessed with, the family I have, the friends
I see, the hours remaining.

Sweet life.

It is the only one I get.

I love it, and each second I breathe.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

10 Years Later: What Have We Learned From 9/11

A decade after the trauma of 9/11, what have we learned?

How are we?

That question may be most penetrating of all.

It seems that fear has fully enveloped us as a nation.

Fear has locked us in place and paralyzed this land I love.

How do we unlock this fear, heal this unhealed wound?

What have we learned from 9/11? Where are we now a decade later?

Where do we go from here?

How are our relations with others?

The conversation must continue to move us from our fear
freezing us to go further as one people under God.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yet Another Study on Men and Marriage

Another study in this week's Time magazine shows that men are not afraid of commitment to get married these days.

"Single men are, on the whole, as likely to want to get married as single women," suggests the survey.

The survey of 5,200 single people from ages 21 to over 65, showed that single men are more likely than women to be open to dating those of a different race or religion, to falling in love at first sight, more eager to combine banks accounts sooner and more likely to want children. funded the survey of the partnerless.

The survey seems to settle the impression that the dating scene is the kind of all-you-can-meet buffet for enjoyment.

Men had a greater tendency toward parenthood than the females surveyed.

"While more than half the single men ages 21 to 35 wanted kids, only 46% of the women did."
More women than men were prepared to say definitively that they were skipping parenthood.

With more than 100 million single people in the U.S., surveys prove that married couples are in the minority.

What all this means for the future of children and childless parents neads further exploration.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Marriage Preparation

Couples who marry these days know the value of preparation.

Both short and long-term preparation for the wedding is necessary.

Take Linda and Mike, for example. They've been preparing since childhood
observing mom and dad's love for each other. They've seen other couples

Yet, issues such as money, power, intimacy, communications, and more,
are vital areas to explore before they plunge into a lifelong commitment.

Who handles the money?

Who initiates intimacy?

Where is God in all this?

Do I adequately make my feelings known to my beloved?

Do I know the roots of my intended spouse? What about his or her relationships?

Couples have to color their feelings for one another to fully appreciate
the intensity of the feeling.

Take Linda for example, who was feeling neglected when her boyfriend
wasn't calling her from a distance while he spent weeks away from her
on the job.

She wasn't vividly describing how infuriated she would become when he
wouldn't call. She learned to color her feeling of fury RED on a scale of 1 -10.

Her mind wandered:

Was he losing interest?

Some skills in best communicating how one feels can prevent arguments and misundertandings down the road.

Marriage preparation is a lifelong process.

Relationships are hard work.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Slip on Snow-Covered Ice

In an attempt to stop a fall on snow-covered and slippery ice Monday night,
I threw my back into pain I have not felt for years.

Until Tuesday afternoon of this week life worked as usual.
Then, almost suddenly the unbearable ache throughout my lower back.

Quickly I visited my chiropractor.

Still, the pain is pervasive with almost every move.

Stooping, bending, walking, and moving up and down the stairwell of
my condominium causes pain.

It's a reminder of how much one takes for granted good health until it's
suddenly gone.

Four days of this is tough. Perhaps I'll visit my chiropractor again today.

A couple of pain killers seemed to put me to sleep for the moment, anyway.

When one has to move slower, one knows pain is here.

Hoping for tomorrow to be pain free.