Friday, April 27, 2012

Being Accountable

Everyone is accountable to someone positively or unwillingly.

Youngsters may not appreciate being limited by time constraints to report to mom and dad, or, home, at least. 

Some workers would rather be without constraints, and, a boss holding her or him accountable.

Take for example, the Vatican order Wednesday to overhaul the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

After an extensive investigation, Catholic Church officials called into church accountability "radical feminist themes" that questioned official policy on the doctrinally-cemented, and forbidden, ordination of women, and, the LCWR's "pastoral"  posture on homosexuality.

The 1,500 member organization reportedly represents 80 % of the 57,000 women religious in the U.S.

A wise elder mentioned to me last Saturday at the Men's Conference at Oakland University in Rochester, MI.,  the original meaning of the word, communion.  Derived from municipality, Father Philip, confidently asserted, "Municipal government glues together cities and towns."  By implication, the Franscisan pastor noted that residents have to be in communion with the municipal  leadership to make the system work.

Similarly, accountability is critical.

Yet, is questioning of a parent by a teen, in the home, for example, unwelcomed?

To line up with official teaching and positions, can one remain accountable and still ask questions about revered and respected traditions?

Perhaps, among the best examples of accountability emerge from Alcoholics Anonymous, a worldwide organization of members coping with maintaining recovery from attachment disorders that Saints Theresa of Avila, and John of the Cross, in 16th-century Spain, addressed.

In the weekly meetings of A.A, in edifice basements and backrooms, irregular participants are called into account when absent.

"We missed you at our meeting last week?"

"Recovery works if you work the 12 Steps, you know!"

Questions such as those spout and keep this cherished gift of Western spirituality vital and fruitful to those who relish sobriety that reeked and destroyed countless families, once upon a time.

Christ's mind requires morphing of every Christian's heart each day.

Holy communion requires the municipal membership the "good pastor" recalled in conversation of lunch a week ago at the men's conference that drew over 500 guys, among them many morphing their minds and hearts in celebration of reconciliation or confession during the hyped and pep-rally-like talks given by noted Catholic speakers.

It was clear to me that these penitents honored their communion with the Catholic Church.  Perhaps most members do.  I do.

Like youngters, who have to practice obedience at school, membership means much more than simply refraining from acting outside of established teaching.  Membership makes one accountable to the common good established by Vatican II, for example, the ecumenical conclave that started 50 years ago this September, in 1962-65.  Scripture and tradition matter much. Fresh air marked the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. This vital organism changed, or, may have diminished. All organism must grow, or, suffer death.  That's a principle worth savoring daily as one morphs and mends.

How to moderate questions, however, at home in a family, is a delicate dialog, like those asked by members of the Catholic Church who love the People of God.

Abandoning or throwing out erring members, however, may not work as it thins out the pews, and, reasonable, tolerant and the considerate Catholic Communion these days. Telling priests who have been allegedly accused of sin "to find a good lawyer and distance yourself from us," only throws them back to prey on youngsters, if, in fact they are pathological pedophiles.  Redemption requires working with the worst of us.  Jesus proved, but, moreso showed that in his huge heart of forgiveness and compassion beyond legal advisers these days whispering into officials ears telling them what to say. 

Cardinal Bernadin, who was falsely accused knew what to say when legal advice wanted to reign above the teachings of Jesus. In fact, he was proved innocent by the man dying of A.I.D.S. Parishioners lined the streets of the mass transit that the good Cardinal rode with the People of God as his body was carried to be buried in its human imperfection.  A Gospel-driven Church moves beyond money that fuels Her so often, it seems.

Prayer and fasting has proven an effective and pastoral  way of resolving issues.

And, taking time, to be pastorally pro-actively present to all members, rather than only reacting is a pastoral approach that beats efficiency that tends to rule many meetings of minds and hearts these days.

Humans require the love that Jesus showed and preached that surpasses any political party.

After all, that's what Catholics do best in love for each other at daily Mass, and more, isn't it?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Suburbs and City!

May 7, 2012.


Break bread at 6 pm in a pot luck meal.

Hear local leaders from the City of Detroit and suburbs address "Uniting the Region, Restoring Family and Neighborhood by Loving God and One's Neighbor," at 7 pm in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, lower level.

We need to do this.

We can be better with each other.

We can.

Call me or connect with me at (313) 530 2777 or write me at

Then, come again June 4 in the same place at the same time.

Break bread, and, hear a panel address the topic.  Meet, greet, enjoy, and bridge the divide together.

Scripture mandates more of us all. 

Will you lead with me, please?

Mayors, clergy, local leaders, neighbors, among others, are encouraged to participate.

My Motown.  My 'burbs.


Let's lift our towns, and move forward together.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Things Learned Living Long

Laughing some each day is much like inner jogging for me.  I feel better with a deep belly laugh often.

Experience is indeed the best teacher.  Everything else is commentary, including education.

Stillness and silence some each day is misunderstood.  Never was my silence misquoted, however.

Little things matter mostly.  Days pass quickly like the blade of grass, as the psalm writer notes in the Bible. Special moments do matter more than time that swiftly passes.

A grudge is too heavy a burden for me to carry.  It only creates resentment over time.  And, in fact, is resent, from the French word's origin, until I deal with it, face it, and let it go.  Resent to sender, as the song sang similarly.  Or, was it:  Return to sender?

A pity pot is something to sit on some days of living.  To flush is key, however, when finished on the pot.

Character is all I have, and is who I really am.  One's reputation is what others perception of me is, and, only that.  Where has character gone?

Counting my blessings instead of sheep allows me to sleep sound each night.

These reminders are more important than any new information.  I savor and celebrate them often for wellness.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Catholics Men Converge on Oakland University

Thousand of Catholic men are expected to converge on Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, Saturday, April 21.

Aim of the day-long rally-like conference is conversion, transformation and evangelization, according to Bishop Michael Byrnes of the archdiocese of Detroit. An opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation throughout the day is set in the O'Rena at 2200 Squirrel Road.

"They'll join with similar vibrancy for Jesus Christ," said John Schulte, a deacon at Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in Waterford, MI., in Oakland County.

Mass will be celebrated to start the day at 8 am while nationally noted speakers of Eternal Word Television Network are featured.

"Crossing the line and God's winning way," is the theme of this year's event that first started in 2002 when three thousand men participated.  Walk-ins are welcome.  The fee is $40 with a student rate at $25.

For more information, vist, or  Reach Schulte at (248) 255 6741, oe

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Why I Am A Catholic . . .Still

Because of beauty.

There's such awesome beauty in the Catholic Church down through the ages.

There's story. Imagination. And, more.

There are marks of the Church: One, holy catholic and apostolic.

Perhaps, also, an added mark of changing, reforming, growing as a living organism must, or. . .

It dies.

Why am I a Catolic?

The short answer is that I was born a Catholic, and baptized soon after my twin sister and I emerged from my mom's tabernacle.

Raised Catholic.

Educated at Saint Thomas the Apostle Schools on Detroit's east side. Catholic Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Third Order of Saint Francis of Garfield Heights, Ohio, formed me with my mom and dad, godparents, and a warm caring community.

Small faith groups were part of the reason for being Catholic. . .still.

Speak up sessions in Synod '69 after the ecumenical Second Vatican Council that marks one hundred years now since its start in 1962 at the Vatican.

Stained glass windows of living saints equipped with the armour of God to motivate and inspire.


It would rise to the heavens at daily Mass I attended as a youngster in grade school. It enshrined the importance of routine and regularity in a spiritual life.

Great women and men shaped this infantile soul through more than six decades.

They are what used to be called the church militant before they become the communion of saints.

Catholics like being Catholic.

That's what the research shows.

And, that included me.

A pope once said that Catholics are like one's relationship with one's other: You love her or hate her.

That's me.

Multiple feelings at the same time, in fact, I love and I hate her at the same time for the humanity she is comprised of by pilgrim people, so to speak.

Not being Catholic seems unthinkable for me.

It's in my DNA, in fact, and, in my blood and bones and being.

The Eucharist, the Word and the Madonna are reasons I'm Catholic also.

We're a rich community of faith that has it all, it seems. Fullness in many forms and ways, if not in story and in imagination we're deplete of at times when it comes to a shortage of personnel, for example to lead this great Catholic Church.

Young adults, youthful marriages, and more, seem to enjoy only (anti)-social media, tweeting, Facebook, and so forth, yet there are sprinklings of evergreen hope in mushrooming prayer groups among teens and others popping up everywhere it seem when I ask. Such social media is a community when committed believers join in "chat rooms" to share why they're Catholic, and the cry for incarnating Catholic social teaching of the great Scriptures and tradition.

Catholics were here with the early "way" of Jesus before the name Catholic was assumed to identify us. We go way back, first in fact with our elder Jewish sisters and brothers. After all, Jesus was a Jew, and, we organized his truths to tell the world with joy in fullness of faith.



And, the Catholic way of Jesus.

I'll drink of the precious cup of blood to that to the end!
And, I'll take in, and be, and make of my hands, a throne for the Body of Christ, who I am, to recall the morphed Saint Augustine of Hippo, in present day Africa.

To Life!

Forgotten Harvest, Fruitful Events

A visit with a pastor of Evangel Ministries on Utica Road in Rosevile last Saturday, was most inspiring.

The rain poured down like the dewfall while a steady stream of parishioners, among others, lined up in the parking lot for a head of cabbage, milk drinks, bread, Breyer's ice cream, tomatoes, and more from Forgotten Harvest.

An impressive organization, the name implies fruits of the field that may be so abundant that stores and producers give it away to the needy of metropolitan Detroit, and elsewhere, I bet.

This free food was enthusiastically embraced as it was carried to waiting cars,

A warm, gripped handshake welcomed me in the person of the son of the former pastor of Evangel Ministries, Pastor Burns, who assumed the helm of the middle to lower-class community in Roseville, Michigan, recently, he told me.

The historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church, a stone's throw, so to speak, from Evangel, distributes volumes of food daily at Gratiot and Utica Roads. Diane Kramer, the executive mangager there is spotted carrying bagsful of bananas, soups, soaps, and juices, amid carbs
for those who press the doorbell of the busy church marking its one hundred and fifty years
of praising God, serving and reaching out to neighbors in the "love of God/Neighbor" commandments of Jesus.

"Love your neighbor as yourself," Jesus said. And, it may seem to some that minimal love marks many since neighborly love seems so limited these days. In fact, some civic leaders and Neighborhood Watch groups, among others, are taking up the clarion call of Jesus this Easter season season to lift up life through the 50 days through Pentecost Sunday, May 27th.

Fogotten Harvest.

Evangel Ministries will be there to feed followers April 28th all morning.

Just visiting with Pastor Burns is a treat for me.

Friday, April 13, 2012

50 Days


There's something about 50.


You turned 50 and. . .

Fifty years of marriage.

Fifty years on the job.

Rooted in a home for over fifty years on Detroit's east side. That was my family of nine who resided on Arcola Street near Lynch Road and Van Dyke, a stone's throw from the Detroit City Airport.

Relating to other for over fifty years now for myself.

And, much more that fifty have people been praising God, giving glory to the Maker!


Fifty days of the Easter season all the way through Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012.



We are people of life. Easter people. God's people with roots, religion and relationships.

A blessed Easter season daily to you.

And, then some.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Play Ball!

Go Tigers!

Tampa Bay is in town this week with our Detroit Tigers. I look forward to savoring a couple of those afternoon matches as a pause during this Easter season through Pentecost Sunday that has me relishing the risen life of Jesus the Christ.

Catholics observe 50 days of celebrating with the penitential season taking a back seat now after that 40-day stint of intense prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Like life's rounds about the consolations and desolations of a roller-coaster-like ride each day, the Tigers will round the bases and stockpile win and after win.

Baseball is like that.

And, a lot like life also.

The routine of the long season and its discipline makes for a hearty time for Motown, home of the Supremes, among other singers and entertainers in this great town. Everybody seems to sing: Take me out to the ballgame. . .buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks; I don't care if...

Like our Tigers, however, we win some and lose some.

We don't get everything we want in life. We get sick. We may be passed over for a promotion.
And, eventually, we die and pass over to heaven, unless one has other plans!

The steady season, nevertheless, is a regular routine that humans relish.

A set schedule and a daily regimine of work, play, pray, and laughter is fruitful for one's soul.

Play ball!

Take me out to the ballgame is my clarion call this Spring.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Yes to life!


It is all around us, isn't it?

In the flower buds.  In the trees.

The grass.  Red and yellow tulips, and more.

To life!

Death has no dominion over life.

Doubt is defeated.  So is despair. 

As Jews celebrate Passover and their deliverance from the tyranny of Egypt's corrupt, a land flowing with milk and honey welcomes the pilgrim wanderers into Palestine.

To life!

As Christians mark a week filled with so many feelings - denial, bargaining, betrayal of Jesus, and more -
Easter's spring is not far off, is it?

Resurrection triumphs smallness, sin, selfishness.

Jesus the Christ rises from the ashes of his lifeless body on the tree of the cross.

On the wood of the cross hung our healing, and, our salvation.

To life!

To live it fully and forever.


I love it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hospitality and Holy Week's Hostility

Fire Top Grill.

Now, that's quite the restaurant on Hoover at Thirteen Mile Road in Warren, MI.

While hostility met Jesus all the way to Calvary this holiest of weeks in the Christian calendar, hospitality spilled over at this welcoming feeding spot north of Detroit.

I approached the door of Fire Top Grill and a waitress welcomes my boyhood friend and me.


At no other place have I experienced such a greeting as I enter a restaurant, let alone a church for that matter.

Nice, I thought.

Sweet, in fact.

Go figure.

The owners, Tony and Marco, are remarkable Albanian men who manage other restaurants, including one in Somerset Mall in Troy, MI., clear across town from Fire Top Grill.

How refreshing is this site.

Smiles, handshakes, pats on the back, and more. Much more.

Gracious servers.

Observant. Attentive. Ready.

Unlike the hostility that Jesus experienced, I was moved by my encounter here with such hospitality.

I'll be back.

With Arnold, of course.

Who did you think I'd invite?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Murders must muster us to speak up, out with respect for life

It's as common as blowing one's nose these days.

That is, violence. Drive-by shootings. Kids killing kids. Adults behaving murderously, shame on us!

Daily, if not by the hour, another baby, a child, a daughter or son, a spouse, a student is reported to have been murdered. Rape runs rampant. Life is cheapened.

It is time for all faiths to stand together in solidarity to stop the carnage.

High regard for human life is paramount across these United States of American, let along the globe, the one circle we inhabit only decades before we pass on and leave a legacy of such horror unless we unite.

Children of Abraham must stop killing each other. None of our faiths tolerate unjust killing. It is required by our faiths to stand up against all forms of terror, bullying, and murder these days.

Human bloodshed mock the mandate of the Hebrew Scriptures:

"Thou shall not kill."

The Christian Scriptures:

"Love one another."

And, the Islamic Scriptures:

"Killing an innocent person unjustly is like killing all mankind."

Global and local war on life with countless human casualties depresses and demeans the dignity and worth of humans made in God's image and likeness. Moral leaders - giving Lady Justice eyes to see, and, a conscience - must rise together with the daunting challenge for justice and peace upon our cities, my Detroit and surrounding 'burbs, and, beyond.

Long so silent, clergy must rise together.

Weapons and wars are a primitive method of resolving conflict.

A fresh new era of reconciliaton with conversation, dialogue and common ground efforts to work together to end the urban and suburban and rural murders must aim clearly at reminding humans of a better way.

To be better, not bitter over differences that trigger gun use everywhere in my dear ole USA!

To aim higher for decency and respect of every human, to reach deeper into the soul of self and others for meaning and more.

After all, the barber from Iraq who cut my hair last Saturday in Troy, Michigan, is a child of God. And, the other barber from Palestine is loves as much as the Jew and Muslim.

God loves Christians and Muslims. God loves African Americans and Caucasians alike. God loves all political parties, especially the lone and singular one of the Bible: Love!

God is love, the Good Book notes. God is.

We are to be also.

In repentance for not doing enough to live up to a higher standard, I ask gorgiveness, O God!

May God forgive my failings and steer me to help usher in a fresh era of peace this holiest of weeks when Jesus the Christ was murdered. His crime: None but for loving and lifting up all of life in stooping to serve.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


This week I'm feeling all the feelings humans can muster, it seems.

Relating is work. No fooling this April Fool's Day!

It's work that is arduous and timely, yet necessary for tranquility in hearts, homes, and cities, let alone the world.

Relationships take time and trust to begin and grow.

They entail presence, continuity, availability, and, predicting that one will be there in a consistent manner at home, at school, at work, at play, at prayer, in fact.

Relating with others is much like relating with the Creator.

Precious time and patience is required daily, and, often throughout the day.

Human foibles may prevent these required elements in fostering rapport.

The maker's address never changes, it seems to me. Mine does.

Perhaps your own does also.

Stability is God's anchor. Mine is the Ground of all Being. For wellness in relating, I must
go to the Creator regularly and with routine each day, or else.

Or else, problems, fracture, and more confronts relationships.

Resolving conflict requires knowing, admitting and saying to the other(s) what I'm feeling in conflictual situations with familiy, friends, and acquaintances.

Naming my feelings of mad, sad, glad or scared, or variations of these is key.

Listing judgements about the current conflict one is facing is required work also.
Judgements are in the head. Feelings in the heart. Choices are decisions. We make them each hour, or minute of the day when rising, for example.

What one wants from the one I am in conflict with in any given situation also needs to be voiced clearly, concretely for effect and fruitful communicating and relations.

So, therefore, what I will do to make the relationship work is entailed.


Hard work.

We're all better for working at them, as opposed to throwing out others in a relationship when conflict buoys and emerges.

Like marriage that entails skills to relate well, every other encounter with humans demands listening twice as long as I speak.

Two ears remind me of that. One mouth means I wait, assess and hear what's beneath the words of another. Easy does it.

They make the world go round.

They do. Relationships are like that. They are.


Thanks be to God who hewns us in relating.

Holy week for believers gets us feeling fully all the feelings of the 150 psalms of the Bible.
They're all there.

Betrayal by Judas. Denial by Peter. Fear by rulers, and Jesus, I'm sure. Anger. Defeat.
Wonderment. Mad people, sad people. Glad. Afraid folks also.

The full gamut of feelings and emotions.

And, more in the mess of Jesus' dying and crucifixion we recall this Good Friday all the way up to Easter Sunday's huge celebration for 50 days. That's ten more days than Lent. Rising is huge. Jesus triumphs death and all the stuff that makes us humans.

Virtue begins in building relations.

Easy does do it in relating.