Friday, January 31, 2014

6 Rules for Family Spirituality

Tim and Sue Muldoon note six rules for families, and, a spirituality for the home, including:

(1)  God brings our family together on pilgrimage;

(2)  Our love for each other leads to joy;

(3)  Our family cares less about "success;"

(4)  God stretches our family toward the Kingdom of God;

(5)  God will help us; and,

(6)  We must learn which desires lead us to freedom.

All-Faiths Festival of Metropolitan Michigan

"Macomb County, MI., Community Marriage Policy Covenant Celebrating Five Years Since Its Signing Ceremony in the Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Roseville, MI., and Family Diversity," Sunday, March 9, 3-5 PM, in Big Jack's Bar-B-Q Grille, 27454 Gratiot, 48066.

Roseville, MI., Mayor John Churkin, other civic leaders, and clergy, will be on hand with other marriage supporters, including Marriage Encounter, Retrovaille (a French word, meaning returning, recovering, for Marriages in Crisis), Engaged Encounter, divorced and separated, same-gender committed partners and unions, will dine and share ways the five-year-old CMP is being enacted concretely at home and in churches, mosques, synagogues, and more places of worship.

Mature, married mentor couples will be available to assist troubled marriages, among others.

Participants will also plan for the Thursday, June 19, 4:45-6:30 pm themed, "A Call and Challenge to Celebrate Marriage and Family Diversity," with national and local leaders, including Warren, MI., Mayor Jim Fouts, among other civic heads and clergy, in the Warren, MI., Civic Center Atrium. 

MS GROWTH GROUPS, Tuesday, Feb. 4th, 7 pm in the Detroit Pub Pool Room area, 33401 Harper, Clinton Twp., and, another Multiple Sclerosis support session, Wednesday, Feb. 5th, 7 pm in Linda's Place, 27209 Crocker, Harrison Twp.

Witnessing to positive ways to live well with MS will be Dr. Steven Wood, D.C.

CATHOLIC SINGLE MINGLE meets for dinner and more, Tuesday, March 4th from 5 pm in the Detroit Pub Pool Room area, 33401 Harper at 14 Mile Road in Clinton Twp., MI.

Hosts will be Paul Mauk, among others.  All singles are welcome to this $2 Tuesday special for burgers, beer and well drinks, and more.

Lent, from the Old English, "Lencten," starts the next day, Ash Wednesday, March 5th when Christians are reminded of their mortality.  The 40-day season of "springtime" for new life involves intense praying, fasting and 'almsgiving' - generosity for the needy and poor.

Single Mingles meets also all the Fridays of Lent for fish, and more. 

Call Steven Wood at (586) 909 2704 for more information.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Generation of Promise of Father William Cunningham, Eleanor Josaitis' Focus:HOPE, Detroit

William Jones, Jr. continues in the footsteps of the late William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis who founded Focus:HOPE in 1968 when civil strife gripped my hometown of Detroit, MI., USA.

High school students from the city and 'burbs went to daylong retreats in Holly, MI., to face each other's diversity.

They did.

Since 1987, Generation of Promise has been working with youth across metro Detroit, according to Stephen Ragan, a newcomer to Focus:HOPE who is a development and external relations officer at the iconic human and civil rights organization that thrives today at 1335 Oakman Boulevard, Detroit, MI., 48238, 313 494 5500,, on a sprawling campus deep in the inner city.

Students from various economic, racial and religious backgrounds work together to be equipped with skills on leadership, volunteering, economic development, and more.  In the past, spirituality was an essential  part of the original retreats Father Cunningham led.

Packing boxes for seniors and other needy folks in metro Detroit, I am inspired by the young people who are committed to Focus:HOPE, and, its mission.

It pleases me to join others for a breakfast about Generation of Promise, hosted by DTE Energy, at its corporate headquarters in my downtown Detroit, February 7th.

Write, for more, or, call Mr. Ragan at 313 494 4257 to support this Generation of Promise.

And, thanks for paying attention.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thanks to the Governor!

My heart bursts with gratefulness to our Michigan Governor Rick Snyder these days.

At his State of the Union Address, so to speak, he challenged legislators to press the federal government to balance the budget.

He did.

Families have to also.

I do as well.

Too bad the entire Lansing, MI., audience was unwilling to stand on both sides with applause!

Growing up is in order.

Working for the common good is the ideal aim.

Division and lack of unity fractures only further.

It does!

Too bad!

And, his proposal for professional immigrants to get visas to Detroit, MI., and, to come and enjoy the Motor City is another occasion to thank the Gov for helping my hometown grow again and rise up from the ashes.

Such welcoming has always been part of our story of this grand Nation.

It includes my own grandparents and more.

Thank you Governor!

Let It Snow

White and bright snow.

I love it.

Like the pristine power and beauty of the brightness of the flakes falling, life is lit up with the white stuff.

It is.

Amid these days that are  longer with the light more than the dark, people seem to savor the blanket covering the earth.

Shorter, dark days affect mood.

For some, seasonal affective disorder mounts in January and beyond.

It does.

Yet, keeping life positive and building on human nature, grace, blessing and favor, all will be well!


I'm grateful.

For the ability to feel the cold...and, warmer days coming with the robin as well.

Even at 65.

Thank God!


FEBRUARY 2, 2014
                                Malachi 3:1-4   Psalm 24:8   Hebrews 2:14-18   Luke 2:22-40


We all like it, I'm sure!

And, we can't do without it.

We stumble in the dark, may be cautious about it, and more.

These days are even getting lighter and brighter.

And, churches are filled with light from candles and the blessing of them this day, the Feast of the Presentation.

A procesion with the light is accompanied by the canticle, Nunc Dimittis (that is, "Lord, now let your servant go in peace!"

The last flicker of the Christmas season seems to observe the presentation of Jesus in the Jerusalem temple.  And, the outdoor manger scene at the Vatican remains until this day.

It seems as though we can't let go of God becoming flesh.

We call this the Incarnation, God taking on human flesh, like your own dignity and mine.
 Such worthiness indeed!

Malachi tells of the Lord coming to occupy his temple.

But, it is almost terrifying how the prophet presents this occasion with God's purifying fire.

This fire consumes all the defiles true worship of the Creator.

An undefiled and pure offering is called for here.

On the other hand, the Gospel has Luke, the evangelist, a good news bearer, shows the Lord entering the temple small, as a infant, with little majesty or might.

Simeon sees in this child Jesus the salvation of God (the word means healing, like salve, and how Christ came to save us all from sin and death).

Simeon is the loyal servant who remains faithful forever.

He awaits the Messiah his entire life.

The Messiah is a light to the Gentiles (us, the non Jews!)

The child is indeed a light to the nations and the glory (weight) of Israel, the one enabling true worship of the Father.

This saving power of God abounds again as presented in the holy mystery of Christmas.

God is indeed with us.

God is Emmanuel.

He is the one who instructs us with the Inaugural Address, the sermon on the mount.


We want to keep it lit like the illuminating statues at my bedside as I grew up.  Like the Infant of Prague, perhaps, like that in the tent at the bedside of the US General in Iraq, Schwarzkopf.

We all like this Light, I'm sure.

Keep the light burning brothers and sister!

As the song singer shouts:

"Don't let the light go out!"


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The 80 20 Manager

Did you know that the idea that 20 percent of energy, effort, time and vital decisions generates 80 percent of one's success and fruitfulness?

Richard Koch does.

Koch's latest tome on the 80/20 principle shows how to apply this idea to managing life and business also.

It is revolutionary.

I like it.

And, millions of others bought the best-selling book.

A head-turner of a book and a must-read for those who want to be great leaders who get extraordinary results.

Now, I must go and apply this 80/20 Manager principle.

January 22

Roe v. Wade.

There was little if any mention of the anniversary of the high court's ruling on abortion.

What gives?

Pope Francis' outrage at abortion was hardly covered by the media.  Yet, the media seems to use his messages to enforce their own positions.

News is news.

And, thousands of marchers defending life in and outside the womb today, at the Mall in Washington, D.C., is news, for sure.

Shame on the press for doing less than reporting news these days.

Digital and print reporters seem to simply write about what they agree with when it comes to news.

Up close and personal, I've witnessed abortion.

When a mother carries a baby, believers need to walk with her and provide her with all the support needed to give birth to a healthy child.

Talk is cheap.

Action in support of the wellness of pregnant moms, from uncommitted dads also, and those who choose life at every stage need to accompany mothers.

When others simply sit and support the taking of human life, others need to stand together to speak out against abortion.

Out of the Shadow

Teachers, sports players, clergy, among others need to be transparent about their sexual orientation.

Given that gays, for example, are persecuted, and more, staying closeted is one's lone option.

However, issues will emerge if one chooses not to come out of the shadows of her or his life.

It breaks my heart, for example, to witness the overwhelming sexual abuse and boundary violations of clergy these past five decades, and beyond, I'm sure.

A bishop was recently alleged with abuse and stepped down, according to policies of the diocese, does not perform public ministry, but, works in his office daily, for example.

It seems to me that if this bishop, like Bishop Gene Robinson who came out as a gay man,  among other clergy came out, the cycle of the abuse would be stopped.

Life is like that.

Until one's life is fully embraced, violence to one's self, one's soul, and others occurs, sad to say.

One needs to embrace her or his sexuality in order that inappropriate, even criminal behavior does not erupt when clandestine acting out occurs readily.

Like a big beach ball that is pressed into a bath tub full of water finds a way to buoy up out of the water, so does one's behavior erupts.

Life is like that.

To accept and acclaim one's sexuality is critical to health and wellness.

I was saddened to speak on the phone recently with a bishop who needs to embrace who he is in order to stop the inappropriate, even criminal behavior.

Institutional and personal denial  of one's orientations exacerbates problems, when 'don't ask, don't tell' is the choice.

God help this brother pastor, and others, who fail to step up and celebrate their sexuality, whether straight, gay or otherwise.

I know.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Human Person

Doctor King's belief in the imbued dignity and worth of the human person shapes the cornerstone of his assault on racism, segregation, violence, unemployment and poverty.

According to Dr. Randall Philips, pastor at Saint Blaise Parish in Sterling Heights, MI., King's concept also influenced his political-economic perspective regarding communism, socialism and capitalism.

What is man?

A most significant question helps us celebrate who we are as human this day we honor him.

The Bully Pulpit: Roosevelt, Taft and the Godlen Age of Journalism

Doris Kearns Goodwin, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, detailed chronicles of the Civil War and World War II.

Now, this major work of history explores activism and change that  brought the country closer to its founding ideals.

Her book on the genius of Lincoln, and, later, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt won her the Pulitzer Prize.

This dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era comprises her Bully Pulpit.

Headlines serve as the backdrop to her book, including the widening gap between the rich and poor, bombs exploding in crowded streets, money in politics, and more.

Primary sources create her text and tome of 800 pages.

Weather of warm and cold summarize some of Goodwin's history in this good read.

Angel of God +

My guardian dear,
to whom his love
commits me here,
ever this day
be at my side,
to light and guard,
to rule and guide.

Amen. +

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Realm of 'Having' vs. 'Being'

To have.

Or, to be.

That is the question.

'Tis nobler to be.


Edward Popielarz taught about the beatitudes of Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 5: vs. 1-12.

They are attitudes of being.

They are.


Money, power and sex, according to David Stewart are stems of problems when used addictively, extremely.

They become attachment disorders as John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, Spain taught long before the dawn of psychology as we know it with Sigmund Freud, for example.

When I live in the world of being there is joy, hope, love, peace, humility, kindness, truth, compassion, faith, prudence, fortitude, justice, temperance, and serenity of the Spirit of God.

These are positive aspects of being.

Negative aspects are fear, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity, guilt, lies, false pride, ego and superiority.

Much of one's life can be lived in the realm of 'having,' and the negative as opposed to being and the positive.

The famous Father Edward Popielarz' class in acceptance meets the third Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7 PM on Big Jack's Bar-B-Q Grille in Roseville, MI., teaches these lessons of life. David Johnstone leads the sessions.

And, on the first Monday of each month at the same time and place, a Morphing/Mending sessions meets for all.  Sandra Bell leads that session.  All are welcome also!


Contact, (586) 777-9116 for contact information for more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Class in Acceptance

A book, The Cost of Discipleship, gripped me early in life. 

The German pastor, Bonhoeffer wrote it.

He stood for Germany's Jews because of his Christian faith and love of Jesus.

He was engaged in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Bonhoeffer was. 


He was killed in a concentration camp in 1945 weeks before the end of the world war.

Some Christian rose up against Nazis?


He did.

A hero.

He had no room for phony religion or faith for that matter. Most days I don't either.  Hyposcirsy I hate in myself, and, others.

I do.

Bonhoeffer did not stand for fakes.

He called that, cheap grace and favor and blessing!


He was more than an academic.

In the trenches, Bonhoeffer was in the streets where rubber meets the road.

I use him as an example in a class in acceptance the third Wednesday of each month, (tomorrow it meets) from 5:30 pm in Big Jack's Bar-B-Q Grille in Roseville, MI., 48066. David Johnstone, a disciple of Pops also leads the session.  "He saved my life," Johnstone confesses of Pops.  "From alcohol."

Father Pops was a Godlike guardian of my soul.

He was.

Of Pops' notes that the good Father Ed Popielarz left me, the revered  Father Andrew Greeley, professor of social science at the University of Chicago, wrote in the Foreword to my edited Soul Stuff, A Class in Acceptance Workbook:

"The basic Celtic theme and spiritual wisdom in Anam Cara by John O'Donohue is acceptance also."

Pops was ahead of his times.

"Self rejection was a theme in the first six decades of this century in the spirituality of seminaries and novitiates," concludes Greeley.

"We learned that the more we hate ourselves, the more holy we were.  Most of us, I suspect, knew better."

"Reading through this book I am sad that Father Popielarz or someone like him was not our spiritual director at the seminary."

"Surely it is true that we have propensities to self deception.  It is also true that we can use self-acceptance, like any other valuable insight, as a crutch to nurture our own envies and dislikes and to beat up on others.  But the corruption of the wisdom of our own dignity and worth does not refute that wisdom."

Sure, Father Pops was considered eccentric. 

And, that he thought outside the box, and was excluded by his official church leaders.

They broke communion with him.

Thank God for Bonhoeffer, for Popielarz, Greeley, among other realistic theologians.

When Bonhoeffer was executed, the crematorium at Flossenburg was broken. 

He  joined the fate of the multiple Jews who were killed also before him that day.

Bonhoeffer's body was tossed  on a pile and consumed in smoke.

His life was honorable for the Jews, for the cost of discipleship Jesus entails, and more.

He believed, like so many of us do, that faith in the Holy Spirit, and, obeying God, at the cost of death, is the lone way to walk the trail of tears and joys.

It is.

Evil is defeated this way.

The lone way.

A lonely way for me also.

"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die," noted Bonhoeffer.

Would that I will die this way.

I long for this prophetic path.

This painful path is the culture of the God of the Sacred Scriptures.

It is the road of joy also, however.

Spirituality is about waking up to God's will and way.

Attuning self to God alone.

It means I must die to self and grip everlasting life in order to do away with all fear of dying.

God help me.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Darnell, A Big Rat, and an Angel

Young Darnell colored a big rat on one sheet of paper.  On another, the same lad, brightened the wings of an angel with yellow crayon.

"Who wins?" I asked him, "the angel or the rat?"

Pointing to the big rat with a smile, I shot back:

"The one you feed wins!"

It does.

"When you return home," I concluded, "give your grandma a big hug."  "Feed the angel who loves you and cares for you."

Darnell walked up to his mentor as she stood, and, he hugged her.

Darnell fed the angel.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pastoral Life Director is Married Man Leading Parish In Oakland, CA.

A well of workers in a Catholic Church in need of leaders of local parishes.

That's was a trend that began to grow in the 80s but was left to dwindle, the independent National Catholic Reporter writes.

In the Diocese of Oakland, California, for example, Steve Mullin, is considered pastor when parishioners are asked who is this married pastoral life director.

The dynamic All Saints Parish he has led for a dozen years, is vibrant.

Yet, Mullin wonders why the weekend-only Catholics aren't more involved.

So, he's  training others to ask them after Mass some weekend.

Why isn't Detroit, among other struggling, resident-pastor parishes following this seeming success story?

Could it be that bishops don't like those they have little control over to lead?

Unless bishops have ordained men in parishes, they let the leadership of others go by the wayside.

And, parishes lose again, sad to admit.

When will we ever learn?

Or, let go of control and hand it over?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

We Can Do More


That's what the late  Eleanor Josaitis of Focus:HOPE in Detroit would say to challenge coworkers, among others.


We all can do more.

Like Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan who took to the streets this week to solicit from employees how the job of picking up garbage could be better in Motown.


Not only that, he went with snow removers and heard firsthand how to get the job done better.


What a spirited pep talk the mayor gave to fellow workers Tuesday morning.

Calling them all to be more.

What a novel idea, I thought.

I wondered what it would be like if church leaders rode through the trenches with those there working hard in the streets.


We all need to hear it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Time

How refreshing is new time with new leadership, fresh food, and more.

With a new pope came fresh air.

That's obvious as Time's Man of the Year captures the world.

His heart, his pastoral care and inclusivity, and, his holiness grips the globe.

For sure.

Would that this were true elsewhere.

Would that each diocese took to his style and grace.

Would that his posture send local leaders living out his approach.

Like a family, the church needs conversations like that of Pope Francis.

He talks with people rather than from a script.

Dialogue is the "stuff" of families.

Everyone enjoys being included.

Francis is showing us the way.

And, the world.

Along with local leadership.

He is.

Officials will make a difference in Detroit and elsewhere when they take their lead from this pope who follows Jesus Christ, for sure.