Monday, March 31, 2014

At the Airport: Mourning, Morning

Before the 8 am flight home, an elderly Black woman sat with her little green New Testament open.

Our eyes met.

"My brother died," sadly, she shared with me.

"And, I have to get back home to Detroit now because my husband is ill."

My empathy was shared as she told of how the "devil is working."

Cancer of the liver plagued her husband for years, she said.

She showed me her wrist as she raised her arm with obvious pain and wrenching from her facial expressions.

"It's swollen," I said, as she pressed it gently.

"Yes, it hurts me and I will get X-rays tomorrow," she announced.

It was clear to me that this wise woman was grieving this Sunday morning.

And, the devil was getting the credit for it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Skipping Easter

Life without Easter for once.

Imagine that.

I entertained the thought to skip it in my latest tome, Skipping Easter.

No crowded shopping centers, no Easter bunny, no jelly beans and marshmellow candy, no lamb shaped from butter, no kielbasa, ham, or dyed eggs.  No empty tomb shaped like the egg declaring Jesus' resurrection.


No Easter this year.




No hassles, traffic jams, and tales to be told like last Easter.

A trip to Easter Island to escape this highest holy day of the Christian calendar year seems so nice.

So nice.


It's not accomplished as easily as I had imagined, however.

Lessons are learned.

Life gets changed.


And, Easter would not be the same, indeed!

Happy Easter!


(Blogging off for nine days out of the country 'til the 30th when I blog again).

Baptist Businessman, Barney Field in Michigan April 7th

At Saint Faustina Catholic Church in Warren, MI., Thursday night, a member of the charitable men's outreach service organization, the Knights of Columbus, declared:

"He's really Catholic!"

"Who's that,?" I snapped back.

"Harry Veryser, the economist who taught meat Walsh College in Troy, MI.", the smiling Knight shot back with a bigger smile than the first.

Good for the former chair of the Economics Department.

And, for Barney Field who will tell of his "El Paso Miracle" at the same metropolitan Detroit Interfaith Conference for Clergy and Community Leaders, Monday, April 7, 9:30 am until 5 pm in the Islamic House of Wisdom, 22575 Ann Arbor Trail, Dearborn Heights, MI., 48127.

Tagged, "Restoring Marriage and Family Life in 2014," it sure will be fiesty and not for the faint-hear-ted soul.

Take it up a notch now!

Family needs it!

Register online at, or, write, or, (248) 561-7272.

Motorcoach Music to Memphis, More with Middleton

All aboard!

Well after the joyful Easter and fiery Pentecost seasons, Barbara Middleton and Father Luigi Gabris lead a Southern Music Tour to Louisville, Nashville and Memphis June 30-July5 in a 6-day tour that includes deluxe accommodations at the Hyatt, and more.

The Grand Ole Opry Show tickets is is tagged at a value of $37.60.

Mass and a visit to the Danny Thomas ALSAC Pavilion is included.

Move in motion on the motor coach with Corporate Travel.

And, call Carmen at (313) 565 8888, ext. 79,, or,

Sing along with Gospel guy, Alvis for sure!

What a pleasant summer distraction amid a spiritual tone of people moving in on Memphis, more.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Welcome Spring

The Old English word, "Lencten," means springtime.

And, it couldn't come fast enough for many people who are still waiting for the first sign of a robin.

Robins were sighted, however, I've been told by multiple reporters.

Sunshine with longer days and evenings, and, cooler, even warmer air is welcomed!

Amid a forty-day trek Christians observe through Thursday of what is called, Holy Week, leading to Easter Sunday in April, fasting, praying and almsgiving are commonly intensified practices for the faithful.

This rigor is embraced by me.

It helps my focus and resolve to walk with Jesus the Christ in his terrible crucifixion, passion and rising from the dead ultimately.

Hope prevails despite trial and tribulation in the desolation and consolation of life's daily walk.

That evergreen virtue, or strength, is gripped by me each day amid challenges, and more.

Spring helps make this penitential season more motivating for me, of course.

The sounds of birds, and more, coupled with bright light helps one's disposition.

Welcome to the first day of Spring!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sobering Up and Fixing A.A.

Some people are leaving Alcoholics Anonymous for other modes of sobering up.

Well, don't try to fix the ancient and revered AA because you may break it.

And, with that, you may need to return to AA since it has been tried and tested, and, found
fruitful and successful for years.

A study in the early 1980s showed that one in ten women say yes to the query about being concerned about their drinking.

Furthermore, by 2002, it was one in five, reports Reader's Digest.

Record numbers of middle-aged women have sought treatment for alcohol abuse over the past decade.

1.3 million Americans comprise AA in the best-know program for alcohol attachment in the U.S.

I'm impressed with the peer leadership and recovery that is celebrated daily.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Weather threatened that up to eight inches of snow to fall from 2 am earlier today.


Who needs that report?

Not me.

For sure.

What's the agenda of weather reporters?

Up early as usual and off to exercise after some praying time.

Errands follow in the snow-covered streets.


Easy does it.

Breakfast with a friend after appointments.

Always refreshing to speak with this professional chiropractor with MS.  He seems to know life's ups and downs, desolate and consulate times like the roller-coaster ride of Edgewater Park, once upon a time at 7 Mile near Telegraph, in my beloved hometown of Detroit.

Visit to the library to study, write and read daily newspapers, local and national.

Snow impedes not!

Thank God!

I'm so glad to feel it, (the snow)  to see Frosty, not freeze, and, most of all, fear-free living as Jesus invites in the Good Book.

"Fear is useless - what's needed is trust!"

So true.

Praise the maker, and the real Weatherman!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Holy Humor Helps In Face of Dire Disintegration of the Family in America

At a meeting Sunday of concerned clergy, among other local leaders at a festive celebration of the Macomb County, Michigan Community Marriage Policy, an emergency room physician said that he had the penicillin to fix Detroit's, and, the nation's dire state of the child with single parent situations.

"I'm allergic to it," someone shot back at the good doctor.

To that, another humorous voice added: "Me, also!"

The physician laughed.

All kidding aside, however, is there a solution to Detroit's dismal single families who define the real state of the City currently?

"The battle front spread rapidly from California in 1969 to each of the American states, taking out 42 million families in the US before extending to every nation across the globe," notes Dr. Michael Ross of Troy, Michigan.

Family disintegration threatens the well-being of residents.

It does.

For example in 1997, of the 16,729 babies born in Detroit, 817 were Hispanic, 1,679 were white, and 13,574 were black with seventy-one percent of this total born to unmarried mothers.

The percentage of babies born to unwed mothers across the nation, furthermore, skyrocketed  to 32 percent in 1997 from 5.3 percent in 1960, government numbers show.

Another study by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University revealed that the marriage rate fell from about 73 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women 15 and older in 1960 to about 49 per 1,000 in 1996. 

Clearly, the institution of marriage is weakening over the decades.

A Washington Times story of December 6, 2007, for example, concludes that 4,493 children were born out of wedlock everyday in America, totaling 35.8% of all births.

"This is a war that pits fidelity against brokenness, infiltrating every institution," shouts Ross.

Dismantling of marriage is proved also by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago that found that the traditional nuclear family, a married couple with children, accounted for only 26 percent of households in 1998, a decline from 45 percent in 1972.

At the same meeting, Roseville, MI., Mayor John Churkin said that children need some kind of mentoring.

A culture of single parents cries out in every village for mentors of children from adults.

Children are at stake here in this epidemic of the breakdown of the family.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Epidemic Number of Christians Killed Surpasses Early Martyrs

Everyday martyrs.

More Christians are killed today for their faith than in the early centuries of Christianity combined.

Catholic journalist John Allen Jr.'s latest tome, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christians, is shocking.

It tells how Christians have become the most persecuted religious group in the world today.

Lethal persecution is occurring all around the world today, according to Allen.

One Christian is killed for the faith every hour, estimates show.

Yearly, 100,000 are killed according to Todd Johnson at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.

80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination today are directed against Christians, according to Martin Lessenthin, former chair of the International Society for Human Rights, notes Allen.

This is the greatest story never told in the early 21st century.

Believers are targets of convenience for people who may be angry at the West.

You may have read about churches being pillaged and parishioners attacked.

It's not a middle-class guy like me but a poor mother  of five, for example in Bangladesh and Belize.

Whatever action the U.S. takes toward countries needs to also take into account how it will touch innocent children, women, Christians, and others faiths also.

Clergy need to stand together and cry out about this plight that seems forgotten in the media now.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Marriage Mentoring Ministry

Marriage and family.

That's the focus of Care of the Soul and Companions Counseling, and, the All-Faiths Festival of metropolitan Detroit that aims to build bridges, recognize all religions, foster dialog and respect, and help people in crisis.

A year's focus on mentoring marriages with separate groups for marriages needing enhancing, include:

(1)  Betrayal, adultery and other distractions from the "I Do" of commitment, covenant marriage

(2)  Young marriages and communicating with respect

(3)  Mentoring merged and step-family formation, and, support sessions

(4)  Holding Up, Healing and Making Whole Families

"We will try to heal hurting, and, marriages in crisis by training couples whose own marriages once nearly failed, to mentor those in trouble," notes the Macomb County, Michigan Community Marriage Policy Covenant that was signed at the historic Sacred Heart Church in Roseville, MI., in March, 2009, five years ago.

Enabling step-family households to be effective, and, to save four out of five of these marriages and families, rather than to lose to divorce seventy percent of them.

That goal is being met with benchmarks achieved at Celina's Polish Kitchen in St. Clair Shores, MI., where a step-family support group meets the first Friday of each month from 4:45 pm until 6 pm with me leading the session.  All are welcome to this, and, to mending and morphing groups that meet the first Monday of each month, and, Father Ed Popielarz' famous class in acceptance the third Wednesday of each month, both at 5:30 pm in Big Jack's Bar-B-Q Grille in Roseville, MI.


We believe that God created the dignity and companionship of marriage and family that is revered in time, tradition, and, in the Scriptures of the children of Abraham, and, that God intends the marital bond and covenant to endure in the vowed husband and wife for the duration of a lifetime.

Join at least 100 married couples as they converge on the Warren, MI., city hall at One City Square, Thursday, June 19, from 4:45 pm, to "Celebrate Family"  on this fifth anniversary of the CMP.

It's time to celebrate, and more!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Isaiah, a Prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures

"But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. 
The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord" (Is. 11:1-3).

The ancient Greek and Latin translations of this passage read "piety" for "fear of the Lord," concluding the traditional seven gifts.



Counsel (Right Judgment)

Courage (Fortitude)


Reverence (Piety)

Wonder and Awe in God's Presence (Fear of the Lord).

The last of this litany list is my favorite.

I love to stand in awe in God's delight, fearing to violate God's love ever.

Month of March Dedicated to Women

Perpetua and Felicity (d. 203)

A noblewoman and her servant girl.
With Christ, however, they embraced in faith and were co-martyrs. 22-year-old Perpetua, who had a young child, and, her former slave, Felicity who was eight months pregnant were among six Christians condemned to the sword  by Roman authorities.

While in prison Felicity gave birth the night before to a baby, just hours before the sword killed her.

A Christian couple was given the child.

A holy kiss by the two women with each other was witnessed by eyes who accounted it.

They refused to renounce their faith.

And, I wonder if faith will have any children today!

Will it dads, moms, more?

Ukraine, Shakespeare and the Presidents

"I will do such things -- what they are, yet I know not, but they shall be the terrors of the earth," said William Shakespeare in King Lear.

Our U.S. President's posture on Putin's Russian aggression mirrors these words.

Like King Lear's bad daughters, the Russian President may not be intimidated by empty words and gestures.

History, literature, religion and the arts, have a way of reflecting terror's voices.

Like my own parent's voice.  When mom was loud and clear I shuttered and knew there were consequences for my behavior. 

And, follow through from dad, together with my dear mother of seven, including two sets of twins.

A people perish without a plan, the prophet said.

Like Lent's 40-day trek, I have to have a plan.

And, I do a daily routine.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Saint Augustine's Confessions

For Lent:

It's a good read and contains one of the greatest descriptions of man's need for God, "For you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."

A modern autobiography from the fourth century has insights that merit reading.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Son of God, the Movie

Seneca said that life is more about reminding than it is about new information.

That's true of "Son of God," the movie that shows how the Word is God, and, light and love amid darkness survives eternally.

It does.

The horror that Jesus was subjected to, again, points to man's inhumanity to man even in this modern age.

A movie for Lent, Son of God captures how Jewish and Roman power that is threatened goes to any means to remain being king, emperor, ruler without appreciating the message of love that Jesus witnessed.

Jesus said his Kingdom was not of this world to the Jewish high priests, and, elders, and yet, they convinced the Roman army to do Jesus in, let the murderer Barabbas go, instead of the innocent Jesus.

A gem of a movie for Lent, and beyond, in a world that needs the love of the Son of God eternally.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Shrove Tuesday Before Ash Wednesday's Start of Lent, A New Springtime

Like the Arab Spring, or, Americans waiting for the robin in Michigan's polar weather, today's Shrove Tuesday has believers cleaning their refrigerators of lard, and other ingredients for fast and abstinence tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, the first day of a 40-day trek through Holy Thursday of what's called Holy Week. 

Holy Week, the holiest of the Church calendar climaxes at Easter Sunday in April when Jesus the Christ rose from the dead, and saved us from sin and the grip of death as the Lord rose from the tomb.

Hope emerged after Jesus' crucifixion by the Romans who wouldn't put up with the likes of Jesus who is the Son of God. 

Calling us to love one another, a challenge that is far from a crime, really stirred the minds and hearts of intimidate rulers of the day 2,000 years ago.

At a priests' gathering earlier in Westland, MI., in Saint Damian's,  a delicious meal was served, perhaps the last until Holy Thursday, the day Lent ends at the Lord's Supper when all the bells, whistles and incense fill the air with jubilation at the final meal of Jesus before his crucifixion at Calvary.

The Triduum of Jesus' suffering and dying follow with Good Friday giving way to a 50-day season of Easter.

That's bigger than Lent's fasting, charity and more praying these days beginning tomorrow when ashes, remains of burnt palm fronds will be pressed on the foreheads of Christians the world over.

My aim for lent is to practice patience and the virtues, or strengths of faith, hope and love, including fortitude, justice, temperance and prudence.

Lent's desolation, and, the movies, Son of God, coupled with the Little Black Book of the beloved and late Bishop Kenneth Untener of Saginaw, MI., along with daily psalms, and more, with the rosary, will fill these days for me.

A blessed Lent to you!

Monday, March 3, 2014

LENT: Dark, Black Ashes Mark My Mortality

Ash Wednesday is March 5th.

Christians, among others, will mark their foreheads Wednesday with burnt remains of ashes from Palm Tree fronds.

For 40 days, these believers in Jesus the Christ will intentionally go the way of the cross to Calvary 2,000 years ago.

Up until Holy Thursday Mass, they will pray, fast from meat and other foods, and, give to the needy the world over.

And, after the Triduum of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, 50 days of celebration of Jesus' resurrection from the dead is observed by these same followers of the Christ.

Morphng, mending and more.

Matthew Misiak, a fifth-year medical student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, asked me after the evening Mass at Saint Thecla in Clinton Topwnship, MI.,  for the title of one good book for his Lenten (an Old English word, "Lencten," meaning "springtime") trek.

Misiak is serious about entering this penitential season fully.

"Killing Jesus," I told him.  A remarkable history tome by Drugard and O'Reilly.

And, quickly, I added, "The Little Black Book," at the doors of the church.  Six minutes a each dayof Lent  in prayer is facilitated by this "head-turner" of a vest-pocket or purse-friendly booklet written by the distinguished Kenneth Untener, STD (doctor of saced theology), a bishop of Saginaw, MI., and a former Belle Isle canoe worker with his dad at the historic Belle Isle, a jewel in downthown Detroit, now managed by the State park officials.

The ashes mark one's mortality.

That one will die one day and pass over, and, share eternal life unless she or he has other plans!

Care of Widowed, Separated, Divorced

Praise to the faithful who lead, Beginning Experience, a weekend of care and ministry for widowed, separated and divorced persons.

It helps participants face end of life stories, such as deaths or divorce.

Convinced that no one has to suffer alone, Beginning Experience can help.

For sure.

Take Ralph (586) 722 3011, for example, or, Ilene (586) 747 0223:  A widow now for a decade, and more, Ralph roared with laughter as we conversed on the phone about the Detroit Beginning Experience (7007 Metropolitan Pkwy., PO Box 321, Sterling Heights, MI 48311), and more (

Founded by a Catholic nun and her divorced friend, the B E serves all faiths.

Grief is turned into growth.

Deep-felt sharing by a panel of similarly grief-stricken souls enables a draining of the horrific pain that loss brings.

"The program was life changing.  I could share the pain of my wife's death, and people understood," declared Bill of Dallas, Texas.


Go to, or, call 574 283 0279 or, 866 610 8877.

Begin to let the pain go.

And, be ready to live again.