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Showing posts from December, 2004


In my parish, Holy Name, the largest organized ethnic group are the Filipinos. Last night I attended the 2nd annual Holy Name celebration of Simbang Gabi, a festive mass with many connections to Filipino culture. It centers around the star of Bethlehem, celebrating the choice Mary made for us, and encouraging us to ourselves become a star of Bethlehem, welcoming that young family into our hearts each year anew.

I was actually surprised that not that many other non-Filipinos attended, since it had been publicized for weeks leading up to it. Maybe because it's only the 2nd one. Anyway, many of the songs were in Tagalog, and had the music/lyrics in a program they had distributed. It was great to get the chance to immerse in the ritual worship set to the tone of a completely different culture. One of the best parts was recognizing the Gloria being sung, in Tagalog. Ritual can be such a powerful thing! Because I've sang this week in and week out all my life, it was such a…

So much, yet so little. So difficult, yet so simple.

Here I sit, with the customary clutter surrounding me, the hours sliding by ceaselessly. It's atypical that I'm even writing this at a decent hour; over the last week or so I've been letting the night overtake me. Somehow I always slip back into my nonproductivity.

At least I can say this time it hasn't been as long as previous times. It's been less than a week since my declination. Just last Wednesday I spent a couple of hours at Catholic Charities, my second week in a row helping with a Wednesday night meal for about 130 homeless folks. The first week I came with a few other young adults through my parish, and then I asked if they could use any help on a more frequent basis since my parish only helps maybe once per month. So they let me come again last week, though there ended up being a little less work for me.

A couple of saturday's ago I went with about 15 other young adults from my parish to spend the morning with a bunch of other volunteer groups f…


by Moby, has a nice pace to it. It's instrumental, and it stuck. Sometimes songs just do that. It's amazing what music can do to the spirit. It's like praying.

For turkey day I flew down to Charlotte to spend the 4 days at my sister's new home with her new husband, and my parents and brother. I had a great time and all in all felt like it turned out as a good time of bonding with both Anna & Brian.

Loneliness is one of the most universal sources of human suffering today. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists speak about it as the most frequently expressed complaint and the root not only of an increasing number of suicides but also of alcoholism, drug use, different psychosomatic symptoms -- such as headaches, stomachaches, and low-back pains -- and of a large number of traffic accidents. Children, adolescents, adults, and old people are in growing degree exposed to the contagious disease of loneliness in a world in which a competitive individualism tries…