Tag Archives: ssack

Almost finished…..well, maybe!

On Friday May 9th, I defend my doctoral dissertation Teilhard in America  at the University of Dayton, the final step in  a PhD in Theological Studies.  I find this utterly amazing.  I never imagined that well into my fifties, over ten years after entering a Master’s in Theology program, I would be at this point in my life. God leads us down some very wild and unexpected paths!  I am also ALL too aware, though, that without the continuous support, encouragement and interest of many people, there is no way this work would ever have …

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Say Something… please!

Apparently the first Monday following New Year’s Day is “Blue Monday,” the most depressing day of the year. Hmm… I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, particularly as at the moment it was -10 degrees outside at noon, and I was rather exhausted from dealing with the aftermath of snow and ice and biting winds and frozen pipes and layering up to go anywhere… you know it all already! I also suspect that many of us (especially young parents) are probably suffering from cabin fever brought on by WAY too many days stuck indoors with each other. As …

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To Recognize, To Respond

This past week a young family with children moved into a neighboring empty farm house.  I stopped by twice to introduce myself and see how they were doing.  Each time the husband, a former U.S. airman, told me “THANK YOU for welcoming us!  Thank you for telling the other neighbors we are here. We’ve never had anyone care before.” His response gave me pause – for two reasons.  First, of course, that no one had ever bothered to recognize and acknowledge that something / someone new was happening in their neighborhood.  The second was that …

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One of Those Moments

One of the joys of my position is the opportunity to gain the wisdom of people from across the archdiocese at various meetings and conferences.   So, just recently I presented on “Sacramental Adult Faith Formation” at a session of the Northern Area Catechetical Congress at Piqua. The point of the session was to encourage participants to recognize the sacramental qualities of adult faith formation as work done by and for the Church in the name of Jesus. We brainstormed how the various components/characteristics of adult formation – such as hospitality, service, witnessing, knowledge, and transformation …

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Finding Deep Family

As my dad needs little anymore in the way of “stuff,”  for Father’s Day we decided to honor him with an enrollment in the National Geographic Genographic Project.  A simple swipe of the cheek, and his DNA went off to join that of hundreds of thousands of others as scientists work on tracking the movement of our ancestors from the beginning of human time. WOW!  Were the results amazing or what?!   I knew I was a mutt – with family from France into Eastern Europe, but I had no clue what a mutt I really …

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The Extraordinary of the Ordinary

I’ve had the privilege this summer of doing some traveling – to the Outer Banks of NC, southwestern Illinois, and the hills of Maryland – and in the midst of that to visit numerous other parishes for Mass. It’s always cool to see what other congregations and dioceses are doing, and how they put their own unique spin on the liturgy. Recently too, Dayton celebrated their annual Celtic festival, which includes a Gaelic Mass downtown under the big Riverscape tent. As always this year it drew hundreds to celebrate the Eucharist together in a new …

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Wedding Jitters

And these were jitters at an international level. The last weekend in May we celebrated on our farm the marriage of our oldest son Dan to his Japanese wife, Erika.  The two of them, her parents and brother (none of whom speak more than a few words of English), flew in from Tokyo for a few days, and some 70 others then came  to wish the new couple the very best. In the end it was a beautiful celebration, and is our trademark…. different. Not only was it a “homegrown” gala – family and friends …

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Pieces Falling Together

You know, it really is wild how God puts together the pieces and people of our lives, to form some kind of cohesive whole.  Truly awesome! Recently I was honored as one of the recipients of the 2013 diocesan Dorothy Stang awards. How cool that it should have been presented at her home parish, St. Rita of Cascia in Dayton.  What an immensely humbling experience, and one which has led to a great deal of reflection on the divine assembling of pieces and people. Like teachers! Forty years ago I first met my spitfire of …

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Messy Beauty

I discovered something about myself this week. I learned that I have no problems with hearing that my closets are a wreck (they are!) and my filing system is ridiculously inept (it is).  But, I don’t react with such calm when told my gardens are messy…. Filing systems and even closets are at least in large part associated primarily with efficiency. Can you find your necessary paperwork or shoes easily?   In contrast, although we do want a garden to be productive – to produce a reasonable amount of fruit or flowers or vegetables, hopefully we …

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Hitting the Wall at 80

Hitting the wall at eighty, even if it happens metaphorically, is never easy.  It was a rough Lent.  It seemed to go on forever (as did winter). Wasn’t it at least 100 days long?   We’ve all been there, but for me, an endless procession of intense, grey, days, serious illness and deaths in loved ones, dissertation deadlines, criticism and apathy from others, and random, stupid difficulties added up to an agonizing month. It is not often I feel like I’ve hit the wall and can’t cope – losing things, forgetting more, not sleeping, not even …

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