Saints We Love

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day - by Chris Fenwick

Happy Father's Day

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2012 AT 12:40PM

When I was 7 years old, my family’s house was destroyed by a flood. In the summer of 1968 there had been a huge forest fire behind our home in the foothills and in January of the next year it rained for “forty days and forty nights” and the hills didn’t hold the water. The creek behind our home overflowed and because we were situated on a corner of an otherwise very tame, but very deep creek, the water backed up, jumped the corner and went right thru the back of our house and nearly pulled it off its foundation.

In order to ‘save’ the house the men of the neighborhood circled around behind the water flow and knocked holes in the walls just at floor level. When they knocked the whole in my parents bedroom, where my little brother and I stored our Legos under their bed, the little muddy Lego blocks came pouring out of the hole along with all the mud and water.

During the clean up process, after digging out all the mud, tearing up the floors, digging out the mud in the crawl space, and eventually rebuilding it all with the help of my older brothers, my father taught me a valuable lesson.Dad was digging a ditch in our backyard for a sprinkler system. He had this shovel with him, not a shovel like it but THIS very shovel. I stood with him and watched him work. He was meticulous about his technique. He would cut down the right side, then cut down the left side, then cut the end of what was going to be one shovels length then slip this stub nosed shovel under the turf and dig out one perfect patch of ground. He did this across the entire length of our lawn. It was a big lawn.

As he worked, he talked to me and one of the things he told me, I will never forget.

“Christopher, I don’t care what you do with your life. You can do anything you want. But, no matter what you do, even if you are just digging ditches for a living, do it the very best way you can!”

When my father passed away in 2006, I spent the evening with my mom that first night and the next morning, I walked out into the garage where a few of my dad’s old tools were stored, he had long since given most of them away to my other brothers who ACTUALLY USE tools! I reached up on the hooks on the garage wall where the shovel was hanging and I took it down. I told my mom, “This, more than anything my father could have given me, is the most important possession that I want to have.”

The shovel sits in the corner of my home office, I look at it every day when I get ready for work.

Happy Fathers Day dad. I miss you.

Open Letter to Our Seven (7!!!!) Sons

Dear Ted, Tom, Kevin, Tim, Michael, Chris and Jon

This morning a good friend wrote this to me:

This morning the end of Mass something compelled me to ask the priest, “Father Dominic,” who is in his 70s, the memory that gave him the most joy. And paraphrasing Johnny Mercer’s best song, I said the words: “When your life is through, and the angels ask you to recall the thrill of them all -- what will you tell them? ( What was the most joyous moment of your life?)

Father Dominic immediately recalled a moment when he was little “on the farm, when my three sisters and I – and a cousin – were playing in the fields. And a man my father knew, who used to buy cattle, arrived and – he looked at us and told our father, “You are blessed with so many wonderful children.” And my father replied: “All the money in the world could not buy the weakest of them (from me).”

Father Dominic said, “and when my father, that night at dinner, repeated that story . . . THAT was the moment I was so (full of joy) at that thought of my father’s. To know he felt that way.”


I don't think I have ever told you this. I can say the same words so easily, although you ALL may not KNOW IT! So, may I say it to you this morning. "All the money in the world could not buy the weakest of any of you from me!"

I don't know actually who is the weakest and/or the strongest of you - that is not important - not to me - but I know that I prospered in my life because of ALL of you. You all have had so much to offer. Everyone of you has made a difference in your world and mine.

Your forgiveness of my learning on you - "How to be a Mother" has been a great gift. How dear you were to grow up with me as I learned and made so many mistakes. I thank you for loving me through that - although sometimes it might have been a love/hate relationship, yet you always called me Mother and you always put the lid down - you were wonderful sons. I would not trade the best or the worst of times - for all the money in the world. I know your father - and in some cases your fathers - would not trade them either - because you were and still are the greatest men of all. Even today, I want no changes - perfection for YOU and your family, of course, as you learn to be the best husbands, fathers and grandfathers !!! Enjoy life as you learn as it only comes by once - a day at a time.

Thank you for being my sons. Thank you for being who you were and who you are. I love you very much. Mother


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Up Close, Personal and Comfortable - Papa

“Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.” Pope Benedict XVI

Seriously, we have been given a gift to have this Papa for as long as we have had him. I notice that he is "comfortable" in the window and up front when they cheer and applaud as he has fully remembered that he, too, used to applaud and cheer as a boy and man for the Pope - not as a man but as the person GOD has placed in the window and up front - and now he knows and he has accepted his role so fully - it is not for him they cheer. Isn't that wonderful and that is the way all servants of GOD have to come to and humbly accept - anything we do or have done that has counted for GOD was not our doing but HIS through us. Yet, to be the one over all the Church - as he is - is an amazing role. He must sleep well knowing GOD has called him and he has answered and that people pray for him every hour on the hour somewhere in the world at a Mass. Isn't that amazing? What a great plan Jesus had when he said, "18* And I tell you, you are Peter, * and on this rock * I will build my church, and the powers of death * shall not prevail against it. 19* I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Learn Your Faith - Exam from a Priest

“Give yourself this interactive test, which is not an advanced examination, but a very basic one. Any child preparing for Confirmation should be able to earn a grade of at least 80%. Take the exam. Take the exam honestly without looking up the answers, then take appropriate steps to advance in your faith.

“Basic Quiz: Level 1

1. Name the sacraments of initiation:
a. Holy Orders, Baptism, Anointing of sick
b. Baptism, Matrimony, Eucharist, Confirmation
c. Penance (Confession), Baptism, Matrimony, Confirmation
d. Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation

2. Name the sacraments of healing:
a. Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony
b. Holy Orders, Baptism, Matrimony, Confirmation
c. Penance, Anointing of the sick
d. Matrimony, Holy Orders

3. Name the sacraments of service:
a. Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony
b. Penance, Anointing of sick, Baptism
c. Matrimony, Holy Orders
d. Confirmation, Baptism, Holy Orders

4. What are the three elements that would determine if a sin is mortal, as opposed to venial?
a. If it involves hurting an actual person, whether we know the person or not, whether we like the person, or not.
b. The sin is grave or serious in itself, knowledge that it is grave or serious matter, full consent of the will in the light of that knowledge.
c. The action or sin has serious consequences, knowledge of the seriousness, no mitigating or lessening circumstances exist.
d. Serious intentions, serious circumstances, serious consequences.

5. What does the word angel mean?
a. a purely spiritual creature
b. messenger
c. flight attendant
d. master of man/servant of God

6. What are the 3 critical and essential elements of Divine Revelation?
a. God's will, Sacred Scripture, The Church
b. God's intent, The Church, The Trinity
c. Sacred Scripture, Divine intent, the College of Cardinals
d. Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, Magisterium

7. What is the Magisterium of the Church?
a. The College of Cardinals in their electoral capacity
b. The bishops united to the Pope as a teaching authority
c. The final court of appeals in Church law
d. The Pope's personal attendants

8. Which of the Ten Commandments specifically deal with truth and sins against truth?
a. The ninth and tenth Commandments
b. The first, second and third Commandments
c. The fifth Commandment
d. The eighth Commandment

9. Is it necessary to confess every single mortal/serious sin when you go to Confession, or can you omit those you feel are irrelevant, or personally too embarrassing to confess?
a. Yes, all serious sins must be confessed in kind and number.
b. Yes, all serious or mortal sins must be confessed unless the priest tells you not to.
c. No, only those you are comfortable confessing need be confessed.
d. No, only those sins that actually hurt a person directly must be confessed.

10. How many Gospels are there in the New Testament currently in use in the Catholic Church?
a. 6
b. 4
c. 3
d. 26

“You should be able to answer these questions easily and without research or a book A minimum grade of 80% would indicate that you're on the right track, but not there yet. 100% is what excellence is about. Make a commitment to learn your faith. Then live what you have learned with perfection. Then we'll be doing something to turn the tide of evil and make the world a better place.”

Queen Elizabeth and Her Jubilee Email

Jubilee Email from the Queen - an important announcement regarding the USA

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
11. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!