The Praying Church

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Mary with Jesus. William Adolphe Bouguerueau,

I invite you to join the body of Christ in prayer for life led by Father Mark McKercher. In Fr. Mark’s words, we need to remember that life wins! On your knees, troops. God bless you.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFrkerch%2Fvideos%2F10155136846836178%2F&show_text=0&width=560“> Pray the Rosary for Life with Fr. Mark McKercher

Close to Home

I am collecting some reading material which has some parallels in our family. Research. Support seeking. Maybe a bit of straw grasping. Our youngest son, now 23 years old, was long ago diagnosed with severe OCD, ADD, and Tourette’s. It reads as Asperger’s, but labels aren’t helpful. He’s a bright, sensitive, funny person, odd as all get out, and we love him.  He is still at home, without much desire or know how of how to get on with his own life out from under our shelter. I worry that we have made it worse as we have been so busy just keeping life rolling, that we haven’t had time to do more than nudge him in the right directions. Frankly, although I’m sincerely searching for solutions, I am likely to reject easy answers.

One of those easy answers was medication, or at least too much medication, which masked high anxiety symptoms and made life easier for teachers and family, but in fact, prevented him from developing the coping skills for daily life.  Now, by his own decision, he has discontinued medication and is working out issues such as how to turn off his brain and combat insomnia by establishing routines and doing better self talk.   I’m horrified, but at the same time, I’m glad that he is happier, more himself, and beginning to find ways to cope with his differences.

My questions are where does he go from here, and how does a young adult find the willpower to restart a life that has been in a holding pattern for too long?

“Shutting Themselves In”

St. Cecelia Cathedral Welcomes Cardinal Cupich

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On December 30th at 7 p.m., St. Cecilia Cathedral will celebrate Vespers to honor a visit from Cardinal Blasé Cupich and give diocese parishioners and community members an opportunity to greet him.

WOWT feature “Cardinal Cupich: A Look Back at his Elevation”

And they came with haste…

A sad part of our move this past summer was the discovery that we had lost some carefully packed Christmas items. We unintentionally left them behind in the basement of the South Omaha house. Our haste to be done with downsizing and moving is the only thing to blame for this loss. As Christmas has drawn near, I’ve had some bouts of mourning for those some of those things. They held good memories: the Santa head ornament that looked just like Poppy, the advent wreath from Benjamin, the children’s handmade Christmas stockings from our happy home schooling time in Alaska, and the endless string of wooden cranberry beads that Alan and I have strung on the tree for thirty-three Christmases.

Wow, sad story, huh? Well, yes, but like most things in life, the void created by a loss is often an opportunity to receive something new. I don’t mean making way for new stuff to replace the old stuff. Apartment living dictates some limits on acquisition. Whatever comes in the door had better be useful twelve months of the year. Thankfully, one or two Christmas items survived the move: the nativity and some old Christmas annuals that Alan purchased at a firehouse auction before we were married.

The something new is time to think about God’s blessings to me that go far beyond things, time to write some letters to myself, and time to share one of those items that was saved. It is something that shouldn’t gather dust on a coffee table at Christmas. I invite you to find a child who loves to be read to, and take some time to read this passage from Saint Luke, beautifully decorated by illustrator Lee Mero, published in the Augsburg Press annual of 1949.  Share the story of Christ’s incarnation with someone you love who needs to hear.

 

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Sharing the Road

Every pilgrim carried thoughts of those who remained behind: fellow choristers, family members, friends, priests, deacons, and church family who supported and prayed for us. We want to share this experience with them. Thank you to the pilgrims who took the time to film and share these treasured videos. I will add credits as I confirm sources.

In procession to the Holy Doors of St. Peter’s Basilica

In the Catacombs of Callixtus, before the original tomb of St. Cecilia

At the Tomb of St. Cecilia