Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
April 23rd, 2011


I think God knew that we modern folk would have trouble believing those old stories about Jesus and would doubt that God really became man, lived on earth, died and rose again …. so He left the Shroud of Turin, an inexplicable linen cloth that was used as a shroud for a crucified man, perhaps 2000 years ago. Check it out – see what you think.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris exults!

April 19th, 2011


I began this blog three years ago for no other reason than I wanted a way to publish a tribute I had written to Dr. Herbert Ratner, a Chicago doctor  who made a real difference in my life.  Today I write another tribute, to Felice, a lifelong friend.

I met Felice when I was 18 and attending  a dinky college, the Junior College of Connecticut, which later went on to become the University of Bridgeport.

A noble schoolie, J.C.C., it nestles ‘mong the maples
It teaches facts and theories, and offers all the staples.
Ten loving profs have charge of it, both male and female teachers
And in their arms they now embrace 170 creatures.

I don’t remember the rest of that little verse by Prof. Goulding – it has, after all, been 70 years!  And I still wonder at the chutzpah of the people who gathered 10 teachers together and dared to call it a college.   It struggled for years but now, as the University of Bridgeport,  has a beautiful campus at Seaside Park on Long Island Sound.

Felice, at that tender age, already knew she wanted to go to the University of Chicago and JCC was a stepping stone.  I, on the other hand, had no dreams of college.  I knew my family couldn’t afford to pay college tuition.  I had taken a commercial course in high school and considered myself competent in bookkeeping and stenography.  I only applied to JCC because it was (a) in town and (b) I had received a $100 scholarship when I graduated and didn’t want to waste it.  My plan was to add to my skills by becoming a medical secretary.

Felice and I became fast friends and sure enough, when the two year course was done, she  headed off to the University of Chicago and I went to work at Bridgeport Hospital as secretary to the pathologist.

That would have been the end of our friendship had Felice not come home on summer vacation and talked me into writing the U of C and applying for a scholarship.   She was excited by what she had found at the U of C and urged me to write to Norman McLean – I forget his title – send my records and ask if they could help me.   I still remember the first sentence of his reply: “Not everyone who writes to me is lucky, but I think you are.”   As I recall it, my tuition would be taken care of and I would manage my own room and board.

Wow!  My Daddy liked me working and bringing home some money.  I had to ask him for permission to go to college – not for him to help pay my way but for me to do it on my own.  And he said OK.

So off I went to the big City of Chicago and the big University of Chiago.  But I was blessed with Felice who had already been there two years, knew the ropes, had a group of friends – and as she swam in the main stream I just swam alongside.   Felice is friendly and talkative – what would I have done without her to grease the skids?  She got me a room in International House right next to hers and shepherded me until I knew my way around.  Who but Felice would have inspired me to sit in on Mortimer Adler’s Great Books classes?  Had it not been for her I would never have meet the luminaries in my life, Mortimer Adler and Herbert Ratner.

In due course we graduated.  Felice married Octavio who was from Mexico and went to live in Mexico City.   I married Dick, a Loyola student, and we lived in Chicago where we produced seven children.  Over the years Felice and I  kept in touch, remembering Christmas and birthdays.  I think I saw her once again when she visited the States, and I went to Mexico to see her at one point, but those memories are quite vague. I do remember I took my Polaroid camera with me on the first trip.

The years flew by.  Finally, the year of Felice’s 80th birthday, I persuaded  my friend Dolores into going to Mexico City with me to visit Felice.   Octavio had died and Felice had a lovely home in a gated community just calling to us.   She had not changed.  She had the same facial expressions, the same drive, the same intelligence.   She had her chauffeur drive us thither and yon, shopping, dining, visiting the shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe, seeing the sights.   I remember abundant fruit, finger-ready, a refrigerator stocked with Cerveza in our little guest suite, beautiful art work by Felice’s daughter.  It was a totally lovely visit.

More years. Felice’s 89th birthday is coming up.   Correspondence from Felice has stopped.   Her brothers, Al and Lenny, still live in Connecticut and tell me they have heard very little from her.   When Lenny called Mexico he was told she was in the hospital.   We knew she had had a long time battle with a slow growing thyroid cancer.  Finally, in desperation, I asked my Spanish-speaking daughter-in-law, Martha,  to call to see if she could find out anything from the servants.  That was yesterday.

Finally, I have Felice on the phone.  It is truly an Easter gift to learn that she is still alive! What a pleasure to talk with her, to hear her laugh!  She had been in the hospital with bronchitis but is home now, with a nurse who comes every day.  She spends a lot of time in a  recliner.   Time and time again I have wished we could communicate via computer – her grandson Pedro has one – but she is having none of it. She could read my blog and keep current  – as long as I keep current.

Felice will be 89 in early May.    She tells me she still reads the New York Times and The Economist.   Yep, that’s Felice, all right!  I have to admit I’ve never seen a copy of The Economist but I have high respect for it as it is admired by people I respect.  Isn’t that the way we decide what (or who) is good, and what’s not?

Felice was a pivotal person in my life.  She changed the whole trajectory!  A true friend!  Thank you, Felice, and God bless.   Vaya con dios!


P. S. Be it known that in order to remedy my unfamiliarity with The Economist I looked it up on Google and forthwith posted on Facebook a quote and a link to an article saying that Obama was “unfair” and “misleading” in his recent budget talk.   If Felice could only go on Facebook I could “friend” her!



A faithful friend is the medicine of life. – Ecclesiasticus 6:16

April 16th, 2011


On the morning of September 11, 2001, a Tuesday, I was praying and picketing outside an abortion clinic in my home town. At the same time, Father Phil Reilly was praying outside a large abortion clinic in Brooklyn. He could see the twin towers across the harbor from where he stood. This was his experience on that terrible day.

By John-Henry Westen

ROME, October 18, 2010 ( – Msgr. Philip Reilly, the founder of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, delivered a fascinating address to attendees of the Human Life International World Prayer Congress last week. Reilly, who has devoted most of his 50-year-long priestly ministry to the pro-life cause, recounted his experiences of the horrific September 11, 2001 terrorist attack from the perspective of a native New Yorker.

“On the morning of 9/11 I was praying and counseling outside of a large abortion clinic in Brooklyn,” said Msgr. Reilly. “The abortion mill is located a few blocks from New York Harbor, at a point where you could look across the Harbor and easily see the Twin Towers.”

“The wind was blowing that day from Manhattan to Brooklyn,” recalled the veteran pro-life leader. “So when the Towers came down, an incredible black cloud came over our heads. Outside the abortion mill, it became midnight at midday.”

Committed as he is to praying for the women contemplating abortion and the abortionists themselves, Msgr. Reilly refused to abandon them even on that day, when he wanted to go to Ground Zero. Reilly noted that due to the disaster all businesses stopped but, he said, “There was a bizarre exception, namely the killing of unborn babies continued, especially at the mill where I was counseling. Inside the abortion mill, they were actually watching the events unfold on TV, yet the killing of the babies inside continued.”

“Thus I could not leave the mill at that time to go to Ground Zero,” he said. “I didn’t get to Ground Zero until it was midnight.”

Msgr Reilly described how helpless he felt standing at Ground Zero at midnight. He noted that he then decided to pray the rosary and described his vision:

As I prayed the rosary, I closed my eyes and with my eyes closed, I suddenly saw the people in the Tower getting ready for work at 9 a.m. Some were getting a drink of water, others a cup of coffee, all feeling safe and secure inside their office. Then I saw the terrorist plane breaking into their secure quarters and exploding like a great bomb with the people in the office having no place to hide, no place to flee. Then still standing at midnight at Ground Zero, I saw not the people in the Towers, but I saw a womb with an unborn child inside, feeling so safe and secure and suddenly breaking through the wall of the womb was this terrorist object, the instrument of the abortionist, with the child having no place to hide, no place to flee from this terrorist instrument.

Msgr. Reilly concluded his address noting that when he opened his eyes, there at Ground Zero, “it became absolutely clear to me that Ground Zero is ongoing. Be not afraid then to go Golgotha, to the abortion clinic, to Ground Zero near you, to rescue the unborn children.

A lethal weapon entering a room presumed to be safe in a highrise tower is a recipe for terror. Presumably there were many screams of anguish amid the racket of the falling rubble that no one ever heard. A lethal weapon entering the womb of a pregnant woman likewise gives rise to screams of terror, also unheard.

One of the earliest pro-life videos and perhaps the most powerful was that narrated by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the father of abortion in New York City,  in 1984., called The Silent Scream. The use of ultrasound prenatally was in its infancy but even those early grainy films showing the panic of the unborn child with the intrusion of metal instruments into its world are gripping, appalling, horrifying.  The scream of the unborn babe, soundless, unheard, visualized in the writhing body and the opened mouth, is sickening.    We do THAT to living babies over 3000 times a day in our America?   Surely the blood of our babies cries out to God in heaven for vengeance. No wonder Father Reilly sees visions!  God help our country.   A nation that kills its own children has no future.



The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. — Genesis 4:10

April 12th, 2011
April 7th, 2011


Blogging sure gets me involved in unusual pursuits for an 87-year-old greatgranny! I’ve just read most of Wikipedia’s recap of Justin Bieber’s amazing catapult to fame. Just about everyone knows that 17-year-old Justin is a singing sensation among teens and tweens. Born in Canada, Justin not only sings, but also plays the keyboard, piano, guitar, drums and even the trumpet. Even more amazingly, he is self-taught – a truly inborn talent.

He was discovered on YouTube by his manager, Scooter Braun

His music video of “Baby” is currently ranked as the most viewed, most discussed, and most disliked YouTube video

There is more info in Wikipedia on Justin than anyone other than a true Belieber would want to know –

While there may be “stage mothers” who are praying to God for their children to be a media success, Pattie [Justin’s mother]and Justin never prayed for that. In fact, they tried to go slow as success began to come and have concluded that Justin’s singing career is God’s will and the plan for him.

Patti says, “I want people to pray for him – and for me. I’m his ‘covering.’ He’s my son and a minor. I’m held accountable by God and by the law to protect him, which includes covering him spiritually, because there are spiritual laws.”

She goes on to say, “Justin has a strong faith but he’s young and hasn’t come completely into himself yet. He has free will like the rest of us and will ultimately make his own choices. But what I can do is continue to pray and surround him with strong Christian and moral influences.”

Justin blesses the crowds at the conclusion of his concerts by exclaiming, “Jesus loves you!” He often prays for his fans and would like his fans to pray for him.

Justin and his mother ask for prayers. All that fame and adulation can be hard for a “little boy” to handle. Let’s help his mother cover him and lift him up in prayer that he may bring joy to her heart and be an inspiration to his followers.

April 5th, 2011


Before it was a sitcom, the Big Bang Theory was a scientific answer to how the universe began 13.7 billion years ago. We have, they say, an expanding universe which started way back then when a very dense “primeval atom” went bang! I have just recently read a couple of lay explanations of what actually happened at the Big Bang which have stuck in my mind.

The first goes something like this:

In the beginning was nothing

And nothing happened to nothing

Until nothing suddenly, magically, exploded into a universe

For no reason.

Does that make sense to you? That’s what atheists believe!

I have been unable to locate the website for the second explanation which compares the Big Bang to a fireworks display so I will have to wing it on my own:

Imagine the best fireworks you have ever seen. One after another they are propelled into the sky where they explode into a series of brilliant light clusters in many different colors, which radiate outward until they disappear into the night sky. Sometimes such a cluster will give rise to many smaller light shows which no sooner disappear than another is sent into the air with more bangs, more brilliance and more ooh’s and ah’s until the grand finale when the sky is filled with bursting lights and the earth rocks with the sound.

You know that this amazing display didn’t “just happen.” You know that there are people who specialize in making fireworks and each firework is designed to produce a special effect in a certain color with a certain sound, and they will die doing it. You might say each firework is “programmed” to produce a special display.  No one entertains the thought that this whole show produced itself.

In like manner it seems more reasonable to believe that the universe exploded into existence when God said “Let it be!” God knew when it began how it would end and so fine-tuned it that our own Earth, for instance, was just the right distance from the sun, had just the right atmosphere, just the right substrate, just enough water to support life — and he then put plants, animals, and people there. Until I learn of a better explanation for how our expanding universe began, why it has laws that can be learned, and why we are here on earth, this is the explanation that makes the most sense to me.

12-year-old Jake Barnett, a genius with Asperger’s syndrome and an IQ of 170, is tackling the theory of relativity and disputing the Big Bang theory. He says he thinks in four and five dimensions and wants to do research in the field of astrophysics.

Glenn Beck introduces Jake Barnett:

Perhaps in his lifetime Jacob Barnett will contribute to our understanding of the beginning of the cosmos. For the time being, as you can see, he is quite good at calculus. He is a truly gifted child (doesn’t “gift” imply a giver?)

George Washington Carver wrote: “When I was young, I said to God, god, tell me the mystery of the universe. But God answered, that knowledge is for me alone. So I said, god, tell me the mystery of the peanut. Then God said, well, George, that’s more nearly your size.”

Let’s see how Jake Barnett will play out the hand he has been dealt. He has done nothing to merit his extraordinary talents. May he appreciate his gifts, seek truth, enjoy beauty, and be good to his fellow man.


A nonsensical history of the increasingly complex universe.


We get closer to God as we get more intimately and understandingly acquainted with the things He has created. I know of nothing more inspiring than that of making discoveries for one’s self.” — George Washington Carver

April 2nd, 2011
April 1st, 2011


A young woman, perhaps 16 or 17, noticed our signs as we prayed in front of the abortion “clinic.” “I could never have an abortion,” she said. “It would be like killing one of us.”

Justin Bieber is only 17 and not yet brainwashed by the entertainment world.  He says he is against abortion because “It’s like killing a baby.”

So simple. So obvious.

Grandparents rejoice when they hear a grandchild is “in the oven.”   Friends celebrate with a baby shower. Some choose to welcome. Some choose to kill.

You can watch The Learning Channel and see babies being born, often with pain, sometimes by Cesarean section, sometimes with cords around their necks. You can watch “ER” and behold raw, bloody trauma being treated and fixed, or not fixed, as occasionally happens. You can see on National Geographic the tiger eat the impala, or the hyena tear at a zebra foal. You can see the horror of natural disasters and ethnic cleansing and utter destitution.

But have you ever seen an abortion on TV? Of course not.  Every other kind of violence can be shown.   Why do people who approve of abortion object to letting abortion be seen for what it is? Because then it is too obvious that it is killing “one of us.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

Injustice needs to be exposed. When the TV cameras of America showed our black brothers and sisters being attacked with dogs and fire hoses, people understood the evil of racism in a way that words alone could not convey.

The word abortion has lost practically all its meaning. Not even the most vivid words can adequately convey the reality of this act of violence. Abortion is sugar-coated by rhetoric that hides its gruesome nature. What the pro-life person has in mind when he speaks about abortion and what the average American has in mind when he hears the word are two very different things.

The babe in the womb is indeed one of us.   See here:

See for yourself what abortion does to a baby. Why the media cover-up of this crime? You’ll see.


The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between.  — Mother Teresa