Thursday, February 28, 2013

Seems like the easiest way to fix blog problems is to just start over.  So go here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Here's the lyrics:  (The rector's name is Monsignor James Cecchio)
My wife and I lived all alone,
In a little log hut we call our own,
We had a kid and named him Jim,
I tell you what we fed him:

Pum pum pum, pumpkin pie,
Pum pum pum pum pumkin pie,
Pum pum pum, pumpkin pie,
Pum pum pum pum pumkin pie.

So all the folks from Camden town,
Did not want to see Jim frown,
They went and bought him a big book,
And it was filled with Canon law.

He was sent a way from home,
But could find no pie in Rome.
Then he swore to God and man,
I can bring them pie I can.

When he went walking to the Ange,
Jim was eating an orange.
It made him almost want to cry,
Because it was not pumkin pie.

Four years passed, got ordained,
Just one reason to complain,
All the pasta Jim could buy,
None of it was pumkin pie.

Came back to NAC as faculty,
A monsignor now was he,
Still no pie, still no fun,
Jim's life's work was still not done.

Finally he solved this thing,
That is why we stand and sing,
When thanksgiving day arrives,
Jim gives us all pumpkin pie!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kateri Canonization

Here's some footage from the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha:  I'm not so good with the camera, and the text is hard to read, and there are typos, but in spite of that, it does capture the rite of canonization, which, by the way, is one of the most basic forms of the pope making an infallible statement.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Paris language school

After a very enjoyable two months at St. Joseph's in Devils Lake I departed for Paris to learn the French language.  I stayed in the parish Saint Louis en l'île.  There are two islands in the Seine river which runs through the heart of Paris: the larger one is where the Cathedral Notre Dame is built.  The smaller one behind it is where I lived.  The parish where I stayed is one of the parish houses of the Paris seminary:  their seminarians live in various parishes and then go out for their classes.  I stayed in the top floor of the presbytery, and the seminarians live literally on top of the church.  I got to know many of the parishioners, which was very nice. 
Above: Notre Dame and a barge floating down the Seine.  Below:  St. Louis Parish

Paris has many many museums.  Perhaps the most famous of them is the Louvre.  It has very diverse collections:  painting, sculpture, egyptian art, ancient middle eastern art, artifacts from Greece and Rome, medieval artifacts, etc.  I went there twice, and did not see nearly everything. 
My favorite thing at the Louvre were the busts of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle from the I century A.D.. They are probably the best representation that we have of these Greek philosophers.  Socrates is below.
I took an intensive course in French at the Institute Catholique de Paris.  Below is a picture of my classmates.  We had a picnick in the Luxembourg garden on the last day.  They were all quite dedicated, so we managed to learn a lot in a month.
The courtyard of the Institute Catholique below.
Every Parisian who I told I was staying at Saint Louis en l'île said 'vous avez de bonne chance' i.e. 'you got lucky.'  Now I believe more in providence than in luck, and it just so happened that God his his loving providence allowed me to have access to an amazing pipe organ - built in 2005 according to classic German style.  The pastor showed me where the keys were so I could play at night after the church was closed up.  I have to admit it was a bit intimidating to play the orgain in a city where figures like Marcel Dupre, Maurice Durufle and Olivier Messaien were parish organists.   
View of Paris from the Tour de Montparnasse.

Some night shots: Notre Dame and traffic. Below - the rest of the island is covered with government buildings and a jail. When someone is imprisoned he first goes to the island, because it is in the center of the city, and then from there they get moved to prisons on the outskirts of the city.  Their experience of the island is a lot different than the thousands of tourists who visit it each day. 
Another highlight was the museum of of the Paris sewers.  It was good to balance out all of the high culture with a little bit of practicality.  The museum, besides giving one a chance to see first hand the functioning of the Paris sewer system, traced the history of the city from Roman times in terms of fresh water and wastewater.  Its amazing how much influence both of those things have on almost every aspect of life.   
I'm back in Rome now, and school begins on Tuesday.  This is my 23rd and last year of school.  On Thursday 31 men from the North American College were ordained deacons.  It was a beautiful Mass, and it is really neat to see so many friends become ordained ministers of the Church. 

Do not hesitate to contact me if you are in need of prayer, or if you would like me to offer a Mass for your intentions. 

I've posted some more pictures here: