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Catholic Charities Assists Hurricane Refugees PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 08 September 2008 07:34
It's good to hear via CNS about a creative new partnership addressing the struggles of returning hurricane refugees in this hurricane season that seems to have no end.

"Catholic Charities USA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are joining in a new pilot program that aims to help hurricane victims receive federal and state assistance they need with less hassle and red tape.

If people cannot return to their homes after a disaster they need to find a place to live, a job and medical care, the same things a person arriving in the United States from another country faces, said Kim Burgo, senior director of Catholic Charities' disaster response office. She also noted that the maze of paperwork an individual must fill out to get assistance can be daunting.

With the new pilot program, one caseworker will be assigned to each family unit or person displaced by Hurricane Gustav, which hit Louisiana Sept. 1."

Sherry's note: I especially like the comment that a hurricane "refugee" who has lost their home is a real refugee who needs much the same things immigrants and refugees from other countries need. That is exactly what it feels like. The level of uncertainty and disruption is very similar even though you may not have to learn a new language - depending upon what part of the south you hail from :-). It is not dramatic exaggeration to use the term "refugee".


"As displaced hurricane evacuees were returning to their homes, staff members and priests representing the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Catholic Charities were on hand, starting Sept. 5, at the Union Passenger Terminal in New Orleans and the Jefferson Parish evacuee return site. An estimated 2 million people evacuated the city and were returning to the area by bus and train. From the city's main terminal they would be transported by bus to one of 17 drop-off points.

Catholic Charities staff members were on hand to provide information about available services in the community and counseling when needed and appropriate. Priests and deacons were available to provide pastoral care.'

This Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Sunday, 07 September 2008 18:06
Where I spent my weekend: Westcliffe, a Victorian mining town in the Wet Mountain Valley (just under 8,000 ft high) at the foot of the magnificent Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

n 1719, Spanish explorer and governor of New Mexico (which was then part of New Spain - the border between Spanish and Anglo America runs along the Arkansas river) saw the mountains at dawn and named them "Blood of Christ" mountains.

The Sangres from Westciffe (left over morning mist and moisture in the air made them look fuzzy)

I'm waving at you from just above treeline, third peak over! I don't usually notice the attitude but I quickly become breathless while climbing 4+ miles up to 11,500 ft. Sitting down seemed like a really good idea.

Saturday morning, I thought I heard the clop-clop of a horse's hooves on the street and dashed outside to see an Amish woman driving her buggy to the grocery store. I got this picture just as a gigantic motorhome drove by.

Westcliffe is the county and seat and only town in one of the last unspoiled areas in Colorado. Unspoiled because there is no skiiing nearby. People still ranch and farm as they have for generations. A few more glimpses.

Look carefully at the faded printing:

The Nineveh Journey PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 06 September 2008 06:51
Tthe Colorado Catholic Conference would like y'all to know about the Nineveh Journey - a 50 day nation-wide prayer and fasting effort for the election of pro-life legislators that begins today, September 6 and runs through election day. Each state in the union has a designated day on which that state is the focus of prayer. Consider taking part.
Called & Gifted: Texas Style PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 05 September 2008 10:31
Speaking of upcoming events, vacation is over and our fall travel schedule is about to begin.

Fr. Mike will be at Church of the Resurrection of the Lord at Emmaus (wow, that must be the longest parish name I have ever encountered) in Lakeway TX with Mary Sharon Moore offering the Called & Gifted in a unique format: 3 evenings in a row on September 7,8,9.

The beginning of the fall is a great time to begin your discernment!
Ten Coolest Small Towns PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 05 September 2008 10:12
Manitou Springs, our mountain town next door has made CNN's "10 coolest small towns" piece.

When my sister saw Manitou in the dead of February - sunny, icy, with great snowy peaks looming above - she fell in instant love. She loved the funky Victorian town huddled at the base of the mountain with its mountain creek rushing through - its Victorian houses clinging to steep slopes, its galleries, and restaurants, and the place where the hundreds of deranged people sing "America the Beautiful" before running the annual marathon up and down Pike's Peak.

So do I.

Manitou runs into Old Colorado City which runs into downtown Colorado Springs and the Garden of the Gods.

All wonderful places to explore.
Stuff Going On This Week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 05 September 2008 07:50
Reclaiming Fatherhood conference this weekend in Chicago for men affected by abortion.

The horrors against Christians in Orissa, India are still going on and the violence is spreading. It is stomach-churning stuff:

"As The Catholic Herald went to press some human rights groups reported as many as 40 people murdered. Conservative estimates suggested that some 6,000 people had fled to government-run refugee camps, with an estimated 5,000 more hiding in forests around Kandhamal. But Church groups said tens of thousands had fled the violence.

In one of the worst reported incidents, a lay Catholic in Tiangia was literally ripped apart by a frenzied mob while two others were left so badly injured they later died from their wounds.

Religious and priests have also been targeted and at least six have been seriously injured. One 21-year-old lay missionary was burned alive in the orphanage where she was working and several nuns have been raped, according to reports. Members of the Missionary Sisters of Charity - the order founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta - were pelted with stones leaving one sister seriously injured, said Asia News, a Vatican-based news agency.

In another incident rioters tried to set a priest on fire, but then stripped and beat him instead while a nun who was with him was raped repeatedly by the assailants. The mob tried to force the priest to also rape the nun as the police stood by, according to Catholic News Service, a US-based press agency. When the priest refused they attacked him with iron bars.

The rioting escalated, spreading across the region, and police and paramilitaries extended the curfew from nine districts to three more on Monday. Although officials said that the violence would be over by the weekend the clashes continued. On Sunday night four more churches and dozens of houses were burned down.

Tension began spreading to other Indian provinces including Karnataka and Madya Pradesh in central India where Bajrang Dal groups, the VHP's youth wing, burnt effigies of missionaries.Scuffles between Hindus and Christian students also broke out."

Indian Christians have declared this Sunday to be a day of prayer and fasting in solidarity for the victims.

Dr. Mark Miravalle has a interesting "Marycast" about a Lourdes Marian Congress taking place September 4 - 8.
It's Hard Work II PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 04 September 2008 14:11
Some comments below remind me that in our current political and cultural climate, Catholics tend to collapse two profoundly related but nevertheless distinct aspects of the Church's teaching that must both be attended to with equal seriousness.

1. The basic principles of Church teaching which all Bishops, pastors, and all teachers within the Church are required to pass on as faithfully as we can.

2. the actual application of these principles on the ground in a specific, historical situation.

To paint with a very broad brush, there tends to be two approaches:

Some Catholics tend to assume that the clear and faithful articulation of category 1 (Church teaching) makes application in a given historical setting (category 2) crystal clear and any Catholic who says it isn't crystal clear is really covertly attempting to reject 1. So they are prone to collapse 2 into 1.

One of the odd realities of our situation is that the sort of Catholic who is most prone to collapse category 2 into category 1 differs depending upon the issue at stake. It is often a different crowd who does so around abortion than the group who does so around other clearly named forms of intrinsic evil such as torture or unjust war.

This first group seldom distinguishes the articulation of the Church's formal teaching which obliges all the faithful from an individual's (even an individual bishop's) prudential judgement regarding the application of Church teaching in a given historical setting although they are NOT the same.

A second group of Catholics is more likely to dispute the clarity of category 1 (Church teaching) in the first place. Sometime it is because they truly do not accept the Church's teaching in a given area and sometimes they do so because it seems to be their only defense against Catholics who are determined to collapse 2 (application) into 1 (teaching). This does not make it right but I can understand the temptation to do so when you feel surrounded by fellow Catholics insisting that a given teaching can led to only one possible practical conclusion.

Often this second group of Catholics assumes that any clear articulation of Church teaching is really just an attempt to force Catholics to vote for a certain candidate or party.

Here at ID, we are attempting to hold both categories 1 and 2 together so that the fullness and integrity of the Church's teaching in both areas is accurately reflected.

So let's look at my postings of the last week in light of the above:

The numerous posts last weekend about the response of Catholic Bishops (notably Archbishop Chaput) to Nancy Pelosi's comments about Augustine and abortion fall primarily into category one - the accurate and clear articulation of Church teaching on abortion.

However, I intentionally quoted Chaput at length regarding category 2 (application) because he does carefully distinguish his personal prudential judgement about the real life implications from the Church's teaching and he acknowledges that other Catholics can come to different conclusions in good faith. Chaput is free to make his best argument for his understanding of the situation but he cannot insist, even as a bishop, that his prudential conclusion obliges other Catholics.

That is why I also posted last week about the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good's report Reducing Abortion in America: the Effect of Economic and Social Supports and another post regarding the current on-line edition of the Catholic Journal of Legal Studies which includes the complete proceedings of the symposium: Catholic Teaching, Catholic Values, And Catholic Voters: Reflections On Forming Consciences For Faithful Citizenship. This was to help provide data for further discernment.

The title of that second post was "It's Hard Work": Applying Catholic Social Teaching . The title says it all. Real-life application of even crystal clear definitive teaching is often anything but obvious and simple and equally faithful Catholics can and do come to different conclusions and may, therefore, end up voting (or not voting) for different candidates. Recognizing this is not dissent but true faithfulness to the fullness of the Church's teaching in this area.

Nothing could be more relevant to the formation and mission of lay Catholics.

The complexity of the application of the Church teaching on Voting and Intrinsic Evil is laid out in great detail in this post I did in May regarding my conversations on election night, 2004 with two of the foremost Catholic experts in the world on the subject. Read the whole post and the extensive comments below. i still agree with every word I wrote.

So, no, I am not attempting to tell you - covertly or overtly - how to vote. I am not collapsing the Church's teaching and the responsibility that each of us has to make a strenuous effort to come to a prayerful, prudential judgement about the application of that teaching in context of our own lives, vocations, and responsibilities.

And the last post about Sarah Palin wasn't political in nature or intent at all.

I posted about her spiritual journey because it struck me as a real life illustration of something that I have already written about many times at great length here: the huge number of US Catholics have left the Church and that fact that 4/5ths of Catholics who leave become Protestants and a simple majority become evangelicals. And because the fact that Palin was baptized Catholic as a very young child but is now a practicing evangelical was being discussed widely and vociferously around St. Blog's in the absence of any real information. It was not a not-so-subtle way to push her candidacy.

In any case I am not a member of either party and I don't know who I'm going to vote for yet so I really am not about to try and tell you how to vote. Really.
Sarah Palin's Spiritual Journey PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 03 September 2008 14:40
It's an all too common story. As many have noted, Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for Vice-President, is a Catholic turned evangelical. She is one of the 1 in ten American adults who have left the Catholic Church and also one of the slightly more than 1 in 20 American adults - about 11.5 million - who have left the Catholic Church to become evangelicals. In this, as in so many other ways, Sarah Palin is very American.

Christianity Today's political blog has the story:

"Sarah Palin was baptized as a Catholic but became active in the Pentecostal Assemblies of God church while still young. How did she go from one tradition to the other?

It was through her mother, Sally. Sarah was baptized as an infant in the Catholic Church. And her mom discovered a more meaningful experience at an Assemblies of God Church in Wasilla, where Pastor Paul Riley had really formed a community. And Sally enrolled her kids in church camps and Bible school. This was when Sarah was about 12. She asked to be re-baptized. The whole family was baptized at the same time, at a lake right here in Wasilla called Beaver Lake. I don't know that her father was baptized--it was a mom and the kids. It was a milestone that Sarah never really forgot. She knew she claimed a moral compass that would stay with her.

(Sherry's note: Of course, Catholic sacramental theology rejects the whole idea of "re-baptism" since baptism bestows a character (a spiritual "mark" which cannot be erased and includes a sort of "right" to a particular relationship with Christ, and a spiritual power) which cannot be repeated. But nevertheless we must note that this act of conscious faith was obviously a spiritual turning point for 12 year old Sarah.)

"Was that pastor--Pastor Riley--a major influence in her life? Can you talk about him?

Pastor Riley and his wife became lifelong family friends to Sarah because she grew up in that church. Now he is retired and serves as a chaplain in jails. They are known for taking people in, including--sometimes--prisoners that Pastor Riley ministers to. He was at Wasilla Assemblies of God for 44 years.

How active did Palin become in the Assemblies of God once she was re-baptized?

She was active in high school. She used to sign her yearbook with Bible verses. She was the leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at her high school. She was a basketball star, and as a junior her team went to a state tournament in Juneau and they lost a really close game. The coaches told me a story about the game, where the following morning the coaches met for breakfast and they didn't see the girls. They waited for the girls to come down from their hotel rooms and wondered if they had stayed up all night and partied. And the coaches got up to walk out and saw the girls walking back from somewhere. They had Bibles in their hands. They'd gotten up early to go the church. And Sarah Palin was kind of the ringleader. It was pretty telling.

Today she attends an Assemblies of God Church in Anchorage and a nondenominational church back home in Wasilla, right?

It's a Bible church that she attends in Wasilla, a nondenominational church. So her faith tradition is eccentric in the sense that she's a Christian but doesn't hold one tradition in higher esteem than the other.

(Sherry's note: "eccentric"???? I can't think of a practice more typically American evangelical!)

How does her faith influence her worldview and politics?

It's really central to who she is and how she views the world and her job. One of the things I felt with talking with her is that, unlike with a lot of politicians who are running for office, there's not a sense of political ambition as much as there is a sense of service. I think that' s unique. She comes at her job as a servant.

But how do her religious beliefs shape her policy views?

I can't talk about how her faith influences policy because I haven't spoken with her about that specifically.
Adding Palin to the ticket has helped McCain excite religious conservatives a couple months before Election Day.

Did she make her faith and values an issue in her campaign for governor?

Her faith didn't play a big role. It's a very big part of who she is but she's also very private. It's not something she uses as a campaign tool. I don't think she would hold it secret at all if asked about it directly. She would freely speak her mind about it. It would be interesting to see how she responds to that question because it's such an important part of her life.

Palin has become a darling of the nation's conservative evangelical leadership. Was she close to that community in Alaska? Did they play a big part in her election as governor?

No, not really. I would not say that I was sort of amused [by Palin's rollout as a family values candidate] because she is a family person and is not shy about saying so. But it's not something used in her campaign. Her campaign was really about her call for ethics in government. That's what clinched the deal.

The Weather Nerd PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 02 September 2008 09:12
To follow future hurricanes and other weather, check out the Weather Nerd blog.

Great, detailed, and intelligent hurricane coverage from an usual perspective.
"Not Having an Abortion the Most Important Thing I Ever Did in My Life" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 02 September 2008 07:18
The power of a single act can resonate through our lives is so many ways.

The current discussion of Bristol Palin's pregnancy is surfacing a obvious but fascinating phenomena: what a woman chose when faced with a crisis pregnancy in the past has a big impact on how she understands the whole abortion debate now. Women who did not abort their babies are talking about how that experience propelled them into the pro-life movement. And 40 years after the sexual revolution, there are a lot of women who have lived that experience.

As one friend told Jay Nordlinger “ . . . not having an abortion was the most important thing I ever did in my life.”

Of course, we have all heard of or know women who had abortions and were brought into the pro-life movement by their experience of the consequences of that choice. You might be such a woman.

Any readers want to share their own stories or the story of a mother, father, sister, brother, friend whose real life brush with a crisis pregnancy (whether or not it ended in abortion) moved them in a pro-life direction?
Thank God PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 02 September 2008 05:31
Thank God,

Gustav seems to have not had the destructive impact that was feared. In fact, as anyone who has lived in that part of the world could tell you, storms like Gustav are pretty much run-of-the mill down there. Property damage and evacuating from or riding out tropical storms and hurricanes have always been an accepted part of life along the Gulf Coast. It is the number of people living on and the kind of structures being built along the coast that is changing the equation. The storms are not stronger. The "Labor Day" hurricane of 1935 is still the most powerful storm to ever make landfall in the US (Florida) with estimated sustained winds of 200 mph.

What was really different was the extraordinary speed and efficiency of this evacuation. Two million people successfully evaluated in a couple days. The lessons of Katrina has been thoroughly learned. The question is, can we continue to pull such feat off every few years? But unless we intend to abandon the Gulf Coast, we don't have a choice. Now to pray for Hurricane Hannah.

And I was very pleased when Senator Obama made it very clear that Sarah Palin's daughter - and the families of politicians were off-limits. It shouldn't even be a question - on any side. Good for him.

Although I have just seen a Democratic strategist spin the whole situation to support abortion. (The Palins have a right to decide what is best for their family but the Republicans want to control the "choices" of other families.) That's inevitable in an election year but I'm still glad it was clearly said.

More - on more typical topics for this blog - to come.
Papal Mission Intention for September PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 September 2008 11:45

Written by Joe Waters

As he did last month, Pope Benedict has offered a real gem for his September mission intention:
"That, faithful to the sacrament of matrimony, every Christian family may cultivate the values of love and communion in order to be a small evangelising community, sensitive and open to the material and spiritual needs of its brothers."
I believe that these intentions, as simple and as short as they may be, are offering us some real clues about Pope Benedict's thinking and approach to mission. Let us ponder them carefully and pray them deeply.

Do Not Conform Yourself to This Age PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 01 September 2008 08:20
Over at the Corner, Shannen W. Coffin, shares a fantastic homily that she heard at her parish on Sunday. Unfortunately, the link to the whole homily does not seem to work.

The coverage of Gustav has brought back many memories of my own southern childhood - including witnessing the death throes of institutionalized public racism - so this is resounding with me in a fresh way this morning. I didn't know that a "devout Catholic" had written the Dred Scott decision.

This weekend, Fr. John De Celles, an associate pastor at Old St. Mary’s Church in Alexandria, Va., delivered a homily squarely confronting Pelosi and her thinking, but put the debate an interesting historical context. Fr. De Celles reminded his parishioners first of the papal response to slavery:

“In the year 1839 in a document called In Supremo, Pope Gregory XVI reiterated the Church’s ancient teaching against slavery, specifically reproaching those who: ‘dare to …reduce to slavery Indians, Blacks or other such peoples…. as if they were not humans but rather mere animals.’” Unfortunately, continued Fr. De Celles, “some Catholics, in particular, some American bishops — especially Southern bishops — tried to argue that the doctrine didn’t apply to American slavery, because somehow it was ‘different.’ It seems, caught up in the prevailing attitude of the world around them, these bishops twisted the clear teaching of the popes into something that makes us sick to think of today. They fell into the trap that St. Paul warns against . . . : ’Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God.’”

The confusion generated by the American bishops contributed, De Celles suggests, to the Dred Scott decision, written as it was by “devout Catholic Roger Taney.” This is what happens when “bishops — and priests — fail to clearly teach, or purposefully dissent from the well defined doctrine of the Church, handed on and protected by the office of Peter. The gates of hell prevail in society: slavery, the Civil War, and a 100 more years of racial oppression.”

But Fr. De Celles also explained what could happen when bishops courageously follow unpopular Church teaching, citing the example of New Orleans Archbishop Francis Rummel, who, in 1956, ordered the desegregation of Catholic schools in his diocese over the very strong objection of many Catholic civic leaders (several of whom he excommunicated).

With that background, he turned to Pelosi’s comments. In response to the notion that there is confusion about the issue of abortion in Catholic theology, Fr. De Celles explains:

From the first century teaching in the book called the Didache: “You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.” To the 20th century teaching of Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae: “by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his successors…. I declare that direct abortion … always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.”

Fr. De Celles also answered Pelosi’s distortion of Saint Augustine, who “like all the Fathers, condemned abortion from the first moment of conception.” Augustine’s musings on when the soul entered the unborn child had little to do with the abortion question, for he agreed that abortion was always morally wrong. And in speculating that it occurred at the “quickening,” Augustine was limited to Fourth Century science. Fr. De Celles has little doubt that Saint Augustine would accept today’s science that human life begins at conception.

Fr. De Celles, drawn into the theological debate by a self-professed Catholic politician, reminded Pelosi, and those Catholic politicians that agree with her, that “it is always a grave or mortal sin for a politician to support abortion.” To those that argue that a priest shouldn’t enter the political fray, he responded that “it was the Speaker of the House who started this; she, and other pro-abortion Catholic politicians, regularly cross over into teaching theology and doctrine. And it’s our job to try clean up their mess.”

Is Nancy Pelosi, modern day theologian and Speaker of the House of Representatives, the “ardent, practicing Catholic” that she claimed to be on Meet the Press? Well, Fr. De Celles asks:

Imagine if someone came in here and said “I’m a mafia hit man and I’m proud of it.” Or “I deal drugs to little children.” Or “I think black people are animals and it’s okay to make them slaves, or at least keep them out of my children’s school.”

Are these “ardent practicing Catholics”?

No, they are not.

And neither, he concludes, “is a person who ardently supports and votes to fund killing 1 to 1.5 million unborn babies every single year. Especially if that person is in a position of great power trying to get others to follow her.” Like the unrepentant drug dealer or bigot, “they are not ardent Catholics. They are, in very plain terms, very bad Catholics.”

Now you could argue that it is this sort of judgmental preaching that gets priests or pastors in trouble, and there is little doubt that there were some in the pews that found Fr. De Celles’ blunt assessment troubling. But it also takes a great deal of courage to speak the truth so candidly. Fr. De Celles had to know that he would get grief from a handful of those who disagreed with him. He probably didn’t know that he would receive a round of applause at one mass, however. But he did so not to embarrass Catholic politicians that he didn’t know. He did so only to reach those of the flock that he could reach. He would not, he claimed, be responsible for misguiding those to whom he preached. His sermon was “about learning from the terrible mistakes of the past in order not to repeat those mistakes today. It’s about warning you against following those who would lead you to believe that you don’t have to love your neighbor because she’s still in her mother’s womb.”

Fr. De Celles words left the church in a pensive silence. No one got up to leave, but everyone seemed to listen and to hear. He concluded with a prayer that surely has resonance for all Catholics. And in this election season, I don’t think you have to be Catholic to appreciate his supplication:

As we enter more deeply into the mystery of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection in this Holy Mass, let us pray for ourselves, and for one another, and for our leaders in the Church and in public life. That each one of us may never conform ourselves to this age, but may be transformed by the renewal of our minds, always discerning the will of God. That we may be true followers of Christ, and in the most honest sense of the words, “ardent practicing Catholics.”


A link to the whole homily. Take up and read!
Last Night in Korea PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Monday, 01 September 2008 07:45

Yunkyung and Yongkyeung Cha took me, along with their youngest son, Junseo (Michael), to a wonderful Korean restaurant near Junseo's "academy school." Their elder son, Junha, is a tenth grader, and was accepted to a prestigious boarding school about four hours from Seoul. Junseo goes to the academy every day but Tuesday - including Saturday and Sunday - for about three extra hours of organized study and tutoring in English, math and science. This continues throughout the summer, except for longer hours - nine or ten a day! This costs quite a bit of money, as you might imagine, not to mention a lot of work on Junseo's part! This is pretty remarkable, considering his father, Yunkyung, grew up in the country on a farm with no electricity. While we walked through a Korean folk village, Yunkyung told me of studying by lamplight after planting rice by hand, or threshing black beans with a rope attached to a stick.
Back then he decided that the easiest work he had was studying, and devoted himself to studying in order to leave farm life! His sons might complain about the hard work they have to do, but Yunkyung just smiles and nods and reminds them of the alternatives.

The restaurant was chosen for its food and location - Junseo had to leave by 6:45 p.m., so we began eating around 5:30: course, after course, after course. I can now add jellyfish and sea cucumber to my list of exotic foods! It was a feast fit for a Joseon king, and now, nearly four hours later, I'm still stuffed.

I'll be leaving for Tucson tomorrow, so no blogging for a few days, at least. I'll have lots of work to do when I hit the ground, and then it'll be off to Lakeway, TX for preaching and a modified Called & Gifted workshop at a large parish there.
I'm grateful for my friends' generosity and hospitality, and ask you offer a prayer for the Cha family.
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