Posts

Back In The Saddle (or Pew) Again

Hello everyone, I know it has been a long time since I have had a blog entry or posted a homily. Life has been pretty busy but I am keeping my head above water (most days) and just returned from a fun-filled fishing trip with my dad to Mexico. The fishing wasn't as good as it was when I made my first trip in 2018, but it was still a lot of fun and it was great to have a little time away from the parish. I will spend the evening getting caught up and will post two homilies from the past two weekends. I won't attempt to catch up for all the missed ones but will hopefully get back on track to get one done every week. I am praying about the future of the Daily Thought.  I have been doing the Daily Thought for over 14 years. Since I had to quit the company that managed all the mailing lists (costs were too high), it takes me nearly 15 minutes to send them out and I haven't had time every day to get to it. I'll let you know whether or not I am going to drop that part of

The Joys and Challenges of Photography

Image
I was only able to get about 4 hours of sleep Monday night and woke up at 3:45AM since we had to leave at 4:30AM for Moraine Lake. I tried an over-the-counter sleep aid and Extra Sleepy Time Tea®, but neither seemed to help me get to bed very early. There were already a number of cars in the parking lot when we arrived. Our guide went up to explore and then came back and told us to sit tight for awhile since it was still dark and raining. He then told us to get ready and to have our wide angle lenses on our cameras. Neither my dad or I were prepared (had the telephoto lenses on the night before) and had to do a quick lens change. My dad took a little longer to get all of his stuff out and make the change. I sensed the guide was getting a little impatient as he kept asking us if we were ready. I put my tripod on top of the truck bed cover and assisted my dad. It wasn't until we got to our destination over a muddy and slippery trail and started unpacking and setting up that I realize

Day 8 & 9 ( Our Lady of Fatima Basilica, Krzeptowki & Lagiewniki, Krakow

Image
We are coming into the homestretch of our pilgrimage and everything continues to go incredibly well. On Monday we had the opportunity to visit and celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima in Krzeptowki. We celebrated Mass in a chapel where everything was constructed out of pine wood since pine trees are found throughout the region. On our way to Zakopone we watched a new movie about the message of Fatima and why it is still of great relevance for the world today.  We were planning on having lunch on a mountainside that provided a panoramic view of the area, but the local authorities had the road closed because there was still a lot of snow. We headed back to a local restaurant near the Basilica before making our way to Krakow to the Pilgrimage House of Divine Mercy.  Yesterday we had Mass in the Convent Chapel where St. Faustina is entombed. It was a small but beautiful chapel and it was a nice sunny day. One of the workers who helps manage traffic in and out of the c

Day 7 (Going To Take A Little More Time On This One)

Image
Thanks so much for following us on our pilgrimage to Poland. Thank you especially for your prayers — they are greatly appreciated. What a gift it is to have the internet to stay so connected even though we are thousands of miles away.  I am going to spend a little more time in prayer and reflection before writing about some of the things that happened yesterday. I would like to write a little more in depth about some of the insights I have received about war, redemption, and the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit. We will be staying in the same motel the last three nights which should make things less hectic. It's also time to do some laundry or start turning things inside out. 😬 I am feeling incredibly blessed and very grateful to be on this pilgrimage and have been very impressed with the cheerful disposition of the pilgrims and our guide. Things are going very well.  I know some of you have subscribed to the blog and are getting the entries via email. I am always doing

Day 6 Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Czestochowa and Visit to Auscwhitz-Birkenau

Image
Today after breakfast we went to the Basilica of Our Lady of Czestochowa for Mass in one of the side chapels. Mass came to a quick end after communion as our tour guide, one of the Pauline priests from the Basilica arrived to give us a tour of the Basilica.  The Pauline priests staff the Basilica of Our Lady of Czestochowa and were founded in the 13th century. There name is derived from the hermit Saint Paul of Thebes (died c. 345), canonized in 491 by Pope Gelasius I.  Because our tour guide kind of came in and disrupted the end of our Mass, our pilgrimage guide, Kasia, came up to me and said, "I know this priest and he is very hard to control. I can get you another guide." I laughed and said he would be fine. He was quite a character, constantly throwing out one-liners as we walked around the busy basilica listening to him with our single headphone devices. It was noisy and quite chaotic throughout the church as it was a Saturday and many activities were going on includ

Day 5 Świnice Warckie and – Czestochowa

Image
Today we visited the town of Świnice Warckie where St. Faustina was born and received her baptism.  The church was fairly new and had the most interesting tabernacle shaped like a globe. It made me think of the first line of St. John Paul II's first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, "The Redeemer of man, Jesus Christ, is the center of the universe and of history." What beautiful words to begin his pontificate! Our pilgrimage guide translated a presentation about the features of the church from a Slovakian nun who is a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. We then celebrated Mass and headed to the home where St. Faustina and her 9 siblings were born. It was a very small house and it is hard to imagine so many people living in such a small space. There was only one bed so most of the family had to sleep on the floor each night.  After our brief tour of the Kowalska house (a common name in Polish like "Smith" in English) we traveled to the city