Showing posts from May, 2005


Just a quick note to wish Michael and Brian English an exuberant CONGRATULATIONS on their success at the Akron and Cleveland feiseanna.

Michael won the senior championship instrumental and also won the "Maureen McLaughlin Music Scholarship Award." This is an award given to the best overall performer in all of the music award I won two years in a row back in 1993 and 1994!! Brian tied for first with (from what I hear) an absolutely amazing fiddle player in the junior championship instrumental.

Such success means only one thing: they must be given more work to do! I'll spend my day (after I write and deliver a homily at 11:00 this morning) researching new and exotic tunes for them to learn.


Hey Folks,

I went through some pictures taken on my Wyoming journey and thought to post a few. So here they are!

Now, some may ask, "Ryan, it's Saturday. Why aren't you "living the life" or doing whatever it is that you do??

My answer: Because the infection that I thought was cured in Wyoming is still very much with me and currently being treated by antibiotics and, without my lovely painkillers, it's made walking more of a chore than I'd like to admit.

So, as I recuperate (AGAIN!) I'll work on assembling some more recipes for the site.

More to follow, to be sure!
My most dreaded foe and nemesis: the peacock. There were SIX of these beasts living in the TREE outside my window. Curse them all!
Sister Teresa and I doing what we do best: making fun of others.
Fr Gene and I
A night out in Wyoming!

Home Sweet Home!

Hi Folks,

I'm now back in Detroit. It's hard to believe that I've been gone for two months - though at times it was difficult, the time in Wyoming certainly passed swiftly. I'm sad to leave many of the good people I met there, but it really is nice to be back in Detroit...I never fathomed how much I depend on Einstein Brothers for coffee!

After I've settled in and start to have all sorts of fun new experiences to report on, I'll be sure to update the blog. I doubt seriously whether I'll post again with the frequency seen over the last few weeks, but who knows - the writing bug may bite!

Gloaming Post

Since I just received another email about it, I want to offer some clarification about my recent post "In the Gloaming."

This post is not an indication that I'm leaving the Jesuits; in fact, anything could, right now, be further from the truth. It is more an indication of a conversion of sorts, perhaps even an epiphany, that offered a new sense of clarity and an enhanced vision of my own vocation.

Since my posts tend to be blithering by nature, I can see why some would interpret this, a much more serious post, as sounding the death knell of my foray into religious life. Rest assured that said knell has not sounded.

Why so many posts today? The receptionist is sick and, rather than watch FoodTV re-runs, I volunteered to fill in for her. All I've done is answer phones and read my book and answer emails, so I've plenty of time to ramble on here!

Special Studies

Many of us who know Jesuits became acquainted with them through Jesuit run educational institutions. I, for one, count as most influential those Jesuits who have been my teachers, mentors, and friends.

Many Jesuits go on after theology studies and ordination for "special studies" where they specialize in some area of study that interests them. One man may decide to write a dissertation on Karl Rahner, another on Whale Bone Scrimshaw, and still another on the fusion of taste horizons in each individual Pez candy. The options are unlimited.

I've toyed with the notion of being a Jesuit-chef. I'd love to go to cooking school and, provided that I don't lop off a finger cutting parsley (which I'm most apt to do) I think it'd be a wonderful profession. I think a proper meal is a wonderful expression of hospitality, a ministry that is most appealing to my sensibilities. And yet, I can't help but wonder if I might not make one hell of a bartender. Don't mi…


Oh, I forgot to make the request that people sign my guestbook. I don't know why, because I'll probably forget to read it, but I thought it'd be a nice addition to the site. It's at the bottom of the page.

Wake Up Call!

In general, I do not sleep in very late. As much as I like to get my eight hours of sleep in, it's not beyond my ken to settle for six hours a night. So, on Tuesday night when I went to bed at midnight, I figured that I would get *at least* six hours of sleep, if not seven or eight.

So imagine my surprise when, at 6:00 am yesterday morning, I was ripped from Slumber Land by the sound of GUN FIRE. GUN FIRE! I can't recall ever seeing a real loaded gun held by someone other than a police officer, and here I am, lying in bed, hearing a gun going off.

Drawing upon my warrior-like instincts, I did what any sensible person would do: I hid under the covers and hoped that my bedroom door wouldn't get kicked in. My time spent waiting in nervous anticipation was not done in silence; quite to the contrary, the peacock-sextet (there were seven, one has since been eaten by the owners) catterwald and made an awful commotion in the tree outside my window. *BAM* came the second shot and th…

Go for Two!

I have received arguably the funniest email from a person who happens to be a charter member of the SMMSJ Club (Society of Mothers of Members of the Society of Jesus). Of course I will allow her to remain anonymous, but I have to share this with everyone:

What the Gilday!!!!! You compare the bite of a fire ant to blessing yourself with holy water and then follow that up by comparing black widow spiders to Irish Brides! Tell me, when you were divesting yourself of your personal belongings prior to entering, did you let go of your heart and soul?? Do you have shekels in your pocket but an empty chest cavity??

I don't care if your holy water sizzles; you just can't go around besmirching the goodness of Irish Brides.

Now as anyone who reads my blog knows full well, I have only the utmost love for the Irish and their brides, even though I don't have one of my own. But I can only write out of experience, or in this case, my father's experience of being married to my mother.…

Fire Ants

It's a cold and drizzly day today, so I've more than my usual amount of time to kill - so I'll update the blog!

The last few days have actually been pretty warm and nice, so I've been taking some lovely walks during the day. On one of my recent walks, I stumbled - literally - on a huge colony of FIRE ANTS! It was like something out of a movie, watching them swarm out of their home in order to defend it.

Now, I'm not normally one to do such things, but I picked up an ant and let him bite me. You know what? It hurt. A lot. I understand why they are called fire ants. It was a burning sensation that was eerily reminiscent of the burning I feel when I bless myself with holy water.

I also saw two black widow spiders. I did not let one of them bite me, but I did watch each one for a long time. They are really beautiful creatures, even if they *are* like Irish brides who court their suitors and then, when they've had their fun, they consume the wayward beau.

I'd al…

In the gloaming...

Alice Elliot Dark wrote a story entitled "In the Gloaming" about a young man who returns home to die of AIDS. The beauty of the story is captured in those fleeting moments of transition between day and night, that period of time where all the world is bathed in a heathery light, known as the gloaming. As day gives way to night, all the world is transformed, even if but for a few moments. As the man's life ebbs, the transition of life to death is not made idly or smoothly but involves a transformation wherein his reality - and the reality of his family - is changed forever. In the gloaming of his life all things are made new and seen afresh, just as his life is given up to the still night of death.

It seems to me that I have been in something of a gloaming. I entered the Society of Jesus with the intent to serve God as a companion of Jesus by helping others. I'd scarcely consider myself naive, though I would admit to being a bit idealistic. This idealism has all but fa…

Health Update

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm feeling much better these last two days. Though I'm still pretty sore, I'm finding that I rely less on the painkillers I have been prescribed and can counter the muscle aches with Aleve rather than anything stronger.

Thanks to everyone who has called, sent cards, and emailed me. These last few weeks have been pretty I stated earlier, I'm not a good patient though being sick out here has schooled me well in patience. Though the idea that I return to Detroit a bit early in order to seek medical attention has been advanced, I'd prefer to work through these last twelve days of my Short Experiment. I think I'm on the upswing and, barring any deterioration of my health, I think all will be well.


Thanks to everyone who prayed for Mike and Brian as they competed yesterday. I'm proud now to announce their results:


1st Place 15-18 Tin Whistle!!!

This is big time, folks. Mike was the youngest guy in the competition and there were, I believe, about ten in the group. We should all be very proud of this feat -- it's a great honor! The judge's comment was brilliant in announcing the first and second place winners: "I have never seen either of these two boys before. I'll never forget their performance." No greater kudos can I think of!


1st Place under 12 Flute
2nd Place under 12 Tin WHistle

With 30 kids in the whistle competition, Brian really had a brilliant showing. Here's another guy who'd better be tremendously proud of himself -- Congratulations! Brian once proclaimed, "I just gotta live the life, Ryan! I gotta be out there living the life." I don't know if this counts as "living the life" but I'm sure it's a …

What the #$&%!

Did you see the third comment posted below? Yep, it's PATRICK Gilday! Patrick "I don't write my first-year novice brothers because I'm so busy attending to the needs of the sick and dying" Gilday. Well, better late than never.

It is because of Patrick's dereliction of duty that I shall inaugurate a new saying. Instead of "What the Hell?" we will now say "What the Gilday." I guess it's sort of like "sam hell" or "samhill" or whatever it is people say out here in the West. So when you're caught in traffic and some jerk cuts you off, don't cry out "What the hell is wrong with you!?!?!" Instead, cry out "What the Gilday is wrong with you!?!?!"

It has a nice ring to it, I think.

Thanks for writing, Patrick. See what I do if you send me a whole email....



So I went to the emergency room after I posted this morning, owing to the terrible pain in my stomach that kept me up a good bit of last night. The doctors seem to think that I've a pretty nasty infection and that it'll take a good week to clear it up. The details of my ailments are pretty gross, so I'll spare you from hearing them, but thanks to everyone who has written/called. I hate feeling sick in the first place and being away from home and loved ones makes it even harder. I'm glad I'll be back in just over two weeks!

If I can get to it this evening, I'll post my own recipe for Bailey's Irish Cream sauce. It's a pretty cool concoction that was *AWESOME* over a chocolate mousse pie I made yesterday.

That's really about it. I'm giving a workshop tonight to CCD teachers on the importance of structure in the classroom. Ryan and Structure...those two match really well. Tomorrow I'm doing communion calls all morning, giving another workshop to…

Sparse Posts!

Hey there,

Sorry I've not posted much lately - since Mother Loren was away in California, visiting her son, I didn't see much point in writing as one of my most participative readers (ie, a person who leaves comments!) was away. Strange, Mother Marquard visited her son in New York. Did Mother Duns? HELL NO! She'd rather go to Ireland or spend her time making stoles for deacons rather than come and see her son in the wilds of Wyoming. Typical. Just typical.

Anyway, the real reason for my dearth of posts this week is that I've not been feeling terribly well. I don't think it's anything to worry about, but I'll let ya'll know what the story is as soon as I figure it out myself.