Showing posts from November, 2005

Oireachtas Musings

I have a few minutes before I go downstairs and watching episodes 7 & 8 of "OZ" season three, so I thought I'd post some thoughts about the Oireachtas.

First off, it was really great to return to playing music. For those of you who don't know, before I entered the novitiate I used to play for Irish dancing competitions (feis, pronounced fesh, not fetish). Many of my dearest and closest friends are affiliated with Irish dancing and I count it as one of the greatest singular graces in my life to have been able to serve my culture and heritage by providing music for its dancers.

This being said, I had a very difficult time transitioning back into the fray. I found the number of people and the absolute "excess" of the whole affair to be overwhelming. I'd like to say that I am concerned on a day-to-day basis with the needs of starving babies and the poorest of the poor, but that'd be a bit disingenuous. I am, however, much more acutely aware of the ne…
Ben Krause produced this composite picture. Under the aegis of Coach Walter Farrell, Team Detroit battled Team Chicago, led by Coach Bill Verbryke.

Turkey Bowl

In every age, the cry of the people rings out calling for new champions, new titans to represent the hopes and dreams of the masses. This cry echoes far and wide and here at Loyola House, the weary world found its champions, its gladiators of sport who would play out on the theater of the football field the eternal drama of good versus evil, light versus darkness, Detroit versus Chicago.

The Arena: Turkey Bowl 2005

It's probably an annual tradition (read: if it's done for more than two years at this house, it becomes somehow a tradition) for the Chicago novices to play the Detroit novices every Thanksgiving. While Denis Weber and Richard Beebe slaved away in the kitchen, I got to go out and play football (I was the "center" and I caught one interception). It was a lot of fun, despite the frigid weather and wicked wind.

After memorizing a great victory on the gridiron (Detroit 35 to Chicago 21), some of us repaired to the kitchen where we worked slavishly to prepare for…
Team Chicago
Team Detroit
All of the players post-game.

Return from the Oireachtas

Well, it's over!

Oireachtas 2005 has come and gone and I couldn't be happier. I'm going to be busy for the next few days, but I hope to find time this week to write down my reflections on the event and the great relief I feel now that it's over.

My trips to and from Columbus were wholly uneventful.

So that's it for the moment. I'm WAY behind in some grading so I need to set about marking a slew of papers, then I need to prepare for class tomorrow!

Quiet Weekend at Loyola House

It's hard to belive that it's already Sunday evening...where has the week gone?

Sadly, Adam's grandfather passed away this week. On Thursday, several novices drove down to Cleveland to attend the funeral mass/burial. I was honored to be invited to play a slow-aire for the mass. I could not attend the burial services as I had to turn around and drive out to Chicago for my CPE interview.

Without going into too much detail, I am now officially accepted for the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Loyola University Medical Center. I met a number of the other chaplains and residents and I'm so excited to have this opportunity. My goals are many, but I really want to cultivate an ever-present disposition of attention, reverence, and devotion. That is, I hope to be attentive to God's presence in the life of the person with whom I am dealing, I want to reverence that person as being a bearer of God, and then be devoted to that person in order that I might companion that pe…

Sons of Luther

My Uncle Jack commented that I have not made much, if any, mention of the influence my father's Lutheran faith has had on my life. I'm sure that it was a conscious slight against the Missouri Synod Lutherans (as my father sez, the "Defenders of the Faith").

Because my mom went to church, we children went to church. My father preferred to worship at the altar of the Blessed Pillow on Sunday mornings after, of course, he had made eggs and bacon for breakfast. Dad did acquiesce and joined his family for mass on Christmas and Easter. It was kind of a treat, sort of like ecclesial show-and-tell, to bring my Dad to church - he was the token Protestant in attendance! Indeed, I can still recall vividly sitting in the back pews at Easter Sunday Mass with my father who pulled out his Watchman (mini-tv) and watched, I believe, some type of sporting event.

I consider myself to be a Mudblood (like in Harry Potter), the product of the union of a Catholic and a Lutheran. If there&#…

Home on a Friday Night

I can tell I'm getting old because it's Friday night and I'm glad to be home for the evening. I remember the old days of boarding planes and spending evenings talking the politics of Irish dancing, only to stay up too late and wake up far too early to play for thousands of Irish dancers at the feis, go out to dinner, and talk more of Irish dancing.

I don't miss that part at all.

Not much to say, really. My professor liked the paper I wrote proposing a narrative context against to situation the debate concerning ordinary and extraordinary means of treatment for persons in persistent vegetative states. It's a mouthful, to be sure, but he liked it well enough to suggest that I send it off for publication. So I spent the better part of my afternoon putting a few touch-ups on the essay.

Tomorrow morning I'm running TWO miles. Yeah, it's far away from the goal of 13 miles, but please recall that I am by no means a runner and two miles will be something of a stretc…


Well, a new twist has developed in my life:

I think I'm going to train for a half-marathon (that's 13.1 miles).

It was during time spent in prayer that it came to me that this might be something to do. As I trace the scope of my life, I've always been pretty self-conscious about the way I looked when I ran. But it seems to me that my ungainly stride doesn't necessarily mean that I can't try to do something new and wholly out of regular character. I mean, as I see it, why not? What's there to lose? Going to the gym didn't kill with any luck neither will this.

I don't know yet when any such marathon will be. To be honest, I don't reckon it matters as I'm interested more in the training process than in the actual race. This is more for personal benefit and proving to myself that I can do it than it is anything else.

It also advances me one step further to my ultimate goal of being a member of a super-secret and elite Jesuit ninja squad.

So this…


Okay, so it's time for me to stroke the ego. I'm including in this post the (rather lengthy) story that was written about mein the Midwest Irish Focus. It was written by Mary Lewis who works at Rockhurst University.


Jesuit Finds Calling in Irish Accordian

This month we introduce you to Ryan Duns. We first became aware of Ryan when we read a short paragraph in the Jesuit Magazine Company, which lists new seminarians each year. Ryan is in his second year of seminary, preparing towards professing his first vows in the Society of Jesus. The fact that Ryan plays the Irish accordion professionally caught our eye. Through a bit of research, we caught up with Ryan via email, and he shared some wonderful stories from his life.

Ryan stated he had a pretty traditional Catholic upbringing; his mother is Irish Catholic, he had two great-aunts who were nuns, and his grandmother was always encouraging him to be a priest. “In fact, it was my astute observation as a child that if I were…

Ho Hum

So I'm now killing the last thirty minutes of my weekly office hours. Having worked two crossword puzzles, developed a bank of twenty word problems, and written an exam, I'm not officially bored.

The fact that I'm still a bit sore from my infection doesn't make sitting here any more pleasant!

I'm going to update the blog again this evening, provided that the soon-to-be released article about me arrives in the mail. I want to make sure that the advanced copy I received matches the one in the paper. It's a nice piece - quite long, in fact, and it goes a long way in capturing all of my endearing qualities...if there were any.

I have class today at 4:00. This means I need to find sustenance and I fear that means I'll make a run to the border at good 'ol Taco Bell. Come to think of it, I shall wrap this post up here: I have a new task to find out the nutrional information for some of the things I eat there. This ought to be fun!