Showing posts from September, 2006

Odds and Ends

First off, I would like to thank my friend Eric Abercrombie for his generous gift and lovely card. Eric (AKA: Enyak, "Token Protestant Friend", father of the child-who-should-be-named-Rahner) and I did our MA's together from 2002-2004. United by Spirit and common enemies, we laughed our way through our time of studies. My best memories of graduate school seem to involve Abba Enyak as we tried to process Process theology, struggled with Rahner, learned of Abba Antony despite the blither of Brother V, and ate more pizzas and drank more coffee than I care to think about! Eric is grand scholar, a fine representative of the great state of West Virginia, and I am honored to call him my friend.

In his honor I include this picture. First, it shows that I do and can work (Recall: I do manualia as a Jesuit). Second, it commemorates the day Eric and I cleaned the backyard of Joan "The Boss" Nuth, a faculty member at John Caroll University. This was, as I recall, after the …

Recipes Site

I'm giving serious consideration to dropping "Jesuit Recipes" as a site. Sadly, I don't cook nearly enough to work up new recipes or even to discover recipes that I like. Unlike the novitiate where I had ample opportunity to be in the kitchen, I have only to cook one dinner and one appetizer (for a Thursday night social) each semester. What I would do, though, is post any recipe that I come up with on this site rather than having the two different sites.

The Cat's Meow!

I can't help myself - I'm in love with playing with the recording abilities of my computer.

One More Tune

To round it out to three, I thought I'd include this tune. It's called "The Lament for Fred Finn" and it's the aire I played at my Grandpa Hagan's funeral.

Over the Moor to Maggie

I thought I'd try a reel yesterday, so I recorded this nice tune. I'm going to go into the city today for Mass (St Francis Xavier Parish in Manhattan) but when I return I have hopes to put down a few sets of tunes. As a teacher of music, this may be the best teaching tool I've yet found - I can record a set of tunes and then send them to my students...or post it on the 'net for anyone who is interested!

Just as a "religious life" moment: part of my intent in posting (I am a man of many intents!) these videos is to show that entering religious life *does not* mean that I've had to give up what is truly important and life-giving to me. Truth be told, I don't travel like I used to before I entered. But I've played in nursing homes and at funerals, for bishops and fundraisers, in each case using my music to enter into the lives and experiences of others.

Several months ago I posted this, reflecting how much my spirituality and the way that I have come…

Yeah for YouTube!

So I had some time this afternoon and recorded a jig with iSight video camera. It's not the best quality of playing that I'm capable of, but it'll do for a first effort. I'll try and record a bunch of these and put them online in hopes that someone will stumble upon my playing and offer me a recording contract!

Yeah, I'm a Nerd

Now that I've discovered a new form of technology, I'm going to exploit it completely. I found this little clip a few days ago and I think it's pretty impressive. To be honest, I'd probably have added a ton of cool Ignatian-themed dialogue but, to the extent that it's two seminarians dueling with lightsabers, it's quite good.

From YouTube:

Watch St. Louis seminarians Michael Grosch and Edward Nemeth battle for the eminent position as Camp Director of Kenrick-Glennon Days summer camp, hosted at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary by St. Louis seminarians and the St. Louis Office of Vocations. Mike and Ed's performances are spectacular in this film produced by Jeff Geerling.

Jesuit Music Video

In an effort to be technologically sophisticated, I'm trying this as my first effort to link to the YouTube website. If this works, I have some nice suprises in the future!

**Now that I see it does work, let me ask: who said that Jesuits don't have a sense of humor?!?!***

Shameless Self-Promotion

Dr. John Shea sent me a link today along with a message that I'm to post this to my blog. Failure to do so, he threatens, will result in him sending an email to everyone he knows containing the same information. Because I think it's hysterical, I will include it:

Follow this link, look for professors whose last names begin with "D" and scroll down - see that red thing next to my name? That's a chili pepper. It means that a student thought/thinks that

I'm Hot!!!

Near as I can tell, I've never been told that I'm hot before. I guess it's pretty meaningless as I've taken a vow of chastity, but I think it's funny nonetheless. Sadly, I guess I harbor some fears about just who may have posted it....ah well, I'll take any (admittedly cheap) compliment I can get!

My new Pet

In honor of my new pet, I'm typing this post entirely in green.

When I was a kid, I really wanted a Chia pet. My parents insist that they bought me one, but I don't remember it at yet another instance of my being deprived as a child.

So several weeks ago I downloaded a digital Chia-Pet for my iMac computer. I love him! He's growing quite nicely and I think I'm going to have to download some trimming program so I can make him look like a bonsai or a poodle or something. I will admit that my first one "died" when I went home to Cleveland due to lack of "digital watering" (I was traumatized to see his upturned corpse on my computer screen)...which means that out of love I will be tethered to "Herb" the Chia-Pet.

Now, let me be fair to my parents. When I was home last week, my father didn't anticipate that I would be returning to Cleveland again until after my birthday. So, after a lovely steak dinner, didn't Big Bob Duns shock u…

A Birthday Greeting

I would be TOTALLY remiss if I did not give a huge

Happy Birthday!!!

to my dear friend Anne Hall.

For those of you who don't know her, Anne is an accomplished teacher and adjudicator of Irish dancing and she lives in Denver. It was also Anne who began this blog over two years ago, so in a way she's the mother of my ramblings these last few years.

So please join me in wishing Anne a very happy birthday. Anne, thank you so much for being such a good've taught me more about love and friendship than you'll ever know and I am a better man for having known you.

My favorite Anne Hall birthday story (well, my only one): Several years ago Anne's birthday coincided with the Baltimore feis. Well, due to horrible weather the building where the feis was to be held was totally without power and a number of the stages had to be moved outdoors. Sitting outside under an umbrella is not my idea of a fun day...even if I'm at the beach...and by the end of the day I was pre…

Yet another development

When I went to John Carroll University to do my MA in Religious Studies, I naively entered into studies thinking that I would dedicate myself wholly and unreservedly to my studies. I was totally wrong. I played for feiseanna pretty much every weekend of the year - including my own graduation weekend!

So why would I assume that I'd dedicate myself solely to studies here at Fordham? Yesterday, the feast of St. Robert Bellarmine (my vow name and the patron of catechists) I began to assemble my thoughts in regard to my latest project: I will be working with a small group of students (along with Kyle Gautreau, SJ) on what has been titled "Three Cheers for Catholicism." This seminar-style course will (hopefully) make use of Robert Barron's wonderful "And Now I See...A Theology of Transformation" as well as another small text.

So here's my basic approach: the first thing we will work on is learning to recognize that God is actively at work in our day-to-day liv…

Professor of Traditional Irish Music Studies

I received final word today that my course "Introduction to the Tin Whistle" will be offered this Spring at Fordham. So each Tuesday from 4:30-5:30 I'll be instructing a whole new generation of college students on how to hold, blow, and make sense of my favorite instrument (favorite, that is, next to the oboe). At this rate, I've taught at three Jesuit colleges: JCU, UD-Mercy, and soon it will be Fordham. I think I'll attempt a record at the number of colleges I can teach something at!


I often tell people that I have a bad memory. It's no exaggeration -- for some reason, I can usually recall minute details about some obscure topic, but I'll handily forget the important which car I drove to the grocery store or whether I've eaten breakfast on a particular day.

What I cannot forget, however, is the shower I took five years ago (please, control your imaginations). As I washed my (more ample but still receding) hair, the morning radio show hosts announced that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Given that these two bloviating fools often made outlandish claims, I reached out of the shower and turned off the radio...I have a strange sense of humor, but such a statement I did not find amusing.

Several minutes later I began to boil water for my tea and oatmeal and I turned on the television. Instead of being greeted by Katie Couric on the Today show, I met the awful and tragic images of two planes slamming into buildings and the real…

Two Photos

I often get asked to show more pictures of my family. On the left you have me and my Grandma Hagan and on the right you have my father BBD (Big Bob Duns) and my mother Michele.

Flickr Update

If you're interested: I posted about 15 more pictures to Flickr today, which you can access by clicking on the photo montage at the right of the screen.

Poverty of Words

About a week ago, another Jesuit (Props to Kyle!) and I discussed the blog forum. He encouraged me to be more controversial, to stir things up a bit. And, to be honest, there's a great part of me that does indeed wish to tackle some of the more contentious issues that face the Church and the modern believer/disbeliever today.

My desires stated, however, I am faced with the all-too-real knowledge that, regardless of what I say or don't say, not only I but the Society of Jesus will be judged for what I write. It is often very difficult to separate "a" speaker from an entire organization...critics of the Society of Jesus (since I'm most familiar with these critiques) will often hold up one particular Jesuit who says something that displeases them and then extrapolate his words and paint the whole of the Society with his brush. Not only is this not fair, but it is not charitable.

These websites can be a great tool for evangelization. I should like to think that other…

Looking toward the future

It's funny that the school year isn't but a few days old and I'm already making plans for the way I'll spend next summer. One of the great aspects of the Society of Jesus is that there is really an unlimited array of choices for spending one's summer. If you follow this link: Summer Opportunities you'll get a sense of what I'm talking about. Indeed, this list is certainly not exhaustive and the horizon of opportunity extends to the far reaches of the individual imagination.

One of the lessons I learned during my time at Loyola Medical Center is the importance of being a companion to other's during their times of need. Since I won't have enough German to go abroad this summer (Next year!) I began looking into various spiritual direction programs throughout the country. While I have little aspiration to spend my apostolic life in a retreat house (it'd be too quiet) I would truly love to be engaged in the ministry of spiritual direction throughout m…

A Lesson in Humility

One of the more poignant scenes from the life of St Ignatius Loyola is recounted in his biography. His dreams of working in Jerusalem thwarted, he felt that the better way to help souls was to begin studies. In order to do this, however, the thirty-something Ignatius had to go back and learn the fundamentals of, among other things, Latin which necessitated his sitting in class with children.

This week opened with a similar experience. The majority of the students in my German 101 course are 1st years and, while only eight years separates us, I can attest that eight years is a lifetime in many ways. I could extol what I feel is the benefit of affective maturation, but that would obscure the point of this post: I am by no means going to learn German with any great ease!

This language is tough! I thought Spanish was difficult, but this is enormously more challenging. I feel like a baby learning to pronounce words again, learning to count, learning how to say hello. Everyone around me see…