Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Slow to Update

Hey all,

I'm now writing this from Sunny Denver! All is well here, though our schedule is pretty well packed and it's hard to find time to update my site. So, if worse comes to worse, I'll try to do weekly updates, though I can't promise to hold to it!

Things are going well here so far. I'll give all my impressions of "Jesuit Summer Camp" in a more extended post.

More later!

Monday, June 13, 2005


Oh! I knew I'd forgotten something. After our trip to Cedar Point, we had two days of house jobs. My job was to check all the lightbulbs in the house (we have many lightbulbs, to this I attest) and, much to my shock and awe, the "EXIT" lights that illumine the way to safety in the event of a fire. Not having any 15-watt bulbs and realizing that 15-watts would NEVER lead anyone to safety, I replaced them with 40-watt bulbs (if I'd had 120-watt bulbs available, I'd have used them). Not only are the lights beacons of safety, coaxing the smoke-engulfed refugee from the fire to safety, they also enable us to land small jets - say, a Cessna - on the novitiate.

I love light!

Take Me Home to Cleveland!

Hey Folks!

After our "Province Days" at John Carroll University this weekend, I now have several days to spend in Cleveland. I'm heading off to my *favorite* brewery - the Great Lakes Brewing Company - in fifteen minutes. My old friend Jeff P. will be joining me (pray that he joins the Jesuits, too!!) and I can just taste the yeasty goodness of Dortmunder Gold. If Dortmunder had been chosen by Jesus instead of wine, I think there'd be more people attending the Eucharist. Yes, it is *that* good.

On Thursday we'll be heading to Chicago, and on Friday to Omaha, and on Saturday we'll wind our way to Denver. We'll be in Denver until the middle of July, so there's no telling whether I'll be able to post much of anything during that time. I expect I shall be able to keep everyone updated, but there'll be no promises.

Oh, let me say something of Province Days. I had a WONDERFUL time getting to meet a lot of Jesuits from the Detroit Province, particularly teachers I'd had in high school and hadn't seen in years. Father Ray Guiao did an absolutely marvelous job with the music, and one singer in particular - Laurence Wallace - was absolutely sublime. The St. Ignatius High School chorus did their school proud, though I hasten to add that their vocal stylings were enhanced by members of the Walsh Jesuit choir. The music, the vocals, the whole ambience was just wonderful...I was so proud to be a part of it all!

There's not too much else to report. It's hard to believe that it's already June...and with five weeks in Denver followed by a pilgrimage to an as-yet-undecided location followed by two weeks vacation (yes, this is truly a hard life. I mean, working in the "vineyard of the Lord" is hard work!) we'll see the current second year men off and then welcome the newbies (aka Fresh Fish) to the novitiate.

I bought a new CD last week - Michael Buble's "It's Time." It's a lovely CD, though the critics among us will call it derivative and un-original. I like it because he has a good voice and I like his renditions of the songs. Track 5 "Home" resonates with my experience of being away from home weekend after weekend, though being at "Jesuit Camp" has, in some ways, curtailed my travel schedule (though it's hard to note with the traveling done this year: Boston, Wyoming, Denver, Cleveland, Chicago, Omaha, etc!!).

One last thing. Father Howard "Abba" Gray, SJ gave several BRILLIANT talks during our Province Days. Besides the fact that he could read the phone book and make it interesting, he's a tremendous knack for pithy aphorisms or sayings that capture succinctly his wisdom. Saturday's line: " We're not called to discipleship because we're efficient. We're called because we have no choice but to be called by the Savior of humanity." Interreligious issues notwithstanding, it's a profound insight into the nature of call and the response of discipleship, of relationship, with the living Christ.

I'll try to post some fun pictures later this week!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Oh the humanity!

I'm pretty well used to the vicissitudes of a hectic life. Before I joined the Jesuits, I was pretty well accustomed to a schedule of teaching, learning, working, and playing that left a number of people wondering how I managed not to lose my head over it all (hehe, they never realized that I did actually become wholly unhinged). Much of the constancy and order that I seemed to maintain was due, in large part, to what I conceived of as a stable self-identity, a sense of "who I am" that defied finesse or outside influence.

How wrong I was.

Since August, I have done things I never would have dreamed of doing: going to the gym, jogging, shaving my head bald (I valued each and every precious hair, particularly as they are geting fewer and thinner), playing ultimate frisbee, and then yesterday I did the most amazing thing: I rode a roller coaster.

I hate heights, ironic for someone whose lifestyle led him to fly most weekends. But I really hate the vertiginous feeling of looking down on the whole world, particularly if the only thing keeping you from falling to your death is a metal bar and a harness. Nonetheless, I found myself strapped under the skeletal structure of "The Raptor" yesterday and then propelled in every possible direction at break-neck speeds.

Most people scream, laugh, or celebrate on these rides. When I could speak in between hyperventilating breaths, it was in no uncertain terms that I informed Drew Marquard of my new and intense hatred for his cajolling me onto this ride. My intense hatred has abated and become a smoldering resentment by now, and I do owe him great thanks for helping me to get over my fear of these rides. I still can't claim to be a fan of them, but I can see that in the future I'll try some of the even bigger and faster (GULP!) coasters.

I'll be in Cleveland for about a week. I'll arrive on Thursday and will be occupied at JCU until Sunday. From Sunday through Wednesday night, I'll divide my time between Villa Hagan (my vacation spot with my grandmother in Rocky River) and Casa Duns (the asylum) with my family.

The feis on Saturday was a lot of fun, though very hot. A number of the Jesuit novices came by and observed the strange culture of Irish guy is still in shock over it all. They were all impressed with Anne Hall and two of them have asked after her age because they insist she's not old enough to be an Irish dancing adjudicator (judges are at least 30).

I'm sweating as I write this. Our house has no AC and it's pretty darn hot outside (and inside).

I bought shorts and sandals. This is also a big step, as I've normally eschewed such casual attire. I reckon I'll have to do some more expanding of my wardrobe in order to include a few more pairs of shorts. OH! Thanks to my Wyoming trip I now wear a size 32" waist -- which is the thinnest I've been since I was in, I think, the fifth grade. I was a real porker as junior high student!

After I leave Cleveland next Thursday I'll make my way to Denver where I'll study Jesuit history for four weeks. We'll live at Regis University and I'll be only 8 blocks from Anne Hall (yeah!!!!) so it should be a great experience.

For now, that's all I have to say. I'll be glad to be back in C-town for a week and I hope to see a number of people on this visit. If you should like to see me, call my personal assistant HAGAN who will be glad to take the message, order by importance, and pass it along to me upon my return.

Speaking of Hagan, a special congratulations to her on her first place win this weekend in her competition. She now joins her two older sisters and her brother Colin as a championship Irish dancer. For once I won't deride her win by saying it's a consequence of her dancing against amputees or something. It's a job well done and she should be proud of herself...and if there's room after that burgeoning ego has swelled, maybe I'll be proud, too!


OH! Check the recipe site - I'll make a quick addition shortly.

Flute playing priest finds YouTube fame