Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I make no apologies: I am an indoor Jesuit. I certainly appreciate nature and I like to spend time outside, but I hate direct sunlight and I hate being dirty. I don't care much for bugs or creatures and the prospect of poison ivy and being mauled by a bear keep me from the woods!

So it is odd that I do have a fondness for Omena, Michigan. Omena, as some of you are aware, is where many Jesuits in the Chicago and Detroit provinces spend two weeks each summer for vacation. It is true that up until regency men are required to attend, but it does seem that the vast majority of guys enjoy spending two weeks in this oh-so-rustic environment.

I'd like to post, then, a few pictures of "Young Jesuits at Play." I should like to think that many readers will know the Jesuits as men of prayer, so I'd be remiss if I didn't broaden that horizon to show some images of us enjoying ourselves. I only had my camera for one evening, so these were taken the last night of villa as we sat on the docks. The top picture is of me along with Drew and Adam taken during our wine-tasting tour.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back in the Bronx

Well, I'm back in the Bronx. We've been working to welcome the new men who moved into Ciszek after professing first vows and I just finished preparing breakfast for the community (cranberry vanilla blintzes, creme brulee French toast, fruit salad, Drew's sausage casserole, and oatmeal). I smell of Canola oil and sugar and need desperately to take a shower.

As many of you know, Michael and Brian English were featured on YouTube last week. I don't know how it came about, but I was most pleased to see the overwhelmingly positive response to their duet. If you've not seen it before, it is here:

You'll note, also, that I had to disable the comments function on the YouTube site. For some reason, there are purported adults out there who felt it was their right to disparage two minors for their music. It's been a galling experience to read and moderate the comments, ranging from AMAZING! to a person who wrote what some might read as a threat (that comment is being investigated as we speak).

I mention this as an instance of a much larger problem. The inter-connected nature of the internet has allowed us access to resources and ideas in a manner unparalleled by any other point in history. But our ability to lurk anonymously has, I fear, led to a loss of personal accountability. So while it would be highly irregular to have a person recite a menacing poem at a live performance, it is apparently nothing for such a person to write a (poor) poem (in rhyming couplets) and post it as a comment on a video he'd seen. No fear of retribution, no decency, no responsibility. Just a cowardly deed enacted under an invisibility cloak.

On a more pleasant level, this is a very busy week for us. We're heading off on Thursday to Cornwall, NY where we have a house. The whole weekend will be spent "getting to know" one another again, with time for faith sharing and recreation.

I've quite a bit of work to do between now and tomorrow, so I must be off. I'll not be able to blog again until Sunday/Monday, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

8 Things About Me

Alan, a fellow blogger from Thoughts on the Journey has invited me to post eight facts or habits about me that (I guess) people don't already know. Here are the rules:

"The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog."

1. Fact: I am a Jesuit
2. Habit: When I'm at home in Cleveland, I go for bagels and coffee every morning.
3. Fact: I play and teach Irish music
4. Habit: I still put "A.M.D.G." (For the Greater Glory of God) on every paper I write...we were told to do so in high school (St. Ignatius) and its a habit I've maintained.
5. Fact: I love to cook. I want to write a cookbook for desserts called "Dessert Mysticism"
6. Habit: I buy more books than I can ever possibly read. I've gotten better at this as a Jesuit (I haven't the money to buy an excessive number of books) but it's still a struggle!
7. Fact: I had six wisdom teeth! Two on the bottom, four on the top.
8. Habit: On long car rides, I pray the rosary to stay awake.

I'm going to break the rules and invite anyone who would like to do so to pick up this challenge and write 8 things about him/herself.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


If you're coming here from YouTube (having seen Mike and Brian doing their cross-handed duet) and you want to learn to play Irish music on the tin whistle, I would suggest:


If you're in Cleveland, leave a message or email Brian Holleran at: ciunascleveland@yahoo.com

Brian is a brilliant tin whistle/flute/uilleann pipe player and he's a great teacher. Drop him a line if you're interested in lessons!

Think Jesuit

If you've ever considered a vocation with the Society of Jesus, then perhaps you should

Think Jesuit.

This is a new tri-province initiative combining the resources of the Detroit, Chicago, and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Check it out!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Uncle Ryan

I'd like all of you to join in wishing Congratulations to Colin and Charity (Colin is my brother) on the birth of Emma Elizabeth Duns. 7 lbs 9 ounces and 19" in of height, she was born yesterday afternoon. This is our first grandchild/niece in our family and I'd ask all of you for prayers for her health!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Omena Update

We just finished our annual Softball Game against some of the local players from Sutton's Bay. Alas, I did not play this year - I opted instead to offer sideline commentary and good cheer (in addition, I should mention, the beverages were kept along the first-base line).

Now, while I do have some internet access, I suspect that I'll spend more time working on my bun...errrr, tan.....er, melanoma. One of the sad consequences of balding is that my head actually burns. My Head! It's really gross to have a peeling head so I wear a bandanna or cap most days to protect my poor scalp.

Long story short: unless something really nifty happens, I'll not blog until about August 13th. I do want to talk about my retreat at some point very soon, but I think I'd rather spend time with my brother Jesuits than blogging!

Best to all!

Flute playing priest finds YouTube fame