Choose Life

H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

October 31, 2008


I have a coworker who attends St. David's Church in the 9th Ward. If 9th Ward sounds familiar to you, perhaps it's because it was an area devastated by Katrina flooding after the levees broke.

After the storm, St. David's parishioners were merged with those of St. Maurice Church, also in the 9th Ward. Parishioners began the cleanup of St. David's, and since it was a smaller church with lower maintenance and utilities costs, they returned as soon as they could back to their former parish.

A rededication of St. David's is in the planning stages, and my coworker, Terry, was describing to me some of the details. She commented that there was a church that had come to NOLA several times to help out with the renovation effort. At one point she mentioned Binghamton. Turns out the church parish that is helping is St. Catherine of Sienna, in Binghamton, N.Y. (My home town)! Small world? But wait... it gets better.

As the conversation progressed, Terry mentioned that prior to getting their new pews, St. David's had received a gift of pews from St. Rita's church, also in New York. "CLICK!!" (visualize light bulb turning on) For much of my adult life my parents owned a farm just Northwest of Binghamton in Chenango Forks. Less than a quarter mile down Rt. 12 sits St. Rita Catholic Church! Linda attended services there whenever we were home on vacation. St. Rita's is where my mother made her conversion to Catholicism. Now THAT'S a small world!!

Last night we had Outback takeout at P&Js as Wednesday was Major Dad's birthday. We celebrated with dinner and a Chantilly berry cake from Whole Foods. DEEEEEEEE-Licious! After dinner DLG was getting Molly ready for bed. We heard a scream, "ROACH!! Come GET it!!", so Ian was sent to do the task. Well, as he tried to hit it with a shoe, he missed. The next thing we hear is, "If I find that roach in my bedroom I'm gonna KICK YOUR A**!!" Nice. Fear of roaches is not a pretty sight!!

H2/H2GF are in H-town visiting with H1/DIL1. Looks like the weather should hold and they should have a great time. We're wishing them a pleasant visit and a safe trip home.

We got to have lunch with Big J this week. He was back in NOLA, however briefly, and took the time to drop by for lunch. It was good to see him again, although he looked to be enjoying retirement a little too much. He could have tried to look like he missed us a little bit. The day after we got pics from Mrs. J of the snow that had fallen that night. It was really beautiful. Looks like he chose a really nice area to live in the mountains of Northwestern North Carolina.

I hope all our family and friends are well. We're looking forward with great anticipation for S2's visit. She's coming early in December. We're very excited!!

That's about all I can muster today. Take care, and God bless!

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October 27, 2008


My homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time is here

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October 21, 2008


I ran across this on Myspace. It was addressed to 'Hey, pro-lifers'. Sadly, it's from a relative.

The Myspace post:
Let it be clear that pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion.
NO person in their right mind is pro-abortion... but the ability for a woman to make a CHOICE involving HER body is a right we CANNOT take away.If we do, what's next? Make contraceptives illegal??? Outlaw pre-marital sex???

Any of you women that fancy yourselves "pro-life", I hope you never get raped and impregnated out of violence. I hope your life is never risked by a medical condition that could be avoided by aborting a terminal fetus.

Think about your rights long and hard before you attempt to give them away.

We are Americans.

We are free.

Don't be a tool. Or a sheep.

My Response:
We were all "fetuses" at one time in our lives. Regardless of how it was conceived, or why, it is a child growing in the womb, a child that deserves the right to live, to love, to contribute to humanity in some way as yet unknown. If you compare the number of aborted babies that are the consequence of rape or violence with the actual number of abortions, it becomes a non-issue. "It is commonly assumed that rape victims who become pregnant would naturally want abortions. But in the only major study of pregnant rape victims ever done, Dr. Sandra Makhorn found that 75 to 85 percent chose against abortion." - Dr. David Reardon, a full-time researcher into the impact of abortion on women. Abortion has become a form of birth control of its own right. The woman who chooses abortion is not making a choice involving her body. She is making a choice against another human being that happens to be living within her for a brief period. A human life is too precious to be terminated for convenience.

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October 20, 2008


I had to make a visit to the doctor today for some "flank pain' as she called it. She sent me to get a "renal ultrasound" to see if I have an 'in kidney' kidney stone causing the discomfort. Let's hope not!!

After seeing her (which took HOURS) I grabbed lunch at the Popeye's on the corner of Belle Chasse Hwy and Wall Blvd. While I was eating a fairly lengthy train went by. I always find the trains interesting. It had four engines, but what I really appreciate is the boxcar graffiti such as this or this or this. It seems like there's a lot of untapped raw artistic talent out there.

Our pastor, Fr. Joseph is leaving after next weekend to go to his new assignment as pastor of two parishes, one in Pointe a la Hache, the other in Braithewaite. He'll be neighbors to Fr. John, our former pastor who has been assigned to two parishes also, one in Violet and one in St. Bernard. We at HNM are getting Fr. Pat, from St. Anthony's in Gretna. There is much moving and shaking going on in the archdiocese. Hopefully the dust will settle soon, and people can get back business.

I fear the outcome of the upcoming Presidential election. I wonder if I could find a job that would take me out of the country for the next four to eight years. It's sad to see democracy go down in flames without a fight, with socialism rising from the ashes. The liberal establishment has already taken away our freedom of speech. We are awash in a sea of political correctness. Freedom of speech now applies only to those whose thoughts are in line with the liberal Democrats and the main stream media. God forbid you should want to espouse such principles as morality, chastity, integrity, responsibility. God forbid you should want to work for solutions to civic problems without more federal intervention. God forbid you should make a mistake in judgment and find yourself being held responsible, and not the government, or someone else. God forbid you should believe that life is a gift that should be cherished, nurtured, protected, and not a mistake born of indiscretion or misjudgment to be destroyed as merely an inconvenience.

It's one thing for the government to step in and try to ensure that every single American citizen has access to at least the minimum basic necessities of life. It's a whole different ballgame when the government decides at what point one person is "too successful" and has to "share his wealth". Our Bill of Rights guarantees us the right to "life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness". It DOES NOT GUARANTEE HAPPINESS! It DOES NOT promise a guaranteed standard of living. It's one thing to want everyone to have a "chicken in every pot" and quite another to want "an iphone in every hand, an ipod in every ear, a Wii and a high-def flat screen TV in every living room". Life is NOT fair. It can't be legislated in. Luxury is not necessity. It's time we got our heads on straight.

I could go on, but it's too depressing to look at the future as it appears we are heading.

To my family and friends, and anyone who happens to wander by, I pray that the happiness you seek is that which only God can provide, the happiness that is based in love for each other. A true love, that sees each person as a child of God, worthy of respect and dignity as a human being. We are just that, human beings made in the image and likeness of God. We make mistakes. We are weak. But in spite of it all we are loved by a God who's love lasts for eternity. If only we can respond with a mere shadow of that love for each other. What an awesome world it would be!

Take care, my peeps. God loves you, and so do I!!

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October 15, 2008


Can this really be happening in the US?

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October 14, 2008


You Are Ketchup

You are easy going and very measured in your approach to life.
Popular and well liked, you get along with everyone.
Seriously, everyone loves you!

Your taste tends to be pretty mainstream American.
You go for the classic favorites: burgers, fries, and apple pie.
You get along best with mustard and mayonnaise personalities.

H/T to The Anchoress

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October 13, 2008


Here's kind of how last week went.

Monday - Worked all day, hosted a dinner for Bishop Charles, Fr. Deo and Fr. Andrew as well as four seminarians, all from Tororo Diocese in Uganda. It was a nice evening,with H2 and H2GF, DLG and kids, and even KenEllie popped in for a few to say hello.

Tuesday - Took the day off to read and work on the presentation. Worked on it, outside of meals, until about 10PM.

Wednesday - Worked all day, then a quick dinner before heading out to do an interview of a couple interested in getting into the next diaconate class. Got home late and instead of working on the presentation as I should have, I went to bed.

Thursday - Worked half the day, then spent the afternoon having a stress test done. Don't know why, I'm not under any stress! Later that evening L and I did a wedding rehearsal. After the rehearsal we declined the rehearsal dinner (sorry, Sweetie) so I could come home and work on the presentation again, until 11PM.

Friday - Spent the morning between the dentist's office (Thanks to Major Dad for recommending him) and the place that made the bridge that was being put in. Then on to work for the rest of the day. Finally home for a quick dinner, then off to the wedding which, although I didnt' do the nuptials, I did participate in my capacity as a deacon. Following that we skipped the reception (sorry again, Sweetie) and right back to work on the presentation. At 1AM I finally put the presentation to bed, and began on the take home essay question that was due. At 2AM I went to bed.

Saturday - Went to class. My presentation was scheduled for 3-4PM. At 4PM, when I had still NOT given the presentation, my professor asked if I would mind waiting until the next class to give it, as he wanted the last hour for his own presentation. After some grumbling on my part, I acquiesced and said 'OK'. So now I have to wait 4 weeks until I can get this thing over with!!

That was the week that was!!

While I was in class, Linda got a call from Fr. John. Seems he got his new assignment and will not be staying at St. Stephen's, so now I have to take back my request for a transfer to St. Stephen's Church, since I was going only to assist him.

We also learned who our new pastor would be at Holy Name of Mary. Since I don't know the man, we'll have to wait and see.

Many, MANY thanks to H1/DIL1 who surprised me with the gift of a tablet computer which I've been wanting since I started back at Our Lady of Holy Cross College last summer. It's an HP (of course) and it's pretty awesome!! Years ago I developed a dislike of HP computers (desktops, specifically) but this has really changed my mind!

I've been watching the stock market woes, and praying for all my retired or nearing retirement friends in the hopes that this doesn't impact them terribly.

I guess that about wraps it up for now. Take care and God bless!!

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October 6, 2008


Will it never end?!?!? This will probably turn out to be the worst week of my post-graduate career to date. I have a week's worth of reading assigments for BOTH classes, plus required postings to the academic "blackboard" for BOTH classes, plus a take-home essay due Saturday, PLUS preparing for a 50-minute "expository presentation" (read "lecture")on one of the assigned readings that I have to present, also on Saturday.

No big deal, right? That's what evenings are for, right? Sure, along with hosting a dinner for a visiting African bishop on Monday, interviewing a couple who have applied to the diaconate on Wednesday, wedding rehearsal on Thursday, and the wedding itself on Friday. Let's see... that leaves TUESDAY!!! Why do I still have hair?!?!?

The other day, during a meeting of leaders of various religious communities at an ecumenical conference here, a few of the attendees decided after a rather lengthy and somewhat contentious afternoon session, to carry on their discussion at a local establishment down in the Quarter. Three of them, as it happened, a priest, a rabbi, and a protestant minister, walked in and went straight to the bar to order some refreshments. The bartender, glancing up, looked at all three and finally said, "What is this? Some kind of joke?"

OK. I stop now. God bless!!

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