Monday, November 29, 2010

Remembering Dorothy Day

Today, November 29, is the 30th anniversary of the death of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement and one of the great figures of the church in the 20th century.

Fr. Stephen Wang has penned a tribute to Dorothy at his fine blog.

On November 9, I attended a vespers service in memory of Dorothy at the Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village (home of the Catholic campus ministry at NYU).

The evening included a powerful homily by New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan in which he outlined six insights from Dorothy's life that "could be enlightening to us right now."

For your consideration:

6 Insights from the Life of Dorothy Day from Province of Saint Joseph on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent 1

Another Advent begins today. Another four-week period of pondering over The Incarnation.

Today's Gospel reading at Mass, from Matthew 24, includes Jesus' powerful admonition to his disciples:

" ... Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. ... "

What it mean to be "awake" or perhaps "spiritually awake"? How does this happen?

The really hard times in life can knock you awake. We all know that.

The really good times can, too. Myself, I am in a period in which I am intensely aware of my blessings and of how (I think and fervently hope) God has answered my particular prayer to be in a good relationship.

I suppose the challenge is staying spiritually awake in moderate times, on normal days.

How do we keep the rust from building in our relationship with God?

For reflections related to this question and more for the First Sunday of Advent, visit Deacon Greg, Fran, A Concord Pastor, The Anchoress, Mike and City Father.

Flashbacks: First Sundays of Advent 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Night Music

Friday night, we saw the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's 1973 musical "A Little Night Music" at the Walter Kerr Theater on 48th Street.

The show was quite good. Bernadette Peters was superb in the leading role of Desirée. Her stirring take on the Act II ballad "Send In The Clowns" will stay on the brain for quite some time.

A sample:

Many famous singers (female and male) have recorded "Send In The Clowns" since the '70s.

According to on-line sources, Sondheim specifically tailored "Send In The Clowns" to match the vocal capabilities of Glynis Johns (the first Desirée). (Johns is perhaps most well known as the mother in the film "Mary Poppins.")

So, for this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend," cue the original Broadway recording of "A Little Night Music."


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fun and Persuasive

Some weeks back, over at Twitter, I stopped "following" another user. It wasn't a big deal. The man had tweeted something I found slightly offensive and I also wasn't interested in his usual topics. So, I utilized the "unfollow" option.

It happened that the man had activated an automatic tool that put all who unfollowed him into a list. In response to my "unfollow," he appealed to me by linking to my profile page and a clip of Smash Mouth performing their cover of the 1975 song "Why Can't We Be Friends?"

It was a clever move the quickly regained me as follower.

For this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend," here below is that fun and persuasive tune.


An aside: I'm writing today from my mother's house outside of McDonald, PA. I'm in the finished attic that has been set up as a guest room.

I'm in Western Pennsylvania this weekend for an early Thanksgiving week visit. I'll be back in Gotham on Monday evening and for the rest of the week. (On Thanksgiving Day, I'm set to meet the steady's parents -- wish me luck.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Marvelous Love

Verse of the day:

“ … He has put into my heart a marvelous love
for the faithful ones who dwell in his land. … ”

- Psalm 16 (although not in all translations)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Subterranean Jazz

Regular readers of this quiet corner of the blogosphere know that I reside in New York City's Little Italy, which is located in lower Manhattan.

My steady lives in Hudson Heights, a charming hilltop neighborhood adjacent to Washington Heights. It's at the northern end of Manhattan (and also home to the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine).

So, for the past several months, we've logged more than few hours riding Gotham's A Train ("Eighth Avenue Express") north and south to reach our respective pads.

A talented Pittsburger named Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) composed a famous tune about this subterranean marvel called "Take the A Train."

Below are three versions of that jazz standard for this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend."


Saturday, November 06, 2010


I'm typing this late afternoon from Gate E14 at Chicago's O'Hare Airport while I wait for a flight back to JFK.

I was in Rosemont, IL, these past few days to exhibit for my gig at the Archdiocese of Chicago's annual catechetical conference. It was a good visit.

Since I'm in a spiritual frame of mine, here is Coffey Anderson again for this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend" with his take on the catchy Christian praise anthem "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever."

Nice bit at 01:53.


Monday, November 01, 2010

Vote Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 2, is General Election Day 2010 in the United States. It’s going to be a historic one – and deserves a good turnout. Please remember to vote!

(Hey, moderates who only vote every four years for president, that means you! Remember, no voting = no complaining!)

Smart Voter is a great tool to see the names of all the candidates who will be on your personal ballot (you just plug in your street address and zip code).

If you live in Pennsylvania or New York, below is a list of candidates I think are worthy of support. Observant eyes will note the list includes Republicans, a Libertarian and a Democrat:

Tom Corbett for Pennsylvania Governor

Warren Redlich for New York Governor

Dan Donovan for New York Attorney General

Harry Wilson for New York Comptroller

Ryan Brumberg for U.S. Congress (NY-14)

Michel Faulkner for U.S. Congress (NY-15)

Nan Hayworth for U.S. Congress (NY-19)

Greg Deluca for Pennsylvania House of Representatives (46th Dist.)

Brandon Neuman for Pennsylvania House of Representatives (48th Dist.)

Richard Yeager for Pennsylvania House of Representatives (50th Dist.)

Janet Duprey for New York State Assembly (114th Dist.)

Paul Niehaus for New York State Assembly (73rd Dist.)