Saturday, April 23, 2011


Happy Holy Saturday, everyone! It's super-gloomy out, which I expect will change at around 8:00 when people start ringing their bell and singing Allelu... oops, can't say it yet!
We are on the backside of a marathon of work, which for Scott means the 24-hour (read: overnight on the parish hall floor) Food Fast for Catholic Relief Services, and for me means achy feet and bones from just running around constantly from Thursday to tonight. I don't host any big events but am involved somehow in everything that goes on at the parish during Triduum. Both jobs are exhausting and inspiring and exhilarating, and we both end up so pooped and happy by the end of it that we can't wait to wake up on Sunday morning so we can relax.
I find myself tearing up often over this weekend, wondering over and over why I am a blessed as I am... but that's another blog entry. (Really, I think I've written that one already, maybe I'll find it and link it later.) Teenagers laughing, watching my friends and fellow Christians returning from Communion, the Veneration of the Cross, middle schoolers awkwardly diving in at the Food Fast... for some reason, watching kids play Pull-Up gets me every time.
Meanwhile, I'm darting home to fix things so that tomorrow we can be primed and ready to do nothing but sit around in our Easter pajamas and feast. Here are two updated pics from my future garden, just to keep you grounded... yuk yuk yuk!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Confessions of a Confesser

I confess... I don't go to Confession much! Let's not worry about the details of how often I go, just... trust me, it's not often enough. But every year the Archdiocese has been having each church open on Wednesdays for the sacrament, so one can stop at any church, anywhere. ANONYMITY!!
I know, the seal of the confessional, and all that- and I believe it! But I don't see the point of going to my own boss or co-worker to spill out my nasties. Or anyone I know, for that matter. There is still something great about that screen in the confessional, whether it truly hides your identity or not, it's comforting to just dump my sins without having to make the appropriate facial expressions.
And, you know, it's Holy Week! Even though I've already started sinning afresh, I am glad I went, and I think it does make me feel readier for Holy Week devotions than I was before. The priest I went to was lovely, and the church was empty (when I left our parish, there were TENS of people there for confession. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it really, really was!). At the place I stopped, I was a little afraid that I had missed it, but the priest was alone inside, all the lights on, walking laps around the chapel. He showed me into the confessional that only had a screen and only had a kneeler, I felt wicked super Catholic!
He gave me plenty of time to roll out my sins, and then ministered to me, very sweetly. It was nice, for a few minutes, to be unknown as a churchy girl- he asked me if I'm familiar with the Bible and I had to grin a little. Yes, I said. He recommended a scripture reading to mull over ("not tonight, necessarily, but soon.") and a few Hail Mary's. I smiled again, because I honestly say Hail Mary's just about all day long. No problem. But I left there feeling free, and happy to pray, and ready to take on the crazy, exhausting, exhilarating experience of Triduum that I look forward to every year.
Happy Triduum, everyone. I'll pray for you, and if you get a chance, send one up for me!
(image source)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Patriot's Day!

Or, Patriots' Day! I have been pondering the punctuation of that all day... and that's just about all I've done. It's weird to have a day off to start Holy Week, because this week is generally the Bataan Death March of lay ministry. (That's a really unfortunate analogy, and I wish to formally state my respect for all veterans.) Yesterday, Palm Sunday, the church was full and busy, and our parish's annual concert was a beautiful kickoff week. Tomorrow, after this weirdly-placed day of leisure, we resume the rolling of the ball.

There is a lot of preparation to do, and then when Thursday evening hits, we work pretty much straight through to Saturday night. Blessedly, I get to come home to bed all those nights, but Scott doesn't, as he leads a 24 hour food fast. But I'll be busy- although I'm not exactly (or even kind of like) a liturgist, I keep busy all Holy Week being as helpful as I can. We are a very busy parish, so there is just a TON to do, and I love it all.
By Sunday, we feel like we've run a marathon, and we take the day to revel in the peace and quiet and comfort and deliciousness of home. We reserve this day as the holiest of days for our marriage as well as our faith, and stay home to celebrate both. I can't wait for the Holy Week activities to start, and I can't wait for them to end.
Away we go!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It's the time of year when people start asking "how much longer do you have to go before finishing grad school?" My answer is: one Summer class, one Fall class, and my graduate project. This summer I'm taking a popular Ecclesiology class with a popular professor, and it had better be good, because I have to get to school by 8:30 AM... AM!!... every day for two weeks. It'll be my only Summer class in my grad school experience, and everyone says that they're wonderful- "like retreats!!!" so hopefully it'll be worth the drive through Boston traffic. I think to beat it, I'll have to leave my house by around 4:30AM. That's only a slight exaggeration.
In the fall I will take an ethics course, unless somehow I can get out of it, which sounds wrong. But I'd MUCH rather take a course being offered that focuses on the Initiation Sacraments, and I already squandered my electives on other classes.
My project is about Confirmation, the sacrament of, and trying to pull together some theology of said sacrament with the practices that parishes use to prepare adolescents for it. I've already done a buncha work on this, as my internship this year, so I hope to attack that and get it done by the end of the Fall semester, and then I'll be done.
Grad school has been an on-the-whole positive experience but I am ambivalent about whether it's been really worthwhile, or if I'm a lot better off having (almost) gone through it. I'll be glad to have a Master's Degree, and I definitely have learned and grown, but I also am so looking forward to having my life back. Before I started school, if people asked me about going to grad school I would say "I would like to have gone to grad school, a lot more than I would like to go" and I guess that's still true.
Maybe it's just senioritis, or the rain. Either way, I can see a light at the end of this educational tunnel, and that's a good thing!
(image credit)

Monday, April 11, 2011

I've got the fever!!

I suppose I blog about this every year at this time, but WOW I feel better, now that the Spring seems to (don't jinx it!) have arrived. I spent half the day Saturday raking up last Fall's gross wet and surprisingly deep leaf cover, and bagging it all up. It is super-fun to pull back the grossness and see shoots of green. SUPER-FUN! I totally mean that.
Meanwhile, I've assuaged some of the guilt of using K-cups by pulling the lids off after use (and we use each one twice) and dumping out the coffee, pulling out the filter, and then using them for seed starters.
In order of appearance, that's peas, morning glories, I think the morning glories again, and carrots. As each plant gets too tall for the plastic wrap that covers the tray of cups, I move them to a window sill and replace them with more seeded cups. We drink a lot of coffee around here!
Happy Spring everyone! (un-jinx!)

Saturday, April 02, 2011


I think my blog has been a little gloomy lately so here's a glimpse at some happy hope, straight out of our parish bulletin. Our pastor's recovering from surgery so I got a promotion to the big page 2 column! Woo!! Here it is, for your perusal.

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for warm weather and flowers and sunshine. It seems like this year, Spring is taking its sweet time getting here. Lent, too, seems to be taking forever somehow! The word Lent is derived from the word for Spring, so I guess it makes sense that they both seem to be crawling along at the same agonizing pace. I just want to fast-forward to beauty and joy, to Easter.
But that is not how we roll in the Catholic Church. We know that in order to have Easter, we
must endure Good Friday. To experience the beauty, we must first face the ugliness. To quell my impatience, this week I went back to read from a favorite book, Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak. He invites us to look at the season of Spring as a hint of how our lives unfold and how the process of growth works:
“...there is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.”
Palmer reminds us that growth is not all about the blooming – change is hard work, and some of the conditions for change are happening even before we are cognizant of them.
If you are finding yourself at this halfway-point of Lent to be struggling with the changes you promised to make on Ash Wednesday, be encouraged. The blooming may be still in the unseen future, but the Holy Spirit is working in the present, beneath our feet, in the muddy refuse of our false starts.
There is still time for you to Repent and believe in the Gospel. You and I, even if we’ve done a less-than-brilliant job at being the best Christians we can be so far this Lent, still have time and opportunities to turn things around.