Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sede Vacante

Sede Vacante - the vacant seat - nobody is at home - the Chair of Peter is empty. A moment in the lives of people around the world - that has never been experienced by any of us. This is a new experience for the peoples of the world - Catholic - non-Catholic - Orthodox - Jews - Muslims - Protestants - atheists - agnostics - everyone.  Some people - could care less - religion is not their thing - for the remainder - we watch - we ponder - we anticipate the activities to come. Ours is not to ask why - we need no answers - we have no right to question - we observe. The days to come - the results of discussions and voting - will produce a new pope.
Jesus may have appointed Peter as the head of the Christian church that would follow after He left - like any organization - managed by people - there are the ups and downs - the years of feasting and famine - happy and sad times - through it all - God will provide. Those of us who have faith - trust in the Holy Spirit - for a good and positive outcome. Until the white cloud of smoke - we wait and pray.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shrines of Italy

We are pleased to announce that we are now registering people to join us on a Shrines of Italy Spiritual Travel Experience November 4-14, 2013.  This spiritual journey promises to be very rewarding.  This 10 day journey through Italy begins in Rome traveling south towards Pompeii across Italy to the Adriatic Sea to Loretto and Assisi and returning to Rome. We have reserved 24 places for this trip and are being offered on a first come basis. There is an early registration discount of $250 which makes the cost only $3099* inclusive - please read the online brochure for all details - itinerary - trip specifics. I have been to Italy many times and it remains my favorite country to visit. The accommodations - food - people - are all first class. Holy Mass will be celebrated on the trip. 
Jesus calls each of us to evangelize - to spread His Gospel wherever we go. In our own towns and cities and in foreign places we are ambassadors for Christ. When we participate in spiritual travel experiences - we not only are inspired ourselves - we inspire those who lead us on these journeys. We share our faith with them - they share theirs with us - through it all we proclaim the love - the forgiveness - the presence of Christ - in the world.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, February 24, 2013


A person who procrastinates is one who puts off - delays - postpones - waits - drags one's feet - prolongs - the task at hand. Often there are good reasons - data to be collected - alternatives to be considered - waiting on other people - needing to complete a previous step in the process. Then there are those who never complete any task in a timely manner. Other tasks are deemed as more important - easier to complete - more interesting. Those who constantly fail to complete all tasks - in a timely manner - are habitual procrastinators - bumps in the road - road blocks to progress. Everyone is guilty of procrastinating - once in awhile - that is acceptable. When it involves yourself - you are the only one who suffers - when it involves others - the suffering and inconvenience - snowballs. Those who are guilty of perpetually procrastinating need to be called to task - to be taught how to manage their time - to become considerate of others - involved in whatever process it might involve.  Acting in a timely manner - is the only considerate way to behave.
In Matthew 24:36 we are told that "nobody knows the day or the hour" - not the prophets - not the angels - not the Son - but only the Father. We are warned that the time is now - the Church warns us now - in Lent - that now is the time to repent - to believe in the Gospel - to prepare for that day and hour - whenever it may come. Our salvation is closer at hand than we realize - our last breath is only a short time away. If we wait too late - if we delay too long - if we refuse to focus on our eternal future - it may be too late. Jesus waits at the door - for the knock - for the request - for you.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weighting Game

Unlike the waiting game - which involves the aspect of time - the weighting game - focuses on the aspect of weight.  All too many people are caught up in the issues of weight - how much is too much - how much is too little - is it about appearance - does it involve health?  Too many people just ignore  the issue - possibly the very ones who should be the most concerned.  The arguments that surround medical weight charts and how realistic or unrealistic they are - are numerous.  Perception is reality - that can cause serious confusion.  I prefer perspective - viewing the issue - in perspective of what is real - what is correct. When a person is five pounds over weight - or under weight - they are simply over or under the "ideal" weight - which may or may not be - a realistic number. Unless you are an infant or toddler - five pounds is nothing - in reality.  Consider  this - the chart may have been assembled using data which does not realistically apply to  the general population - thus - not a true perspective of the weight issue.  At fifty pounds over or under weight - you can forget all the charts - because the reality is that fifty pounds - is a serious variance from any reality. 
One of the most serious aspects of the weighting game is - in reality - the weight i.e. the seriousness - of an issue. In this perception - weight has nothing to do with pounds and ounces - rather - the severity of the issue. Eternal damnation or salvation - is a very weighty issue. Once past the issue of a healthy body weight - it is far more important to consider your future - your spiritual future - where you will spend - eternity. Like coping with body weight - far too many - delay - ignore - the weighty issue of eternal existence - heaven - hell - the space between. As simple as it is - all too many choose to ignore this issue. For the committed Christian - for those who are faithful - to the Gospel - to Jesus - to God - there is no question - no issue. For the remainder - there is an answer - Jesus - the Lord - who solves all weight issues - that really matter.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Year of Faith

In his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011 - Pope Benedict XVI - declared that a "Year of Faith" would begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013.  The beginning date was the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and also the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  During that time period all Catholics have been asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism - in order that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.  This "Year of Faith" is an opportunity for Catholics to deepen their personal relationship with Jesus and encounter Him in the Sacraments - especially the Eucharist - and rediscover the Faith and the Church.  After the closing of Vatican II there was a rush by the people to re-encounter their faith as Catholics. Many found a new freedom - as well as confusion - in the rush - many entered a period of loose translation and  poor communication - to the extent that today their faith commitments to Jesus are weak and ill informed. Pope Benedict's hope is that in this time Catholics will make a new and firm commitment to Jesus - as Lord and Savior - and learn and understand what the Catholic faith is all about.
When Jesus called each of us to Him - He told us to come as we were. There was nothing special  that we had to do - no preparation - no studying -  simply accept Him at His word. To trust in Him - to become a disciple. That was His original call - in the continuing call - we were expected to develop a very deep - a very personal - relationship with Him - with His Father - with the Holy Spirit. To be effective disciples - He expected us to learn - about Him - His message - about Holy Scripture - about the foundation of the Church. He expected that we would - over time - become knowledgeable - about all things related to being Christian. As a Catholic - He expects each of us to be well educated - as a Catholic Christian. Many have fallen by the wayside - many have been lured to other beliefs - many have ignored the call to deeper conversion - to deeper understanding. As in all things - Jesus is still here - available - waiting to lead - to accomplish that which has been started. It is not too late - nor too difficult - now is that time - to study - to worship - to pray - to focus - on all things spiritual. Now is the time - in this "Year of Faith" to truly become people of Faith.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When You Fall

Why is it when you fall - fail - that it is never something small - tiny - inconspicuous? Failures are always giant things - aren't they - or are they? None of us likes to fail - at anything.  It might be a project - a relationship - something completely new - or an everyday task - we just hate it when it doesn't happen as planned. We beat ourselves up - we become frustrated - we wonder why we attempted it - in the first place. Falling - failing - is much more common than we realize. Any good salesman knows you have to get through a lot of "nos" before you hear the first "yes".  To be successful - you have to make great effort - experience a lot of failures - before success happens.  Michael Jordan is one who knows how easy it is to fail. Although one of the most successful athletes of all time - in his career - he missed over 9000 shots! 
Jesus knew that we would have a hard time living our lives according to His Gospel. He knew we would have successes and failures - that some days would be wonderful - others a total loss. His Heavenly Father knew it - that is why He sent Jesus to us - in the first place - to be a role model for us - to show us how to make an honest attempt at life. By some standards - Jesus failed - He was nailed to a cross - right?  As men judge things - that was a failure - to God - a success. To you and me - inspiration.  That is why Jesus told us that He would always be with us - always there to help - always there to love - always there - no matter what.  Today put your trust in Jesus - He will not fail you.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fishers of Men

What does it mean to be "fishers of men"? Are we suppose to take some metaphoric "fishing pole" loaded with "lines" and "lures" and put a modern "spin" on issues and answers to win others over - to our way of thinking?  It seems that is more of the status quo than we want to admit.  I have to admit - in some ways - I am just as guilty - as many others in doing this. I use words - well chosen - not only for the information they provide - but also for the impact - they will have on the reader's mind and heart.  We do this - we hope - to make a point - to get our ideas - our beliefs - across to others.  Nothing wrong in this - as long as we are professing - words of  truth - words of encouragement - words of love.  If - however - we are positioning ourselves - for personal gain - at a cost to others - then shame on us. My intention - in my writings - in what I share - is to share the joy and peace - that I have experienced - so that others - may experience the same.  The benefit to me - is happier people - happier families - happier communities.  When I go "fishing" - I hope to "catch" others - with God's message of agape love.
Jesus did not mince His words - He spoke from His heart - to the hearts of others - He did not need to "spin" His words - His words of love - forgiveness - acceptance.  When people heard with their hearts - they were changed. Today hearts are still being changed - when we - His modern disciples - share His truth - openly and honestly. Today - more  than ever - each of us - men and women - young and old - are called to be - fishers of men.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Today we celebrated the first Sunday of Lent - that day when the color changed to purple - when we changed the "Alleluia" verse to "Glory and Praise to You" and Holy Scripture pointed our attention to prayer - penance - alms giving and self-denial. This is a time that continues - until Holy Thursday eve - just before Easter. In this solemn liturgical season of the Church - we reflect on our lives and how we are living them. We take time to reflect - not so much on what we have accomplished - but rather - on what we have not accomplished - what people we have forgiven and which ones we have not. We look deep and honestly into how we act and react to others - the areas where we have willingly been less than what God asked us to be. In these reflections - we see the stain of sin - dwelling in our lives - and in these 40 days - we pray - repent - ask forgiveness - for acting less like Christ - and more like the evil He came to free us from.
Jesus knew - when he began His public ministry - that He would encounter - us - we who have sinned - we who are arrogant - we who think we know better - and in encountering - us - He knew that we would have a hard time accepting - His unconditional love - His unconditional forgiveness - He unconditional sacrifice. This Lent - we need to trust - trust in His words - trust in His promises - trust in His forgiveness. There is no darkness in His heart - He is waiting to remove the darkness in ours.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Act of Valor

Act of Valor is a 2007 project originally intended as a promotional short film authorized for recruiting for Navy Special Warfare - released in 2012 as a full length action war movie in which nine featured Seal actors were - in fact - actual combat veterans trained in military tactics. In producing the movie - the directors determined that actors would never be able to replicate the abilities of real life Seals and thus arranged with the Navy to use real life Seals. In some parts of the movie actual training exercises were filmed using live ammunition to replicate actual warfare conditions. Some in the military felt that it was an error to reveal actual techniques employed and yet - others felt that many tactics were already known by those who might be interested in learning about those very tactics. In the movie - the high standards and quality of the Seals easily came forth by the real-life Seals as actors - none of the men had to be taught how to act and respond as men of courage and valor.
It would be well for all of us - if we would act as courageous and with as much valor in how we live our daily lives as Christians. All too many - are reeds blowing in  the wind - solid in their faith - until challenged by adverse winds - of change and challenges. Many people - right now - are questioning their faith - especially as Catholics - in the face of Pope Benedict's recent announcement of his impending resignation. They fear - unjustifiably -  that the Pope has lost his faith - allowing false rumors - to disrupt the comfort of their faith beliefs. What they fail to recognize - that the Pope - as a man of faith - courage - valor - has made one of the most astounding and significant announcements in recent history. As Christians - Jesus calls each of us to be men and women of valor - to live our lives sincerely and honestly - bravely going where others fear to tread - to walk securely - with Jesus - into the future.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Saint Valentine's Day - Valentine's Day - the Feast of Saint Valentine - celebrated on February 14th each year is an international day of celebration - although a working day for most. There is some confusion as to the origination of Saint Valentine - there appear to be many men who were named Valentine and numerous stories about them. One of the most popular is that Valentinus was a holy priest in Rome who along with Saint Marius assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was captured - beaten with clubs and beheaded on February 14th, 270. Pope Julius I was reported to have built a church near Ponte Mole in his memory. Other Valentines existed - also associated with healing and helping people in various stages of need.  Whomever he was - he did really exist - archaeologists unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom. Although no longer listed in the official Roman Catholic calendar of Saints - he is still officially observed by the Angelican Communion, the Lutheran Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. Valentine's Day did not become a secular observance connected with romantic love until its recorded association in Parlement of Foules (1382) written by Geoffrey Chaucer. The poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia - at the time of their marriage both were only 15 years old. From that grew the concept of young love and its connection to February 14th - a tradition which continues today - not limited by religious restrictions - but available to all those who love.
God tells us in Holy Scripture how much He loves us. Many have proclaimed that the Bible is the longest love letter ever written - a guideline how to live our lives - how to love other people - how to bring God's love into this world by living the Gospel message of Jesus. Today we celebrate the concept - the reality - the existance of love - today we share that love with all we know - today we share the Christ in our heart - with the world.

Deacon Dale 

What's In It For Me?

[For Deacon Jack] - What's in it for me - a common expression voiced by all too many people - skeptics - critics - people on the side lines - what do I get out of this or that - how do I benefit - if I dare get involved - follow your example - do as you do?  Everyone of us has these people in our lives - the naysayers - the whiners - the complainers. We have a hard time pleasing them - because everything is impossible - too hard - untried - out of the box. Recently I decided to quit thinking outside of the box - instead I have disposed of the box - no more constraints - no more restrictions - no more limitations - imposed upon me by those who will.  I am a renegade - I chose not to follow - rather to lead - by thought - by design - by practice - by action. Sure I care about other people and my impact on them - but I do not have to please them. There are a lot of those who please - politicians for one - spinning stories of comfort and wealth - personal gain and benefit - only to have those promises disappear in a whiff of smoke into the fantasy world in which they were spun. I choose to speak the truth - to proclaim that which I know is real - possible - in the face of difficulties - worth gaining - at the reality of honest work. 
Jesus never promised us a rose garden - he did promise an eternal life with Him and His Heavenly Father - if we were faithful to the Gospel - as we recited over and over again yesterday - as we imposed ashes on the foreheads of parishioners - young and old - "repent and believe in the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). This Lent I choose to believe what I read - teach what I believe - practice what I teach. Those are the words spoken to me by my bishop at my ordination - words that I have done my best to keep. This Lent - as I pray and reflect - as I preach and teach - I will continue to do the same - just as Jesus would do.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


There are all kinds of ashes - ashes from burnt leaves - ashes from buildings that have been burned down - ashes from the remains of individuals who have died - ashes from dead vegetation . Today - of course - our focus is on the ashes that were distributed at church - ashes from palms that were blessed and handed out last year on Palm Sunday. As with the ashes from any object there is a natural cycle of llife. Green growing palms are cut and used to commemorate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem prior to His passion. On Palm Sunday the green palms are waved and carried in procession at church - then afterwards carried into homes where they are tucked behind crosses and cricifixes and holy pictures - to stay there until just prior to Ash Wednesday - when they are collected and burned and prepared to be used in the annual distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday. 
Everything has a natural life cycle - there is birth - growth - utilization - death. All plants - animals - humans go through this process. Even "things" go throgh a life cycle - from creation - design -production - utilization - disposal. Living a life with no animation - no challenges - no experiences - is living a life poorly spent. Living a life that is filled with everything that God lays before us - is living a life well spent. As we begin Lent - as we reflect on what kind of life we are living - we need to pause and reflect - to stop and listen - listen to our hearts - listen to God - listen to life. If we listen well - we will hear God calling our names - calling us to greatness - calling us to experience the fullness of life.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fat Tuesday

It is that time of year - again - when we acknowledge and celebrate Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is the English translation of Mardi Gras (French) - in some areas it is also known as Shrove Tuesday from the word shrive which means to confess. This is an international celebration around the world in which Christians prepare themselves for the beginning of Lent which begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. In some places Mardi Gras is a one day event - in others - a three day event - in others the entire period between Epiphany or Twelfth Night and Ash Wednesday. In the Belgian city of Binche the Mardi Gras festival is the most important day of the year and the high point of the Carnival of Binche. In Germany the celebration begins on November 11th at 11:00 PM at night and continues until Ash Wednesday. During these time periods people focus on celebrating life - many times to excess - as in the French Quarters in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Celebrating life is good - in John 10:10 - Jesus said the He came that we might have life and live it to the fullest. He did not say that we should gorge ourselves on sweets - rather that the sweetness of life - the presence of family and friends - the sharing of love - the spreading of forgiveness should fill our lives - that we would live full and holy lives. As we celebrate today - with our foods and friends - we celebrate life itself and prepare ourselves for tomorrow - for Ash Wednesday - for this special time in the Church year when we can strip away the excesses and focus on that which really matters - our relationship with Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, February 11, 2013


If you listen to me enough you will hear me say - often - "to keep it in perspective". Perspective is defined as a way of regarding situations and facts - judging their relative importance - keeping a proper or accurate point of view - or the ability to see that view. It is interesting how often I come across people who are anxious and agitated by situations - situations they often cannot control. In spite of this - they let those situations or facts cause an obsessive or highly unusual level of concern. Once I gain their attention - I ask them to keep whatever is bothering them - in perspective.  Many times the situation does not even involve them personally - they should be concerned for others involved - but not to the point where they become obsessive about it. On other occasions - the situation or fact is greatly overstated - made worse or better than it actually is - again - they are urged to keep the situation in perspective to reality - seeing it as it really is - not an imagined reality.
Today Pope Benedict XVI announced his impending resignation as Pope - many people are confused and overly concerned about his decision. A lot of energy is being used to ask why. As  Pope he should be respected - his decision respected - not challenged - not questioned. He is a very intelligent man - for his own reason - he has made this decision. He is not denying that God selected him to be Pope - he is not denying his call to serve the people of God - he is acknowledging - publicly - that the time to serve as Pope has come to an end. He is not walking away from God - rather he is moving closer to God - empowering the Church to function as it should - to elect a new pope - to free himself to spend his remaining time in prayer - for the Church - for each of us.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, February 9, 2013


An exemplification means that a process or object is being exemplified - or explained in a manner to make it clearer to understand. For example if I tell you about a big dog - that would be a simple description. If I explain something in more detail - a big white dog with short hair - then I have provided an example and clearer description in describing that dog - you now have a better picture of a big - short hair dog. This Saturday the Knights of Columbus in our district are holding a Fourth Degree Exemplification. The original process of becoming a Knight was to go through three degrees - or levels of instruction - to make you a full Knight. The Fourth degree is the patriotic degree which has been added to better describe the gentlemen who call themselves Knights. A Fourth degree Knight is not only a Catholic Gentleman who is serious about his faith - his family - his community - but also - serious about his country.

 4th Degree Knight in Tux

4th Degree Knight in Regalia
After going through the exemplification process the gentleman is now knighted and known as Sir Knight - the highest degree in the Order. By participating in this process - the gentleman has made it clearer - through example - what sort of gentleman he is - a man focused on his faith - his family - his community - his country.

Jesus asks all of us to become examples to others - to exemplify Him in our own lives - to live honorable and holy lives - to be "the only Christ that some people may ever know".

Deacon Dale 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Saint's Day

A "Saint's Day" is a special day in the life of the Church when a particular saint is commemorated. The more popular saints such as Saint Patrick - Saint Joseph - Saint Mary - Saint Francis - Saint Anthony - are all well known.  Besides these popular saints - there are numerous saints who are less popular - but still - significant. The number of saints is so large that one needs a calendar just to keep track of which saint is commemorated on any given day.  American comes to the rescue with their Saints Calendar. With one easy click you may see which saint is being commemorated on any given day. Their site also allows you to do other searches when seeking information on different saints.
When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savour - we not only became one of his modern day disciples - we also became saints-in-training. Many very good Christians - both living and deceased - live exemplary lives - holy people - that we may model our own lives after. Saints do not necessarily live perfect lives - through their personal struggles and accomplishments - we are shown how we too may live good and holy lives. We are all saints-in-training - most will never achieve the status of being canonized - but eventually - if we lives our lives in accordance with God's will - we will become saints.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


WMD is an acronym for Weapons of Mass Destruction.  According to Wikipedia a weapon of mass destruction is a weapon or instrument that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of people. This term - in normal use - describes things like bombs. It is a military term and used in the theater of war.  There are other types of WMD. Gossip is probably the most common WMD known to mankind. Although it does not normally cause physical harm or literally kill people - it may be much more devastating than any military weapon. When people start spreading rumors and stories about another person - all too many lives may be destroyed in the process. Through the process of gossip - rumors - often started by envious and hateful people - gain a life of their own - spreading rapid fire among  total strangers - gaining so much momentum that they become urban legends. Once they reach the status of urban legends - it becomes impossible to stop - peaking in popularity - settling down once a major number of people realize that the story is untrue - only to be picked up and recycled years later. Quite often - in an attempt to make an individual appear better or worse than they really are - an urban legend with be irresponsibly attributed to a completely different person - either elevating  their status if it shows a good characteristic - or destroying an otherwise good reputation.  The original small piece of gossip has now become a WMD - and lives on forever.
When Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees on the issue of not washing food before eating - He replied (Matthew 15:11) that "what goes into a man's mouth does not make him "unclean" - but what comes out of his mouth - that is what makes him "unclean".  In a similar vein - the phrase "the pen is mightier than a sword" - was made popular in 1839 by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his play "Richelieu - Or the Conspiracy". Both examples show the power of words - both written and spoken - the affect they may have on lives - both good and bad. The lesson for us is that we learn to chose our words wisely - thinking before we speak - rethinking what we write - before we hit the enter key and commit it to he world. Our words need to be the words of Jesus - spoken with conviction - spoken with love - spoken in truth.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Whenever anything is made larger - the size increased - the volume enlarged - it grows in size and is expanded - thus experiencing expansion. We love to see things grow bigger - our children - our families - our bank accounts - our stock portfolios - our teams - our membership. Not all expansion is good - headaches - stress - waistlines - troubles - turmoil. When coping with expansion we need a plan - a method of controlling - both the good and bad kinds. Left uncontrolled - expansion will lead to all kinds of issues. Rapid expansion without control means that it is not being managed properly. Larger families run out of room - not enough beds for everyone - teams that grow too large may mean that some members never get to play - membership that grows too rapidly means some end up being left behind and feel like second class members. Waistlines that expand rapidly - out of control -means medical issues down the road. The secret to managing expansion is organization - laying out plans - in advance - before the expansion happens - to avoid pitfalls.
When Jesus started His public ministry - He had a plan - He started with twelve men and grew from there. In Matthew 14:13-21 we read of the people following Him - He led them to the open fields where there was enough room for the five thousand of them to sit and eat as He performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. As the number of His followers increased - so did those who ministered to them. As the early Church was forming the Apostles recognized the need for more helpers and so the diaconate was formed. Saint Stephen was one of the first deacons and an early martyr for the Church. Continued growth led to the need for presbyters. The apostles were the first bishops of the Church - with the deacons and presbyters - the organization of the Church was set for even greater expansion. As we expand our personal relationship with Jesus - we follow with baby steps - growing bit by bit - learning and understanding our place - our part - in the scheme of things. We may be just one small part in the larger vision - but we are a part and if we do our part correctly - each of us will play an important roles in the expansion of God's world.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Table Change

Table change is what I call small amounts of money that is left over after you break a large denomination of money. A dollar when broken yields perhaps a few quarters - a twenty dollar bill when broken almost always yields some singles. With these smaller denominations you can feed the parking meter - put a smile on a young child's face - leave a tip for a waiter or waitress or drop into a hat placed on the ground by a street performer. To some - small means tiny - insignificant - not worth the bother. Yet - many small coins add up to dollars and dollars to twenties and twenties to hundreds. In no time - many small - combine into one large. Money is not the only thing that becomes more significant when accumulated - moments and minutes will add up to lifetimes - lifetimes to unforgettable events. A collection of events to memorable stories.
No matter how small and insignificant - it is always important to God. What others cast aside - God collects. He collects our individual thoughts and feelings - our hurts and longings - our wishes and dreams. When others scoff and mock - God holds dear and fills with His presence. On God's table - each of us is no more than table change - but unlike ourselves - He holds us in high regard. No matter how small or insignificant we may feel - We are always important to God. He created us to be good - He created us to be special - and special we are to Him - the author of life - the lover of souls - the One true God.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saint Blaise

Today after Holy Mass we blessed throats in honor of Saint Blaise. In this special blessing - done yearly in early February - we are asking Saint Blaise to intercede for us - that we may be protected and delivered from any and all diseases of the throat and all other illnesses. Saint Blaise was a physician and a bishop of Sebastea in historical Armenia (now Sivas,Turkey). He was martyred by being beaten to death with iron carding combs and beheaded. In iconography he is often pictured with either the carding combs or candles. In many churches crossed candles tied together with red ribbon are used in the blessing of throats. His feast day is celebrated on February 3rd - so today - it was even more fitting that this special blessing was offered to parishioners. Blessings such as these are important to us - to remind us - that God is with us - in even the most ordinary events of life.
When Jesus was growing as an adult and beginning His ministry - He participated in those ordinary events in life. He played with other children - He attended weddings - He observed people being people and everything that happens as people live with and interact with each other. He was able to observe life - not from a distance - but right in the thick of life - the good as well as the bad - the happy as well as the sad. Because He was personally immersed into human life He knew and understood people. He knew people even better than they could imagine - today He still knows us - He knows our hearts - our pains - our troubles - our hopes - our desires. Today - He is still there - waiting - watching - for you to turn to Him - to call His name - to profess your love - to accept Him as your Lord.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

New Blog

Just a very brief announcement that I have started a new Blog - this will chronicle our story about  preparing - training and walking the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I have created this second blog so I don't confuse people who only want to read one or the other of my blogs. If you are subscribed to my Deacon Dale's Blog you will have to subscribe to the new Blog also.

With God's blessing we will be properly trained by the time we embark on this journey. My plans are to carry my iPad and make daily posts over the six weeks that we will be in Spain. Say a prayer or two that we will be successful.

Deacon Dale 


This post was stimulated by a comment on my recent post about completing 300 blog entries. In that post I had mentioned how a priest felt that I could or should not be one who could empower others. He made the comment "that is a priestly characteristic" as if to imply that deacons or anyone else could not be an empowering force. I do agree - on one level - that all priests should be able to empower others - unfortunately many fall short of that goal. I also believe that many ordinary and not so ordinary people have the ability to empower. Michael Jordan - as an extraordinary athlete - has been the driving force in many peoples lives - not just young boys but also girls as well as men and women. Because of his success - he has empowered others to seek their full potential in life. Quite often people are made powerless and impotent because of the titles given them. Years ago when my youngest son was delivering his speech as valedictorian - he had an issue with some of the administration people because of the apparent lack of a title for his speech which he called "Untitled". They did not understand that he was not refusing to give them a title - as the title was - "Untitled". In that speech he mentioned how he and his classmates had all been "labeled" - given "titles" - by classmates - teachers - others - as nerds - jocks - dweebs - geeks - losers - teacher's pet - etc. In his speech he told his classmates that now was a time in their lives to become untitled - to shed those false labels - to go out and learn - to accomplish - to seek their hearts desire - and in doing so they would create just and right titles for themselves - as teachers - doctors - lawyers - mechanics - carpenters - moms and dads and more - that they no longer had to be labeled with titles that tore down and demeaned - but with new titles that would empower and guide them through the rest of their lives. At the age of seventeen - he saw potential in his classmates that others - much older - did not. 
When Jesus walked this Earth - He socialized with people of many titles. Not all were rabbis - or priests - most were common people - tradespeople - laborers - mothers and fathers and children - tax collectors and prostitutes. Behind the titles and labels imposed on them - He saw people. People trying to live out good lives - people seeking the truth - people just being people. He encouraged them - He empowered them to see that there was so much more available to them if they had faith. Faith in Him - Faith in His Father. Today we still have a lot of people seeking to shed unfair labels and titles - trying to live a decent life. We - Jesus' modern day disciples - are called to show them the way - called to empower them - to see their potential - to realize their possibilities - to live lives - as children of God.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Goal met sort of..300!

Just a brief note about this blog. When I started it in January of 2012 - my intention was to write a thought once a day - as a spiritual journal. I did not intend to write anything earth shattering - and I don't think I have - just my thoughts and reactions to things happening around me and in my personal life. Those who know me well can pick out the topics that were written because of something that touched me personally - some funny - some otherwise. I am proud to say - a little laugh here - that I missed my goal. Instead of 365 entries in 2012 I only managed to get out 282 posts. Although I did fall short by 83 posts - I am pleased that I did manage to write as many as I did. Rather than beat myself up - I will pat myself on the back for sticking with this project and publishing as many as I did. I will note here that in addition to this blog - I do also write other pieces - that have nothing to do with spirituality - on HubPages - as well as maintain two web sites and five pages on Facebook - so I am busy. In the near future I will be starting another Blog about my training and eventually walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela later this year. So as of this post on February 1, 2013 this is post #301.
OK - to clarify - this is not bragging - this is an update for my friends who read my posts on a regular basis - so why this post? Well quite honestly I know that life is short and that each of us has only so much time to accomplish whatever goal we are suppose to. I am not positive - but I think my job is to help empower people. I was told by a priest once - who frowned when I said that - that to empower people was reserved for priests. I don't know about that - but I do know first hand that on occasion - I do inspire people. My sons have always been impressed about how quickly I can do mathematical calculations in my head - no fingers - no paper - so that is OK. Nowadays - I think my goal is to help people see that they have the power to make their lives better - that the future holds a ton of opportunities - a world full of things that any ordinary person may accomplish. I am one of those ordinary guys who has walked with angels and broke bread with saints - not those canonized by the Church - but the angels and saints who I meet and live life with on a daily basis. I want everyone to know that I freely share my story and thoughts to inspire them to seek better for themselves - their families - not to make them feel bad - but to make  them feel good and bring hope into lives that have been beat up and lied to. I want to share the Good News - that Jesus is Lord - Lord of my life - Lord of theirs. To everyone - friend and foe - I want to bring peace and joy.

Deacon Dale 


Jealously is an adverb used to describe the feeling or emotions of a person who is fearful or apprehensive of losing their own recognition or stature. They may become resentful or bitter - most likely envious of another. A person may become jealous and act jealously towards another person upon learning that the one has received a promotion and increase in salary which rivals or diminishes the perceived importance and value of the first individual. Rather than congratulate and compliment that individual on their good fortune or reward for hard work and a job well done - the jealous one sits and mopes - resenting that they did not receive the same recognition and financial reward - even when the two individuals have completely different work skills and occupations! Some people just hate to see others succeed - even when they both are actually on the same level. Often it is more a matter of trying to stay one step ahead of others in an effort to be seen as the "better man or woman". In other cases it may be the matter of one who does not attempt to succeed - acting poorly towards others who have invested the time and energy to accomplish the goal at hand. Jealously is never attractive no matter how justified it may appear. In some cases the differences between the two is as transparent as a sheet of glass.
When Jesus began preaching in the Temple the leaders became jealous of Him because of His popularity and the way He delivered His words. He was able to touch minds and hearts in a way that they were unable to accomplish. Because He was honest and open - they resented Him. They acted jealously in their thoughts and actions - not trying to learn or understand - but making rash decisions and statements because they feared their own stature. When a person begins to grow closer to Jesus - to God - others may act jealously - thinking that God favors the one. The truth is that God has no favorites - He loves everyone the exact same way - how we react to that love may be different - but hopefully never jealously.

Deacon Dale