Saturday, October 30, 2021


 Yes we are very close to that day when many thoughts turn to ghosts - goblins - vampires - things that go bump in the night.  Too many - judging harshly - uninformed - immediately think of things which belong to the spiritual world - filled only with scary - dark creatures.  Rarely do they consider that in the spiritual world there exists good as well as evil - just as it exists in daylight. All one has to do is read the news - watch television - listen to the radio - to learn of the many evils being done in the world - in daylight - right before their eyes.  Things labeled as good - masking the evil behind them.  It all comes down to who is telling the story - how the tale is twisted - to the good - bad side of reality.  Specifically - Halloween - misunderstood - people turning off porch lights - drawing curtains - shades - fearing the evil - ringing  their door bell.  In this day - these monsters of the night - captured on camera via doorbell cameras - three and five year old children or such - dressed in hideous masks and costumes - scaring people as - gasp - fairy princesses - frogs - puppies - ballerinas - cowboys & cowgirls - nurses - creatures from the dark lagoon - dinosaurs - things from every imaginable realm - superheroes - seeking what?  Blood? Flesh? Your soul?  Not really - more like sweets - candy - treats of every sort.  Yes it is scary - you might have to spend twenty dollars on treats for these terrible monsters - reminding you of your own youth - before you grew up and decided that Halloween was a tool of the devil.  Realistically - there is more evil in schools - churches - politics - than anyone is willing to admit. Yes - they walk among us - not zombies - rather those who are word smiths - crafting sweet sounding sound bites - leading us astray. 

Halloween - All Saints - All Souls - celebrations remembering those who have died - experiencing their second Rite of Passage - similar to the first Rite of birthing - entering this world - now passing on to the next existence - drawn even closer to God - eternal life - salvation. Yes all three are beautiful in their own way - various stages of life - expressed in different ways - customs of various groups of people - different cultures - different histories - all honoring the lives of those who came before them. Marked with the T - the sign of the Cross - the fullness of life. Yes Boo T Full.

Deacon Dale

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Golden Nuggets

This weekend - thirty-three years ago - I was ordained as a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Joliet-in-Illinois by Bishop Joseph Imesch DD.  I remember being hesitant about ordination - what to do - where to go - what to say - in the end everything came off without a hitch.  Later that Saturday I served at the 5:00 PM Holy Mass and delivered my very first homily. That homily with slight variations was repeated that Sunday again at the 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM Masses.  As I preached the same message at successive Masses I grew slightly more comfortable and the third time around felt as if I had delivered a decent message.  Two comments stick with me now - thirty-three years later.  The first - great homily only 9 minutes long - obviously I would learn better to be concise rather than lengthy - people had others things to do on Sunday rather than spend all day in church.  The second was from a lawyer friend who had considered becoming a priest and had spent a fair amount of time in Scripture study.  In regards to the Gospel which we heard again this weekend (Matthew 19:24)  It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.I do not remember exactly what I said back then - the significant point was that my friend told me I had presented to him and the parishioners a - nugget - a thought on that verse that he had never considered in all of his years of scripture study.  I have preached hundreds of homilies since that day in different churches here domestically and internationally and in each and everyone I attempt to leave a useful nugget with those who have ears to hear.  Not everyone will hear the same message - all of us process information - stories - words - through various - different lens.  I use to laugh when my twin would tell stories of our childhood - very often I would turn to him and ask him - whose house did you live in - his version often like night and day from my recollections.  That does not say he was wrong or confused - rather his mind remembered - processed information slightly different than mine.  My goal - share the Word of God - in simple relatable terms - leaving nuggets as I preach. 

The "Other Twelve" Permanent Deacons Ordained Oct. 8, 1988

Jesus said it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle - who was he kidding - or was he? Most people will think of a sewing needle when they hear that statement. Someone living at the time of Jesus more likely would have thought of the vey narrow passageway through the walls surrounding the village - openings in a wall that any person could easily walk through whereas a camel could - only if pushed and shoved after removing their load that they carried. Devested of that load with one person in front pulling while another in back was pushing would often be able to get a tall bulky animal through that "eye". The message from Jesus - unload ourselves of our burdens - obligations - our wealth - anything we carry on our shoulders - to free us up - to accept His gift of forgiveness - love - salvation. Then - only then - could we enter the kingdom of God.  To my brothers ordained in 1988 - Happy Anniversary of Ordination - may each of you as you continue in your ministry as deacon leave nuggets wherever you go.  For the rest of you - may our efforts as deacons be a constant blessing for each of you.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Midlife Crisis

 Midlife crisis used to mean that people who had reached the half way mark in their life cycle were coping with changes that caused abnormal amounts of stress.  One source that I found (NeuroSpa) states the symptoms are: feeling unfulfilled in life; intense feelings of nostalgia, chronic reminiscence about the past; feelings of boredom, emptiness and meaninglessness; impulsive, often rash actions; dramatic changes in behavior and appearance; marital infidelity or constant thoughts about infidelity.  Added to those natural feelings - now coping with a pandemic that has become a political football loaded with tons of misinformation - conspiracy theories - wrong statements - misstatements - retracted and redacted statements.  It is no wonder that people of all ages are coping with unnatural crises - in their lives.  Unfortunately we live in a time where information - both true and false - is easily spread with the click of a button - in emails - social media - mainstream media.  In all this - one thing we all share - stress.  Stress is a killer - ending the enjoyment of life - time after time. 

To avoid this stress trap - one has to disengaged - unplug - escape the constant stream of data.  Now would be a great time to turn off your devices - go sit on the back porch and listen to God in the wind - the sounds of nature - the birds - squirrels - crickets - the natural world around you.  If you don't have a back porch then head to the nearest park - forest preserve - beach - anywhere where you can be alone without that which distracts from the greatest gift - your relationship with He who created you.  In that stillness - open your eyes and ears to Him - soak in the fresh air - His Spirit - be calm and know that He is with you - calming your fears and doubts.  In the stillness - know that there is a lot more than all the hype thrown at you via the various sources we call media - in His presence - experience life as intended.

Peace Be With You

Deacon Dale  

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Our Mother In Heaven

Today we celebrate the Assumption of Mary into heaven.  Unlike her son - Jesus - who ascended into heaven under His own power - Mary was taken up into heaven by God's power.  This is important to note this difference - going to heaven on your own - being taken up to heaven by God.  Because Jesus is the Son and God at the same time - He used His own power to ascend.  Because Mary was His Mother - He chose to take Mary to be with Him.  For each of us - like Mary - if we live holy lives - we also - like Mary - may be taken up to heaven when the time is right.

Just being Christian - just being Catholic - just being a member of any other religion that recognizes Jesus as the Son - does not guarantee that we will automatically end up in heaven.  Just being baptized does not guarantee anyone heaven - one has to work for it.  Salvation is a gift from God - a gift that we acknowledge and accept.  Accepting this gift requires that each of us has to do something in return in order that we may receive the full benefits.  First - we must be a person of Faith - secondly we must accept that we do not deserve this gift because all are sinners - all have fallen short of the Glory of God.  We must admit our sinfulness - ask for forgiveness - be reconciled to our Lord.  Thirdly as we confess - acknowledge that we are sinners - be open to receive His Holy Spirit.  Having been baptized with water - we now accept the baptism of the Holy Spirit - become Born Again.  Moving forward - renewed - we spread His Gospel message - become modern day disciples - act like the people God expects us to be - accepting - sharing - becoming His gift to others that we meet.

Only in God can we ever become complete

Deacon Dale 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Just Another Monday

Just another Monday morning - or is it?  This morning as I wake I am surrounded by two special guests in the house - Kimura and Titan - our youngest son's pet dogs.  Yes - babysitting pets while they take a week off for vacation.  When you are retired - empty nesters - no children in the house - you get use to the quiet - adding in two small energetic dogs - breaks the silence.

So many times when we try to talk to God - bury ourselves deep into prayer - nothing but silence - no winds - no flaming visions - no chariots on fire - no doves flying above - just silence. Silence is great - until that is all you get - longing for that sudden rush of wind -  sweet smell of lavender - rainbow in the sky.  Yet - nothing.  Sometimes it makes you wonder if you are all alone - all by yourself - you and - nothing.  Then your mind snaps you back to reality - you remember a scripture verse you heard last Sunday - I AM the way - I AM Who AM - God with US - always.  Then peace settles in and you rejoice in the stillness that is God.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

One Hundred and Counting

 Finally - one hundred cycling excursions accomplished - it took longer than I expected but here we are in July 2021 with an opportunity to add more biking trips.  In 2020 I decided that we would complete 100 biking trips between our time in Arizona and Illinois - cut short due to knee issues and total knee surgery.  This year - once in Arizona for the winter - we were able to accomplish 81 trips.   Back home in Illinois with weather that cooperated with us - we were able to add 19 outings to get us up to trip #100.  It is early July - now to see how many more decent days we will have to continue adding to that number.

As I get older - it is a little harder to get things done - too many things get in the way - projects that pop up - needing my immediate attention - distracting me from personal goals.  It is similar to keeping my attention focused on my spiritual growth.  Best intentions - distractions pull me away - tugging at my heart - mind as I try to focus - develop my relationship with God.  Thankfully - Jesus is patient - giving me the space - time to be with him.  This summer I have been drawn outside to sit on the deck and watch the beans growing in our fields - appreciating the miracle of life - the cycle of life from bare soil to the first buds of green - to the full grown plants that look like a huge sea of green.  The view is peaceful - just as the sky when it is calm and blue with wisps of clouds dancing across the sky.  This summer has been good so far - now that the pandemic is quieting down - able to gather with friends.  I see hope everywhere I look - just as I hope you do.  With God all things are possible.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Fire and Flames - Pentecost

Holy Flames Batman!  And that my friend sums up the Fire that was poured down on the apostles at Pentecost by God - by Jesus. For the first time sealing the covenant of a Trinitarian God.  God the Father who Wills it - Jesus the Son who Speaks it - the Paraclete - The Holy Spirit that Does it.  

As Disciples of Jesus this event should excite all of us - just the knowledge that on that day - in a single remarkable event - God manifested Himself in a very visible manner - revealing Himself not just to the Apostles - also to everyone within shouting distance.  For us - significant that God is constantly repeating this event over and over - sometimes in similar manifestations - other times in not as dramatic ways - however - just as powerful.  For those who call themselves Christians - all should pray that God send His Holy Spirit down upon them - pray for a release of the Power of the Holy Spirit - in their lives - that they too may bring others closer to Christ.  For new Christians - Graduation Day - Empowered with His Spirit to go out into the world - to Baptize in His Name - to Proclaim His Gospel.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

One Long Easter

Yes - believe it or not - it is still Easter! The average person thinks that Easter is a one day event - the reality - Easter is a Season in the Catholic Church that lasts for 50 days. In Western Christianity - Eastertide is the period of 50 days, spanning from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. It is celebrated as a single joyful feast called the "great Lord's Day". Each Sunday of the season is treated as a Sunday of Easter. Why so we spend so many days celebrating Easter and not Christmas? On Christmas we celebrate that day when God came down - to appear to the peoples of the world - as a man. All of mankind - has done as much - in our own births. However - with Easter - none other than Jesus - has resurrected - none besides Him - has come back from the dead - that deserves special recognition. This Sunday we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter - another Sunday when we focus our attention on what is called the Easter Event - when one man - rose from the dead - that event which gives hope to everyone - that we too may rise from the dead and continue our own existence in the next life.

Every day we should thank God for another day of life - another day to correct our mistakes - another day to do better - another day to get it right - whatever that right maybe.  As long as we live - as long as our lungs take in another breathe of air - is additional time to leave this world a better place than we found it.  With Jesus at our side - we will do that 

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Blog Updates

 Recently I received a notice that those who have been getting my blog by email will lose that function this July.  If that happens to you please return to this main page for an update fix.

Thank you

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 5, 2021

El Camino - The Way #48

Last Things 

Divine Mercy Sunday

April 11, 2021

It would be impossible to end my Lenten Reflection series of posts without mentioning God's Divine Mercy. On Good Friday we began the Divine Mercy Novena - 9 days of prayers celebrating Jesus' Divine Mercy - His love given freely to mankind - young & old - male & female - everyone.  God - Jesus - the Holy Spirit - does  not limit His love - forgiveness - to any one group of people.  He is all for all - period.  With this novena - we celebrate and honor our Lord with all that is Divine and good.  The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed daily at the 3 o'clock hour by many.  In a series of revelations to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s, our Lord called for a special feast day to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.  Today, we know that feast as Divine Mercy Sunday, named by Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000. 

Deacon Dale 

Chaplet of Divine Mercy