Saturday, December 29, 2012


To recap means to recapitulate - to repeat in concise form - to restate - to make a summary - to place a cap back on. It is typically at this time of year - at year's end - that many sources will recap the events of the year - looking at where we have been - what we have done - where we are going - to summarize and finalize the current year's events - to mark as final and cap off that year. This process has value to all of us and most everyone will experience this recapping process in many different ways in their lives. Public events - work situations - personal accounting of one's life. To review the past helps us to rediscover the good and bad - the successes and failures - to give us good footing as we venture forth into a new and exciting year. Knowing what to avoid and what to continue - helps us set our aims at new and better goals and improves our chances of success. We begin with anticipation of better things to come.
When we do an annual assessment of our lives - we need to also assess our spiritual lives. Each of us has a spiritual aspect to our lives - whether we acknowledge it or not. Your spiritual life might be zero - completely void - or - completely filled up - satisfying. Wherever you stand - at the moment - is exactly where God wants you to be. In that moment - in that place - in that time - God wants you to experience that emptiness - that fullness - with or without Him. When it is time for you to change - to grow - to experience new things - He will move you - He will call you - He will reveal to you - He will touch you - to cause that change. In the meantime settle for an annual recap - and pray "Come Lord Jesus - Come".

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christian Burial

A Christian Burial involves the burial tradition of a deceased person following specific Christian rites and rituals normally in consecrated grounds. In the early Christian Church burial was most often interment of the body in the ground. Cremation was frowned upon - in recent years the Christian community has come to accept cremation as an alternate to interment of the body. The question that was often debated was the need for the body in order to share in the ressurection in the last days. Today that issue has - for the most part - been dealt with and is now accepted by all the major denominations - including Catholics. When one is laid to rest it is the dignity of the rite that celebrates the deceased's life and future ressurection. Our prayers - united with all believers - assist the deceased in that "rite of passage" in which they transition from this life into eternal life. We lose our loved ones here - only to be reunited in the life that is to come.
Jesus said  that He is the Way - the Truth - the Life. If we only believe in Him - we will have life eternal. As difficult as it is to bury a family member or friend - we must trust in Jesus' promise that "where I am you will be also" (John 14:1-3). It is with trust and faith in Jesus that we are able to say goodbye to those we love and care about.

Deacon Dale 


DeaconTravel ministries will be hosting an Information Night on Thursday - January 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM at Saint Patrick Parish to discuss their "John Paul II Journey to Mercy" scheduled for May 29, 2013 - June 7, 2013. This journey will take participants from Warsaw to Krakow Poland. They will be visiting numerous churches that were special to Pope John Paul II and to Saint Faustina who both promoted the Divine Mercy devotion. Highlights feature Holy Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Lichen Stary - at the Black Madonna Shrine at Jasna Gora Monastary in Czestochowa and at the Basilica of Divine Mercy in Krakow. Visits will also include Auschwitz - Birkenau prision camps - the Salt Mines at Wieliczka -  Holy Cross Church in Warsaw where Frederick Chopin's heart is entombed - the Royal Palace on the Royal Route in Warsaw - the Church of Father Maximilian Kobe - The birth home of Blessed John Paul II - Zakopane and much more. Complete details can be viewed at

This is the first time this customized trip is being offered and will not be repeated until possibly 2015 at the earliest. Special pricing has been arranged and an early bird discount of $250 per person is being offered. Space is limited to 50 people. Interested person may call 1.630.334.5065 or email:
Jesus calls us to journey with Him as we learn more about Him - Ourselves - our God.  The best journey is the one that takes us from our minds to our hearts - from knowing about Him in the Bible and books - to loving Him in our hearts.  Journey to Jesus today.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

He Reigns

Santa has to be one of the most popular personalities at this time of year - no matter what else is in the news - Santa reigns supreme. And why not - he is a jolly old elf that brings smiles and joy to so many people. It is not only children who derive so much happiness from Santa - but adults as well. Across the nation thousands of people dress up and play Santa for almost anyone and any group. From little toddlers to seniors - from school children to people in hospitals and nursing homes. It is the one time of year when people expect to be happy - whether for themselves or for others. People are more patient - more charitable - more forgiving. Everyone wishes that Christmas would last all year and along with it - the changed attitude among people - the new found politeness and kindness. 
Jesus is the reason for  the Season - Jesus is the reason for Santa - Jesus is the reason for the changed attitudes - and He is with us all year. Why is it more noticeable during the Christmas Season than at other times of the year - one wonders. Surely we cannot forget - the greatest Gift of all - God's gift to mankind of His Son. Perhaps the answer lies in the task that Jesus had to do before He rejoined His Father - perhaps it is the constant reminder that - although we view Jesus as the innocent little babe today - tomorrow we have to remember that He was also the innocent sacrifice - the One who died for our sins - the One who offers us the gift of salvation. Today and tomorrow Jesus reigns as the only true One.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Bonus

A Christmas bonus is almost a thing of the past. Years ago - most employers - gave special gifts to their employees at Christmas time - as a way to say thank you for a job well done. Many people lived and planned their lives - based on that annual gift. Some planned vacations - others special large purchases - based on the expectation of the bonus. In today's economy - the annual bonus - for many - has disappeared.  It is with pleasure that DeaconTravel Ministries - announces two special bonuses - for their 2013 Year of Faith Spiritual Journeys.  Two trips are scheduled for 2013 - one to Poland - one to Italy. For those who can make an early commitment - there is a special discount of $250 per person. This discount is time sensitive - so acting sooner - rather than later is imperative.  More information on these two trips is available on the DeaconTravel website. 
When the Shepherds saw the star in the sky - the night Jesus was born - it not only gave a special brightness to the night - but it was the sign of a special Christmas bonus. For it was to them - to us - that Jesus was revealed to the world. Jesus is God's gift to the world - a Christmas bonus - that is freely offered to all who believe in the One True God.  A Christmas bonus that is offered every day of our lives - offered to anyone who is willing - to accept His Gift.

Deacon Dale  


Tags are very useful objects - they identify - explain - clarify information. Probably the most common tag that most of us use on a daily basis is the tag on the clothing and garments we use. They identify the size - how to wash - fabric content - how to provide proper care. As useful as they might be there is one common characteristic that most people do not like - they scratch - itch - cause discomfort. When a new "tagless" procedure was developed to provide the same information - without the discomfort - it was adopted-  almost immediately by garment manufacturers - to our pleasure. 
In society many people are tagged with labels  they do not deserve - labels that demean - ridicule - embarrass.  Classmates often call others - nerds - geeks - fatso - jock. Adults label each other by similar physical - intellectual - political - religious labels. To label another individual is to ignore that person as a whole and complete person - labeling them with one characteristic which cannot reflect the true person. Jesus calls us to be accepting just as He was - ignoring individual peculiarities - focusing on the complete person. He sees us as we are - as people complete in His eyes - He asks that we do no less - to forget the labels we place on each other - to go tagless.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Q-tips is the name of a popular brand of cotton tipped swabs that are very effective for numerous tasks - especially around babies - but that is not the focus of this article - nor is it about Q-TIP - the popular hip hop artist from New York. Rather today I want to share with you something that I experienced last night in Chicago. After dinner with friends - my wife and I joined them for a viewing of a "work-in-progress" at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium park of the Q Brothers Christmas Carol Project. It was a retelling of that work by Charles Dickens of Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation complete with Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim - all done in rap. I was a bit skeptical at first - rap is not my number one choice in music - but I was very happy that we had a chance to share this experience with the others in attendance. The updated version of the story - done very well - with hilarious twists and turns inserted by the Q Brothers - made not only for a very pleasant evening - but a great way to prepare for the celebration of Christmas and to focus on sharing ourselves as the best presents we can give. A small production - very effective.
Jesus did not have a large group backing His ministry - He had no sound stage - no technical help - no writers or musicians - to help promote His mission. Twelve men - basically clueless about His mission - created His team - and yet He was the most effective person to ever walk this Earth. In simplicity lies Truth - and that is the beauty of Jesus and His message of love and forgiveness. This Christmas - when seeking the perfect gift - select Jesus.

Deacon Dale  

Friday, December 14, 2012


Anger - as defined by Wikipedia - is an emotion related to one's psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged or denied and a tendency to react through retaliation. The key word here is - emotion - which is a subjective and conscious experience - in which an individual is called to make a decision in how to process that emotion - and if and how to respond to it. Many people handle anger very well - processing their anger and working though it in a non violent manner. Others - unfortunately - have a lower capacity to process anger - thereby coping with their anger in violent and retaliatory ways. Many times those who respond poorly to anger end up hurting - not only those who become a target of their anger - but themselves as well. Those who go on a rampage and injure numerous individuals quite often end that rampage by injuring  themselves. When it involves death - questions go unanswered - speculation remains. Everyone experiences many emotions throughout the average day - each emotional experience demands a response - quite often no action or reaction - is the best response. It is never proper to blame anyone but yourself for whatever your response is - positive - negative or otherwise. You are responsible and accountable for your reaction - it is your emotion - your decision - your reaction.
When Jesus became upset with the buyers and sellers in the temple area ( Mark 11:15 )  He drove them out and upset their tables - responding to His emotion that they were doing something unacceptable to Him and offensive to God. His reaction could be considered drastic by some - mild by others - but it was His decision and as such He was responsible for His action. It is noteworthy - although He scattered them and upset tables - He did not harm them personally. He did not make a judgement on what they were doing - rather - where they were doing it. It was His decision to make a statement about the sanctity of the Temple - how to reverently treat space reserved for Worship. Today Jesus reminds us that the entire world is sacred to God - that special places are designed for the buyers and sellers - as well as places for adoration and worship. Each of us is called to honor those special places - to respect them - invest our time in them. We are called as His disciples to cope and process our anger in nonviolent ways - to pray before we act - to seek His guidance in all we do. 

Deacon Dale  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Humor (or humour as some spell it) is defined by Wikipedia as the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. That term was derived from the ancient Greek practice of humoral medicine - in which it was believed that there was a balance of human body fluids which controlled health and emotion. Most people - all ages - races - cultures - respond to humor with varying degrees of response - from smiles and smirks to outright hearty laughter. The Greeks must have been onto something - as laughter is often said to be the best medicine for whatever ails one. Laughter - just as the other emotions of love and hate - anger and fear - is a basic part of human life.
Many Christians have the attitude that showing signs of humor is in bad taste - a sign of being frivolous - not serious about life. Some are so obsessed with this concept that they walk around with a constant frown on  their face - projecting the idea that to be a Christian is a burden and a task. The task part is correct - all Christians are charged with the responsibility of sharing the Good News with all they meet - but the burden is a pleasant one - as serving God brings inner peace - joy - laughter. A well rounded Christian appreciates life and all that it holds - the good as well as  the bad - the sad as well as the funny. Living as a Christian means experiencing all that life holds for each of us - even those things that we would rather not experience. In doing so - Christians experience the fullness of life - the fullness of Christ - the fullness of God. The next time you feel like laughing - enjoying a humourous moment - go ahead and laugh - it just might be God who is telling the joke!

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


A prank is a mischievous trick or joke especially in which something is done rather than said.  It is a popular form of trickery - the key to the prank is the surprise to the victim when the prank is revealed. Most pranks are innocent - friendly teasing among friends and family. Some pranks - however - become very involved - and border on audacious or even mean spirited. These over-the-top pranks seem to be designed more to embarrass or ridicule someone. In these mean spirited pranks - the victim honestly feels like a victim - the only ones laughing are those who perpetrated the prank. Many pranks are done on the spur of the moment and not well thought out - causing the prank to fail or even backfire. In certain instances - those involved in designing the prank do not think it out enough to consider the consequences - if there will be any repercussion and to what extent and to who will be affected. Recently two Australian radio DJs pulled a prank on two nurses at King Edward VII's Hospital in London.  Their intent was not mean spirited - they simply wanted to see if they could fool the hospital staff into letting them talk to Kate - The Duchess of Cambridge - who was experiencing morning sickness. They were surprised that although they did not speak with the Duchess - information was revealed about her condition. When the prank was revealed - the first nurse - who received the call initially - felt so bad that she had been duped and thus allowed the DJs to talk with another nurse who gave out the information - committed suicide. The public and the DJs were shocked  that what they thought was an innocent and harmless prank led to the death of another person.
Very often we forget that our actions and reactions may have consequences far beyond anything that we might have conceived. Jesus knew what He was doing as He traveled through the Holy Land - proclaiming God's message of love and reconciliation. He knew - in His travels - at the Last Supper - hanging on The Cross - that His message would endure for all ages. We - on the other hand - need to realize that as His modern day disciples may have that same effect on the people we meet - the people who observe our actions - the people who hear about us through others. In our lives - what we say - what we do - how we react - speaks volumes about us - our faith - our God. Each of us needs to remember - that we may be the only Christ that some people will ever know.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Crash - the sound of one automobile colliding with another - the sound of dishes cascading off the serving cart onto the floor - the draperies falling to the floor as the cat climbs for higher ground - or no sound at all. A crash that makes no sound is one of the worst events one can experience - especially when it involves a computer hard drive. Yes - my friends - my computer crashed the other day - a day I will remember for some time. I do not keep critical information on my computer - in fact - I can hardly remember what was on the computer at all. E-mail addresses - miscellaneous files I was saving for a rainy day - bit and pieces of wisdom gathered from here and there - all gone. Oh yes - I made an occasional backup - but not often enough and not frequently enough.
Jesus did not have to cope with computer issues in His day. He faced the real issues - life and death - salvation and redemption - acceptance and rejection. His issues were major ones that involved not Him but those who He came to save. His were real concerns - His were those that had to do with the eternal life of each of us. Even today Jesus comes to us in our hours of need - no crashes as far as Jesus is concerned. He is always on line - always available. **One note - if Jesus did use a computer he would never be bothered by a computer crash - are you ready - because Jesus saves!

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights originally referred to Hanukkah - a Jewish religious holy day. It has also been associated with Diwali - a religious festival associated with Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism and with Tazaungdaing Festival - a Buddhist festival. There are also many secular festivals associated with the name "Festival of Lights". Today as you drive around various neighborhoods - in the process of decorating for Christmas - you will see many festivals of lights. It is a growing pattern of what many would call "super" decorations - houses and property flooded with an enormous amount of Christmas lights. On one level it is inspiring to see so many large Christmas displays - on another - many question the real value of these displays. 
Jesus is the True Light - the Light that dispels darkness - reveals the truth - brings comfort. He alone is a reflection of God the Father. In Jesus you find a constant - never a flicker - never a bad bulb in the string. Jesus is - was - and always will be the One true - festival of light. 

Deacon Dale