Monday, April 29, 2013


According to Wikipedia a shrine is a holy or sacred place - dedicated to a specific deity - ancestor - hero - martyr - saint - or similar figure of awe and respect - at which they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines frequently contain idols - relics - or other objects associated with the figure being venerated. The most common  shrines are dedicated to religious figures - almost all religious beliefs - have their shrines. Roman Catholics have their own share of shrines - many dedicated to Saint Mary - the mother of Jesus - under her various names - as well as other significant figures associated with the Catholic faith. Saint Paul - Saint Anthony - Saint Teresa - Saint Joseph - just to name a few. It is at these shrines that people stop - to venerate - pray - meditate - on the mysteries of God - their relationship to the various figures - the relationship that specific figure had with God and their own relationship to that saint or God. This past weekend our Pastor held a dedication ceremony for a shrine to be constructed in memory of a very modern saint - Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. This saint is unique not because she was a married lay women - but rather that - unlike other women who went on to form or join religious communities - Gianna Molla remained as she was - a wife - physician - mother. It is because of her strong belief in life - that she refused to terminate a pregnancy that threatened her own life - in the end - it took her life. She is to be admired for the fact that she valued human life - so much that - she gave her own - for another.

Jesus values human life - just as His Heavenly Father does - to the point that He was willing to give His life for each and every one of us. That is why Catholics attend Holy Mass - some daily - to venerate and worship Jesus at the shrine of the altar. It is in those hours and minutes at shrines and altars that God speaks to us - encourages us - reminds us - that He alone is the answer - He alone is the One.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


SPS - Sudden Prayer Syndrome - is my term for prayer that is not planned - rehearsed - learned - rather it is prayer spoken from the heart - in one's own words and thoughts - that happen any time - place - situation. Prayer of any type is always good prayer - learned prayers are good prayers - prayers said in community - with families and friends - at church during services - is good prayer. The one issue  that exists with those prayers are that they do not happen as often as they should. SPS happens on the spot - in the moment - at the drop of a hat - unplanned - unrehearsed - spontaneously. Like a fire that begins due to spontaneous combustion - SPS - is the fire of one's heart - speaking to God in the moment - freely - for no reason - for every reason. Those who pray on schedule - when convenient - when planned - practice one form of spirituality. Those who allow SPS to become a part of their life - practice another tye of spirituality. Whereas one is open to the Spirit of God - on ocassion - on schedule - windows open and closed - the other walks in the Spirit of God constantly - never stopping their prayers - never closing the doors - always keeping the window of opportunity - the lines of communication - open.

Jesus walked in the Spirit - his total life. He was never disconnected from His Father - with God. He lived and breathed the Divine connection between Father and Son - Son and Spirit. That is why He is so scary to so many people - people who fear that they cannot ever be truly like Jesus. No one is expected to be another Jesus - however - we can and should model our lives - our prayers - after Him. He is the One - who shows us the way - He is the One who guides us - He is the One - alone - who practices true SPS - not for His benefit - rather for ours.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Priority Mail

Priority Mail  is a trademark of the USPS - United States Postal Service - an indicator of an upgrade to their normal service - with expedited delivery schedules. Normal mail - also known today as "snail mail" travels to its destination in a fairly reasonable amount of time. In today's environment of computers and online transactions - along with the advent of electronic mail - i.e. email - standard delivery times appear to take an unusually long time to arrive at their destination. With modern sorting and handling processes utilized by the USPS - mail does reach its destination in a fairly quick amount of time - but there is no reasonable way that it can compete with the electronic competition. To combat this perception of slow delivery time - the USPS now offers "Express" and "Priority" mail service - as a means of leveling the playing field. Offering as little as one day service - their goal is to retain their customer base while providing that which people seem to need - immediate action and service.
Jesus is for many of us - our Priority Male - the One who delivers everything to us - in an instant - if need be. He alone can traverse the miles of our hearts - the highways of our minds - the oceans of our souls - to bring us His presence - His love - His healing. There is no extra fee - no special labels - no special packaging required. He only asks for your heart - to be open to Him - open to His gifts - open to His presence in your life. Take time today to talk with Him - with His Father - with His Spirit - you will be surprised how quickly He makes you His priority.

Deacon Dale 

Moving On

"Moving On" is a term used by many to indicate that they have finished an appointed task and are ready to begin a new project. It is also a common term used by those who are physically relocating from one location to another. Moving indicates motion - motion indicates action - action indicates an act or state of movement - all which goes to prove that in all this moving and action - what is old is new - nothing ever changes - everything constantly changes. As we pass through our lives we experience a lot of action and movement. Hopefully the result is growth - learning - experiencing - becoming a better person. Even when the action seems circular and no apparent growth is observed - there is always some change - usually on another plane. Image looking at a spring or a slinky toy - traveling along either results in circular motion appearing to end up where one started - in reality when observed correctly - the motion has also carried one either downwards or upwards. We live and experience on different planes of our existence - a body in motion - never ends in exactly the same place where it started.
Jesus moved people's minds and hearts - He taught them and loved them - they learned and experienced His presence among them. Their minds were elevated - their hearts were changed - they grew - they moved - in to a different plane of existence. No one can encounter Christ and remain the same - there is always a change - always growth - always movement. Jesus calls each of us to be open to that movement - to be open to change - to be open to Him working in our life.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 12, 2013


Tax Time - one of the most dreaded times of the year. To struggle with the task of the annual reporting - accounting - of your financial life - is indeed taxing - a burden that very few people enjoy. Because of the stress - most people delegate this task to somebody else. Not so in this household - the challenge of being able to track down all the data - place it in the proper space on the form - is an annual challenge that - to this one person - is a labor of love. This annual task - provides a time for one to sharpen their thinking skills and research capabilities. It is not only the tasks of "where did I put that information" - but understanding what the form is requesting. In years past it was actually more difficult - today - thanks to programs such as TurboTax - it is almost easy. Easy of course is a relative term and what is easy to one may be daunting to another. Rest assured that this tax payer will have the taxes filed on time - with a sense of accomplishment in doing so.
Taxes have been with us since the time of Jesus. Those who govern people and provide services on their behalf have always "bit the hand that feeds them". Nobody in their right mind would ask anyone to become their keeper - watching and directing what they do or how they live. That is exactly what the "Lord of the Manor" does. He watches - directs - guides - limits - imposes - all in the name of being a good provider. Unfortunately - throughout history - those who tax - waste. Waste our monies - not on us - but on themselves - self-serving - personal - private - personal ambitions and goals. Too much ends up in the wrong pockets - not for the good of the many - only a few benefit - personal gain. Jesus told us that the "poor will always be with you" - never indicating that the poor would be us. Truth be told - even with unfair taxation - even with the wasted dollars - the majority of us do live decent lives. When considering the big picture - how much money we do or don't have does not mean as much as how well we love God. If we are rich in dollars - but love God not - then we truly are the poor of the world.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Divine Mercy

Today - the second Sunday of Easter - is Divine Mercy Sunday - proclaimed such by Blessed Pope John Paul II. On this Sunday we stop our lives - for a bit - to recognize just how merciful God really is. It is through His Divine Mercy that we are saved - saved from death - saved from hell - saved from ourselves. Nothing of this Earth can ever give us the solace - peace - joy -  that is found in Christ Jesus. There is nothing we can do - it is a free gift - freely given - freely received - to all who accept. No strings attached - no terms - no conditions - no if or ands - just there for the receiving.

In His Divine Mercy - Jesus hung on the cross for us - not because He had to - because He wanted to.  He gave His all - for our all - our sins - our lies - our deceptions - our blindness - our cruelty - our selfishness. Today we rejoice - our God has come to the Earth - our God died for us - our God saves.

Deacon Dale  

Friday, April 5, 2013


Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances - meaning persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance or anger in a negative way. How many times have we been heard to say -  "God grant me patience..."?  There are those who come in and out of our lives who are gifted with the ability to try our patience on a daily basis. To some - it is amazing - that drastic actions are not taken as a result. To be patient with someone who habitually is an irritant is a definite gift from God. Without that special grace - we would probably act in a very unkind manner - doing very unkind things to the very person who tests our level of patience.  I find it unbelievable that those who cause so much irritation - are completely unaware of what they are doing - even when told to their face what is happening.
Jesus had to cope with impatience all the time - people following Him all over the place - begging Him for miracles - pestering Him until even His patience wore thin. Through all the irritation - no matter how bothersome - He did maintain patience. That is what He asks us - be patient - ask for more patience from God - endure even when it hurts - because they are - our sisters and brothers - our mothers and fathers - our friends and foes.  Patience - true patience is a gift from God.  In this Easter season - as we celebrate Christ's victory over death and sin - we need to keep things in order - our eyes focused on the important things - to be patient - to see only that which truly matters - Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A New Blog!

Yes - another blog - El Camino de los Santos - The Way of the Saints.   This new blog is all about the creation of a "mini" - Camino de Santiago de Compostela.  As most know - Arlene and I will be walking the Camino de Santiago this fall - a walk of some 800 Kilometers - about 500 miles over 5 or 6 weeks.  As part of our training - I have created a much shorter version - here in Illinois - that will replicate a one day version of the Camino in Spain.  This one will not be as challenging - since the terrain in Illinois is not as hilly as in northern Spain.  It will not be easy - as we intend to walk from Yorkville, Illinois to Plano, Illinois - and for those who want the complete daily expereince - back to Yorkville - a total of approximately 18 miles.  To read this new blog or the blog on the Camino de Santiago you may click the respective tabs at the top of this page or go here:

Deacon Dale 

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter?  What? - Have I lost my mind? - After all Easter was three days ago - was it not?    Well - yes - that was Easter Sunday - unknown to many people - Easter is actually a Season in the Church Liturgical year - that lasts for 50 days!  Surprise! - it is still Easter - all the way up to Pentecost and including Trinity Sunday.  So Divine Mercy Sunday which arrives in a few  days - is a part of Easter Season - as is the Ascension of Our Lord - Pentecost - Trinity Sunday.  So you ask - what are we to do - the chocolate bunnies have all been eaten - as well as the yellow marshmallow peeps and we found almost all the colored eggs - only one still hiding somewhere - and even that will be eventually found once it starts to radiate an obnoxious odor.  What is a person to do with 50 days of Easter?  The answer is simple - Live it. Practice what you believe - daily - at home - at work - at play.  Be a Christian - don't be afraid to show it - say grace before you eat - even in restaurants - even at McDonalds.  Teach what you believe - there are thousands of people starving for the Word of God - feed them.  Share what you have received - let others in on the "secret" - the gift of New Life - given freely by God - to all who ask.

That is all Jesus did - He lived His faith - practiced it daily - said His prayers - as any good Jew did. He lived the Truth - He spoke the Truth - He shared the Truth. We can do no more - no less.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the most important Christian holiday in the year. Many people confuse the celebration of Christmas and Easter - in regards to importance.  At Christmas - Christians celebrate the birth of Christ - but as all of us can attest - we - like Christ - have experienced birth. None of us - on the other hand - have experienced resurrection. That reason alone is why Easter is the more important celebration. Before Jesus could die for mankind - He first had to be born - born into a world - just as we were - to be  tempted - lured - as we were - without failing - unlike we - who fail on a daily basis. He alone was born to die - for us. We are born to die - for nobody. We live our lives - hopefully good lives - to leave the world a better place than we found it - but none - leave the world - as payment for the sins of ourselves or others.  Jesus paid the price - for all.
When Jesus died - paid the price - for sins - He died for all mankind - past - present - future. He paid for the sins for those who have not been born yet - because - all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. No matter how hard we try - we will fail - we will sin. That is the nature of mankind - not because we want to - but because we are born to. Only One is God - Only One is the Christ - all others - are ordinary men and women - seeking the best - missing the mark - attaining - hope - not perfection.  In Christ Jesus - alone - the One - is Glory - Salvation - Life.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 1, 2013


According to Wikipedia - a vigil -from the Latin vigilia - meaning wakefulness - is a period of purposeful sleeplessness - an occasion for devotional watching - or an observance. The Italian word vigilia has become generalized in this sense and means "eve"  - as in on the eve of the war.  To participate in any vigil means sitting - waiting - expecting. To sit in vigil does not means always at night - a person may spend hours in the waiting room of a hospital - sitting in vigil - while a loved one undergoes surgery. Waiting at home - for hour upon hour - waiting for delivery of new furniture - or the arrival of a repair person - may also be considered a vigil. To those who participate in religious services - the thought automatically is the night of a significant event - the spiritual waiting period - an anticipation of a revelation from God.  In the Catholic church - any service celebrated the evening before a specific morning service is considered a Vigil. 
The Mother of all Vigils - is the Easter Vigil - the most Holy Mass of the liturgical year - the most significant Mass in the Catholic Church. At the Easter Vigil - numerous significant firsts of the liturgical year are celebrated.  The Church blesses the Easter fire from which The Paschal  - Easter Candle - is lit. Then the Exultant - a song of Easter joy - is chanted. The service continues with seven readings from the Hebrew Scriptures - with accompanying Psalms - followed by the  reading of the Epistle from Saint Paul - then the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord. A Homily - explaining the salvation story - from the Israelites to Jesus' Death and Resurrection follows. At this point the Rite of Christian Initiation is celebrated during which the water in the font is blessed for the first time - followed by the Baptism and Anointing of the candidates with Sacred Chrism - with full reception into the Holy Catholic Church. Mass then continues as normal with the neophytes receiving Holy Communion for the first time with their new parish community. Finally the Vigil concludes with the Deacon chanting the double Alleluia - sending all out into the World to continue the Works of Jesus. In two to three hours - the parish community - with their priests and deacons - sit Vigil - remembering those hours that followed the Crucifixion of Jesus.  History has revealed the miracle that followed - the Resurrection from the dead - the new life offered to all in Jesus the Christ. Each year we remember - we recreate - we believe - that Jesus is Lord,

Deacon Dale