Monday, December 19, 2016

Countdown To Christmas

The Fourth Sunday of Advent - the last week of prayerful preparation - waiting for Christmas - the second coming of Christ. For three weeks we have prayed - reflected - spent time assessing our lives - what we have done - should be doing. Now in this final week we bring this time of preparation to completion - hoping that what we have done will be enough - for now - to be welcomed into the heart of Jesus - into His Father's heavenly kingdom. In a few short days all our preparation efforts - for ourselves - for the Christmas Season - will be brought to completion. 

Jesus calls us to Himself -  to become incorporated into His heart - to be wrapped in the blanket of comfort and joy - prepared for us - since the beginning of time - by God. Many find it difficult to believe that this gift is offered to each of us - for free - no strings attached. Those who do believe - have faith - faith in God - faith in Jesus. In this last week of Advent - look deep inside - discover the faith in you.  It's there.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

In The Pink

The Third Sunday of Advent - at this point we are - in the pink - literally. Pink - more specifically - rose - is the color assigned to the Third Sunday of Advent. In our parish we do not have rose colored vestments - instead we wear purple. We were given a vestment a few years back - not rose - definitely pink - not a favorite of most priests. Purple is acceptable - thus that is what our priest and deacons wear. Why the rose color in the middle of Advent - you ask.  The focus in Advent is hope - hoping that we are not as bad as we think we are - hoping that we will be accepted into the Kingdom of God - when our days have ended - hoping that through serious reflection and prayer - we may become the people God intended us to be. Four weeks reflecting on your life -  straight through - is taxing on many people - in its wisdom Mother Church tells us to lighten up a bit - switch from purple to rose - reflect on the joy of the season quickly approaching. Focus on the joy one will experience at the end of Advent when we have made ourselves into better people - focusing more on others and less on ourselves. Saint Paul reminds us - rejoice in the Lord always - in all ways - today we heed that advice.

When God created the Earth and all the creatures and plants and humans - he knew - because of His gift of Free Will - that we would go astray - from time to time. Stretching our wings - so to speak - to try things on our own - even when we know better. He knew when in times of stress and trouble - we would try - to do it ourselves - relying on our skills and knowledge - forgetting to invite Him into our lives - to help and bless us.  Whether it is misdirected or just uninformed intentions - we offend God - we become gods - failing in our efforts. The good news - He knew - He understands - He forgives. On one hand He must be proud of us - His children that we wish to take the initiative to be better - yet - at the same time - disappointed that we don't realize that He - is there at our side - constantly - waiting for us to ask Him into our lives - to make things better.  Quietly - like a sentry - armed with everything that we need - He waits.  If you are seeking joy in your life - turn to God - turn to Jesus - invite Him to be a part of your life.  He waits - for all.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Color Purple

We are now in the Second week of Advent - the liturgical color most often used to decorate Catholic churches and liturgical vestments is purple - also referred to as violet. As a color -  purple is very interesting. According to Wikipedia - In the traditional color wheel used by painters - violet and purple are both placed between red and blue. Purple occupies the space closer to red - between crimson and violet. Violet is closer to blue -is usually less saturated than purple. While the two colors look similar - from the point of view of optics -there are important differences. Violet is a spectral color – it occupies its own place at the end of the spectrum of light - first identified by Newton in 1672 - and it has its own wavelength (approximately 380–420 nm) – whereas purple is a combination of two spectral colors - red and blue. There is no such thing as the "wavelength of purple light" - it only exists as a combination. Purple is generally identified as a single color - yet - if you study violet - it has some fifteen different shades!  Those who study the color wheel know that people respond to different colors in different ways.  For example - red - the color of fire and blood - is associated with energy - war - danger - strength - passion - desire - love. Some colors are calming - others - the opposite effect. In regards to purple - it combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power - nobility - luxury - ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom - dignity - independence - creativity - mystery - magic.  According to surveys - almost 75 percent of preadolescence children prefer purple to all other colors. Purple is a very rare color in nature.  Analyzing all the characteristics of purple - one can understand why the color of Advent is purple.  In Advent in which we respect the dignity of the individual - acknowledging the royal nature of each - as a child of God - blessed with the creative - mystery - magic of the Divine - we see the unlimited potential of each person - young and old - to improve their individual life - to remove bad habits - activities - to redefine - who they are - how they act - think - treat themselves and others - to become the people that God has intended.

As children of God - we are given this liturgical season offered by the Church - to renew ourselves - to become more - all - that we are intended to be. 

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

NEW! 2017 Fatima - Lourdes Pilgrimage

Fatima - Lourdes - Burgos - Barcelona

November 5 - 14, 2017

Now Registering Participants

$2999* From New York/Philadelphia
$3099* From Chicago, Phoenix,
San Diego

$200 Early Registration Discount
Reflected In Prices Above

*All Inclusive Except for Lunches & One Dinner, Trip Insurance, Tips To Tour Host & Bus Driver

More Information At:

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Decisions 2016

I have to admit that I hate politics and in that sense - many politicians. These men and women - voted into office by you and me - fail all of us - on an almost daily basis. People who promised us one thing - to get  elected - became opponents - to the very issues we believed in.  When does truth - become anything - but the truth. Politician - after politician - have compromised their beliefs - in an effort to stay in office - even when doing so - means they become that - which they campaigned against.

Today it is almost impossible to find an honest politician - actions justified by - "that is the way of the World" - the way things get done. Sad - very sad. Tomorrow - millions of Americans - go to the polls to place their sacred vote - their God given right - to select the candidate - who will work to guarantee them - a full and rewarding life.  Unfortunately - the majority will fail - guaranteeing only - the good life - for themselves - casting their supporters to the side.  

All the issues come down to one thing - one thing alone. Not their past - not their hollow promises - not how much money they have - not who they party with - who they are married to - what they look like.  The one issue that all of us should be looking at - who will support life. Who will guarantee - that all lives matter - Black lives - White lives - Brown lives - Yellow lives - Old lives - Young lives - lives of those not yet born. Only those who support life - from the cradle to the grave - who will support - education - healthcare - job opportunities - equality for all - no matter what race - gender - creed - culture - only those candidates
deserve our vote. None other - period.

Jesus died on the Cross - for all of us - no matter our color - gender - nationality - language - creed. He died for all - believers - non-believers - for all - that we might have life - and live it to the fullest. Fulfill your life - protect the life of others - vote today 

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Gianna Molla

Those in the know understand when the name - Gianna Molla - is spoken - referring to the modern age saint - Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. In this instance - not correct. The Gianna Molla I refer to in this post - Gianna Emanuella Molla - the living daughter of the Saint. This past weekend - we had the honor of hosting the daughter at our parish. She was here - as a featured speaker - at a fund raising event at the parish - raising funds to help the completion of the Mid-West Shrine for Saint Gianna in Yorkville, Illinois and the Shrine and Complex in Ponte Nuovo of Magenta, Italy.  Doctor Gianna Emanuella Molla is a geriatric physician from Italy who spends her days sharing a joy filled message about her Saint mother and her commitment to Christ.  

Doctor Gianna Emanuella Molla is a joyful smiling servant of God - bringing hope and joy to all in her message. Just like her Saint "mum" - as she frequently refers to her mother - Gianna Emanuella brings God's message of love and healing to all she meets. My personal contact with Gianna Emanuella was very limited - as she attempted to talk with all who flocked around her.  A few brief words - in my limited Italian - brought forth a very genuine and warm smile from her. She is a delight to meet and listen to - her excitement - generating an energy that effected everyone.  Like all of us - she has been called by God - to proclaim Christ's love to all - unlike many - she actually follows through on that call.  We can all take a lesson from Gianna Emanuella - to proclaim to all - God's Divine Mercy and love for all - sainted mother - or not.

Deacon Dale 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Saintly Mother

Most people - in many places around the world - refer to their mothers as saints - women who rose above the challenges of life - excelled in various ways - raised families - often on their own. My own mother - a saint - having managed two sets of twins - six children under the age of nine - keeping the lot of us under control. I know for a fact that as children we were not always little angels - running havoc around the house. Some women excelled even above that which we think is notable - achieving so much in their lifetime that today they are canonized Saints in the Church. The most recent - Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta - joining Saint Mother Theodore Guerin - Saint Gianna Beretta Molla - Saint Monica. Truth be told - many more women canonized as Saints - all having excelled as women. 

God calls all women and men to saintly lives - lives lived honestly in service to families - neighbors - communities - not all of whom will be declared Saints in the Church. Sainthood is not the goal of Christians - holiness their goal. In lives lived daily - in accordance with the teachings of Jesus - quietly - humbly - holy. Today - another day in which all of us may attempt to reach that goal.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Too Quick - Too Soon

The first of September - vacation over - back to school - fall approaching - too soon. Yes - time flies - too quickly - too soon - the lazy days of summer quickly a fading memory. Hopefully everyone had time to enjoy some peaceful days with family and friends. Now time to look forward to fall chores - planning for winter - colder weather - falling leaves - outdoor events. Although the temperatures will soon be falling - fall is still a great time to entertain outdoors - to host events with family and friends - to enjoy peaceful moments of nature. In our family the beginning of September signals the annual family reunion - golf tournament - chili cook-off. For football fans - tailgating a number one time to enjoy fellowship and food. Each season brings with it - good - bad - opportunities for everyone.

In every season of life - summer - fall - winter - spring - young - old - God is present. He is constantly with us - even when we are too busy to notice - too busy to care - too occupied with worldly things. He blesses each of us - day in and day out - especially when we least deserve it. As we begin the fall of our lives - take time to pause - to listen - to observe - God's presence in our lives - before it is too quick - too soon - to appreciate all that He offers each of us.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Up In Arms

The term - Up in arms - simply - protesting vigorously about something - anything. Whenever anything happens that does not resonate well with a large group of people - those same people will protest - loudly - creating enough attention - gathering interest - pro and con. It is a sad statement that in this time of our country - that so much unrest exists. For many of us - myself included - it had appeared that the USA was finally starting to pull together - following on the heels of - 911 - fifteen years ago - the nation coming together - arm in arm - united as one body. The unity that existed fifteen years ago has faded - a mere memory for many. Today it is -one for all - myself against the world attitude -exhibited by so many - angry - unhappy - violent people. Refusing to accept - to tolerate - to understand - to learn. Much of this driven by politicians - people elected - to serve the people - through twisted truths and outright lies - all in the name of politics - driving one against another - bad examples to the general population - encouraging too many copycats - for selfish reasons.


Power corrupts - in the time of Jesus - in 2016 - never ending. One would think that in two thousand years we would have learned a thing or two - yet - it still persists. Many wonder why God allows this to continue - the real concern - why do we allow this? As people of God - our charge - our obligation - to do the right thing - to speak out in the name of justice - in the name of peace. Jesus stands and watches - waiting to see if we will be - up in arms - in the name of God - in the name of justice - peace.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, August 8, 2016

I Told You So

Yes - I did - in my last post I mentioned that I would be slowing down in the frequency of my posts - summer here has been very busy - no time to sit on the computer to blog. Since my last post I have been very busy - mainly refurbishing our deck - or I should say deck system. You see our "deck" is a system of decks and bridges - five decks and two bridges - almost 1300 square feet of decking - plus built in seating. Luckily the 16 ft x 16 ft deck has a gazebo on it to provide protection for our hot tub so that deck requires very little maintenance. The other 1000 square feet is another story. This year the maintenance included power washing - sanding - water proofing. Power washing takes a few hours - sanding a few days - staining another two days when the weather cooperates. As my wife says - "i'd rather have a root canal than do this again" - and I can't blame her. All total the project took us some 60 hours spread over 8 days. In addition - I have been coping with a leg issue - five doctors visits - two x-rays - three MRIs - still no conclusive answer - now into my third week of physical therapy - the leg still hurts. With the slow results - we have cancelled our plans to return to Spain to continue our Camino adventure. I also spent over sixty hours producing a video on The Holy Land - for a presentation I made at St. Mary's Church in Bristol, Indiana at the end of July. Link to the video is below> 

Part of Deck System

All these distractions from enjoying the summer has only slightly interfered with our summer plans - we still have had time to socialize - enjoy time with family - friends - attend to deacon duties at church - prepare homilies for Holy Mass - attend to God's business. As in other seasons of our lives - God still remains our primary focus - sharing the gift that He so freely gave us. We have been blessed indeed - hopefully sharing with all the joy of our personal relationship with Jesus - encouraging others to keep their focus - even when very busy - on the real reason for our lives.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Lazy Hazy Days

Yes summer is here and with it lazy hazy days - days when you feel like doing nothing - relaxing - lying on a beach - by the pool - sipping your favorite brew. After coping with the winter and spring chores - summer calls us to relax - if possible - to a state of nothing. Sure the lawn needs to be mowed - every 4 days - the weeds need to be pulled - repairs to the outside of the house and deck are calling your name. These are the days when everyone needs to decompress - come down to a normal level of activity - walk away from the daily stress of life - jobs - obligations. No harm in taking respite - relaxing - for the sake of relaxing. For myself that means less blogging - more time on other things - enjoying the gifts God has placed around me. Spending all day pulling weeds means no time to appreciate the beauty of nature around you - fingers in the dirt - less time for eyes in the sky. 

As we enjoy all the gifts of God we have to remember that taking time to be quiet - alone with our thoughts - with our God - is our highest priority. Failing to relax in the beautiful nature around us - our  loss. Take courage - those tasks will always be with us - these beautiful summer days will pass all too swiftly. Enjoy them now.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Poland Pilgrimage Video Recap

You are invited to view the video recap of our recent Pilgrimage to Poland - Enjoy!

What better way to showcase this with a picture of my beautiful Polish wife!

Deacon Dale 

Friday, July 1, 2016

POLAND Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage to Poland is now completed - in all we had twelve modern day disciples - The Other Twelve - who journeyed throughout Poland seeking - God's Divine Mercy.

The journey began in America at our respective airports - San Diego - Phoenix Sky Harbor - Chicago O'Hare. From there we flew thousands of miles to Warsaw, Poland - the Capital of Poland. Arriving on a free day - nothing planned except a welcome dinner - the majority ventured into the Old Town area of Warsaw to visit the Royal Palace and the Stare Miasto - Old town square - to browse and enjoy the Polish culture.

Royal Palace

Gathering together in the evening with our tour guide - Marta - we toasted the safe arrival of everyone and the beginning of our pilgrimage. Beginning the next day - we ventured on a tour of Old Warsaw - viewing Lazienki Park/Museum - Lazienki Palace - the Warsaw Ghetto and monument dedicated to the Polish Jews - wandered into the Stare Miasto in Warsaw viewing Sigismund's Column near the Royal Palace - visiting the Warsaw Cathedral - lunch in the square with the Warsaw Mermaid - ending the day at the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy where Saint Faustina entered the convent. After celebrating Holy Mass we retired for the day.

Lazienki Museum & Park 

Lazienki Palace 

Warsaw Memorial for Jews

Sigismund's Column - Old Town - Stare Miasto 

Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy Chapel 

The second day of our pilgrimage saw us leaving Warsaw and heading to Niepokalanow to visit one of the largest Franciscian monasteries in the world founded by Saint Maximillian Kolbe. There we listened to a lecture about Saint Kolbe - visited his museum - viewed the basilica there with time for a prayer then left for Czestochowa - the spiritual capital of Poland.

Niepokalanow Basilica 

Inside the Basilica

Czestocohwa - Jasna Gora Monastery 

At Jasna Gora - Czestochowa - we were introduced to Father Szymon one of the Pauline monks who leads English tours. He is quite the character and filled with a treasury of knowledge about Jasna Gora Monastery - the Black Madona icon - Czestochowa in general. After an in depth tour he celebrated Holy Mass with us - then sent us on our way to rest for the evening.

The Black Madonna

Karen & Joe with Christ The King 

Holy Mass with Deacon Dale and Father Symon 

Our next day we left heading to Wadowice - the hometown of Saint John Paul II - visiting the basilica there where he served as an altar server - celebrated Holy Mass with Father Mirek - minus this deacon who was under the weather - then ate some Kremowka made famous by the Pope. .

Basilica of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary 

Father Mirek at Holy Mass 

Leaving Wadowice we headed to Krakow where we met our local guide Mikal who took us to Wawel Castle and Wawel Cathedral - then walked to the Market Square to visit St. Mary's Church - housing the world's largest altar. The evening was free to explore on our own.


Wawel Castle 

The Courtyard 

Hot & Tired Pilgrims 

Wawel Cathedral

Saint Mary's Church

Sukiennice - Cloth Market - Market Square 

Our next day found us at Auschwitz-Birkenau - an emotionally draining experience - viewing both the camp at Auschwitz and the remains of the Birkenau location. According to our guide - revised - more accurate numbers - now corrected for early misinformation - place the number of those killed at 1.5 million persons - the majority - perhaps 80% - Jewish men - women - children.

Auschwitz Entrance Barrier 

Firing Squad Wall Memorial - Joe & Arlene Placing Flowers 

The Ovens - Destroying the Evidence

Entrance to Birkenau

Marta Laying A Flower On The Tracks That Brought Death To So Many 

Death Camp Arrival Station - The Selection Process 

Leaving there and taking a breather to come down from that visit and eat some lunch - we headed to the Shrine of Divine Mercy. The tower at the Shrine greeted us as we approached and walked to the church in time to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 PM - the Hour of Mercy. After a short break we entered the chapel area below the main sanctuary where we listened to a short lecture by one of the sisters regarding Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy. Immediately after we celebrated Holy Mass with Father Mirek a local English speaking Polish priest. At this Mass I was able to encourage our pilgrims and a group of women who joined us for Holy Mass on the responsibility of living a productive Catholic Christian life. The tour continued with a visit to the convent where Saint Faustina lived and died.

The Divine Mercy Basilica

Entrance To the Basilica

The Altar in the Basilica

View of the Convent from the Tower

View of the Sisters' Grave Site From Tower

Sister Teaching About Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy 

Holy Mass with Deacon Dale and Father Mirek 

Deacon Dale Homily on Divine Mercy and Call To Discipleship 

The next morning came very early as we left for a visit to the Salt Mines at Wieliczka where we we able to avoid the 358 steps down into the mines via special arrangements to use the miners' elevator. Once below in the mines we were guided through many passageways viewing small chapels - artwork carved out of salt - and entering huge rooms hewn out of salt where today you find space for hundreds for Holy Mass - wedding receptions and other functions. The most impressive things about the salt mines is the lack of dust and how clean and polished all the surfaces are. Return to the surface was a quick 20 second ride in a modern elevator.

Entrance to Salt Mine

Welcome Banner

Going Down - Miner's Elevator 

Saint Kinga's Chapel 

We then headed to Zakopane to visit the area of Poland made popular by Saint John Paul II and his love of skiing in the mountains there. Unlike the majority of Poland - where the homes are brick and stucco - the homes in Zakopane are more like Swiss chalets cut from timber. The ride was relaxing and once there we viewed The Church of the Holy Family and spent some time shopping for local crafts.




Church Of The Holy Family 

Zakopane Market Area

The ride back to Krakow was restful - a peaceful end to our pilgrimage. Leaving early the next morning we boarded our flights to return to our homes.

The Other Twelve - Poland Pilgrims - Wadowice

Pilgrimage whether at home or in a foreign land always draws one closer to God - closer to Jesus - closer to understanding your personal relationship with the Divine. Being open to the possibilities - of the moment - of your potential - of others - reinforces the beliefs shared by many. As an evangelization tool - pilgrimage is a great way to further experience your faith.

As we often say - Come Journey With Us 

Deacon Dale