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By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lit is Mary Karr’s best-selling memoir of her descent into alcoholism and madness – and her astonishing resurrection. 

Dev is Mary’s five-year-old son, the light of Mary’s train-wreck of a life.  Mary recounts an episode in which her difficult mother comes to visit.  Mary’s mother has been fighting her own demons of depression and alcoholism.  The visit does not go well.  Grandma becomes very impatient with Dev over a cookie.  She threatens Dev for what she sees as the boy’s insolent behavior – but Mary intervenes.

When Mary puts Dev to bed that night, she asks Dev if Grandma scared him.  Dev gives his mom a puzzled look.  Why would Grandma scare him?  About what happened this afternoon over the cookie?  Dev tells Mary, “Mom, you’d never allow that to happen.” 

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sometimes the most appreciated response to an act of kindness is quiet, grateful acceptance. 

The great cellist Yo-Yo Ma says he learned that lesson while touring Namibia a few years ago.  After a company of African dancers and musicians performed for him, Ma wanted to reciprocate and took out his cello to play for them.  But Ma remembers with a laugh, “They said, ‘Stop. Don’t play. We want to play for you.’  It was hubris on my part to bring my cello.  They didn’t give a darn.”

The experience was a lesson in humility for the renowned musician.  “To be a good performer, you have to have a strong ego,” Ma says.  “But to be a really good performer, you have to make sure your ego is not the center.  To play Beethoven, you have to figure out who he was, and how that’s encoded in the music.  And then you have to realize you are not Beethoven.”

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, June 9, 2013

When the waters rose, they took on the flood.  In cities and towns across America’s Midwest, the heavy early spring rains caused rivers to rise at devastating levels.  Community after community came together to take on the flood waters, filling sandbags and constructing temporary barriers and levees.  It is becoming an annual spring ritual: people working together to protect their towns that are the homes they all share.

When the blast went off, they ran toward the smoke.  When the two bombs exploded at the finish line of this year’s Boston Marathon, not only police and first-responders but exhausted runners and their families and friends became first-responders themselves.  Despite the horror around them, they instinctively ran to help. 

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, June 2, 2013

In her book The Sacred Meal, Nora Gallagher recalls an awkward moment at Communion in her parish church:

“I stood up from my pew and marched toward the altar without really paying attention to who was with me in the line. I think I was imagining a new haircut or the perfect apartment in New York, my two favorite fantasies. When I got to the altar and took my place . . . my knuckles knocked against those of a person standing right next to me. When I glanced over, I saw a woman I was not speaking to. We both gave a little start, and I felt immediate shame. I could remember exactly why we were not talking and everything she had done to cause it; but I realized, as I stood there with about an inch of ice-cold space between us, that I had done exactly nothing to make things even the smallest bit better. Ha! The Spirit must have been saying over us. Let’s see what happens now!

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Deacon Ron answers your questions.


Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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