Holy Bird!

At Easter Sunday Mass, I noticed something dark atop one of the spires of the reredos (the intricately beautiful shrine of statues taking up the wall behind the altar).

What is that, I wondered, continuing to stare. Surely it hasn’t been there before.

When the thing started to move, I knew without a doubt — It was a bird!

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What Shunning Looks Like

Have you ever been so mad you wanted to slap somebody?

Yesterday at Mass (I know, a lot of good it does attending Church if you’re going to leave angry!), this family came in and sat nearby. I’d seen them before: Dad, Mom, two boys (probably aged 14 or 15), Daughter #1 (maybe 12 or so), and Daughter #3 (aged 5 or so).

What happened to Daughter #2, the one I’m guessing is 10-ish? Well, after the family was seated — and taking up an entire pew — Daughter #2 shows up, tries to scoot somebody over to get in the pew, and fails.

Nobody would move over to let this poor child in.

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Commencement Wrapup

Commencement Weekend at the University of Notre Dame has come and gone, and I’m left with the following observations:

1) Nobody does Mass better than ND. This weekend was Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church, and we had no less than 40 red-robed priests (plus two bishops) on the altar for the celebration!

2) Nobody does food better than the ND Food Services staff. Our Friday feast featured chef-carved beef, chicken, tilapia, and a dessert bar topped with a “2013” ice sculpture. On Saturday, they fed us grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, and made an elaborate display of round, two-layered white cakes with frosting — one for each family to enjoy!

3) Nobody offers better music than ND. Volunteers from the ND Band (minus the seniors) played at most events. And no, I didn’t do much more than tear up at “Pomp and Circumstance,” the Alma Mater, and the ND Victory March, so my desensitization helped!

4) Nobody offers more guidelines (that people don’t pay attention to) than ND. I was told no umbrellas or wide-brimmed hats that might interfere with people’s vision. I obeyed, but others did not. I was told to respect others’ views of the proceedings. I obeyed, but one woman stood right in front of me minutes before my son was to cross the stage to accept his diploma. When I politely reminded her, “I can’t see,” she jumped all over me, arguing that somebody was taking a photo with a camera phone and she didn’t want to block that. Obviously, it never crossed her mind to go behind the photographer, rather than block my view!

5) Nobody does unpredictable weather better than South Bend. Here I was, worried over cold and rain, when Sunday dawned brilliantly sunny and temps climbed to almost 90 degrees by afternoon. Good thing I remembered sunscreen!

I know some of you are also interested in what people were wearing. Comfort, indeed, was the better part of wisdom. And there were so many people milling around that I probably could’ve worn a grocery sack and not stood out!

In fact, I saw all manner of dress:

  • Men in khaki shorts
  • Men in flip flops and deck shoes
  • Men wearing suits and ties
  • Men wearing blue jeans
  • Men wearing Polo shirts
  • Women teetering on sky-high spike heels
  • Women in cowboy boots
  • Women wearing dressy sandals or flip flops
  • Nobody wearing pantyhose
  • Women wearing lace
  • Women wearing sundresses, long and short
  • Women wearing slacks and jackets
  • Infants in carriers
  • People in wheelchairs or on canes
  • People speaking English or their native tongue
  • People wearing sunglasses and ND ball caps

Me? For Saturday’s Mass, I wore a knee-length black pencil skirt with a black and white polka-dotted peplum jacket. On Sunday, I chose a pair of dress black slacks, a black and white jacket with blue-green flowers, and a matching blue-green knit shell.

It was a great celebration, but I’m glad the hoopla is over.

(I’m “going dark” for a week or so while I do some celebratory stuff with my son. Intrigued? Good, I love a mystery! I’ll post more when I get back. Love to ALL!)

Spring means time for Prom

Recently, I sat behind a group of six young people (four guys, two girls) in Church.

They obviously were heading to Prom after Mass, and they looked superb.

The girls’ complexions were clear, their makeup and manicures were flawless. Their thin young bodies had been spray-tanned, their hair was swept up with dangling ringlets.

Their earrings sparkled. Their floor-length gowns were stunning, and they were modest enough to cover up their bare shoulders with light jackets.

The young men wore tuxes and boutonnieres, fancy shoes and ties. Their hair was combed, their faces freshly shaven.

They whispered quietly to one another and nodded at their friends seated in other pews.

The nervous anticipation practically crackled from them.

Prom is an exciting rite of passage for a young person.

And I never went.

Back in the day, if you didn’t have a date, you didn’t go to Prom.


That meant lots of us stayed home when we should have been with our classmates. Dancing. Snacking. Having fun.

How refreshing it is today that young people ALL go to Prom.

Date or no date.

Some pair off with a special someone; others go in groups.

No one has to feel left out, unless they choose not to be there.

And it’s wonderful to see so many of the teens from our Church making time to attend Mass before the festivities.

Our priest never fails to acknowledge their presence, either.

He always tells them how splendid they look, cautions them to be watchful and prudent while having fun, and reminds them that their parents — and the entire community — love them.

A few of the kids snicker. They’ve heard this message before.

The older adults nod their heads and smile. They have, too.

But it’s a message that never grows old, no matter how often it’s spoken.

These kids are our future.