Today I spent some time reflecting on and analyzing the rhetoric of Elie Wiesel’s April 1999 speech The Perils of Indifference, and I couldn’t help but think of one of the major themes of Pope Francis’s pontificate thus far – the call to treat all human beings with dignity and eschew selfishness to take care of those most in need. On March 28, 2015, he tweeted, “As disciples of Christ, how can we not be concerned for the good of the weakest?”
As disciples of Christ, how can we not be concerned for the good of the weakest?
And yet, it is easy to become distracted and sure that caring and concern are the jobs of people with more time, money, or other resources than we do.
Following the refugee crisis besetting Europe and having been recently moved by that tragic picture of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the shores of Turkey, it would truly be a difficult thing to listen to or read Wiesel’s address to the Clinton White House and the American people in general, the words of a boy who lived through the horrors of the Holocaust, and feel indifferent to the plight of refugees the world over.
Today, on the banks of the Ohio River beginning at 1PM, thousands of families, priests, and religious will be gathering to walk across the Purple People Bridge for the 10th year in a row at Cross The Bridge For Life. It’s an ecumenical pro-life event I make a point to go to every year, it’s FREE, and it’s an absolute blast.
We meet today at the festival area at Newport on the Levee in Kentucky for food, face painting, live music and general good times. I’m the emcee again this year, and invocation givers and award recipients for our very brief program include Bishop Roger Foys, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, and Son Rise Morning Show alum Brian Patrick. Plus, last year I saw Captain America hanging out with the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker, so there’s that kind of thing going on too.
The whole thing’s free, and it’s awesome- for more info, visit crossthebridgeforlife.com, and if you’re with us, take tons of pictures and tag them with #CrossTheBridgeForLife, or just follow the tag to live vicariously through us.
Plus, I bought a new hat just for the occasion- hope to see you there!
Can’t tell you how pumped I am to hop on a plane this morning and make my second trip to Africa with Catholic Relief Services. Last time around, I and a few Catholic media friends went to Ghana to look at the way the Church is combatting HIV and maternal/infant mortality by teaching NFP and other marriage-building principles. A truly extraordinary experience.
This time around, we get to celebrate the 40th anniversary of CRS Rice Bowl by visiting one of the countries that directly benefits from the generosity of US Catholics. In Tanzania, we’ll meet field workers, school children, and even farmers who have taken your small gifts and, through the work of CRS, have been able to multiply them to aid in the international mission of the Church to feed both body and soul.
And I’m traveling with AWESOME people. I’ve traveled with CRS’s Tom Price and Relevant Radio’s Drew Mariani before, but having Dr Matthew Bunson and Lisa Hendey along this time around will be a blast.
-Visiting farmers helped by the work of CRS Rice Bowl
-Attending Mass locally
-Participating in a cooking demo with a local chef who’ll show us how to make this year’s Lenten Friday meatless meal, Tanzanian style
-Getting a reminder of the universality of the Church
Pray for me! It’s the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of Catholic media- we sure could use some intercession!
We have one of of the best darn fruit and vegetable markets in the city a couple blocks’ walk from our house, and it also has notoriously awesome specials.
Over the weekend, I scored a $0.49 spaghetti squash and some Italian-style chorizo salame.
Putting the oven on 400, I then proceeded to cut the squash length-wise, scoop out the seeds, and pour a bit of olive oil all over. After a generous dousing of cracked pepper and coarser sea salt, I sliced about half of the stick of salame (although I definitely could have used the whole thing), and then cut it into smaller chunks before loading it into the scooped out halves of spaghetti squash.
I carefully put each half face down in a Pyrex casserole dish, but I think keeping them upright like you would with filled acorn squash would also work and retain the flavors of the sausage a bit better. The squash cooked in the oven for about 50 minutes.
I did end up breaking up the squash with a fork (spaghettizing it) and putting it all back in one of the casserole dishes before mixing up the seasoning and sausage throughout, but that just isn’t as pretty, although it did taste good.
This was our main course, and we enjoyed it with a side of raw baby spinach topped with slices of mozzarella, tomato, and basil leaves.
We have holy images and sacramentals in pretty much every room of the house, but I am so glad to have put this together last night, coincidentally the eve of the Exaltation of the Cross. Our toddler is already very interested in the oratory area, and it’s the first thing someone is liable to see when they walk in. I already have our television positioned so that it is (hopefully) the last thing, but maybe that’s wishful thinking. Unfortunately, we couldn’t figure out a good way for it to be ad orientem, but it is in the living room (it was either there or the library), and has so far helped to change the whole flavor of the room.
Here is the after in stages:
The items on or around the little oratory table include a San Damiano Cross; icon of the Madonna and Child and icon of Christ, each with candles in front of them; RSV Bible; (empty) flower vase, Lourdes water, Czech box with relic of St. Maria Goretti inside; and a large circular vase filled with rosaries. We already had everything but the green runner, however I did spend quite a lot of time moving things around. This is why I am a big fan of Command picture frame hangers – my 1800’s era house’s walls would be a total mess otherwise, as I tend to move things around pretty frequently.
The order of business for tomorrow is have our 2 year old help me cut some hydrangea blooms for the flower vase. At some point, we also might add an incense component, but it may be safer to burn some scented oil on the nearby mantle for the next while.
"Marriage is a duel to the death, which no man of honour should decline." – G.K. Chesterton's 'Manalive'