Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving, all. Below is a shot of what I am very thankful for. They were helping me drive the shopping cart last Sunday. They were driving nice and straight, until I broke out the camera. Three seconds after the photo was taken, they drove into the freezer case...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seen today

At the gas station mini mart next to the door for the soda/beer cooler: "Alcoholic Salesman only, soda salesman use second door".

On the rear license plate frame of a car, " Get out of my way... I'm late,".

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fathers' Day Card

The boys "made" a card for me for Fathers' Day. The construction of the card: crayons, stickers, and stamps, oh my...

A little maternal guidance. Joseph found a use for some extra stickers.

Watch out, I have a crayon in here. I know how to use it!

Ooooh, a card just for me. Joseph is still wearing some of his stickers here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Easter pics

So I'm entirely out of the Easter Season. Oh well. The boys hunted for plastic eggs in the backyard. You know the convention. Leo is in green, Joseph is in blue. Enjoy the shots...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

How to get past the bouncer

I saw a link to this story the other day. Got a good laugh, now you can have one too.

By now it had started to rain. The band were feeling despondent, and they realised that the owner was not going to give way. But, ever resourceful, my brother had an idea.

He began to confidently intone the Credo III:“Credo in unum Deum…”

Friday, April 17, 2009

Msgr Thomas Morgan 1909-2009

A Blessed and Happy Easter to you all. The boys had a lovely Easter; photos of egg hunting will follow in the next few days. It bothers me greatly to write this post. Msgr. Thomas Morgan, the priest that married my maternal grandparents, who baptised two of my sisters and I, who buried my paternal grandparents, has passed away. He was 99 years old.

Msgr Morgan, or Pappy Morgan, as my Poppa Don called him was a truly holy man. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt as his father, an Irishman in British Army, was stationed in Egypt. He studied for the priesthood in Ireland and Portugal. He came to California in 1939. He served in parishes in the Central Valley and in the Central Coast. After starting three parishes (in Hanford, Cambria, and Greenfield), he came to Tres Pinos in 1969. He was our pastor for fifteen years. He retired in 1984, and lived in Hollister until about 2000, when he moved to a retirement home.

He was the quintessenital Irish priest. He was loving, he cared for his parishoners, he had a great sense of humor, and of course, loved a round of golf. When Poppa Don passed away, who came and visited my grandmother? Father Morgan. I remember watering Grandma's roses, and Father Morgan came driving into the yard. I saw the tears in Grandma's eyes, and I knew that I needed to keep watering. When my Dad woke up from having surgery on his knee 11 years ago, who was standing over him? Father Morgan. He said something to the effect of, "Patrick, how are you feeling?". Dad said that seeing Father Morgan made him think that something had gone terribly wrong. No, Father Morgan was making his rounds, and saw Dad's name on the board. Mind you, Father was 89, and still visiting his old parishoners in the hospital! It wasn't that he was bored in retirement, he loved being a priest, he loved his people, and we all loved him.

When Grandma Gen passed away in 1999, Father Morgan was one of the priests who said the funeral Mass. He preached the homily, and Sarah and I were the altar servers. Before Mass started, Sarah took a huge box of Kleenex and put it next to our chairs. We both needed it. Both Grandma and Father Morgan golfed. He jokingly said that Grandma was at the gates of heaven, asking if the Virgin Mary would like to play a round. He figured that Grandma would win, as the only birdie our Blessed Mother knew was the Holy Spirit.

I looked up to Father Morgan as a model priest and gentleman. When I was discerning a vocation to the priesthood, I decided that if I was called to be a priest, I wanted to be like Father Morgan. One Sunday evening during my senior year of high school, I was asked to serve Mass. I was in confirmation class, and it was our practice to have half of the class, go to evening Mass, and then finish class. When I was asked to serve, we were in a rush. The priest tossed me an alb, the long white vestment that servers wear. Priests wear it under the stole and chasuble. Fr. Green, the priest saying Mass that evening said, "Yeah, you're about Tom Morgan's size, it'll fit.". I thought it was awesome, a sign that maybe I was called to be a priest, serving Mass wearing one of one of my heroes' vestments.

I am rambling a bit. I was planning on taking the boys to meet Father Morgan at his 100th birthday party in August. We will all meet up one day, God willing, it will be a long, long time off.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Opening Day 2009

Giants 10, Brewers 6.

Tomorrow, Randy Johnson starts for the Giants. How weird is it to say that???

Hmmm baby!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Just wait 14 more years...

Two years old is coming quick. Pretty soon Leo's feet will be able to reach the pedals...

For now, they just have to work as a team. Whose turn is it to run the pedals anyway???

Friday, March 13, 2009

MNBS, 4th Sunday of Lent-Yr B

Remember what I wrote when I started this little project over a month ago; that I may not blog all of the MNBSs, or that Alie and I would not be doing it every week. So, here we are, in Lent. I know that not all of the half dozen or so people who read Wheezes is Catholic, so here is the quick version. Lent is a season in the Church's year, consisting of approximately forty days prior to Easter. It begins with Ash Wednesday, this year that was on 25 February. It is the Church's big season of penance and preparation. What are we preparing for? We are preparing to celebrate and commorate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This is celebrated publicly on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter, in 2009, this will be from 9 through 12 April. What are we doing penance for? Penance is an action that shows how a person wishes to be reconciled to God. Penance is not a person trying to earn favor or salvation from God. It is his effort to become closer to God.

We are halfway through this season. The Gospel for the week:
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

This is John 3:14-21. Most of us recognize verse 16; not just what the place kickers aim for after a touchdown. It is essentially the mission statement of Christianity. Why did Christ come into the world? To save it from its sinfulness. Alie said that one of her thoughts for Lent is along these lines: Why did Christ come and suffer? If it was for me, then I should respond by living the best way possible, to work and love as best as I can. If my response to Christ's love is nothing, then what does it matter that he suffered and died for me? My response, too, is that Christ's life, death, and resurrection do not depend on my response to their historical fact. This is not Bishop Berekely asking "Does a tree makes a noise falling if there is no one in the forest to hear it fall?". For myself, knowledge of these events in salvation history cry out for a response to live out a life of love and service. As Christians, our response is to live in the truth, and act. Catholics are called to live out Lent with increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In Christ, we have our model.

Thoughts? I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New photos

For those who are not interested in MNBS, some new photos from today.

Top: Mommy and Joseph during a tickle fest.
Bottom: Leo walking in Daddy's boots.

MNBS, 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Yr B

Hello folks, it is a Tuesday night study this week. Team Snuffin was a little fussy last night.

Fr. Kambitsch's homily on Sunday primarily examined Jesus' leper healing to a desire to unify the Jewish community. The first reading from last week described how lepers were outcast from the community. He extended the unification theme to Abraham Lincoln trying to heal the USA of a leprosy (i.e. slavery) and preserve unity. I took issue with his understanding of history, but it was an interesting tangent, as the last week was the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. Note for reference, the Southern states did not secede because of the Emanicpation Proclamation. The EP was signed in 1863; the Civil War started in 1861. End of tangent.

This week's Gospel: (Mark 2:1-12)
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,
they opened up the roof above him.
After they had broken through,
they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Child, your sins are forgiven."
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
"Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus immediately knew in his mind
what they were thinking to themselves,
so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk?'
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"
—he said to the paralytic,
"I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
He rose, picked up his mat at once,
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

Jesus is comfy at home; he may be having a cup of tea, and the people come. Think Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings. He preaches, someone amazes him with their faith in him, and he heals. At the time, some illnesses were thought to be the result of personal sin. He heals the paralytic interiorly by forgiving him of his sins. Instead of trying to hush up the recently healed, he reveals himself to the scribes, the authorities. Jesus is not just some internant preacher, not just some kind of physician. He is someone who behaves with divine authority, and this is manifested physically in healing.

To me, it seems that Jesus is done with trying to deny who he is. We believe that Jesus has two natures, He is both divine and human. I can imagine that this is his exposure of his divine nature in full. He has embraced his vocation; He has arrived.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday Night Bible Study

One of the most formative things that I did when I was a student at Cal Poly was a bible study during my third year. There were about 15 of us. We were lead by two students, one of whom is now a budding philosophy professor in Texas. The general plan was to read and discuss the Gospel reading for the coming Sunday, and talk about what the priest preached on at Mass the previous day. Quick explanation: in the Catholic Church, the readings for each Sunday, with a few exceptions, are the same across the world. For most Sunday Masses, there are four readings: the First Reading is usually from the Old Testament, there is a Psalm (usually sung), the Second Reading is usually from one of the New Testament letters, and then the Gospel (from one of the four Gospels). If I went to Mass in Tres Pinos, London, Rome, or Barbados, the readings would be the same. The topic and delivery of the homily, or sermon, is entirely up to the priest or deacon preaching. It was interesting to play the "Did Father Mike get our notes or not game".

I was thinking about it the other day, and things like MNBS are some of the things that I really miss about being out of college, and one of the few Catholic "young adults" in the area. Way too old for a youth group, and the few study/discussion groups that the parish puts on are rarely at a conveinient time. So... here's the plan. Alie and I are going to start our own MNBS; a huge group of, well, two. We'll look at the coming week's readings, chat about them, and I'll put up my/our own reflection. Your comments are always welcome.

We will try to do this on Monday evenings. We will see how long this lasts. There may be a hiatus during harvest, or if a Snuffin is sick. I do not pretend to be the pope, or a theologian. While I am a pretty faithful and orthodox Catholic, I do not know it all. If you think that I have something wrong, let me know in the combox. Just be civil; I don't have time to moderate comments.

A few MNBS resources:

The Gospel for the coming week. Get a Bible. I'll post a link to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops site. They have links to each day's readings. Nifty.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Think the Boy Scout Handbook, only for Catholic theology and doctrine. Very handy; lots of references, footnotes, and so forth.

Enough preliminary stuff. Let's get cracking!

Gospel for 15 Feb 2009 (Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time-Year B):
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
"If you wish, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
"I do will it. Be made clean."
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning the him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
He said to him, "See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
(Mark 1:40-45)

The Reflection: Again, Jesus heals someone. In last week's Gospel (Mk 1:29-39) Jesus heals Simon Peter's mother-in-law. He heals someone who was an outcast, a leper. On the healing, the leper believes that Jesus has the power to heal him and asks for healing. Applied to us, how many of us realize that we are broken, need healing, and have the guts to ask someone for help. How many of us recognize that there are people that are capable of helping us?

For Jesus' part, he feels pity for the leper. Doesn't this point to the human part of Jesus' nature; he is both divine and human? He tries to hide his identity, and it fails. He is found out, and the crowds following him are getting bigger and bigger. To a degree, it seems like Jesus is either avoiding his vocation or is a bit scared of the enormity of his mission.

Ok, now you have my $0.02. Let's do this again next week.