Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crisis at Crisis?

Since late July, I've waited patiently for Crisis Magazine (aka InsideCatholic) to come back online.

This simple announcement made it sound like a little French vacation was in the air, and August is busy enough to encourage folks to take some time off.

But summer is over.

I've emailed.

I've tweeted.  Even wrote AmericanPapist, who knows everything and everyone in the Catholic world.


After years of reading the print version and adjusting to the online replacement, I'm feeling like an old friend has left town suddenly without a forwarding address.

Anyone know what happened?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fallible Blogma shoots and scores!

Wow, this says so much in so little time.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 Knights of Columbus dues letter

I serve as the Financial Secretary for my council.  It is the time of the year when we collect our annual dues and fees, which is largely a pain.  But someone has to do it.

I hate the little repetitive forms, and haven't worked out the online system to my liking yet.

Each year, I write a letter to encourage them to respond and avoid the dark consequences of second notices, Knight Alert letters, Form 100s and the required notification of every officer at every level from Supreme, my state, district and local council.

Below is a copy of this year's letter--would you rather get this or the little form?

The Letter

Dear Brother Knights,

It is that time of the year again, and I don’t mean Christmas! 

Yes, it is the season that all Finance Teams across the nation look forward to—when the warmth of money passes our hands and into the coffers of our respective councils. 

I know, I know...we shouldn’t have all the fun. Don’t tell anyone, but I have a way for you to share in the festivities too! 

For only $25 you can help fill the Finance Team’s heart with joy and merriment.
(If you are an Honorary Knight, it is only $17 and Honorary Life…only $7!)

This covers your dues and fees for the coming year. 

What do you get out of it? Why, the services of your Financial Secretary and Treasurer for one. Columbia magazine. Newsletters. Websites. Email. Don’t forget the opportunity to donate your time to the parish picnic, pancake breakfasts, coffee ministries, chicken sales, Scouts, youth group, KOVAR and more.

More, really?

How about a group of like-minded Catholic brothers, united about the common aims of our Church? Prayer, fellowship and a few good laughs along the way. Oh, and meetings.

Where else can you get all of this for only $25?

Just short the collection basket this week, and let’s get those checks in. [OK, that was just a little humor for Father.

Merry Christmas,

Financial Secretary

So, what do you think?  Do you like the little forms?  And does anyone use Paypal for their KOC dues payments?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2009--Final List

OK, the final list is out!

Now go check out 100+ Catholic speakers and (maybe even better) 100+ Catholic blogs!

Go now!  Shoo!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Politics, Religion and Family

Recently, I posted a slightly snarky comment on Facebook regarding "10.2% unemployment" and "change".

My sister responded with her own comment, which is decidedly further left than my own position.  Now Thanksgiving is coming up and, as we do each year, we will all (my brother, my sister and her "partner" and all of our respective children, spouses and grandchildren) converge on my parent's home for the hyper-calorie fest.  There will be ham, turkey, scads of casseroles, a passel of pies and who knows what else to fill 48 hours of family fun.

What won't be there?  Religion and politics.  Oh, I'll be asked to lead the blessing at meals, but that will be my father's token approval of my conversion to the Church.  They aren't an atheistic or agnostic lot, so that helps.  But as long as we don't cross those lines, we all get along just fine.

But when someone steps over the line, they really step into it.

So my new policy, beginning with last year's ode to gluttony, was to reject any efforts to goad me broach these areas.  No politics or religion.  If they have a question, I'll be happy to answer, but I won't debate it or try to convince anyone of anything.  It isn't easy either--both subjects are near and dear to me.

This was a tough call.  My kids love to visit the farm and make plans for "cookie week"--where all of the kids old enough to use the bathroom on their own spend a full week in December making cookies with their grandmother.  My married children bring their kids and share their own joy from childhood.  It is a special time for everyone.

[My folks are 69, so they are still young enough to handle the hustle and bustle.]

So you'd think my parents, siblings and I would be more like-minded.

My brother, divorced forever ago, and his kids come with his grandchild from his daughter, an unwed mom.  My sister and her "partner" bring their boys, two great twin fireballs (anonymous donor, of course).  Both of them represent living "proof" that these modern choices are just "fine".  Everyone is happy.  Everyone is satisfied with where they are in life.

At first I thought that sharing all of this would be too much information, but then I realized that lots of families are like this.  The only one uncomfortable is me.  I'm the only traditional member of my family (out of my parents and siblings) left.  I've been married for 27 years, 8 kids and 5 grandchildren.

I'm trying to let my example speak instead of my words.  But sometimes the roar of silence is deafening.

I extended the policy to Facebook, and probably offended my sister in the process.  I'm not willing to "poison the well" before I get dessert.

How do you handle these things in your extended families?  Am I alone?  Thank goodness we don't have alcohol...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2009--James (Jim) Stenson

First, thanks to Matt Warner at for creating this idea of sharing information on Catholic Speakers as a resource for Catholics.  It is cleverly called "Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2009".

Second, I stumbled across this idea and was surprised--shocked even--to see James Stenson still on the list of speakers without anyone assigned to it.  Then I realized the list said "Jim Stenson" which threw everyone else off.

I was able to attend a session with Mr. Stenson almost a decade ago, and left feeling like great knowledge had been left on my brain.  Seriously.  Not in a headache kind of a way, but in a lightbulb-burning kind of a way.

As a former headmaster, he takes "parent-leadership" seriously.  You only get one chance--ONE--to raise your kids.  No do-overs.  Jim's (I call him Jim--after you attend one of his talks or buy one of his books, you can too) approach is straightforward and thoughtful.  His single goal is to help you bypass the trial-and-error of parenthood and get right to the stuff that works.

His website has a number of folios for you to download for free.  You can even hear hm speak for over 3 hours discussing "Successful Fathers" (3 separate sessions of about an hour each).

I could go on, like the time I realized I'd gotten home without paying him for his book at the conference, and finally over a year later tracked him down and sent the check.  But no need to go there.

Give him a try.  Free listen online, free writing on his website and his contact information:

James B. Stenson
481 Hammond Street
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467
(617) 738-1225

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Laser Monks--worth the truffle of trying

For a short time, LaserMonks is sending truffles with any order of $25 or more.

If you need ink or toner cartridges, new or remanufactured, give them a try.

The free truffle offer is good until tomorrow night--15-16 OCT.

Help the monks, help your self...and then help yourself to a treat.

[Oh, I'm just a customer--I get nothing besides the free truffles with the order I just placed.]