My View For Awhile: Challenger Edition

Time to go home after my ordination trip to KC, MO.

During this trip I saw Bp Robert Finn ordain the son of a friend of many years, who was on the staff of the Catholic Forum in Compuserve, back in the days of DOS commands.  Kansas City has several great new priests now.

I promised a boy who reads the blog some food photos.

Here is a sample of from the ordination supper.

Gorgonzola vinaigrette… slightly quirky but engaging. The lardons were made in house.  There could have been a few more… but there is never enough bacon.

Classy.  The filet was as tender has any I have ever had.

For the curious, yes, we had excellent BBQ the evening of the first Mass.

I was able to get around in style this time.  The rental company gave me a Challenger.  Quite a contrast to my daily ride home.  It sounded wonderful and it is as fast as it looks.

The new priest had a distinguished homilist for his first Mass: His Excellency Most Rev. Robert C Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary of Madison!

First Mass.  Special.

His mother made the vestments and he gave the stole he used to hear his first confessions to his father, the manutergium to his mother. Very nice.

I’ll be off again for another ordination in a few days.



 Leg 2 – short stop, hardly time to pause.

I saw a mother dealing with a tyke, probably just at walking age, in a complete meltdown.  From what I saw, the older daughter provoked it. How challenging it must be to travel with small children.

Then they got on my flight.

The flight attendant, at the end of some of the incessant pre-flight chatter, wished us a “‘Happy’ Memorial Day!”.

Is “happy” the tone?

I wonder if most people know what Memorial Day is about.

Judging from the ultracrepidarian prattle on TV you get the impression that those with a vague notion that the holiday involves something military, many don’t know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day (hint: some are no longer alive).

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gerard Plourde says:

    Thanks for your thought-provoking comment about “Happy” Memorial Day. It makes for a truly appropriate subject for meditiation for today.

    I just read an article online from the L.A. Times on the low pecentage of the population entering military service. One of the questions asked was whether the esteem accorded military members today disguises relief that they don’t personally have to serve or have the anxiety attached having a relative in harm’s way. I’m of two minds concerning this. While universal conscription may have given a broader sense of participation to the country, it also meant that unit cohesion was sometimes sacrificed. At the same time, the lack of engagement also engenders a lack of knowledge and understanding of the issues concerning our nation’s use of its military power, which can be troubling in a representative democracy such as ours. Added to the mix is my personal journey – I reached military age at the end of the Vietnam conflict (I sought its end) and did not serve but now have “skin in the game” as our son has chosen to do an ROTC/SMP program with National Guard service as an integral part of his career plan (we fully support his choice). Knowing that we as humans (this goes for the nation as well) often want what may not be objectively good or holy, in the end I guess we have to rely on the long standing Catholic saying (mantra?) “Act as if everything depends on your effort and pray humbly, knowing that your effort is fully subject to God’s loving and omniscient Plan.”

    Thank you for having all military families among your Mass intentions.

  2. Chuck says:

    As Memorial Day was mentioned I figured I would share what I posted yesterday on FB and due to my settings most won’t see it which fine, but in this case…

    I was fortunate to have served when I did and did not have to witness the death of friends and comrades due to combat; although as a submariner I am very cognizant of the Thresher, Scorpion and Bonefish and how perilously close we were/are to death.

    A friend and colleague at work had his two sons serve in the Army post-9/11 in Iraq, and the youngest still carries a cross I am fortunate not to have to bear.

    To those who have served who lost their lives in service, to those who succumbed to their visible and/or invisible injuries later, and to those who still suffer, including their families and loved ones, I salute you.

    Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

  3. NoraLee9 says:

    My brother Dana and my brother-in-law John both served in Vietnam. I call both on Memorial Day to congratulate then that we celebrate them in November and not today….

  4. jflare says:

    “The flight attendant, at the end of some of the incessant pre-flight chatter, wished us a “‘Happy’ Memorial Day!”.
    Is “happy” the tone?”

    No, it’s not, but in that particular context, that’s about as close to the appropriate tone as you’ll likely get. I would think that “Blessed”, “Thankful”, “Thoughtful”, or even “Holy” might be more appropriate, but those are also terms that a commercial airline…can’t really use.
    If someone used those kinds of terms instead, some secular-minded group would almost certainly cry foul about separation of Church and State or raise some other drivel.

    I recall last year, one fellow in this area threatened to file suit against a local municipality last year. He was offended that, in the course of the town’s official observance of Memorial Day, the town’s mayor had either invoked God’s grace or referred to the existence of God. According to this fellow, such an utterance violated his rights because it didn’t honor Church/State separation.

    I don’t remember if the man understood anything else about Memorial Day, but he definitely didn’t care. Suffice to say, we have a large number of very thin-skinned people about these days.

  5. Mike says:

    1. May Almighty God bless faithful Bishop Finn, and may His grace — especially as administered via the Sacraments by His newest priests — turn all our hearts to Him.

    2. It is heartening to learn that you enjoyed the Challenger, but it is still Mopar, with which I have had too many letdowns over the years, so I ain’t buyin’.

    3. Disrespect for Memorial Day is nothing new. It was, for the most part, a picnic day (ice cream and all) when I was growing up in the 1970s. Some of us have since been taught better; others, apparently, not.

  6. SanSan says:

    God bless mothers everywhere…..especially during airline travel…….Attended a very special memorial day Mass in Half Moon Bay, Ca at Our Lady of the Pillar cementary…..the celebrant is exceptional……most reverant with Our Blessed Lord……the homily was excellent……he spoke of the Holy Spirits gift of fortitude….and how our brave men and women who gave their lives, had fortitude and a willingness to lay down their lives for their fellow man–and not just those in war, but persecuted Christians everywhere and those in uniform who protect us day in and day out (police, fireman, etc)…..

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Mike – Actually, picnics on “Decoration Day” (the original name of Memorial Day) were an integral part of a lot of the early forms of the memorial day. You went out to the cemetery, decorated the graves of the Civil War dead, and had a picnic lunch in the Veterans’ Home landscaped grounds, because the new Veterans’ Home cemetery was sometimes pretty far outside town.

    An organized holiday was first declared by the Grand Army of the Republic (a Union veterans’ organization) for May 30, 1868. It was inspired by a report about “the women of Columbus, Mississippi” putting flowers on the graves of both Northern and Southern soldiers, which had inspired many people throughout the US to do likewise. The holiday was funerary, but it was also one of being happy that the US was no longer at war with itself, even if it was in the context of letting old grievances go and just mourning the dead together.

    So the ice cream is still about “Yay, we aren’t having a civil war,” even when we are saddest about our most recent military dead.

  8. Matt Robare says:

    A “Happy Memorial Day” is hardly the worst thing to say in the world.

    My mother’s side of the family is almost completely secularized Jewish one and a cradle Catholic friend, remembering that I was technically Jewish if completely nonobservant and in RCIA at the time, wished me a “Happy Yom Kippur” once.

    I’m pretty sure someone wished me a “Happy Good Friday”, too.

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool . . .”

  9. Auggie says:

    My father and uncle were veterans… may their memories be eternal!

    And Fr. Z, I like the idea of priests driving Chargers… like knights into battle.

  10. Chuck,
    As a fellow former submariner from 1972-1976 (STS1[SS]-USS Scamp, USS Patrick Henry, and USS Ethan Allen) and subsequently commissioned as a Naval Oceanographer,) I share your sense of gratitude in having served during a time of relative peace, and add my prayers to yours for those who gave their lives in service.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer, LCDR, USN (ret.)

  11. gramma10 says:

    A favorite priest here at “Our Lady of Hope” in VA, an ex Anglican bishop and now a Catholic priest in the Ordinariate of St. Peter—-has been presiding here at the 5 pm mass (Anglican use) for 3 years. He is married with a few grown kids and several grandchildren. He has brought many blessings to us and our area.
    He was just re assigned to “Our Lady of Hope” in Kansas City Mo where two of his grown kids and 8 grandchildren live. Also where he also lived in his earlier life.
    We had the last mass of this type yesterday and said farewell very sadly. The headquarters are now centered in DC.
    The prayers in the Divine Liturgy are so very beautiful. It is Catholic now due to Pope Benedict welcoming them in. I am sure you all know more about this than I do.
    Just sharing a little about KC MO. I have never been there!

  12. Adeodata says:

    I was quite excited to learn that you were attending the ordination in Kansas City. I know one of the other seminarians who was also ordained Rev. Bryan Amthor. He was a classmate of my son at Conception Seminary College and a roommate of his when they took jobs working for World’s of Fun one summer.

  13. benedetta says:

    It must be so rewarding to you in the life of your vocation as a priest to be able to participate in these occasions, Father.

  14. It is indeed gratifying and consoling.

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