Monday, August 19, 2013

Caught in the act. . .

. . . of pretending to be organized!

Every Monday morning I meet with my manager to go over what I did the week prior and what’s on my agenda for this week. I keep a list of projects I am working on and usually just update it and use that for our discussion.  

At the same time I do that list I also do a personal one. What are some of the things I’d like to get done this week? Many of the things on the list just carry over from week to week. Either those items are things that need to be done regularly or, in most cases, I just haven’t gotten to them. But, ultimately, for me, if I don’t write it down I don’t remember it. I’ve often said, I have a mind like a steel sieve!

But anyways, back to getting caught. I just create my personal to do list in Word, nothing fancy, but I like to add color, either reflecting the weather or liturgical seasons. The color printer in the office is across the hall, so before picking up my printout I stopped and got a cup of coffee.

When I finally made it to the printer there was someone reading my list. Yikes! Not that there is anything personal or embarrassing on it. She looks at me and asks “Just who is this organized? You?”  

Not really, but it certainly looks good!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saint GKC?

As I mentioned earlier, last weekend we went to the GK Chesterton conference that was held at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. The long drive was richly rewarded. We caught up with old friends, made new ones, and saturated our brains with much more than they could possibly hope to comprehend.

There is so much to tell you about the weekend, but since the best bit of news came early on, Friday night at the end of Dale Ahlquist’s opening talk, I guess that’s the best place to start.

For quite a while now, probably ten plus years, the Chesterton Society has been advocating for the sainthood of Chesterton. Apparently the cause needs to be taken up by the home diocese of the person in question. Prior bishops in Northampton did not find reason enough to get involved in this process. That seems to have changed. Dale made this announcement:

"Martin Thompson says that Bishop Peter Doyle 'has given me permission to report that the Bishop of Northampton is sympathetic to our wishes and is seeking a suitable cleric to begin an investigation into the potential for opening a cause for Chesterton.'"
This little nudge may have been just what was needed:

Ahlquist cited Pope Francis’ interest in Chesterton as possibly influencing the bishop of Beaconsfield’s recent move for an investigation.

“One of the reasons that especially motivated him is the fact that His Holiness, Pope Francis, expressed support for Chesterton’s cause when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires,” stated Ahlquist.

A March 10 letter to Martin Thompson, a leader of an English G.K. Chesterton group, from Miguel Angel Espeche Gil, an Argentine ambassador who heads a Chesterton group in Argentina, noted that the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, “encourages us in our aspiration to see the initiation of the cause of Chesterton to the altars.” **

**Read more: here 

To say that those attending the conference were pleased with this news is an understatement. I think we all read GKC for a variety of reasons, but the common thread among those is that he speaks the Truth across the ages. What he wrote a century ago is just as true today.

Many Catholic converts cite GKC as the reason for their entering the church. One of the speakers at the conference, Joseph Pearce, is one such person. Pearce has an amazing story that is just one example of Chesterton’s influence. He was raised in a staunchly anti-Catholic family, was an agnostic neo-fascist as a teen and was imprisoned twice by the time he reached his early twenties. During this time he began reading Chesterton primarily for his views on politics and economics, but eventually found himself reading Chesterton’s arguments on behalf of the Catholic Church and his defense of orthodox Christianity.


God our Father,

You filled the life of your servant Gilbert Keith 
Chesterton with a sense of wonder and joy, and gave
him a faith which was the foundation of his ceaseless
work, a charity towards all men, particularly his
opponents, and a hop which sprang from his lifelong
gratitude for the gift of human life.

May his innocence and his laughter, his constancy in
fighting for the Christian faith in a world losing belief,
his lifelong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and
his love for all men, especially the poor, bring
cheerfulness to those in despair, conviction and warmth
to lukewarm believers and the knowledge of God to
those without faith.

We beg you to grant the favors we ask through his
intercession, [and especially for …] so that his holiness
may be recognized by all and the Church may proclaim
him Blessed.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

3 hours in CT

This past weekend we headed up to Worchester, Massachusetts for the GK Chesterton conference. Not wanting the bother of airports we decided to drive. According to Google Maps it was a 621 mile, nine and a half hour trip. So, we figured, with food and rest breaks, we should make it in about ten hours. Not exactly my favorite thing to do, being in a car for that long, but the destination made it worthwhile.

I am always amazed when I travel to see just how vast our country is. There is so much beautiful, undeveloped land. Driving through Pennsylvania was spectacular. Rolling hills, lush forests and steep stone mountainsides surrounded the highways. Himself was probably getting tired of me pointing out one gorgeous vista after another, but he humored me anyways.  

The small bit of New York state that we drove through provided us with more beautiful sights. The most breathtaking was the Hudson River valley.  
And then we hit Connecticut. At rush hour. What should have been a ninety minute leg of the trip turned into a three hour one! But, driving slowly through Hartford gave us great views of beautiful gold-domed buildings we would have barely been able to glimpse had we been going at full speed. Is Harford the insurance capital of the world? Every direction we looked was another, very large building with some corporate designation as a seller of insurance.

What was funny, at least to me, was once we got out of the 5-mile-per-hour-traffic-jam and onto open roads the traffic moved at a dizzying pace. I was going 70 in a 65 zone and looked like I was standing still! It was like each of the drivers was going “Weeeee…. I’m making up for lost time!!!!”

We breathed a sigh of relief when we crossed over into Massachusetts. We were almost there. But, no, not really. Unfortunately, I programed the wrong address into the GPS. Yep, that's right. Instead of arriving at Assumption College we were at the now closed Worcester Insane Asylum.  

When we finally did arrive at the conference, tired, hungry, and more than a little agitated, we ran into Dale Ahlquist. He asked how our trip was. Himself replied “Well, we spent a day in Connecticut this afternoon!”

"An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered;
an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.”

– GKC, All Things Considered, 1908