Thursday, June 28, 2007

What I am reading on vacation ...

Never read anything by Walter Macken before, but he is a favorite of one of my sisters. (We have "Seek the Fair Land" by him about Cromwell's persecution in Ireland-but I have never read it.) This one (The Scorching Wind) is about the rising (in Ireland) in 1916. All are historical novels. So far my judgement is good. I will be reading the others when this one is done.

We are in the Berkshires at my in-laws. I am nursing what appears to be a case of gout (a new thing for me.) I can see how a writer may want to have a retreat out here. It is peaceful and quiet (and while hot-it cools down at night, unlike SC).

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Monday we went to the Immaculate Conception Shrine in Washington DC and then on to the Franciscan Monastery down the street. I always like the latter better. My mother used to play on those grounds as a child and I believe my Grandfather is buried on the grounds. Both were a bit of a disappointment this year. We missed the last tour and therefore the catacombs at the Franciscan Monastery. Both had construction going on and both gift shops were closed. We got to the Monastery too late to enjoy the grounds either. But did see some wonderful statues and altars (I like the classic Franciscan Monastery works better than the more modern statutes at the Shrine.) And we got to pray.

Mrs. Curley and I barely navigated the city (once with the timely help of a truck driver I cut off trying to make an exit I missed) as we went in on a whim as we passed through.

Now we are in MA visiting family. My mom's 75th birthday party is this coming weekend. Will post as I have the chance.

By the way, the pictures are a dome painting from the Immaculate Conception Shrine and the Calvary Altar at the Franciscan Monastery.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We are on the road, now at my sister's place with a dial-up connection, so I will make this quick for the moment. I present two quotes, but must warn readers-especially if you are mentioned in the quote, they are out of context-but too hilarious to pass by.

From Mrs. Curley on why she didn't avail herself of the sacrament of confession at the Franciscan Monastery:

"I wanted to wait to go to confession until after our visit at my parent's house."

And another gem from Mrs. Curley after spending some time in prayer at the same Franciscan Monastery:

"I told God, 'You're a hoot'! (context unknown)

Adventures are abounding; will give details sometime soon.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Read this post from The Deliberate Agrarian- especially the first part. After reading Mr. Kimball's blog for the past year or so, I think he and I have a lot in common and see life through some of the same eyes. Mr. Culbreath one time mentioned that Mr. Kimball would make a good Catholic. I certainly agree-and realize that he is closer than he thinks.

Remember our deal a couple posts below in honor of the just past feast of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More. Don't pass up an offer this good!

Posts may be scarce or short the next couple days as I will be out and about a bit. (Details later.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Praised be to God

The body of Joshua Dorchak was found and lifted from the water at Lake Jocasse today at around noon. (hat tip to the anonymous commenter below.) See more details here & here

more More

Another Holbein portrait on the left. At Chelsea below.

Remember the great deal at Requiem Press detailed in the post below in honor of today's feast.

St. John Fisher, ora pro nobis!

St. Thomas More-ora pro nobis!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

For the feast of Sts. Thomas More & John Fisher

As mentioned in the post below, tomorrow is the feast of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More-the latter of which is one of my favorites and inspirations. Therefore, starting tonight and through the 4th of July, Requiem Press is offering "Witnesses to the Holy Mass and other sermons" (see short reviews below) at an unprecedented discount of $4.00 plus $1.50 S&H (which by the way, doesn't cover the S&H). This book is about Cardinal John Fisher and Sir Thomas More and other martyrs for the Mass, for Papal supremacy, and the Faith of our fathers. If you haven't read it, get it for yourself. If you have, get it for a friend. It is a book which will inspire and recharge your spiritual life. Here's a couple quick reviews:

Witnesses is an extraordinary book about love and sacrifice for the Eucharist! Reading it will inspire a greater devotion to the Catholic faith, especially the Mass. Once I began reading, I couldn’t put it down. Once I finished, I couldn¹t wait to share it with others… Having read the book, I feel a greater desire to defend my faith even unto death. Thank you!- Dede Laugesen, Director, Holy Baby! DVDs and President, The Rosary Project-

"The gripping stories recounted will inspire not only a devotion to these saints, but also a renewed passion for the holy Mass that these holy men and woment shed their blood to preserve." - The Catholic Answer-March/April 2005

So you see, it is a book you have to have. Spread the word!


Finally, let us not forget to continue our prayers for the Dorchak family. A funeral Mass will be said for Joshua later this week. Details here.

Oremus pro invicem!

Don't have much time this morning, but will let you in on a preview of what is coming....

Tomorrow, June 22nd, is one of my favorite saint feasts in the year-Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More. In their honor Requiem Press will have an internet only special on for the next week-which I will get on the website and announce later today-so check back.

We have planned to release a short sketch (reprint of a work never published on this side of the pond) of St. Thomas More this summer. It is a little behind schedule, but God-willing may make an appearance before the fall.

Just to get us in the mood for this feast, here is a sketch Thomas More's family (Holbein). Quite appropriate as he is the patron of large families-among other things.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A good thing to remember ...

Found at The Curt Jester

Our “success” or “failure” as a parish is not measured by how we feel or how much money we raise or how many activities we can arrange. The true success of all our endeavours in the Church will be measured by how many of us are saved and go to heaven. A consequence of this view of “success” in a parish is that all our activities should be directed towards this final end. (Read the rest of Fr. Tim Finigan's homily here .)

The Curt Jester follows this up later with a post on parish mission statements. I think he is right on as to the origin and usefulness (in most cases) of these things-especially when it concerns a parish.

Changing topics, read this on what a true Christian culture may look like in practice:

Let’s have a little fantasy, shall we? Suppose that the city fathers decided to declare St. Isidore the city’s patron saint and to have a city-wide festival in his honor on the 15th of May. The day would begin with a Mass attended by all the city dignitaries. Then a solemn procession with St. Isidore’s statue from the parish church to the steps of city hall. The mayor would dress as St. Isidore and his wife as St. Mary la Cabeza and they would publicly thank St. Isidore for his patronage. A priest would then ascend the steps of city hall and invoke the saint’s intercession in securing God’s blessing over the town and, especially, the city government in the persons of the mayor and his cabinet.

This followed by games, dancing, feasting, merriment - the works.

Okay, so we can't have this in most places...but we can put a Catholic culture in the face of the secular. Parishes and even groups of Catholic families can have these celebrations in the public square. Culture will be transformed through God's grace working through the striving for personal holiness and the domestic Church. So gather with friends and family and parish-pray the rosary and march in the streets to honor our Blessed Mother, the feast of Corpus Christi (these processions are making a comeback), St. Thomas More (feast coming up) or as above-St. Isadore. Put it in your heart and then take it to the streets.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tonight's Dinner

Update: It was good! We grilled the rabbit-basting it with a garlic/butter sauce. Our neighbor had just brought over some squash, so Mrs. Curley made a baked squash casserole to go with the potatoes and rabbit. Everyone enjoyed it. (I marinated it overnight in beer with a little water and salt.) One down, two to go. We will probably cook the next one differently, but we'll see.

Last evening, number one son and I finally did what we should have done several months ago-we butchered our remaining rabbits. As avid readers of this blog (ha! ha!-I must humor myself) may recall, we tried unsuccessfully to raise rabbits. Our particular does all made poor mothers. Several months ago our buck died after choking on a carrot. (You see how our luck goes in these things.) So really, we had no purpose to keep the does hanging around, but time (or rather my lack thereof) delayed their demise-until yesterday.

Actually the process is pretty easy once you know what you are doing. The first one took us a while to dress (paunch), but that was because I was too cautious with the knife. The second and third went like clockwork-actually easier to clean than chickens.

I used John Seymour's "The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It" as my guide for skinning and butchering.

Tonight we will eat some rabbit and see how we like it. If we do, I (and my Henry .22) will put some more on the table in the fall when rabbit season opens.

Now we need to figure out how to dry and use the rabbit fur....Stay tuned.

Finally, continue to keep the Dorchak family in your prayers, and see if you can help out in their search to recover their son. See here and here for updates and how you can help.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 18, 2007

this is later ...

Had family in last week for the Confirmation. It was great catching up on family news. I do have a couple topics to write on, but it will be a few days as I have some catching up to do with some of the other work I am doing to keep the food on the table here.

Also must decide within the next day or two whether to take another job for the fall which will once again take me away from home (and away from needed attention to Requiem Press.) Please pray we will decide according to the will of God.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Come Holy Spirit ...

Two sons were confirmed last night along with our CCD class in an absolutely beautiful Catholic Mass by the Most Reverand Robert J Baker STD.

Had dinner with our pastor and Bishop Baker before Mass. We discussed many topics including the recent sad events at Lake Jocasse and Requiem Press.

Much to do today. Will check in later.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I know I have not written a proper post in some time. I have been so busy doing things, I haven't had time to write about them. We've been planting, fixing cars, replacing window sills, putting new bathroom floors in, taking 'care of' wild dogs, as well as getting some consulting work done, going on job interviews, and doing work for Requiem Press.

Most importantly, we are getting ready for Confirmation of two sons and our CCD class.

Several times I have considered going on a "formal" blogfast as I sort everything out. Big decisions to make this week once Confirmation is over.

In the meantime, I will leave you all with #475 from The Way:

You realize you are weak. And so, indeed you are. In spite of all that-rather, because of it-God has sought you. He always uses inadequate instruments so that the work may be seen to be his. From you he asks only docility.

Oremus pro invicem!

PS-Remember prayers.... The search for Joshua continues.

Monday, June 11, 2007

So our faith must be living-a faith which makes us really believe in God and keep up a continuous conversation with him. A Christian life should be one of constant prayer, trying to live in the presence of God from morning to night and from night to morning. A Christian can never be a lonely man, since he lives in continual contact with God, who is both near us and in Heaven. (from Christ is Passing By - St. Josemaria Escriva)

I especially like that last line: "A Christian can never be a lonely man"

Prayers still needed: The search for Joshua Dorchak is still ongoing.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Prayers Please ....

Further Update: They haven't found Joshua yet. Here is an updated story from Channel 7 news in Greenville. Please continue to pray for the Dorchak family:

A three year old boy and the sailboat he was on with his father are still missing on Lake Jocassee this afternoon. Search efforts continue, with searchers using underwater sonar to locate the boat and victim.

James Dorchak of Greer was with his son, Joshua, on the sailboat his son called "Pooh Bear" yesterday afternoon when the boat capsized and went underwater. Rescue workers were able to rescue James, but Joshua's lifejacket became tangled up in the boat's rigging, dragging him under. The incident took place about 2:00pm on Friday.

A family spokesman told News Channel 7 this afternoon that James and Joshua sailed on "Pooh Bear" almost weekly, and all was fine until the weather turned bad. James Dorchak served in the Navy and was an experienced sailor and swimmer. The family is setting up a memorial fund in Joshua's name at Greer State Bank.

Oconee County Rescue Squads and Dive Team joined the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in the search, and a crew from the sheriff's office in Charleston is on scene with the with sonar equipment.

Rodney Burdette of the Oconee County Emergency Management Agency says they're not exactly sure, but believe the boat flipped over because of high winds due to a storm moving through at the time of the accident. Burdette says because of the lake's location, storms form quickly, and can overwhelm even experience boaters.

Officials say the water in the area where the boat sank is 100 feet deep with a slope that goes down to 400 feet, making the search effort difficult.

Update: No news on the 3-year-old boy. The divers are being pulled from the water due to thunder storms. Continue to pray for the family. They are a good family. Mother is pregnant. A priest has come and they are surrounded by friends.

We were supposed to go to the SC/GA Catholic homeschoolers jamboree campout out at Devils Fork State Park this weekend. We cancelled at the last moment.

There is an ongoing crisis there...From the local news in Greenville:

OCONEE COUNTY, S.C.-- A 3-year-old boy went missing in a lake on the Oconee-Pickens County line after a boat he and his father were in overturned.

Investigators said around 2 p.m. Friday a father and son launched their sailboat near Devil's Fork Landing on Lake Jocassee. While sailing, a gust of wind flipped the boat over.

Both the father and the son were wearing life jackets. The boy's life jacket got caught on the boat riggings, investigators said.

The father frantically continued looking for his son while his boat sank, according to investigators.

Dive teams and other rescue crews were called to the scene and were searching for the missing boy.

We have talked to a couple people up there and the seach for the boy is ongoing. We know the family. Please pray for them.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Garden Report

Planting was a little late here (some is still ongoing), but fortunately so as we had a cold spring with some late frosts. In fact we probably won't get peaches this year because we didn't cover the peach tree.

Tomatoes (and should have plenty) are looking good. We may over-fertilized the peppers, we shall see. Two crops which should be going gangbusters are not doing well: cucumber and zuccinni. We had trouble with both last year too.

We also have some corn growing quite well. Number one son planted a bunch of radishes and sunflowers yesterday. We will be planing beans also this week.

Don't know what we are going to do with the radishes, but we had seeds and plenty of room. I told Mrs. Curley that if need be we will be radish farmers if we can't get anything else to grow. Radishes are great confidence builders and give immediate (25 days) satisfaction. (By the way, if anyone knows some good recipes, sauces, or uses for radishes, let us know. I think we are going to have alot of them.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

An ex-Jesuit seminarian, ex-Christian writes:

No man will want to go to heaven if heaven is a place where we have to stand on needle-points before the Universal Emperor. Which soldier would like to always be in the presence of his commanding officer?

John Senior (in The Death of Christian Culture) replies:

The answer is, of course, the good soldier, and certainly the Jesuit soldier of Christ - custody of the heart, as St. Ignatius explains, is precisely standing, "always in the presence" of the Universal Emperor.

And to which I might add that the ex-seminarian seems to have a distorted view of God and fatherhood in general.

Monday, June 04, 2007

This is a test

Funny thing, my post this morning was very short-noting the addition of a couple links, etc. Blogger said it posted, but it didn't show up on my computer at home (nor did the added links.) Yet on the computer at school I saw both the links and the post. Home tonight-no links, no post. So I am trying this test to see if it comes through.

A couple new links (finally) on the sidebar. I'm sure I have forgotten one.

I have one more final exam to give today, and then I am basically free except for a couple administration type things. It has been an interesting year.... It is enough to say, my experiences this year confirm our decision to homeschool.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

John Senior (may his soul rest in peace) has been quoted here at Bethune Catholic before, and recently has been quoted frequently on Stoney Creek Digest and Catholic Restorationists. Mostly he is quoted from his classic "Restoration of Christian Culture." But he wrote another book, less popular, but so far in my reading (I have it on loan), just as quoteable: "The Death of Christian Culture"(1978). Here is a sample:

But the chilling truth is that industriaism brings on a paralyzing gluttonny and greed in which the qualifity of life is quantified. Paradoxically, you cannot afford children in the affluent society. The world has never been so rich and wretched as in these air-conditioned Edens where another child would sap the payments on a second car. There is no population bomb today. Quite the opposite: the question is whether industrialized society can reproduce itself at all.

Just a few pages later, Dr. Senior writes:

According to this view [Keynes], all men will be happy and good only when all men are rich..... Boethius, awaiting execution in a cell under orders from the barbarian dictator, Theodoric, reflected on the enormously gross product of his empire and concluded that the satisfaction of desire would better be achieved by wanting less.....Wars are caused not by poor nations but by rich ones; and the greatest crimes are not the consequence of slums but quite the reverse: slums are caused by the genteel criminality that lurks in country clubs and yahts.

More to come... Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 01, 2007

I am not really back to posting yet really. I just wanted to note a couple things. First, Catholic Rrestorationists is discussing some important things in a great way. Wish I had written some of the things going on over there on Liturgy, Home Enthronement, Catholic view of government. I have wanted to comment on many items over there but haven't for lack of time.

Am behind on responding to emails and many other things. Hopefully I will catch up in the next week. School is over for me on Tuesday or Wednesday. Confirmation at our parish (Mrs. Curley & I are the instructors of this class) is another week or so away. So soon....

Never had so many things to write about and so little time.

Oremus pro invicem!