Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend Notes

A neighbor up the road (one of the boys' egg customers) has a barn full of old cow manure he offered to us. So I brought the pick-up truck and few boys us there. He showed us the manure. I thought it may make one truckload. After filling the truck, I looked back. It didn't look like we even touched it. I figure at least 5-10 more truck loads.

My two oldest sons got their first job starting this week. They are picking okra for a local farmer two mornings a week.

I was talking to this same farmer on Sunday. He told me that I had poor land to grow anything on when I asked his opinion about our garden problems. He suggested peas.

Oremus pro invicem!

Now reading ....

Maria by Maria von Trapp. (borrowed from the parish library.) This is different from The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, also by Maria von Trapp. The latter covers just the period of her meeting the von Trapps to her first few years in America. The book I am reading now starts with her childhood and ends ... well, I am not there yet.

Here she is arriving at the convent-just weeks after her reconversion to Catholicism, and determined to give her life back to God in thanks for what He has done for her.

... in came a small frail nun with ... the kindest eyes that have ever looked at me.

After searching for a moment, a very dear voice said, "What can I do for you, my child?"

Now here I was straight from the glaciers, brown as milk chocolate. Over my left shoulder I still had the coil of ropes. On my back I had a very heavy knapsack. In my right hand I had an ice pick with which I stood like Napoleon, pronouncing, "I have come to stay!"

The meek and mild voice inquired, "Has somebody sent you, my child?"

I reared up to my five feet seven and a half inches and said, "Ha, if anybody had sent me, I wouldn't be here. I haven't obeyed anybody yet."

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chicken talk

We ordered more day-old chicks from the hatchery a few nights ago. We have had very good experiences with one hatchery, but we are trying a new one in Ohio as their guarantee is the same, but their prices are about 30% lower and shipping 50% lower.

Our laying hens have are down to 50% or less in this heat this past week. We have 8 Plymouth Barred Rocks who are only laying at 25% and the 16 or so Golden Buff Orpingtons who are laying at about 50%. The boys' egg business is suffering.

When we had Rhode Island Reds a couple years ago, they were laying at 95% laying right through the summer-so we are going back to them for next year. We will keep some of this year's hens next year for at the least the spring-but when they tail off, they will hit the pot.

For the first time we have ordered some meat birds: Cornish Rock X's. In 6-7 weeks they are supposed to be ready (at 4lbs) for the pot, and 7-8 lbs if you wait a couple more weeks. We'll see how this goes. It would be nice to have all the chicken and pork we could want in the freezer for the winter by September!

We have never seriously tried to hatch our own eggs before, but we may give it a whirl (most of our hens have no interest, so we may have to invest in an incubator.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The last two days have been completely discombobulated-few things planned have gone as planned; but the most important things were accomplished today: Mass and Confession.


I read an article a few days ago (online) about just war, politics, etc. I thought it was well-written and made some great points. In fact I almost quoted a line or two here.

This article had numerous comments-many critical. Some points had at least some validity, but some were just unfair. A 1,500 word essay cannot cover everything. For example, all articles criticizing John McCain don't have to have a disclaimer saying Barack Obama is worse.

Also, there is so much immediacy to online articles. Comments are sometime generated with little thought or reflection-especially if the article is from a source you trust but is critical of one of your long-held cultural opinions (not about Faith of Morals). Reflection and research should precede comments-unless the comments are really a way of discussing and questioning to find the truth and not just knee-jerk reactions. Yet on the Internet, the article is long gone by the time reflection is given its time to work.

One of my problems in writing, is that I have trouble finishing an essay I can be totally pleased with, as I try to go back and cover every contingency. So goes I guess the life of a columnist-and to think that I had ambitions of being one at one time long ago...


I hear that Aquinas and More Catholic Goods is having a special section of goods for the Pauline year. Check it out.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A new excerpt up at ....

Bullet dodged

We heat with propane. I have been meaning to call to at least partially fill out tank (which is about empty) during the summer, because you know the price will rise in the fall when heating season is upon us. Mrs. Curley prompted me to call today.

Good thing I did. The price today was $2.15/gal; but Monday the price is going up... to $3.37/gal. You know what I did!

Thank God for Mrs. Curley!

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

On the road again this morning, I heard something from a (generally) not-so-favorite commentator Frank Deford which sounded very similar to something else I had read recently...

Mr. Deford commented:

During summers back home, we improvised at games. People who are either Depression Babies or War Babies always boast about how they just went out and played stuff, without any supervision.

It was the Baby Boomers who started getting all kinds of organized sports in the summer — Little League and what-have-you. The Boomers needed parents to drive them places and coaches to coach them.

And he goes on about how summer camp specialization and organization of activities has reached new heights. While the purpose is different, it certainly reminded me of a portion of the Chapter IV installment at The Distributist Review :

When I was a boy in New York City, we lived in an old brownstone apartment on Manhattan’s west side. We did not have a car; nobody on our street did. However,for 15 cents we could buy a subway token, and for that fee the cultural and recreational wealth of New York City was ours, even as small children. My brother and I loved to go to the American Museum of Natural History to see the great skeleton of Tyrannosaurus Rex that dominated the lobby, or the great blue whale that hung in the basement. Or we would go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and see the armor exhibit, with knights in shining armor mounted on steeds covered in steel plate, lances lowered so that, when you entered the room, they looked like they were charging directly at you. Or for the same fee, we could go to the beaches at Coney Island or Far Rockaway. We were indeed men of the world at the age of seven. But mostly, we were independent; we were free. It was a poor neighborhood, but we were rich in cultural and recreational resources. By contrast, my children grew up in an affluent suburb in Texas. Everybody on the street had at least two cars, but my children had very little transportation. The means of transport were not available to them independently, and hence parents and children were bound together in a relationship similar to that of a lord and his chauffeur; both children and parents lost some of their freedom. It was perhaps good that there were so few places to go, and that the major cultural resources were the mall and the movie theater.

In one case, there was a scarcity of means and an abundance of ends (transportation), and in the other an abundance of means and a scarcity of ends. In one case, cars were scarce and transportation abundant, and in the other cars were abundant and transportation scarce.

Looking back at my own childhood summers, those times spent at home playing in the neighborhood and with my siblings (I remember one summer my sister and I spent almost every day setting up an Indian tent and carving sticks and collecting nuts "for the winter" and learning Indian sign language) were much more magical than the two weeks I spent at a summer camp in NH a couple years.

Now, we don't live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, or in a town with lots of organized activities. I am grateful for this based on the trends I saw when we were living in the city and did have occasion to witness parent behavior at some of the "organized opportunities".

Our kids pretty much fend for themselves in the outdoors, and I daresay get more exercise in the outdoors than many others of their contemporaries. They make their own bows and arrows (and their own stretchers) and hike in the wide areas which surround us (at least when it's not hunting season.)

When they get together with friends (mostly found through our parish community), it is often in a get-together of families; but even then, the games just happen without the parents micro-managing everything (although sometimes we do organize, but then most often we are also participants, not managers). They are learning far more than they are aware of-and having more fun.

Whenever I start thinking that maybe I should feel guilty about denying them Little League or ballet lessons, etc, I think of the stories they tell of their own (mis)adventures with their siblings and friends, and rest knowing these would not happen if we spent every day carting them to next "opportunity". (I don't mean to say all organized sports/clubs/lessons/etc. are to be avoided. But it is better to err on the side of less than to err on the side of more; and that for us, who have a scarcity of means, has not resulted in a scarcity of ends.)

Oremus pro invicem!

More from The Distibutist Review, this time on another interest of mine: patents. Read on:

A good portion of our health care problems can be traced to the current system of patents. But the problem is not just with drugs; patents spread monopoly pricing throughout the economy in many areas. Wherever you see a product with a patent, you are probably looking at at least some economic inefficiency in the pricing of that product.

and from earlier in the post:

The problem with patents, however, is that they create monopolies and spread economic inefficiency throughout the economy. Further, they are not necessary for funding new inventions. They could easily be replaced with licenses. Inventors could be required to license their ideas to however (I think this should be whoever - JC) can pay the license fee and meet the manufacturing standards required for the product. This means that the inventor will receive a proper revenue stream to fund new discoveries, while providing multiple firms the right to make the product and thereby eliminate monopoly pricing while encouraging competition.

I really haven't thought much about how patents contribute or discourage a Distributist economy. Here's my initial thoughts on the licensing proposal above: At first I had this question: I thought a tenet of Distributism was that ownership/capital and production should be (as much as possible) in the same hands. That being said, let's see if I can answer my own question: The inventor is in the business of inventing-he owns his business and derives his income from selling his product (licenses to his invention.) The licensee, is owner and manufacturer-so the criteria is met (as long as the licensee/manufacturer is operating on good distributist prinicples).

Now, does this violate the subsidiarity principle-that the government is unnecessarily regulating what or how a owner (inventor) sells his product?

I must think about that-any input is welcome! (I have asked this in the comment box at the original post, so I'll update this if I get a good answer there.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Couple Notes

I planted radishes today where the carrots were and in a couple other places where the original plantings didn't take well. I know radishes can be pithy in hot weather, but I am not concerned. The radishes will go to the chickens and the greens to the goats (who love them.)

I know I can grow radishes and turnips-if that's it for now, its okay. If I grow enough, we can use them for the animals and cut the feed bill. Both grow well here, so do what works. (See I learn slowly, but I do learn.) We can always buy our vegetables for our own consumption at the farmer's market until we figure it out for ourselves.


Over at the The Distributist Review, John Medaille is putting (or writing) the rough draft of his prospective book entitled The Political Economy of Distributism up. Right now he has up to Chapter IV posted. This morning I read this interesting and true statement:

It is no accident that as the force of custom and virtue diminishes, the role of law—and lawyers—increases. So too does the role of politics and bureaucracies...

First we saw virtue diminish in practice, now its demise being codified.

Oremus pro invicem!

Some Pictures

We finally got some film developed. Here's a couple pictures of my kids with a couple of the milk goats. We have 3 nannies and 4 kids (2 little nannies, our buck-to-be, and a wether we will be putting to the pot or bbq soon.)

The first picture, a few of my kids with our buck-to-be: Bambi.

The next, son with Bambi's mother: Gertrude. (Note the socks; typical around here for some reason.)

And finally an unrelated picture, but too good to let pass. Two sons demonstrating emergency field stretcher techniques on younger brother. (They tried to move me in it, but one of the poles broke.)

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Weekend

We lost a kitten and a goat on Sunday. Our cat had a litter a few weeks ago. The runt wasn't getting any bigger and was losing the fight against his sisters for nursing time and space. We did what we could, but it was inevitable.

The goat (Obama) is a greater loss. He was one of the originals, just obtained to clear some land and hit the pot. He had been sluggish the past few days and not too interested in food. We tried to deworm him (pellets) but he would have none of it. Saturday he seemed to have a bit more energy, but sometime on Sunday afternoon he died.

His sister Hilary seems okay, and took some dewormer, but we will watch closely. Their mother is clearly unaffected.

When we were burying Obama, my youngest son came over and commented, "Dad, I remember when we used to sing songs when we buried an animal. I guess Obama is getting a pagan funeral."


Arrived in the mail: Catholic Men's Quarterly. Some pretty good stuff inside. Here's a quote from an article on St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

When he would enter a town to preach the excellence of the monastic life, mothers locked their sons in the root cellar, lest they be deprived of grandchildren. Not all were successful. One of these youths locked in a dark basement, who heard the persuasive preaching of the saint was Bernard Pignatelli; he would become B. Eugenious III, the first Cistercian Pope.


Thomas More and John Fisher has an "uncelebrated" (due to its appearance on Sunday) feast day yesterday. However, the Curley's celebrated by getting donuts after Mass.

For more on More, go here , or see some of my previous posts on this great saint, among them this one.

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

2 Notes

Harvested my carrots yesterday. Not many-but I didn't plant many.

We have a new excerpt up on Requiem Reader .

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 20, 2008

From Mr. Culbreath's End of America:

But the most important thing is to get one’s spiritual life in order. Go to confession. Love your neighbors. Make war on your habitual sins. Increase your devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist. Increase your devotion to Our Blessed Lady. Do penance, for yourself and for others. The world may seem hopeless, but there is one thing that can turn it all around: a harvest of saints.

And then from the comment boxes of same post:

What’s the unifier for all of these great empires? A sense of purpose outside of one’s self. What was the downfall? Personal decadence.

Through all of those empires, what has lasted? The Catholic Church. It’s “out of fashion”, “not with the times”, “inconvenient”, and a host of other names not PG-rated. But really, does it matter? If we are God’s personal Eternal Church, did we really expect that we’ll ever be “trendy or contemporary?” The longer I live, the more I think that we won’t be.

I guess the tricky part is how much suffering will God call on us to be witness to or experience. I guess we can pray that that particular cup can pass us by, but until then I really think that we should be preparing ourselves and our loved ones for being “Extremely Unfashionable.” Whatever that might entail.

In good times or bad, the program is the same-prayer, personal holiness, etc. , because Christ is the same (yesterday, today and forever.)

Thomas More is said to have advised is children (from Roper's life):

"It is now no mastery for you children to go to heaven. For everybody giveth you good counsel, everybody giveth you good example. You see virtue rewarded, and vice punished, so that you are carried up to heaven even by the chins. But if you live in the time, that no man will give you good counsel, nor no man will give you good example, when you shall see virtue punished, and vice rewarded, if you will then stand fast, and firmly stick to God upon pain of life, if you be but half good, God will allow you for whole good."

Thus if these latter times spoken of by St. Thomas are here, as they seem to be, then just maybe I have a chance.... It seems to me I grew up in the former times (even if the world was crazy in the 60's and 70's, my familial and immediate community were virtuous.)

PS: A friend and his wife are traveling to Russia this weekend on the first trip in an adoption process-please drop a prayer for them and their family.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

In all these months, I never realized that Mrs. Curley had never been in the pig pen. Well last evening after dinner, she climbed in and learned the joys of rubbing pigs bellies. My son ran in and returned with the camera: he got some pictures (no digital camera)-but you know me-they'll be developed some time in the next few months.

As promised (but never delivered on yesterday) I will be back to post more later....the shop is calling

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

O what a beautiful day!

I just went out to feed the pigs and what a surprise. It's only about 84 degrees out there. What a difference from the customary 95-100 we've had for the last 2-3 weeks. I need to get away from my desk this afternoon and experience some of this.

Good news from all over this morning-but I only will report on the garden. I had been lamenting the lack of flowers and fruit, but now our "back" garden-a small one on the north side of the property shows some life. I have flowers on our big and beautiful zuccini plants-so there is hope.

I hope to post more later.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Usually one day a week I travel into Columbia to do some consulting work. I think it is the day the whole family (and possibly the animals) dread (perhaps dread is too strong a word. Basically we all wish I was at home). I am really a homebody. I wouldn't mind if I never left our property-there is so much to do here-except to go to Mass. (Even then, it would be nice to have a chapel and priest right here.) Spending a day in corporate America-well let's put it this way: I feel out of place. However, we also recognize that this gig is a real blessing from God.


I have written briefly before about the Midlands Holy Family Fund (here for example.) I help put out the quarterly newsletter for MHFF and run their website. We have an urgent request, which is a little too big for the general MHFF resources up on the MHFF website -so if you feel inspired, read it and donate. I know the family in need and they are truly great folks.


The boys dug some more cellar yesterday while I slaved in the office. They are doing a great job. It looks pretty impressive. A few more hours and we should have the room dug. We'll pour the floor this weekend.

Oremus pro invicem!

We usually get to daily Mass about twice a week; most often Wednesdays and Fridays. But there was a funeral at St. Catherine's this morning-and of course we always try to have altar boys at funerals, so I went this morning with my boys.

I think I needed a funeral this morning. It's hard to explain, but there's no question about it, God wanted me there today.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen. — Eternal rest grant to them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The boys and I dug 1/2 the foundation for our barn today. So far it is about 10' X 14' and 2 feet deep. We need another 2 feet or so. (The plan is to pour the floor next weekend and the cinder block walls after that.

They boys think maybe we can dig our own swimming pool! Needless to say, we will all sleep well tonight.

The girls kept house; feeding us and keeping our canteens filled. (Mrs. Curley was gone overnight, but is now safely home.)

Oremus pro invicem!

In my vanity ...

... I have been known to "Google" my blog "Bethune Catholic" to see if anyone, anywhere ever mentions it. Maybe not so coincidentally (with respect to my current interests) many hits come up referring to Ada Bethune, who was an artist and an early disciple of Dorothy Day. You can read something about her here. You can view some of her artwork and read some of her writings here.

I haven't posted any pictures or quoted anything from these sites as I am not sure of the permissions, but you go check it out. However, I did find a picture of a used book Easy Essays by Peter Maurin, which shows some of her art.

The artwork: 10 years ago I wouldn't have appreciated it as I do now-but then again, there is much I wouldn't have appreciated 10 years ago which I do now.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The meaning

I have run into confusion in the past about the name of our publishing business: Requiem Press. Most people recognize that "requiem" has something to do with those who have died. In fact someone once said, "Requiem Press? Dead Press? What's that supposed mean?" (I could have replied, "It means you don't know Latin.")

And in the comment boxes of another blog which had "announced" one of our new releases as a favor to the author, the comment was made: "Requiem Press? Says it all. Requiems are said for the dead." (obviously not a fan, but also misses the point.)

Rather than enter a comment box fray, let me just say a couple words about why we selected "Requiem Press".

First, "requiem" literally means rest; as in the prayer:

Requiem (rest) aeternam (eternal) dona (give/grant) eis (to them) Domine (Lord).

Because of "requiem" is the first word of the prayer, it has become associated with the departed, as the commenter quoted above noted: Requiems are Masses said for the dead.

In the same sense we use the word requiem (as in Requiem Press); it was selected to bring this prayer to mind (so more people would say it). We have a special devotion to praying for the holy souls in purgatory and hope to spread this devotion by including a free prayer booklet (our first release) for the holy souls in every order we fill.

We may be a "dead" press in some eyes, (or in sales figures), but hopefully this post will educate those of good heart and/or curiosity as to our motivation and prayers.

Oremus pro invicem!

From CW Aims and Means ...

The aim of the Catholic Worker movement is to live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ. Our sources are the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as handed down in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, with our inspiration coming from the lives of the saints, "men and women outstanding in holiness, living witnesses to Your unchanging love."

This aim requires us to begin living in a different way. We recall the words of our founders, Dorothy Day who said, "God meant things to be much easier than we have made them," and Peter Maurin who wanted to build a society "where it is easier for people to be good."

New Alert: Another installment at Requiem Reader !

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Alert!-New excerpt series at The Requiem Reader!

Still thinking a whole lot about the Catholic Worker Movement and Dorothy Day and struggling with the concept of pacifism. Maybe I will get a copy of The Duty of Delight-the diaries of Dorothy Day.

Read this entry from Stephen Hand. "Back to Sanity" for sure:

Shouldn't our daily work contribute to what we need, our daily bread?

....Shouldn't our food be grown locally so that when disasters strike human beings can more easily distribute and access the necessities to sustain life and help their neighbors? As it is now without billions of dollars of oil to truck, collapse is only a matter of time, generating oil wars in the meantime. (I was just talking of this with my mother last night-that the high prices of oil hurt disaster and famine relief efforts-but here is part of the solution?-JC)

... We need to get back to the basics in sovereign nations, creating those things which we truly need, allowing technology to operate only within reasonable bounds, not for our spiritual death and aggressive wars, but for medicine, reasonable defense and communications, more public transportation. All education should be local education, not dictation from Central Control. We need to shun all internationalist schemes whether Capitalist or Marxist, for these are hubristic devices to control, and lead us into slavery, new towers of Babel.The Journeyman system and guilds should be brought back so that young people can apprentice into good jobs and trades at the hands of true masters, not moguls who seek to deprave and exploit them. Yes, yes, it will all sound like insanity to those who need a spiritual checkup; to those who are heavily invested in that movement of bribery known as one-world government which seeks to steal your nations from under your feet, and replace your religion with theirs.

Two more books I need to read are Chesterton's Outline of Sanity and Belloc's An Essay on the Restoration of Property.

Getting back to Dorothy Day, the more I read, the more I think of what she has in common with Mother Teresa. AND, I think of how often we think of ourselves first-sometimes feeling sorry for ourselves over high prices, etc. etc. Yet, there are so many more who are worse off. If we spend time with these people we will surely see more of God blessings in our own lives.


Haven't "weighed" the pigs in a over a week now. They are big enough-just waiting for us to be fully ready.

We have some big, beautiful plants in the garden-but few flowers and no fruit. At first I thought it was my using some pig manure which was too fresh-but that doesn't explain the whole garden as I used chicken litter (old) in one section and 3-4 month old pig manure in another section. Both sections show the same characteristics. Could it be the seeds? Or could it be shock? (May was very cool and June almost 100+ every day.)

I have a brother-in-law who has a great green thumb. We could really use his expertise down here. Maybe if he lost his job, he would consider my proposition of moving his family down here with us to show us a thing or two. (Only kidding about the job thing-sis, if you read this.)


Am back in the office for a few days working after alternately being on the road and spending a great deal of time in the shop. Oh how nice it is to be smelling fresh sawdust at 5:00 AM instead of typing at a computer screen.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


In general, I have never been one (I am talking about pacifism in general and not about any particular war which has its own merits or lack thereof). I have oft believed if we have the means to protect someone from a bully, we should use those means....yet if we have means to protect ourselves from the bully, should we? or should we turn the other cheek? (Is there evil, neutral, and the way of perfection?)

In 16th and 17th century England, there were martyrs, both lay (Thomas More, Pearl of York, etc) and clergy who did not undertake a physical battle for the Faith, but a spiritual battle. These are saints.

At the same time, especially in the northern regions of Britain, the Pilgrimage of Grace (an other risings) were born to protect the practice of the one holy Faith. These brave souls also died-but they do not wear the crown of martyrdom ....

What has me thinking on these things? Well, it is more reading of Dorothy Day.

Certainly, just war criteria is developed and comprehensive. And, the Church has called for Crusades to protect the rights of pilgrims to pray in the Holy Land. We prayed for victory at Lepanto. The Maccabees prayed for victory and won over the Assyrians.

Certainly, while war might always mean that man has failed (JPII?), it doesn't seem to me that it is always unjustified by theological or practical standards.

So what to make of pacifism? Here is Dorothy Day writing in early 1942 (courtesy of the Catholic Worker website):

We are still pacifists. Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers. Speaking for many of our conscientious objectors, we will not participate in armed warfare or in making munitions, or by buying government bonds to prosecute the war, or in urging others to these efforts.

But neither will we be carping in our criticism. We love our country and we love our President. We have been the only country in the world where men of all nations have taken refuge from oppression. We recognize that while in the order of intention we have tried to stand for peace, for love of our brother, in the order of execution we have failed as Americans in living up to our principles.

And in June 1940 before we entered the war:

Many of our readers ask, "What is the stand of the CATHOLIC WORKER in regard to the present war?" They are thinking as they ask the question, of course, of the stand we took during the Spanish civil war. We repeat, that as in the Ethiopian war, the Spanish war, the Japanese and Chinese war, the Russian-Finnish war so in the present war we stand unalterably opposed to war as a means of saving "Christianity," "civilization," "democracy." We do not believe that they can be saved by these means.

For eight years we have been opposing the use of force in the labor movement, in the class struggle, as well as in the struggles between countries.

Chesterton in writing about Pacifism (to which he stood opposed) said that there were "the peacemakers who inherited the beatitude, and the peacemongers who profaned the temple by selling doves."

....Instead of gearing ourselves in this country for a gigantic production of death-dealing bombers and men trained to kill, we should be producing food, medical supplies, ambulances, doctors and nurses for the works of mercy, to heal and rebuild a shattered world. Already there is famine in China. And we are still curtailing production in agriculture, thinking in terms of "price," instead of human needs. We do not take care of our own unemployed and hungry millions in city and country, let alone those beyond the seas. There is prejudice in our own country towards Jews, Negroes, Mexicans, Filipinos and others, a sin crying to Heaven for punishment.

"And if we are invaded" is another question asked. We say again that we are opposed to all but the use of non-violent means to resist such an invader.

So where does that leave us? I have great interest in the Catholic Worker movement (as originally outlined by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin), but while I understand what Dorothy Day says above, how could I stand by and watch (for instance) the genocide in Rwanda if I had the means to stop it-or stop even one murder?

And I don't believe that pacifists are cowards (they may be, but not in general.) It takes some great moral courage to stand against the tide. And moral courage is often harder to come by than physical courage.

I need some answers ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Okay, posting have been pretty thin and meatless for the last few days. I hope to remedy that today. Let's start with this from Dorothy Day ("Aims and Purposes" 1940)

This work of ours toward a new heaven and a new earth shows a correlation between the material and the spiritual, and, of course, recognizes the primacy of the spiritual. Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. Hence the leaders of the work, and as many as we can induce to join us, must go daily to Mass, to receive food for the soul. And as our perceptions are quickened, and as we pray that our faith be increased, we will see Christ in each other, and we will not lose faith in those around us, no matter how stumbling their progress is. It is easier to have faith that God will support each House of Hospitality and Farming Commune and supply our needs in the way of food and money to pay bills, than it is to keep a strong, hearty, living faith in each individual around us - to see Christ in him. If we lose faith, if we stop the work of indoctrinating, we are in a way denying Christ again.

We must practice the presence of God. He said that when two or three are gathered together, there He is in the midst of them. He is with us in our kitchens, at our tables, on our breadlines, with our visitors, on our farms. When we pray for our material needs, it brings us close to His humanity. He, too, needed food and shelter. He, too, warmed His hands at a fire and lay down in a boat to sleep.

When we have spiritual reading at meals, when we have the rosary at night, when we have study groups, forums, when we go out to distribute literature at meetings, or sell it on the street corners, Christ is there with us. What we do is very little. But it is like the little boy with a few loaves and fishes. Christ took that little and increased it. He will do the rest. What we do is so little we may seem to be constantly failing. But so did He fail. He met with apparent failure on the Cross. But unless the seed fall into the earth and die, there is no harvest.

And why must we see results? Our work is to sow. Another generation will be reaping the harvest.

(from the Catholic Worker)

Note the primacy of Mass and prayer before action. I heard the same priority was given by Mother Teresa to her congregation.

And note the presence of God in all the actions. Somewhere else she writes that doing good in the absence of right purpose is worth nothing. (or something of the sort.)

Finally, we don't have to SEE results. We just need to do God's will.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Recently I have been contemplating the quote from Dorothy Day which graces the header of my blog. I think: "I would have no problem living poverty if I had $XX to start with..." Ah, there's the rub.

Am off to the stone pile today to work. - Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Weekend

It was busy... Number one son had a birthday and we had all the regular stuff to do.

Heard at Mass on Sunday (not an exact quote): "All you need to be happy is to find God's will for you and spend your life fulfilling it." And then how do you determine this? Prayer-it always comes back to that.

Have spent most of my day in the shop. Need to go back there in a bit. We lost a chicken today. Don't know the cause. They have water-but it has been close to 100 or more for probably 5 days now.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 06, 2008

First Friday Mass was packed this morning (not as full as Sunday-but pretty darn close).

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

With the advent (finally) of the hot weather (it has been in the upper 90's for the past 3 days), my schedule and our schedule is changing a bit. If you notice, my blog posting is primarily done pretty early in the morning (with an occasional afternoon observation), sometimes before sun-up. But this morning I was out in the shop at 6:00 to take advantage of the cooler weather and will do more of my office work in the heat of the day.


I planted 3 more rows of beans yesterday and 3 rows of sunflowers. I plan to plant some more sunflowers today. The sunflower seeds will be great for the goats and the pigs (of course we will have new pigs by then.)


Speaking of the pigs-slaughter time is coming up. Of course, our timing is bad. Most often a pig is slaughtered in the fall or winter to take advantage of the natural cooling. Typically after a pig is slaughtered and eviscerated, it is hung overnight to cool before butchering. This is supposed to make the meat more tender and easier to butcher.

Of course, some people do slaughter and butcher in the same day. I even read of one fellow who packs the pig carcass in ice for a few hours after slaughter and then goes to butcher.

However, I think we are going to make some temporary coolers around the hanging carcasses, packed with ice (or dry ice) so we can get the benefit of hanging overnight. Much work to do-the barn isn't even built yet.


The SC Department of Agriculture puts out a bimonthly publication, the SC Market Bulletin (subscription required.) It is a marvelous thing. Usually about 8 pages of livestock, farm equipment, and miscellaneous items for sale. We found our pigs and our goats via the SC Market Bulletin. This week we several things of interest including some cheap chicken wire, a cast iron tub and a source of hay.


I need a master plan for my manure. I have read all kinds of advice and at times have tried to do them all-but I don't have THAT much manure. We would like to get better use out of our land, and more manure would go a long way towards that. (We have a good problem-more manure than ever before-but of course that makes us want to do more-even though we haven't realized the potential of what we have tried in the past.)

One suggestion is to rotate the pigs between four paddocks-never collecting manure, but just spreading it once the pigs move on to the next paddock. By the time the pigs return-6 to 8 weeks later, the grass will be lush and full. Thus you don't have to buy much commercial feed (they may not fatten as quickly, but who cares, the feed is free.) However, you won't have any manure for the rest of your property.

We would like a bigger and more fertile garden (have I mentioned we live on beach sand in the middle of SC?) So we would like to spread the pig manure around our fall garden site.

The goats go through greenery pretty quickly, and if we want to make sure we don't get eaten alive with goat feed bills, we need to rotate goats also and get some green, green pasture going in other places (even if it is our football field.)

There is a place I think I can sometimes get a free truckload of horse manure. If I could do that, the extra manure would make the other decisions easy.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Requiem Reader

As promised yesterday, we are unveiling a new tool to generate interest and to sell Requiem Press books: introducing The Requiem Reader (you can see the new link on the sidebar.)

About once a week or so we will post an excerpt from one of our books.

Be assured that I will alert everyone here when a new excerpt is posted.

Our first is from Witnesses to the Holy Mass. Enjoy and visit often!

Update: Actually an addition: My sister and Requiem Press author has an article today at Catholic Exchange today about parental patience-something I need more off I fear. Read it!

Oremus pro invicem!

animals and gas (not what you think)

Last year (some regular readers may recall) Mrs. Curley had the dubious distinction of hitting a squirrel, a dove, and a turtle driving to and from Mass one day. Whenever driving skill discussions come up between Mrs. Curley and myself, I always bring up this trifecta and ask, "Was that turtle moving too fast for you to avoid?".

Well those pleasant days are over. I didn't have a trifecta, but I did hit a bird and a turtle this morning on the way to Mass.


We, of course, having a large 12-passenger van, and living 20-30 miles from EVERY thing, suffer from the high price of gas at least as much as everyone else. Yet, in my reading and thinking over this the past few weeks, I am starting to be convinced high gas prices may be good in the long run.

Anecdotal evidence: Last week Mrs. Curley bought local organic milk for within 10% of the same price as name brand milk shipped from Tennessee. In the past the difference has been much greater.

Regional economies are more likely to (re)-form if transregional, transcontinental, and international transportation becomes more cost prohibitive. Short-term, we may suffer a bit, but long-term this could be good for our culture, our community and our souls.

There are better discussions than my humble effort elsewhere on the Internet. Take a look and think about it.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How publishing companies survive (or don't)

There was a piece on last week (either Tuesday or Thursday) on NPR's Marketplace radio show on how publishing companies struggle with distributors.

Here's how it works. Bookstores (especially the large chains) order large numbers of books through distributors (only) because they are competing with the Internet and don't want to be left with a title out of stock. They don't have to pay for books for 90 days. Just before the 90 days are up, they return all unsold books-thus they don't have to pay for them. Then, to hedge their bet, they reorder all the books again for another 90-day period.

So a publisher has to print a large number of books due to the initial demand from distributors, but ends up being paid late (if at all), and they are left with a large number of unsold books (dreaded inventory) at the end of the day.

How are they to survive? Many small bookstores only buy through distributors (even many, but certainly not all, small Catholic book and gift shops), so if you want to play the game, you have to play with the distributors who specify large numbers of books and returns.

If you don't play this game, a publisher is locked out of the large bookstores and many smaller ones. It is an uphill battle for the small guy to be sure.

We have never bought into this model, but have survived, but growing slowly to be sure. Complicating matters are a growing number of books being published with a shrinking readership.

We do a fair amount of reprints. With the advent of print on demand (POD), some companies are finding every public domain book; making facsimile copies and selling them POD. In general, this is good. Valuable works are kept in print. However, the quality of the facsimile copy is sometimes lacking. You can even find books printed this way with missing or damaged pages-because their source had missing and damaged pages. (The POD quality itself is usually good, technological advances have made these sometimes almost indistinguishable from offset printing. We use both technologies.)

At Requiem Press we re-typeset every reprint and often add footnotes to clarify language not familiar today (often Latin was used for quotes quite often in Catholic books, which may not be understood today. See especially, Witnesses to the Holy Mass.)

This week (or next) we will be launching a new marketing tool for people who may be interested in our books. Stay tuned.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A friend of our gave us a painting he did of Pentecost this weekend. It is beautiful! It is too big for me to scan so I decided to scan and post a painting he did for us a few months ago of St. Francis with some animals-notably pigs. Enjoy!

Painting by painter, author, and archivist Tom Blumer!

Oremus pro invicem!

The Weekend

We got our re-enthronement to the Sacred Heart done this weekend as planned. I finished Left to Tell.(I do recommend it-and it is a quick read.) I received the remaining parts to fix the lawnmower and got it fixed (number 2 son helped quite a bit in putting it back together), and we got most of the lawn mowed. And our newest release arrived and has started shipping.

Weighing in:

Big Guy is 217 lbs.; Middle One is 213 lbs.; Little One came in at 163 lbs. (Again, I think Little One's weight is off. She is most cooperative, but seemingly I can't get a consistent weight-I am sure she is closer to 180-I will have to measure again later.)


I have several half-read books lying around here, so I think I will work on one or more of those before starting something new. Back to work!

Oremus pro invicem!