September 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
Coming to Rodano’s in Wilkes-Barre, every Tuesday evening in October!!!
If you don’t know what Theology on Tap is, read the copy of the parish letter written by me and Shannon:
Dear Friends in Youth and Young Adult Ministry,
We are proud to announce that Theology on Tap will be held once again in Wilkes-Barre, PA! We ask for your support and prayers as we begin this new undertaking in Young Adult Ministry. Mark your calendars for every Tuesday in October starting at 7:00pm! The sessions will be held at Rodano’s on Public Square; there is a $5 cover charge and food will be served.
Theology on Tap is a series for young adults in their 20s and 30s, designed to give them a comfortable and fun environment to share their questions and comments on Catholic teaching. Each week will feature a different speaker and topic, geared towards current issues and lifestyle. We ask you to encourage this program in your parish or school community. Young adults are searching; they want to find meaning in life, answers that go beyond the instant gratification culture. Catholic teaching offers these answers, rich in both reason and spirituality. Society may dismiss those who seek to ‘live the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15) but we try to recognize their desire for what it is: a need for a life focused on something greater than one’s self. Theology on Tap is open to all, whether practicing Catholic or not. Those who come can discuss their questions, concerns, and ideas, while enjoying some pizza and beer! The word catholic itself means universal. With this program, we want to continue making the Church universal, reaching out to people wherever they are. We know that faith should not be confined to a pew for an hour on Sunday morning, that it should change our lives with its power. What better place than a bar to show young adults that their faith can be practiced no matter the surroundings?
Please spread the word about Theology on Tap, whether through your bulletin, email, Facebook, or any means! If you are unable to attend, or simply wish to show your support for Theology on Tap, feel free to make a donation to help with our costs. All donors will be remembered with grateful appreciation in our prayers! With your help, we can bring the solid foundation of Christ out into the public sphere!
September 26, 2011 § 2 Comments
BadCatholic, one of my favorite Catholic blogs (and not just because he attends the same college as Callie!), recently had a cheeky post up about death metal music. It made me laugh out loud several times and that’s how I measure if I want to link to a post or not. I can’t decide between these two great quotes:
“They cannot match the courage of the Christian, who is born trampling on the grave.”
Or the picture of the chapel in Rome made from bones of martyred monks, with the simple caption “We win.”
Just go read it.
I think this particular post hit home for me because I am an easily frightened person. I’m not talking about horror movies though (i.e., Saw, Hostel, etc), which I avoid more because I feel a deep and abiding revulsion at their near-pornographic obsession with the flesh and its sensations. There are deeper levels than the world and the flesh. What frightens me is the devil. I believe in Heaven and therefore hell. I believe in the supernatural world, in angels and demons and spiritual warfare and that you don’t call something unless you want it to come.
With that being said, I am making a novena to the the Archangels. It is their feast day on September 29th. Most Novenas start ten days before the Feast Day, but mine will end right on the Feast itself. This is no new-fangled notion of mine, an attempt to fiddle with centuries of tradition, but merely because I forgot to do it the first day. Not a very auspicious start. But we carry on! It is a very informal novena; I’m saying the St. Michael Prayer and the Guardian Angel Prayer, and then specifically mentioning my intentions in prayer to St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. I am also making sure I spend at least 10/15 minutes before bed reading my Bible. In doing these small things every day until the 29th, I can only hope that I will become more attuned with my guardian angel and the Archangels. If you have any intentions you’d like me to remember, let me know!
September 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
For a scrimmage, the Black & Gold Game was highly entertaining. Of course, it could have been the fact that I was watching live hockey for the first time in several long hot months. Unfortunately, Sidney Crosby did not play but Malkin and Staal put on quite a show for us. They both had two goals and Malkin’s Team Gold hung on for a 3-2 win over Staal’s Team Black.
September 15, 2011 § 2 Comments
1. Bunny Rabbits! Literally. They came up out of the flood and perched on the porch of the Goldens’ grandmother’s house.
2. The Complete and Utter Annihilation of Danny and Ryan’s Kitchen O’ Doom. It was only a matter of time before the good Lord saw that a catastrophe of historic quality was necessary to destroy that fruit-fly infested chamber of darkness.
3. We discovered some beautiful hardwood floors in their apartment.
4. That couch!! That couch is gone. Destroyed. My brief flame of sentimentality for it has sputtered out. Goodbye and good riddance, crusty old couch!
5. Our three pet rats get to live with me for an undetermined amount of time!
6. I finally found a reason to wear my ultra-cool Barracuda Web Filter t-shirt. Eat Spam!
7. I made (and heard) a lot of really great puns, such as “This is no time for levee-ty!” and “I feel like I’m in over my head here.”
8. When we were on the boat ride, I felt an immense urge to lean over the side and reach out towards the water while saying plaintively “I’ll never let go, Jack!”
September 13, 2011 § 7 Comments
I’m very sorry for the recent dearth of posts. It’s been an exhausting week.
Most of you have heard of the terrible floods that took place in Pennsylvania this weekend. If you haven’t, WNEP.com has had very good coverage the whole time. My boyfriend Danny’s house had at least a foot of water in the living room. Worse, his parents’ home was filled with at least 6 feet. Their first floor is a disaster. I wish I were a better writer; I wish I could accurately describe my feelings as I waded through muddy water and oil-filmed debris to arrive at a house I’d grown to love.
Built in 1870, his parents’ home was a stately Victorian matron, tall, thin, with elegant angles and muted tones. The interior was warm and friendly, especially to a girl in the first days of her first serious relationship. Danny’s family always made me feel welcome in their home and my earliest memories of dating him are from that house. On our second date, we watched The Lord of the Rings in the living room, and when he didn’t make fun of the way I clapped my hands and grew starry-eyed at the romance between Eowyn and Faramir, I knew I liked him. Now that living room has mud three inches deep on everything, furniture overturned and heaved aside. I see books strewn on the floor, bloated and blurry, and I want to clutch them to myself, mourning over the loss of miniature worlds within. We had walked hand-in-hand down the streets of West Pittston under ancient, spreading oaks and maple, and scuffed up the fallen leaves with our sneakers; Danny would always tell me about the homes, how old each one was, who had lived there when he was a kid, about the coal barons who built ornamental mansions on Susquehanna Ave. West Pittston is known as the Garden Village, now the landscape has piles of sloppy mud, uprooted bushes, and the reek of fuel. We’re pressure-washing the sidewalks just to keep the mud from caking into brick. The pumps and generators run constantly, a droning background noise that will forever remind me of sweat and the stink of gas, wet feet squishing through endless puddles. Rubber gloves and a mask over my nose and mouth. We walk through the streets, greeting friends with weary smiles and updates on homes. The fire department drives around, offering bottled water and tips on safety. People I don’t even know offer us sandwiches and pizza. What we really want is a cold beer. Debris from the river is cluttered wherever it came to land when the floodwater receded. The normally serene town has been swept from a child-friendly, All American neighborhood into a FEMA-declared national disaster. There aren’t any kids cutting through the neighbor’s backyard because it’s still got two feet of standing water in it.
I find myself falling back on the simple phrases, clichéd but true in their meaning. No one was killed, everyone is healthy and alive. All the pets, the family photos, simple keepsakes were rescued. Danny managed to grab the framed, autographed Achewood comic I gave him three Christmases ago. We can rebuild, remove, begin again. It doesn’t help the lump in my throat, though, when I remember the first time I visited Danny’s apartment and found him and his cousin Matt engrossed in an episode of Gossip Girl. We went to the Donut Connection after that and Danny told me I was beautiful, sitting in the plastic booth with glazed sugar on my chin. It doesn’t stop the tears that form at the sight of the water line a foot up on that couch (that stupid, ugly couch!) that Ryan and Danny found in front of a neighbor’s house and wheeled home through the streets on a dolly with their fathers, and Steve, and Jon. Why am I crying when I see the (gross, terrible) couch tossed outside, stacked up with the rest of the belongings of the first floor? Our border collie Abby loved to sprawl on that couch, gazing at us with her big brown eyes as we watched TV. I know we’ll get her another couch, maybe a softer one. We can replace the kitchen table that no one ever used and the lamps that didn’t work half the time and the rug that actually looked cleaner when the flood mud made it one ubiquitous brown color. But if Danny gets a new house, will there be a front porch to drink beer on when the summer nights turn hot and lazy? Will there be another fenced-in backyard where Abby can run laps and chase squirrels? I’ll miss those things. I’ll miss Danny’s parents’ home being only a block away, close enough to run over for a wine-opener, or ice cream, or just to chat. I’ll miss the big back deck and Bailey’s niche behind the couch and the creepy old attic with children’s handwriting on the walls.
Life will settle down for most people in the Valley soon enough. Work has started again, classes will resume, the mud-line will be washed from the trees during the coming autumn storms. But Danny? And his parents? His cousins and neighbors and friends? For them, how long will it be until a return to normalcy? To lose a house sounds like one thing, a large thing, but a thing for all that. To lose a home is something much more tragic.
(photos by Danny, Matt Golden, WNEP.com)