Friday, August 19, 2011

Where Have I Been Lately?

Answer: I've been busy, busy, busy! Which is a whole lot better than having nothing to do.

The former program director of Catholic Relief Services let me know that he has almost finished reviewing my book and answering my questions about his experiences with Mother Teresa. When he's done, he'll send the manuscript back to me so I can incorporate his answers, fix any errors and then finalize the manuscript. Then, finally, I'll be able to submit it to a publisher. I have been looking forward to this for years. It was truly an inspiration from God to write this book, and the Holy Spirit has been guiding the project from its inception in 2008. This book recounts an amazing true story that has never before been written about in detail or published: how Mother Teresa and Catholic Relief Services helped save the lives of ten million Bangladeshi refugees in India in 1971. This former program director, whom I am honored to call my friend, oversaw this vast relief effort for CRS. I am also honoring his wish to remain anonymous for as long as possible--that is, until the book comes out. I'll be sure to let you know when the book comes out, and where you can get it.

Meanwhile, I've been busy with other writing projects. In May, my comprehensive article on the new Roman Missal translation entitled "Missale Romanum, Third Edition: Liturgical Renewal as Envisioned by Vatican II" was conditionally accepted for publication by Inside the Vatican--the condition being that the article length should be cut in half (it was over 8,000 words). So I cut 3,000 words and the editor took out another thousand. In the end I was happy with the result--the essay still contains most of the essential information that I wanted to convey to readers. The editor said it would be placed in the August/September issue of the magazine. I recently obtained a subscription to the magazine, and am looking forward to getting that issue and seeing if my piece is in there. In the meantime, I've also submitted my original 8,000-word article (with ITV's permission) to other Catholic publishers, since I would like to get the whole thing published somewhere if I could. We're now only three months away from the full implementation of the new Roman Missal. Catholics need to be prepared for it.

I've also been writing some material dealing with Catholic creation doctrine and theology as I continue to work my way through Father Warkulwiz's tome, The Doctrines of Genesis 1-11. While I've found that this book has a lot of good information about Catholic teaching on creation and the importance of preserving and handing on the Church's creation doctrine, I disagree with some of the opinions expressed. So I'm writing down respectfully what I disagree with and why.

Another piece I have in the works challenges the conventional scientific wisdom about the planet Mars having once been a very wet place. This is a really interesting subject. I've been doing some research, and I've found that most of the evidence planetary scientists use to claim past oceans of liquid water on Mars can be readily and more accurately explained by non-hydrological processes in the Red Planet's past that scientists already have proof of such as volcanism, geothermal activity and impact cratering.

I'm also gradually getting more into music writing. I love creating new solo piano arrangements of traditional Catholic hymns. The last couple days I wrote my own arrangement of "O Holy Night," which is the second Christmas carol that I've written a piano arrangement for. The first was "We Three Kings" back in late 09/early 10. I haven't published any of my scores yet, but I'm hoping to do so soon. I recently acquired an account on, which is a website where you can sell music, but I don't have a PayPal account yet. You have to have that before you can sell music on the site. I need to find out 1) how you get a PayPal account and 2) how it works--how the website will pay me through PayPal.

Earlier this month, here at Terra Patris we had a celebration in honor of the proposed feast day of God the Father. Our landlord has been holding this event annually for several years now on the first Sunday of August. This year we had a procession with an image of God the Father from the parking area into a tent in the riverside park, along with songs and a few prayers. (Good thing we had the tent, because it rained a little.) Then we had a dinner including a lamb roast, hamburgers, hot dogs and covered dishes that people brought to share. We had people come from Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida this year. Our local priest came as he usually does to lead us in the prayers and bless the image of God the Father. This painting was commissioned by Saint Margaret d'Youville, a Canadian nun who lived in the 1700s. The idea for a feast day in honor of our Heavenly Father came from the Heavenly Father himself in messages given to an Italian nun, Mother Eugenia Ravasio, in the 1930s. These messages have been approved by the Church. Sadly, God the Father has often become "the forgotten Person of the Trinity" these days. It is our hope to remind people how much God the Father loves us and to rekindle devotion to Him, hopefully leading eventually to the Church's formal institution of a feast day in His honor.

My sister and Dad went to the EWTN Family Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama last month. They really enjoyed it. My sister got to meet Raymond Arroyo (for the second time) as well as Father Frank Pavone, Johnette Benkovic, Father Anthony and Father Mark. Both my Dad and sister got to meet Bishop Baker as he was coming in to say Mass. It's phenomenal how EWTN has grown in the last thirty years. When we started watching it in 1993, the network was reaching 18 million homes. Today it reaches 160 million homes through television alone and many millions more through radio (AM/FM, shortwave, Sirius) and the Internet, proclaiming the truth of the Catholic faith to the whole world.

Well, I better get going--I've got to rest, too. Good night!

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