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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Sunday Meditation: Blogging Takes a Back Seat to Family!

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Busy time of the year, eh? Did you miss our posts the past few days? Maybe you were too busy to notice. I get it!

My husband and I just returned from four days visiting one of our children in Pittsburgh so we could go to the Kreitzer annual Christmas party in Wheeling, Larry's hometown. Since his parents died almost 20 years ago, we don't get back to Wheeling nearly as much as we used to. Parents are the magnets that pull you all together. Now that we are the patriarchal generation, getting together with other extended family just doesn't happen as much as it used to, sad to say.

What a blessing it was to see most of Larry's eight siblings, their spouses, the nieces and nephews, the grand nieces and nephews....whew! I had to have a cheat sheet to keep all the names straight. The children have changed so much since our last visit.

It makes me think of Abraham and the promise that his descendants would be like the stars of the sky. When my mom died (13 years after my dad) she had, I think, 37 grand children and over 40 great grandchildren. Talk about a woman who was politically incorrect! No doubt the climate police would want to put her on trial for being the origin of all those little carbon footprints. Larry's family is smaller but there are still plenty of young ones.

Today my mom's "guilt" is magnified since many more greats joined the clan since her death in 2002. In our own family, some of those great grandchildren are now in their twenties, so the next generation is waiting in the wings. I look forward to being a "G-G" (great grandmother) like my mom!

Despite a world that seems to hate children and exclude them more and more, our family and extended family still welcome babies with open arms and many of the moms recognize the dignity and importance of motherhood by staying home to rear their own children instead of farming the job out to caretakers and day care centers.

Today, before heading home, we attended the traditional Latin Mass offered by the canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest at Most Precious Blood of Jesus Parish in Pittsburgh. The church wasn't packed, but it was well attended with many young families and pregnant women in the congregation. After Mass there was a baptism beginning in the back just inside the front door. The experience gave me such hope for the future.

The Mass was a real respite from the world: the reverent silence (only a few baby sounds broke it), the asperges at the beginning of the service reminding us of our Baptism, the incense rising to God with our prayers. The total focus of the congregation on the liturgical action, the excellent sermon delivered by the pastor with a little primer on the characteristics of a good confession which should be humble, sincere, complete, prudent, and brief (from the catechism of St. Pius X).

Four of our granddaughters were singing in the choir. The voices coming from the balcony in the back of the church sounded like angels from heaven, heard but unseen. What a delight!  Instead of choir showtime with a choir and/or cantor up front, Jesus was the focus; not the choir performers. I'm always disturbed when a congregation breaks into applause for the musicians at the end of Mass.


They just received their reward when they could have received a much greater one.

The celebrant was only 29 according to our daughter. I went to confession to him after Mass and his wisdom and spiritual counsel were amazing in one so young. What a sign of hope for Holy Mother Church so battered by many Judas priests!

What I saw today was clear evidence that God has not abandoned His people or His Church. Never lose hope and never ever abandon the faith! Pray for Sean Hannity and other fallen away Catholics who let scandal lead them into committing spiritual suicide, something St. Francis de Sales warned against.

May Christ bless you abundantly in these last few days of Advent as we prepare for Christ's coming.

Please pray for the Institute.


  1. As I read this post today, I am reminded how small the world really is...we are on our way from Connecticut to spend Christmas with family in Wheeling! My wife & I were married there 40 years ago & started our family there. It’s been many years since we spent Christmas in Wheeling. After Christmas we will travel to northern Virginia to celebrate with our daughter & her seven children. God Bless & Merry Christmas! We also pray for the Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston!

  2. We once ran into a Wheelling transplant in Ponchatoula, LA. Larry was wearing a Wheeling sweatshirt which started the conversation. Turned out his best friend growing up was Larry's cousin. It REALLY is a small world. Did you go to Corpus Christi or the local Catholic high school? Larry's family was (and some still are) in Warwood.

    Merry Christmas and if you're ever out in the Shenandoah Valley stop by in Woodstock. We love visitors!