Monthly Archives: October 2011

Final Countdown!


I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious to leave for vacation as I am today. Tomorrow is the day when my bus leaves for O’Hare. I look forward to the luxury of being on a cruise ship that will whisk me away to Europe. Of course, the only thing I dread is the travel time to Munich and then transferring planes to Barcelona.

I can’t even begin to express my excitement about going back to this mysterious world of antiquity. It is amazing to see these old cities like Florence, Pisa and Roma which have survived for all these centuries. The history that was studied in school comes alive in a surreal way. To actually be in some of these historic places is words beyond measure. It is a feast for the eyes to gaze on such wonders as the leaning tower of Pisa, Michaelangelo’s David, the Coliseum in Rome and St. Peter’s Basilica. anyone who has been there can relate.

I’m going with a great bunch of people whom I have traveled with before. Cruising on a luxury ship is the best vacation. I have not been disappointed yet with Celebrity Cruise Lines and I don’t want to ever experience something bad. For those of you who may be interested, next year we are doing a seven day cruise on the Western Coast to experience Wine Country. I’ll be putting that information up in a few weeks.

Until then, try following me on my blog. I’m hoping to be able to post from my iPad.

Ciao for now!


Bon Voyage!

I am on the cusp of leaving for a long needed vacation. I plan on resting and relaxing and doing some heavy duty sightseeing. This will be my second trip to Europe. the big difference is that I will be in a cabin by myself which I will enjoy immensely. I have brought my mom, Rosie, with me the last two trips but we cramp each others styles. I offered to take her but she wasn’t interested this time. I sense that she worries too much about my dad and she often has guilty feelings about leaving him for long periods of time. I can understand that.

I’m having a hard time trying to control myself because I am itching to get out and just have some fun. The group of 24 people who are coming with me are a great bunch of folks and I just know we are going to have a terrific time.

I am going to try to do daily postings from my iPad2 on my daily excursions through Europe. So tune in!

Say Whaaaaaat?!

Can you hear me now?

I recently wrote about how humorous the aging process is becoming. Here I am at the tender, but not so young, age of 55 and my vision is going, I have scoliosis, a bum foot, no teeth a growing bald spot and I now have another malady to throw on my human drama: my hearing! I knew that I have been straining a little bit to hear lately and when I went to the doc for my last sinus infection visit, I told him I would like to see if I am indeed losing some hearing. Last Wednesday I went to an audiologist and got tested. Here is what they told me:

I have a sensorineural hearing loss! The inner ear is called the cochlea. Lining the cochlea are tiny hair cells. On the tip of these hair cells are nerve endings. When sound enters the cochlea, these hair cells are set in motion and the vibration stimulates the nerve endings, which then sends the message to the brain. If these hair cells have been damagedd, the nerve endings cannot be stimulated and the brain will not hear the sounds. Damage to the hair cells may occur from excessive noise exposure, certain drugs, trauma or aging! Another common name for this hearing loss is nerve damage. This type of hearing loss is permanent, but often can be helped with amplification (hearing aides).

I was asked if I was ready to go that route and since my hearing loss is just beginning I asked if I could wait a bit longer on this issue. They told me of course. I just hope I will not develop a stubborn streak like so many other or older persons I know who really need the ear devices and refuse to get them. I also understand that many people cannot afford to get them and I was shocked to hear (pardon the pun) that they can cost thousands! So…..I am not there yet! But money will never be an obstacle.

Going to the Dogs!

It has been said that I am crazy when it comes to my soft heart for animals. I want to verify this and say unabashedly that this is true. Knowing my love for God’s four-legged creatures I have resolved part of my problem with a solution that I hope will catch on. I have decided to become active with a group called LakeshorePaws. This is a group that rescues animals that have been neglected, abused, abandoned and whatever that has caused them to be without a forever home. This past week I decided to foster a Yorkie that is named Scruffy. This poor little guy has been crated all his short life and went stir crazy. I renamed him Benji because the name Scruffy does not actually suit him. He now looks like a Benji. As part of my donation I had him groomed and he looks beautiful.

With Christmas coming up I sense that many people will be looking for dogs for their kids. I hope they will give Lakeshore Paws a call first or any other shelter that has strays looking for a forever home. To see what they are all about, I invite you to go to their website at

I am well aware that there are humans who need to be better parents for their children. That is a cause I work daily for as a priest. I consider this my outside interest to help the weakest of God’s creatures. I would be remiss if I didn’t say it: Spay or neuter your pets!

Praying for Frost!

I have been suffering silently with a terrible sinus infection. Experience has taught me not to mess around and to call the doctor. My eye, ear, nose and throat guy is awesome. His name is Dr. Michael Keenan. Dr. Keenan is so professional and forthright. I appreciate that about him…..and he’s Catholic! Tomorrow I am visiting his office for a hearing test. I have noticed that the hearing in my left ear feels diminished. I don’t think I’m getting ready for a hearing aid but I suspect that my hearing is beginning to lessen. I never thought I would need glasses but now I cannot see without them so why should my hearing be any different.

I think that the whole aging process is humorous. Yea, I think it’s funny that I’m slowly falling apart but I can also see the road to retirement. Legally, I can retire in 10 years however as a priest, our retirement is 70 years old. I don’t like that! When I retire my life is going to be one big vacation. I believe my third life vocation will be as a priest on a cruise ship! Sailing the seas seems like the ultimate life ending vocation. All of this will change, of course, if I win the lottery! Then I will just cruise.

Oh, such folly! If your head was filled with mucous like mine is you would be dreaming too! Time to take my anti-biotic! My poor little head!

Way Too Soon!

Renee Ohrn

I will be the first to honestly say that my heart and mind are working overtime. This week, heaven called forth another young woman from my parish. Renee Ohrn was only in her 6th week at college as a Freshman. I can only imagine the anticipation she must have felt with her new journey. The excitement of becoming a college student, away from home and on her own. Little did we know that journey would be cut short. This evening there will a Prayer Service for her at the church. We are expecting a large gathering of her friends. You can only imagine the heartbreak her parents and closest friends are going through. Once again we extend the hand of Christ, the great Comforter, the Counselor of all, and the Consoler.

Renee was one of our Nativity students! Our Nativity students are very special to us. They are very close to our hearts because we have had a larger hand in forming them. We are proud of our “Scholars!” When we lose one, we are sad. We grieve, we mourn. But we also walk with the knowledge that God, has indeed, prepared a special place for us. That place is heaven.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her Oh Lord….

…..And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her!