Friday, June 29, 2012

Corpus Christi

A few weeks ago I received a seemingly random email from our parish office asking for me to volunteer to carry a statue in a Corpus Christi procession. For those who don't know, we attend Christ the King Catholic Church in Manville, a mission parish run by Redemptorists from the Warsaw Province (Warsaw as in Poland). We have a sister parish a bit further down the road Sacred Heart.

After consulting the weekly bulletin I learned it was to be a procession down Main Street after Mass from one Church to the other. I talked with Alison and I decided it sounded like something interesting to do. So not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into, I said I would participate and we headed to the early Mass at Sacred Heart on June 10th to participate in the procession.

Jackie was being her usual Jackie at Church self, and after several loud outbursts, I headed to the narthex to hang out with the other loud kids, and late attendees. This Mass had a lot of interesting things; we had the Knights of Columbus in their full regalia with swords and frilly admiral type hats, (Chapeaux?). I have seen this several times in our Parish, but never anywhere in the Archdiocese of Newark, ( I guess they are afraid of swords up in civilized North Jersey), we had the Holy Name Society with their banners, the First Communion Kids in their suits and dresses, Confirmation students in robes, and a whole slew of little kids in traditional Polish folk costumes (Alison's research shows these outfits originate near Krakow), parts of mass were in Polish. Sacred Heart has Mass in Polish, we don't at Christ the King.

I met up with the Statue carrying group outside of the Church. I guess they asked for a bunch of volunteers, and didn't get many, I was the only one that showed up in a suit so I was asked to join in. I was the only one that didn't speak Polish, so I just followed along. Alison and Jackie also joined in the procession.

The procession starts at Sacred Heart

The First Alter: The Eucharist is Sacrifice

Second Altar: The Eucharist is Food For Our Souls

Third Altar: The Eucharist is The Pledge of Eternal Life

Fourth Altar: The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Unity

The procession concludes at Christ the King Church

For our tiny little Parishes it was a pretty neat little event. We shut down traffic through Manville for a little while, and I was surprised to see so many participants. Both of the Churches were packed.

We are currently going through a "Renewing the Faith in Manville" process directed by the Bishop to determine the future of the two Parishes. With an older congregation and a number of catastrophic insurance claims from storm damage in recent years the status of both parishes is in question.

I'd say the faith is pretty strong in our community, I still fear that Christ the King may end up merging into Sacred Heart at the end of the process, but it's a pretty strong little community, and we are happy to be a little part of it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Vows Same as the Old Vows

Alison and I spent a nice morning/afternoon back at the end of April out at the old Alma Mater , The US Merchant Marine Academy. It was the 50th anniversary jubilee ceremony for the Mariners Chapel. I finally tracked down a few photos that the Alumni foundation recently posted up on Facebook. 

Mariners Chapel

Sword Arch
I know we haven't been married that long, but it was a nice way to celebrate our marriage commitment. I feel like its good to do these sorts of things frequently.

CSA Begins

Our CSA share at Melick's Town Farm starts on Monday. It should be a tasty summer full of fruits and vegetables, I can't wait to see what we get.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Cousins

We would like to extend a warm welcome to planet earth to Victoria and Benjamin. The babies made their arrival on Tuesday morning, and are by all accounts happy and healthy as is new mom Elizabeth.

If I have can give them any helpful advice, it's about the wonder of being a twin. You were born with your best friend. I hope that as you both grow up from infants, to toddlers, to big kids, to teenagers, to adults, that you both stay as close as can be to each other. Since one of you is a boy, and the other a girl, it will certainly be different than my experience with your Uncle Joe, but I hope it's similar enough that you always have your confidant, defender, and best friend as close as can be, (no more than a phone call away at least). You'll take different paths in life, but the bond you share will be something that most people won't ever understand. I hope that as you grow aware of the world around you, that you'll innately realize this, and over time come to appreciate it. And, by all means have some fun at others expense when they ask you if you know what the other one is thinking, or can feel your pain. I just hope you don't have to go through the mix-ups that Joe and I had... which was particularly annoying when they knew us as just brothers, and then started mixing up the names only when they found out we were twins. I can only imagine how interesting it would be when they mix up a boy and a girl, I hope it never happens.

You'll get on each others nerves sometimes, but don't worry about it. Lean on each other when you need help, you'll never be stronger than when your twin has your back, and you'll probably never need anyone else to help when you have each other. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish together, and even more amazed at what you can do with nothing but each others encouragement.

We hope to meet you soon, and introduce you to your little cousin Jackie. She loves babies and will be so happy to see you.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Sometimes, my couch might as well be permanently attached to me, or is it I should be permanently attached to the couch? Anyway, anyone who knows me surely would say that I'm a bit of a homebody. I think having a family has sort of exacerbated this problem a bit, I just don't want to go anywhere anymore, at least not without the family. I just like sitting around watching Jackie do stuff, learn new things, explore, and have whatever types of adventures an almost two year old thinks they are having as they wander around the house touching and looking at things. I like watching whatever type of strange communications she has with the dog, they seem to understand exactly what the other one is doing, or wants. I like the sense of wonder.

I have to travel for work again today, I won't get to see Jackie until probably Thursday night. While we were away she was back in New Jersey having fun and we missed her, and I'll miss her again this week.

I used to love my monthly sometimes weekly trips to Denver, but since the wedding, and Jackie's arrival, I like them less and less. Luckily, the trips have been a lot less frequent which has been a blessing. I'm not saying I don't ever want to travel ever again for work (I'm sure that when we have teenagers, I won't be able to travel enough), but some times it can be a real bummer.