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Trad Music For Charity PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 February 2013 09:46

For some time now, my friends and I have wanted to hold fundraisers for the homeless and poor in St. Louis.  We've been thinking about holding a set dance for the homeless in Chouteau's landing and donate the proceeds to the Msgr. John McCarthy Fund for the homeless.  An article on the Trad for Trócaire fundraising effort in the recent issue of Treoir reignited my desire to get this effort rolling.  Trocaire is a charity that fights poverty abroad by providing food and schooling.  I am not familiar with Trócaire but I am familiar with similar efforts such as food for the Poor and would love to follow this model for support of local efforts such as care for the homeless of Chouteau's landing and the work of the St. Vincent de Paul society.  More on the fundraising model from Treoir magazine:

Now in its third year, Trad for Trócaire, which is run by Trócaire in association with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, encourages members of Comhaltas and the wider trad community to organize, play in or support a local trad music session.  At the session, some form of fundraising takes place e.g. bucket shaking, a cover charge, a raffle for spot prizes, an auction etc. and teh proceeds are donated to Trócaire to help transform the lives of some of the world's poorest people. 

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Caregiving, Bringing Joy to Life PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 February 2013 21:55

Today's the feast of St. Brigid of Kildare, February 1st which always reminds me of a gentleman I cared for in his last years.  He passed away on this day but my memory of him is always about the better times especially the activities that he really enjoyed.  One of those activities was playing baseball, with a plastic bat and foam ball we would play baseball in the nursing home.  Sometimes, the ball went into the hall, a safety hazard, but fun; it made the whole experience more real. 

One of the most difficult but important challenges when caring for the elderly, especially in their last years, is helping them feel like their old self.  How to make life fun again in the face of some real challenges and physical limitations.  Today, The New Old Age blog at the New York Times has a fun story about the care giving relationship between Sacha Goldberger, a French photographer and his 93-year-old grandmother Frederika Goldberger.  Sacha has involved his grandmother in his art of photography including her in unique photos and featuring those photos in his books.  What I like most about what Sacha has done is the impact it has on her life.  After retiring from her work in the Textile industry Frederika became depressed but her involvement with her grandson has helped to change that.

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To Die as We Live PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 January 2013 21:03

When reading about the death of Blessed Columba Marmion over at Dom Mark's blog, I was moved by how he wrote about it.  Dom Mark starts off "Death is not improvised. We die as we have lived. Life fully lived, with one's eyes fixed on the Face of Jesus, even in this valley of tears where faith alone pierces the night, is an apprenticeship in the art of dying well."  Just reading the following account moved me to near tears.  How wrong I often can be, not focusing on the Face of Christ but on my tasks to the point of missing the goal.  All life has the goal that's reflected in the story of his death, a community coming together in prayer, joined in a moment that truly echoes with right purpose.  Here's a quote from the story:

In the evening, about five o'clock, the community assembled for the Recommendation of the Departing Soul, while the dying abbot held the blessed candle in his hand. Dom Robert de Kerchove, the Father Abbot President of the Congregation, recited the prayers to which the community responded. A touching sight was this crown of sons encircling a venerated father with their prayers, and inviting all the heavenly court to come to aid and meet a soul on its passing to eternity. And how striking were certain of the invocations, considering the circumstances:
"O God most merciful, O God most loving and kind, look favourably upon Thy servant Columba, and deign to hear him. Lord, have pity on his sighs, have pity on his tears, and since his only hope is in Thy mercy, grant him the grace to enter into peace with Thee. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. . . ."
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An Irish Session - Reily's Pub PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 January 2013 21:15

The Irish session is a beautiful thing with its natural setting, well as natural as a pub can be which on a fine Sunday is quite suitable for family.   The Irish seisiún is an informal gathering of friends and musicians there to enjoy the company and music.  There's something about the music and the friendship that make the session one of my favorite places to be.  One of those places is Reily's Pub in St. Louis with the St. Louis Irish Session Players on Wednesday nights.  Enjoy some of their music in the Box below. 

 

 

 Visit their ReverbNation page.

 

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Beyond Words, The Poetry of Sacrament and the Mundane PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 January 2013 22:11

The New Liturgical Movement has a post Beauty Communicates Something Beyond Words that strikes to the heart of the virtue of sacrament.  By virtue I mean the habit of seeing the world through a sacramental gaze.  The inspiration for the post was the liturgy but for me it coicides with something more mundane than the liturgy but beautiful in its own way.  The inspiration behind the post was the words of St. Augustine on jubilant singing to God from a sermon of his on Psalm 32.

You cannot express in words the sentiments which please God: so praise Him with your jubilant singing. This is fine praise of God, when you sing with jubilation. You ask, ‘What is singing with jubilation?’ It means to realize that words are not enough to express what we are singing in our hearts.


David Clayton extends this insight beyond music to sacred art and architecture where the interrelationships of things and their imbued meaning sends a message that can not expressed in words alone.  In David's words, "What he is describing is how the beauty of expression in a full integration of form and content adds something that words alone cannot say. As an expression rooted in love it is the fullest form of truth."  The material of this world in play with our creative activity is a window to the Divine and this plays out in the meaningful interrelationships found in art and architecture as well as music. 

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