Monday, April 27, 2009


April 27, 2009
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Yours Very Truly,

Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. A member of the editorial and advisory board of First Things, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican from 2007 to 2009.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


"If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!" Luke 11:13

I have had a very frustrating day! This picture, sort of, sums up the way I am feeling. Contrast that with the Bible passage from Luke and this is a glimpse in my mind. It seems as though the littlest things set me off - especially with my children! Yet, I read this passage from Luke and I realize how much energy just went in to yelling at my kids when I could have stopped and given them a better gift. Perhaps it would have been merely a gift of my silence in light of their transgression? Or, perhaps, it could have been a funny face instead of an angry face? Regardless, it could have been a gift - a good one - instead of the "crap sandwich" that I usually end up giving them lately! Forgive me, kids! Forgive me, God! Forgive me, please!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I've been pondering this question for several hours, days, months, years... I, clearly, have an issue with believing in God's love FOR me. I believe in His capacity to love all of us and I have experienced the joys and fulfillment that I experience by just being obedient and trusting in His love. My stumbling block comes from waiting for this amazing sense of calm (accompanied by angelic voices and harps)to pass over me when I finally believe that God can and does love ME! I remember reading how Mother Theresa never felt that deep seeded bond with God but she believed anyway. I do not claim to be Mother Theresa, for obvious reasons, but I wonder if I am capable of believing it anyway.

I do not want to harm my relationship with Christ even one iota yet is my lack of faith in His immense love for me preventing me from true union with Him? I shared my faith journey with a lovely group of women last night and I talked about the stupid tapes that run through my head. You know the ones; "Not good enough"; "Unlovable"; "Forgettable"... But, I kept on repeating how much I love God. I do love Him with all of my heart! At Mass, this evening, I spent some time just wondering if I was doing all that I could to squash these tapes running through my head. Has it become, unwittingly, a crutch that I use to keep from delving deeper into my relationship with Christ? I can't believe that would be true! I also can't believe that I could be that lazy!!

I'd like to think that I have the faith of a child. I don't always feel warm and fuzzy from prayer or from the Eucharist but I do it. I attend Mass and I pray daily because I want that relationship with God even if I don't get the butterflies on my end. There are times, however, that I have gotten the butterflies and the warm and fuzzies but they aren't really what have sustained me. It is the constant knowledge that merely having faith in God without all of the yummy feelings is enough. Is it? I pray fervently that it is enough.

Here we go: "What would a husband think who, when asking his wife 'Do you love me?' received the response 'I have a great desire to love you; I shall work toward it; I hope one day to achieve it by dint of my efforts and generosity and sacrifice.' You are right to smile. But is this not the spiritual disposition many excellent souls adopt toward Jesus?" And: "We have all had this temptation at one time or another. 'I have promised Him so much, I have made so many resolutions, and I always fall again; it is impossible that He does not get tired of it.' It is a kind of blasphemy to say that, because it is to limit a mercy which has no limit. It is to doubt the patience, the indulgence, the untiring clemency of Jesus. It is not He who grows weary of us; it is we who grow weary of looking at our ugliness." All of this is found in I Believe in Love - my favorite book! I think, perhaps, it merits another read!

Thanks for letting me vent!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I do not know where my son gets this kind of ability or when he decided it would be a good idea to practice doing this! Bill was a pole vaulter but that involves using a pole to thrust yourself up in the air so maybe a little of him and a little of my volleyball jumping (very little) Anyway, I thought that I would share this!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

He Has Risen!

Psalm 118 (19-29)

Open to me the gates of holiness:
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord's own gate
where the just may enter.
I will thank You for You have answered
and You are my Savior.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation;
O lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.

Go forward in procession with branches
even to the altar.
You are my God, I thank you.
My God, I praise you.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good;
for His love endures for ever.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Holy Saturday

Beneath the cross the Mother kept
Bleak vigil under darkened skies.
Upon the cross her Son hung nailed,
Stabbed through by crowds of hostile eyes.

"And your own soul a sword shall pierce,"
The old man in the Temple said,
The Spirit's sword, the word of God -
God's word be done, was all she said.

Upon the cross the Savior died;
Beneath, the Mother bowed her head;
Above, the storm broke harsh and wild -
God's word be done, was all she said.

A soldier came and thrust him through;
The blood and water proved him dead.
They laid his body in her arms -
God's word be done, was all she said.

At vigil's end, the Crucified
Arose from death her glorious Lord.
O Father, Son, and Spirit, God,
We praise and magnify your Word.

(Morning hymn from the Magnificat for Holy Saturday)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good Friday

At the Annunciation, the angel announced that Mary would receive God in her own body and give flesh to him. Now, in the unutterable silence of Good Friday, the Mother of God once again receives the Word of God as her divine Son is taken down from the cross and placed in her arms. "How can this be, since I do not know the man?" The Madonna of the pieta is Our Lady of Compassion. That pitiful portrait of Mother and son proclaims to the world that "nothing is impossible for God." Nothing.

Even in the sickening shadow of the cross, the power of the Most High continues to overshadow the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her maternal arms, the Mother of the God cradles all our failure, our desperation, our isolation, our alienation, our regret, our remorse, our sorrow, our suffering, our nothingness, our desolation, our defeat.

In embracing her crucified child, Mary is not clutching at lifelessness. For after Christ's death, his divine person continued to assume both his soul and his body. Such a heart-wrenching scene testifies to the truth that the one antidote to the tyranny and viciousness of death and despair is true, deep union with Jesus Christ.

This terrible moment on Golgotha appears as a second Epiphany. Like the three kings, we have followed - not a luminous star, but - the sun blackened by an eclipse to this place of horror. Here, as once did the Magi, we will find "the child with Mary, his Mother." Here, like them, we will prostrate ourselves and do homage and open up the coffers of our empty, hurting hearts. But only if we renounce the murderous world of King Herod. Come, let us adore him!
(The Way of Our Sorrowful Mother by Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.)

As I Have Done for You

John 13:1-5

Before the Feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well." Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all." For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."
So when he had washed their feet and put is garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Prayerfully, We Wait...

Psalm 56 (2-7, 9-14)

Have mercy on me, God, men crush me;
they fight me all day long and oppress me.
My foes crush me all day long,
for many fight proudly against me.

When I fear, I will trust in you,
in God whose word I praise.
In God I trust, I shall not fear:
what can mortal man do to me?

All day long they distort my words,
all their thought is to harm me.
They band together in ambush,
track me down and seek my life.

You have kept an account of my wanderings;
you have kept a record of my tears;
are they not written in your book?
Then my foes will be put to flight
on the day that I call to you.

This I know, that God is on my side.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not fear:
what can mortal man do to me?

I am bound by the vows I have made you.
O God, I will offer you praise
for you rescued my soul from death,
you kept my feet from stumbling
that I may walk in the presence of God
and enjoy the light of the living.

Glory to the Father...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Time to change...

I posted a new header picture because I just felt as though the other picture was fradulent in where I am! We, in most of the Midwest, woke up to 3 inches of snow! Not much in measurement but it is April after all! It was actually very pretty and I can say that because, well, I love snow! I can also say that because by Thursday it is supposed to be close to 60 degrees. You don't scare me, snow! I thought it would be fun to post my early morning thoughts on the subject as well. They follow in picture and in video! Enjoy!

The aftermath (isn't it pretty?)

Stinkin' April!

The night it began!

Another night shot!

And now, my early morning thoughts on snow and not being able to go anywhere warm for Spring Break:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Mosaic

One of my blogger friends tagged me with this ...Not that the photos that popped up always made sense, but whatever. Also, some Flickr folks have opted out of the Mosaic thing so you might have to rebuild in order to get a full mosaic.

Instructions: Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search. Using only the first page, pick an image. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s Mosaic Maker. Save the image and post it.

1. What is your first name? Kelly
2. What is your favorite candy? Snickers
3. What is your favorite color? Red
4. Favorite drink? Milk
5. Dream vacation? Ireland
6. Favorite hobby? Reading
7. What do you love most in life? God
8. What did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher
9. One word to describe you? Faithful

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I love this dog! The beauty of Sugar is that she cannot know how perfect she is! She just cracks me up all of the time. Well, when she's not eating raw hambuger out of the package on top of my stove! On this day, a chipmunk was up my parent's downspout. I think it must make its home around there and it runs up there to hide or whatever. Sugar was going nuts trying to flush out the poor thing. The funny thing is, she probably would have pooped a brick if it really did. This went on for 20 minutes! Here's a short video of part of the encounter!