One of my earliest memories is watching Mass on TV with my Nonna. I would patiently await the time during the Mass when she would walk over to her china closet and tear off a piece of an Oplatki Christmas Wafer she kept inside.
In early March, I went to Sam’s Club to stock up for the coming shelter-in-place order. On a whim, I put yeast and a large bag of flour into my cart. Having never baked bread before, it was the definition of a random purchase. Some-
thing in me thought bread may be hard to come by, so I wanted the ingredients to bake it myself if need be.
Lent is meant to be a challenging time during which we deny ourselves material goods in order to grow closer to God. On Ash Wednesday, only four weeks ago, we could scarcely imagine how challenging these 40 days would be.
The coronavirus pandemic forced us into quarantine and instituted a new normal that is far from our old normal. Non-essential workers remain in closed quarters due to logical, scientific justification: to contain the spread as much as humanly possible. But even logic can’t completely quash our very human and very real fear of the present moment.
The advent of the novel coronavirus has set into motion so many unprecedented actions and effects that it’s hard to keep track or make sense of them.
In each issue of Us Weekly, there is a spread titled “Stars: They’re Just Like Us!” featuring paparazzi photos of celebrities engaged in everyday activities: ordering a cup of coffee, taking their kids to the playground, loading groceries into their cars.
A particular reading from the lectionary can strike one with an impact that reverberates through the years. Such is my experience with Sirach 3: 2-7, 12-14.
Although I’ve lived the last 45 years in Park Slope as a member of St. Saviour parish, I grew up in Maine. In 1952 when I was eight years old, my father was removed from our home and committed to a mental hospital where he remained for a year and a half. He was diagnosed with manic depression, now termed bipolar disorder. When Dad returned home, he remained stable for a number of years.
Lent is a time for prayer, penance and piling mounds of spaghetti on fried fish. Listen, I’m as surprised to have written that sentence as you may be to have read it. The Catholic Fish Fry is a unique cultural phenomenon, and in particular the St. Louis Catholic Fish Fry is without compare.
The elusive Feb. 29th rolls around again this year, as it does in all years that are divisible by four — unless, oddly, they are years that are divisible by 100 but not by 400.
During my time at Aquinas H.S. in La Crosse, Wis., I was privileged to have a young Sister Thea Bowman as a teacher during my sophomore year.