Saturday, May 31, 2008

From Lebanon with love

Congratulations to Sister Marla Marie Lucas, an American-born Maronite and for the past 26 years a Parish Visitor of Mary Immaculate, who is, as of tomorrow, the founder of the first-ever U.S. order of Maronite sisters, Maronite Servants of Christ the Light.

Sister Marla Marie, who once worked in the newsroom of the Washington Post, has taken part in my parish's life for the past several months. It has been my joy to get to know her and volunteer for her as she has prepared for this historic day. Here is some background on her order, from an article by Rick Allen on its Web site:

"The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light is a timely gift of the Holy Spirit to our Church. Over the years, many religious vocations from our Maronite faithful have entered the Latin Church congregations, as I did," says Sr. Marla Marie. "Young women in our Church now have the opportunity to live out and deepen their Eastern spiritual heritage in service to Maronite parishes. The Blessed Virgin Mary is our model and inspiration."

The identification of the congregation with Mary is the key element of its charism, says Sr. Marla Marie, who chose "servants” as part of their name after Mary’s own pronouncement at the Annunciation that she was "the servant of the Lord." Then, "Christ the Light" draws on a pre-eminent image of Jesus in spirituality, particularly in the writings of St. Ephrem, explains
Sr. Marla Marie. "Our liturgy is woven throughout with reference to Christ as light or different metaphors of light."

"As consecrated women, we are to radiate the light of Christ, the light of his merciful love and hope to those we serve," she says. ...

... Sr. Marla Marie, who graduated from George Washington University with a journalism degree, also did a turn in 
The Washington Post newsroom as assistant to the celebrated editorial cartoonist Herblock. She knows the value of the new media in the New Evangelization. The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light have a Web site, to meet young people “where they are,” she says. The site, which will eventually include a blog and other multimedia, will help to promote vocations by explaining the congregation’s work and mission. But Sr. Marla Marie hopes it will also foster an understanding of Maronite spirituality "a great gift to the Church which we should be eager to share with the Western Church" and the wider world, she adds.

"To be a sister is to be a spouse of Christ and spiritual mother to all his children," notes Sr. Marla Marie about her vocation. “I’ve been blessed with the call and privilege to serve the Church as a sister for these last 26 years. Now our Lord is calling me to a challenging adventure which I gladly embrace – with his grace.”

If you use Hotmail, here's why you haven't heard back from me

Hotmail often refuses to accept e-mail from outside senders for no apparent reason. Switch to Gmail or a more reliable provider.

Friday, May 30, 2008

When the saintmeister comes marching in

As noted earlier, Father James Martin, S.J., author of My Life with the Saints, will be making The Dawn Patrol a stop on his blog tour June 4. (As one blogger has noted dismissively, this is a "girl blogs" tour. I would give Father the benefit of the doubt and assume a tour of robust Ignatian, testosterone-fueled blogs will follow.)

Father James will be parking himself in the comments section on that day, ready to respond to readers, so get your questions ready. His publisher, Loyola Press, will also be raffling off an autographed hardcover copy of My Life with the Saints.

Since June 26 is the feast day of St. Josemaria Escriva, I'll be starting the conversation with Father Martin with this quote from St. Josemaria, asking his thoughts on both how the quote reflects the spirituality of the founder of Opus Dei and how it might apply to the saints he describes in his book:

"The world admires only spectacular sacrifice, because it does not realize the value of sacrifice that is hidden and silent."

The publisher is also offering a discount on Martin's book; here are details from publicist Michelle Halm: "Regarding the blog tour, please tell your readers that if they order My Life with the Saints during your Fr. Martin Blog tour, they will save 35% on their order if they place it by June 8. They should use marketing code 2682. They can order online at or call and talk to a real person! 800-621-1008."

Friendly Persuasions

I took myself out for dinner tonight—my first time doing so since my operation—and heard angelic singing coming from the lobby of the hotel that abutted the restaurant. I went out to see who it was, a $20 bill in my hand—I thought it was a street-singing group I might invite to serenade me at my table.

It turned out to be the world-famous Persuasions, checking into their room. I'm so glad I didn't offer them the $20!

Am buoyed by e-mails and texts from friends as I continue to recover at home (and rest my voice (a necessity after the surgery). About to take a nap. Since you're awake, why not offer your thoughts on the "Sex and the City"/Fahrenheit 451 connection in the comments box on the entry below? I'm progressing slowly on the op-ed I mention there and could use some inspiration. The more I explore the show, the more I think its genius is in its vapidity. It snags people by offering the trappings of cynical urban hipness, but at base it is a nihilistic tabula rasa upon which critics project their fantasies, much as they did with Pop Art back in the Sixties.

'Family' affair

I am currently working on an op-ed related to the release of "Sex and the City" film, and it strikes me how much the movie's namesake TV series echoes the programming Ray Bradbury depicted in Fahrenheit 451.

The "Sex and the City" series was never so much about relationships or even sex per se. One could tune in at any time and "get" the show without knowing exactly what was supposed to be going on. It was all about an atmosphere—a vague concept of glamorous, catty women awash in designer labels and attractive suitors.

A viewer's experience of the show boils down to the same one Mildred, wife of the fireman Montag in Bradbury's novel, had with the "family" she knew only through TV: "They tell me things. I laugh, they laugh! And the colors!"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

King's gift

(OK, last post of the day, as I am spending way too much time on the computer as I recover from Tuesday's surgery:)

My friend JD King, the legendary underground cartoonist who has also done great work for the Wall Street Journal and others, has generously given me a buoyant new caricature. Do check it out atop the green section of the left-hand side of this page.

JD writes in an e-mail that the message of the image is that I am carrying my burdens with joy. I like that! He adds, "The pose is a reflection of the back of a priest's vestment!"

He would like to do more art for Christian Web sites. Those interested should contact him through his home page.

Prayer request answered with 'an absolute miracle'

Earlier this month, I posted a prayer request from the parents of an unborn child whose life was threatened with a tumor. With joy, here is the latest news from the expectant mom:

I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers.

Yesterday my doctor informed me there is no longer blood flowing through the tumor. It has not changed in size and has been "downgraded" to a small calcified mass. It will still have to be watched for the next eleven weeks, but it is no longer as serious as it once was.

This is an absolute miracle as far as I'm concerned. Praised be Jesus Christ!

Thank you all again for every thought and prayer. You can be certain they have made a difference!

With love,


On the Feast of the Visitation, pray for the Sisters of Life

When my sister was a Jewish elementary-school student at Trinity Episcopal School in Galveston, Texas, one of her best friends was an extremely bright boy named Vincent Uher. I was very little back then, but remember Vincent as a delight to be around.

My sister grew up to be a rabbi, and Vincent grew up to be an Episcopal priest. A few years ago, I became interested in locating Vincent when I learned he had converted to Catholicism and was active in Houston's parish that follows the Anglican Use, Our Lady of Walsingham. He and I now correspond, and I am very thankful for how God has led each of us into the heart of the Communion of Saints. Here is a lovely prayer request I received from him this week, in advance of the May 31 Feast of the Visitation:

Dear friends in Christ,

This isn't anything official as far as I know... just something God placed in my heart: in my novena for the Visitation I felt I should ask others to especially pray for the Sisters of Life in New York when we go to Mass for the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Elizabeth.

The superior of the Sisters of Life Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V. has long been a source of great inspiration to me -- and from a distance was key to my conversion to the Gospel of Life as taught faithfully by the Catholic Church. Her sisters are always such a joy and do such an important work. I hope you will pray for them and that you will look them up on the Internet. (Who knows perhaps some day God will grant that their order will establish a convent here in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.) In some ways the Sisters of Life are the late Cardinal O'Connor's most enduring gift to the Church and to our nation, and they are evidence of what a great Cardinal can accomplish for the sake of the Kingdom and the redemption of the lost and wandering.

I have attached a small image of the Sisters from their website, and I have attached my hymn on the Visitation. God bless us one and all through Jesus Christ.

Vincent Uher

Vincent attached these lyrics to his beautiful hymn on the Visitation, "Lo, How She Brings Life with Her"—click the image below to see it full-size.

Israeli 'shooting' of Palestinian boy a media hoax

A guest post by STEPHEN SPARROW

[Note from Dawn: I invited reader Stephen Sparrow to write the following guest post after he alerted me to the French court verdict vindicating a journalist who said the video of the shooting of Palestinian boy Muhammad al-Dura was a staged hoax. Before you read it, I strongly recommend you view the video below by investigative journalist Richard Landes, who exposes the history of "Pallywood" deceptions.]

Stephen Sparrow writes:

Irrespective of how the modern state of Israel came into existence, the fact is that it exists, and for the last sixty years its government has stood resolute in its duty to see that Israeli citizens are protected.

You would think that since 1948, the Arab Muslim states that border Israel would gradually have got used to the idea of a Jewish State on their doorstep and have found some way for their respective populations to experience the novelty (for them) of democratic process, which brings in its wake peace and prosperity. It says something about the "herd" psyche of their religion that prevents this happening.

But why do Western media interests faun over Islamic states and shun Israel? Why does the media highlight every apparent human rights transgression by Israel and turn a blind eye to the appalling blood-soaked actions of Islamic-style governance? I suspect that in many cases Western journalists are too cowardly to ply their trade openly in such places as Algeria, Iran or Syria. But Israel, being a Western-style democracy, is seen as a soft touch—because, funny thing, the media folk actually feel safe there. At least, if they are reporting on matters in Gaza, they can do a hit-and-run and an hour later be safely sipping a gin-and-tonic while under the protection of Israel’s armed forces.

In connection with this, I was alerted this week by a David Warren piece about a particularly nasty reported act of Israeli brutality. As Warren says, everyone watching television around that time will be familiar with the event and will have seen the film clip repeatedly. He relates: “The incident was the alleged shooting of a little boy by Israeli troops in Gaza, in September 2000. His name was (purportedly) Muhammad al-Dura. … A Palestinian man and boy are shown cowering by a wall. Then suddenly the boy is shown dead in his father’s arms. The voice-over explains that he was picked off by an Israeli marksman.”

Well, it now comes to light that the whole thing was a play-acted fraud, and this was finally confirmed just five days ago with a French court decision.

Initially, Phillipe Karsenty,head of the French media watchdog agency Media Ratings, examined raw footage of the clip broadcast on the French state television channel, France-2, and declared it to be a hoax. France 2 sued Karsenty for defamation and won. Karsenty then appealed the defamation conviction and the higher court found in his favor May 21. All of this has festered on for nearly eight years.

Now. if you do a little digging you will uncover a web of intrigue that should both amaze and horrify you. When Media Ratings began its official investigation, it was frustrated by France 2 deliberately holding back some vital minutes of the film clip citing as their reason that “images of the boy's agony … were unbearable and unnecessary for the newscast”. In actual fact, the missing film would have made the forgery obvious to a child. The Israeli military have consistently held that an Inquiry immediately following the incident disclosed that no Israeli soldier was in a position that would have allowed them to even see the boy and his father let alone shoot them. The Metula News Agency maintains that senior officials at France 2 lied and that “the entire Al Dura incident was staged with the purpose of "demonizing the Israeli army." Reuters fell for the forgery and gave it wide distribution.

And the result of those lies are thousands of innocent men, women and children killed, maimed, or made homeless. Many more have been poisoned with an intense hatred of those they perceive as enemies. And the bloodshed continues—the blood now staining the hands of senior staff at France 2.

Continuing to recover today—will write more later. Thanks for the well wishes!

Just updated the post on the Polish Thrill with a video. Enjoying readers' suggestions for alternate titles to match the book's cover—as I told a commenter, I would LOL if I weren't already in stitches.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Who wrote the book of Lvov?

Well, powder my pierogi! It's The Thrill of the Kielbasa!

No, it's an ad for the Mark Morris Dance Group in "'Barbarella' Live!"

Just kidding. It's  Dreszcz czystosci—which, as best I can make out from an online translation tool, means something like "Shudder of Chastity" or "Chaste Chills." Oomph!

Seriously, this is an arresting and intriguing cover, which means it will sell books, which is a Good Thing. I also like the fact that the couple look like they stepped out of a Godard film or a Mod-era Broadway revue. They might be acting out a scene from Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living Chastely in Gdynia or Stop the World—I Want to Get Chaste.

You are invited to have fun offering further captions in the comments (G-rated, please) while I go under the scalpel and recover in bed (many thanks for your prayers).

And did I mention that I am really, truly thrilled that this Polish edition of The Thrill of the Chaste is coming out? I am.

UPDATE, 5/29: Enjoying the suggestions in the comments very much—thanks, all! My current favorite is from Victor Lams: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Waiting for Marriage.

Also, someone suggested the cover evoked "Sprockets" and then linked to a Wikipedia page showing ... sprockets. Kevin Walsh helpfully provided a link to a page on a "Saturday Night Live" sketch by that name. Not having watched SNL (or owned a TV set) since teenagehood, I checked out this YouTube clip and found that the cover is indeed uncannily like "the time on 'Sprockets' vhen ve dance."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Prayer request

[UPDATE, 5/28/08: Home now and doing well—thanks for prayers!]

I would be grateful for your prayers as I prepare to enter the hospital for the completion of my thyroidectomy this Tuesday. The operation is at 7:30 a.m. and I expect to be in the hospital until Wednesday afternoon. After that, I will have stitches in my throat until they are removed the following Tuesday morning.

I wrote previously about my first surgery last January 29, when a tumor was removed from my thyroid that proved to be Stage 1 cancer. Thank God it was caught before it could spread. Tuesday's operation is to remove the rest of my thyroid so that the odds of my having a recurrence of this type of cancer will be reduced to zero. No thyroid will also mean no Hashimoto's disease, a condition that was likewise diagnosed with the removal of the tumor. I can get along fine without the gland by taking thyroid hormone pills, which I have been taking for the past 15 years anyway due to a hypothyroidism.

Prayers are especially needed right now because I have been feeling blue in anticipation of the surgery and the treatment with radioactive-iodine pills that I will need six weeks after the procedure. The radioactive-iodine treatment will involve another short hospital stay plus isolation for a few days at home. Its purpose is to knock out any thyroid tissue that may be remaining in my body. The treatment is not supposed to be painful in and of itself, but the hospitalization and isolation sounds to me like it will be uncomfortable.

I do feel extremely blessed in that my condition is fully curable with treatment, and I know I am getting the best treatment available. The hard part is just having to go through what it is necessary I go through in order to be healed. I can take comfort in reading my previous entries and seeing how happy I was after my first surgery, but the thought of having to return to the hospital six weeks after this coming operation is daunting. I just want this whole experience to be over, and in the meantime I need God's grace to offer it up and get through it.

One beautiful thing about this experience, as with my previous surgery, is that some of my friends nearby are asking what they can do to help. I have asked a couple of them individually to meet me for lunch or dinner over the weekend, so that I will have something to look forward to while recovering at home this week. I have also told them and others who have offered aid that I will take them up on their offer in the middle of July, when I am home after taking the radioactive iodine. During that time of isolation, they can brighten my days by leaving a hot meal outside my door.

Many thanks to those of you who are praying for me. I will pray for you too. While I am recovering, I hope to catch up on fulfilling the requests I received upon offering free copies of my book to priests, religious, and seminarians—something on which I fell behind during my touring (though I have managed to fulfill some 140-odd requests so far).

Photo by Kristina J. Grabosky, taken in the golden evening sun in Alexandria, Virginia, May 4, 2008.

'Weekend Sunrise' greets Dawn

My interview for Australian TV's "Weekend Sunrise" that I mentioned earlier has become available for embedding on blogs. Here's the clip in case you missed it:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Owed to joy

I arrived in Seattle on the afternoon of May 15 and, after a bit of confusion when Mark Shea and I couldn't find one another at the airport (the foremost Catholic blogger doesn't carry a cell phone—who knew?), I gave my first talk of the Washington leg of my tour, addressing the Seattle Chesterton Society. (Mark is the bearded gent making me look even shorter than I am in this photo taken the following day with Father Phil Bloom.)

My talk was titled "“The Girl Who Was Thirsty: How G. K. Chesterton Led Me to Faith," and it was similar to the one I gave to the American Chesterton Society last year, except that I had the benefit of another year's speaking experience, as well as a longer view of how God's grace of conversion had worked in my life. Mark gave me a lovely introduction, and during the course of my talk I would mention that he, along with other Catholics I got to know through my blog, such as Dennis Schenkel (and, I forgot to mention, Father Bryce Sibley), helped lead me into the Faith.

The audience of about 80 was very engaged and supportive, a speaker's dream. During the Q&A, after I had discussed some of the missteps Catholics had made in trying to convert me, a young man asked me what were some good ways to share the Faith.

A large part of what drew me to the Church was the her consistent pro-life witness, I said—not only that she had not changed her stand on life during the past 2,000-odd years, but that she could not change her stand. Beyond that, I said, my interest in Catholicism grew once I started to meet Catholics who wore their joy on the outside.

When, as a new Christian, I first began discussing faith, I met some who were sincerely devotional but wore their devotion internally. On the outside, they struck me as serious and dry. I was drawn to their intellectual knowledge, but there was little about their manner to make me want to learn more about the Eucharistic fuel on which they ran.

That changed, I said, when I began to know Catholics who, through their spirited manner more than words, made me want to learn about how their sharing in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ enabled them to stay on fire for Him. (One member of the audience—I'm pretty sure it was Father Sean Raftis, S.J., who hosted my talk the following night at Seattle University—told me afterwards that my answer echoed Tertullian's writings on how Christians best witnessed their faith by the way they lived.)

An example comes to me as I write this that I didn't mention at my talk—that Dale Ahlquist of the American Chesterton Society, a former Baptist who tried so valiantly to give me strong reasons for the truth of Catholicism, gave the strongest witness for the faith simply by being Dale Ahlquist.

It is interesting to go back to my blog archives from March 2004—nearly a year before I made the decision to enter the Church—and find myself rhapsodizing about the indescribable good feeling I had upon meeting Dale for the first time. Having then only recently begun to put my behavior in line with my faith, and not yet understanding the spiritual benefits of such a change, I wasn't used to enjoying rich platonic fellowship. You could say it was a preview of the thrill of the chaste.

What's particularly noteworthy from the standpoint of good evangelism vs. bad is that four months later, I would be complaining of efforts by Dale and others to hard-sell me on Catholicism during the Chesterton Society's England pilgrimage. (Not that I mind now; in retrospect, I believe they all helped to pray me into the Church.) Yet, that first time I met him, even though I remember he tried to sell me on Catholicism within minutes of meeting me at Grand Central (it was when we got into the uptown cab, to be exact), the overwhelming impression I had was of his contagious joy:

Magical things just seem to follow Dale. I'm not being superstitious—I'm sure everything that happened yesterday was quite ordinary to any outside observer. But it seemed magical because of his sense of wonder. Like what happened with the priests.

We were walking in the upstairs hall by the 19th-century paintings when Dale leaned over to me saying, sotto voce, "Are those twin priests?"

Twin priests? Just the concept seemed so quaint and funny. Like the Dancing Itos or something. But I looked and it seemed he was right. I encouraged him to ask them himself.

He approached them and asked one of them if they were twins. The priest responded with a smile—I think he said, "Last time I looked." They were originally Episcopalian and converted to Catholicism—just like one G.K. Chesterton. (A later Web search showed that they're quite accomplished—you can read about them here and here.)

Of course, we had to get a photo. I feel like I'm in an ecclesiastical Doublemint commercial.

Shea, Eden formed anew in 'Deutero'

For those following the Legend of Shea and Eden,, here is the latest "proof" of "Mark"'s existence, from a comment left under his name on a Dawn Patrol post:


Deutero-Mark Shea here. The real Mark couldn't be here, so I appointed myself to write something that sounds like the sort of humorous thing he might post. The way you can tell I'm Deutero-Mark and not the real mark is by the a science known as "vocabulary analysis". That means you compare 13 combox entries chosen at random out of an entire lifetime of correspondence and writing that has been subsequently lost to history. If a word turns up in one combox (say, "Nitwit", "Oddment", "Blubber", or "Tweak") then that proves conclusively that the author of the combox entry with the anomalous word cannot possibly be the same person who authored the other combox entries. This is how we know Paul did not write Ephesians or 2 Timothy.

If that sounds rather dodgy to you, that's because you are stupid. Deutero-Mark Shea says so. And he ought to know because he's not writing this very entry!

Mark P. Shea
For those interested in further research, I suggest formulating a "Shea-Eden seminar" to determine which of the things "Mark" and "I" "say" we have done, or are said to have done, might have plausibly occurred—assuming, of course, we actually exist.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quote of the day

"The Parish of St. Stephen Martyr in D.C. sees a generous sampling of the many who have been called by Christ to share in our communion. About a year and a half ago, I met Jimmy. Jimmy comes to Mass nearly every day; he attends lectures, and fellowship. Last Lent the parish sponsored Wednesday Lenten lunches. Parishioners gathered in the church hall after the noon Mass and sat in silence; eating a simple lunch while listening to readings on the passion of Christ from Fulton Sheen’s The Life of Christ. Jimmy loved these readings because his eyesight was failing. Just prior to Lent this year, Jimmy asked that we have bread and water at the Lenten lunches in order to observe more fully the spirit of Lent.

"Jimmy is gentle and he speaks reverently about the gift of faith and life, he who has suffered much is strongly pro-life. One day I saw him sitting in Church and I went into the rectory to retrieve a holy card I had ordered with Jimmy in mind. The holy card is of St. Benedict Joseph Labre who, like Jimmy, was homeless. Jimmy was thrilled to hear there was a canonized saint who was homeless. In the late eighteenth century Labre experienced poverty and persecution on the streets of Rome and on pilgrim journeys. Like Jimmy, St. Benedict Joseph lived the eight beatitudes in the streets.

"A few months ago Jimmy came to say that his bank card had been stolen. He wondered if I would call his Credit Union down south so his account would not be robbed. I called and agreed to receive mail for him at the parish office. A friend of mine groaned, 'Oh, you should never have agreed to accept mail for him, you ought not to accept mail for anyone.' I groaned interiorly as I had decided long ago to give up 'safe and respectable' Christianity. Crucifixion is not 'respectable.' The resurrection is the gain on the risk of the cross’s folly."

— Hugh Vincent Dyer, O.P., "An Easter Homecoming for Jimmy." I am so happy to be able to attend Deacon Hugh's ordination today in Washington. Please pray for him and all who are being ordained priests this season, including Phil Hurley S.J., who helped institute Eucharistic Adoration at St. Louis University, and St. Blogs' own Dennis Schenkel.

Hour of 'Little Flower' Power

A parishioner at St. Stephen the Martyr in Renton, Wash., where I had the honor of speaking after a LifeTeen Mass last Sunday, informs me that a series of talks by the church's pastor, Father Ed White, on St. Therese of Lisieux are now online. The talks are based on The Complete Spiritual Doctrine of St. Therese of Lisieux by Rev. Francois Jamart. I have not yet heard them myself, but they come highly recommended.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm all years

Scene: The preregistration testing room at a Washington, D.C., hospital.

Dramatis personae: Vicky, bubbly, blonde staffer of around 50 with a Southern accent who says she's new on the job, and yours truly, who will turn 40 this September 3.

Vicky has just told me I need to get a chest X-ray because I am preparing for my second thyroid operation (the surgery that will remove what's left of the once-cancerous gland and cut my risk of future thyroid tumors to zero). I'm concerned that it might cut into the effectiveness of the radiation pills I'll have to take six weeks after the operation.


Vicky: No, it wouldn't affect your treatment at all. If it did, it would say here in the computer that it's contraindicated, and it's not.

Me [unsure]: Okay.

Vicky: If you were my daughter, I w—

[She pauses, makes a lightning-quick glance at my chart.]

Vicky [continuing]: If you were my sister, I'd—

[I corpse with laughter.]


Job opening for Catholic educator

Publishing the following ad as a courtesy to Father Phil Bloom, who hosted me last week at Holy Family Parish in Seattle. Father Bloom writes in an e-mail: "Someone who reads your blog would already have a strike in their favor."

Holy Family Seattle Pre-K – 8 Principal

Holy Family Parish School in Seattle, single grade Pre-K-8, is seeking a principal. Our parish school has been in existence for 80 years and receives strong support from the pastor, staff, parents and parishioners. We are looking for a highly dedicated Catholic leader who is certified, experienced and able to lead successfully in a culturally diverse environment. Salary and benefits are commensurate with education and experience. Contact Fr. Phil Bloom : or 206-767-6220 for more information.

Little humor

What is the first joke you can recall telling when you were a child? Only G-rated ones, please.

I thought of asking the question because I am wearing the Pink Panther pajamas I bought a while back from Kmart (yes, I am truly pajamablogging—sorry, no photo), and they reminded me of a joke I heard at summer camp.

Q: What did the Pink Panther say when he stepped on an ant?

[Wait for it ...]

A: [Sung to the tune of Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther" theme:] Dead ant! Dead ant! Dead-ant dead-ant dead-ant dead-ant dead-ant ...

UPDATE: Check out the jokes that are already in the comments—they're there, even though the comments count currently says zero.

Dude, I didn't steal your comments

They're still there, even if the comments count says "0," so please look before you write to ask why I deleted them. The comments service HaloScan is being "twitchy" today, in the words of Mark Shea, who is having the same issue. Of course, all this inter-blog drama could all be part of a vast conspiracy to prove to future historians that Mark and I actually existed.

Help needed for pregnant woman in Charlotte, N.C.

With permission, here is an e-mail sent today by the Sisters of Life:

Dear Coworkers of Life,

We have a woman who is looking to relocate to the Charlotte, NC area. Her dream is to attend the school of cosmetology (Dudley Beauty College.) She already has some experience in this field. She also has a lifelong friend living there (in Charlotte.). She is very vulnerable to abortion and has narrowly chosen life but often flipflops due to the pressure that others are putting on her. She has a 10-month-old little boy. He has a surprisingly peaceful disposition.

Does anyone know:

* a maternity home or a family or single woman who may be able to offer a room to her and her son in the Charlotte, NC area.
* a possible way to fund her studies at Dudley
* a car that we could arrange for her to use.

Thank you for your thoughtfulness! Please continue to pray for her and the many other women we are serving - It often feels like they are escaping from the jaws of a lion.

In Christ Our Life,

Sr. Magdalene, SV
E-mail: visitation.mission -at- (replace the "-at-" with an "@")
Comment closed; please e-mail Sister Magdalene at the address above if you can help. (I've replaced the "@" in her address with "-at-" to prevent spammers from lifting it off this page.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shmatte with me

There is much more I would like to write about my Northwest tour, but it will have to wait, as I am busy catching up with things back home. I don't even have time to tell you why I bought scarves in Seattle, except that I will need them after May 27—will explain when I can.

Quote of the day

"I think it strange that the Government should want to take away not just the need for a father but the right for a father."

— Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’ Connor, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, after Parliament passed a bill negating the requirement that fertility clinics consider a child's need for a father.

Saint what you do

I'm honored to announce that Father James Martin, S.J., author of My Life with the Saints, will be making The Dawn Patrol a stop on his blog tour June 4. He'll be parking himself in the comments section on that day, ready to respond to readers, so get your questions ready. His publisher, Loyola Press, will also be offering a raffle of an autographed hardcover copy of My Life with the Saints and a special discount for those wishing to purchase the book.

Since June 26 is the feast day of St. Josemaria Escriva, I'll be starting the conversation with Father Martin with this quote from St. Josemaria, asking his thoughts on both how the quote reflects the spirituality of the founder of Opus Dei and how it might apply to the saints he describes in his book:

"The world admires only spectacular sacrifice, because it does not realize the value of sacrifice that is hidden and silent."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Love, Sydney

In which I appear on "Weekend Sunrise," the Australian version of the "Today" show, to discuss The Thrill of the Chaste between stops on my Seattle tour last Saturday, and gain sympathy for everyone who has ever had to be a "talking head." It is a strange feeling to be told to direct my gaze to an enlarged photograph of a woman's eyes and pretend I am making eye contact with an actual human being. I calmed my nerves by pretending the disembodied baby blues belonged to Our Lady of Fatima. (You'll need to click on that "Weekend Sunrise" link to see the clip, as the show's Web site doesn't allow embedding.*)

Despite the awkwardness of the experience, I am delighted with what I managed to say on the program; I got to make all the points I wanted to make about chastity, and even put in a plug for Chesterton. It also helped that the hosts asked good questions. For both the choice of questions and my answers, I credit the prayers of Mark Shea (my longtime blog pal, whom I had met for the first time in person just two days earlier), his son Cow, and his daughter-in-law Tasha, all of whom came with me at my request. Cow is a member of the Militia Immaculata and so joined me in petitioning his and my patron St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was adept at using the media to spread the Faith. I also asked G.K. Chesterton, his wife Frances Blogg Chesterton, Archbishop Sheen, and Father James Keller for help, along with other fave rave saints/saints-to-be such as the Venerable Edel Quinn.

Most helpful too were the thoughts and advice Mark gave me in the TV studio's green room, which helped me mentally prepare for the broadcast. Having him there with me at that moment in my life was really quite amazing, especially since he is one of the people whose kindness and wisdom helped lead me into the Church. If I had written the script for my life and had imagined who I would most like to be with me before I related Catholic teachings on human sexuality to a TV audience, I would have chosen him.

After the broadcast, I got to snap this shot of Mark and Cow turning the nearby KOMO studio into the Shea News Network. "This just in from the 'Two Phases of History' department ..." The broadcast capped off a wonderful day, but I'll let Mark tell the rest of the story, as I'm jet-lagged after flying home this afternoon. Many thanks to him and his family for their wonderful hospitality.

*I would be grateful if a reader could put that clip on YouTube so I might embed it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Staying cool at Seattle U.

I asked the Jesuits for some ice with my Aquafina and got more than I bargained for.

Still having a wonderful time on tour in Seattle and enjoying the beautiful weather (really!). No time to write much, as they're keeping me busy with five appearances tomorrow, so here's a photo from Friday and a very kind testimonial from the priest who brought me to speak at Seattle University:
"We really appreciated Dawn speaking at Seattle University. Mother Angelica of EWTN once said that if she brings one viewer closer to God, then it is a success. Dawn's talk last night was a great success. She was very well-recieved by the students and friends of Seattle University. She integrated honesty, humor, and faith. Her positive and joyful description of chastity presented it as a dynamic adventure of love for oneself and for others."

— Father Sean Raftis, S.J., Seattle University
Photo by Father Raftis.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Had a wonderful time speaking at Seattle University last night. Many thanks to Father Sean Raftis, S.J. (co-author of the powerful statement issued by the Society of Jesus on "Standing for the Unborn"), for inviting me there. Will post his photos as soon as they arrive. Now, must get sleep ...

Quote of the day

"Many Americans, who come to see same-sex marriage as just another step in marriage’s evolution, will accept the public pronouncements that they are doing no more than supporting 'fairness' by extending some valuable benefits to people of the same sex who happen to love each other and wish to live together without shame or stigma. What could be more innocuous? But for the hardcore activists, the real goal is the destruction of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. They aim to discredit all forms of authority—especially God and nature—that dare to tell people how to lead their lives. In the view of queer activists, desire, like love in Carmen’s 'Habenera,' knows no law—nor should any be imposed upon it.

"In the current climate, the appeal of their position is not hard to understand, especially since most of those who accept it do not begin to understand its implications. If anything, the defense of same-sex marriage looks like yet another logical step in the gradual increase in freedom for all members of society. And since activists, the courts, and the media overwhelmingly encourage this deception, we may readily understand that many people may come to see same-sex marriage as another blow against outmoded and illegitimate forms of authority—a blow for freedom and equality. Buying into this view, however, they will remain blind to the ways in which they are playing into the hands of vast governmental and economic powers. The freedom for gays and lesbians to marry will decisively contribute to disaggregating all of the remaining social institutions that provide the foundations for any collective resistance against political and economic domination."

— Elizabeth Fox-Genovese

Friday, May 16, 2008

Common sense on California

"Matrimony, which used to be the sacrosanct institution for the unifying spiritual power of sexual relations and the procreation and raising of children in a harmonious unit has become totally cheapened by the customs of the day. Sex is for the moment, children a commodity that can be accepted, rejected or tossed in a bin behind the abortuary.

"If people of the gay persuasion look at the way we have dumbed down marriage to a simple piece of paper defining the property interests of the parties, who can blame them when they say, 'Well, why can't we have that, too?'

"Perhaps if we had a better idea of what matrimony is, or should be, we wouldn't even be having this discussion."

— Former family-court judge Robert N. Going on the cultural currents that enabled the California Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision. He notes that such currents extend well beyond what critics call the "gay lobby."

Attention Aussie readers ...

I am going to be interviewed on this Sunday's "Weekend Sunrise" via satellite hookup from Seattle, where I am currently on tour.*

The producer tells me they want to talk about chastity, though I notice that, according to the show's Web site, the topic is phrased a bit differently than the way I would describe it. They have it as "Why giving up sex could save your relationship." In any case, I am excited to be on the show. Australian readers, can you offer any information on what "Weekend Sunrise" and its hosts are like, or give me any background on local issues that might be discussed?

*See for details of my speaking dates.

Many thanks to the Seattle Chesterton Society for hosting my lecture last night. It was beautiful getting to speak to the society and meet the people there, each with their own interesting and grace-filled story. The experience counts as one of the highlights of my life. I hope to publish photos from it, taken by Mark Shea ... after I get some sleep ...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Peak hour

Going to bed after a long and wonderful day, which included ...

... a trip to Matanuska Glacier, Alaska ...

... followed by a talk at the Wasilla, Alaska Theology on Tap.

In between, my host, Dirk Imlach, took me to Sacred Heart Church in Wasilla, where I saw the stunning crucifix designed by a local artist.

Today, I head to Seattle, where I speak to the Seattle Chesterton Society—details on Mark Shea's blog. Can't wait to meet Mark for the first time in person. He is one of the people who helped to lead me into the Catholic Church, which he did through the kind and patient witness he showed me when I was curious (but wary) about the Faith.

For details on my other Seattle talks, see the Appearances page on

Many, many thanks to everyone in Alaska who made my tour possible—it was a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I wish this photo were taken east of where I am right now ...

... so I could caption it, "What would I do for a Klondike bar?" But the bar is actually in Anchorage, and truthfully I can't think of anywhere I would rather have been last night. Would say more, but must get sleep for tonight's talk in Wasilla. Tomorrow, it's Seattle—more details on the Appearances page of

Among the many other beautiful experiences I have enjoyed on this trip was yesterday's visit to St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church. Many thanks to Radical Catholic Mom for taking me there, and for Father Hornick for the tour.

Speaking of Radical Catholic Mom, she writes on her blog about a moment of grace we shared with Ed Iwata.

AND ANOTHER THING: Father Phil Bloom of Holy Family Parish previews his Trinity Sunday homily, which includes some very kind references to my book. I will be signing copies of The Thrill of the Chaste after Holy Family's Saturday Vigil Masses and its Sunday Masses.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Quote of the day

"From the road, where the vehicles were parked and where hundreds of people who had not dared to brave the mud were congregated, one could see the immense multitude turn toward the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It might have been an eclipse which was taking place. But at that moment a great shout went up, and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: 'A miracle! A miracle!'

"Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws--the sun 'danced,' according to the typical expression of the people.

"Standing at the step of an omnibus was an old man. With his face turned to the sun, he recited the Credo in a loud voice. I asked who he was and was told Señor Joao da Cunha Vasconcelos. I saw him afterwards going up to those around him who still had their hats on, and vehemently imploring them to uncover before such an extraordinary demonstration of the existence of God.

"Identical scenes were repeated elsewhere, and in one place a woman cried out: 'How terrible! There are even men who do not uncover before such a stupendous miracle!'

"People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun; others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin; others, again, swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant Catherine wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it in its rays. Some said they saw it change colors successively ..."

— Avelino de Almeida, editor in chief of O Seculo, a pro-government, anti-clerical Lisbon paper, describing the "Miracle of the Sun" at Fatima, October 13, 1917.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Finding sanctuary

Kathleen, a lovely local woman who is taking me around Kenai, Alaska, where I am speaking at Theology on Tap tonight (7 p.m. at Paradiso's), brought me to Holy Assumption Orthodox Church yesterday. It is a National Historic Landmark, reportedly the only one in Alaska that is reachable by car.

The priest, Father Thomas, had finished the Pentecost liturgy when we arrived, but he graciously took the time to show us around the church. On my way out, I bought a pocket-sized fold-out set of two icons from the gift shop. It bore images like the two that bracket the altar in this photo.

I asked Father Thomas if he would bless the icon, expecting him to make the Sign of the Cross and pray for a few seconds, as a Catholic priest would do. Instead, he excused himself for a moment, took the icon back to the altar, prayed a blessing three times, and brought the icon back to me decorated with beads of holy water. Witnessing that was a sort of crash course for me in Orthodox sacramentality, and a very beautiful one at that.

To see a list of my upcoming talks, visit the Appearancs page at My Anchorage talk tomorrow night will be at the Snow Goose at 7 p.m.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Babel rouser

Hearing the readings at the Vigil Mass made me think how much the Church's cycle of readings adds to my understanding of the Bible. I had never before thought of the Tower of Babel in connection with Pentecost. It was interesting to realize the parallels. In Babel, God introduced confusion of languages to prevent people from understanding one another. On Pentecost, He used a variety of languages to enable people to understand one another. In Babel, man tried to ascend to God; on Pentecost, God descended to man. In Babel, God foils man's attempt to build an earthly city; on Pentecost, God enables man to take an active role in building up the New Jerusalem.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quote of the day

"Death, Iwata reflected over his coffee, must be like falling into the greatest unconditional love you can imagine.

"'Think about a time when you felt love, or in love. The feeling consumes you and you’re floating on a cloud. Then double that and you’re bursting. Multiply it by 10 times and you can’t contain it. Multiply it infinitely – that’s God,' he said."

— From Effie Caldarola's interview with Ed Iwata, an Anchorage, Alaska, volunteer for No One Dies Alone who visits dying hospital patients who have no friends and family. I had the great pleasure of meeting him this afternoon.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Prayer request

Publishing this e-mail with the permission of the couple who sent it:

Hello All,

I'm sorry for such a mass email, but my family is in serious need of prayers.

Bobby and I received news on Monday that our unborn baby has a tumor.
As of now it is stable in size. If it begins to grow however, the baby has a 25% chance of survival.

We are begging all of you to say a prayer right now for our baby and to activate any prayer chains you may be part of that we may be blessed with a safe delivery the first week of August and a healthy baby.

Thank you so very much in advance and we will keep you all informed as much as possible.

With hope,
Mary and Bobby

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Good Shipp

CosmoGirl columnist Josh Shipp's supercharged schtick may seem ADD, but his pro-life answer to the first reader's question in this video is pure RCC.

UPDATE: A couple of commenters have said this is the wrong video, but I believe that problem is only for those using RSS-type readers; the right video, "Knocked Up," shows up below on my blog.

Teen sex is 'cool' so long as you're not 'a dog,' say Planned Parenthood peer educators

A Connecticut TV station reports that Planned Parenthood teen educators duly preach the organization's "just do it" message:

"I don't think oral sex is real sex," said Georgia Wetmore of New Haven, a peer educator who works with Planned Parenthood of New Haven. "I think most teens believe that."

"As long as you don't let yourself out more, to get yourself a name as a slut or a dog or something, you're cool," said Domenia Dickey of New Haven, another peer educator.
Those attitudes are directly reflective of Planned Parenthood's attempts to hypersexualize young teens via such resources as its Teenwire Web site, which lists oral sex (under the name "erotic massage") as an option among "Birth Control Choices for Teens." (For more on Teenwire, see "The Young and the Hot-Wired," the exposée I wrote for Touchstone.)

Planned Parenthood's approach has been shown to do just what one might guess from those peer educators' advice: encourage risky sexual behavior. I wrote earlier this year in National Review Online about how teen STD rates skyrocketed in California after it rejected federal funding for abstinence programs in favor of Planned Parenthood's recommendations for "comprehensive sexual education":
To hear Planned Parenthood’s spokespeople tell it, the increased incidence of STDs can be blamed on one thing: government-funded abstinence-education programs that fail to promote condom use.

There’s just one problem with that argument: According to the state’s Department of Education website, a 2003 statewide survey found that 96 percent of California school districts provided comprehensive sexual health education (read: condom instruction) and all its schools have been required to teach HIV/AIDS prevention education (read: more condom instruction) since 1992. Planned Parenthood’s educators have long been welcome in school districts across California, and in 1996 the state became the first to reject federal funding for abstinence programs.

In other words, in the state that best models Planned Parenthood’s brand of "comprehensive sexual education," the approach has failed to do one of the main things it is supposed to do: prevent disease.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jason Evert on modesty

The founder of the Pure Love Club is a theologian at heart, and there is much to digest in this talk. Choice quote: "A culture of immodest women will necessarily be a culture of uncommitted men."

He also observes one of the least acknowledged truths of life after the Fall, one which popular culture strives to cover up, so to speak: Women have to choose between being gawked at and being loved.

Quote of the day

"At this point in history, American evangelicals resemble the Israelites at various dangerous moments in the Old Testament: They are blending into the surrounding heathen culture, and having ever more trouble figuring out where it ends and they begin. In politics, and in business, they've mostly gone ahead and joined the existing networks. With pop culture, they've instead created their own enormous 'parallel universe,' as Daniel Radosh calls it in his rich exploration of the realm, Rapture Ready! A Christian can now buy books, movies, music—and anything else lowbrow to middlebrow—tailor-made for his or her sensibilities. Worried that American popular culture leads people—and especially teenagers—astray, the Christian version is designed to satisfy all the same needs in a cleaner form.

"The problem is that purity boundaries are hard to police in the Internet age. Show a kid a Christian comedian, and soon he's likely to discover that the guy is a pale imitation of this much funnier guy—Jon Stewart—who's not a Christian at all, and doesn't even like Christians. Which might then lead to a whole new set of anxieties, such as: Why are Christians so constitutionally unfunny? And, what is the point of Christian culture, anyway?"

—Hanna Rosin, "Pop Goes Christianity," in Slate. For answers to her questions, I recommend Barbara Nicolosi's writings.

Thanks to Scott Johnston for the tip.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ontario Catholic school teaches that contraception 'saves' embryos?

Matt, a student at St. Joseph's Catholic High School in St. Thomas, Ontario, left a comment on one of my posts about my Ontario high-school tour, apparently attempting to show that Holy Cross students don't have a lock on vulgarity.

Most interesting is this tidbit, which, if true, sheds some light on the students in the publicly funded Catholic school district are learning:

in catholic schools we do not get taught that contreception is not evil but rather it "saves" embryos from abortion.
Even if one puts aside the double negative, the idea that students are taught "rather" that contraception "'saves' embryos" is disturbing. It recalls the Canadian bishops' infamous Winnepeg Statement dissenting from "Humanae Vitae"— which pro-life leaders recently urged Canada's bishops to retract.

More information on the campaign to retract the Winnipeg Statement is available from The Rosarium.

Pondering the ward
A guest post by ATHOS

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Athos wrote this in response to my request for a spiritual post about his recent surgery, during which Dawn Patrol readers answered his request for prayers. I'm honored to publish it. - Dawn]

As a fan of our latter-day Joan of Arc, Dawn Eden, it was a special joy to have her carve time out of her busy schedule to pay me a visit after my surgery. I was saddled with the diagnosis of a "transitional cell carcinoma of the renal pelvis" which in plain English means a kind of cancer in my left kidney.

This my capable surgeon removed along with my left kidney and ureter. I am now teaching my remaining kidney to do all the heavy lifting, drinking plenty of water, and engaging in what is called "pain management" these days with a wonderful little pill, Percocet, one every four hours.

But what medical science cannot "manage" is a deeper, existential, even I would almost say animal fear—except animals aren't aware of their mortality (or none have been asked and said so). It still has happened to me, usually around two in the morning and before my wonderful life partner, wife, and best friend ceases her rhythmic sonorous breathing and gets up to start her day. It is a gut-wrenching fear; a fear of airless, tight, blackened cave-like aloneness in which I cannot breathe and there is no help. In short, it is the moment before life leaves and the bodily, biological existence ends.

"What good is this to God's Kingdom?" crosses my mind, even as I "offer up" the whole experience.

But today in the Gospel, Our Lord says this: "...I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

The fear I have of airless, breathless places is the fear of all living beings. Actual non-being, unconsciousness is easy. It's the dying part that is not. This is what Our Lord experienced! You, O Lord, have been in that airless, struggling, horrible place. And You, Lord, forgave all who put put You there, including me. I see Your holy face in the image of the Shroud of Turin, and I know I am not alone; we are not alone. "Take courage," you tell us, "I have conquered the world."

And, for good measure, if You have forgiven all the crucifiers who pinned You to that terrible place of airless torment, who and what can I forgive?

Deo gratias. +

Athos blogs at Four Mass'keteers and Chronicles of Atlantis.

Black and white and read

Many thanks to Kristina J. Grabosky for taking my new publicity photo yesterday .

Sunday, May 4, 2008

'HCC student' asks, 'Who's to blame?

A person claiming to be a Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School student left the following thought-provoking comment on my blog with regard to comments left by other students. I don't know the identity of the commenter, but if he or she really is an HCC student, it gives additional insight into the situation at that school and London, Ontario's publicly funded Catholic schools in general.

The commenter, using the handle "Who's to blame?", writes:

I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed over the recent blog about HCC. You had visited my school during this week and I was so shocked by the comments that were placed on your blog. It deeply saddened me and revealed a very confused teenage society in Canada. It is clear that NOT all Canadian youth acts this way and I do believe the internet allows for many cowards who hide behind words. However, what does this tell us about our Catholic institutions? What does this tell us about our Catholic youth? Now many of us are not practicing Catholics, but regardless when it comes to sex I find us all in agreement that sex isn't a big deal.

But really it is!

We have grown up in such a media polluted society that if you are not telling jokes or flashing pictures we just don't get the message. Classrooms are filled with videos about sex, but that is because teachers have given up on us. We know it all! Yet, we really know so little.

I'm not sure what the answer is to helping teenagers talk about sex? Maybe a lot of the blame falls on parents who simply stop parenting when it comes to sex. They throw it in the hands of teachers. When they cannot relate to us or have little time the preasure falls on our Catholic School system. Perhaps parents should be present at these presentations. Perhaps parents should be reading their childs blogs and asking questions...where are these Catholic parents?

I know where mine are...ignoring me in another room!

And the prize for best soundtrack to a sunny Sunday afternoon ...

... goes to my old friends the Rooks.

'Kitsch and Rhythm'

In which my dear friend DJ Shatterglass, aka Saint Kansas, aka blogmaster of, shows us what he's been doing rather than updating my site's Appearances page:*

It is Shatterglass's entry for Ikea's "Kitchen Rhythm" contest, and it strikes me as far superior than the ones that made the finals, which don't deserve linkage here. For one thing, it's got that adorable Chihuahua. For another, it's in STEREO! Well, either that, or the microwave beeps keep making me think my own microwave, which is to the far right of my computer, is going off by itself. Tell me if the clip's sound plays the same trick on you.

*For a list of my upcoming appearances, click here.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Joyful mystery

Click on the photo for a larger image.

This painting of the Nativity is in the collection of Rev. Dan Clarke, an Anglican priest in Charleston, S.C., who acquired it from St. Anselm's Abbey in Washington, D.C. From whence did St. Anselm's acquire it? Thereby hangs a tale.

The story goes that the painting was among several shipped from the Vatican in 1964 to be displayed at the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, N.Y., in the Vatican Pavilion—which also showcased the Pieta. After the fair ended in 1965, while the Pieta returned to its home in Rome, the paintings were left unclaimed and somehow ended up at St. Anselm's.

The friend of Father Clarke who sent me this photo tells me that it is hand-painted and appears to be hundreds of years old. Other facts about it, including the artist's name and whether it is the original or a copy, are a mystery. Perhaps a knowledgeable Dawn Patrol reader could solve it?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cafe wha?

Via Drudge. Gotta love the music—that Snoopy harp really makes it.

Pilots who don't do anything*

"Learning to love friends and family better prepares the heart for marriage than 'navigating' relationships with various romantic prospects. We learn intimacy through chaste love, not dating. God doesn't 'navigate' us; he loves us. The biggest myth about singleness is that singles should try on different dating partners. Yes, we should learn from dating experience, but we shouldn't make an idol of variety."

— Yours truly, preaching away in a Today's Christian Woman symposium.

*If you neither have young kids nor know any, click here.