H/T to Jonathan Sullivan (@sullijo)
Please, before you do anything, say a prayer for Thomas Peters, who has suffered from physical disabilities since a swimming accident in July.
Now let me tell you what this post is about: I’ve made a donation to help a fellow writer and a fellow Catholic in need. I’d like to encourage you to do the same, as well as join us in this social media outreach to stand with Thomas Peters.
I met Thomas Peters when I was SQPN‘s Boston-based conference coordinator for the Catholic New Media Conference (CNMC) in the summer of 2010. I had recommended Thomas’ participation as a speaker for our blogging track. I often recommended his blog when I had opportunities to introduce people to the Catholic blogosphere. Back then I only knew twenty-something Thomas as the American Papist blogger. Even then, he was a man on the move. Always busy writing, always taking up the Catholic cause for a variety of important ideas in the public square, teaching others by example how blogging needs to have a social conscience.
I’ve been grateful for the information that writers like Thomas have put into the hands of Catholics and the media regarding the issues that align with Christian social values. Folks like Thomas help the rest of us to stand up for those values in meaningful ways.
So today, I stand with Thomas.
Since July, this young man I always envisioned on the move has been struggling to move. He’s been battling the impairments that come from a fracture in his 5th cervical vertebra. Yes, he has made already made good progress, but there is so much more to go. His neck has healed, and he has regained some movement and mobility. From a medical standpoint, his injury has been classified as a C6-7 injury.
Today we are raising funds for his needs so that Thomas and his wife Natalie can find a new normal.
This is the GOAL: $25,000.
Please consider a donation via PayPal here.
Health Insurance via Cobra
Manual Wheelchair co-payment
Renting a motorized wheelchair – transitional
Prescriptions and medical supplies
Home health aide 3x a week
Handicapped accessible apartment
Expenses and miscellaneous bills
As a woman who has had amazing support from my local community when I faced my own health crisis several years back, I have some sense of the enormity of needs Thomas faces. And the humility it takes to ask for help.
Even $5 from a caring person can help.
The beards of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal confused for Red Sox fans… a cool video about the friars
Today many in Boston are celebrating the big win in the World Series last night. The Gohn family is no different – we’re thrilled with the Red Sox victory. But let me tell you something that is more precious to me than the win at Fenway last night: Women whose love and winning ideas make the world a better place. As breast cancer awareness month comes to a close today, I’m on my way into Boston for a mammogram — 17 years after my diagnosis for breast cancer. I’m a survivor with my own story, but today I’d like to share someone else’s victory over the disease.
In the months following my cancer recovery in 1996, I made a lot of friends who were diagnosed after me. Cathy McGrath (pictured above) was one of those friends. She was mother of one of my young daughter’s classmates and we drove the dance school carpool together. A business woman who worked around her family’s needs, when Cathy took the train in and out of Boston for her cancer treatments, she had a lot of time to think.
How can a woman’s dignity be maintained as she goes through all the continuous disrobing related to surgery, radiation, and chemo treatments?
How can she stay warm and stay strong when all hospitals provide are ill-fitting “johnnies” for a woman to wear?
At some point Cathy struck on an amazing idea… and it has kept her busy every since, with the design and production an amazing product: The Jacki®. It is a post-surgical recovery garment for breast cancer patients. And it is a gift for a woman in need. (And yes, there is even a man’s version, known as The Jack.)
Here’s more from Cathy’s website A Little Easier Recovery:
Some patients require what are called J.P. or Blake Drains depending on the extent of their surgery; the bulb-shaped drains collect fluid from under the incision. The Jacki® provides “all around pocketing” so you can place the drains into the pockets anywhere along the bottom or, if needed, in a higher pocket. There is also stitching between the pockets to enable the drain to be tucked securely.
Limited Range of Motion
After surgery you may have limited mobility in the range of motion of your shoulder or arm. The Jacki® also works well for step-in or one-handed dressing as the sleeves have Velcro seams. The buttons on the sleeves act as markers to easily find where the Velcro lines up. The Velcro seams also provide easy access for Nurses and Doctors taking blood pressure, blood testing, injections, IV lines, etc… while keeping the rest of you warm andcomfortable. You can dress at home, receive visitors, go to and from the hospital, and do errands. The top button on the shoulders is real, not Velcro. It makes it easy to drop the front down for exams and porta-cath, if present.
All Phases of Treatment and Recovery
The Jacki® first began as a post-surgical garment but has evolved to all phases of treatment and recovery. In the Jacki®women feel and look more like a person than a patient anddignity is restored. We have perfected the Jacki® to its “incognito, classic style”. Being a patient can seem so consuming at times; the Jacki® can help patients be themselves more of the time.
The Best of The Best
Patients deserve the best, and the best of the best has been put into the design, construction and fabric of this Jacki®. We designed it using the best input from the finest nurses, surgeons, and patients for over a year. Only the finest materials are used: high performance wicking from Polartec®, baby soft cotton from New York.
Today, the Jacki is handed out to women for free in hospitals all across America, and it has helped thousands of breast cancer patients have a sense of dignity and control of their situation at a time when its most needed.
AND NOW FOR THE WIN: I’m proud to announce that yesterday, Cathy’s non-profit, A Little Easier Recovery, is a recipient of grant dollars from the Mass Challenge, a group that honors and helps entrepreneurial start-ups grow through mentoring and funding. Congrats to all, and a big thank you to the sponsors, both private and corporate who’ve supported this work thus far.
You can help get this word out — you can help bring the Jacki to other women through your tax-deductible donations and your advocacy in bringing it to hospitals in your area.
Every woman fighting breast cancer should have access to this garment, but there’s a way to go. Donate! And share this with others!
WQOM is the Boston-area Catholic radio station, and while their signal is not as strong in my listening area, I know many of my Massachusetts and Rhode Island friends are very much blessed by its presence. The station recently started a billboard campaign and it is a simple message…
I hope folks in Massachusetts will consider some of the programming on WQOM. And I hope my little billboard here at The Back Porch can help lead people to it.
Catholic TV has its studios in Watertown, just outside of Boston, and they have an app for your smart phone! Find them on Facebook.
I love radio, and I guess I’m kind of partial to it. It’s a great, inexpensive medium, compare to television, for the new evangelization. My radio roots have definitely shaped me.
Back in the 80s, when I was a newlywed, living in New York, there was no such thing as Catholic Radio. A few stations might have an hour of a priest giving a message on a Sunday morning, but there really was no such thing as a Catholic radio station, and Catholic television stations were fledgling and few. So, after working in commercial radio and advertising, I did a five year stint in Christian Radio for the old WLIX on Long Island.
There I was, a devout Catholic, sharing in the ministry of gospel radio alongside Evangelical Christians, Baptists, including a few former Catholics who left the church for Protestant congregations. Looking back on those years, I can see the roots of much of the ministry I engage in now — the desire to share the gospel (and its specific proclamation within the Catholic Church and to the world), and to write and work in media. I grew up a lot in those five years and learned the lessons of ecumenism, including praying for and with others, respect for other faith traditions, and discovering my genuine need to go deeper in my own Catholic faith, and learn its tenets so I could adequately defend and share it.
Fast forward to today. I’m writing and speaking, and I am a frequent radio guest on many Catholic radio programs near and far. And I have been so grateful to all of the hosts and producers and owners for sharing the airtime with me. I’m so impressed with the growth of Catholic radio across the nation.
Catholic television continue to grow, and I’ve support and promoted Catholic TV in my area and via new media. (I’ve even been asked to do some television now and again, like Catholic TV’s This is The Day, and I don’t mind saying that I find that so much more daunting!)
But the point of this post is to remember that we all have a role in helping to spread the word about these stations. Most of them are non-profits, and they need our support for their growth. So do what you can! Listen! Get a bumper sticker! Tell your family and friends! Put an announcement in your church bulletin or school! Retweet their stuff on Twitter or plug their shows on Facebook or Google + or your favorite social sharing site. Heck, write a blog post!
I’ve missed you.
The blogging/podcasting/writing fast has been a healthy one for me.
As you may know, I took the last several weeks off to prep for and enjoy my daughter’s wedding, plus take some needed time off with family and friends. After launching a daughter this year, and a book, plus a DIY refinishing of a bathroom, and other pre-wedding household chores, I was in need of recharge.
So much has been going on in my life, and in the news, that it’s hard to know where to jump with a blog post today… but maybe I’ll just start with a few photos… (with promises of a new podcast, wedding photos, and thoughts about Pope Francis and World Youth Day still to come later this week!)
But first a piece of advice… If you ever have the joy of being a mother or father of the bride (or groom), be sure to make sure there are a few pennies left over from the celebration to treat yourselves to your own post-wedding vacation. You won’t regret it. After spending some time with our out of town guests following the July 4th wedding, Bob and I went to Maine. It gave us time to walk and talk, and read and rest, and to count our blessings.
Not to mention we got to do other Maine-like things that Downeast Maine is known for…
And watch the sunrise…
And find a lighthouse…
Eat more lobstah (and say it like a native)…
Find pretty harbors…
Search for puffins…
And find lots of creative ways to do nothing… and relax…
I pray you are having good summer…
Thou hast fixed all the bounds of the earth;
thou hast made summer and winter.
All photos taken by me on my iPhone 4S.
Bird lovers may be interested in learning about The Puffin Project.
So we’ve had the wedding and I’ll be sure to post a few photos and such for you down the line. But for now I’m taking a little time off. I’ll be meandering around the place, but I’ve got to soak up some sun and breathe deeply from the shady confines of the porch for a bit. I’ve got to let the wind chimes call me into their presence for a while, instead of the alerts and alarms of my workday schedules.
Sure, you’ll see a few little posts now and again, probably the F.U.N. Quotient on Fridays and such.
I pray you have a good summer wherever your heart and your feet take you.
note: comments have been disabled because I’m not at my desk to moderate them.
Love is a Name
Keep your vows sacred.
Ask each other what you can pray for, daily.
Tithe so you learn generosity, and understand God’s Providence.
Hear with your heart when the words fail.
Remember to have fun together; life is serious enough.
Young love is great; but strive for a life-long love and affection.
Never give in to comparing or jealousy.
Be the first to apologize when disagreements come, and they will.
Enjoy family traditions, but start a few of your own too.
Never leave each other without a kiss and a reminder of your love.
Just because… look for sweet, tangible ways to appreciate each other.
Attack problems, not each other; be kind and flexible.
Make a home that welcomes children, and their friends.
Intimacy first comes from talking face-to-face, then heart to heart.
Never lose respect for each other; it is the foundation for love.
Say a prayer for the happy couple. (And their parents!) Thanks!
note: comments have been disabled because I’m not at my desk to moderate them.
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
IN THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
52. Wishing in His supreme goodness and wisdom to effect the redemption of the world, “when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman…that we might receive the adoption of sons”.(283) “He for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary.”(1*) This divine mystery of salvation is revealed to us and continued in the Church, which the Lord established as His body. Joined to Christ the Head and in the unity of fellowship with all His saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory “of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ”.(2*)
53. The Virgin Mary, who at the message of the angel received the Word of God in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer. Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved. She is “the mother of the members of Christ . . . having cooperated by charity that faithful might be born in the Church, who are members of that Head.”(3*) Wherefore she is hailed as a pre-eminent and singular member of the Church, and as its type and excellent exemplar in faith and charity. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother.
54. Wherefore this Holy Synod, in expounding the doctrine on the Church, in which the divine Redeemer works salvation, intends to describe with diligence both the role of the Blessed Virgin in the mystery of the Incarnate Word and the Mystical Body, and the duties of redeemed mankind toward the Mother of God, who is mother of Christ and mother of men, particularly of the faithful. It does not, however, have it in mind to give a complete doctrine on Mary, nor does it wish to decide those questions which the work of theologians has not yet fully clarified. Those opinions therefore may be lawfully retained which are propounded in Catholic schools concerning her, who occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and yet very close to us.(4*)
II. The Role of the Blessed Mother in the Economy of Salvation
55. The Sacred Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament, as well as ancient Tradition show the role of the Mother of the Saviour in the economy of salvation in an ever clearer light and draw attention to it. The books of the Old Testament describe the history of salvation, by which the coming of Christ into the world was slowly prepared. These earliest documents, as they are read in the Church and are understood in the light of a further and full revelation, bring the figure of the woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually clearer light. When it is looked at in this way, she is already prophetically foreshadowed in the promise of victory over the serpent which was given to our first parents after their fall into sin.(284) Likewise she is the Virgin who shall conceive and bear a son, whose name will be called Emmanuel.(285) She stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from Him. With her the exalted Daughter of Sion, and after a long expectation of the promise, the times are fulfilled and the new Economy established, when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that He might in the mysteries of His flesh free man from sin.
56. The Father of mercies willed that the incarnation should be preceded by the acceptance of her who was predestined to be the mother of His Son, so that just as a woman contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life. That is true in outstanding fashion of the mother of Jesus, who gave to the world Him who is Life itself and who renews all things, and who was enriched by God with the gifts which befit such a role. It is no wonder therefore that the usage prevailed among the Fathers whereby they called the mother of God entirely holy and free from all stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature.(5*) Adorned from the first instant of her conception with the radiance of an entirely unique holiness, the Virgin of Nazareth is greeted, on God’s command, by an angel messenger as “full of grace”,(286) and to the heavenly messenger she replies: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word”.(287) Thus Mary, a daughter of Adam, consenting to the divine Word, became the mother of Jesus, the one and only Mediator. Embracing God’s salvific will with a full heart and impeded by no sin, she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord to the person and work of her Son, under Him and with Him, by the grace of almighty God, serving the mystery of redemption. Rightly therefore the holy Fathers see her as used by God not merely in a passive way, but as freely cooperating in the work of human salvation through faith and obedience. For, as St. Irenaeus says, she “being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”(6*) Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert in their preaching, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience; what the virgin Eve bound through her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.”(7*) Comparing Mary with Eve, they call her “the Mother of the living,”(8*) and still more often they say: “death through Eve, life through Mary.”(9*)
57. This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to His death it is shown first of all when Mary, arising in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her belief in the promise of salvation and the precursor leaped with joy in the womb of his mother.(288) This union is manifest also at the birth of Our Lord, who did not diminish His mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it,(10*) when the Mother of God joyfully showed her firstborn Son to the shepherds and Magi. When she presented Him to the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the mother’s soul, that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed.(289) When the Child Jesus was lost and they had sought Him sorrowing, His parents found Him in the temple, taken up with the things that were His Father’s business; and they did not understand the word of their Son. His Mother indeed kept these things to be pondered over in her heart.(290)
58. In the public life of Jesus, Mary makes significant appearances. This is so even at the very beginning, when at the marriage feast of Cana, moved with pity, she brought about by her intercession the beginning of miracles of Jesus the Messiah.(291) In the course of her Son’s preaching she received the words whereby in extolling a kingdom beyond the calculations and bonds of flesh and blood, He declared blessed(292) those who heard and kept the word of God, as she was faithfully doing.(293) After this manner the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan,(294) grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to His disciple with these words: “Woman, behold thy son”.(295) (11*)
59. But since it has pleased God not to manifest solemnly the mystery of the salvation of the human race before He would pour forth the Spirit promised by Christ, we see the apostles before the day of Pentecost “persevering with one mind in prayer with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with His brethren”,(296) and Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation. Finally, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all guilt of original sin,(12*) on the completion of her earthly sojourn, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory,(13*) and exalted by the Lord as Queen of the universe, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords(297) and the conqueror of sin and death.(l4*)
Second Vatican Council