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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jehova Jireh

May God bless our dear brother, Orlando Sr., he's been leading the Servants of the Father of Mercy moving team since it all began this past Saturday. On Monday Orlando began to lead the clean-up and renovation team too. The new warehouse is a real fixer upper. The owner is sending in the electrician tomorrow to put up new lights and cap off wires that seem to go nowhere. Today Orlando put a new linoleum floor in the bathroom.  Yesterday, he and Angelique and her friend Kinsey painted all 2,000 sq. ft.

This Friday is OPEN HOUSE not to be missed at 6pm, pizza dinner and prayers and blessings for the new HQ in Ventura. Call Orlando, Maggie, Miguel or myself and we'll give you directions. The new place is near WinCo and the Office Depot off Telephone Road/Market Street area. Who all is planning to attend OPEN HOUSE and YOUTH & FAMILY NIGHT this Friday? 
Btw this coming Saturday morning at 8am is a garage sale in front of the new place. Who all has some household stuff to bring? Angelique and Cathy are planning to bring some things too. 

Many thanks to Mai Pham, Pam, Joel, Mark, Fr. John, Fr. Frank, Miguel, Angela, Ira, Maggie, Ramon and his brother Saul and so many that have made this move possible with hard labor, contributions, love and prayers!  Please pray, pray, pray and beg, beg, beg asking loved ones to help out financially at this critical time.  There is still a need of about $1,500 to cover city inspection, fire inspection, linoleum floor tile replacements, kitchen sink, electric deposit, Farmers Insurance, piano tuning and other unforeseen associated move expenses that seem to daily surprise us and have mounted up seemingly out of nowhere!   Jehova Jireh, "YHWH will provide!"
Here are some before pics of the new place . . .

P. S. God willing we will resume homeless supplies pickups, deliveries and more to help our homeless family beginning in February once the big move is behind us.  The choir members performing at elderly care facilities this Eastertime will begin spring concert practice the first week in March.


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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friends, Romans and Countrymen Lend Me Your Ears

We're Moving Today!  Friends, Romans, Countrymen and Servants of the Father of Mercy, lend me your ears.  Today is moving day!  We come together at 10am this Saturday and Sunday morning not to stay in Santa Paula, but to bury it.  So let it be.  O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason. Bear with me; our hearts are now in Ventura.  Be in Santa Paula at 10am this morning and well show you the way.  And I must pause now till it comes back anew . . .

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" is the first line of a famous and often-quoted speech by Mark Antony in the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. It is taken from Act III, scene II. The moving day translation is by brother joseph.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A 10 Year-old Math Whiz on His Way to Sainthood

Today, Susan Donaldson report from Good Morning America about Keegan Keppner (photo) who is only 10 years old, but he knows what it's like to struggle. His parents are both unemployed and he has been fighting a rare and terminal form of brain cancer that has required multiple rounds of chemotherapy.

But this week, he is not worried about himself. He wants to make sure the city of Eugene, OR takes care of the homeless, who are being shuffled out of a tent community called Whoville camp.
"It's sad to see them suffer," Keegan, a fourth grade math whiz, told ABC News. "There are a lot of nice people down there."

On Jan. 15, the city replaced "no camping" signs with "no trespassing" signs, which, if violated, could result in arrests, according to the local television station, WVAL.
So Keegan and his stepfather, Steven Macgray, decided to cook up a pot of rice and beans and take it down to the 18 or so homeless people. Magray said Keegan had been worried about the city's homeless population since last December. "It's on his bucket list," said Macgray, 36.

"He would see a lot of homeless guys on the street and give them dollar bills here and there," he told "It's been controversial here – the homeless are getting pushed out of the city. One guy named Ken was crying on TV and it really struck Keegan. He looked at me and said, 'We really need to do something.'"
"He wants everyone to know that the homeless are just like you and me," said Macgray. "He understands some are there by choice and others are not there by choice."

Magray and his wife Kimberli met and married in Nevada where they were gold miners. Keegan was only 3 and had been diagnosed with glioma, a rare and terminal brain cancer. But by 2012, Keegan's mother had a work-related injury to her Achilles tendon and lost her job, and the couple cashed out their 401Ks and moved to a mobile home in Oregon, where life was more affordable.
Keegan is in remission now after undergoing two rounds of chemotherapy. The family is hopeful, but "you just never know," said Magray.

"I feel really good," said Keegan. Even with the canker sores that inevitably came with the chemotherapy, "He woke up with a smile on his face very day," said his stepfather.
The city plans to evict the homeless, so Keegan and his stepfather cooked up one more big batch of chili, which they were to take down to park on Martin Luther King Day. "He wants to make sure they get one last hot meal before they are dispersed,' said Macgray.

The issue of homelessness is a controversial one, and some of the comments online have been negative, but Keegan said, "No matter what happens, you always get some good out of it – no matter what you are faced with."
Macgray said Keegan is not only optimistic about his cancer, but about other people, too.
"It's his disposition, ever since I met Keegan," said Magray. "He'll always give you the shirt off his back and he doesn't care who you are."

He, too had been homeless for a time while living in Alaska. "I wanted to teach Keegan about the diversity or culture out there," said Macgray. "If he does survive, it will make him a better

Friday, January 17, 2014

Who's On the Side of the Poor?

Lately it seems, more and more cities are passing laws to restrict the poor homeless, remove them from parks, prevent stopping and resting and heavily fine those who feed and clothe them. This has been seen most recently in the Anaheim area and Long Beach too. Some years ago the Los Angeles cathedral abandoned its sandwich lunch program apparently because of city pressure that the food distribution was bringing the wrong people into central DTLA. Unfortunate for city leaders and councils, they are on the wrong team when they manipulate the poor and needy. Here's one of 93 Scriptures saying that God is on the side of the poor: "For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight." Psalm 72:12-14

Jesus, he walked the earth begging for his every need, and still does, and still gets crucified. Resurrection day is coming!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Press & Play" Technology - This Bible Talks!

After the post on Tuesday about the children in Newtown receiving This Bible Talks! as a gift at Christmastime, questions linger about just what is This Bible Talks!  A few years ago, Pam Fischer, a mom, housewife, author and lay missionary of our community, the Servants of the Father of Mercy created the first-ever talking Bible for children, toddlers and pre - readers.  Prior to publication, Pam had researched the importance of child evangelism at an early age before they are influenced by peers and environment.  It was an enormous expense of creativity, off-shore printing logistics and investment capital. 

The Bibles uses "press & play" technology combined with a traditional book containing stories, text and illustrations.  It is also available in I - Pad.  Here is where you can order copies of this most innovative and inspirational talking Bible for the little ones in your life!  It is a perfect resource for Sunday school teachers, home-schooling and other educational environments.  With the help of grants from Our Sunday Visitor, the nation's largest Catholic weekly, This Bible Talks! has been donated to 100s of poor children over the past five years.  In the photo above, Bishop Kicanas gifts the talking Bible to poor little ones in Tucson, AZ.  Here is a link to order . . .


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Talking Bibles for Children in Newtown, CT

This article will be in the Fairfield County Catholic newspaper this week. It is on the diocese of Bridgeport, CT home page, As we all know, these poor children have been through a lot this past year, but really couldn't wait to get into their copy of God’s word, "This Bible Talks!" and receive some consolation from our talking Bible for toddlers and pre-readers.

"200 first graders at St Rose of Lima in Newtown, CT received their very first bible in special small prayer sessions attended by parents and led by Pam Arsenault, the Director of Religious Education. "This Bible Talks!" by Pamela Fisher is a gift from the Servants of the Father of Mercy and Our Sunday Visitor. The grant was written by Brother Gary Joseph of the Servants of the Father of Mercy. Many thanks to him and the Grant Director at Our Sunday Visitor, Jerry Kearns for this generous gift.
"The children were delighted as they listened to their personal bible narrate a familiar bible story."

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"Church Must Not Create Selfish 'Little Monster' Priests", Pope Said

Philip Pullella, recently reporting from Vatican City for Reuters reports - Pope Francis has said men studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood should be properly trained or the Church could risk "creating little monsters" more concerned with their careers than serving people.

In comments made in November but only published on Friday, Francis also said priests should leave their comfort zone and get out among people on the margins of society, otherwise they may turn into "abstract ideologists".

The Italian Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica published an exclusive text of the comments, made in a three-hour, closed-door meeting the Argentinian-born pontiff had in late November with heads of orders of priests from around the world.

"Formation (of future priests) is a work of art, not a police action. We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goose bumps," he said.

Since his election in 2013 as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, Francis has been prodding priests, nuns and bishops to think less about their careers in the Church and to listen more to the needs of ordinary Catholics, especially the poor.

Taking over an institution reeling from child sex abuse, financial and other scandals and losing members to other religions, Francis has tried to refocus on the basic Christian teachings of compassion, simplicity and humility.

His conversation with the members of the Union of Superiors General is important because they will transmit his wishes directly to priests in their religious orders around the world.

Francis said priests had to have "real contact with the poor" and other marginalized members of society.

"This is really very important to me: the need to become acquainted with reality by experience, to spend time walking on the periphery in order really to become acquainted with the reality and life-experiences of people," he told them.  "If this does not happen we then run the risk of being abstract ideologists or fundamentalists, which is not healthy."

The leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics has set a new tone in the Vatican, rejecting the lush papal residence his predecessors used and opting for a small suite in a Vatican guest house, where he eats in the common dining hall.

Civilta Cattolica is the same periodical that ran a landmark interview with Francis in September in which he said the Church must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality and become more merciful.

Francis, known as the "slum bishop" in Argentina because of his work among the poor, said reaching out to marginalized people was "the most concrete way of imitating Jesus".

Francis has said several times since his election that he feels the Vatican is too self-centered and needs to change.

A committee of eight cardinals from around the world that he has appointed to advise him on how to reform the central Vatican administration, known as the Curia, is due to submit its recommendations in February.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Good News!

Everyone likes reading the news, especially good news! Each month the Servants of the Father of Mercy updates its "news" page at Please check it out for January for some good news!

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Celebrating the Reason for the Season, Happy New Year!

Happy Jesus' Birthday today! He was born 2,014 years ago. Celebrating 2,014 years of Christ's poverty, brokenness and emptiness in a world filled with pride, power, riches, wealth and control.  May the peace of his poverty be yours in the New Year!