The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

a young girl approached me this morning and said, "padre, i want to talk to you about something."

"speak," i said.

"well, i want a scholarship to your school."


"well, i'm in fifth grade, and i think i passed into sixth grade. i'll find out tomorrow and bring you my report card. anyway, i have a cousin who is stupid, i mean really stupid, and he went to your school this year and now he's smarter than i, so i want to go to your school so i can learn."

here she is, and the little guy too:

just when i thought that i had nothing to blog:

riding back from Mass i see this woman and her husband. she's clearly pregnant sitting on the road. he's clearly distressed and sitting next to her. he jumps up and flags me down. so, after assessing the situation i ask her if she's in labor. she doesn't respond. he says she can't walk and sitting in a road in the sun probably isn't a good thing. so we hoist her up, side-saddle, and off i go. she starts to pass out. i reach back and try to steady her. i was trying to grab her shoulder. grabbed something else. so she's about to faint, i'm trying to drive with one hand on the accelerator, the other on her arm. her water breaks.

at this point we're about 2 minutes from the hospital. i tell her to hang on and drive into the hospital. a bunch of women scream "padre, she's going to fall," "something else is going to fall! someone get a wheelchair"

so, we wheel her in and i the doc says, "boy, she looks pregnant." "really. well, her water broke 2 minutes ago." so, we wheel her down to the delivery room. i sit down outside and take a deep breath. then the baby takes a deep breath. literally. it wasn't 1 minute after they put her on the bed that the baby was born. doc says it was already on its way out when we arrived...

check out the joy on the faces of these two after their First Communion:

i think i have finally recovered from the paralysis of a 4-day diocesan workshop.

big things in store for the mission:

today marks the one year annivesary of the arrival of the dog. he came struggling in 1 year ago today as a barely alive pup and now runs 45 kph.

happy ordination day to all the new priests of the diocese of arlington.

seton high school arrived last night. then comes paul vi. then the group from the diocesan youth office. then kids from foccus. so we have a busy summer.

and, since the rainy season is upon us in all its force, i would ask for a few additional prayers as fr murphy and i slip and slide our way through the mud troughs and water holes. as you can see from the pic below, when the tires get this muddy the bike has less traction than a small girl wearing glass slippers on an ice rink. so, a few extra prayers for safety would be appreciated.

the boys keep laying block. should have the whole thing finished by august:

oh, i forgot to mention that work has begun on the second floor of the school. the plan is to add grades 5-8 next year. i'll take some pics tomorrow.

i'm seriously struggling with the prevailing idea down here that sunday Mass is optional. or at least, that if the rollers are still in your hair then you are excused. pray that God gives us the words to help combat this long-standing tradition...we're having salad tonight - sure, that's correct, salad, well, home made french fries too - from our garden. how's that for a nice early crop of this horse-radish tasting leaf lettuce.


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