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Just checking to see if people out there are entering into the spirit of the Novena for the full power and grace of the Holy Spirit to enter into their lives? You can read the whole thing if you sign up for the weekly email blasts.
Remember, you can find a daily Novena prayer on line. It only takes a few minutes to pray each day for the 9 days prior to Pentecost (Sunday, May 27). Today (Saturday) is day two (2) of the Novena. The prayer asks for the “Father of the poor” to come with His treasures of grace and light! You can’t buy “grace” or “light.” But, we are all invited to receive grace and light as the Spirit’s gifts.
In fact, that’s what I’m praying for most today for my young cousin. That she be a filled with grace and share the light of faith. She will turn 18! It’s our tradition to have a “debutante ball” to show how this young girl has become a young woman! Gosh, I am getting older! Looking at this girl, now grown up, I can only imagine what her parents must be feeling! She’s a good girl, getting good grades, makes good decisions, and tries very hard to share her many talents to help this world! She’s obviously not perfect – no person is. But, I’m so grateful that she tries to be good!
The Debutante Ball is liken to those those famous “Sweet 16” episodes you may find on a popular Music Network for young people. But, unlike those TV shows, my young cousin will celebrate her Debutante Ball with a formal dance, a classy gown, a real menu, appropriate music, and prayer. She will demonstrate that growing up means growing up! Unfortunately, some clips of other young girl’s “coming out” parties can demonstrate anything but maturity. Instead of growing up, some of these Sweet 16 shows, which is more about tremendous cash flow and very expensive gifts, demonstrate how materialism (for the sake of popularity) can turn us all “immature.” It’s a spoiled baby who wants everything – and get’s it.
In this time of the year when we will celebrate graduations, proms and birthdays, we may want to consider how maturity is something we become, not something we buy. Therefore the Novena Prayer, reminding us of the “Father of the Poor” can help us ask for the true gifts of life. That’s what I want most for my counsin. Sure, I’ll get her a gift, and one that she can use. A gift card! But, she knows that my greatest gift for her is my sincere and prayerful hope that she will have the grace and light needed to become the woman God calls her to be!
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Marinated mixed field greens with chicken & prosciutto (serves 4)
- 1 bag of prewashed mixed field greens
- 4 thin fillets of chicken breasts
- 4-6 slices of cured ham (prosciutto)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 pinches of salt (per taste)
- 3-5 cracks of fresh ground pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons of light olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of capers
- 2 tablespoon of red onion, diced
- 2-3 tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
Cut chicken and prosciutto or cured ham into ¼ inch strips. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Sauté chicken and prosciutto together for apx. 5 minutes. The ham becomes crispy and the chicken should be fully cooked. Set aside. In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil and sauté garlic and onions. Add red wine vinegar, capers, salt and pepper, and cook until warm. Plate field greens and pour the hot vinaigrette over the salad to wilt and marinate the greens. Toss greens and top with the chicken, prosciutto, and cheese. If taken on a picnic, cook all ingredients and separate in temperature-controlled containers until ready to assemble the meal.
On 6 May 07, Fr. John Delclos was called home to God. I will miss him, but know his reward will be great in heaven.
My friendship with Fr. Delclos and appreciation for his priesthood is not well known. We haven’t had much time to spend together because of a long struggle he has had with cancer and of course, the regular busy lives of priest. To many, Fr. John and I wouldn’t be considered close friends. But my estimation for him is great. He is the priest responsible for my conversion! He was the one who helped me see that God is real, and he helped me find healing in the Sacrament of Confession after many years.
Fr. Delclos is a priest of Baltimore. If you ever heard my vocation presentations at conferences or youth rallies, I refer to a priest who came to my parish and invited people to come to one night of a Mission that he was conducting that week. It was 1989. He said, “if you are coming to Mass but don’t know why, you should come to one night of this mission. If you don’t want to go to mass after that, then you don’t have to go!” Boy, I thought that was my invitation to not go to Mass anymore. So I agreed to go to one night of his mission. He was obviously bold and zealous for the Faith. The fact is, he had something up his priestly vestments: an explanation of the Mass! He knew full well that if people understood the Mass, we would fall in love with Jesus in the Eucharist. He taught us to be active participants, rather than lifeless spectators. He showed me what Jesus looks like by showing to me the meaning of the Eucharist and the Body of Christ, the Church!
His presentation touched my heart, opened my mind and changed my life. We know that our hearts can be divided or hardened, our minds can be closed, and our lives can be headed in the wrong direction. His powerful words and loving witness were strong enough make a difference in my life. I think, no, I know and believe that God will see his ministry (especially towards sinners like me) as a good reason for having a special place for him in heaven.
Fr. Delclos gave the opening prayer at my ordination celebration. A few days later, he took me out to a “fancy schmancy” French Restaurant in the city as his ordination gift to me. It was a pleasure and honor to reconnect with this man as a friend and now brother priest. My last real encounter with him was around that special meal. But the reality is, Fr. John Delclos will be remembered in my life for inviting me to the most sacred meal: The Lord’s Supper.
Fr. Delclos, thank you for your “yes” to God, for your inspiring work as a conference speaker and retreat leader, for being a friend and mentor, and for teaching me where to find God in my life.
May the angels lead you to paradise. May the martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city – the new and eternal Jerusalem. May your soul rest in peace. Amen.
Creamy Shrimp Appetizer: For one person – great for Mom!
Ingredients: 3 deveined and butterflied raw shrimp
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of goat cheese
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of diced shallots
- 3-4 Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
- 2-3 Tablespoons of dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons of diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon combination of chives and parsley
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 3-4 crack of finely ground black pepper
Melt butter and goat cheese in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté. Add shrimp and cook for a few minutes before adding the whipping cream, wine, and tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with chive and parsley combination when shrimp are ready to be served. This particular dish was served with an herbal risotto. The combination of the different creams and the shrimp over the rice made for a perfect presentation and smiley faces for all who got a little taste!
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