Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A really cool essay by Beverly Taylor on becoming a conductor. Lots of good food for thought there.

Thanks to Catholic Light's Richard Chonak for the link.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I had my follow-up visit with the orthopedist today. He looked at my wrist and had me move it around, etc. He says my prognosis is excellent; I have 90% of my range of motion back already. It's still a little weak, but he says that will pass with time. I need to continue my exercises (up to a 10 lb weight for wrist curls), but he says other than the occasional twinge I should have no long-term problems. I'm really pleased. I will probably continue to wear my wrist guard while skating for a couple of weeks or so until I feel I could do a push-up without it hurting too much.

Monday, June 28, 2004

In this week's Monday Memo, Bishop Kicanas provides an update on possible bankruptcy for the Diocese of Tucson. In it he reminds Catholics that the buck stops at his desk:

Ultimately, it is my responsibility as your bishop to respond to the sin and betrayal of trust that happened here.

Also, five parishes were notified of allegations of sexual misconduct by two priests and a deacon.
This is pretty cool -- Scans uncover secrets of the womb. Just looking at pictures of the fetus yawning made me yawn too! It's great how technology can help people's understanding. Jn 8:32.
So the US has handed Iraq its sovereignty back -- U.S. returns sovereignty to Iraq. Handing it over 2 days early was, IMHO, a pretty smart move -- first of all if the terrorists had special plans for 6/30 it makes them moot, and second it gives more credence to the new government.
A cool article from Nature: Tunes create context like language: Maths shows why tonal music is easy listening. See also the Slashdot discussion.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Ha! The German government is warning Germans about the consequences of a falling birthrate. Of course MSNBC puts it in a context of "have more sex."

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Music for Mass
SSPP Combined Choirs
Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul

Gathering Song: For All The Saints (SINE NOMINE)
Penitential Rite: (spoken)
Gloria: Ss. Peter and Paul Gloria (Schiavone)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34 (Dean)
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic Alleluia (Walker)
Preparation of the Gifts: Only This I Want (Schutte)
Holy,Holy: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Memorial Acclamation: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Great Amen: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Our Father: Yantis
Lamb of God: Mass of Creation (Haugen)
Communion: On Eagle's Wings (Joncas)
Meditation: Tu Es Petrus (Palestrina)
Recessional: God, We Praise You (NETTLETON)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

With summertime here, I've been reading more, and watching more videos. I watched my DVD of It (Stephen King), then of course I had to re-read the book. I'd forgotten what a good (and long!) book it is. There is so much that's not in the movie that is in the book. And of course the book is much, much scarier than the movie. I do have to say that in many ways I liked the young set of actors better than the older ones. My favorite was Emily Perkins, who played the young Beverly Marsh. Wow. If I'd known a girl like that when I was in 5th grade... okay, maybe not. I was pretty clueless about girls until 7th grade or so. But wow. If I'd known a girl like that in 7th grade I'd have been head over heels, no question.

I also re-read the 3rd Harry Potter book (Prisoner of Azkaban) in preparation to go see the movie... one of these days!

A friend lent me the box set of My So-Called Life, which is one of my all-time favorite TV series. I've been making my way through it, and wow! I'd forgotten just how good it was. Not perfect, but darn good. It's not just the luminosity of Claire Danes's performance, it's the amazing quality of the writing. Awesome.

Finally, another friend lent me the Veggie Tales movie, Jonah. I've always loved Veggie Tales ever since my best friend introduced me to the series. The movie was terrific, good fun, very funny, and with a good message too.

Friday, June 18, 2004

End of an era! Today was the last day that the last of Tucson's reversible lanes was in effect. At the peak in the early 80s, Tucson had four streets with reversible lanes, all running east-west: Grant Road, Speedway Boulevard, 5th/6th Street, and Broadway Boulevard. The so-called "suicide lanes" were never popular with businesses, but they did move traffic. The reversible lanes were in effect 7-9 a.m. (running westbound) and 4-6 p.m. (eastbound). I drove the length of the Grant Road suicide lane today at 5:45 p.m. to relish for the last time that giddy, heady feeling of zipping down the center lane up hill and down dale, at 50 mph. I made it from Stone Avenue to Swan Road (about 5 miles) in a bit over 6 minutes. I know many are glad they are gone, but I'll miss it.
The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that the Diocese of Tucson is inching closer to bankruptcy. There's a letter from Bishop Kicanas dated last Wednesday:

JUNE 16, 2004


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus:

My primary goals over the past year and a half as your bishop have been to restore trust and to heal hurt as our Diocese has continued to experience the tragic consequences of the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Of important concern has been how to respond to needs of victims of abuse, including those who have sought the remedy of civil suits against the Diocese.

You may have become aware this last week that the Diocese went into court to ask for a continuance of one of the multiple suits being litigated against it. The intent in asking for this continuance was so that the Diocese can do the proper consultation necessary to begin what now appears to be the only option for the Diocese, pursuit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under Federal law.

Clearly, this is not the preferred option of the Diocese. It has been and continues to be our desire, interest, hope, and preference to mediate these cases.

Currently, however, settlements within the means and resources of the Diocese do not seem possible, and our efforts to mediate the demands have been unsuccessful. As you know, we are a mission diocese with few resources. Previous settlements have severely limited our ability to respond to the present demands.

Our government offers Chapter 11 as a relief for organizations that find themselves with debts beyond their capacity to pay. It is the mechanism our government has established as a way for organizations to continue their primary mission while meeting their obligations such as debt or legal settlements.

Over the past year I have been in consultation with many people, both in and outside the Diocese. I have sought their counsel and advice. Locally, I have talked with our Presbyteral Council, our Diocesan Pastoral Council, our Diocesan Finance Council, and with many of our Catholic laity. They have supported the further consideration of Chapter 11 as a way to best continue the mission of the Diocese while responding to legal demands and the needs of victims.

In considering this difficult option, several factors are being weighed.

First, it is vitally important that the Church be able to continue its ministry.

I cannot allow our parishes or schools to be constrained in their ability to extend their pastoral care and outreach to our communities within the Diocese.

In addition, Chapter 11 allows for a more just response to those who have been harmed than would be possible in the current situation. Clearly it is likely that additional suits could be filed against the Diocese. At the time of the major settlement in 2002, it was hoped that would be the end of claims. In fact, it was only the beginning.

Beyond those who bring legal suits, there are other victims who have needs for counseling and spiritual support that in justice should be addressed. Finally, we cannot forget the important work to prevent the possibility of any future abuse. An effective safe environment program at all our parishes and schools also requires resources.

If the Diocese files for Chapter 11 protection, it would be based on the conviction that this decision is the best way for our Diocese to continue its mission while responding to the needs of victims.

I assure you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that the monies that you have so generously given for the missions and ministries of the Church will be devoted only to those purposes. I do not believe that a declaration of Chapter 11 by the Diocese will lead to any adverse financial impact on our parishes and schools. Likewise, I am confident that because agencies like Catholic Community Services, the Catholic Foundation, Catholic Cemeteries and the Charity and Ministry Fund (Annual Catholic Appeal) are separately incorporated entities their assets are not involved in litigation against the Diocese.

I also assure you that I will continue to do everything in my power within the resources available to meet the counseling needs of those who have been harmed, whether they have sued or presented themselves to us outside the legal system, and to maintain our multi-faceted program to prevent such harm from occurring in the future.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please send them to me by e-mail ( or by letter addressed to me at P.O. Box 31, 111 S. Church, Tucson, AZ 85702.

Let us pray together that what is decided will be best for those who have been hurt and for the mission of our Diocese. Be assured that we will continue with the mission entrusted to us by Jesus Christ.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

Bishop of Tucson

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

An article from CNN on the current flap re: "Catholic" pro-abortion politicians- Battling the bishops.

What's interesting to consider is that this whole big stink started, really, because one bishop had the guts to stand up and say "this is wrong." It proves that people are listening, if the teachers will just teach.
*sigh* The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that the Diocese of Tucson is considering bankruptcy. I knew it was bad (the Diocese was in precarious financial shape long before it was hit with the sexual abuse lawsuits. Still, this is not the kind of history the Church in Tucson wants to make.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Arizona is home to the largest nuclear power plant in the US. Thus it's very disturbing that all three units of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station shutdown Monday due to an as-yet undetermined electrical failure elsewhere in the grid.

What I've not found out is how the system was able to compensate for the loss of almost 4 GWh of generating capacity.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Whoo-hoo! The University of Arizona® Wildcat baseball team is heading to the College World Series! This is their first trip since 1986.

Bear Down! Go 'Cats!
The lovely Jeanetta has posted an important prayer request. Please check it out and offer some.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Music for Mass
SSPP Latin Schola
Feast of Corpus Christi, Year C

Prelude: O Esca Viatorum (St. Gregory Hymnal #228a)
Gathering Song: Soul of My Savior (ANIMA CHRISTI)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Gloria: (Chant Mass)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 110(Dominican tones)
Gospel Acclamation: Chant (Dominican tones)
Preparation of the Gifts: Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart)
Ave Verum Corpus (Byrd)
Holy,Holy: Sanctus (Chant Mass)
Memorial Acclamation: (Chant Mass)
Great Amen: (Chant Mass)
Our Father: (Traditional Chant)
Lamb of God: Agnus Dei (Chant Mass)
Communion: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (PICARDY)
Meditation: Pange Lingua (Pius X Hymnal #48)
Recessional: At the Lamb's High Feast (SALZBURG)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I had a letter to the editor published in today's Arizona Daily Star:

Stem cell editorial is unsupported

In the June 10 editorial, "Honoring Ronald Reagan," the Star gazes into its crystal ball and comments on potential cures for Alzheimer's disease: "Of course, we'll never know. We won't because President Bush decided early in his presidency to limit the availability of stem cell lines for research into diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's."

With all due respect, this is totally unsupported. First, there is no way to know whether these diseases are amenable to stem cell treatment. While many scientists believe this to be true, others do not. For the Star to present the above statement as fact is simply untrue, and deserves a correction.

Second, it oversimplifies the issue. What President Bush rightly restricted was research that uses the bodies of unborn babies as raw material. There are no restrictions on other sources of stem cells that don't require the death of a human being in order to obtain them. Some research indicates these adult stem cells may be as good, or better, than fetal stem cells.

Finally, the editorial board seems to believe that the end can justify the means. Anyone who values human life has to believe that a good end (curing disease) cannot be justified by an evil means (harvesting tissue from aborted babies).

The irony is that President Reagan opposed abortion strongly. I cannot believe he would support the harvesting of fetal tissue, even to save him from his fate. He had more character than that.

Gordon Zaft

Friday, June 11, 2004

Today was the Day of Mourning for President Reagan. Here are President Bush's remarks at the funeral service at the National Cathedral. Rest in peace, Mr. Reagan.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Yea! I got my cast off this morning. After viewing the x-rays, the orthopedist said it's healed very nicely and the prognosis is quite good. After some discussion on therapy, he asked me to get some hand dumbbells and use them to exercise the wrist; I go back in 3 weeks. The wrist feels mostly just sprained now; the range of motion is pretty limited and my grip strength is a bit weak.
After 35 years or so, the Tridentine Latin Mass is once more being said in the Diocese of Phoenix. Here in Tucson it's been available weekly for quite some time.

Monday, June 07, 2004

I'm catching up a bit... some short observations.

Like many people I was saddened to hear of President Reagan's death on Saturday. While I disagreed with many of his domestic policies, certainly in his willingness to confront the Soviet Union he did us all a big favor. Alas, the Clinton administration squandered that "heritage of resolve" in large measure. Personal connection -- when I worked for the Navy I used to be amused at the "chain of command" pictures in the command building, that went all the way from the commander of the Station up to.. President Reagan (and, later, GHW Bush). Also, my choir in California (Ventura County Master Chorale) sang for the second day of the opening celebration for the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. Very cool.

Sunday I went to see "Ella Enchanted." It was a fun movie; rather silly. Since I think Anne Hathaway is one of the most beautiful women on the face of the planet, I really enjoyed the movie.

Not that I'm counting, but I should be getting my cast off in 21 hours or less.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Wow! Mark Shea gives a really nice analysis of Francis Cardinal George's address to the Pope, and responds to Rod Dreher's criticism of the same.
Slashdot has commented on the 25th anniversary of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program. It's really amazing how far we've come since then. Check out PC World's interview with the authors, or head over to Dan Bricklin's site to download a copy for your own PC.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Francis Cardinal George hits it on the head:

"On the left," he said, "the Church's teachings on sexual morality and the nature of ordained priesthood and of the Church herself are publicly opposed, as are the bishops who preach and defend these teachings. On the right, the Church's teachings might be accepted, but bishops who do not govern exactly and to the last detail in the way expected are publicly opposed."

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

Update: Here's the full text.
It's finally hot! After a relatively mild May, the Star reports Tucson hit 100 degrees (F) yesterday. We Tucsonans call this event "the ice breaking on the Santa Cruz" -- the Santa Cruz river "flows" through downtown Tucson. I say "flows" because with all the pumping from wells, the Santa Cruz hasn't flowed year-round for decades; it's only full when it rains, now. This is the latest ice-break since 1998.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Bishop Kicanas is making his ad limina visit to the Vatican. Check out his online journal of the trip!
Oh, and not that I'm counting or anything, but I get my cast off next Tuesday! Yea!
Fr. Rob Johansen gives some wisdom on the Cardinal Law appointment. Thanks to Mark Shea for the link!