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Project 2996 is an online volunteer project to remember and pay tribute to each of the 2996 innocent people who lost their lives on 9/11.

The project for this year needs lots of volunteers, so please consider signing up!  Here’s more information from the project blog:

On September 11, 2009 the participants of Project 2,996 will join in a massive blogburst. With enough participants I hope we can flood the blogosphere and the internet with the names faces and stories of the 2,996 people who were murdered for doing nothing more than living their daily lives.

If you’d like to participate, please sign up below.

  • If you’d like to volunteer to write a tribute on and post it to your own blog or website on 9/11/09, please be sure to include the URL of your site, and in the comment section tell us that you’d like to write a tribute.
  • If you don’t have a website but would still like to participate in Project 2,996, go ahead and sign up and I’ll send you updates about our progress. But if you don’t want to write a tribute please don’t enter your URL.

Like the first year, I’ll assign a random 9/11 victim to each person who wants to write a tribute. But unlike years past you probably won’t be assigned a victim right away. To cut down on on the craziness behind the scenes I’ll be assigning names in bulk along the way.

I have signed up for this year and look forward to it.  It is an honor and privilege to remember those who have died.

I wrote a tribute for a fallen hero in 2006.  Read it here.

Thank you.


nomineeI’m so pleased and thankful that my blog has been nominated for the Catholic New Media Awards (formerly the Catholic Blog Awards), in the category of “Most Spiritual Blog.”

That’s quite an honor!

Voting takes place this month.  Go support your favorite Catholic blogs, podcasts, and Web sites!

Tomorrow, Sunday 17 May, I will be making my temporary profession to the Order of Preachers.  Having come through training as an inquirer and then a novice, I will be making a firmer pledge and commitment to live according to the rule of the Dominican Laity.  I will receive a small white scapular.  I will receive the privilege of including the “OP” designation after my name.

But I will be thinking much more about what I can give and what I can do as a Lay Dominican.  This blog will stay around.  In fact, this blog will likely take on a greater significance as I embark on the apostolic mission of the Order to preach to all the ends of the earth.

I can tell you that I have some other projects brewing in my head, including at least one additional blog.  It will be devoted to issues of creation, stewardship, the welfare of animals and other creatures, and man’s proper role in it all.  My aim is to provide an authentic Catholic alternative to the secular environmentalism and related movements that are sweeping our nation and our world and that are so wound up in paganism and liberalist agendas.  I want to show a better, higher, truer way.  At the moment, I have much to learn on the issues myself.  If anybody can help me out, if anybody can recommend resources, or if anybody can point me to good Catholic blogs with the same or similar aims… it would be much appreciated.  I don’t want to re-create the wheel, after all!  Although there’s no content there yet, you can see what the new blog will look like.

I’m still planning to create a work about and dedicated to St. Dominic, my beloved spiritual father.  I want to help everybody to know him as I do, to know him as he is.  That too is in its very early, preparatory stages.  I’m not even sure what form it will take.

Of course, tomorrow is also the big day for Pres. Obama and Notre Dame.  I will always remember that this debacle coincided with my profession day.  I wonder if that means something…  I don’t believe in coincidences.

I just saw a report on a local news program about it, and it made me want to bang my head on my desk repeatedly.  They were talking about the pro-lifers protesting the president’s coming to give a speech.  They aired an incredibly disingenuous, very innocuous-sounding statement from some ND spokesman about how the university and Catholic values are not threatened by the president coming to give a speech, and that the university is open to all kinds of thinking, including the president’s.  GAH!  Among the protesters they showed were Dr. Alan Keyes, two cassock-clad priests, and various other men and women, all of them quietly and calmly praying the Rosary.  But of course they just had to include a police officer remarking on how some of the protesters have gotten out of hand.  GAAAHH!

I’ll tell you what’s gotten out of hand–Catholic universities honoring pro-abortion public figures, then publicly lying about it, making it sound like they’re only providing an open forum for ideas and that any protesters are just censorship-loving meanies and/or crazy fringe elements.  The report also mentioned that none of the protestors shown were students.  They made no mention at all of the pro-life, faithful Catholic students who are holding their own protests and even boycotting their own commencement ceremony!

Oh…  Lord, please just bring a great deal of good from this situation!  And please help me to do my part, whatever it may be!

Many thanks to the 9 wonderful people who have voted for me in the 2009 Blogger’s Choice Awards.  I now have 10 votes! It’s nice to be in the double digits.

But I can still use more votes!  More votes = more exposure for my blog = greater motivation and joy for me.

Promising prayers for my voters seemed to result in the most recent surge in votes.  So here we go…

Prayers for votes!

Get your fresh, piping hot prayers!

It only takes a few mouse clicks!

Will pray for votes!


A little gem from Merton:

If you write for God you will reach many men and bring them joy.

If you write for men–you may make some money and you may give someone a little joy and you may make a noise in the world, for a little while.

If you write only for yourself you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted you will wish that you were dead.

You see, this is why I don’t want to just be writing for myself.

In reality, I think I do a little of each.  I hope I write more for God than for myself or men, though.

I don’t mind at all when folks who disagree with me leave comments on my posts.  I blog because I enjoy discussion and ideas.  I’d get awfully bored if my blog were just a great big monologue for myself.  Yes, it can be helpful and cathartic for me for write what’s on my mind–we all need our expressive outlets, and writing is mine.  But I prefer that it generates responses.

I love to receive the kind, witty, smart, encouraging, and compassionate responses from my friends and fellow Catholics.  I love knowing I’m not as alone and isolated as I sometimes feel.  Of course, even we Catholics find plenty of room for debate among ourselves!  That’s one of the things I love about Catholicism.  It’s so rich and diverse.  It’s so intellectual and well-reasoned… and yet there is still plenty of intriguing and enthralling mystery involved too.  God hasn’t simply laid everything out on a silver platter for us.  He makes us use our minds.  And different minds sometimes come to different conclusions.  And we are the Universal Church–made up of people from all places, times, cultures, races, economic standings… it is inevitable that there will be differences.

And then there are the non-Catholic commentors who happen by sometimes.  People of other faith traditions or none.  Worldly, secular people.  Some of whom have no great esteem for Catholicism.  People who have vastly different world-views than mine.  I count more than a few such people as friends–and very dear ones.  I love having discussions with them too!

But this latter category of commentors is where I have been greatly disappointed and frustrated regarding commentary on my blog.  Folks who are at great variance with me on issues may leave comments… but they almost never actually comment on what I write or share!  They will give me their positions–most of which I’m already quite familiar with, because they are positions I’ve held myself at one time or another, within rather recent years.  In a way I can totally relate to them.  I tend to feel a huge understanding… and compassion for them.

It’s fine for people to tell me where they stand.  But when that is all they do, it merely amounts to a parallel monologue, rather than a conversation.  This is especially frustrating when they comment on Catholic matters and concerns.  If you are going to come to a Catholic blog and comment on a Catholic subject… don’t you think you should do a little more than state your own, non-Catholic opinion?  As if you are simply trying to proselytize me?  You’re welcome to try to proselytize me, but it’s not enough.  Tie your comments in to my posts somehow: explain why my position is wrong… question me… give me additional evidence to consider… do something!

I will usually to rope them into an exchange of ideas… but they never respond.  Clearly these are “drive-by comments.”  They’re pretty darn rude and just make me wonder how secure and confident people really are in their beliefs and positions.  It’s pretty clear they aren’t open to mine or up for being challenged.

I hate to assume the worst of all commentors, but I’m getting tired of my fruitless attempts to engage them.  I keep thinking that maybe just one will meet me halfway and respond to me.  But I’m just about ready to start ignoring and deleting any comment that doesn’t directly tie into what I’ve written.

And to all my good, reliable, fun, informative, and interesting commentors:  keep up the good work!  I love you guys!   Seriously!  You make the whole blogging endeavor worthwhile!  :D

With all the excitement about the Weblog Awards, I’ve become a total blog award junkie!  So, just for the heck of it, I thought I’d see what’s going with some other blog award sites.

There are the prestigious Blogger’s Choice AwardsFor which some entirely-too-kind stranger has nominated my humble blog for Best Religious Blog! I have 2 votes so far–WOOHOO!  Yes, that includes my own self-vote.  I’m grateful, pleased, and proud even of that.  Considering that I haven’t a snowball’s chance in Hell of actually winning, just being nominated is an incredible honor.  Of course, I wouldn’t discourage anybody from adding some more votes…  ;)

My site was nominated for Best Religion Blog!

Just click there!

Also, nominations for the Catholic Blog Awards begin 20 April, and voting begins 4 May.  Stay tuned for that!  That’s always one of my favorites.  All Catholic blogs (as you probably gathered from the name)!

Are there any other awards to watch out for?

I turn my back for a minute, and suddenly my visitor counter has broken the 10,000 mark!  In under 6 months! 

Not that I do this for the numbers, but WOW!  I never expected this in my wildest dreams!  I’m astonished… proud… and grateful to all of my visitors, especially to my regular readers!

I wish there was something I could do or give in order to show my appreciation.  As it is, I shall continue to keep each and every one of you in my prayers, and do my best to make this blog bigger and better, more helpful, and more enjoyable!

Remember:  if you have any suggestions for improvement, or if there is something you’d like to see here, please let me know!

I recommend that all Catholics who write blogs or express themselves in other Internet fora read this Inside Catholic article by Jennifer of the blog Conversion Diary (formerly “Et Tu?”).  She reminds us that “the world is watching.”  Here is an excerpt:

It’s worth taking a moment to ask ourselves: How well are we representing our faith? For those of us who express our opinions on the Internet, whether it’s through our own sites or comments on other sites, what kind of image do we paint of the Body of Christ through the words we publish on the Internet?

Every single one of our online discussions takes place in an open-air forum with people from all backgrounds all across the world as witnesses. Even the smallest blogs and the most obscure comment threads are at least occasionally read by people who know nothing of Catholicism outside of the discussion. When these people read our words, for better or worse they think, “This is what followers of Christ are like.”

Do go read the whole thing.

This blog is brought to you by a Lay Dominican

St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us!
(Image from a painting at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Metairie, Louisiana)

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