Seven Quick Takes: Volume 26 // Theme Thursday: Secret

Oct. 4, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, religious and confessor.  Out of humility, Francis never accepted the priesthood but remained a deacon all his life.  He was the first recorded person to ever receive the stigmata, and is patron against fire, of animals, dying alone, ecology, the environment, families, lacemakers, merchants, and zoos.

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Yesterday marked the beginning of our Parish Mission with Transitus, a Franciscan tradition that celebrates the passing of Saint Francis from this world into Eternal Life.  It started outside at the grotto, like on Palm Sunday, and then candles were lit as we all processed inside the church.  The main prayers were sung by candlelight.  Then the lights came on, the visiting Franciscan priest gave a homily, and we processed up to venerate and kiss the first-class relic of Saint Francis.

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Let everyone be struck with fear,
the whole world tremble,
and the heavens exult
when Christ, the Son of the living God,
is present on the altar in the hands of a priest!

--Saint Francis of Assisi

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This evening, the Mission continued with a high Latin Mass.  I've only ever been to one before, at Saint Winifred's well in north Wales.

The Mission will continue for all the rest of next week, so I expect to be busy.

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Did you know that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have called for this time to observed as the 40 Days for Life?  Groups from individual parishes go to local abortion clinics daily to peacefully pray for the sanctification of all human life, especially those of the pre-born.  But you don't have to go track down the abortion mills--spending an extra ten minutes in prayer, attending weekday Mass, or fasting in solidarity with the other souls working during the 40 Days for Life will bear much fruit.  So please join us!

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Theme Thursday catch-up.  This is not a new picture.  I posted it a while back, in the early weeks of August when we were extremely busy.

So whatever happened to this secret?

Well, it wasn't so much a secret after all.  One day after work, when I came over to my parents' to pick up the Squirt, I overheard my sister discussing with my father that the mama bird had freaked out, flown too high toward the door, slammed into the top, broke her neck, and fell down dead.

Long story short, one of those eggs had already hatched a day-old baby.  I researched its breed, listened for the father, and determined that it was abandoned.  For three days, I fed a featherless chickadee moist canned kitten food with an infant spoon or my finger every thirty minutes during daylight, and caught his fecal sack when he (she?) turned himself around to poop it up and out of the nest (the mamas usually catch it in their beak and eat or dispose of it).

I tried to incubate the other eggs under a lamp but nothing came of it.  After a few days, and researching that the eggs of this species always hatch within 24 hours of each other, I performed a layman's autopsy.  Only one other egg had an infant in it, and it was clear from its development that it had died long before.  The other two eggs were unfertilized.  One wildlife specialist I spoke with suggested that the whole clutch was "a bad batch," and that is perhaps why the father abandoned it when the mother died.

After playing telephone tag with various animal sanctuaries in the area, I finally stopped into a vet's office and got the little thing handed off into proper care.  Then I left abruptly to head up to Tallahassee for my sister-in-law's baby shower and a weekend on the beach.  What a month that was!

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And September followed suit.  From the looks of it, October's going to be packed full as well.  The end of October going into November is an especially busy time, liturgically speaking.

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Gosh, I'm tired.  See the rest at Conversion Diary!



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