• The desert is a powerful preparation place

     The Markan gospel begins with a quote from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, a quote that specifies the desert as a preparation place. Prophetic messengers will discover their vocation, their calling and their voice, in the desert. God’s way will be recognized only after we have spent some time in the desert.

  • If an envelope could talk, here’s what it would say

     A recent letter to the editor caught my eye. There seemed to be a plaintive cry hidden in the words of sorrow and loss. Someone had lost an envelope containing money that was her allowance, dollars to be spent carefully over the coming weeks. Perhaps the cash would be used frivolously. Maybe it would be offered in compassionate caring for another or as an unexpected gift — just because. The reason mattered not. The loss was palpable.


  • Lent gives us time to go ‘into the woods’

     Fairy tales have always fascinated me. I loved reading them as a child. I “became” Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood. Rapunzel was more difficult, since my hair was neither yards long nor shining with platinum beauty. There were wicked stepsisters who plagued my life...individuals who blocked my path with boulders of alienation, lack of acceptance heaped with ridicule. It was easy to see how fairy tales would be an impelling force, a call to what is beyond our immediate vision.


  • ‘St. Vincent of Sheepshead Bay:’ Well-hidden sanctity comes to light

     Were it not for a saint in the community sending me an urgent email with a command, “Go, see this movie,” I’d have missed a great opportunity. I’d have been deprived of the chance to laugh, cry, and be deeply moved by the reality of human sanctity as it is depicted in St. Vincent.

  • A woman named Sue

     By Fran Salone-Pelletier



    The year 2014 heading into 2015 has been a Dickensian kind of time. It will go down in my history as the best of years and the worst of years. Television pundits have noted it as the hottest summer in recorded history. Winter brought a flu epidemic with vaccines able only to keep its menace somewhat at bay. Strained faces at local funeral services evidenced the reality of multiple deaths within a short time.

  • Jesus said: ‘Give me a drink’

     When I heard the Scriptures selected for this ecumenical Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I jumped at the chance to offer some thoughts. After all, we do not often hear talks about women and Jesus. It’s usually his male pals whose tales are told, whose antics are recorded, and whose discipleship is offered for our modeling.


  • How many ways can one say ‘miserable?’

     Hospitals have limited access for visitors. Both print and televised media announce the increasing presence of a dire enemy. Bags of cough drops and boxes of tissues leave grocery and pharmacy shelves. Henny Penny’s false alarm has come true. Menacing flu with its myriad aches and pains, weakness and fever has struck.


  • What color is God? God is the color of water
  • The end of things is often tied to their beginnings

     In a Smithsonian magazine article quoted in the November issue of Give Us This Day, page 240, physicist Lawrence Krauss “thought about the end of the universe and observed that a backward look reveals that the end of things is often tied to their beginnings.” The sentence fascinated me. At this time of year when we typically haul out the blank page of paper to list our resolutions, it also caused me to pause and think about endings and beginnings.

  • There is a common cause in Christian unity, reconciliation and justice