Obedience and Farewell

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St. George Catholic Church – Newnan, GA

During the  Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate candidates kneel before the ordaining bishop three times: first when he makes a vow of obedience, again when he is ordained, and finally as he receives the Book of the Gospels. During the first of these three, the bishop takes the candidate’s hands into his own hands and asks, “Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?” If he wants the Ordination Rite to continue, the candidate replies “I do.” Then the bishop says, “May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.” Continue reading “Obedience and Farewell”

#ShareTheJourney

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Join me, open your arms to Migrants and Refugees – #ShareTheJourney

On Wednesday, Pope Francis led an inspiring launch of #SharetheJourney, a global, two-year campaign in support of migrants and refugees.  He opened his arms wide in a loving gesture and said, “Christ urges us to welcome our brothers and sisters with our arms truly open, ready for a sincere embrace, a loving and enveloping embrace.”

Migrants and refugees are not after our jobs, our lives or our culture.  They are looking with hope toward a brighter future for their families in collaboration and with integration into their new homeland; just as my ancestors sought the same in the mid-1700’s.  Their plight is little different from those in my family who fled war, persecution and economic hardship almost three hundred years ago.  Continue reading “#ShareTheJourney”

The Great Solar Eclipse: An Incredible Natural Show

No picture today; today is all about experience. This afternoon we witnessed a total solar eclipse in the United States. The next one that spans the entire country from east to west will not happen until 2045, when I will be just a youthful 89 years old.

With my family and work I’ve been fortunate to see many of our world’s amazing wonders. I’ve seen sunsets in Alaska, the Grand Canyon, India, Europe, Asia and around the world. I’ve seen been able to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, Bermuda and the Caribbean. I’ve watched sunrises in El Salvador, the Kenyan Rift Valley, the Pacific Coast Continue reading “The Great Solar Eclipse: An Incredible Natural Show”

Another #WorldRefugeeDay

The Lampedusa Cross on my desk.

#WorldRefugeeDay is a day of action! Through #CatholicRelief, #GlobalCitizen and other organizations, we have the confidence that we can make a difference of people who are suffering from displacement, terror and fear. Continue reading “Another #WorldRefugeeDay”

A Horse You Can Bet On!

Hats and Hooves 2017: (L to R) Marie Swope, Laurie Pope, Steve Swope, Dorothy Pope
Communities in Schools – @cisnational – is an organization that is #allinforkids.  Each year our local CIS holds a fundraiser on Derby Day called Hats and Hooves.  The event is a lot of fun and raises a lot of money for CIS Coweta County where I live.  More importantly, their model of helping impoverished and at risk children really works.  Marie and I are honored to be able to support this fine organization.  We also get to serve as mentors to 2nd, 4th and 5th grade students at a local Title I school through CIS.  Those kids are the highlight of our week!  

If you are looking to impact young lives in a very positive way, there are great ways to do that: The Boys and Girls Club, Scouting, and Communities in Schools.  They all do fantastic work.  They each are a “horse you can bet on” with the confidence that the return will be far greater than your investment!  

Pope Francis: The Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone

For many years I have been a big fan of TED Talks.  I find that the talks generally live up to the TED slogan “Ideas Worth Sharing.”  I don’t agree with every speaker and I don’t find all of the talks equally stimulating; but I usually learn something, find a unique perspective or discover a new way to think about the world that we all live in. 

This week in something of a surprise, Pope Francis gave a talk to TED 2017 that was entitled The Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone.   In a world that is increasingly divisive, nationalistic, partisan, and fearful, the Pope makes a strong argument that each person can be a messenger of hope and all of our individual “yous” can be come a collective “us” to address the needs of our world and time.  Regardless of your faith tradition or no faith tradition his talk is compelling and worth a 17 minute investment of time.  If you would prefer to read his comments rather than listen to them they may be found here: His Holiness Pope Francis at TED2017