Category Archives: culture and faith

Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • For a winter that’s been milder than usual even though today’s its quite cold.
  • For Lent and Ash Wednesday. It is and should be a hard time, but Christians are in this together, side by side working on their relationship with God and reviewing how they live their lives. I like seeing people around town with the black smudges on their heads.
  • For my library. This winter I’ve used it so much. Not just for books and DVDs, but I tried out the Great Books Club and may have made a new friend there. I also have been going to a great yoga class there and today saw an afternoon movie for free.
  • For the assisted living place my aunt is now in. She’s gotten used to this arrangement and it’s clean and cheerful. She doesn’t do them, but there are activities available. (The only thing I’d grumble about is the horrid food. You don’t need to cook broccoli for half an hour.)
  • For the chance last week to visit my cousin who’s 83 in Florida. Her husband of 60-some years died in 2015 and while Ann is so cheerful and outgoing, it’s been a tough year for her. I missed our visits but got to go there for a few days.
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Rapper Priest

Fr. Joshua Johnson shares his rap and story in the video above. He’s the youngest priest in Baton Rouge. Priests like Johnson should, I hope bring more young people to the faith by showing them that religion isn’t outdated, it’s everlasting and always relevant.


Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • The lovely mass I attended at Northwestern University. What a great community! The priest’s words were so thoughtful.
  • Pope Francis’ book The Joy of the Gospel, which I just finished reading. There’s something for everyone. So inspiring and practical.
  • My friend Kasia. I’ve known her since high school and we rarely can get together. We had a nice, long lunch this week.
  • My friend Kevin. I worked with him years ago and we’ve stayed friends. We have different political views but can discuss issues civilly. Also, he finds all these interesting places to visit and books to read. I always come home enriched with a long list of things to do.
  • For this long vacation, which has given me time to visit my aunt while she’s in rehab about 6 days a week. I know it can get boring in these places.
  • One more – for the film Forbidden Games. It’s set in WWII and shows how children coped with the war. The child actors were so natural. A simple and stunning film.

Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • The caregivers who’re helping my aunt get better and caregivers the world over who provide kind, patient care.
  • A mild-ish winter.
  • The play, Rapture, Blister, Burn. I’m not sure it intended to, but it’s made me want to read Phyllis Shaffley’s work.
  • Warm apple cider – a great winter drink.
  • That my mother’s doing well in her recovery from back surgery and that my father is well and has taken on so much care-taking, which is outside his comfort zone.

Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • A warm house on these cold days. It’s frigid outside and I know some people must battle the cold in the winter. I’m grateful to have a warm, cosy home.
  • The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. I saw this book on the new book shelf at my library and had to check it out. I’ve read about 20% of it and love it. It’s full of wisdom and challenges for Catholics. I really think every Catholic should read it and it would be best if each parish hosted a discussion group about the book.
  • The quiet of the post Christmas season. I’ve become grateful for the days after Christmas that are quiet and still close to the holiday. The nativity is still fresh in my mind and something I can reflect on as our home decorations are still up. Sad to say, but in December Christmas gets lost in the shuffle all too often. Now that the shopping and secular holiday thrills are gone, I feel I can savor the most important aspects of Christmas.
  • Christmas hymns. This is the best season for singing at mass. I love all the songs: O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, The First Nowell, etc.
  • Old friends. I’ve been able to meet up with a few old friends now that I’m back in the US. It’s a joy to chat and share with people I’ve known so long.

Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • The gathering of friends this evening to celebrate Thanksgiving in China.
  • My students who’re pleasant to teach.
  • That my mother’s recovering from back surgery pretty well and that her care has improved.
  • Good health for family and friends.
  • The discovery of old films (The Kid, City Lights, and so many more) and books (by Ernest Poole, Zola, Horatio Alger, etc.)  that are high quality and don’t require that I compromise my beliefs (as too many modern works seem to).

Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

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  1. The “chat and chew” dinner I just attended. Alexis, 15,who’s here with her mom, cooked a lot of scrumptious food: soup, chicken, rice, salad, and lots more. It was fun to chat with everyone in a homey environment.
  2. The gorgeous fall weather. Yes, fall with its slightly lower temperatures and leaves that are beginning to turn is gorgeous.
  3. A week of vacation. We had a week off for National Day. My travel plans fell apart, but it was fun to rest.
  4. That Hong Kong’s patriots are still alive. God bless them as they seek to choose their own candidates as promised in 1997.
  5. The goodies we had at high tea on Saturday. Yum!

P.S. I’m asking for prayers for my mother who will have back surgery this afternoon.


A Good Read

ISBN-10: 150106570X 
ISBN-13: 978-1501065705
When Father Ignatius is suspected of murder his whole life is turned upside down. His faith takes a real shaking as he tries in vain to plead his innocence.
The Church is shaken to its very foundations and his parishioners jump to as many conclusions as they can find and start judging without any facts or evidence.
This is the time for the priest to find out who his real friends are. Or are they keeping close to him for ulterior motives?
“THE PRIEST AND PROSTITUTE” is a fast-paced story with believable characters and situations. A realistic self-test as to one’s faith and beliefs, as well as the ability to stay focussed on God when it seems He has abandoned you.
The author skilfully combines humour with suspense to deliver a Christian message relevant to today’s society.

Victor S E Moubarak has published several books available from his website or in Kindle format from Amazon. His books: “VISIONS” ISBN 978 1 60477 032 2 and “GOD’S SHEPHERD” ISBN 978-1500683955 are also available in paperback from Amazon and all good booksellers.


Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  1. Mary Poppins, which I just finished reading. The book is delightful and quite different from the movie or even the version the Mrs. Travers character in Saving Mr. Banks speaks of.
  2. Warmer temperatures. After some cold rainy days, we’ve gotten back to typical September weather with temperatures in the 70s.
  3. A fun birthday. Last week I celebrated with friends by going for duck and then having tea and cake back here. Facebook featured so many kind messages reminding me how blessed I am with friends.
  4. Madam Secretary, the new show by Barbara Hall. I saw the pilot and know Ms. Hall as a teacher in Act One’s Writers’ program. I like that the husband is a theology professor at Georgetown. Hall created Joan of Arcadia and I hope faith and religion are themes in the show. It’s a promising drama.
  5. That my classes seem to enjoy reading and discussing Romeo and Juliet. I like to share something beyond the bland textbook.

Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

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  1. New friends who’re willing to explore the city. Saturday I took two Australian teachers to the museum, where we saw this magnificent gold shrine (above).
  2. Tea. It’s a splendid drink, hot or cold. There’s something so pure in a good cup of tea.
  3. Ideas. I’m being blessed with a manageable amount of ideas, from God no doubt, for the story I’m working on.
  4. Horatio Alger books. I’ve read 6 in the last few weeks: Ragged Dick, Struggling Upward, Andy Burke: Only an Irish Boy, Erie Train Boy, Store Boy, and one more. They’re aimed at older kids, but I love the character’s pluck. What’s more these heroes are overall good kids who stand up for the idea of taking the right path and not feeling inferior to those who do the “cool” things like smoke or cheat. I’ve sent my niece and nephew two of them and hope they read and enjoy them.
  5. Healing. I sprained my ankle about two weeks ago and it’s starting to feel like normal.