Abandonment and the Church of Martyrs

A good article on the church in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq): “Despite its isolation, it maintained its apostolic doctrines, and ever since its establishment, not a century has passed in which it has failed to produce martyrs….What is most remarkable about people facing such a trial is that despite feeling abandoned, despite being beaten and “wounded” by the “watchmen” of the night (Sg 5:7), despite suffering from “mocking and flogging,” “chains and imprisonment” (Heb 11:36), they remain faithful to their Beloved.”

Read the rest over at the Dominicana Journal.



Taken during daily Mass last November in St. Peter’s Basilica. The statue is Prudence, at the tomb of Pope Alexander VIII. For scale, see the altar server there near her feet.

A Papal Driveby and the Selfie Stick Menace

In November I had the chance to go to Rome, and was able to get tickets to a General Audience of Pope Francis. This is a wonderful thing to do, and there is more information about tickets, at the Pontifical North American College. The audience was on a drizzly Wednesday, but I was excited to see Pope Francis! I was about four people back from a barricade. Cheers broke out as the PopeMobile came near!

Pope Francis loves to greet people. He had a genuine smile as he reached out and said hello to as many people as he could.

He would soon drive in front of me, so I had my camera ready. I was standing on my plastic chair, and many others were standing on their chairs.

He came closer – they drive pretty fast, probably for security reasons. So, camera all set… judge the speed of the vehicle….

Closer… another few seconds… camera ready………

This will be the shot… get ready….




Pre-focus… hit the shutter!

AAaaaaah! That would have been the perfect shot, but for SOME DUDE with a SELFIE STICK who swung it around, very nearly clocking me on the head with it. I ducked quickly to avoid the SELFIE STICK, then stood up again quickly and tried to get another shot of the Pope….

That was the best one….


Goodbye, Pope Francis!

Annoyance at Selfie Stick Dude aside, there is a camera issue here, and will be covered in an upcoming camera mini-review.

Last Day of 2014… Where to Now?

Taken from inside Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Same windows as shown below, but exposure made so as to show the backs of some of the statues on the roof. In the center: Christ. To His left and hidden by part of the windowframe, Saint Andrew, and to his left, you can see Saint John the Apostle, who is holding his Gospel.

Where to this new year? I hope to be always found following Christ.