A Journey Home - An Unassuming Catholic Blog
Medjugorje Blog - From this world to the next. He said to the woman: Your faith has saved you; go in peace. ~ Luke 7:50
By: Peace Pilgrim

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Wednesday, 31-May-2006 02:48 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Ha! Ha! Ha! For Catholics Only: Catholic Secrets / Code Words

LOL: Ha! Ha! Ha!
"We Catholics are known for our ability to stand up, kneel, and sit down a billion times in one hour, for our ability to recite an entire mass by memory, and for our ability to laugh at ourselves."

Revealed now is information heretofore intended “For Catholics Only” and previously published with the requirement that it must never be divulged to non-Catholics. Cautioning that “the less they know about our rituals and code words the better off they are.” The only exceptions are possibly Episcopalians and Lutherans -- you know, the Catholics who moved to the suburbs and started voting Republican.

Now for the first time in print, like those hidden in Da Vinci's “Last Supper” or the “Mona Lisa,” these little known code words about the Roman Church are being shared with you. Print out this glossary, commit them to memory, then destroy the printout lest it should ever fall into the hands of the less enlightened.


AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.

1. Parish information, read only during the homily.
2. Catholic air conditioning.
3. Your receipt for attending Mass.

CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the parish
to lip-sync.

DOUBLE-SECRET PROBATION MASS: The inaudible Tridentine Low Mass.

HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H20LY.

HOLY WATER GOALIES: People who congregate in the vestibule in front of the holy water fonts, making it impossible to bless oneself. Also known as 'environmentalists' who are 'just trying to save water'.

HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation's range.

RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.

INCENSE: Holy Smoke!

JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to find colleges with good basketball teams.

JONAH: The original "Jaws" story.

KYRIE ELEISON: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava.

MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.


1. Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph was covered by an HMO.
2. The Bible's way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough.

MISSAL DEFENSE SYSTEM: The act of taking one's missal up to Communion, for fear it might get stolen if left unattended. Lots of people do this.

MOSES-IN-THE-BULLRUSHES:: A baby who cries throughout Mass. Will someone please pick up and comfort that child?!

PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches.

PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant and late parishioners looking for seats.

RECESSIONAL: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.

RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.

TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.

TITHE: One of those words from the poem 'Jabberwocky'.

USHERS: The only people in the parish who don't know the seating capacity of a pew.

~ Thank you to the Happy Catholic and Cathy Ward for sharing this glossary. I may be a new Catholic but I appreciated the humor and had a good laugh.

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

Monday, 29-May-2006 18:38 Email | Share | | Bookmark
RIP: Father Todd Reitmeyer : A Son returns to his Father

Fr. Todd Reitmeyer, ordained 2003.Photo: Diocese of Sioux Falls
Given our tremendous shortage of priests, in my myopic view of things, this makes no (human) sense. Faith is a grace; it's about trusting God even when we don't like certain outcomes. Jesus, I trust in You. I do.

I never knew Fr. Todd, not in person anyway. But I knew him through his words. As a brand-new Catholic, I have a lot to learn and by reading (and hearing his podcasts) what Fr. Todd had to say on his blog about a variety of topics, he became one of my online teachers and part of my extended community. He was also a fellow foodie.

Please pray for the repose of Father Todd, a recently ordained orthodox Catholic priest and long-time fellow blogger, who loved fried catfish. He was a young (1969-2006), confident and decisive priest who loved children and lifted them up in the direction of heaven.

Just last week, he posted about giving his godson's sister, Mary Rachel, a Miraculous Medal and St. Therese medal for her First Holy Communion. He wrote about his phone conversation with the little girl: "It was so clear the hunger she had for the Eucharist. It was beautiful."

Last week Fr. Todd also blogged a touching story about lifting up a two-year-old who had finally overcome his fear of the tall priest so he could touch the ceiling. "How do you say, "No" to a two-year-old as cute as this?" asked Fr. Todd. He then proceeded to oblige a whole "kitten kaboodle" of them who decided they too wanted to be lifted up by him to touch the ceiling.

He blogged candidly about death in January, even pointed out his choice of casket, a simple shaped one. He wrote: "First, I think we all need to be ready spiritually and we have to keep it in our minds that we know not the day nor the hour. I have been thinking a lot about death personally and I want to teach people more about it ..." Fr. Todd was spiritually well-prepared for this last leg of his journey home.

    May 25, 2006

    A Son returns to his Father

    Fr. Todd Reitmeyer returned to his Father on May 24th at 12:30 PM in the year of our Lord, 2006. His death occured as the result of a boating accident while Fr. Todd was vacationing in Austin, TX.

    His family and friends request your prayers.

    "We know that in everything God works for good for those who love Him, who are called according to his purpose."" -Romans 8:28 (Scripture that Fr. Todd often quoted)

Pray for his family and friends and his flock at St. Michael's in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, especially the kids. Fr. Todd, pray for us. Thank you for the lessons; help me to "Choose well." Give Our Lady a hug for me. We will be praying the Rosary for you today.

If you wish, you may leave your thoughts and condolences for his family, friends and parishioners here at his website: Comments at A Son Becomes a Father

>> A Son becomes a Father
A live journal of a recently ordained Catholic Priest

>> Father Todd: Still out here - On death
>> Remembering Father Todd Reitmeyer
>> Basil Knebel: Requiesat in Pace, Faithful Priest of God!
>> Marcel Lejeune: Fr. Todd Reitmeyer, RIP
>> Eric "Gunny" Hartman: Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today.

>> aggiesaway.com : In memory of Father Todd Reitmeyer, originator of AggiesAway.com

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

Monday, 29-May-2006 17:17 Email | Share | | Bookmark
"Mary Had a Little Lamb"

L'Innocence by William Bouguerau
With the arrival of baby girl, Makena Grace, to our 'ohana, my attention strays to "little girl things." I shared the following with Patty C, a prayer group friend:

Talking about cradle experiences: The first nursery rhyme I ever learned became my favorite. It was "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Years later and since our conversions, it holds so much MORE meaning for me!

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow

And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
Everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go

It followed her to school one day
School one day, school one day
It followed her to school one day
Which was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play,
Laugh and play, laugh and play,
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school

And so the teacher turned it out,
Turned it out, turned it out,
And so the teacher turned it out,
But still it lingered near

And waited patiently about,
Patiently about, patiently about,
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did appear

"Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
Love Mary so? Love Mary so?
"Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
The eager children cry

"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."
Loves the lamb, you know, loves the lamb, you know
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."
The teacher did reply

A stunning image of L'Innocence by the French Master William-Adolphe Bouguerau who painted the original back in the late 1800's. It depicts baby Jesus and the Lamb being tenderly held by the Virgin Mary.

Before Medjugorje, I would never have connected this with anything profound. I think Our Lady had me enrolled in her School of Mary even back then, as I loved this rhyme. I now see it as subliminal pre-conditioning that was a preparation for my embracing her into my life, two years ago.

Now I completely "get" that ditty. I "see" its symbolism. Here's my take on it:

    • Mary is Our Lady.
    • Jesus is the little lamb that she loved.
    • The pure lamb (Christ) is always with her and brings so much joy to the children (us).
    • In America, these days, the rules now forbid Christ to be in the schools.
    • But when turned out of the schools, Christ waits patiently, never abandoning us.
    • And in the end the teacher (persons in authority, us, our government) comes to the realization of that eternal love...

Symbols are God's way of communicating with us. If we are open to identifying them with eyes that see and ears that hear, there are spiritual lessons everywhere. Oh, how much the richer we are for knowing Our Lady and Our Lord! And to think, "Mary Had A Little Lamb" in our lives was all in His Lesson Plan for us.

In God's Light,
Peace Pilgrim
"If you knew how much I love you, you'd cry with joy." ~ Our Lady, Queen of Peace

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

Monday, 22-May-2006 03:09 Email | Share | | Bookmark
NEWS: Fr. Donald Calloway & Medjugorje

Fr. Donald Calloway
>> The Courier-Journal, Lexington, KY: Once a con, priest shares his story of new life with others...

In this article, Fr. Don Calloway, who never imagined being Catholic or a priest, recounts how he journeyed Home:

    "...one night when he was 20, the West Virginia-born man who dropped out of high school and ran away, experienced what he calls a miraculous conversion.

    "I happened upon a book called 'Apparitions of the Virgin Mary' at a place called Medjugorje …and read the whole book that night, and believed it," he said. "The next day I went and talked to a Catholic priest and just experienced amazing recovery and healing, and blessings beyond belief."

    Calloway would soon join the church and begin studying for the priesthood. He said he now holds a master's degree in divinity and a bachelor's in sacred theology from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and a licentiate in sacred theology and a bachelor's in theology and philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. He is house superior and vocational director at the Marians of the Immaculate Conception house of studies in Steubenville."

+ + +

VIDEO: No Turning Back: Confessions of a Catholic Priest

>> Trailer of Video

What does it take to transform a die-hard agnostic into a fervent apostle of Christ? How does God's grace literally transform hearts - one step at a time? In this amazing new conversion testimony you'll literally be on the edge of your seat as a former "Deadhead" and drug-addict candidly shares how he was unexpectedly led to the Roman Catholic Church and eventually into a Roman collar as an ordained priest. An incredible odyssey of faith, Fr. Donald Calloway's radical conversion can be compared to that of a modern St. Augustine as chronicled in his famous Confessions.

Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll

The son of self-proclaimed "hillbillies" from the back woods of West Virginia, Donald Calloway was raised without any religion or a father figure to model. Finally baptized as a Protestant at the age of ten, he never received any formal Christian instruction. And when his family moved to California, he slipped into the "MTV lifestyle" - sex, drugs and rock music. This pagan rebellion intensified to total mayhem when his family relocated to Japan and he ran away from home.

Satisfaction of the senses became young Donald's rule of life that escalated to a life of crime. Constantly on the move to avoid arrest, he and his friends soon got connected with the Japanese Mafia. During this time of endless wanton wandering filled with wine, women and song, Donald's mother became Catholic and fervently prayed for her fifteen-year-old prodigal son to return home. Like a modern-day St. Monica, she trusted that God would touch his soul with the grace of repentance.

Embrace the Grace

After many failures at drug rehab, Donald sought solace as a Grateful Dead groupie even as God was miraculously moving his entire family to convert to Catholicism! Resisting any attempts to be evangelized and turning once again to petty robbery in order to survive, in 1992 this rebel without a cause reached a breaking point in his life. Fortunately, he discovered a book on Marian apparitions and devoured its powerful message of repentance. The Blessed Virgin Mary had literally stolen his heart and introduced spiritual concepts like heaven, hell, repentance and sin. There was no turning back!

Full of unexpected twists and turns, No Turning Back will inspire you to recognize and embrace the countless graces God grants in your own life. Part of a new generation of priests, Fr. Calloway's amazing story powerfully manifests Our Lord's infinite mercy and faithfulness. Order No Turning Back: Confessions of a Catholic Priest today and share this inspiring and unforgettable journey with your lukewarm family members, fallen-away friends and any lost souls that need a powerful reminder of God's love and faithfulness.

Rev. Donald Calloway, M.I.C., is the assistant rector of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA. As a convert to the Catholic Faith, Father Calloway left a rebellious life of wine, women and song to embrace God's saving truth. After studying at the Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., he was ordained to the sacred priesthood in 2003.


• Why objective truth is key to understanding God's revelation
• Why the "I'm OK, You're OK" philosophy is tragically flawed
• How the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of God's merciful love
• Why repentance, contrition and sorrow are necessary steps on the road to inner peace
• How Mary is the "Masterpiece of God's Mercy"
• Why Christians must heroically respond to the call to holiness
• How Our Lady's mantle is a maternal protection against error and the confusion of our times
• How the fervent prayers of faithful souls are affecting the new generation of priests
• And much more.

>> More on Fr. Calloway's conversion

>> Mary of the Immaculate Conception: Bio on Fr. Calloway

>> Br. Donald Calloway: In My Mother's Care

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

Saturday, 20-May-2006 14:32 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Our Lady's Beauty - "Audrey Hepburn's Beauty Tips"

The young Audrey Hepburn - svelte, gamine-like, classic beauty
Audrey Hepburn - The Nun's Story (1959)
Audrey Hepburn - Timeless Beauty Credit: Photographer Unknown
View all 4 photos...
You Are So Beautiful to Me
by Joe Cocker >> Listen

You are so beautiful to me
Can't you see?

You're everything I hope for
You're everything I need
You are so beautiful to me
You are so beautiful to me

You are so beautiful to me
Can't you see?
You're everything I hope for
You're every, everything I need
You are so beautiful to me

Marija, the gentle and serene visionary, has said: "Once we asked Our Lady ‘Why are you so beautiful, you are so beautiful we cannot even try to describe this beauty to other people?’ Our Lady answered:

    "I am beautiful because I love. If you want to be beautiful, love.”
    ~Our Lady of Peace, Medjugorje, March 25, 1985*

The visionaries describe Our Lady as a most beautiful person: "There is a smile on her face, a sweet gentle face, full of peace. She never scolds, never gives orders, never gives punishments, never menaces... She has a sweet gentle face that is full of life. She is like a bud about to blossom.... We are called to achieve a face like Our Lady's: a face that shines from the heart, a gentle face, full of forgiveness and joy."

Fr. Slavko Barbaric wrote: "There is no one in the world who does not wish to be beautiful, even when they have faces that only a mother can love. All of us would like to be beautiful and to become so, we must begin to love, to open our hearts to love. One can live with someone who loves, who is ready to be reconciled even if they do not really have external beauty. As for inner beauty, we all have the chance of it; this chance is always with us and in us.

A beautiful mother wishes to have beautiful children: this is why Our Lady came and has stayed so long with us."

+ + +

This morning, I recalled Marija's quote when I received an e-mail from our niece Marisa with a powerpoint presentation of "Audrey Hepburn's Beauty Tips". As a child, I saw a picture of her as the princess from the movie, ROMAN HOLIDAY; I thought of her as the epitome of natural beauty. I grew up and she got older too. With the passing years, I saw her age, yet in spite of the wrinkles that lined her once flawless, delicate features, she seemed to grow more beautiful. Her inner beauty was incandescent, radiating through her visage and growing brighter with the years.

Our Lady is right. Audrey Hepburn loved and became even more beautiful. She especially loved third world children and came to their assistance with her humanitarian good works. Small wonder that she grew more beautiful...

This is a poem in Marisa's email that I wish to share with you, Gentle Reader; my sisters, Sandy, Joan and Sue; our girls, Samara and Alana, who are gorgeous within and without, and Makena Grace, the newest addition to our 'ohana (family, in Hawaiian):

A quick googling revealed: "Contrary to what some may think, Audrey Hepburn did not write this beautiful poem, Sam Levenson did. Levenson wrote "Time Tested Beauty Tips" for his grandchild, and it just so happened to be one of Audrey's favorite poems. She read it to her children on the very last Christmas Eve she spent with us here on Earth."

"Audrey Hepburn's Beauty Tips" - Time Tested Beauty Tips

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

+ + +

The Beauty Of A Woman
By Author Unknown

The beauty of a woman
Is not in the clothes she wears,
The figure that she carries,
Or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart,
the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
The passion that she shows,

And the beauty of a woman
With passing years - only grows!

+ + +

Inner beauty counts the most. It's in the Bible:

    "Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on jewelry, or beautiful clothes, or hairstyles. Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God."~ I Peter 3:4

    "The adornment of a Christian woman is not a matter of elaborate hair-styles, expensive clothes or costly jewelry, but the living of a good life." ~I Timothy 2 :9

* Marija & Ivan

Opening Page ~ Prayers ~ The Holy Rosary ~ Five Stones ~ Our Lady's Messages ~ Called: Medjugorje Pilgrimage ~ Called: Peace Pilgrim ~ Called: Dear Husband, T ~ Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church/Be Catholic ~ Medjugorje Pilgrims

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