Fonticulus Fides

Friday, March 28, 2008

May God rest his soul and speed him to Heaven...

Please, if you are reading this, pray for the soul of Father Zygmund Rydz, who died this past Monday.

Born in Poland, he entered seminary but his country's capitualtion to the Nazis forced him to leave. At one point, he dove into a ditch to avoid being shot by a German fighter plane. As bullets pocked the ground all around him, he implored the Virgin Mary for protect and indeed, all his companions were killed, but he was spared. Once more, he escaped certain death, and then was able to re-enter seminary on a scholarship provided by the British Empire. He later sailed to the United States -- again, miraculously avoiding death at sea -- and became a priest here in the Diocese of Lincoln.

During Holy Week, he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priesthood with great joy. In fact, his days always began with a brisk walk and then a quick drive to the Diocesan office chapel, where he sang Mass daily. He always fetched his former housekeeper from her assisted living center to take her to Mass and return her home in time for lunch, and then he'd go back to the priest's retirement home for his own lunch and an afternoon of prayer and playing classical music on his violin.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Father Rydz just two weeks ago, and he was so hale and hearty and completely full of joy. May God bless this good and faithful servant. Please pray for his soul. I'm so sorry to have to miss the Rosary that will be said for him tonight in another town...I will say my Rosary for him tonight at home.

I learned this morning that he went very peacefully. He had his usual morning routine, including Mass and breakfast, and then returned to the retired priest's home, sat down in a chair in his room, and died, with a smile still on his face. Maybe you had to have met him, but that just sounds exactly right for Fr. Rydz.

God bless him, God bless him, and may God please bring all of us more priests like him!


At least I know he's paying attention in music class...

We found it necessary -- and I hope this is common to all families -- to spend some minutes with our children instructing them as to acceptable euphamisms for their bottoms. The perils of the youngest one learning to use the toilet resulted in far too many conversations about bottoms and potties and, well, an unfortunate increase in some rather vulgar terms...not vulgar on an adult level, but vulgar on the account of the words coming out of small children's mouths.

So, on the list was:


...and then Zooey, age 8, came up with "Coda."

"Coda?" his dad wondered. I was equally confused.

"Like in music," Zooey answered with confidence.

Now, my husband is a musician. He knows exactly what a coda is, but he couldn't figure out how that applied.

Zooey rightly discerned that we needed a little explanation. "It's a little something extra in the end," he said. "Sister Mary taught me about it in music class."

We laughed -- no, guffawed -- for a full five minutes. Coda made the list.

Sister Mary, our 60-something liturgist at church and school -- will be so pleased when I tell her. No, really...she has a delightful sense of humor.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Christ is Risen!

He is risen, indeed!

I hope you all are having a blessed Easter. Remember, the feasting lasts 8 days!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Why Catholics Leave the Church

This article over at Inside Catholic is an interesting look at the recent Pew Study that found one in ten Americans are ex-Catholics. They asked quite a few Catholic priests, bishops, writers and teachers what their assessment is. Interesting reading, if you'll take ten minutes or so.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No Surprise

A U.S. report finds that China abuses human rights. But we knew that.

Why are we trading with this country?

Look, folks, I know it's hard. Practically every item you need to buy, from juice glasses to shoes to bedsheets to tuna fish is made in China. It's really, really hard to avoid it, but we all need to try. If our government won't stop supporting this nation that tortures its citizens, forces women to abort their babies, steals property, bans free speech and the freedom of religion, etc., etc., etc., we all need to vote with our pocketbooks.

Read labels. Choose Made-in-the-U.S.A when you can, or made in nations that protect their citizens. If your only option is Made in China, consider buying the item used so China doesn't get your money. Think about the impact it would be if every man, woman and child in the U.S. spent just $1 less a month on made-in-China goods.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Praying the Rosary with Kids

Great column in the Long Island Catholic about teaching kids to pray the Rosary...which the writer acknowledges is "more athletic than contemplative"!


Monday, March 03, 2008

Inspirational Conversations at My House

My husband was talking to our five-year-old about her God-given artistic gifts last night. She already excels in things like dance, singing and visual arts. In fact, we made a volcano together out of Sculpy clay last week for "Letter V Week" at school, and she was very descriptive about how she wanted the lava to look like "flowers" shooting out of the little brown mountain...and once she got to work on it and shaped it exactly so, she got a very impressive result. (Sorry -- I forgot to snap a photo of it to post here!)

So here's how the last part of the conversation went.

DAD: No matter what you do in your life, you will always be able to create something beautiful, whether it's dance or art or singing or playing a musical instrument.

EDYN: (Smiles happily)

DAD: ...Because that dance or art or music comes from there. (He points to her chest.)

EDYN: (Smiles happily)

DAD: Do you know what that is that helps you make good dance or art or music?

EDYN: (Surveying her chest) Super Monkey Girl! (...which is what her t-shirt said)

Thus, another solemn attempt at a teaching moment in our house dissolves into hysterical laughter.