Sunday, November 28, 2010


Not too long ago I got the news that from now on the priest missionaries from a certain missionary religious community who come from the Philippines to work in parishes that are heavily dominated by Spanish speaking faithful will have to learn the Spanish language.  It's about time.  After all they have been entrusted to at least one Southern California parish that I know of  for 20 years now and they are still assigning priests there who know no Spanish at the beginning and leave after years with no ability to minister in Spanish.  The three who are assigned there now have been told that they have to learn it.  The pastor promised two years ago that after one year he would be up to speed in the language.  NOT!  He's too busy rearranging the furniture and stretching out his hand for ever more money to spend time learning a language  that is essential to doing a good job in the parish.

I shake my head at the way the decision was announced.  Like it was good news.  Like, Hey, there is something you have to know.  From now on priests who will come here will have to learn Spanish.  Of course this was communicated through an interpreter.  Now let me get this straight.  It's good news that it took 20 years for someone to make a decision to force missionaries to learn the dominant language of the mission?  It's good news that all the bozos between year one and year twenty didn't have enough zeal and courage to take it upon themselves to learn how to communicate the Good News in the dominant language?  It's good news that it took a community law to achieve this?  Didn't anyone remember that Peter had to learn Latin if not before, at least after, he moved to Rome?  Didn't anyone remember that the missionaries who founded the seminaries in the Philippines learned the local languages?  Why did it take a decree to make it happen here?  Is it that there isn't enough missionary zeal in the hearts and souls of these priests?  
Sorry boys.  I'm far from impressed.  When you arrived here almost three years ago I told you that your missionary group was not doing a very good job in the parish, and this not just by my standards.  It hasn't gotten any better, maybe even deteriorated a bit.  Deteriorated to the point where the executives have to force you to learn the language that you promised to learn, but didn't.
I have but one question more:  Now, are you going to learn English too?

Monday, November 15, 2010


I am so glad that I am not a politician.  Somehow I couldn't get used to having to wash two faces, shave two beards, have four cataracts, 64 teeth, two runny noses and so many other things.  I am not going to start by saying, "If I were a politician I would say this,or I would do that.  I know what I would do because I know what I have done along the course of my life.  I have made myself accountable to the factual truths of life.  It's a lot easier to live that way.  You do something right, you rejoice.  You do something wrong, you fix it, apologize, make restitution and move on.  
As a country we are now confronted with a reality that is so simple and clear-cut that it turns my brain to mush when I hear discussions about what to do about it.  Here it is in all its simplicity.
Ten years ago congress passed a tax law under circumstances that made it mandatory for the law to sunset ten years later.  Ten years have almost passed.  The tenth year of the law's life will be complete at midnight of December 31, 2010.  That is a fact.
This is also a fact.  Passing a law under these conditions was a gamble.  The gamble was not that the law would escape the sunset.  It was that the sitting congress at the time of sunset would renew the law.  
Another fact that we know is that the present President of the country says that the country cannot carry the debt burden that renewing the law would create.

This is where I say, "No problem."  Let the animal die a painless death.  When the losers of the gamble cry, don't engage them.  Give them a handkerchief for their tears and move on.  When they throw your handkerchief back at you in anger, don't engage them.  Pick up your hanky and move on to the next thing.  Either the president is convinced of the correctness of his position on the matter or not.  As far as I am concerned, this situation is easy to resolve.  The law is on the president' s side.  Use it and let the tears of the other side irrigate your garden. 

I swear, I don't know why the democrats, the president at their head still continue to court conversation about the matter.  To what end?  Shut up and let it die.  

Mr. President, let it go.  If they vote and it passes, so what?  When it hits your desk, burn it in the veto stove.  Somebody, somewhere has got to have only one face about the stuff that goes on in Washington.  
Oh yeah, and two cojones swollen with the testosterone it takes to face reality and to get things done and may the devil take the hindmost.