Monday, October 19, 2009

suddenly Seymour

The news that is likely to disappoint many All Saints parishioners caused cheers of elation at Holy Family Catholic Church last night. They were having a dedication ceremony for their new Family Life Center when Bishop Richard Stika announced that Fr. Ragan Schriver is the new pastor of the Seymour parish. Fr. Ragan had been there on a temporary basis as parish administrator for the past couple of months. Schriver retains his full-time job as executive director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee.

Even Fr. Ragan was surprised that the Bishop chose to break the news at the dedication ceremony. I told him that my wife and I were ready to help organize some sort of vegetarian-friendly farewell reception for him in West Knoxville. He responded that Fr. Michael Woods is already planning something. It'll be great. They certainly know how to throw a party at All Saints.

My wife and I went to the parish hoedown on Saturday to enjoy some BBQ and dancing. My first attempt at square dancing left me a little dizzy but I might have been overly tired from shooting stuff that day. The congregation from the Saturday night Spanish Mass came over when their liturgy ended. The hoedown organizers had to run out to Famous Dave's to buy more pulled pork to feed the new arrivals.

On Sunday morning I picked up a copy of the Spanish language bulletin. Even though I don't speak or read the language, I was amused by a few of the words advertising Saturday's event. Obviously my trail mix would have been an inappropriate dessert, not so much for the nuts but for the frutas secas dried fruits. Who knew?
Fiesta en All Saints. El tema es Hoedown (danza típica del los americanos). Todos están invitados. Se servirá comida y se bailará. Se pide traer postre, por ejemplo: Pastel o tarta de frutas o galletas dulces, no traer nada que contenga frutas secas por razones de alergias.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

toot toot yeah retweet

The 287 friends, listeners and spammers who decided to follow my feeds on Twitter in the past five weeks may be disappointed with today's blog post. This afternoon a physician's assistant in training told me that I tested positive for flu and that I should rest. While I was waiting to be seen, I read the USA Today and used my fancy new QWERTY phone to post random stuff on Twitter. I know it's a cop out, but the best thing for me to do tonight is recycle those thoughts. I'll give you a few from last night too.

You may notice in one of the items that I have decided to bring back the eighteenth and nineteenth century abbreviation for et cetera. It saves one whole character, which means something when Twitter only allows you 140 of them. That sounds like something Andy Rooney might say if he were on Twitter. There are a few parodies of him, if you're interested.
  • I'm thinking about doing a #FollowFriday tomorrow but I'm concerned that you'll say "duh, I already know about all those people."

  • Best quote about #theoffice - "If you don't know a @MichaelScott, you are a @MichaelScott."

  • Why is #Survivor in black & white? Are they back in Kansas?

  • What is wrong with me? How did I forget that Pam is pregnant on #theoffice?

  • So there's not another person inside Kevin on #theoffice? That was just gossip? So confusing!

  • My wife remembers from last season of #theoffice that Pam couldn't get x-rayed after getting injured playing volleyball. Aha!

  • Thanks Dave for the Kanye-licious link! RT @RavinDave Hey Frank, check out I promise you'll get a kick outta it.

  • What the heck.. #FF @celebritydeaths @knoxtweetlunch @FrankStrovel @caswalker @volsHannah @niftykrisha @AllAccess @JohnHudgens @Helen_Keller

  • My wife is sick, my boss is sick and I'm starting to get a runny nose, &c. I'm in the doctor's cough-filled waiting room now.

  • Hey Robert Bianco at USA Today, you used "churlish" twice on the same page (7D) today. Just so you know.

  • This is weird but my favorite part of USA Today is the NFL announcer listings on Fridays. Sam Rosen & Tim Ryan will call the #Redskins game.

  • I wonder if Fox Sports broke up the team of Dick Stockton, Moose Johnston & Tony Siragusa because Goose would say, "thanks Moose, Dick..."

  • Best #NFL announcing teams? Buck & Aikman; Nantz & Simms; and for nostalgia, Enberg & Fouts. Sorry Al Michaels, you're not on my list.

  • Hey @clydetombaugh, may I borrow your copy of Tim McCarver's new CD?

  • According to the student physician's assistant, I tested positive for type A flu, like my wife. It is not the fashionable H1N1 strain.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009


The miracle of feeding the multitude was on my mind at All Saints Catholic Church this morning. In August, the Diocese of Knoxville put four loaves priests in the parish but now seems to be taking seven or eight out to serve thousands.

Few parishes are blessed with four priests to cover four weekend Masses. Since the beginning of August, the All Saints staff has been covering the Saturday evening mass in hell and back Helenwood. A few weeks ago, Fr. Ragan Schriver was sent to Seymour to cover their weekend Masses for three months. This weekend, Fr. Antonio Giraldo was sent to fill in for a sick priest in Greeneville. Deacon Tim Elliott is also sick, possibly with the dreaded flu. Fr. Michael Woods announced that All Saints has temporarily discontinued the Sign of Peace. Parishes all over the country have been doing even more than that.

Fr. Michael celebrated his third anniversary at All Saints today. Later this week, he will accomplish a goal he has been working on for a while when the parish adds a Spanish Mass on Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. Coincidentally, that's the same day as the Hola Festival downtown. Fr. Antonio won't be the only celebrant of la Misa en Español. He and Fr. Michael will share the duty, which gives the pastor an opportunity to speak directly to his new flock and to sneak in some English words.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

padres nuestros

Fr. Antonio Giraldo was introduced to the faithful at All Saints Church on Sunday. His arrival also means the addition of una Misa en Español on Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.

Fr. Tony Dickerson returned to All Saints after two years in Chattanooga. In his sermon at the 8:15 a.m. Mass, he joked that many parishioners like to come to the early morning service so they can get to Cracker Barrel before the Baptists.

For his first day on the new job, Fr. Antonio was actually in Kentucky Helenwood for the vigil Mass at St. Jude. The All Saints priests will take turns covering the 5:30 p.m. Mass each Saturday at the remote parish.

I thought it was funny that a Quinceañera Mass was celebrated at All Saints on Saturday night. Instead of Colombian Fr. Antonio, the priest was Irishman Fr. Michael Woods.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

there better be cake

Security will be tight for Bishop-elect Richard Stika's ordination on Thursday. Officially the event is known as the Mass of Episcopal Ordination and Installation. In this case the word episcopal refers to a Christian bishop, not the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Musicians and choir members have to be in place at the Knoxville Convention Center five and half hours before the Mass begins. The early call time is partly so they can get in one last rehearsal and partly so police dogs can sniff search their musical instrument cases and other bags. The singers have been told they cannot bring their own water bottles to the ordination, as they normally would to a service that will run for three hours. They will need to purchase bottles of water for $2.75 each once they get past the security screening. Guests attempting to bring in their own food or drinks will have the items confiscated by the guards. Also, the use of cameras by anyone other than credentialed media is strictly prohibited.

The extreme measures might be because of the attendance of Catholic bigwigs such as His Eminence Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Or law enforcement officials might be taking steps to prevent a tragedy like the one that occurred in Knoxville last summer.

Bishop-elect Stika already had an impressive resume as an administrator in the Archdiocese of St. Louis when he was transferred out of the Catholic Center and into the role of pastor of the Church of the Annunziata in ritzy Ladue. The move gave him the the pastoral experience that most recent Bishop appointees have had. The parish had a farewell reception for him last Sunday after the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Their rectory will be closed Wednesday through Friday so the parish staff can attend the ordination. Many people from St. Louis, including Fr. Gary Braun, will travel to the nation's most vibrant diocese for the ceremony.

In an interview with the News Sentinel that was published yesterday, Bishop-elect Stika said he would be moving to Knoxville on Saturday (yesterday). He also said he is using the Rosetta Stone software to learn Spanish, which is probably a prerequisite of all Catholic bishops nowadays. The ordination Mass will be mostly in English, with perhaps one of the Bible readings in Spanish. Translation devices will be available for Spanish-speaking parishioners.

At the All Saints Church town hall meeting last night, Fr. Michael Woods made it clear he is aware that Knoxville's largest parish is not currently serving the Spanish speaking members of our faith. Instead, they go to Sacred Heart Cathedral, where Fr. Manuel Perez has recently gotten stricter about those who come late to Mass and let their children roam in the aisles during the service. Fr. Michael said he was going to ask the new bishop to assign an additional priest to All Saints. I would not be surprised at all if he asked for a Spanish-speaking padre in order to add a Misa en Español to the schedule.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

waste of money

One of the arcade games at the Tennessee Valley Fair gave me an "oh yeah" moment on Friday. During our recent road trip I saw what I thought of as an "Arkansas Slot Machine." I knew I had seen it someplace before but couldn't place it until I saw a bunch of them at the Fair. We had stopped to get gas in the Natural State. A female sales clerk in the convenience store was urging a male customer to keep trying to win a Razorback keytag for her. The device ate quarters just as fast as a slot machine in Vegas. If the quarters landed just right, they would push prizes and other quarters off the ledge into a drawer. The winnings encouraged the guy to keep playing. He won the keytag and some two-dollar bills, which the sales clerk bought from him.

I think that same store was making an effort to reach out to its Spanish speaking customers but with a Southern twang. A sign directed them to the banyo instead of el baño. Or maybe it was telling us all to go find a bathroom in Banyo, Australia.

At a convenience store in Corbin, Kentucky, I took a picture of some huge cans of energy drinks. Somebody told me that each of those large cans had more caffeine than any one person should consume but that the manufacturers get around it by printing on the label that each can contains two or three servings. As I snapped the photo, a local man pointed to one of the drinks and said "that'll crank your tractor!"

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

did you mean lookalike?

Before writing Thursday's post, I Googled the word hookalike and got only nine results, most of which were typos for "lookalike." There was only one tiny reference that was similar to mine. As of today, there are ten results. My site is listed second!

When I saw myself in the list, I tried clicking on "similar pages" to see what Google thought was related to my site. Here are the highlights of what they came up with:
There's one site on their list that I won't include here. It's got a bunch of Asian characters and the words "Credit Card." Why is it in my results? Because it has the same URL that my friend Bean used for his first blog. He posted every day for ten months and then deleted his blog, which is too bad because it was quite good and it would have been fun to re-read. Somebody swooped in and grabbed his user name and Blogspot address. After a year-long hiatus, Bean resumed blogging at his new site, Strongly Worded Letter.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

pretty woman

Here's one for the Urban Dictionary. A young lady attended a recent church ceremony wearing a dress that was more appropriate for a nightclub. At least I think it was a dress. It was closer to a teddy. I've seen swimsuits that were less revealing. My daughter's friends have a funny word to describe a girl dressed that way. They called her a "hookalike."

I had a couple of possible blog topics rattling around in my brain during my son's swim meet tonight. I settled on this one (and assembled the first paragraph in my head) as we sat in a restaurant afterwards. My wife and I were having a fun conversation with another couple about our experiences at different parishes. They laughed when we told them about the hookalike. In a cool coincidence, when I got home I discovered a comment on yesterday's post from the author of a blog called Wordlustitude. It's full of funny made-up words similar to hookalike. Forget the Urban Dictionary. Now I want to see hookalike on Wordlustitude.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

special guest star

There was no time for a nap because of the mini-makeover I received today. I'll fill you in over the next few days as the story appears in the News Sentinel and as my wife and I walk the runway at the Women Today Expo on Sunday afternoon. As it turns out, I do not get to keep the clothes, which makes sense since they are dressing me in an $800 suit. I could buy it at 25% off though. Fat chance of that happening.

I can get by tonight with a little blogging help from my friend Bean. If he had a blog, he would have posted the poem that he found online and emailed to me. It
contains several examples of capitonyms, words that change meaning when capitalized.
A herb store owner, name of Herb,
Moved to a rainier Mount Rainier.
It would have been so nice in Nice,
And even tangier in Tangier.
Blog critics may correctly feel that my posting could use some polish but at least I didn't completely slough off tonight.

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