Friday, January 31, 2014

U2: Yahweh, Psalm 40

40 Expectans, expectavi

1 I waited patiently upon the Lord; *
he stooped to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay;
he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God; *
many shall see, and stand in awe,
and put their trust in the Lord.


I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long, how long, how long
How long to sing this song

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and hear

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song 
How long to sing this song 
How long, how long, how long 
How long to sing this song

-- lyrics via

Monday, January 20, 2014

Haiti or Traverse City?

OK, I have to admit I am probably way too amused by this.  

Just got this email from TripAdvisor.  "Haiti or Traverse City? Where's your next escape?"  I was laughing even before I opened the email to see their advice. What a juxtaposition.

And.... they recommend Haiti.

Yes, that sounds nice to me.  Send me a plane ticket, and I'm there.  I have to admit I have been thinking of it with some longing on and off for the past few weeks as one of my sisters went down to visit our community there.  I'd love to see them. And the seminarians.  And my friends. And others... I'd certainly love to see my godson. Little ones grow so quickly, and I'm missing it.  Thank God for Facebook (and I'm not being facetious).

Of course, Haiti sounds even better with a snowstorm approaching Massachusetts, but never mind.

Typically, I suppose, they added NYC and Paris.  Heading through NYC soon - wish me luck - in the snow - though not stopping. Does that count? And I do love Paris, though I can't imagine I'll ever get there again unless there is some youth group in desperate need of a chaperone.  Pilgrimage to Notre Dame and the American Cathedral in Paris, anyone?

Haiti, Michigan, France, even New York in the snow... I'd take it.  In fact, maybe I will get to Traverse City this summer. You never know.

But TripAdvisor says I should go to Haiti.  I guess I'll just have to follow my heart and my email and go.

Someday I'll do just that.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

more on Mgr. Chibly Langlois, first cardinal from Haiti

The first cardinal from Haiti, named this weekend by Pope Francis, has given his first interviews.  I found one on YouTube and am posting in here. It's in Creole, naturally, but I also found a little more written information that corresponds to some given in the interview.  I'm posting links to some commentary and a few excerpts as well.

First off, some commentary from the Netherlands:

  • chibly_langloisBishop Chibly Langlois (55), Archbishop of Les Cayes, Haiti. Another young cardinal, and the first from Les Cayes. Cardinal-designate Langlois is even more noticeable for not being an archbishop and the first Haitian cardinal. The Haitian hierarchy, then, looks rather unique, with the bishop of a regular diocese wearing the red, while the nation’s two archbishop do not. Bishop Langlois has been the president of the bishops’ conference of Haiti since the end of 2011.

Beyond the usual media details, from Haiti Libre, information and a quote from the interview in the video (I think):

Among the 16 cardinals Mgr Langlois Chibly 55 is the youngest of the 16 cardinals, the oldest being Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla, titular archbishop of Mesembria, former secretary of John XXIII (Italy), 98 years old.

At the announcement of the news Archbishop Chibly Langlois declared "I particularly, who just received this news, it's a surprise to me [...] I welcome the appointment, made ​​by Pope Francis, as a favor to Haiti. This is not my person, but the Haitian Roman Catholic Church that I am a servant, an instrument of God [...] this appointment will help to focus attention on Haiti, especially on our Roman Catholic Church, whose realities, needs and challenges, will be worn much higher."

Learn more about Mgr Chibly Langlois :
Born 29 November 1958 in the Valley of Jacmel, he entered the Grand Séminaire of Our Lady of Port-au-Prince in 1985 and was ordained priest on 22 September 1991. Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Fort-Liberté (where he will spend 7 years), on April 8, 2004. Since 15 August 2011, Mgr Chibly Langlois has the same rank in Les Cayes by decision of Pope Benedict XVI.

From the National Catholic Reporter:
Francis announced 19 new cardinals Sunday, including 16 under 80 and therefore eligible to vote for the next pope. The immediate takeaway was the broad global distribution in this crop, with just four new Vatican cardinals and only two others from Europe among the electors.
The other new voting-age cardinals include four Latin Americans, two Asians, two Africans and one from the Caribbean.
Upon closer examination, there's also a clear option for the periphery among Francis' picks.
For instance, Bishop Chibly Langlois will become the first cardinal from Haiti, by most measures one of the poorest countries in the world. The appointment breaks an unwritten Vatican rule that if the Caribbean was to have a cardinal, the red hat should go to one of the region's three Catholic powerhouses -- Cuba, Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic.
Moreover, Langlois' diocese of Les Cayes is not one of the two archdioceses in Haiti, so Langlois represents an option for the periphery even within his own nation.

He asks for our prayers.  By all means, let us honor that request.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

first Haitian cardinal

Good news for Haiti in the midst of a somber weekend: for the first time, they have their own cardinal. In this latest batch, just announced, Pope Francis has continued his policy of paying attention to the poor by choosing cardinals from developing countries. Have I mentioned that I really like this pope? He's got his priorities in order. 

Here's what I'm reading:

"The youngest new cardinal chosen by Francis is the 55-year-old Monsignor Chibly Langlois from Haiti."

Mgr Chibly Langlois, just named as Haiti's first cardinal

Here's a bio I found about him:

Bishop Chibly Langlois was born on November 29th 1958 in La Vallee, Jacmel. He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Jacmel on September 22, 1991 and served at the Cathedral of St. Jacques and St. Philippe as well as the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He held several diocesan leadership positions in Jacmel including: Director of Pastoral Catechesis and Director of Youth Ministry. Bishop Langlois holds a Licentiate degree in Pastoral Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, Italy.
Bishop Langlois taught Pastoral Theology at the Major Seminary in Port-au-Prince from 2000 until 2004. On April 8, 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Fort-Liberté. Bishop Langlois’ Coat of Arms motto is to “Serve God and Humanity in Love.” He has been a member of the Episcopal Commission for Mission and is presently the Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis.
Bishop Langlois continues to serve the diocese of Fort-Liberté as Apostolic Administrator, and on August 15, 2011 he was appointed bishop of Les Cayes, Haiti. He is also currently serving as the President of the Haitian Episcopal Conference.

I look forward to hearing what the sisters in Haiti have to say about him.  We may not be Roman Catholic, but they know what's going on there in the wider church, and he's apparently in Les Cayes, the hometown of a couple of the sisters.  Should be interesting.  Meanwhile, let's rejoice for this bright spot.  May there be more of them.

ERD prayer for Haiti 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

John baptizing Jesus amid the rubble

Tomorrow, the first Sunday after the Epiphany, we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord.  Tomorrow is also the fourth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti.   When I realized that, I thought immediately of this cathedral mural, one of the few left after the earthquake, and the photos of it still standing, surrounded by rubble.  Jesus standing in the river, John pouring water over his head, while the people around go about their business.

As indeed we still do.  La vie continue...

Here in the US and also in Haiti, despite it all.  But here, we forget - both the baptism and the earthquake.  There, no one forgets. It's all around.

The Baptism of Our Lord - Cathedrale Sainte Trinite, Port-au-Prince (pre-earthquake) - Castera Bazile

In my mind's eye, I can see the river flowing on from the scene of Jesus' baptism, out of the painting and through the rubble, a river of life that not even devastation of this magnitude can stop.  I can see the water of life flowing over Port-au-Prince, flowing over the surrounding area and, indeed, the whole of Haiti.

the Baptism of Christ by John in the Jordan by Castera Bazile

Lord, you are the one who heals and who quenches our thirst.  Continue to bring new life to Haiti. Along with restoration, let justice and peace spring up from that beloved earth. Comfort those who grieve or who are reliving those twelve seconds.  Wash away their terror and replace it with an awareness of your presence and love. Wash through us, too, healing, reviving, making whole.  Give us the compassion and wisdom we need in order to care for each other.  All this we ask in your dear name.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

For those of you interested in more on this mural, this is what it used to look like:

Many of you know Holy Trinity Cathedral here in Port au Prince very well, and know the only earthquake survivor of the fourteen famous murals created by the leading artists of the day… the other thirteen were destroyed on that terrible day.  That mural depicts the Baptism of Christ by John in the Jordan by Castera Bazile.  It’s currently being restored by the Smithsonian.  I remember children looking up at it, learning the Gospel story in pictures.  It is part of the only remaining wall of our cathedral here. In that mural, Jesus and John are standing in familiar positions, John pouring water over Jesus’ head, a dove is descending from a tree which shades them.  But Jesus and John have Haitian faces, and so do the women upstream and downstream who are going about the business of washing their clothes in the river.  And it is not just any river, but a it’s waterfall resembling a pilgrimage site called Saut d’eau  in the central plateau, a scene familiar to most Haitians.  

In all fourteen murals of the life of Christ, the participants were Haitian, and the scenes were familiar village events.  There was no scene even slightly removed from Haiti’s everyday reality.  At the Marriage Feast in Cana by Wilson Bigaud, a Carnival band played for the bride and groom.  On the Road to Golgotha, by Prefete Dufaut, [he’s famous for painting the winding road to Jacmel on the south coast], but in that mural people rode burros and walked to market, were part of funeral processions, chatted with friends along the way, and set up stands for selling fruit as Christ passed by with the cross, part of the scene.  Jesus was not distant in time and space, but firmly in the here and now.  No separation. No lines.

That was an excerpt of a sermon I listened to last spring in Port-au-Prince at the Haiti Connection. To read the rest:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sr. Tess SCN speaking at the MLK Jr. Prayer Breakfast

I just got the notice from the Duxbury Interfaith Council that the speaker for the annual Martin Luther King Day breakfast is someone I know.  I'm so pleased. Haven't seen her in a few years, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she has to say.  We've been asked to announce the information. As I don't have a parish, per se, I'm announcing it here so that those of you who are local might have the information.

Here are the practical details via the official announcement from the DIC:

The Duxbury Interfaith Council and the No Place for Hate Committee invites the community to its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast on Monday, January 20.  The breakfast and service will be held at Holy Family Church at 8:15 AM, 601 Tremont St., Duxbury.    Participating in the service will be The Duxbury High School Chamber Singers under the direction of Robert Judge. 

There is a requested donation of $5 per person or $15 per family.  For additional information you can contact the Council at 781-934-8388,

I also found a more extended bio of Sr. Tess on another website, so I'm including that one instead of the short version in the official DIC announcement:

S. Marie-Theresa "Tess" Browne
Marie-Therese Browne, S.C.N., known as “Tess” or Sister Tess. Tess has three decades of experience in social justice organizing, including working with the United Farm Workers in Wisconsin and Texas (under the auspices of the National Farm Worker Ministry), with the Committee for Boston Public Housing as an organizer and as Coordinator of Leadership Development, Training and Diversity; in organizing a statewide women’s project as a follow-up to the 1995 UN Conference on Women in Beijing; and various interfaith social justice projects, including the Racial Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches. She has a wealth of connections in Massachusetts in a wide range of communities and constituencies.

Marie-Therese is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, and an US citizen. Most recently she was the coordinator (2005-2009) for HELP (Healthy Environment Leadership Project), an interfaith environmental justice project at Episcopal Divinity School, and co-sponsored by Alliance for Healthy Tomorrow, and the Mass Council of Churches; in partnership with congregations and community organizations in communities of colour in Boston. This environment justice organizing and policy campaign continued Tess’s experience and commitment to environmental issues. She has her B.A. in Biology, and taught high school Biology., and through her work with the farm worker community, she became knowledgeable of the impact of pesticides and chemicals on people’s health. She also has a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, College of Public and Community Service. As a Sister of Charity of Nazareth, she has a commitment to care for the earth, and to be in solidarity with oppressed peoples.

Monday, January 6, 2014

nations will stream to your light

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look around;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.
- Isaiah 60:1-6

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 
- Collect for the Epiphany - BCP p. 214