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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Six Degrees Redux

...I've long been fas-
cinated by the concept of "Six Degrees of Separa-
tion." Tonight, my good friend Michele R., who'd given me the heads up on the Martin story (below) wrote me further about that story. She told me something I did not know, but was delighted to find out. The late Abbot Claude of the Prince of Peace Abbey was also a real fan of the Martin family. It turns out that sometime in the late 40s or 50s he'd gotten to visit Lisieux and also got to stay in the Martin home overnight. It further transpired that he was lucky enough to say Mass for the Carmelite nuns, AND had also given Holy Communion to Celine, Therese's older sister. It charms me to know that both Celine (who I always thought a real live wire in the family) and I had both received Communion from the same priest.

It turns out my friend Michele also know a friend of Fr. Sean Finnegan of Valle Adurni. Fr. will be visiting San Diego next week. I think we Catholics are often more closely connected than even we realize!

It's very reassuring to read the Catholic blogdom. When you check on websites that have links to their parish bulletin, no matter what country the bulletin's in -- we see the same types of items, and realize that parish life, though with different flavors and twists to be sure, is not that dissimilar to own's own. It's a nice comfort to know that people around the globe can often share the same Catholic values that one was raised with.

No parish is perfect, everyone has a wart or two there. And there is no such thing as the "perfect" or "typical" Catholic family - even the "holiest" Catholic family has its black sheep and prodigal sons and daughters. And somehow, that's reassuring too. Everyone has similar ups and downs in life.

(This photo of the Abbot was taken two years ago on the occasion of my 50th b'day - Michele and I had visited the abbey that day. Fr. Stephanos belongs to the same Abbey. Fr. Claude was nearly 100 when he died last year.)


the mother of this lot said...

What a lovely story. My little Noise took Therese as her confirmation name. Apparently, she was the youngest of five sisters and was quite good at demanding her own way too!

Rob said...

I just drove a Dominican priest from San Diego back and forth from the airport this weekend. Fr. John Fabian. He was at our parish this weekend on behalf of "Food for the Poor". It was delightful to talk and spend time with him. Your post was right on about how closely Catholics are "related".

gemoftheocean said...

Mother: Had a peek at your blog and loved it. Wicked sense of humor.


If you click on my "label" for this post re: six degrees I had such another incidence last year when I visited Wichita. [I have no relatives there.] I'd stopped to pray by the tabernacle after Mass at a side altar, and there was a a really nice "please pray for the following service men and women" with pictures up in that side altar. A couple about my age, stopped after Mass and held hands and obviously had a "loved one" serving in Iraq. After they turned to go I asked "son or daughter?" And they said yes, there son was in Iraq, a Marine. And I said we get our share of Marine families in my parish...ours being a parish in old Town in San Diego, and MCRD not two miles away. They said they were from there, in fact, having only moved to Wichita the year before. I inquired "which parish" and they said "Santa Sophia" and I said, then you must know Fr. Tom P. - [in the 70s he'd been pastor at my parish, and had eventual gone on to their parish as pastor.] Indeed they did know him - he gave their son 1st Communion. etc. [Fr. Tom recently is living in retirement at my parish.] Smalllll World....

I had Dominicans when I went to high school. Does he work with Fr. Carol?

Anonymous said...

Indeed we are connected in so many ways, there are so many links between us and they are not all strands of html code. Especially as Catholics, we are united in the Mass and in the prayers of the Church.

I think that's pretty bloomin; brilliant!

Anonymous said...

"It's a nice comfort to know that people around the globe can often share the same Catholic values that one was raised with."

One of the best parts about blogging is knowing how many people, besides myself, love and follow our Catholic faith!

One of my older friends said that they used to "hang out" with Fr. Solanus (I'm sure I spelled that wrong). How cool is that! But, one never knows who in their lives might become a saint. If we touched them--would that make us a "second class" relic? LOL!

gemoftheocean said...

ukok, so true!

And Tara -- When Father Shipley was recouping from his surgery and I was helping him out a bit, I'd tell him: "Imagine, someday I can say I washed dishes for a saint." And he'd get embarrassed and say "ah, c'mon now..." with that "aw shucks" voice.

I saw him on Sunday after Mass.

Kit said...

Wicked cool!

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