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    Monday Morning

    I have a couple of rough days ahead, but I’m taking off Friday, three of my kids will be gone for the Memorial Day Weekend (three days with their grandparents), and I plan to have plenty of leisure. Just give me strength to get through these next four days!

    A Monday Morning mini-rant:

    Why does every spinster, widow, widower, and drove-myself teenager want to sit in an unoccupied pew? Would it kill them to sit at the opposite end of a pew that has another person sitting at the other end? Would it cramp their style to take the middle of a pew, thereby allowing (here I’m waxing Utopian) three single unrelated persons to sit in the same pew: one at the inside aisle, one in the middle, and one on the outside aisle, all with a safe four feet between them and the next carcass?

    My family needs an entire pew to itself. If we can’t get one, we have to separate and sit in different parts of the church. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s frustrating when you see ten pews with only one or two people sitting in them. If the Church wants to encourage large families and their attendance at Mass, it’d be great if priests would coax their congregations to make it feasible for them to sit together.
    __________

    Funny, non-damaging, and poignant prank: The Little Mermaid statue in Denmark’s capital was found draped in a Muslim dress and head scarf Sunday morning.
    __________

    It takes on something of fan-like irrationality after awhile:

    First it was his world history class. Then he saw it in his economics class. And his world issues class. And his environment class. In total, 18-year-old McKenzie, a Northern Ontario high schooler, says he has had the film An Inconvenient Truth shown to him by four different teachers this year.

    __________

    Interesting article about $85 computers. Excerpt:

    One reason that a machine like the decTOP can meet the needs of so many users is that the basic functions that Sowah lists are increasingly rolled together into a single, online package. Web services like Google (nasdaq: GOOG – news – people ) Apps, which allows users to edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations online, take the workload off an individual’s machine and put it instead on Google’s massive servers. Data is stored and numbers are crunched online; the user’s machine need only be a window to the increasingly powerful Web.

    The machine has its drawbacks (limited memory and no monitor, for starters), but I’m intrigued.
    __________

    If you’re a Catholic male and you haven’t subscribed to Catholic Men’s Quarterly yet, you should. It’s inexpensive and an enjoyable read, geared specifically to . . . Catholic men. It makes a good Father’s Day gift, too, and right now they have a special offer. From a press release:

    Catholic Men’s Quarterly, a one-of-a-kind magazine for Catholic men, is celebrating the completion of its third year by offering a free autographed kid’s book to anyone who subscribes to the magazine online at www.houseonthemoor.com between now and Father’s Day. . . The free book, The Wearing of the Glove, is a classic-style adventure tale about a ragtag group of adventurers determined to restore the rightful faith and government to their land.

    I can’t vouch for the book, but I’ve ordered a copy. Go here to subscribe to CMQ. It’s only $20 a year. I know guys who spend more than that every year on underwear (I don’t hang out with those kind of guys, but they exist).

    Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList

    10 Responses to “Monday Morning”

    1. Dennis Says:

      Your mini-rant strikes a different sort of nerve for me. My children are mostly gone now. My wife and I prefer to go to the least frequented mass (fewer chatty people before and after mass and no ultra modern music to spoil the atmosphere). Why, with so many empty pews, does the family with the chatty four year girl armed with plastic toys (all the better to make noise when banged on a wooden pew) decide to sit behind us? If you must bring toys, why not soft, stuffed dolls?

    2. Beth Says:

      After living in Copenhagen last year with my family, I don’t think you can call the Little Mermaid dressed -up non damaging. There is a tremendous undercurrent of instability between the Danes and the Muslims in that country. The Danes are not reproducing as fast as the Muslims, and the Muslims are barely attempting to assimilate to Danish society/culture, but they are taking every advantage of the social welfare state there. There were three nights of riots over there back in March which barely got a mention in the news here. Danish is 98% Lutheran with Islam being the second largest religion over there. We Catholics don’t even make a percentage point. There is no mosque yet, but there are plans for one to built in the future and I wouldn’t be surprised if the statue encloaked had something to do with that and the fact that cruise ship season has started over there.

    3. Julie Says:

      Try looking at the empty pews from the perspective of a single…would it kill YOU (or smaller families, or couples, etc) to actually come sit next to US?

      Yeah, so you got a big family, and that’s awesome. My parish has big families.

      But this isn’t the fault of those of us who are there alone. Sometimes it would be nice if someone saw us sitting alone in a pew and took the initiative to join us.

      No wonder outsiders think the Church is “cold and unwelcoming”. Because it is. Families are in clicques and singles are lepers.

      For the record….I do scoot to the center of the pew to make room for others.

    4. Eric Says:

      Julie wrote: Try looking at the empty pews from the perspective of a single…would it kill YOU (or smaller families, or couples, etc) to actually come sit next to US?

      Reply: Not at all, but the pew gets a little jammed. More disturbing, my two-year-old (and sometimes my three-year-old) ends up trying to crawl on the single person, put toys on his lap, wield their drooled hands like weapons at the single person, etc. If I know the single person doesn’t mind such things, I’ll join him or her in the pew. But if I don’t know the person, or know the person doesn’t care for little kids, I don’t feel comfortable imposing my family on them.

    5. Julie D. Says:

      Wait a minute … I read something really good just for this sort of thing … here it is:

      When you feel the assaults of passion and anger, then is the time to be silent as Jesus was silent in the midst of His ignominies and sufferings.

      St. Paul of the Cross

      Or, as my mother-in-law would tell you, “Offer it up.”

      🙂

    6. Dennis Says:

      When our children were small, we brought quiet distracters with us and sat for quick access to the cry room. The goal was to be as little a distraction to the congregation as possible. As the children grew older and had greater attention spans, we sat close to the altar so they could observe and absorb more. I agree with Eric about “imposing” my children on some one else. Besides, families are naturally short sighted into the needs and quirks of their members. We never had intention of slighting anyone. Even with family to raise, we still participated actively with the church. Bible studies, youth groups, clean the church, Lenten suppers…even a small parrish has a LARGE number of things that are going on and need to be done…usually in a group setting. When I travel, I notice the bulletins in the churchs I visit are full the announcements of the various acitivities that parrish is doing (I enjoying seeing the doings of other people…often can get ideas for my home parrish). I have found that if you are lonely you need to go to where the people are at. Through some amazing nudges from the Holy Spirit, my wife and I are both adult converts to the church. “Cold and unwelcoming”?? Speaking as a convert, not in my experience!

    7. Dennis Says:

      One suggestion for Eric. I know trying to move children toward a common goal is like herd cats…or, as my brother says, trying to push a rope. But, the reality is, you gotta get there early if you want a good seat. My mother-in-law set her clocks ahead 10 minutes.

    8. Terry Says:

      Eric – I’m one of those end of pew huggers – I used to do it to be the first one out of Mass to avoid parking lot congestion – then I got used to it. But I try to move down when I notice the place filling up, or when I don’t notice, someone will ask either to get by or if I could move down, and I move down in both circumstances.

      Once a dad asked, “Are you saving the pew for your family?”

      I shook my head no and he kindly asked, “Would you mind sliding down so my family and I can sit together?”

      I answered, “I’d be happy to.” and slid down to the middle. I didn’t mind at all. That only had to happen one more time and I now move to the middle as soon as folks start coming into Church.

      It’s kind of a nutjob thing to do, isn’t it? Spinsters and old guys are the worst offenders – that would be me. (I knew I was pissing people off!)

      (I’ll bet I could have kept the end of the pew if I appeared cantankerous however. Once I tried to make an old lady shove down and she refused even to let me step over her, telling me to sit someplace else.)

    9. Eric Says:

      My parish isn’t very crowded. The end huggers don’t even need to relinquish the ends. My family’s problems would be eliminated if the end huggers merely took an end on the opposite side of where another single person is sitting.

      All this discussion has spurred an idea: End huggers beware! I’m unleashing Tiny Tess on you! (I suspect most people will enjoy her antics; I just hope they enjoy seeing my behind as I scooch over them to take her out two or three times during Mass.)

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    Crossroads
    Decent Films
    Digital Hairshirt
    Dyspeptic Mutterings
    EWTN
    Fathers of the Church
    First Principles
    Get Blogs
    Gilbert Magazine
    Godspy
    Happy Catholic
    Mark Shea
    Mere Comments
    Michelle Reitemeyer
    More Last Than Star
    National Catholic Register
    New Advent
    Phat Catholic
    Pillar and Fire
    Post Modern Papist
    PowerBlog
    Pro Ecclesia
    Quaffs and Quibbles
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