Monday, December 16, 2013

A Christmas Poem

'Twas the night after Christmas

by Barbara Maloney McAdorey

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the town
Traffic congested the streets up and down.
Shopping mall parking spots soon became rare
From too many shoppers; that made tempers flare.
Joy to the World at this time is forgot
As you curse at the driver who took the last spot.

The kid now starts screaming he wants this new toy
Your stress levels rise in this season of joy.
But what's one more toy when you're out on a binge
So you pull out your card and you try not to cringe.

Then there's more gifts to buy for Heaven knows who
Is this gift ok? Did they buy for me too?
Still more things to buy and cards to send out
But then panic and debt's what this season's about.

'Twas the night before Christmas, not much more you could do
Thankful there was just one more day to get through.

'Twas the night after Christmas in Heaven above
The Devil was speaking to God about love:
You have to admit that my plan is quite fine
You don't see much love in the world at this time.
They talk about Peace, Love, Hope and Joy
But their actions sure show they don't care for Your Boy.
Christmas is becoming what I want it to be
Causing those humans such anxiety.
Sure there's some fun with the candies and toys
But that is short lived for most girls and boys.
The true things that last as You, God, best know
Are no longer valued on Earth down below.
And talking of Christ has become incorrect
I've made them all feel that it shows disrespect
For others who may not worship your Son,
You must admit with this scheme I have won!
And I laugh at these humans, for my trick they all fall
For your Son is why Christmas existed at all!
If these things continue, my work's almost done
In another few years, they'll have forgotten Your Son!
When that great day comes, Your humans will buy,
Buy more and more, and not even know why!
So their stress will increase and they'll try all the more
To find some of that joy they gave up years before!

God spoke not a word and as calm as could be
He pointed to Earth for the Devil to see.
The boy with the gizmo was bored now, it's true
But the boy had a plan of what he should do.
He went to the house of a neighbourhood boy
Who was poor, had no friends, he was bringing the toy!
And he didn't just go there to give it away
He gave him the toy and he stayed there to play!

And the Devil stopped laughing, thought, Maybe I'm wrong,
Perhaps they were good deep down all along,
Maybe there is some love left, what a fright!
Well, there's always next year. I'm exhausted. Good night!

Copyright © 1998 by Barbara Maloney McAdorey

Barbara Maloney McAdorey is the author of the children's storybook, Icicles to Miracles.
This poem was first published in the December 1999 issue of Our Family magazine.

Picture from original painting by Paula E. Maloney
From the children's storybook, Icicles to Miracles 
 

 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Praying for the dying

Before our friend Jack died, I spent a lot of time praying for him. I would wake in the middle of the night, and I would pray. During the day whenever I thought of Jack, I prayed. I offered up Masses for him.

I was worried for his soul. Jack was raised a Catholic but was not a practicing Catholic in any way.

About 10 days before he died I asked my spiritual director, a priest, to visit Jack. They had a good talk. Shortly before he died Jack received the Sacrament of the sick.

I prayed at his bedside as he lay dying. I asked my sisters to pray for Jack as well. Sort of like a little prayer committee to get Jack to Heaven.

A funny thing happened to me during this time. I felt good about this praying I was doing. Way more praying than usual. It made me feel at peace, like I was doing something concrete for Jack--when there is so little one can do for another person who is dying of a terminal illness.

After Jack died, I wasn't praying as much. The urgency was gone. And I missed the feeling of peace that had become a part of me as a result of this prayer.

Recently I read The Trial of Faith of Saint Therese of Lisieux. St Therese felt it was her vocation to pray and suffer for souls who had lost their faith. I have also read St. Faustina's diary, another amazing story of a soul close to God. Faustina also prayed for souls.

Putting all this together I knew that I too could pray for souls like these two great saints. I could offer up prayers whenever I thought about it, so that souls who are dying could make it to Heaven. Especially those souls who have nobody to pray for them. Like Jack.

And then it hit me. Jack probably did have others praying for him too. And they would be those other souls, who also felt it was their calling to pray for souls that nobody prayed for. And now Jack can pray for all us here as well.

The Communion of Saints. Awesome.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What man is looking for

I am always puzzled at the passing of a great person and the large amounts of adulation that ensues.

Like Nelson Mandela in South Africa now, or when Jack Layton, leader of the NDP party in Canada, died two years ago.

I understand that in some cases, the people who died have done great things. We feel sorry that they are no longer with us here on earth.

I could take a day or two or three of hearing about what people perceived as their good works. And yes we need to mourn them. I understand all this.

What I am talking about is not the normal mourning we all must pass through at a death of a loved one. It is this seeming need to put them on par with a deity. To adore them, to worship them, to make them something that they never were and never could be.

All of us on earth are mere humans. With virtues yes, but we are frail and imperfect. It is normal upon a death to ignore those imperfections. We all do it because we need to remember our loved ones for their goodness. And when an average person dies we mourn them in a healthy way. I don't think we do this well when the person is famous.

We make them out to be something they are not. I think people do this because they are looking for something to believe in. And they can't find it. I don't think they even know they are looking for something to believe in. When someone great dies, people feel they have permission to publicly mourn even if they never knew the person or if that person made no difference to their lives.

Often times the public person who dies has values that are far different from our own. Do the public mourners think about this? I don't know.

So many people have given up on God. It is tragic that this is true. God is pure Goodness, and pure Love. He is the one that people are looking for. They just don't seem to know it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Homily - Feast of the Immaculate Conception - Father Charles Orchard

Father Charles tells us that this special feast day has many lessons for us.

It teaches us the deep truths about our own humanity.

It teaches us that life begins at conception. That God works in us from the very first moments of our life.

It teaches us that sin is not part of our human nature. That we were first created without sin.

Mary was without sin, but she was fully human.

That every gift from God to us also carries a responsibility. These gifts are not only for us, but to be used in the service of others. Mary's Immaculate Conception was not primarily for her. It was for her Son and for all of us. That we should offer everything up back to God, day by day, for His plan for planet Earth.

Lovely words for this beautiful feast of our Blessed Mother.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3uZ01LbSTg

First time blood donor (almost)

Today I saved a life. At least I hope I did. I donated blood.

I have been wanting to do this ever since the one time I did it 41 years ago, but I am quite a chicken poop. You know, the needle in the arm? The blood flowing out? Makes me queasy just thinking about it. But I finally did it.

All the folks at the Canadian Blood Services in Ottawa were very pleasant and put me at ease. I went around with a "1st time blood donor" tag on, and even got a little pin that I proudly put on afterwards.

When my daughter Johanna was born 30 years ago I lost a lot of blood. A ton of blood, in fact. I lost so much blood that I was actually unconscious for some time. At some point I had no recorded blood pressure and my pupils were dilated and fixed. I was attached to a breathing machine.

I do recall somewhere in the blackness that engulfed me, that at some point I was praying really really hard to a very loving God. I knew I was dying.

I know he was loving because I made him a promise, that if he let me live and raise my new daughter, I would do one thing in particular. I never did keep my promise to God. But God kept his end of the bargain (I do believe I have since atoned for that breach of faith. It also made me realize just how imperfect we really are).

When I finally woke up after they pumped me full of other people's blood, I was petrified. But I was alive.

That was an adventure I will never forget, and would have far preferred not to have experienced. But I did. And I lived because a lot of people donated their blood to me. People I don't even know. Maybe even people like me who are scared to death to donate blood.

The lady next to me was giving her 50th pint. Amazing. I wonder how many lives she's saved?

Now I hope to make this a regular thing. It really wasn't that bad. And they give you juice and cookies as a reward for good behaviour. How bad is that?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The trial of faith of St. Therese of Lisieux

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897)

I have read St. Thérèse's, Story of a Soul, but never really understood it very well, and why she is so important to the Catholic Faith. I couldn't seem to understand her spiritually, even though the book is simply written.

One day at Mass, Fr. Dennis talked about another book, The trial of faith of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, by Frederick L. Miller, STD and how it was such an important book to him. I bought the book. It is amazing. It explains Thérèse's spirituality, so that I am having a far easier time understanding her special faith.

Thérèse suffered intensely, especially in the last 18 months of her life, and she offered that suffering up for people who had lost their Faith, especially priests.
"Throughout her trial, Thérèse saw herself mysteriously identified with those among her contemporaries who had lost the Catholic faith. It would seem that Thérèse, while never wavering in her profession of the Faith, was permitted to experience the darkness of unbelief that afflicts the modern world. She came to understand interiorly that her trial gave her an opportunity to offer herself for the salvation of all faithless souls. We must recall again that Thérèse had solemnly committed herself to work for priests and in particular, for Hyacinthe Loyson, the priest who had lost his faith. In the Story of a Soul, Thérèse identifies herself with apostates and others who had sinned against the Faith."
 I am only on page 67 of the book and am really looking forward to finishing it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Elaine Maloney

Today is the 12th anniversary of our mother's death. November 14, 2001.


She died in the hospital after six weeks of us not knowing whether she would live or die. Sort of like Hell I think.

It was right after 9/11 and I remember sitting in the emergency after we brought her in, and watching the TV in the waiting room there. The Americans were bombing Afghanistan. It was all surreal.

After listening to Fr. Charles Orchard's homily on Monday about forgiveness, I knew I needed to forgive my mother's doctor for my mother's death. I still haven't done this, even after these 12 years. It seems so very very hard to do so.

On Tuesday I spoke with my spiritual director about it. He said I should bring my feelings to God so he can help me deal with them. And to pray. I need to forgive the doctor. For my sake. I will do my best. But crap it's hard. It would be so nice to let the feelings go.

We miss you Mommy. We love you.

(Fr. Charles homily on forgiveness)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

St. Josephat - uniting the Orthodox with the Catholic faith

Yesterday was the Feast day of St. Josephat. This is Fr. Dennis's beautiful homily on this martyr, and about this saint's wish to unite the Orthodox with Catholics.
 
Fr. Dennis also talks about uniting people within the Church itself. How this has something to do with humility. How we are always waiting for the other person to change. Maybe we need to change and take the first step ourselves. About showing charity, understanding and patience to the other.
 
Fr. Dennis says that we might want to pray for the grace to take this first step. To bring about reconciliation, unity and healing in the Body of Christ.
 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Jack

Death is never easy. This one was especially hard. A good friend who wasn't religious at all died yesterday. He had lung cancer along with other medical problems.

He underwent a round of chemo, radiation, more chemo, then into emergency twice, ICU, and finally palliative care. My husband Fred was a rock for Jack. I prayed daily for them both.

I prayed that Jack would make his peace with God before leaving us. I brought a good friend who is a priest to visit him at the hospital. They had a good talk I'm told. I was also able to get the chaplain at the hospice to give him the Sacrament of the Sick an hour before he died.

I prayed that my favourite saints and angels would intercede for Jack: St. Faustina, St. Ignatius, Walter Ciszek, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel, Hector (my guardian Angel) and Blank Theo (my sister's guardian Angel).

I believe in God's Mercy and Love for all humans. For me. For you. And for Jack. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Evangelism of the trenches

Here is Peter Kreeft's conversion story from Protestantism to a Catholicism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO2NGGmWBQo

He tells us that since converting, he has felt it to be his vocation to build bridges between Catholics and non-Catholics. He was also a signer to the Evangelicals and Catholic Together Statement and supports it very strongly. (I'd never heard of this stattement before. Here it is: Evangelicals & Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium)

This is some of what Kreeft says on this.

"The divisions that exist now are very different than they were 50 years ago when I became a Catholic. The divisions now are far less important now, even though they still exist. That's because we face a common enemy. A culture of death. A society that is becoming increasingly anti-Christian. Whether Mary was assumed into Heaven is pretty important but what's really important is whether Jesus rose from the dead.

The common enemy that we face is doing exactly the opposite of what the devil wants us to do, namely dividing us. They are uniting us, in profound ways sometimes. Common action against a common evil like abortion has united Protestants and Catholics in their hearts and in their works even though not in their heads."

Kreeft tells of a story that he's not sure is literally true or not.

"In the early days of the pro-life movement The Catholics and southern Baptists were protesting at an abortion clinic. They went into the bubble zone and were all thrown into jail together for not observing the bubble zone. They shared a common jail cell. 24 of them. That night they didn't sleep. They prayed and sang hymns together all night. In the morning when they were released, the Baptists went home and asked their families why don’t we love Mary like the Catholics do? And the Catholics went home and asked their families if they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior?"

Now that's Evangelism of the trenches."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Angels singing

I have always loved the sound of crickets. They start sometime in mid summer and go until sometime in the fall.

Their song has always made me feel good somehow, and safe. And now I know why.

Today I discovered an awesome audio of the sound of crickets. With their song slowed way down. It is amazing. I think that crickets may be the sound of a heavenly host singing. Pretty sure.

https://soundcloud.com/#acornavi/robert-wilson-crickets-audio

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thank you God

Here is Deacon Will's beautiful homily at Mass this morning. He tells us that the origins of Canada's Thanksgiving actually predates the American Thanksgiving.
 
He also tells us a touching story of a whale who was thankful for being rescued.
 

I have so many things to be thankful for.

Thanks to God for family and friends, for those who were with us yesterday, and those who weren't.


Thanks for the birds who feed in our yard.


Thanks for the deer who live in the woods at our cabin.


Thanks for the fences that adorn Canada's roads.


Thanks for the candles from my beautiful sister Paula, molded from clay.


Thanks for the yummy pumpkin cheesecake made by my youngest sister Barb. And thanks to God for saving most of it from drowning in the sink when I dropped it.


Thank you God, for all of this, and for everything else. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Christmas Nativity sets

My sister Paula makes these adorable, hand-made clay Nativity Set Miniatures and sells them.

They can be purchased here. Each one is unique and are made with coloured clay. They are very beautiful and quite small (fit in your hand). Dimensions are given at the link.







Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guardian Angels are our best friend

Today Fr. Charles Orchard spoke on our Guardian Angels is his homily on this feast day of the Holy Guardian Angels.

Fr. Charles told us that our Guardian Angel is our best friend and that they can unite their prayers with our prayers and present them to God.

Sorry I couldn't embed the video again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JPzw9Piov4

A while ago I listened to Peter Kreeft's excellent talk on angels here based on Thomas Aquinas.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Maloney Mountain - dedicated to the Maloneys then and now

Here are Maureen's videos she took of our trip to Mt. St. Patrick and up Maloney Mountain to our family's homestead.

This is at the base of the mountain where the Church is and the cemetery where my relatives are buried.


                                This is the trip up the mountain and approaching the house
 
 
The fences on Maloney Mountain
 
 
 
Picnic on the Mountain
 
 
Walk to the back of the property and saying goodbye to Maloney Mountain
 
 
Maureen has done a great job on these videos
 
Dedicated to all our Maloney Ancestors

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our trip to Ireland - the circle is almost closed

This week I travelled to Mt. St. Patrick where my Canadian roots began after John Maloney's immigration from Ireland. It is west of Renfrew Ontario.

A bit of history on the homestead from the census records I have.

From the 1851/1852 Canadian census, the family was living in a one storey shanty house and born in "Earland" (I think that was supposed to be Ireland but it seems the census takers spelled phonetically, as you will see from the spellings of our name). My gg-grandfather's name was spelled "Mulloney" and his wife's name was Debby "Murarty" (her name was Moriarty).

In the 1861 census, the family was now living in a one storey log house.

In the 1871and 1881 census my gg-grandfather's name was spelled "Moloney". In 1871 Daniel Moriarty appears on the scene, must be Debora's father from Ireland.

Then in the 1891 census, we see "Maloney" spelled as we spell it now. Son Michael Maloney and wife Johanna Kiely and their two children, now lived in the house along with Debora and John and two of their children. It notes that my gg-grandmother could not read or write.

The 1901 census states that both John and Debora spoke "Irish" (not sure why Irish is in quotes). They both still live in the home along with Michael and Johanna and their four children.

Not sure how everyone fit into a one storey log cabin. For instance in the 1861 census I count 12 people living in the house.

The house that stands on the property now was built in 1922, the same year my father was born.

John and Debora had 12 children, Patrick died at one, and Mary before her first birthday, maybe at birth.

My great great grandfather is buried in the parish cemetery along with other Maloneys, including my own brother John Maloney.


 

I went with my two sisters, one brother, and three spouses. We drove the four miles from Mt. St. Patrick where the cemetery is, up Maloney Mountain to the farm that housed five generations of Maloneys.
 
Jimmy, moi, Paula, Maureen at cemetery at the base of the mountain, along with a few dead Maloneys
 
 The house and land is still owned by my two cousins, and is still used as a hunting camp. In the picture below, you can see some of the barns. Notice the barn to the right of the house. That is the cook house. This was used in the summer. They would literally move the wood stove in the kitchen out to the cookhouse in the summer, since it would heat the house up too much. Then they would move it back into the house for the winter. The stove was the only heat source in the house. Below the picture is a hole in the kitchen above the stove. This is how the heat made its way up into the second floor. There may have been an actual pipe up to the second floor, but as a child going up to the farm, I don't remember ever seeing one. There are no heaters on the second floor. And remember this is Canada where winters can be as cold as -35 Celsius and probably colder on the mountain. My father used to tell me that when they woke up in the morning during the winter, the water in the water basin in the room would be frozen.

There was no running water when my father was growing up either. They used an outhouse as well.
 
The house on our approach down the laneway
 
 
 Hole above the stove in the kitchen, I am standing upstairs.
  
Canadian fences are mostly made of cedar
 
From behind the house, we are back quite a piece
 
One of the barns, probably one of the original buildings

Cows in the pasture just like Ireland. House to the left, another barn to the right. Pat McDonald grazes his cows here.


Michael Maloney and Johanna Kiely, my great grandfather and great grand mother, also buried in the cemetery.
 
 
My grandfather, John Maloney (I think)
 
Kitchen

Dining room and living room

And lo and behold I discovered STONE FENCES back on the property. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I have never seen stone fences in Canada, like those we saw in Ireland. But here they are. They appear to have cedar placed on top of the fences. I imagine that these fences were built when my ancestors first built the homestead, and then started using cedar when they discovered how plentiful it was.

 Me sitting on one of these combo stone/cedar fences.
 
 We need some colour

 Fred, Maureen and Mike with another barn behind them

 Another stone/cedar combo fence
 

A cedar fence on the property


These pictures were taken as we were leaving and were down at the bottom of Maloney Mountain Rd.


I still have not been able to trace back my roots to Ireland. But I did find a distant cousin, Michael Maloney (descendant of Patrick Maloney: my gg-grandfather John Maloney's brother). He has been in touch with the Clare Heritage Centre, to do some research with the objective of finding the parents of John, Patrick and Michael.

So maybe we will eventually figure out the rest of our story, and who my ggg-grandparents were. God willing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ottawa Public Health says lives destroyed by gambling

Last year I sent Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and all the city councillors a letter, regarding my strong objection for a gambling casino in Ottawa. You can read my letter below to him, and his reply. Note how Mr. Watson doesn't actually address any of my concerns in his lengthy reply, but rather details the process of how a casino is approved.

Looks like Ottawa Public Health is also against the casino. Thank God for that:

A new casino in Ottawa will lead to more lives destroyed by gambling addiction, the city’s public-health unit warns in a new report — and the city shouldn’t let the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. build one to extract more money from gamblers’ bank accounts to feed the provincial treasury.

“Most Ottawa residents engage in some form of gambling, and do so without significantly affecting their health or the well being of others. But for some individuals, gambling is a devastating problem that affects not only the gamblers themselves, but also their families and communities,” the report says.

“Increasing the availability and accessibility of gambling in Ottawa, including new casinos, slot machines and table games, will likely result in an increase in the prevalence of problems with gambling among Ottawa residents. Gambling opportunities already exist in many forms in Ottawa, both online and in casinos. But electronic gaming machines, such as slot machines, and casino table games are more likely to be associated with gambling problems.”

My Letter to the Mayor and the councillors:

Dear Mr. Watson and Ottawa city councillors,

We must register our strong objection to Ottawa opening up its own casino. We are completely against city sanctioned gambling for ethical reasons. This is a tax on those who can ill afford to pay it, and preys on gambling addictions, purely for the sake of increasing tax revenues through what is ultimately, a volunteer tax system. It is wrong to do this.

I strongly suggest you read the book called "Betting the House" by Canadian Brian Hutchinson before continuing with this venture. Mr. Hutchinson's research will change your mind about gambling.

A few excerpts from Hutchinson's prologue:

"I set out across Canada in October 1998 to find out. In the next eight months, I talked to dozens of gamblers, dealers, business people, casino executives and government gambling strategists; some were remarkably candid about their experiences, despite the fact that most of their stories spoke badly of the industry.

It didn't take long for a simple picture to emerge: Gambling produces few winners, but many losers. But there's more. I realized that governments caught up in the revenue frenzy and building new gambling venues are reaping short-term benefits. The Canadian populace didn't ask for gambling; in most cases, cash-starved politicians foisted it upon us. There's a great price to be paid; now comes the accounting.

As I discovered, provincial governments in Nova Scotia, Ontario,Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia have attempted to hide embarrassing details about their emerging gambling industries. Independent regulatory bodies have been co-opted. Backroom deals have been brokered. Promises have been broken. Voters have been lied to. All for the sake of opening the door to a handful of unsavoury gambling hucksters, and grabbing what amounts to nothing more than another tax, albeit huge, by populist, "tax-cutting" regimes.

Hordes of problem gamblers are now created every year—there are forty thousand in Alberta alone—and they are increasingly turning to crime in order to feed their addictions. Therapists attempt to soothe them, but it's a losing proposition; treatment costs are enormous, and providers can't keep up with the volume of new clients. Gambling-related suicides are now all too common."

Sincerely,
Patricia Maloney


Mr. Watson's response to me:

Good morning Pat,

Thank you for your email. I appreciate your input on this issue, and would like to take the time to address some of your concerns and provide you with some key information on the matter.

As you know, Ottawa has been identified by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) as a possible host city as it looks to modernize gaming in the province. There has been much interest in this issue, and I believe we need to set a way forward that is clear, fair and transparent. This process begins with City Council signalling its support, in principle, of a possible, new Ottawa gaming facility. This decision would not commit the City to a gaming facility, or a specific site location.

In my view, every Ottawa dollar that is spent at the Gatineau casino is a dollar lost for Ottawa taxpayers. An Ottawa gaming facility would allow us to repatriate the money currently going into Quebec roads, schools and hospitals. If a new gaming facility were to open in Ottawa, I am proposing that any new revenue generated for the City be split equally between infrastructure renewal and economic development initiatives that create jobs in Ottawa. In a time of infrastructure challenges and federal job cuts in Ottawa, we need to thoughtfully consider this opportunity.

Gaming is not new to the City and its residents, and Ottawa's experience with gaming has been generally positive. The City has had a long-standing and successful relationship with the RCR, with the slots welcoming 2 million visitors per year. Since 2000, the slots at RCR have generated over $45 million in general revenue for the City. In 2011 alone, the Slots at Racetrack program contributed $4.4 million in revenue to the City of Ottawa

At the same time, we need to fully understand the economic benefits and potential public health impacts of a gaming facility. We recognise the health impacts. That is why we are asking staff at Ottawa Public Health to provide the background and advice. It is also worth noting that OLG spends million per year assisting with the challenges of gambling addiction. Revenues from OLG also support health care and other social spending within the province of Ontario. Today we lose the revenue across the river to Quebec, while having to deal with any potential health fallout within our own city and healthcare system.

It is important to ensure that residents have ample opportunity to provide their feedback through public delegations at committee so that when a final decision is made, we will ensure that we have all the necessary information in front of us.

To proceed with this issue, I am proposing a clear two-stage process. The first stage would begin on October 2, 2012 at the next FEDCO meeting. At that time we will consider a staff report, released on September 25, which includes a direction to staff to look at the economic benefits of a gaming facility. This October 2 FEDCO meeting will be held in the evening to make it easier for residents who work during the day to comment on the staff report.

If approved by FEDCO and subsequently by City Council on October 10, 2012, I would write a letter to the OLG to signal that the City would be supportive of a gaming facility in principle. This would not commit the City to a gaming facility, or even a site location, but it allows the OLG to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to accept bids from proponents.

The second stage would occur in 2013. It would involve the OLG coming back to the City after completion of their RFP process with a prospective proponent and location. At this time, we would receive a second set of public delegations so that residents can speak to the specific proposal and location. We would also receive the staff report requested earlier on the economic impacts of a gaming facility, and also have an opportunity to review input from staff at Ottawa Public Health.

You should note that, while this is a process driven by the OLG, Ottawa City Council holds the final approval on rezoning for a new gaming facility. It is also important to note that currently there are no sites proposed or shortlisted by the OLG. The OLG modernization process is about involving the private sector and becoming more customer-focused. A broad and competitive bidding process is likely to lead to a higher level of innovation and competition between proponents.

It is in this spirit that I think we should proceed. While some, myself included, have expressed early personal opinions about possible locations for a new or expanded gaming facility, we should not pre-judge or rule out any locations or areas until we receive a final proposal from the OLG. I will be encouraging Council to allow the OLG to work with proponents who have the expertise and market depth to identify options for Ottawa that are most likely to lead to long-term success. We should see what the best proposal is and make an informed decision when the time comes.

Along these lines, I also want to recognize the long-standing, positive relationship we have had with the Rideau Carleton Raceway (RCR). We all recognize the importance of the Raceway to the local economy. I will be calling on City Council to encourage the OLG to run a fair, competitive process that provides all proponents, including the RCR, an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. Further, I will be proposing that Council ask the OLG to consider providing an opportunity for the RCR to be pre-qualified to take part in the final bidding process, given their strong record of success in the Ottawa region.

Another gaming option is about 6 km from the Ottawa downtown core - the Gatineau casino. Industry experts suggest that a majority of the Gatineau casino’s revenues comes from Ottawa residents – revenues that the City of Ottawa and the Province of Ontario do not benefit from. These economic benefits, driven by Ottawa residents, instead accrue to the Province of Quebec. They use this money to invest in roads, hospitals and schools – while the City of Ottawa wrestles with tough decisions about infrastructure renewal and feels the effects of federal job cuts.

Ottawa residents enjoy easy access to these two facilities, but also have smaller-scale gaming options right in their neighbourhoods. This includes charity and church bingo fundraisers, as well as lottery tickets sold in most convenience stores. Given these existing gaming options, a new Ottawa gaming facility would not be a big change from what our residents are used to.  However, the difference would be that the City of Ottawa would receive new revenues that would be earmarked for investments in infrastructure renewal and economic development initiatives that create jobs in Ottawa.

In March 2011, Council’s solid vote (20-3) in favour of adding gaming tables at the RCR underscored Council’s desire to provide residents with a broader range of quality gaming services. The decision was made with the goal of generating more revenue for the City of Ottawa derived from that which is currently crossing the river to Quebec. My discussions with Council colleagues indicate that the vast majority of members of Council do not favour holding a divisive referendum on the issue of gaming. Instead, we should let the best proposal come forward based on industry expert opinion and make a decision, as we are elected to do on many issues each and every day.

I recognize that the idea of expanding gaming in the City of Ottawa may not be met with unanimity, but I also believe that given our City’s positive experience with gaming, residents would support a modest expansion of gaming in Ottawa. I also believe that at the end of the day, individual residents are best able to decide whether or not they want to use a gaming facility in our community – it really comes down to an issue of personal choice.

Again, I thank you for sharing yours with me as it is always welcome.

Sincerely,

Jim Watson
Mayor
City of Ottawa

Friday, August 9, 2013

Detachment and God's will

Here is Fr. Terry's homily for the feast of St. Ignatius. He explains the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. 

He talks about Ignatius Spiritual Exercises, and in particular the Principle and Foundation, which forms the basis of Ignatius philosophy.

Fr. Terry gives us a very understandable synopsis of St. Ignatius way of finding God.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (God in Ireland)

This video is a small representation of the churches, cathedrals and grotto's in Ireland.
 
The pictures were taken in Ennis and Kilfenora, where both places have churches from the 11th century.
 
Notice in the video, the painting of the Annunciation of Our Blessed Mother Mary. This painting is on loan to the Ennis Cathedral and was painted by Adam Pomeroy.
 
When I saw the painting, I was transfixed by the artist's depiction of this event. An event that is so pivotal to Christianity and especially to Catholics.
 
(Thanks once again to Maureen for putting this together.)
 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Who shall I trust?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (fences)

There's very little I can say about the video below. It speaks for itself. It is a compilation of some of my fence pictures from Lahinch, Kilfenora and the Burren. Mostly stone fences.

There is also a picture of a fairy tree in one of the pictures. According to Irish folklore, it was bad luck to take these trees down, so they are frequently seen in the middle of grazing fields.

I was rather surprised with the lack of trees I saw in Ireland. I never received a clear answer as to why there seem to be so few of them, at least in West Clare where we were. One of the musicians at the Fleadh Nua in Ennis said that the EU wanted the Irish to plant more trees, and he didn't seem too happy about that. Most of the land does seem to be used for grazing of farm animals and he said something to that effect as the reason.

Or maybe the Irish don't like someone else telling them what to do. I get that. I don't like someone telling me what to do either. Like when someone tells me I've already taken enough pictures of stone fences, and why do I need to take more? How could anyone possibly ever have enough pictures of stone fences?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4I6JPuTXbs

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (Church Of The Immaculate Conception in Lahinch)

On May 29, we took a walking tour of Lahinch. The tour was hosted by Thomsie O'Sullivan of the North Clare Historical Society. Thomsie has a remarkable amount of historical knowledge of the homes and businesses in the village. He shared that history with us that evening.

I taped most of the evening but I have far too much material, so am only going to post the introduction to the evening, which began in the Church. Thomsie discusses in this clip why and how a new Church had to be built.

(Sometimes, for reasons known only to God, I can't find the video I'm looking for when accessing it through my blog, to embed into my blog. Like this time. And sometimes when I try to retrieve the embed code itself, it doesn't work either. In both these cases, I am forced to either make a career out of figuring out why it doesn't work, or, I just give up and give you the link. Today I am not interested in a new career.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRzjmySQD28

Thomsie told us that the new Church was basically built through the village people volunteering their time, effort and hard labour. The people dug into 60 feet of the cliff behind the church which was mud and rock. They took away the stones themselves, and many people used the stones to build their own homes. The sustained effort strengthened the whole community. Fundraising was also going on the whole times as well.

Thomsie also remembered when there were 40 to 50 Masses going on in the summer because of all the visiting priests, and Thomsie would often have to serve four Masses. Often the priest would say to the alter servers before Mass: "Could you come down and caddy for me after Mass?" The reward was an ice cream after caddying.

I attended Mass here while in Lahinch. Sunday Masses were lovely, quick and solemn. In Ottawa, Sunday Masses are usually at least an hour long. In Lahinch, about 30 minutes. Very efficient. And often the priest would say the Our Father in Irish. I never caught it on audio, but here is a video of the Lord's Prayer being said in Irish.


The Parish also had two prayers that they said after each Mass. The first was their Parish Prayer:

"Father, pour out your spirit on us your people and grant us a new vision of your glory, a new experience of your power, a new faithfulness to your word, a new consecration to your service so that your love may grow among us & that we may make your kingdom a reality in our place and time. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen."

The second prayer I recognized  as one that St. Ignatius of Loyola particularly loved called Anima Christi, or the Soul of Christ

THE PRAYER "SOUL OF CHRIST"
(ANIMA CHRISTI)
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
0 good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Do not allow me to be separated from you.
From the malevolent enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me,
and bid me come to you,
that with your saints I may praise you
forever and ever. Amen.


(A special thanks to Maureen and all her hard work on creating my videos)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Journey to Ireland: The series

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 Our trip to Ireland (fences)

Thursday, June 27, 2013 Our trip to Ireland  (Church Of The Immaculate Conception in Lahinch)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (looking for John Maloney, born Ennis 1819)

Sunday, June 23, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (meeting artist Michael Hanrahan)

Thursday, June 20, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (Music - the old and the new)
  
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (An Gorta Mór)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013, Our trip to Ireland  (Ennistymon)

Thursday, June 13, 2013, Our Trip to Ireland  (Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, The Burren etc.)

Monday, June 10, 2013, Our journey to Ireland  (the Gathering and Fleadh Nua)

Friday, June 7, 2013, Our journey to Ireland

Our trip to Ireland (looking for John Maloney, born Ennis 1819)

One of the reasons we went to Ireland in general, and County Clare in particular, was the faint hope I had of tracking down my great great grandfather John Maloney.

On our second trip into Ennis, we returned to the Clare County Library where genealogical records are kept. The first time it was closed which is why we returned.

I asked the librarian if they had any birth or baptismal records from 1819 when John was born. I knew that John was born in Ennis. I was told that there are really no records from before the 1840's, unless the person was part of the gentry or the clergy. I'm pretty certain that John didn't fall into either of those categories. I was apparently out of luck. The librarian suggested I contact the genealogist on staff there in case he had any further suggestions in tracking him down. Once I returned home I did email him a couple of times, but have received no reply as of yet.

Maybe there is someone out there in Internet land, who could point me in a direction to find something out further about my family. One problem in discovering our roots back to Ireland is the numerous spellings of our name:

Mallowney
Mullowney
Mullowny
Mollony
Moloney
Molony
and the Gaelic: O Maoldhomhnaigh

And possibly other spellings as well. No wonder I can't find any relatives.

What we do know is the following:
  • John Maloney was born in 1819 in Ennis County Clare (married to Deborah Moriarty, daughter of Daniel Moriarty and Julia Brennan, 1826, County Limerick)
  • Michael Maloney was born in 1816 (Probably born in Ennis as well, Married to Mary Dundin (1819-1873))
  • Patrick Maloney was born in 1820 (Probably born in Ennis as well, Married to Catherine O'Brien)
We believe that five brothers came over initially but we only know for certain, the names of these three brothers.

Then I found this information:
"Biddy, Edmund, George, James, John Michael and Patrick Molony all arrived in Canada in 1847."

Is that our Maloney's? This sounded intriguing so I contacted the site to find out how they discovered this information.

These are all the other places I have contacted as well. Will anything turn up? If there are no records for the early 1800's, as seems to be the case so far, probably not. Will keep you posted.

Library and Archives Canada here and here.

John and Deborah from the Maloney Geneology compiled by Bill and Clara Maloney in 1979

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (meeting artist Michael Hanrahan)

In one of our numerous visits to Kenny's gift shop in Lahinch, we spied the same print of a painting of Lahinch, that was also in our rented home.

We bought most of our gifts in this shop, where the prices were very good and the selection was extensive. Towards the end of the month, Rosie would laugh when she saw that we had come back. Yet again.

The painting in question, was done by local artist Michael Hanrahan. Attached to the gift shop was an art gallery and this is where we also saw the print.

Our daughters were interested in possibly purchasing it, so after they left I set about to contact the artist.

We met, and Michael kindly offered to take Fred and I to his art studio in Ennistymon to look at his works there. He told us that he had painted for the Queen of England, and for the Kennedy foundation, among others. He also taught water coulour painting on cruise ships.

We settled on a price for the print and now Michael's beautiful art is in Canada.

Michael and I with the print of his Lahinch painting.

Michael at his home in Lahinch (Also note the lovely stone fence. Michael told me that it is probably 200 years old. Just in case you hadn't noticed it.)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (Music - the old and the new)

On May 16, 2013 we saw the Irish band, Hermitage Green play live at Kenny's Pub in Lahinch.

They were very good and I shot one of their songs with my cell phone. The pub was very full and the patrons were very loud so it was hard to enjoy the music. We stayed a while but eventually left because it was difficult to really appreciate the music properly, with the non-stop chatter and noise of the audience. I guess we are old now.

Hermitage Green:

Once we hit the cold air outside I knew I was in desperate need of the ladies room. You know. To powder my nose? We then went in search of one. When I came out, Fred was looking intently inside at Danny Mac's Pub. There was a trio playing traditional Irish music. So instead of going home like we had planned, in we went to listen.

Yvonne Casey, Kirsten Allstaff and Yvonne Casey were playing. We plunked ourselves down at the table next to them. I was able to tape some of their music, and even made a short video of one of the patrons expressing his obvious admiration of the music. (See video below.)

We then returned the following Thursday to hear them again. Awesome music.

Me in front of Kenny's Pub. Notice the exceptionally attractive yellow boots.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (An Gorta Mór)

Here is more information on the Memorial outside of Ennistymon. I mentioned it in yesterday's post. From Wikepedia:
"The 'An Gorta Mór' [the Great Famine] Memorial was erected a mile outside Ennistymon on the road to Lahinch to commemorate the memory of the victims of the great potato crop failures/famine of 1845 to 1850 known as the Great Hunger (An Gorta Mór). It was dedicated on August 20, 1995 – the 150th anniversary of that tragedy. Located across from Ennistymon Hospital, itself built on the grounds of the local workhouse, it was erected by a combined effort of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Board of Erin and Board of America and the Clare County Council.

Ennistymon
The FallsThe monument was designed by an artist from Co Kerry and depicts an account found in the Minutes of the Meetings of the Boards of Guardians for Ennistymon Union held in the County Archives. [1] The account centered on a note that was pinned to the torn shirt of a barefoot orphan boy who was left at the workhouse door on the freezing cold morning of February 25, 1848. The note read:

"Gentlemen, There is a little boy named Michael Rice of Lahinch aged about 4 years. He is an orphan, his father having died last year and his mother has expired on last Wednesday night, who is now about to be buried without a coffin!! Unless ye make some provision for such. The child in question is now at the Workhouse Gate expecting to be admitted, if not it will starve. -- Rob S. Constable''
One side of the memorial depicts a child standing before the workhouse door, while across from that is the head of an anguished mother and two hands clenched in frustration or anger above the sorrowful text of the pleading note."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our trip to Ireland (Ennistymon)

(Updated June 19)
One morning we were having coffee in Danny Mac's pub and I noticed an abandoned Tim Horton's take-away cup on the counter (notice my use of the correct Irish word for take-out). Yikes I thought, Tim Horton's in Ireland? We asked the waiter who it belonged to, and he pointed out the customer to us. The man said he got it in Ennistymon which is about 4.5 km from Lahinch.

When I got home and googled it, I couldn't find any Tim Horton's anywhere in Europe never mind in Irland. Oh well, we were going to Ennistymon anyway so we would check it out when we goth there.

We walked to the town on May 13. We had our rain coats on of course, and about half way there it began to pour. Then there were ice pellets. It was about 10 degrees and naturally, it was very windy. I was glad I was wearing my long johns. Until it began to sleet. Because now, not only were my legs drenched but my long johns were as well. Long johns adhering to legs. Gross.

We got there in one piece, soggy but otherwise okay. Pretty soon the sun came out again and we were carrying our raincoats.

We stopped at a pub for a coffee and as soon as I walked in I said uh oh. They were smoking inside, the first time we had seen smoking in any establishment. We asked for coffee and thankfully we were told that we might want to instead go across the street which we gladly did. There was a nice little cafe where we had coffee and scones and jam. Two ladies at the next table started talking to us, Ann and Nora. Ann asked us if we were from Lahinch. She had seen us walking past her house mornings on Station Road. We told her about our one month stay in Lahinch and had a nice chat with them, and then they left.

We finished up and I wondered if my clammy legs would ever dry.

We went back outside and walked around for a bit, and lo and behold we saw another Tim Horton's cup walk across the street. With a person attached to it. I asked the holder of said cup, where he had got the coffee and he said at the "Spar", a small grocery store. Naturally we went in to it, and there it was: a small Timmy's counter with a coffee machine and even donuts in a display case. Fred was pretty excited. He got one to go and we left.

We headed out of town for our trek back to Lahinch. The skies looked kind of ominous and we thought we are going to get dumped on again. I had noticed the church when we came into town. (Our Lady and Saint Michael, Ennistymon, I had to google it's name. The Irish don't seem to put the names on many of their churches. Not sure why.) I knew the church would be opened, as all the Irish Churches we had seen were open, which was wonderful. This way I got to go into them in every town we visited.

Sure enough we went in, sat down, and the deluge began. We waited a bit in silence and I took some pictures. When we left, the rain had passed and we were able to get home in the sunshine. It was up hill and windy so the going was a bit intense but by the time we were home we were as dry as a stone (as in stone fences).

More pictures along the way including the four at the bottom below that depict the Ennistymon work houses during the famine. County Clare was hit hard during the famine. Ireland lost one third of its population to starvation, one third emmigrated and one third stayed. I believe my great-great-grandfather John Maloney, came over from Ireland during the famine along with his two brothers in the 1840's.

Ennistymon Falls
 No description needed
 The Church
Inside the Church
 The plaques on the road to Ennistymon discussing the famine