Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is it 2012 already?

I’m not exactly sure who runs, but they seem to be doing a halfway decent job. As of 30 June the website listed sixteen declared GOP candidates for President of the United States as well as those who could still toss their hat into the ring and those who have declined a declaration.

I’ll admit it straight off: I had no idea over half of the declared candidates were on the campaign trail. I always feel a little uncomfortable with how early these campaigns get started and thus ignore a lot of campaign talk this early. It’s too easy to get worn out too quickly. As a resident of Minnesota for four years while attending university, I am happy to see Tim Pawlenty decide not to run again for governor, presumably to dedicate himself to his campaign. Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul just to name a few, will have to juggle campaign time with responsibilities on Capitol Hill. As a resident of Illinois the other 18 years of my life, I was disgusted to see then Senator Barack Obama side-step his home state for the 2008 campaign after only a short time in office.

Apparently tonight at midnight is a campaign fundraiser deadline of sorts. Bret Baier’s Special Report on FoxNews reported the amounts in fundraising donations for several GOP candidates, extrapolated to a total campaign cost for the 2012 presidential election of $2-3 billion. President Obama, amidst a looming debt crisis, attended his 37th fundraiser as president. That number is seven times what President Bush attended at this point in his term.

The numbers and political atmosphere speak for themselves. Both parties could use a little perspective. Right now no one is really blowing me out of the water. Then again, is anyone paying attention?

Monday, June 27, 2011

This and that - late June 2011

Random Fact-of-the-Day: A Solemn Requiem Mass was sung for the repose of the soul of Gilbert Keith Chesterton at Westminster Cathedral 75 years ago today (27 June). Read more from the National Catholic Register.

The Vatican has released a number of preview photos on ahead of the official site launch on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, 29 June. Take a look and sign up for notification by email when the site becomes available. Who thinks the Holy Father will be tweeting soon? Who said the Church wasn’t “relevant”?

The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul also marks 60 years of priestly ordination for the Holy Father. Saint Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN is holding 60 hours of Eucharistic Adoration. More information can be found in the University of Saint Thomas BulletinToday article.

The Holy Father will celebrate Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, conferring the pallium on a number of bishops. The Mass booklet also recognizes the Holy Father’s anniversary. On a musician’s note: Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marchelli will be sung. Glorious.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mr. Benedict, J.K. Rowling, & New York

I’ve completed my first summer read: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart. It’s become my replacement for the Harry Potter series; it is a children’s book and a very easy read but the book tells an intense story and touches on serious issues regarding right and wrong, relationships, and sacrifice. The book I just finished is the latest installment (October 2009) and third in the series. Stewart has written other works as well including a novel for adults. I highly recommend these books as a wonderful summer read in these hot and lazy days.

J.K. Rowling enticed her fans for about a week dangling a countdown on a new YouTube channel titled: JK Rowling Announces. On 23 June at 6am CST, high noon in the UK, Jo Rowling released a 1:49 video thanking her fans for their readership and announcing a new website, Within this website she will provide a new reading experience for the Potter stories, participant influenced, releasing side information about “the world of Harry Potter I have been hoarding for years.” Rowling is also releasing the Potter books in e-book form for the first time entirely through her own website. I hope to be one of the first to enter the website in July to preview and help develop it. While I’m not head-over-heels excited like I might have been for the release of one of the books, I am looking forward to finding out what other tidbits and stories Rowling’s imagination created in the development of the 7-book series which has taken the world by storm.

New York State Legislature passed its own same-sex marriage bill late on 24 June. With no opposition from the governor the bill will soon become law. One of the most frustrating things about the law is how a religious protection amendment was passed to convince conservatives to vote for the bill, never mind the fact the religious protection is guaranteed by our nation’s Constitution. Let us join together in prayer for New York, especially for Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, one of the most important Catholic voices in the state.

As always comments, civil discussion, and opinions are welcome.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lightning Transfigured Night

Thunderstorms are one of my favourite things about summer. The power of nature is truly awe-inspiring, if sometimes a little terrifying. We had a great big thunderstorm the other night when our heatwave finally broke. The storm brought temperatures down over 20 degrees F. I tried to take some pictures of the lighting but it was unfortunately too deep in the clouds to catch a bolt. (Either that or my camera is too poor quality.) Regardless, the ability of the lightning to make the pitch-black night sky shine brighter than the sun was pretty cool. Perhaps this is the blinding effect is what Peter, James, and John saw when the Lord was transfigured before their eyes.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Heroic Charity deserves Italian pizza

While surfing seeing when the heat wave would break (it finally has in Illinois), I came across a beautiful example of heroic charity. Watch the video at the link below. This is the kind of news story that deserves national attention!

Fire evacuation ‘angels’ save the day

* * *

Dinner being my charge this evening, I decided to be a little explorative. Off to, Paula Deen did not let me down. I found a video and written recipe for Grilled Veggie Pizza, which bears a striking resemblance to the pizza I would pick up near the Spanish Steps in Rome and either bring it back to Bernardi Campus or enjoy with friends on the steps like Audrey Hepburn and Carey Grant and their gelato. My sisters, Madalyn and Catherine were a great help particularly because there were so many things to do! Olive oil coated crust; eggplant, arugula, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, capers, garlic, & black olives (or whatever you please!); grilled over a charcoal fire. It certainly was a learning experience working out the bugs in our system but overall, it certainly made for a delightful dinner.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Follow me on Twitter: @KellenOGrady

Proper capitalization but they wouldn't let me keep the apostrophe.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Vatican Public Relations

On the morning of 2 June, TV personalities Matt Lauer and Al Roker aired a number a stories live from Saint Peter’s Square on the TODAY Show on NBC. I just finished watching these video clips from the NBC website and I am blown away at how beautifully they portrayed the Holy Father and the Vatican. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York was also on hand for a variety of interviews, tours, and commentaries.

I think my favourite of these stories was “A Day in the Life of Pope Benedict XVI” which featured footage of the Holy Father in his private chapel and chambers, the Vatican gardens, and even watching the evening news. A close second is the video “Church seeks new followers through social media”. Not only do we get to see and hear the infamous and elusive Rocco Palmo of the blog “Whispers in the Loggia” but they mention that the Vatican is soon to launch its own news website,

There are eight videos available if you follow the links above. They all take about a half an hour to watch. I encourage you to watch them all.